We agree: Committing to a season of self-care seems to be the most needed, but at the same time, the most difficult task to achieve given the current state of things.
We still decided to do this for the September Monthly Challenge, because no matter the circumstances, self-care is beneficial to keeping things balanced in your life. It never hurts to take better care of yourself – emotionally, physically or mentally – as it benefits the self and those around you, and allows you to ‘set the pace’ for our ‘new normal’ way of living.
For those of us who already struggled with self-care prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are sharing some helpful tips and ideas to get you started, or reignite some motivation this month. Maybe you just need to try a new self-care method or make some adjustments to what you have already tried, but didn’t stick with. Whatever your reason may be, we invite you to give yourself another opportunity to practice self-care with these ideas below. We hope these are simple enough to work into a daily or weekly routine.
Establish New Daily Rituals – A.M. and P.M.
A.M. How you start your morning can set the tone for the entire day, influencing your decisions and reactions to what goes on around you. So why not start the day feeling like you can take on whatever comes your way? Even making the smallest of changes to your normal morning routine can make for a more successful and productive day.
- Hydrate – Drink a glass of water after you wake up to replenish and rehydrate your body.
- Get Moving – Go for a short, brisk walk. With cooler Fall temperatures right around the corner, go out and enjoy the morning air while warming up your body. This movement doesn’t have to be extensive or intense.
- Meditate/Pray – We can all agree to avoid the latest news headlines on your phone when you first wake up. Instead, take a moment to say a prayer or a motivational thought to positively direct your mind. Maybe prepare a passage of scripture on your nightstand so you can find it easily. It can even be as simple as reciting the Serenity Prayer…and contemplating on each thought and what it means to you.
P.M. Even if you didn’t have a very successful or productive day, it doesn’t mean that tomorrow will be the same. Take some time at the end of each day to be thankful for it and reflect.
- Reflect – Write down the 3 best things that happened during the day. You’ll be surprised that even the worst days have a blessing in disguise.
- Prepare – Set a few minutes aside to prepare for the next day. Set the alarm to make sure you get up on time. Do a few chores at night so they are not waiting for you in the morning.
- Meditate/Pray – If you encountered some difficulties during the day, reflect on them or pray about them. Dealing with problems or negative emotions instead of ignoring them can help you move on and start the next day with a positive attitude and outlook.
Do Something Creative
Coloring/Painting Channeling your inner artist can be therapeutic and fun. Whether you pick up a paintbrush and blank canvas, or use adult meditating coloring sheets, the effects should be similar – calming to the body, mind and spirit.
Music If you have put off playing the piano, the guitar or ukelele for a while, now is the time to pick it back up. Listening and playing music can do a world of good for the mind and soul as you are allowing yourself to clear your mind and only think of sounds and harmonies.
Writing The benefits of journaling besides inspiring creativity are plentiful. From keeping your thoughts organized and relieving stress, to boosting memory and setting goals, writing on a regular basis is a great self-care activity to start at any time.
Schedule Time Off to ‘Unplug’
Take the Day Off If you know you don’t have any upcoming appointments or meetings on the calendar, plan a day to practice some self-care. Intermittent time off can provide balance and time away from the daily grind. Plan a day to ‘unplug’ yourself from electronic devices that demand attention. Visit a local park, get a project done at home that you’ve put off or simply spend time doing an activity that you find enjoyable like reading a novel, knitting, woodworking, or gardening.
Of course, if you met your goal to stick with a self-care practice for a week or a month, it was hopefully a rewarding experience and something to celebrate! Rewarding yourself for a job well done is just part of the experience. Hopefully the benefits of self-care are more evident and meaningful that you are encouraged to continue with a self-care routine and maybe improve upon it. For instance, if you play a musical instrument, reward yourself with a new piece of equipment, or if you discovered you love watercolor painting, reward yourself with a new set of brushes. Whatever it may be, we hope this self-care challenge has been a positive and rewarding experience.