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Hello, my fantabulous friends and welcome to September. I honestly can’t believe that it is September and almost fall. With a new month and new season upon us I thought it would be a great time to introduce a new series of my blog. The new series is about self-care. I know as Mother’s, caretaker’s or professionals who take care of others we tend to forget about ourselves. Today I want to talk about the definition of self-care, different self-care activities and provide you with a couple of self-care quotes I find inspiring. While you are reading this post I would like you to think about self-care – how do you make time for yourself?
Do you wake up tired? Feel sad for no reason at all? Maybe you are feeling stressed or anxious? These are all signs that you should take a time out and do something for yourself. If you are anything like me, most people don’t even know that you are feeling this way until you reach your breaking point. This my friends is no way to live life, and it is time for us to take back control.
What is self-care?
The self-care definition is pretty self-explanatory. It is actions or activities that you can do that will enable you to take care of your body, mind, and soul.
I have been doing a bit of research and I am in no way an expert but I am looking to incorporate some of these actions and activities in my daily life. The self -care activities that I want to explore and expand upon are:
- Physical self-care
- Emotional self-care
- Personal self-care
- Social self-care
- Spiritual self-care
- Mental self-care
Since feeling good physically is the base for everything. I believe that is a good starting point if you are looking to start a self-care journey. Each month going forward, I am going to introduce a new area of focus and provide ways we can work different self-care activities into daily life.
Why am I starting a self-care routine?
Lately, I haven’t been feeling myself, I have been feeling a bit blue and not motivated to do the things I need to do let alone the things I want to do. This is not how I want to feel nor is it fair to my kids, fiancé or others close to me.
In the past when I felt this way I turned to habits that I don’t feel are the right choice for me now. I used to drink away the loneliness, the sadness, the stress, the anger or whatever else I was feeling at that time. While I don’t turn to drinking to be a cure all for these things, I am learning there are things I can do daily that will help my attitude and overall health. I wish I had figured this out sooner while I was a single mom struggling to keep it together for the kids.
In the next year or so I will be entering g into a new phase of my life, where I will soon be an empty nester and am looking for ways to make this transition easier. Also, next year I am getting married to my best friend and I want to be sure that I am the best me I can be for him. This is an exciting time for us, but it will also come with some stress as we begin to plan our wedding and our future life.
Benefits of doing self-care
It has been proven that adopting self-care activities assist us with a better state of mind. It can also help those that suffer from depression and anxiety. While I am not saying that self-care is a cure all, it can assist in a person’s overall well-being if practiced regularly.
Practicing self-care is a new journey for me so I currently do not have any firsthand experience of how effective it is. I, however, am excited to explore this new way of taking care of myself and sharing my progress with others. I hope to be able to share more information on the benefits of practicing self-care in the upcoming weeks.
Where to start?
As I mentioned earlier we are going to start with physical self-care. Seems pretty simple, huh? Well I can say that I probably am not the best at even doing the basics of physical self-care and the ones that we will focus on this month are:
- Exercising/moving more
- Drinking water
- Eating healthier
- Getting enough sleep each night
Each week this month we will talk about a different activity and work to make them part of daily life. In my opinion, I feel that exercising/moving is the most difficult activity to maintain so that is where we will start. For some of you, this may be an easy one as you already have established exercise into your daily routine.
Simple ideas to move more
So how can we move more or exercise daily? Here are a few of the ways we can accomplish this.
- Walk for 30 minutes – If you don’t have 30 minutes all together you can always break it up into 10-minute chunks. I often do this at work during one of my breaks, just take a 10-minute walk either outside of the building or inside just walking the hallway (this is my winter choice).
- Yoga – If you like yoga but don’t where to go or can’t afford a gym You Tube has many yoga videos. There are also apps you can download on your phone or even find a podcast that will lead in a yoga session. I have one on my phone that offers a 5-6 minute daily workout
- Dance – you can do this with the kids, your significant other, by yourself, what ever your heart fancies. I tend to be a dancer when I am home alone and the curtains are closed so no one can see me.
- Bicycle – if you have a bike a quick ride around the neighborhood would be a great way to exercise. I sadly have not done as much of this as I have wanted this year.
- Housecleaning – Sometimes I like to turn my chores into a game to see how fast I can move and get them done, mostly because I am not a fan of chores. I will set a timer for 15 minutes and clean, clean, clean. What I find is that I have not only accomplished a lot around the house, but I have also gotten in a good workout.
These are just a few ideas I have and I would love to hear your ideas to move more. You can always leave them in the comments below.
First weekly challenge
While starting this new exploration into self-care I thought I would set up weekly challenges for myself and others to help incorporate some of the things that I am talking about into our daily routine. The first weekly challenge I am starting is to move or exercise a little bit every day. I would love for you to join me in the exercise challenge even if you are still undecided about taking part in self-care. While I encourage everyone to take part in self-care, I can understand if you are still undecided and want to see or hear about more.
Everyone is in a different part of their exercise journey. Some of us haven’t exercised in a long time, some occasionally (which is me) and some exercise regularly. Wherever you are please jump in and join us this is a judgment free zone.
My goal for this first challenge is to exercise for 30 minutes each day. Yikes! That seems like a big goal but I will keep track of this using my apple watch. I know not all of you have a fitness tracker but you can always keep track of your times in a notebook or on a simple spreadsheet. Like the one pictured below, also you can customize it to track whatever you want
I will be adding a screenshot of my apple watch daily to show my progress. This is to help keep me accountable in my goal to exercise every day. Sadly, here is today’s screenshot, this is what happens when I work from home I don’t get much movement in.
The apple watch has an app that allows me to track my calories burned (red ring), exercise minutes (green ring) and stand every hour (blue ring). So this just shows me that Wednesday was definitely not a good day and I am almost embarrassed to show it.
As you can tell Thursday was a much better day I made an effort to get my 30 minutes of exercise in even though I worked from home and was not in the office. Gold star for me!
My final thoughts
I am super excited to start researching, learning and incorporating self-care into my daily life. One of my reasons for starting is because I want nothing more to be my best self for those around me. I know to do that it starts with taking care of me. The more the merrier so please join me in this new self-care journey and hopefully add a few self-care activities into your daily life. Let me know how you are doing in your progress of moving daily in the comments below.
The final thing I am going to do in each of my self-care posts is leave you with a thought, quote or saying for you to think about or you could use it as a journal topic. I will say that journaling will be a topic I will cover in the near future.
This week’s self-care quote is
“When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best version of themselves”
from Steve Maraboli. This quote seems very fitting for this new journey that we are starting.
Until next time friends.