Welcome to a new year and decade! Saying this year is starting off differently is an understatement, especially considering all we've trekked through just to make it here. Kudos to us! You know this space is all about turning inward so there's no time, like the present to talk about 5 ways to take better care of yourself in 2021.
1. Make Sure You #SelfCareSunday
There used to be something dreadful about the ever-approaching Sunday afternoon/evening time. Going back to work/class/uneventful average day where you know you're going to have to spend a significant amount of your time away from stuff you'd rather be doing is enough to demotivate even the happiest of us. #SelfCareSunday has managed to become a movement worth being a part of that rounds out the start of a new week with a breath of fresh air.
While my self-care activities are mostly undocumented I love sharing ideas, setups, and images on my social media pages that I believe inspire others to make their self-care a priority. If you're stumped on ideas or need a little inspiration search #SelfCareSunday for ideas.
2. Get a Hobby
This sounds so cliche, I know. But I'm not wrong and even though it isn't the most glamorous suggestion there is science out there to back me up. Hobbies make for much happier, relaxed, and present human beings. You can even open up another tab and look it up. The best thing about a hobby is you can pick it up and put it down when you're ready to.
Hobbies help you focus, achieve, engage, and enjoy your pleasure. Decide what you're going for. Do you need something exciting and active or quiet and restful? Somedays I work outside in my garden areas and sweat until I'm satisfied. Others I'm strolling around with my camera or working on a project. The idea is you do something you enjoy to help balance things you may enjoy less.
3. Stay in Touch - Safely
I had a video call with a good girlfriend of mine for over an hour just before the holiday break. And we could have talked longer if we hadn't unexpectedly needed to cut the conversation short. Pre-pandemic it was nothing for us to get lost in conversation while picking up and dropping off our kids or have family dinners together. I realized it had been over a month since I'd even spoken to her. And the more time that passed the worse I felt about it. Working from home and homeschooling my 3 kids has been a busy event for me to say the least (I know more than a few can relate) but not catching up with my friend couldn't be the permanent solution.
And just like that I texted her and came up with a not so original plan for a virtual coffee date. I am not a camera person and living less than 10 minutes from each other for the last few years it never dawned on me that we could just do a video call. It was the best thing to get to laugh with her face to face again without jeopardizing anyone's health. Sometimes I really overthink the simplest things!
Video ringing a friend, sending pictures of your seemingly regular day and sharing funny memes are all acceptable options for safely staying in touch with the people you care about.
4. Check in with Yourself Regularly
Taking better care of ourselves means being honest too. Let's tell ourselves the truth this year, ok? There is a line between encouragement and setting an alarm that you know won't give you enough notice to make it on time. One builds motivation and confidence while the other has you blaming Murphy's Law.
So be honest and check-in with yourself. Ask yourself: What do I currently need to focus on? Is there anything I can do to prepare for this accomplishment or achievement? What things can distract my focus? What can I do to avoid or push distractions aside?
5. Start a gratitude journal
This is something I believe so strongly in and consider as a self-care activity for myself. Starting and/or ending your day with gratitude journaling is probably the one thing I believe everyone should start in 2021. Right now I'm using the Start Today Journal. I love the layout but I encourage you to just grab a notebook or even a few sheets of paper and try it for 30 days. When you aren't sure what to write go back and read some of your entries for inspiration.
What to do: Write the date at the top of the page and list 5 things you are grateful for each morning. (I usually do this some time between after getting dressed for the day and before I start work or head out the door.)
Small and deliberate acts of self-care create balance in your life and get you closer to your self-care goals.
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