We recently found out that September is National Self-Care Awareness Month and it felt like the perfect opportunity for our team to participate in a little challenge. Because we don’t all work in the same office, our self-care challenge doesn’t include a group yoga session, ice cream outing, or office naptime. But we also know that self-care looks different for everyone; self-care for Ryann might be stressful for Savannah, and so on. So for our challenge, we decided to each pick 1-3 ways we will practice self-care in our own lives. And because we know it’s way easier to set goals than actually follow through with them, we decided to think about how we will hold ourselves accountable.
Listen, we know you’re busy and you have a lot of other people and things to take care of. But remember, you can’t show up for anyone else until you show up for yourself. And regardless, deserve to be cared for. So how are you going to practice self-care this month?
Check out the list from each of our team members below, maybe they’ll help spark an idea for you!
I am going to create a macrame tapestry.
Because so much of my work is thought work, I love mixing it up and creating something tangible to rest my brain. Whether it’s baking, gardening, or working on a project, there’s something refreshing about turning my brain “off.” This month, I’m creating a tapestry to hang in our dining room. It’s hanging in my bedroom (off of our pull-up bar that’s never used) so I see it every day and am reminded to keep working on it.
This is something I have NEVER been good at.
Making sure everyone else is cared for is my thing. I think about this all the time. So for this I am trying to get to before midnight. I am trying to get outside more now that it doesn’t feel like the pits of Hell. In NYC we walked 3 miles a day just doing the mundane things of life like school drop off and pick up. But def haven’t done that here. I need to get out and move this body and be in the AIR! I will ride my bike. (Again, same as above). And not feel bad about watching Schitt’s Creek every single day.
I plan on no screens after 9 pm and reading at least 30 pages a day through September.
I’ve been reading more than ever this year and it has been a wonderful change of pace in how I’ve spent my nights rather than watching TV or scrolling aimlessly through social media.My other self-care goal is to get 200 active minutes a week. I’ll be accountable for this with one of my best friends who is doing it with me.
- Work-free meals (specifically lunch-time unless it’s staff lunch)
- Daily walk (getting the mail, phone-free)
- Do 1-hour of solo leisure at least 2x a week
Not sure how I will keep accountable but my main goal with this challenge is to be more mindful of how I spend my time and to make sure I enjoy the quieter moments. I think having pockets of time to self-reflect will be really helpful in keeping my head clear and focusing more on myself internally!
This month I will be increasing my step goal. Eventually, my goal will be 10,000 steps/day, but I don’t expect to get there by the end of September.
I have a couple of apps I will use to hold myself accountable, and I will treat myself every time I exceed my goal for the day.
For my self-care activity, I originally planned to read my book before bed 3x/week and do yoga 2x/week in the evening.
I chose these things because oftentimes at the end of the day I am so exhausted that I wind up on the couch mindlessly scrolling my phone, with the TV in the background. For me, self-care is nurturing my physical body by stretching and strengthening. It is also nurturing my mind by reading something I enjoy rather than staring at a screen. Both of these things also provide me extra quiet time and are relaxing. Because I work, run a nonprofit, and have a toddler… I realized this goal (though it originally seemed small) may not be attainable for me due to evening meetings for my daughter’s school and nonprofit work. So I opted to read my book OR do yoga at least 3x/week in the evening. (More often would be a bonus).
To hold myself accountable, I told my husband about my goal and wrote it down. Telling someone else about my goal helps because he can remind me if I forget, and it also motivates him to do something differently, which in turn motivates me. In addition, there is something permanent about writing something down, for me. It feels like an assignment in school, which for me, is something I mentally have to complete.
I am the type of person that “knows” what I need to do for self-care but never “has the time” SO my first task is to make the time to practice self-care in mini-moments. The thought is, If I can create these spaces in time for care I can work to expand them in the future. Here are some on my mini-moments I plan on making time for this month:
Digital Free Dog walks: I want to enjoy the time that I walk my dogs and JUST DO THAT. When they stop to sniff, maybe I will too!
Hopping off Zoom Literally: After a call, I will close the computer and move my body, tuning in to what part of my body needs a little space to stretch, shimmy or shake.
5 Senses Grounding Exercise: When I am starting to feel overwhelmed I will practice this grounding technique below. It’s a practice that you can use for anxiety and also to transition from task to task.
Asking myself: “What do I need” Right Now: I am someone that tends to take care of others’ needs before my own. Just taking a moment to go inward and ask myself “What do I need right now” is HUGE.
To hold myself accountable I am going write down when I do a mini-moment I would like to do one a day at least, and I will be proud of myself if I do more
Recently I have been thinking about the excess of information we have available at our fingertips, how it is force-fed to us as clickbait, and how that takes a toll on our mental health. As someone who empathizes deeply with others’ stories and situations, I have felt the weight of many problems bogging down my brain in a way that has become unnecessarily heavy.
This month I am taking extra care of myself and my mind by limiting the amount of news and media I am consuming. Instead, I am choosing to focus on and support those in my immediate circle.
To hold myself accountable for this I have removed all news sources from my devices except for a trusted email newsletter to give me the bullet points of things I should be aware of. I have also informed my family members that I will be refraining from certain conversations for a time to give myself space to reset from worry and anxiety.
We love how different each of our answers was (both the ways we will practice self-care, and the ways we will hold ourselves accountable). This self-care challenge helped us to learn a bit more about each other, and ourselves. While our plates are full with work and personal lives, making time for self-care this month reminded us why it’s important to show up for ourselves beyond just Self-Care Awareness Month. So make sure you take 5-10 minutes to brainstorm YOUR self-care activity. And even if you only have 5 spare minutes per day, that’s enough time to start caring for yourself. You’re worth it, trust us.
So how are you going to practice self-care this month? We would love to hear from you!
About the author:
This post was written by the entire team at Stratos.