Have you heard of Self Care September? I hadn’t until my Pinterest feed blew up with all kinds of Self Care September pins. I started going through some of them and realized that September is the perfect month for me personally to really dig into self-care. This is the month that starts my crazy season and self-care is usually the last thing on my mind. September is when we typically go to the beach for vacation, I start kids Christmas play practices and gearing up for the holidays, fall deep cleaning and there are usually all kinds of other things going on.
What better time to really focus on making sure that I’m taking care of myself? Seems like a great time to renew some great healthy habits, or start new ones. Maybe this will help to head off getting so sick this winter when I’m knee deep in set design and costumes. It couldn’t hurt, right? Women do a great job of taking care of everyone around us, but not always a great job taking care of ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves. If we aren’t fed, rested and our tanks full how can we take care of others? We can’t, we push through and not very well sometimes.
We burn out when we burn the candle on both ends. Sometimes that can’t be helped, but when we get a chance we need to slow down and catch our breath. That’s exactly what I’m going to do this month. Slow down and catch my breath so that when things really start to gear up, I’m better prepared to handle it.
Here are some of the goals I set for my Self Care September:
- Eating better and healthier
- Working out
- Restarted doing yoga
- Practicing mindfulness/meditation with the Headspace app
- Eating supper at the dinner table instead of the TV
- Lighting a candle whenever I want
- Bible Study/Devotion daily with journaling
- Trying to enjoy every day or at least something about each day
- Prayer time
So how did I do this month? It’s now the beginning of October and looking back it was kind of a mixed bag.
- Goal 1 Eating better: I did eat better this month and didn’t eat out nearly as much as I usually do.
- Goal 2 Working Out: This was rough! I started out great, doing a workout in the morning and going to the gym in the afternoon. Then between the hurricane and myself getting sick, it ended with a flop.
- Goal 3 Yoga: I did manage to do a little yoga each week until one of the cats yucked all over my yoga mat. Poor kitty! So now I have to find a new yoga mat.
- Goal 4 Mindfulness: I downloaded Headspace and did the 10 Day Beginner Series. I completed it and it helped me so much to remember to take time and breath. This has helped me with my stress levels. I haven’t been doing it daily like I need to, but it has helped.
- Goal 5 Eat at the Table: This has been hit and miss, although we are eating at the table more than we used to, so that’s a win.
- Goal 6 Candles: Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! I don’t know why this is such a big deal to me and why I feel like I need to give myself permission to light a candle, but I now light a candle whenever I want. Even if I’m just fixing supper in the kitchen or watching tv.
- Goal 7 Bible Study & Journaling: This one I surprised myself by actually doing almost every day. I have been hit and miss with this part of my life and now I feel I’m back on track.
- Goal 8 Enjoying the Day: I don’t know if I enjoyed every day, but I tried to notice each day more instead of just getting through each day if that makes sense. We can’t always enjoy each day because some days are just bad, but I tried to watch my reactions to situations and acknowledge how I feel and that it’s ok to feel certain ways. That has helped me to “enjoy” each day better.
- Goal 9 Prayer: This one is a work in progress as it should be. This cannot be perfected.
Things I learned:
What did I learn this past month by trying to focus on my own self-care? I learned how much I don’t pay attention to my own health, stress, and enjoyment. I learned that I need to rest and not just sleep. I have to make time for myself because no one else is going to do that for me. I learned that I need to speak up for myself, not in a selfish way because it’s not all about me, but that my I have to have some time for myself and my own needs. I am a better person because of it.
Going into October, I feel refreshed and I didn’t even go anywhere and our only vacation for the year was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. I feel like I can handle stress better and that I’m letting go of it better and man was my stress tested during September. I also have a better morning routine and feel like I’m finding a new rhythm to my day. Still working on a night time routine but that will come. I also rediscovered that I really love blogging and that I’ve missed doing posts about crafts, decorating, etc.
One big thing that I think I learned about myself that I’ve always struggled with was letting other people ruin my day and steal my joy. That was tested a couple of times this month as I said earlier. I think taking some time where I focused on myself, I was able to think and pray through these situations better and even though they upset me, I was able to recall things I had read during my devotions or something I learned from Headspace, or just to breath and pause before I spoke that enabled me to deal with the situations better. I made conscious decisions that although I didn’t like what these people had to say, that those were there feelings and not mine and that they weren’t going to ruin my day. I was even able to help my family better deal with a situation because I was able to deal with it better.
My suggestions for Self Care September:
- Buy a candle that you love and put it wherever you want and where you will enjoy it
- Buy a pretty journal and pens – mine have glitter ink
- Download Headspace or Calm and try taking 5 minutes each day to just sit and breath
- Try these devotions on YouVersion
- Try a new workout or an old favorite each day even if it’s just for a few minutes
- Find some new recipes to try that are healthy or that just feed your soul
- Set a pretty table and eat at and enjoy the meal even if its just a sandwich
- Spend a few minutes in prayer each day
- Find something about each day that you enjoy – maybe watching the birds outside a window for a few minutes
- Try to relax and be mindful about stress and try to let it go
- Read up on Hygee and make a cozy spot just for you
- Enjoy being you and with yourself and learning something about yourself
How did you do for Self Care September? I think I’m going to make this an annual event for myself. I’m now ready to tackle the craziest months of the year with more focus and creativity than I’ve had in a while. How about you?