Little Things | My Self Care Summer Challenge

I'll admit, this summer has been a whirlwind so far. From interviewing for jobs (and being told "Thanks, but no thanks," more times than I'd like to count), to living alone in a new apartment that's full of maintenance issues, launching a podcast, planning a bridal shower and bachelorette weekend, traveling what seems like once every other week, and trying to maintain the energy to be sociable, it feels like I haven't had many moments just to breathe. And when I do, I find myself still anxious, often getting that nagging feeling that there's something I'm forgetting to do.

For that reason, I'm challenging myself to make my own self care a priority for the rest of the summer. I'm sure it sounds very millennial of me, but I believe my generation is on to something. The constant pressure to be "glowing up" can get exhausting, and despite having close friendships, it's easy to feel alone in the world. So I want to find moments to recharge, refocus, and reconnect with myself throughout the day.

"Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health." - Raphailia Michael, MA via PsychCentral

The common misconception about self care is that it's all massages and canceling plans and international vacations. And while that might work for some people (and will hopefully one day be part of my regimen too), self care for me is all about asking myself one question:

What would a person who loves themselves be doing right now?

It's a good gut check to remind me to take care of responsibilities, to make steps toward self-improvement, to say no to events I don't want to go to, to reach out to people I love, to pray and meditate, to laugh. My goal is to ultimately build a regimen that sustains even when my current season changes, so that eventually these little acts of self care come naturally as a healthy way to manage stress and anxiety. 

Below are some things I'll be challenging myself to do every day, every week, or every so often, in order to take charge of my self care. I'll check back in periodically to let you know how I'm doing, and what I need to do better. I might even edit this list as new challenges arise. Feel free to join me on this journey!

  1. I will drink a glass or bottle of water every morning when I wake up, and every night before I go to bed. (I really need to be better about drinking water!)
  2. I will work out at least 3x per week. (Even if I'm just following YouTube workouts in my living room.) 
  3. I will choose one day each week to unplug from social media. (This one's going to be hard!)
  4. I will reach out to at least one friend or relative once per week. (Before they reach out to me.)
  5. I will talk to my parents at least once every other day. (This'll be the easiest one, I bet.)
  6. I will spend one night a week with only music and a good book. (Thursdays, maybe?)
  7. I will eat at least one salad or veggie dish per week. (Sandwiches are just too easy.)
  8. I will limit dairy products to 3x per week. (*sigh* My body will thank me.) 
  9. I will pray, meditate, and journal at least twice per week. (Hopefully this can become even more frequent, but I do need to remind myself.) 
  10. I will sing in the car as often as I can! (It's all about finding joy!) 
  11. I will schedule one doctor's appointment each week until I've gotten them all done. (Your girl is way behind on her checkups.)
  12. I will write down all of my bills due, set reminders, and create a budget once per month. (Money management is self care too!)
  13. I will go to the movies at least once per month. (More moments of joy!)
  14. I will show up to at least one social outing with friends per month. (Trying to find a balance between having a social life and being an introvert is a struggle.) 
  15. I will attend one church service somewhere once per month. (This might be the toughest one.) 

This list seems lengthy, but that's why they're challenges, not to-dos. If I fail at one, that doesn't mean throw the list away. It means try and focus on the other items while I get that one back on track. Wish me luck and comment below with one self care practice you're challenging yourself to complete this summer too!