If you have been doing these challenges for a while, have you noticed any changes in how you feel? Do you feel better or the same? Which ones have been some of your favorites so far? Hopefully you’ve been keeping a list of the ones that have worked out for you, so in the future, you can use them as tools when you’re not feeling your best.
A few weeks ago I was thinking about my blog’s niche and I felt the need to come up with a concrete definition of self-care. In other words, what does self-care mean. I felt like if this was a topic I was going to be writing about weekly, I have to have some direction or idea of what this really is, what self-care means to me, and what I want it to mean for you too. I think in general self-care is defined as taking quality time for yourself and for the most part, most people define it as spa days, mani/pedi, facials, etc. I felt like I had to go a little deeper with my definition because I try to cover so many avenues with the challenges I post each week.
Self-care is defined as any act or behavior that makes you feel good about yourself. It looks different for everyone and it can be internal or external. Examples of internal self-care (or emotional self-care) are mindfulness practices, breathing exercises, journaling, and therapy. External self-care (or physical self-care) can be physical fitness, massages, mani/pedi, facials. These are examples of healthy self-care activities which means they will not negatively affect your health or well-being.
Here is what I have in store for you guys this week. I try really hard to make these exciting, diverse, interesting, simple, and I try to make sure they don’t take up too much time. Everyone’s availability is different.
Sunday-DO A SOCIAL MEDIA PURGE (emotional self-care): I’m sure I’m not the only one who randomly goes through their friends list on social media and can’t identify who a few people on your list are. Either they don’t have a real profile pic (and don’t use a real name) or they never post anything. Clutter is clutter in my opinion and since Sundays are pretty chill for most people carve out some time to purge some of the names on your social media platform. Create some free space for yourself. This will be especially beneficial if some of the people you choose to purge post negative content often.
Monday-CALL SOMEONE WHO UPLIFTS YOUR SPIRIT (emotional self-care):Hopefully we all have one of those friends who we can have deep meaningful conversations with…the person who gets you. Sometimes when we talk to these types of friends it’s almost as if you’re the same person. And if you’re feeling down they know exactly what to say to get you back on your feet again. Even if you don’t necessarily need that type of energy today give them a call anyway because they might need it.
Tuesday-EAT SOMETHING UNHEALTHY: Only do this if you can. I don’t want to encourage anyone who’s on a strict diet from their doctor to sabotage their health in the name of this particular daily self-care challenge. With that said, society puts so much pressure on us to always eat well, exercise, etc. while we should be doing these things, sometimes it’s okay to cheat. So cheat! You don’t have to go crazy with it. What does unhealthy look like for you? Do that!
Wednesday-CONSIDER THERAPY(emotional self-care): Every Saturday I post a question in my Facebook group (selfcareatforty) for us to answer. This past Saturday the question was “Why is mental health so taboo? How do you feel about therapy?” I decided to ask the question because someone I follow on Instagram posted that she was asked by a follower why she’s still going to therapy after 8yrs. Her response was “I liken therapy to going to the gym or working out with a trainer. You don’t stop once you hit your fitness goals. You continue to maintain them. Develop greater techniques, etc.” I couldn’t agree with her response more. I see a therapist twice monthly; it’s my mental health tune up. If you’re unsure about therapy do some research today. There are a plethora of information available around the topic and resources for those who aren’t able to afford therapy right now. Therapy plays a major role in taking care of our emotional self-care—the self-care habit that addresses our well-being and our overall emotional health. Check out Therapy for Black Girls and Mental Health America for information. By the way, I am not affiliated with either organizations, I’m just sharing information.
Thursday-SET SOME HEALTHY BOUNDARIES (emotional self-care): A lack of boundaries is a violation for you and the other person. Not having boundaries in my opinion creates an “anything goes” playing field. People need to know that we have a line and the line protects you and them. Same goes for us, if someone creates boundaries to protect themselves, we shouldn’t feel offended or upset by it. About two weeks ago one of the daily challenges was saying “No,” no is a boundary not a rejection. If you don’t have any or enough boundaries work on setting some healthy ones. Boundaries are also a tool we can use to help protect our emotional self-care. In case you’re wondering what I mean by healthy boundaries, here are some examples, saying no, choosing not to answer phone calls after a certain hour, changing your mind. etc. Here’s a resource I found for you on another blog. And an infographic I found on Pinterest below.
Friday-BE UNAVAILABLE (emotional self-care): This is another example of healthy boundaries. It’s not necessary for us to always be available to someone (unless it’s some kind of emergency). Some of us have people in our lives that can drain our energy. It’s okay for you to be unavailable to them sometimes so practice this today. Being unavailable will look different for everyone. Even if it’s minor, e.g. choosing not to respond to a specific question in an email or text, that’s also a form of being unavailable. Today’s challenge is an opportunity for you to put your boundaries that we talked about yesterday into practice.
Saturday-PLAY IN MAKEUP (physical self-care): Makeup is so pretty but I’m not a big makeup person because I don’t know how to apply it. My look is always VERY VERY basic and I’m okay with it. Have some fun today and play in makeup. If you’re really good at it try something new, if you’re not good at it (like me) practice. If you just want to be silly with it, do that too. If you have kids have a makeup party girls night. If you don’t wear make up, layer your lip gloss colors lol. Just have fun!!
Another week in the books! You know what I like to say, these are basic self-care habits that can turn into life long routines so stick with it. The goal is to consistently take time out for yourself every day even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Before I go, I wanted to share that on January 3rd, I will be launching my weekly Newsletter, in addition to my Self-care Accountability Worksheets. The worksheets will act as a supplement to my daily self-care challenges. The purpose is to help you stay on track with your daily self-care routines. If you’re interested in receiving these items weekly,email me at firstname.lastname@example.org The worksheets are FREE but will only be available to my Newsletter subscribers. I will NOT spam you, I will only email you once per week.