Take a second to pat yourself on the back, give yourself a round of applause, pop that bubbly! Because you just survived January 2021!
*pause for applause*
It can only get easier, right? February is only 28 days, which compared to the 6 years January was, is nothing! The days are getting longer, mother nature is making a come back and it’s getting a little bit warmer. We can do this! But in case you’re struggling, I created a 30 Day Self Care Challenge.
I hate January. If you read The Blue Month you will know that my mental health takes a dive at this time of year. This year, being in Lockdown, has only magnified it. Most of the time, I am home alone with my 2 year old and knobheaded beagle. Everyday feels like groundhog day, doing the same thing over and over, not seeing anyone or going anywhere. It can feel endless but I remind myself everyday ‘better days are coming and this isn’t forever’.
To combat the crappiest month of year, I decided to focus on my wellbeing and self care. I shared this on Instagram day by day but I thought I would write a blog post summarising it. From this, I created the ’30 days Self Care Challenge’. You can use this whenever you know a bad month is coming up or if you’re struggling in lockdown. It’s basically 30 ways to practise self care, one for each day. You don’t have to complete it in order, you can tick them off as you go completing whichever one takes your fancy for that day! So, here it is! My 30 Day Self Care Challenge. I’ll go into more detail of some, below.
Do Not Subscribe To Diet Culture
By this, I mean maybe educate yourself about diet culture to ensure you practise getting out of the habbit. As women, we have it drilled into our heads that we shouldn’t eat as much as men, we should do everything to make ourselves thinner and to have a lot of negative and unhealthy associations with diet and exercise pushed upon us. It takes a lot to rewire your brain when those, almost automatic, thoughts come up to say “No. That’s not healthy. If I want to eat the cookie, I’m going to eat the cookie” for example.
I don’t mean you can just throw out a chuckle and tick this one off. I mean, you have to organically, proper belly laugh at something. Watch your favourite comedian, watch a ‘try not to laugh challenge’ video on YouTube, think about the funniest thing you and your friends did in school or just laugh at yourself. Basically, anything that really makes your ribs ache with laughter.
Read Something Positive/You Enjoy
If you struggle for things to read, I highly recommend you join The Ramblings Book Club .
This could be with a little retail therapy (LITTLE!), a glass of wine or a particular activity you enjoy. Whatever your treat is, make sure you consciously appreciate it in the moment.
Set Boundaries And Stick To Them
Are you a person that apologises for things you really don’t need to? Do you say yes to people to much? Or, quite simply, do you let people walk all over you? Set your boundaries. Make it clear in your mind (you could even write them down) and from this day moving forward, make a conscious effort to stick to them. Yes, it will make you feel uncomfortable, but you can’t grow in the comfort zone.
How did I do this? I confronted someone. I HATE confrontation. A man gave me unsolicited advice about what method of weight loss and exercise I should take up in January. After explaining that’s not something I’m interested in, he continued to persist. Telling me I should workout to be a good example to my daughter, to make Steven keep up with me (because he’s older) and because ‘I would regret it come the summer’. (This also circles back to diet culture). I was going to just laugh it off and then I thought better. I told him that he should listen to people when they say no and that if I ever found out he was saying these things to another mother (basically mum shaming her) that I would rip his eyes out (joking not joking).
Take A Digital Detox
Read more here: Digital Detox Day 2020: My Experience
I cannot recommend the Headspace app enough! They also have a Netflix series where they introduce you to practising meditation and the explanation behind it. Really good!
Put Effort Into Making A Healthy Meal For Yourself
Read Some Motivational/Inspiring Quotes
I have a highlight on my Instagram of motivational quotes. Follow me here: http://www.instagram.com/charlotterose293
Alternatively, check out Mum-tivation
Do Something Creative
Make A Ta-Da List
So instead of a to-do list (where you’re writing down everything you HAVE to accomplish that day) write a ta-da list (a list of all the things you ALREADY accomplished that day). You could even make your ta-da list into a kind of gratitude list at the end of the day. What were your ta-da moments?
Do Something To Help You Relax
It’s different for everyone! A bubble bath, book yourself in for a massage, mindful colouring or the classic: have a wank. No judgement!
Get Rid Of Mum Guilt
Read more here: How to Handle Mum Guilt
But basically, tell her to get lost!
I hope that this 30 Day Self Care Challenge helps some of you in some way. If you do take part, please tag me on social media and I’ll share it. Remember: these are weird and messed-up times we’re in. There is no rule book on how we should all be handling it and we’re all in different boats. Just do what you have to do to survive and take care of yourself. Finally, be gentle with yourself and better days are coming!