September is national Self-Care month. See my thoughts on the intersection of Self-Care and Self-Love and then join in the challenge. In what ways can you give yourself at least as much love as you give to others, and honor your need for self-care?
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September 1 ~ In what ways do you claim time and space for your #selfcare
September 2 ~ We aren’t what we eat, but food fuels our function. In what simple way can you incorporate healthy eating into your daily meals?
September 3 ~ Toot your own horn, bang your own drum, throw yourself a parade. Celebrate your awesome self! Share your favorite song to pump you up!
September 4 ~ Water is Life. Show us how you love your healthy body by staying hydrated. Share a pic of your favorite water, water bottle, etc.
September 5 ~ Feed your soul. Bring the beauty of the outdoors in. Do you have a green thumb for house plants? Do you gather fresh flowers to fill vases? Do you have a jar of pretty rocks or seas shells? Show us how you incorporate nature elements into your indoor space.
September 6 ~ Engage in your chosen community. TGIF. Fridays and Fall mean one thing – high school football. Take in a game, cheer on your home team, enjoy a cup of steaming cocoa on a crisp night under the lights.
Crowds aren’t exactly your cup of tea? Seek out smaller, safer community connections, like a book or hobby club, Invite your friends for a pot luck, or just beverages and conversation. If mobility, social anxiety or other concerns are in play, spend some time with your online communities.
September 7 ~ Feed your mind. Learn something new today, work a crossword puzzle, or solve a Suduko. Visit your local public library, they offer so much more than books, like vents, classes, visual art exhibits and more. Or take in a local museum.
September 8 ~ The Holy No. How often to you find yourself talked into something you really didn’t want to do? Don’t offer lame excuses, just say no like you mean it. Explanations not necessary.
September 9 ~ Feed your spirit. Visit an art museum, a botanical garden, a planetarium or other place of beauty and inspiration.
September 10 ~ It’s okay to make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. You likely forgive your loved ones without being asked. Forgive yourself in the same measure.
September 11 ~ Your self worth does not depend on how much you do for others.
September 12 ~ Give yourself time out when you need it. Take a short break to do absolutely nothing. You might find it difficult at first, with everything that needs to be done running through your mind. Send it to voice mail, listen later.
September 13 ~ Move your body. Regular physical movement is maybe the most important factor in overall health. Even for those immobilized by injury or disease, physical therapy is considered vital. So move your can, or what you can, while you can.
Septemer 14 ~ Believe in yourself. Be your own cheerleader. Give yourself a pep talk. A little encouragement goes a long way.
September 15 ~ Get the sleep your body, mind and psyche need. You might think that’s 8-hours a night, but you’d be wrong. Turns out there is no research to support that number; it’s become part of the American culture because of . . . you guessed it, marketing. For most adults, anywhere from 6 up to 9 hours of sleep supports good health, while the average falls at 6.5 to 7 hours.
If you are or have raised children, you are well aware of how too little sleep affects their behaviors; they can be cranky, whiny, argumentative, inattentive, unable to concentrate and just plain difficult. Lack of sleep has the same effects on adults, though perhaps less noticeable to observers because we have developed impulse control. Whether you mask the effects of poor sleep or not, you still feel them, and they are telling you . . . get more sleep!
September16 ~ Do the things you enjoy, alone or with others.
September 17 ~ Just listen. We live in the age of opinion. Everybody has always had one, but not everybody always shared them. The 24/7 “so called news” networks have made an art of forming opinions on everything, and we’re following suit, maybe even feeling obligated to weigh in lest we appear apathetic. Whether giving or getting, it’s exhausting! You don’t have to have an opinion on everything—give it rest.
September 18 ~ Feed Your Spirit. Take a moment morning and evening for grounding and centering. There are numerous methods for doing this, including mundane, magical, and religious. For simple grounding and centering, sit with your feet on the floor, close your eyes and relax your breathing. Scan your body for any areas of tension, take a deep breath and release the tension on the exhale. Call to mind a relaxing image—it can be anything that makes you feel peaceful. Focus on the image and your breath until you feel completely relaxed. Then feel the weight of your body, grounded to the earth. Feel your feet on the floor, the chair supporting you and let yourself sink. Next imagine a white light around the area of your heart. With each inhale, see the white light glowing and growing until it surround you, like a sphere. Imagine this light sphere in the center of body, mind and spirit. When you are finished, see the light growing smaller, until it become a small orb, nestled between your heart and solar plexus. Take three deep breaths and open your yes.
Start your day by setting an intention for your greatest good and highest purpose, in general or for a specific situation or need that day. Each evening, recall at least one thing your are grateful for. Before bed, imagine yourself disconnecting from activities and events of the day. Visualize a thread or cord connecting you to each, feel your relaxation deepen as you see the connections going dark, knowing you can turn them back on when you wake. Or, dissolve the connection completely if it no longer serves you.
September 19 ~ A Breath of Fresh Air. Give your house or apartment of breath of fresh air on a breezy day. Open all the windows and doors and let the wind blow through your space. My mother used to do this every Saturday, even during the sub-zero winters in northern Wisconsin. Science now indicates this is the best way to rid your hom e of winter cold and flu viruses.
September 20 ~ Go soak yourself! True self care is about so much more than warm baths, wine and candles, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge. Give your bath a detoxing boost by with Epsom’s salt, lavender and (or) mint essential oil, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide—for amounts and details read Ritual Bath for Purification. This combo is believed to help draw out toxins (skip the wine and drink and glass of water with lemon), and balance pH levels. When you’re done, wrap yourself in a robe and lie down (bed, sofa, recliner); feel what it means to be totally relaxed.
September 21 ~ Stop doing it all! Are you a pleaser, a fixer . . . a door mat? Let’s face it, very few people are going to turn down an offer to lighten their load. And very few will return the favor. Generosity, kindness and a willingness to help others are all admirable qualities, but if you’re feeling stretched to thin, hoping and waiting for others to step in and help you, or just step up and help themselves, you’re probably doing too much for others and not enough for yourself.
September 22 ~
September 23 ~
(to be continued)