Do you remember this blog post where I said I was going to say good-bye to new years resolutions, and instead was replacing them with 12 challenges for the new year instead? Well this month was the first month of the year, and the first challenge of the year: 31 Days of Self Care.
Let me start by saying that this challenge did not go to plan. Not even a little bit. In fact, it kind of derailed. What I had planned to do each day was to take a little time out for myself and mindfully practise some good old TLC whether it was by going for a walk by myself, doing some yoga, reading a book, or doing a facemask, that was the plan. Instead, the days have somehow flown by, I have somehow wasted most of my month watching YouTube and feeling down (more on this in my next post) and many of the little ideas I jotted down in my journal for this challenge were left undone.
That being said there is always a silver lining to every dark rain cloud, and I do feel like this month still had some self care that is worth mentioning.
- This month Ryan and I went out with some of our friends to dinner and to a board game café afterwards. It was the first time in a very long time that I have truly enjoyed being out with friends (instead of shutting myself away at home, wrapping up in blankets and annoying my incredibly cute cat). It really reminded me of how important friendships are, and socialising is, and this year I really hope to embrace it more often.
- I went on a couple of long walks this month, one with my Mum and the other two with Ryan. I enjoyed each and every single one and returned home happily with rosey cheeks. It reminded me that fresh air is honestly such a wonderful thing, and being outdoors and in nature is sometimes the best therapy.
- This month Ryan and I have tried to embrace Simple Eating and it has so far been successful! It also means we have been eating a lot healthier for the most part, and have been taking packed lunches to work instead of eating out or skipping lunch altogether which is terrible. I'm excited to keep this up and continuing to eat mostly healthy for the remainder of the year.
- Mid January I ended up going to Emerge with chest pains that had persisted over a few days along with severe nausea. I also experienced the chest pains in May of 2016 and was given the all clear, but with their return I felt panicked and wanted to make sure I was okay. After multiple tests, monitoring, 101 questions and several hours later they were confident that the issue was not heart or lung related at all but instead was due to anxiety, stress, and worry. I've been a little gentler with myself ever since, have cut back on caffeine as per the Dr's orders, and have tried to be more conscious of when I start to feel stressed or worried or overwhelmed.
- I've started to wake up earlier in the morning instead of letting myself lay in bed until the very last possible minute and then rushing around like a crazy person. Getting up earlier allows me to remain relaxed and calm, and lets me really enjoy my morning instead of it just being a blurry haze by the time I arrive at work.
- As I mentioned above as per the Dr's orders, I have cut out caffeine. It's not that I can't have it, but caffeine can make anxiety more intense and given that I was drinking coffee at least twice a day, I am sure it wasn't doing me any good. I now drink decaffeinated coffee only and I can tell it has made a huge difference to how I feel, and drinking decaf with less sugar and cream to that that is found in all the iced coffees I was drinking before has certainly been better for my health.
- And last but not least, I've actually managed to push myself to book a dentist appointment and added myself to a waiting list to get a family Dr. I have been putting these things off for the longest time but seeing as this month was the month of self care it only made sense to make these things a priority now.
February's challenge is going to be 30 Days of Ted Talks. Seeing as I've been feeling a little bleh and down as of late and all I want to do is watch TV I might as well make it educational!