I think we can all agree that 2020 was.... what is the word? special!
It was a very eventful year and it seems like 2021 will be pretty similar. For some, it was different but still pretty good. For many , it was the equivalent of a whole lot of bird shit just landing on your ice cream sundae and splashing onto your favorite shirt. For others, it was much worse but... we move.
The term self-care has been thrown around a lot lately and many people use it to justify things that aren't exactly healthy but that is a different conversation ( great article on the topic here).
On most self care lists, you will find things like having a gratitude journal, drinking water, meditating/praying and etc... this makes sense. Real Self Care is all about deliberate and self-initiated activities or habits that are healthy for you! I have read quite a few of those articles ( Yes, I spend a lot of time on Pinterest) and I haven't really seen some of my favorite self care acts mentioned so I thought I'd share a few wholesome activities that have helped boost my mood and maybe you can include them in your routine for 2021.
1. Dance it out
This is one of my favorite things to do when I need a boost. Grey's Anatomy fans might already know about this one but let me tell you: It actually works. Sometimes ( Ok, i'm lying. I do this very often), I just put on my earphones, put my music on LOUD and just dance! Twerk, jump, zanku, sway - any style you like, as long as you are moving your body! I love doing this alone in front of my mirror, with my girlfriends, with my hubby... Literally with anyone that you are comfortable with.
I always recommend that you pick whatever music fits the mood you are wanting to be in. On some days, You might need the confidence boost that comes from Megan Thee Stallion. On other days, you might just need to go down memory lane and dance like it's 1999. Or if gospel is your thing, then you might just feel like listening to music that will remind you to be happy about what God has done in your life.
Anything goes except sad music. This activity only works with happy music.
2. Take care of something.
I love plants. I don't have a lot of them because I don't have the greenest thumb but I can't deny the benefits of having a few home plants. Not only are they beautiful but studies have also shown that indoor plants reduce stress levels and boost your mood. Most plants help clean indoor air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen. Also, apparently looking at greenery tends to make people feel calmer and that's exactly what we want.
They do a lot of the work on their own but taking care of them also feels really good. I always feel really proud of myself when I notice that my plant has grown or that a leaf that was starting to brown is flourishing again. Taking the time to water your plant, trim or clean it reminds us of our connection to nature, and to focus on the bigger picture even if it's just for a few minutes at a time.
3. Learn a new skill
That language you've always liked. How to bake, how to crochet, how to code - there are so many things that you can learn. YouTube is free, so is Duolingo and other programs that could help you learn something for yourself. I know that free time is a luxury for many but that's exactly why we need to take advantage of it. Use that time to learn something that will be useful to you or to pick up a new hobby. Focusing all your energy on something that's actually productive is a better mood booster than drinking tons of water. So get your learn on.... and drink that water as well. Water will always be key.
4. Dress Up!
I know that many people will think this one is not for them but that's a lie. Everyone feels a little bit better after taking a shower, moisturizing and putting some clean clothes on. I know that we are currently stuck at home so it's very easy to skip this step but I promise you, it is so worth taking the time to do it. On those days where you're feeling down and being unproductive, I suggest you try this: get up, open your blinds, take a bath and then put on some cute clothes ( this lounging set is one of my favorite comfy outfits). If you want to take it further, do your make up because you can!
5. Read something
Considering the fact that this is a bookish blog, I know you saw this one coming. Grab a book on something that you're interested in or simply pick up a feel good story like this one and get lost in a different world for a little while. It's fun, it feels good and it's great for your vocabulary.