For the past two weeks, I’ve been participating in a Soul Charging Self Care Challenge hosted by Nomadsoulzz. The personal challenge, designed to fuel or re-fuel those of us low on inspiration and motivation, is made up of 28 short but meaningful daily activities to be completed over the course of four weeks. Or in my case, the month of October. Now that I’ve reached the half-way mark, I thought it would be a good idea to check in and share how the challenge going, the insights I’ve gleaned so far and the unexpected mini challenges that have popped up along the way:
- Overall, I feel great! Most mornings, I wake up feeling refreshed and energized after a good night’s rest. And I do mean a good night’s rest. According to my FitBit, I’ve averaged nine and a half hours of sleep since Sunday. Before that, my average was just over five hours (how did I function on only five hours of sleep?!). One of next week’s activities is to “create the conditions for a proper night’s rest.” Seems like I’ve already got the length of sleep down pat!
- Overall, I feel a sense of calm, peace and joy throughout the day. I’m open to new experiences and information. I seem to be attracting both effortlessly.
- Mornings in my house are usually chaotic, but the past few have been – dare I say it? – easy. I have plenty of time to do everything I need to do in the mornings, along with a few extras (like my makeup!). Without my usual anxiety, I move at a much quicker pace and I’m able to focus on one task at a time, which is a time saver in its own right.
- The first activity was “groom yourself.” Since then, I’ve been intentional about looking and feeling good from head to toe. I’ve gotten so many compliments in the last two weeks and even better, I’ve accepted them all with a smile and a gracious “thank you.”
- As great as I’ve been feeling, I can’t help but wait for the other shoe to drop. It’s only a matter of time before I’m an anxious mess again, right? Wrong. Feeling great is a choice. And while choosing to focus on feeling great is another challenge in and of itself, its one I’m willing to keep working at.
- Avon has noticed a change in my overall attitude and thanked me profusely for being more patient with him and Bean. I have noticed that my patience has increased. Annoyances and inconveniences that would ordinarily send me into a rage have either rolled of my back, flew over my head or even gotten a laugh out of me. I’m enjoying the positive vibes only!
- I’ve also noticed positive changes in Bean and Avon. Avon isn’t following this challenge, but he is practicing self-care and we’re both imparting our wisdom on Bean. Neither of them are morning people, but both of them have been waking up and springing to action, without any nagging on my part! Avon has been so helpful in the morning, tending to Bean while I make breakfast and sometimes, vice versa. It has been wonderful to hear them laughing while they brush their teeth together. It feels even better to trust them to handle their morning responsibilities without any supervision or intervention from me and to spend the time I used to reserve for monitoring them on myself.
- Each activity focuses on one of seven fields of self-care: physical, emotional, mental, intellectual, spiritual, social and practical (learn more about The System of Self-care). I haven’t completed all of the activities yet, but I’ve noticed that I enjoy exploring the physical, intellectual and spiritual fields of self-care the most. I’m not as interested in the emotional, mental, social and practical activities; likely because those kinds of activities require me to step outside of my comfort zone and truly connect, which has always been a struggle for me. I’m all for stretching beyond my comfort zone, so I’m committed to making a real effort to connect with myself and others through the remainder of the challenge.
- I’ve been talking about self-care with a colleague I’m friendly with and inspired her to start her own practice! We’ve been checking in with each other almost daily and sharing helpful tools and tips to support each other on this journey. I love that! I’m really excited about connecting with another person over a subject we both find interesting. I’ve learned so much just from exchanging ideas! I’m especially grateful that I was able to help her make some improvements and generate results that she’s proud of. I’m proud of her too! Our newly formed relationship affirms that I’m on the right track and I don’t have the words for how amazing that really feels. Maybe connection isn’t such a struggle for me after all.
- Lately, I haven’t been able to clearly articulate how I’m feeling. I don’t think anything is wrong, but I still feel a little anxious, I guess. Usually, I would take that as a sign that some miserable feelings coming my way. But, I don’t think that’s true. Actually, I know it’s not. I’m good and I know that because I choose to be. I may not always feel like I’m sitting on the top of the world, but it’s important to acknowledge that I’m not in distress and hiding from the world either. I’ve never been comfortable with gray areas, but here I am learning to enjoy it. I’m learning that maybe my feelings aren’t always actively fueling me with positive (or negative) vibes. Maybe sometimes, the positive vibes are buzzing quietly in the background and even though I don’t see them, I can still trust that they’re there. I don’t have to look for a problem where there are none and I don’t have to create either/or scenarios with my feelings. I get to be good and keep going from there. I get to create whatever is next from a place of being good and not from the chaos my anxiety.
There are still two weeks left in Nomadsoulzz’s Four Week Soul Charging Self Care Challenge and I’m looking forward to seeing what else will come up for me. In the meantime, share what has been coming up for you lately. You might want to share your recent experiences with self-care or something completely different. That’s okay! Also, let me know if you’re joining the challenge or taking a different approach to self-care!