It's February 1st and you know what that means, a new blog post!
But more importantly, we have successfully made it through the first part of 2021.
Let's take a moment to acknowledge the progress we have made since the year began.
Have you done anything differently since the year began? It doesn't have to be a large change, hobby, or goal; remember, simply making changes (no matter the size) is better than no change at all.
So I'll ask you again, what did you do? Did you manage to go to bed a little earlier this month? Four days of earlier sleep is significantly better than zero days of earlier sleep. Eaten out a little less? Cast a few more rows on your knitting project? Get in a few extra steps a day?
Progress isn't linear.
If you answered yes to any of those examples or more, then you've made progress and that should be celebrated. Far too many people lose traction with their resolutions and goals even after the first month of the year; Forbes states over 80% of people will rescind their New Year's Resolutions between January and February of any year. So again, let's take a moment to celebrate any progress you've made. Let's use the affirmation of our realignment to motivate us through the next month.
After all, if there's any month you can make it through, it's the shortest one:: February.
Although this month is typically associated with love amongst others, I want to challenge you to love yourself. At the end of the day, you are your one true love. No, I don't mean that those you love aren't important to you or that you are more important than anyone else.
I'm here to remind you that you matter, your feelings are valid, your time and energy are precious, and you are worthy of love.
So this month, let's work together to love ourselves a little bit more each day than the we did the day before. With that, let's move forward with one goal in mind.
Do one thing a day to promote self-love.
I'm not talking about grand gestures, expensive trinkets, or time consuming trips. I want to encourage you to focus on mundane choices that add up over time. I'm talking about prioritizing yourself in small moments (but hey, bigger goals are great too!) and holding space for yourself. How often do you find yourself listening to your own feelings or needs...especially compared to that of those around you? Family, friends, customers or clients?
How often are you holding a space for your own mind?
Get yourself a pen and start creating a list of activities, mantras, or moments that can hold space for you to think, breathe, re-charge, or pause for the day.
Write down what you're excited about in the morning
Stretch before bed
Light a candle
Take ten more minutes in a hot shower
Drive the scenic route just to enjoy a podcast or sing along to your favorite songs
Knit another stitch on your Magic Heel Socks
Read a couple of pages from your latest book
Tell yourself why you're amazing "Judy, you are a creative force."
I happen to love reading. What began as an escape from daunting to-do lists became time to re-charge and what I later realized was offering love for myself (and my sanity). As a highly sensitive person (HSP) and introvert I can't stress to you how important it is to make time to re-charge. If you're looking for a great read, I highly recommend my Holiday read:
I'd recommend this book to anyone who thinks they know what being an introvert really is, I bet there's a lot you didn't know about it! The coolest part of this book is the contrast between data analysis and personal story...the perfect balance between science and soul.
If you're feeling exhausted, drained, or stressed out, don't blame yourself. I'm here to remind you that introverts are known for needing a re-charge...but so are you. Introvert or not, people need time to unwind, clear their mind, and love themselves first.
Author, Susan Cain does a phenomenal job of holding space for the reader's experiences while offering data driven and emotional support for how we can move forward positively.
If you're NOT an introvert and if you're NOT experienced with emotional and physical exhaustion...I highly recommend you pick this book up if you care at all about how others think or feel.
Don't do it just for yourself, do it to understand and grow with the people around you; loved ones, coworkers, or your friendly, but shy barista.
Perhaps together we can learn from the introverts and learn from their wisdom of re-charging and self love; all while creating a more patient world.
Let's talk about the other half of the title: re-charging place.
Simply put, anyone, anywhere, can take a moment to love their self. However, are you able to create a physical place for mindful unwind and re-charging from the world? Whether you have a whole room or a small corner of your home, I highly recommend creating an environment that feels safe, welcoming, cozy, relaxing, and most importantly; yours.
There are tons of ways to make a space feel homey, everything from adding plants to scented candles, or cozy blankets. Don't get me wrong, your space could also be a garage gym, workshop, or backyard full of trees. There's no limit or definition to what re-charging places can look like; but if you're anything like me and live in a winter wonderland (or just love a soft lit space) then a comfortable indoor room is probably the way to go.
One of my favorite places to re-charge is my craft loft in our house surrounded by my creative projects and away from any foot traffic. I love soft lighting and warm glows. Which is why my go to lighting options usually involve things like Twinkle Lights to create an ambient atmosphere that feels like a hug for the soul.
Seriously, don't you feel all warm and cozy just looking at my loft lighting?!
I love that these lights are literal twinkle lights replicating stars above us; not to mention they have eight different settings so I can feel constant warm light or faded twinkling from the cosmos. If you're worried about spiking your electric bill, the lights have energy saving bulbs. My personal assistant uses them to light a whole room instead of overhead lighting and swears her electric bill is lower...and she's cozier! Plus, if you're re-charge place is outside (for you garden dwellers and patio people) and is lacking lights, these lights are waterproof so you can have them on year round (I'm talking to you Pacific Northwest folks)!
So let's recap. During February, let's find one small way a day to show ourselves some self-care and self-love. If you have the chance to make a grander gesture for yourself, do it!
Remember, you've made it this far. Let's focus on the changes we've made and affirm our importance. I hope that you can take the journey with me this month to take a few minutes each day for yourself. I can't wait to see how our community grows and hear your stories of self-love.
Plus....if all else fails, you've got yourself a literal way to brighten up your day!
Let's get ready for more self-love (and maybe buy a box of chocolates or three).