Kristen of Kristen Elyse Coaching and I ran a free 5-day Self-Care Challenge in my FB group, Strong Girl Nation. We dove into the ins and outs of self-care, providing daily prompts to get the participants really thinking and help them discover their own innate self-care (or self-love) techniques.
The challenge was full of new ideas, pushed-out-of-your-comfort-zone questions and revelations that Kristen and I didn't want to just keep within the group! We both felt called to share this wisdom with as many other women as possible.
The below videos, text and worksheets outline our challenge, and provide you with the insights and tools necessary to take back control of your SELF.
A welcome message and brief explanation of the importance of self-care
Here is my message all about what is self-care and identifying your "why" for self-care.
Kristen's take on self-care:
"What is self-care and why you need a "why" to take care of yourself. Your why can be an internal reason, like for me my mental health. Or sometimes when you are new to establishing a self-care routine your why needs to be external (like another person, a passion project, or for me my cat). Watch the video and comment below to tell me your why.
YOU are worth taking care of YOU!"
Here is the corresponding worksheet you can fill out that Kristen uses with her clients to help them think ahead to stressful situations and create self-care ideas that are specific to the client. Her message is that stress and overwhelm do NOT need to control you.
Making time for self-care
Day 2's topic is all about making time for self-care. Kristen's video is all about how you can make time for it and how it does not take as much time out of your day as you may think!
Here are some of Kristen's favorite nourishing activities:
• Drink some tea in quiet.
• Read a book.
• Watch a tv show- without checking social media.
• Take a bath.
• Diffuse some essential oils and enjoy the environment you create.
• Exercise (run, walk, bike, yoga, weights, etc.)
• Eat a nourishing meal.
• Meal prep for the week ahead.
• Spend some time with friends.
• Watch a movie.
And here are some of my suggestions:
- Take a long, hot shower, then immediately jump into comfy pajamas, and climb into a freshly made bed.
- Write a gratitude list.
- Take a long, slow walk.
- Journaling (in the form of a brain-dump, free-writing etc.)
- Hunker down and read a good book!
- Color! Adult coloring books are ALL the rage right now.
- Cry your heart out. Who doesn't feel better after a good cry?!
- Hit the road, with no specific destination, with the windows down and music blaring.
- Binge-watch your favorite TV series.
- Enjoy your favorite food (WITHOUT GUILT!)
- Yoga or meditation.
- Take a weekend retreat somewhere (with or without friends). There are tons based around yoga/meditation etc.
- Volunteer for a cause you're passionate about.
- Cook healthy and yummy foods, and meal prep for the week ahead.
- Hit the gym. Doesn't matter what you do, just get your heart pumpin'!
- Clear the clutter! (From your mind, your computer, your closet, house, etc.) Even just a little bit can make a HUGE difference. It's the act of purging from your life that gives way to feelings of "release."
Behind the Scenes
Kristen and I shared OUR favorite self-care techniques, why self-care is so important to us personally and why we're so passionate about educating you ladies about it's power.
Since I was a young girl, I've suffered from moderate to severe anxiety. I didn't know that's what it was until I turned 17 and was finally put on some medicine that helps regulate whatever in my brain makes me all kinds of anxious! Put it this way, if I were not taking medicine as part of my treatment plan, you wouldn't recognize me. I think of memories from before I was 17 and the anxiety I felt was incredibly overwhelming.
Anxiety medicine is just one piece of the puzzle, though. And it took me another decade before I began to look into and understand the concept of self-care. Even while on medicine, anxiety can still rev up and throw you through a loop. I can still be nervous, depressed, irritable etc. But since implementing self-care practices, I am able to a) recognize when I could use a little self-love and b) WHAT techniques actually work for me.
I've tried EVERYTHING under the sun in terms of self-care, and I've found some that you don't typically hear about as incredibly soothing - i.e. cleaning the house & doing laundry. I don't know WHY but that always resets my mood and I feel "lighter" afterwards.
Here is a list of my tried-and-true self-care practices (the ones I frequently use now to help anytime I start to feel I'm needing a little extra TLC).
Show us YOUR Self-Care Game
This is where Kristen and I held space for anyone in the group to share what they do (or hope to start doing) within their own self-care practice.
So it's your turn!!
Comment below and share with us what you like to do for self-care! Any questions? Let us know!