Well, I am half way through the self-care challenge! Seven days of implementing self-care strategies and activities has provided the perfect opportunity for reflection on the process so far.
By the way – if you are new to my blog, welcome! So you can understand the origins of the self-care challenge and start from the beginning, I have popped all the details of the self-care challenge at the end of this post.
You may be wondering how I am finding the challenge? Well, challenging! Implementing self-care has been harder than I anticipated.
The fact that I am recovering from surgery to my wrist has placed limits on some of the activities that I would have liked to have trialled during the challenge. I don’t have full flexibility and agility in my wrist, and it gets fatigued and still painful at times so I need to be careful of how much I do day-to-day. I am yet to be cleared by my surgeon, so this means that I am very restricted in terms of exercise, weight-bearing activities and even something as simply as keeping my hand and wrist completely dry!
It would be easy to attempt to declare a truce and start the challenge another day, but that is too easy and feels more like an excuse, than a reason, for my liking. Instead, the self-care challenge has provided me with some very important lessons, which I’d love to share with you today.
1. Self-Care is challenging!
I have still been working in and on Speed of Life Coaching, studying and parenting over these past 7 days. This is great as I have still been able to get done what I need to, albeit in a modified way at times, BUT I have needed help to do so, particularly on the parenting front – thanks Hubby!! It has also meant that I have tired quickly, so my self-care has been limited by the amount of energy that I have available to devote to self-care. At times, this hasn’t been very much, so my activities have been quite subdued compared to my plan.
This is okay, as I have been able to still take advantage of what I can manage. Interestingly, the combination of the self-care challenge and surgery has been an opportunity for me to slow down (somewhat) and allow my self-care activities to reflect that.
I have started to read a book from my favourite author, made healthy smoothies (instead of a coffee and chocolate hit), watched the sunrise, sat in the sun and made sure I do all my hand therapy exercises.
Not quite what I was hoping for in terms of the range and depth of activities, but they are ALL great self-care activities, wouldn’t you agree?
2. Self-Care needs to be scheduled
As I knew I had limited ability and stamina this week, I prioritised the “must-do” activities in my calendar. This is a great strategy, however I came to realise that self-care needs to be more firmly scheduled in my day. The lesson for me is to prioritise self-care more highly in my day, but to ensure that it doesn’t feel like another “to-do”, because I really don’t need any more of those.
From experience, I know that once I start to schedule activities, the easier they become to establish as a routine. By creating physical/time space in my schedule, taking the self-care time during the day will feel less “should do” and become more familiar, happen with greater ease in my day and feel a little less guilt-ridden at times when I am particularly busy and go-go-go.
I have identified time in my diary during the week for self-care. I have also scheduled self-care activities in my iPhone app I use to keep myself organised and on top of my priorities and tasks. By simply popping in a self-care category, the self-care details and a time – I will be prompted to stop and DO them! This system works perfectly for me, plus the ability to integrate it with my ccurrent work practices and technology preferences is a great way of ensuring that self-care is not allowed to slip out of my day.
So, what is the plan for the next week of the Self-Care?
- Keep at it!! Self-Care is a process - it takes time to embrace, implement and weave it naturally into my daily routine.
- As my recovery progresses and my strength, agility and stamina allow, increase the range of self-care activities each day and (hopefully) resume some light, modified exercise once my surgeon clears me later in the week.
- Schedule my self-care strategies at the start of the week, including reminders – this will help me to keep on track when things get busy and I am tempted to skip self-care.
So, how about you? If you have joined in the challenge I would love to hear how things are going – pop a comment down below!
Until we catch up next Monday, schedule in some self-care and have a great week. x
If this is the first time you have popped into my blog, the past few weeks have been spent exploring self-care and why I am undertaking a self-care challenge and inviting you to join me too.
If you are interested in joining me, I have created a mini-workbook to help get you started, just click the link below and have the Self-Care Strategy Mini-Workbook sent to your inbox.
For those of you on Instagram, I will be capturing my self-care challenge in action – which let’s be honest, could at times be interesting – as I am going to push myself outside my comfort zone more than a little at times! If you would like to follow along, or even share your own self-care challenge, I would love to see you in action! You can find me @Speed_of_Life_Coach and don’t forget to #selfcarechallenge.