It's my LAST day of my 21 day challenge! WOW! In reflection, it went pretty quickly. Overall, it was challenging to carve out that 30 minutes a day to just do something for me.
For my last day, I chose a different activity. On vacation, and it's a rainy morning here in the mountains of Virginia. I decided to pull out my Adult Coloring Book and have at it. If you are easily offended, I encourage you to not scroll too far down to see my creation. Hey... I didn't invent the book, just added the color. But, I would be amiss if I told you that I didn't enjoy the message :). Welcome to my sarcastic side, should not you need introduction.
In any case, I'm glad I did this 21 days. It gave me perspective on several things. 30 minute is really NOT a long time to do self care. Yet, so many days, I found it hard to fit into my life. Not good!
But, when I do the 30 minutes, I never regret it. Much like the gym. Never regret a workout, you just have to get yourself there.
I wonder if I can stick to the 30 minutes per day going forward. I feel like it is more on the forefront of my mind after 3 weeks of practice. It is a very nice daily distraction from my typical high stress mode.
I feel inspired to come up with some plan that others can attempt to follow to incorporate more self care in their lives. It is a bit crazy to think that as a society we have busied ourselves to the point of exhaustion and illness (in some cases), and that we feel so selfish and guilty for spending the littlest time taking care of ourselves. We all know we need to care for ourselves before we can truly care for others.
In this 21 days, I have learned to experience a sense of calm for at least 30 minutes. I would love to learn to expand that to include most of my day and not just a focused mindset for a half hour. Practice, practice. None the less, the 30 minutes I've incorporated is much appreciated.
Nothing earth shattering happened in these 21 days. I didn't become a monk, a hippie new aged idealist, lose a million pounds, wake up completely refreshed, eliminate all muscle soreness. But, I realize how important it is to just stop and be. I also realize that it may take a lot more than a mere 3 weeks to experience any of the magical changes I mentioned above.
I hope you all have enjoyed this extra special glimpse into my life. I hope it has encouraged you to also find the time around your crazy life to just be.
In health and till next time,
Day 20: Reading
Guess what!? I'm on VACATION! Oh right, I told you that already. Can you tell I'm excited?? So, funny story ... when I started this 21 days, my bestie (and business partner) said, "You know, the end of your 21 days will overlap when we are away. You think you can finish?" Well, first of all, I'm nicknamed the "Finisher" (not really, but I like to believe I am ;). Secondly, I try not to let stuff get in my way. Thirdly, that's real life! If I can't get 30 minutes to detox while I'm away, I'm clearly doing it wrong!
Today is our first day on vacation. Despite proclaiming to everyone that I planned to sleep for 4 days straight (because I need it), I was up at 6am. I dozed for about a half hour, but then felt all stiff laying in bed. So, I got up. I curled up on the couch, still in my PJs, and cracked up the short story a dear friend of my recently published. I have been meaning to get to reading it for months now. MONTHS. I was beginning to feel embarrassed that it has taken my this long to read something that means so much to my friend.
I'm happy to say that an hour and half later, I can say I did it! Yah! Now, there is Part II that I still need to read... but I feel motivated to knock that out while on this trip. Vacation relaxation continues...
Day 19: VACATION!!
Well, I am not sure it counts as 30 minutes to myself, but hey -- I'm on VACATION!! I spent today driving to Virginia with my bestie. She reserved 5 days in the mountains in celebration of my 40th trip around the sun. We have zero plans except to make sure we relax. No pictures thus far. It's been cloudy and rainy... but that's forced relaxation! We can't over do it! Started our trip with a bottle of wine and Netflix. Ahhh...
Day 18: Floating & Pedicure
Double whammy day! My day was thrown a bit off this morning. For some odd reason, my morning client and I had our schedule's crossed. She wasn't able to make it in today, so I found myself just puttering around, trying to decide what to do before my 9:30 pedicure appointment. In the past, I would have just "wasted" the time, but it quickly occurred to me that I should do a bonus 30 minutes! So, I floated.
I have been feeling pretty sore, so I was excited to float. I felt much better afterwards. Yah for quick thinking! I guess that means that as I close in on my 21 days, maybe this is sticking!
My REAL 30 minutes today was assigned to a pedicure. I go way too long between visits, but I feel this counts as self care. It was lovely!
Day 16 & 17: Meditation
Day 16 - I caught my 30 minutes at the tail end of the day so no time to blog or video! But, I still need to hold myself accountable! I laid on the bio mat for 30 minutes and meditated. I "cheated" a bit, I suppose, in that my meditation was more focused on helping someone else, but I felt like it was well worth it (I do love my sister, after all :).
Day 17 - Wowers. What a day. I do not know what happened, but I woke up feeling very very anxious. I'm not typically an over anxious person so it through me off guard. I just could not feel settled for the majority of the day. Interestingly, I found myself with just about 30 minutes of "down time" before an evening vet appointment. I could have easily filled the space with chores or playing on my phone, BUT, I remembered to do my 30 minutes! My anxiety really had me wired, so it was perfect timing. I really need the guided meditation app to just bring me into a good space. It did the trick! I got in about 26 minutes, but I consider it a win on a bunch of levels. Mostly, because I remembered AND decided to follow through even though I wasn't feeling calm and I was a bit short on time. Yah!
Day 15: Guided Meditation
Back to the app I downloaded today for a guided meditation.
I started with some deep breathing exercises that were queued from the app. It was a really good way to feel relaxed and get into the zone. Then, I chose a different meditation than I had done before.
I truly do not remember much of the meditation. I think I fell asleep for a few minutes during it. I used to beat myself up when this happened, but that's just the downright opposite thing to do when meditating! So, I have no decided there is no wrong way to meditate and if I fall asleep, well then so be it.
I did spontaneously remember what was encoded during my hypnotherapy appointment yesterday -- to "relax now" throughout today. So, that's good news!
Getting closer to my 21 days. Today, I actually felt like I wanted to get my 30 minutes in. I hope it's beginning to stick!
Day 14: Hypnotherapy
I had the rare opportunity today to have a hypnotherapy session. I offered to be a test subject for someone just learning. What a great experience!
I have done hypnotherapy before, but it has been a few years now. Now, keep in mind, this is clinical hypnotherapy, which is different than a stage show. It's not for comedy, but rather to delve deep into the subconscious mind to help work on a specific issue.
I choose the topic of stress. I'm a pretty stressed person, in general, so I felt like I couldn't go wrong with this topic! When you are hypnotized, you are in a deep state but you are still aware of things around you. Don't worry, you won't reveal your deep dark secrets. It is a reprogramming of your mind to take a different path. It was very relaxing, and I came out of it feeling refreshed.
Super exciting to be able to have this experience today! If you haven't tried hypnotherapy, you should! It's effective, non invasive, and extremely relaxing!
Day 11, 12, & 13
I'm such a slacker! 3 entries in one! Well, it's not so much that as it is that I choose to not always login to work on the weekends.
I had a hard time this weekend though, deciding what was acceptable as 30 minutes of self care... in a challenge that I invented for myself. The irony doesn't pass me by, my friends.
Saturday - I chose a nap! I really needed it. I just felt burnt out. It last a bit under and hour, but I curled up with my puppies and feel asleep. I posted a picture of Breaker below as proof of our nap time together :).
Sunday - Pool time. I spent time just floating around. I actually didn't keep track of time, either. I just enjoyed the sunshine and warm water. I floated on my back for a few minutes, and got really lost in the clouds above.
Monday - I did 2 rounds of 30 minutes today! I just woke up feeling very tired. I go through periods like this. Wiped out. I always attribute it to Epstein Barr, but I'm never quite sure. Today, I chose 30 minutes of sauna this morning. Then, after a very busy morning, I just hit an afternoon wall. I took advantage of the bio mat and caught a quick 30 min snooze before diving into the night work.
I know you all think that there is no way you could nap at work. True enough. But, some perspective. I work 13 hours straight on Mondays. And we don't take lunches. So, and afternoon break is well deserved!
PS - STILL not feeling that this is a habit.
Day 10: Reiki & Bio Mat
Fantastic day!!! I waited really late in the day to get in my 30. Okay, I actually FORGOT to do it until a client called to tell me how she hasn't been keeping up on her self care.. and - ding ding ding - neither had I!
I asked my trusty business partner and best bud, Lynn if she was up for sharing a reiki session with me. I used the bio mat, too, and WOW!
I was OUT like a lamp. Click - done. It was amazing. I slept for a bit, then was in a nice twilight for awhile, noticing and feeling the energy.
I give reiki often, but don't often receive treatments, so this was a special treat! If you've never had reiki, it's a practice of channeling energy from the practitioner to the client. The energy knows where it needs to go to heal you naturally. Most of my clients feel it. Some see it (colors, waves of light) when their eyes are closed. It is very relaxing and helps reduce stress.
If you haven't tried reiki, come on in for a session! It's so great!
PS - This is BY FAR the best still face ever for my video!!
Day 9: Floating
Welp... Day 9. I've been making my way around the Wellness Center, testing out all the detox services. Floating is our #1 attraction, but I hadn't added it to my collection of detoxes till today.
Don't get me wrong, I've floated plenty of times. Just not in the past week. Or the past month. Maybe two. This is what I mean by convenience doesn't matter. My office is directly across from the pod. Why am I not swimming in it daily?! It's like when you buy a treadmill or a hot tub and SWEAR you will use it. Anddd... we all know how that story ends. I feel like we have attention spans of goldfish sometimes. Or Dory from "Finding Nemo."
Today, I had time to float, so I did. Floating is quite amazing. Warm water, 900 lbs of epson salt, meditation music.. ahhh. But, I have to say, I'm out of the practice of floating. I made it about 16 minutes before I began to fidget. I really enjoy floating, so it surprised me! I was in a great meditative state, and then BAM, I was out of it. I checked my time, and wow - only half way through my 30. I was surprised.
I decided I would "tough out" the next 15 minutes. I was doing stretches in the pod, moving around in the water. I have been nursing (aka mostly ignoring) some shoulder pain I have had for over a month now, so I knew the salt water would be good for it. It was therapy for that, if nothing else.
Then, I started to feel distracted by things, like suddenly I was too hot. Then I noticed a cut that burned a little. Am I becoming more in tune with myself with these observations? Or am I actually less in tune with my mind and more focused on things around me?
I decided the latter rung more true. Interesting, how even after more than a week, I cannot always just fall into relaxation. Sure doesn't feel like I've established this as a habit yet.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.