31 Days of Self-Care

31 Days of Good Self-Care | TheSunnyShadow >> Click to Read!Awwwe, another New Year with fresh possibilities! For me, the New Year isn’t only about starting new healthy habits. First and foremost, it’s about getting back to (and/or refining) basic self-care steps that keep me at my best. You know, the fundamental ones of which we know are musts, but for whatever reason we still slack on from time-to-time? Yeah, those.

Of course, I still set big and small goals like everyone else. But one must have his and her priorities straight. Self-care must always come first when you’re in recovery from a mental illness or addiction. Otherwise, nothing else is possible.

Bipolar disorder in particular has a way of making the most basic self-care steps overwhelming. And things can easily spiral, especially when you have others to care for. But the thing is, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t be there for others. Eventually it all catches up to us. Allow me to be your warning.

We’re worthy of good self-care and we deserve it!

Most of the things below are things I intend on doing myself, if I haven’t already. This list is in no particular order. Print it off, bookmark it, personalize it, do part of it or all of it – have fun with it! 

31 Days of Good Self-Care

  1. If you take medication, set an alarm to ensure that you take it at the same time every day.
  2. Drink a full glass of water first thing every morning.
  3. Schedule an appointment {or two} for a check-up and/or lab work. Stick to a schedule going forward.
  4. Create a gratitude jar. Each day add something you’re grateful for.
  5. Fit 30 minutes of physical activity into your day. While doing so, consider what type of physical activity you find most enjoyable and how you can fit in more of it. Make a plan to do so.
  6. Schedule {& adhere to} a specific day every week to tend to basic self-grooming.
  7. Take the day off to binge-watch Netflix or to do whatever it is that brings you infinite joy. Make this a regular occurrence.
  8. Create a Safety Plan, if you don’t already have one. If you already have one, review and update it every six months to a year, and in between as necessary.
  9. Slowly begin building a morning routine. Start by getting up at the same time everyday. Consider what else you would like to be part of your mornings. Meditation? Exercise? See my Simple + Effective Morning Routine, then personalize it!
  10. Create an anxiety music playlist, and/or depression, or… you get the gist. Plan ahead.
  11. Schedule a date with a friend or your partner, and follow through. Do this regularly.
  12. Learn how to properly do deep breathing. Read: Deep Breathing: A Basic How-To {& get the free downloads!}
  13. Organize something! Start small and work in chunks.
  14. Do something nice for a friend or a family member.
  15. Focus on being mindful throughout your daily activities. Need help getting started? Read Add Mindfulness to Your Daily Routine! It’s difficult to worry and be mindful at the same time.
  16. Do something nice for yourself.
  17. Fix yourself a healthy meal. Consider your eating habits. Of your eating habits, what needs improvement. How, exactly, can you make this happen? Make a plan to do so.
  18. Try something new.
  19. Focus on building a solid support network. Gather phone numbers of trusted family members and friends, phone numbers of psychiatrist and therapist, phone numbers of mentors, URLs of websites and forums, contact information for local meeting groups, etc. Keep them all readily accessible, in a secure place, and add them to your Safety Plan.
  20. Write down five characteristics you like about yourself. Then write down a couple of ways you intend on personally growing this year. How, exactly, do you plan on doing so? Make a plan. {Btw, you’re off to a great start! Give yourself a big ‘ol hug!}
  21. Work towards forgiveness. Yourself? Someone else? Read 10 Steps to Forgiving Yourself and download the 10 free journal prompts.
  22. Create at least two positive and empowering affirmations to encourage you throughout the year.
  23. Do something creative.
  24. Set a timer for 15-minutes, start cleaning something that you’ve been putting off. When 15-minutes is up, no matter how much or how little you accomplished, pat yourself on the back. Try to see what you did, rather than what you did not. Cleaning is actually a great coping tool, read 8 Reasons to Add Cleaning to Your Coping Toolbox.
  25. Download 101 Journal Prompts, pick any prompt and honestly write your heart out. Learn about the benefits of journaling.
  26. Make a gratitude list! And read 15 Simple Ways to Cultivate Gratitude. Consider starting a gratitude practice of your own and join me every Friday at The Sunny Shadow Facebook page to kick your weekend off from a place of gratitude and humility.
  27. Perform a random act of kindness.
  28. Find solitude {daily}. Reflect. Meditate. Do you owe any amends? What did you do well today?
  29. Spend a whole day device-free {no cell phone/no computer}.
  30. Look ahead, what are your goals for this year; big and small? {You really should start journaling if you haven’t already ;-}
  31. Grab a pen and paper {or your journal}, write about how you feel and what you’ve discovered about yourself since practicing good self-care. Do you think some of these things will become habits?

Your turn! What would you add to a self-care list?

Wishing you a healthy New Year full of personal growth!

 

Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer

 

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