Question: When was the last time you did something for yourself just because you wanted to—not because you felt you should, or because you needed to check something off your list, or because it was important to someone else in your life—but because it simply made you feel happy, or excited, or fulfilled, or calm, or whole? Can you think of something? I hope so. But if not, you’re not alone. We forget about ourselves a lot. It’s kind of a bummer.
So when Erica Reitman, one of my favorite design bloggers (I’ve been following her since the days when we were both NYC residents!) decided to kick off her #monthofme, I hopped on the bandwagon pronto. It’s been a hard year, and I thought it could be really healing to spend 31 days focusing things I love and things that make me feel peaceful, joyful and light.
The concept is simple: Spend an entire month focusing on yourself—anything that you feel will improve your quality of life. It can be anything, truly—health, wellness, spirituality, education, etc. It’s up to you! Cause that’s exactly what the #monthofme is about: YOU.
Wanna join me? I recommend writing down the things you want to focus on, otherwise it’s easy to forget them or blow them off. Erica even calendared some of the date-specific items (like a spa appointment), which I love. Whatever will remind you that this month is all about you.
You can create as many or as few things as you want. It can even just be one thing. Do you want to spend the first 30 minutes sipping tea on your porch? Perfect! That can be your thing! Do you want to do that, plus 14 other things? That’s cool too! Just try and make it doable. Cause chances are if you make your list and there are a ton of items, you’ll feel overwhelmed and do none of them.
Yes, it will feel indulgent at first to sit down and make a list of all the things you’re going to do for yourself this month. But here’s the thing with self-care: the more you do it, the more you wonder how you ever lived without it.
Also: Don’t be afraid to pare down your list as the month goes on. Is that tea ritual just not working for your night-owl self? If you’ve tried something and it’s draining you rather than filling you up, let it go, and keep focused on the things that really are improving your life.
Below is my list. Since I’m posting this 3 days in to the month, I’ve started to adapt certain things here and there. And I may even add something to my list, who knows. Remember, there is only one rule: be kind to yourself this month, whatever that looks like. You’re important. And you are enough.
My #monthofme List:
Meditate for 5 minutes each day. Let me tell you about my mediation practice: I don’t have one. I’ve been wanting one for years but I’ve never been able to stick with it. So I changed the rules. I’ve been doing this laying down in bed before I even get up and for 5 MINUTES ONLY. Game changer. I don’t need to find the perfect chair, or position, or 20 minutes of time. I am loving it so far. I’m using Insight Timer because it’s free, but I’ve also liked my previous experience with Headspace.
Create a morning ritual. Again, something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now. Nothing sticks. So I’m trying a few different things out and I may add or remove pieces along the way. My three things for now are: Pick a mantra for the day; Read poetry, nonfiction, or self-help for 15 minutes; Prepare and eat an actual breakfast (my favorite meal of the day!)
Complete a 2-week Bikram challenge. I dabbled in Bikram years ago and have always missed it since then. I love to run and cycle, and these are worked into my routine without much effort. but I love how yoga compliments those high-intensity workouts. I’m going to give it 2 weeks and see if I love it as much as I remember. Plus, the studio nearby has a 2-week unlimited pass for $39, which is perfect!
Make time for art once a week. For me, this is either creating art or seeking out art. Calligraphy, watercolor, collaging, going to see an exhibit at a local museum, seeking out a street mural—anything goes.
Journal. In high school, I was a HUGE journaler. I have them all to this day (and boy, are those mortifying…). Recently, I’ve started this practice again and it’s so cathartic. But it’s also one of those things I can easily let fall by the wayside. So again, I changed the rules a bit: If I’m tired or whatever, all I have to do is write just one sentence. Not forcing myself to commit to a long entry has also been a game changer. And usually even if I start with just a sentence, I’ll end up writing more than that.
Catch 4 sunsets. I was out on a run recently, at sunset by happenstance, and I looked up at the sky and it was bright pink and orange and blue and it made me want to collapse on the side of the road and weep with gratitude. Don’t you think we’d all be a little happier if we took time for more sunsets?
Spend 1 hour each week thinking of others. Ok, ok, this isn’t exactly self care, but it kind of is—because when I do something for someone else it makes me happier and I wonder why I don’t do it more. Plus, lately I’ve been talking to friends about things I’ve been having a hard time with, and the response from each one has been the same: I’m struggling too. We’re all going through something. Like, always. So taking the time to reach out feels like something I want to devote my time to. Can I send a card to someone who could use some encouragement? Who do I want to thank for making me feel loved? Who mentioned something off-the-cuff that they wanted that I can surprise them with? Super excited about this one.
Try something new each day. This is by far the hardest one, and I’m already failing tbh. But I’m gonna keep at it. A new roast of coffee, a new TV show, a new route home from my running path…anything! Why is it so hard to break out from a routine?
- So what’s on your #monthofme list? Tell me here or over on Instagram!
What, you came here for a cocktail? OK FINE! This one is pretty delicious and so, so easy.
Spicy Pineapple Margarita
- 2 oz blanco tequila (mezcal would be great too)
- .75 oz pineapple juice
- 1 oz lime juice
- .5 oz chili powder agave (combine .5 tsp chili powder with 1/2 c. agave—add more to your liking!)
- Chili powder + salt for rim (I use 1:2 parts)
Rim a rocks glass with lime, then the chili powder/salt combination. Fill with ice. Combine all other ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until very cold, about 20 seconds. Strain into the rimmed rocks glass!