My December Self Care Challenge

Since the pandemic began, some of us have been using the extra time at home to improve ourselves. Working out more, taking up productive hobbies, baking bread, and more. When this thing first started, I had grand dreams of all of the things I would get done with the extra time now that I wasn’t driving to school each day. Working out more, reading tons of books, hiking outdoors, and so on. Only thing was, I didn’t do those things. It was hard to focus on reading and it was tough to get motivated to work out when I was home in sweatpants every day.

My school just returned to distance learning for the second time this year, this time for at least the whole month of December. I’m feeling better about it this time. Between the changes in both my personal and professional life in the last six months as well as the fact that we’ve now done distance learning multiple times, I feel like this time could actually be good for me.

To that end, I started a new challenge this week to adopt some positive habits while I’m home. None of them is particularly groundbreaking, but my goal is to feel at least as good if not better at the end of this than at the start. I’m also using an app on my phone (HabitHub) to track my habits and keep me moving toward my goal.

The first habit I’m implementing is taking vitamins each day. Like I said, not exactly groundbreaking. But I’ve always been inconsistent with these, and I want to be better. So I’m taking vitamins every day to try to give my body what it needs.

The second habit I’m trying out is washing my face at night. This probably sounds odd, I know. But my night time routine often involves falling asleep on the couch while reading or watching TV. When I wake up to go to bed, the last thing I want to do is wash my face. So sometimes I get lazy and I don’t. But not this month! I know the only way I will keep my skin looking great is to take care of it (click here if you want to learn more about the products I love for my skin).

The third habit I’m adopting is movement. I don’t always feel like working out, even though I almost always feel great once I’m done. In fact, most of the time I don’t feel like it. But I know I feel better when I get up and move, even if it’s just taking the dog for a walk. So everyday, some kind of activity will get me out of my office chair and feeling better. Bonus points if it’s outside and I can get some fresh air as well.

Finally, I’m trying meditation. Meditating has never really been my thing, even though others swear by it. I have access to a 21 day meditation series where each day’s session is only about 10 minutes – short and sweet! People who love meditation talk about taking time to breathe and quiet the mind, both of which are fantastic when you have a stressful job in the middle of a pandemic.

So far, I’m on day 5 of my habit tracking and all is going well so far. I’ve even woken up early to exercise twice this week (and I’m not a morning person). Any educator will tell you that distance learning has its definite drawbacks, but I’m choosing to focus on the positive side and embrace the extra time I find myself with. Plus, taking care of myself ensures I’m better prepared to take care of my family and home and my staff and students at school.

What forms of self care are you incorporating these days? Have they changed during the pandemic?