Blog, Featured, Self Care

Slow Down September: The Ups and Downs of Adding Self Care

It’s October is here, and it means that I made it through Slow Down September! I’ll be honest, it was surprisingly hard to add self care into my routine, and each week had different challenges.

Week One: Journaling

The self care habit for week one was to write in my journal every day. It was an unrealistic goal from the start, going from nothing at all to every day? Not quite. Since the start of September, I have journaled HOW MANY? times. Not bad, but definitely not great.

The Good: I really enjoyed being about to write down my thoughts, feelings, and experiences. I feel better knowing that I wrote these things down, making sure that they are remembered and validated. Plus, having a place for the little memorabilia like wristbands and tickets, where I can write down notes of what they are, and I won’t lose it.

The Bad: More than once this month, I woke up with pen on my face, lights on, and 2 sentences written. With my crazy hectic schedule, by the time I get into bed at the end of the day, I’m exhausted. More than once I have fallen asleep mid-write or fell asleep before even grabbing my journal and pen. Daily is definitely not an option at this point, though I do try!

 

Week Two: Working Out

I started Kayla Itsines’ BBG workouts at the end of August, and it’s been kicking my butt. It’s a hard workout, and we’ve only gotten though the pre-training. Due to shoulder injuries, I’ve been altering a few exercises, but for the most part I’m really proud!

The Good: That post workout high! Nothing beats that. I’ve also been working out with a friend, and I think it’s really brought us closer together in a unique way. This has also inspired me to try (keyword: try) adding in short runs in the morning before class/work. I love and miss running, and I really want to try to set a race goal and take that on too!

The Bad: While I worked out more, I didn’t eat better, so there is absolutely no visible changes so far. I know it’s only been four weeks, but I’m disappointed in myself for it mostly. I also haven’t been doing stretches after, or the Low Impact days, or the full body days. I really need to step it up and kick it into gear if I’m going to take it seriously in the future.

 

Week Three: Taking a Vacation

I took a weekend away, traveling down to Washington DC, September 7-9. It was a wonderful getaway, and a much-needed break before school really kicked into gear. I really love DC, and I needed a break after a busy working summer. It was a great, affordable short weekend away from home.

The Good: It was an amazing chance to escape everything for a few days. I really did need a break to turn off. I went to museums, ate delicious food, and spent time with great people. It broke the rhythm that was slowly exhausting me. Having that chance to reset, it was much needed. After enjoying the break, I already have another short trip planned for November!

The Bad: I did not prepare myself. Not at all. I should’ve done more homework, better preparing myself being away. I definitely didn’t have enough done beforehand, and then every day since then, I feel like I had been playing catch up. Next time, lesson learned, definitely going to prepare better.

Week Four: Read More Books

I have always loved to read, ever since I was a kid. When I started college, for the most part, I stopped reading for fun. I the past year, I made an attempt to read more. My goal was to aim for 30 minutes a day, knowing that it would be hard to achieve. Since then, I’ve been pretty good. Of the past two weeks, I’ve done pretty good, probably 5 days out of the past 12.

The Good: I love reading, and I feel so so happy that I’m back doing it. Reading has definitely brought a new level of joy back to my life. Bringing books back into my life, has really helped me more in a more positive direction.. I should’ve had this as week one! Reading has been a huge self care help to me.

The Bad: Not a lot really.. Again, I really should have put reading at week one, but live and learn, right? The only real bad so far is that I haven’t read enough.

 

All in all, I think doing Slow Down September really helped me to stop and take the time to listen to myself. I may not have journaled every day or prepared for a trip well enough, but I took a minute to recognize that and address it. So, self care habits, not always the best, not always on top of it. On the other hand, learning to stop and look into my head and check in on what’s going on? Really good!

I’m going to call the first ever Slow Down September, on the whole, a win! I’m happy with how I did, and I’m definitely up to try it again, but not in October. Maybe January? We will see!

How did you do with self care for Slow Down September? Are you doig another self care challenge? Let me know!

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