Whoever wrote this self-care prompt has clearly never lived in the Nordics. To watch the sunrise today would have required me to get up at 4:21 am. It’s light long before the sun gets above the horizon, though. I woke up the other night at around 3 in the morning and it was already getting light outside. The sun didn’t officially get last night until 10:04 pm, but it was still light until after 11. On the shortest day last year, the sun rose at 9:44 in the morning and set at 2:47 in the afternoon. Calling it a sunrise is both generous and a technicality. Because of the angle of the sun in relation to our spot on Earth,[…]

Today’s self-care prompt is telling me to sit quietly in nature. Fortunately, we’re in the time of year where I can do that. Katie and I both celebrate the ability to go outside without several layers of clothing, hats, scarves, gloves, boots, and other assorted bulk. Just a few days ago everything suddenly turned green, and there are people down at the beach splashing in the water from early in the morning until late at night. It’s glorious. Even at the coldest, darkest part of the winter I try to get outside at least once per day. I walk everywhere as much as I can. At this time of the year I like to walk all the way downtown, stopping[…]

One of the self-care tips I see a lot advises you to listen to your favorite music. That’s weird for me, because of the way music is tied to memory. I have a lot of bad ones. There are bands and songs and albums and even specific songs that I adore, but hearing them makes me wince. They take me to a time and place where not everything was bad, necessarily, but I don’t want or need to revisit. The music saved me, but at the cost of forever ruining that music for me. It’s because I’ve always used my favorite music to get me through rough spots that this happens. This band got me through a horrible job. That[…]

A self-care prompt that I see a lot advises me to watch how-to videos. Can I be honest? There are times when I feel as if all I’ve done over the past five or six weeks is watch bullet journal videos on YouTube. There are about a million of them, and most of them are the same. A young woman has a camera mounted above her journal, so you’re looking down at the pages. You see well-manicured hands as she turns the pages, providing a voice-over accompanied by New-Age-type music. All I get from these videos is that everyone uses essentially the same spreads, and these women are all very proud of how pretty they’re able to make their journals.[…]

Now that I’ve been doing this 31 Days of Self-Care challenge for a while, as well as posting daily affirmations, I thought I’d explain how I’m using all of these things. All of the posts are pulled from reading and journalling that I’ve been doing. I clean things up a bit and share them, because blogging is also part of my self-care routine. Most relevant to this post, I combine affirmations with meditation. I use the daily affirmation as a sort of mantra when I’m meditating. I sit, I relax, I breathe, and I tell myself whatever positive message I’m writing about that day. A lot of what’s in the affirmation posts is based on thoughts that pop up during[…]