5 Days of Back-to-School Self-Care

Day One: Creativity

Studies have shown that adults who regularly practice creative time have developed improved mental health, a sharper mind, increased focus, and a stronger immune system. These benefits become increasingly important as we grow older.

Creativity does not have to be a solo activity. Consider involving your kids in a new craft project, having a creative date night with your partner, or planning a craft night with friends (video chat still counts)!

Creativity is not just about art. Do you get frustrated easily with craft projects? Remember that cooking, dancing, gardening, solving puzzles, playing games, writing, journaling, and baking are all ways to be creative. Try plenty of options, then commit to creative activities that bring you joy. 

Embrace your inner child. What creative activities did you enjoy when you were young? Think about picking up some supplies and spending an afternoon doing something fun and healing for your inner self.

Creativity not only provides us with a fun break from work, chores, and responsibilities; we can also boost our mental focus and productivity in all areas of life by taking regular time in our schedules to be creative.

Day Two: Rest

It’s okay to be tired right now. Chances are, you are experiencing some of the following things: anxiety, worry, fear, sadness, cabin fever, being overwhelmed with extra responsibilities, and lack of alone time. All these issues drain our energy and contribute to our overall feelings of fatigue.

Anxiety can come from many sources. Our collective world community is in a state of worry and fear, which takes a toll on each of us. Our personal responses to current events may also trigger anxiety. Whether you are familiar with the feelings of anxiety or it has been a difficult new experience, it is important to rest when needed.

You may be experiencing changes in your work and home lives. You may need to take on new responsibilities that increase your daily work or pick up extra chores around the house. Day after day, these changes also influence our energy.

If you are an introvert (like me), you require time alone to recharge on a regular basis. With so many people working and attending school from home, alone time might be hard to find. If you are feeling drained, too much social time could be the culprit. Consider encouraging a quiet hour in your home for your family to take some time apart. It’s healthy for everyone!

No matter the cause, we may all feel increased tiredness right now, and that is okay! Listen to your body and relax or rest when needed. You have adjusted your life to new responsibilities for others – do the same thing for yourself!

Day Three: Hugs

Psychotherapist and social worker Virginia Satir stated:

We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. And we need twelve hugs a day for growth.

We are at a time in our lives when we are more physically disconnected from our friends and loved ones than usual. We have been filling in social time with video chat, but physical touch is still important!

You may need to find more hugs at home right now. If you are used to hugging friends and family that you cannot meet with right now, seek more hugs from your family in the safety of your home.

Studies have shown that a longer hug can provide even more whole-self benefits than a short hug. So, go ahead and snuggle in!

Physical touch is a type of healing that we all need, every day. Adapt your home to being more huggable so that your whole family can receive the benefits of loving touch. It’s also okay to hug yourself!

Day Four: Forgiveness

Forgiveness of a person does not mean that you accept their behavior. Forgiveness is for your benefit and growth!

It is equally important to forgive yourself and to forgive others. You can also forgive a whole group of people, a situation, a place, a guide, or even your higher power.

The reason we need to forgive is to free ourselves and to boost our positive outlook on life. When you hold on to an old wound, it continues to harm you in several ways. The most obvious effect is emotional, but these wounds can also manifest mentally, spiritually, or even physically!

Energetically, emotional wounds can appear as stagnant energy or energy blockages. After going through the deep work of forgiveness, you should focus on self-care to release the remaining negative energy from the experience. If you are attuned to Reiki, do some self-healing to remove stagnant energy. You may also want to see an alternative practitioner to assist in this process.

Forgiveness is about freeing us from old wounds so that we can move forward in life with positive momentum and joy!

Day Five: Gratitude

Gratitude comes in many forms and serves several purposes to enrich your life and those around you.

Keeping a gratitude journal or jar can help you to recognize the good things in your life. Write a few things you are grateful for each day in a journal or write them on scraps of paper and put them in a jar. Revisit the items you saved at times when you are feeling down.

Show gratitude to the ones you love. Thank them for the things they do and the impact they have on your life. Compliment them sincerely and often. This not only makes you both feel good, but it also strengthens your interpersonal bond.

Show kindness to the world. Smile at a fellow customer, thank a cashier, compliment a stranger, do a random act of kindness, etc. The sky is the limit!

You get back from life what you put into it. Thank the people in your life and show kindness to others, and you will feel positive energy beginning to flow back to you.