See, there are things I love to do that I do out of necessity, such as yoga and cooking. Then there are things that I love but, don’t actively do. For various reasons (aka excuses!). For example, I love being by the ocean and swimming in it but, that’s not something I can currently incorporate into my weekly or even monthly schedule (or can I? …). I love to dance but… ok, I don’t really have a good excuse for this one. After all, as a teenager I would do this in my room all the time, with special coloured lightbulbs to set the scene and everything!
I appreciate that there are some mental blocks at play.
A big one is to do with guilt – how can I give myself me-time when there are all these other “important” things that need to be done? This is the story that plays in my mind.
7 weeks into being a new mum means that me-time has become even more of a distant memory. However, it's getting to the point that I'm really really starting to need it for my mental wellbeing.
During an early morning feed, an idea came to me. I could challenge myself to do something, just for me, every day of the coming month. August is my birthday month so, what better way to treat myself?
We all know about the power of public accountability, and I know from that discussion with the Afri-love women that, there are quite a few of us who are struggling to do things just for fun and just for us. That's why I'm inviting you to join me in this #justformechallenge.
- Write a list of 31 (or more) things that you enjoy doing. This is possibly the most exciting part for me. Not only do I have a huge love for list-making (seriously) but, I also like the idea of stretching myself to come up with as many ideas as I can. I'm sharing my running list below, in case you need some extra inspiration for yours.
- Do one of these things, each day this August.
- Share a photo/image/words to "record" your success every day. You can share it on Instagram with the hashtag #justformechallenge. I'll be sharing mine, @afriloveblog, as well as round-ups and Instagram stories @lulukitololo. If you're a member of the Afri-love Women group, you can share there too. Perhaps you want to keep it close and share privately with a friend or your journal? Do what works for you. This is all about you.
Things I enjoy
Here's my list. I've been careful to only include activities that are not dependent on other people. Feel free to share your list in the comments - I can't wait to be inspired!
- Making collages
- Listening to music while doing nothing else (preferably lying down with eyes closed, ideally on the grass in the sunshine :))
- Being in the water (swimming without fitness goals!)
- Reading self-improvement books (ok so this is a blurry one because, it has some implications for work but, I do actually derive pleasure, just from the act of reading these)
- Lounging in a park
- Solo cafe/restaurant visits, with just my thoughts and my journal
- Solo cinema trips
- Browsing Pinterest
- Reading a magazine
- Giving my undivided attention to a TV show I enjoy
- Virtually styling my future home
- Virtually styling my future studio
- Walking in green spaces
- Going on cake missions (yes, that's right: excursions solely for the purpose of acquiring some delicious cake)
- Singing out loud, in the dark
- Catching up with my favourite blogs
- Drawing, without an agenda
Curating music playlists
Watching/listening to/reading things that make me laugh out loud – recommendations welcome!
- Experimenting with new-to-me art materials and techniques
Writing lists of ideas (again, some may feel the his is too much into work territory but, I really enjoy doing this and many of the lists are made with little attachment to actual outcomes 🙂
Going for a yoga class (I'm working on slowly resuming my daily home practice. Going to a class though, is a treat!)
Watching live music
Making my own... (whether it's body butter, air freshener or bread! I've been saving DIY ideas on Pinterest and I'm always looking for more to add so, do share good ones)
Writing in my journal, morning pages style. Preferrably making an event of it, in terms of picking a lovely, calm, beautiful place to sit and take my time. As I work on this becoming part of my daily routine once again, it shall remain in this list as a me-time treat
- A good massage
Tidying up. Marie Kondo DID change my life. It's almost 2 years now since I read her book and I look back with amazement at all the big life changes that have taken place since I put her teachings in practice. I was hooked and, tidying up brings me much pleasure to this day
Visiting food markets. Of every single kind. From the fish market in Dar-es-Salaam to London's funky street food affairs
Visiting art galleries and exhibitions. Taking the experience in fully is usually such an energy-draining experience (pleasantly so), that I often prefer to do it alone
Getting dolled up. Such a treat, especially because I'm normally not that kind of girl (mostly out of laziness/prioritising work 🙈)
- Getting into a good art/coffee table book