April showers bring … in the sewing community … Me-Made May!
Yes, March is over and April is here and May is just around the corner. We plan to participate fully in Me-Made May this year, which is always a crazy, frenzied time in the sewing world. So as we approach that busy time, we wanted to take the month of April to S-L-O-W down and focus on our own wellness.
2019 has pretty much kicked our proverbial butts so far. With crazy workloads, sewing classes, kid activities, hospitalizations, you name it, this year has not been kind to us. Part of that is our fault — letting ourselves be so driven by external influences that we forget to look within and focus on what our bodies and spirits are telling us.
So, here is our challenge to you:
We challenge all of you to join us in looking inward for the month of April and get your wellness house in order, so to speak. We have broken the four weeks of April into four prompts or themes to focus on for that week. Our hope is that focusing on a particular element of wellness for a week will help create habits that carry you forward into long-term wellness.
Week 1 (April 1-6): Mental Wellness
We’ll kick off the challenge this first week of April by focusing on mental wellness. Find something that bring you mental peace and wellness. That could look very different for different people, so find whatever works for you.
For example, the hashtag #selfcaresewing or #sewingisselfcare are very popular, but for some people, committing to sewing every day will be a source of stress and not a source of peace. For that person, daily sewing is not their mental self-care.
Here are a few ideas of what mental self-care could look like. Be sure to find something that is self-care for you.
- Carve out 30 minutes a day to sew, if that is peaceful to you.
- Meditate for 5 minutes a day.
- Get a mani/pedi
- Wake up 10 minutes early to have some quiet time with a cup of coffee
- Take a relaxing bath
- Have a quiet glass of wine at the end of the day
- Clean out your closet — you’d be amazed how much mental space you can create by having a well-curated closet.
- If social media is a mental drag for you, a social media fast for a few days may be in order. Sign off whatever platform is creating stress for you, and take a few days away from the constant stimulation.
Spend some time thinking about what your mind and mental space needs to feel peaceful and free. Once you’ve tended to your mental wellness, you can turn to all the other aspects of wellness.
Week 2 (April 7-13): Physical Wellness
So often when people think of physical wellness, they think of weight loss or dieting. But that’s not what we mean here. We want to spend a week focusing on something that makes your body feel good. What does that mean? Here are a few ideas:
- Get a solid 8 hours of sleep a night
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day
- Exercise for 20 minutes a day (that could mean just going for a walk)
- Each a green vegetable with every meal
- Try a new form of exercise. If you only do cardio, try lifting weights. Maybe try a new group exercise class, or go for a run.
- Spend 15 minutes stretching when you wake up in the morning or before bed at night.
- Turn off screens and phones 1 hour before bedtime to improve your sleep quality.
There are so many possibilities! Little changes in your routine can make a big difference in how your body feels
Week 3 (April 14-20) Emotional Wellness
This sounds similar to mental wellness, but to us it means something different. During the third week of April, we want you to focus on something that feeds you from an emotional standpoint. For most of us, our emotions are connected to our relationships with others. So here are some ideas of things that might feed your emotional wellness:
- Plan a date night with your significant other.
- Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- Have coffee, lunch, or happy hour with a friend.
- Make a new friend — reach out to that other mom you’ve exchanged pleasantries with at the bus stop or soccer game and invite her for coffee.
- Visit a local nursing home and play games or talk with the residents.
- Spearhead a drive to gather donations for a local charity and then go drop them off. Here in Kansas City, our children’s hospital is always taking donations of gently used toys and puzzles for the patients to play with while they are in the hospital. Delivering those donations is such a rewarding experience.
- Or if the relationship that really needs work is your relationship with that nagging little voice in your head, maybe adopt a mantra or affirmation. Something like “I deserve to be happy.” “I love myself.” “I love my body.”
But spend some time during that week nurturing your connections with others. Your emotional well being will thank you.
Week 4 (April 21-31): Spiritual Wellness
Over the previous three weeks, we’ve attended to our relationship with ourselves (mental welless), our bodies (physical wellness), and others (emotional wellness). This last week of April we want to attend to our relationship with the spiritual world, in whatever form that takes for you. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, we all have spiritual needs that are too often neglected in our busy world of here and now. Here are some ideas to address your spiritual wellness:
- If you believe in a god or higher power, carve out some time every day to talk to god/higher power.
- Acknowledge and give gratitude for the positive things and people in your life.
- Take a walk and appreciate the beauty of nature.
- Take a few minutes each day to stop, and really experience your moment. Feel the sun on your skin, listen to the breeze, hear the birds talking in the trees.
- If reading a religious book is important to you (like the Bible or Koran), spend some time each day reading and reflecting on that book.
Pick whatever feels right and meaningful for you. And always keep in mind that your spiritual journey won’t look like anyone else’s journey, nor should it. It is yours and yours alone.
Will you join our wellness challenge? Be sure to follow on Instagram and tag #makerselfcare.