Six Cats and a Black Dog: Why I’m Choosing #365daysofselfcare Over Big Resolutions
Last year I made a Blog For Mental Health pledge. Sadly, there is no pledge in 2016 and the Blog for Mental Health site is no longer being curated, though it is currently still accessible. However, this was a wonderful project (and it ran for several years) and I’m truly glad it got me blogging about this subject.
Why I’m Choosing #365daysofselfcare Over Big Resolutions
I’m delighted to be featured on Terri Giuliano Long’s blog today, talking about self-care and, more specifically, #365daysofselfcare. Here’s a quick preview, but head on over to Terri’s blog for the full post and five reasons I’m choosing #365daysofselfcare over resolutions in 2017.
This year, I began curating a Twitter list with some Twitter accounts belonging to mental health charities and mental health blogs. That must be how I found #365daysofselfcare, though beyond that I’m not sure. It was just something that I found at a time when my self-care was a long way off sufficient. Right place, right time.
#365daysofselfcare is a simple idea but a very powerful one. The Blurt Foundation – an organisation dedicated to helping people affected by depression – encourages people to use the tag on social media to share their “self-care journey”. Self-care refers to “the actions we undertake to look after ourselves, physically, emotionally and mentally” (Blurt).
What if there were a few minutes of every day when we made sure we were kind to ourselves? Not only that, but acknowledged it, to ourselves or others? What would that look like? That’s the idea behind #365daysofselfcare. You can share your self-care acts publicly (on Twitter or Instagram, for example) or perhaps journal them privately. (For 2017, I have a ‘line a day diary’ for just this purpose, though I suspect I will also continue to tweet.)
I realised that perhaps I did do something every day for myself but I wasn’t always aware of it. I wasn’t mindful of the attention I was giving to myself or why that mattered. That needed to change.
On 27 July, I posted my first #365daysofselfcare tweet.
Day 1: Extra long hugs from family. Always having a kitty sleeping nearby. Ever so loud music. #365daysofselfcare (great tag to follow!)
— Donna Brown (@DeeBeeUK) July 27, 2016
In 140 characters, there was only so much I could say and that was fine. For me, #365daysofselfcare is not about telling my story. It’s partly a way of holding myself accountable to make sure I do both have and acknowledge a little ‘me’ time every day, but it’s also a way of reaching out to others. I share the things that have worked for me and also read others’ tweets for ideas and inspiration. Chamomile tea? I might try that. A brisk walk? It’s been far too long since I did that. An early night? Now there’s a thought.