Take time for yourself. Take care of yourself. If you're not working, nothing you do will work either.
If you retain little to nothing after following this blog, remember this:
Self-care is not selfish. Taking time away from other people to focus on yourself and your needs is not selfish. Doing what makes YOU happy is not selfish.
This project is a challenge for me, to take care of me. I have been living on my own – paying my own bills, cooking my own food, and dealing my own disasters – for the better part of three years now. I can feed myself and clothe myself and have no qualms about scheduling my own appointments over the phone, getting myself to said appointments, and often paying for them (though I am very grateful that I'm still included on my father's health insurance plan).
But self-care is more than just making sure I stay alive and can manage money. Self-care is about my mind as much as it is about my physical well-being. I constantly challenge myself to do better, to push harder, to go farther. Anyone who knows me knows I like a challenge, and so this is how I'm "formatting" the next year of my life. I don't have to complete these challenges, and I may not complete even half of them. But my goal is to try. Maybe this will make me a better person, more in-tune with myself and with the world around me. Maybe it won't. But frankly, it doesn't matter. This is about holding myself accountable and challenging myself. It's about forming a few lifelong habits, and about focusing on my mental and physical well-being. And having fun.
So here's the plan: 365 days. 23 challenges. 52 blog posts.
In my head, it sounds so simple. But based on this list, it probably won't be. Some of it will, and some of it will probably be given up and restarted 23 times over. I'm not sure when I will post blogs, but hopefully I'll settle into some sort of regular schedule.
The following challenges are still a work in progress. Any suggestions, recommendations, and bits of advice are welcome (email me at email@example.com).
23 Challenges for Year 23
Read 23 books (those assigned for class or used for my research don't count)
Visit 23 new cities
Do Yoga for 23 days in a row (21 days makes a habit, or so I've been told)
Start a bullet journal and keep up with it for at least 23 days
Say 23 goodbyes*
Discover 23 new songs/artists/albums
Pack only 23 outfits for the big move in August**
Take up running or another form of exercise that is really good for me (but that ideally doesn't require paying for a gym membership)
Run a 5k
Try 23 new foods (eating out or cooking them myself)
Get my DNA tested
Write and send thank you notes to 23 people who may or may not expect to get them
Produce 23 videos that I'm really proud of, both at my internship and on my own***
Brush up (majorly!) on my Spanish
Gain intermediate to advanced-level fluency in German
Get my quarter-sleeve finished... ideally before I leave the country (A note for my mom: I didn't say get 23 tattoos and have no plans to do so, I'm just finishing the design that I've already started.)
Take my sister to France/meet my sister in France/something about my sister and France because she really wants to go to France
Work my way up to a 23+ mile hike (and/or go on 23 hikes of varying lengths)
Send 23 postcards to my grandparents from my travels (to be combined with #2)
Find better ways to manage money, and actually start really saving (student loans are looming)
Watch some of the "oh that's totally next on my list" shows/movies that I never seem to remember to watch
Don't document my life, stress/think about work, or do anything on my to-do list for seven days in a row. Just live!****
BONUS: Blog at least once per week.
So...this list (like my life) is a work in progress. It may change over the course of the next year, I may fill in the remaining blanks as I go. But this is a starting point. Again, email me with your thoughts and/or suggestions for any of the preexisting list items or with suggestions for my blanks!
*I am moving to Germany in August, so there will be more than 23 goodbyes (I think I have more than 23 friends...). But there are some big ones, both to people and places, that will be hard to say. **I'll be living in Germany for about a year, so this may be a little far-fetched. Winter coats/sweaters don't have to count...right? ***Full disclosure: I am working as a social media coordinator for the NSLC this summer, a job that entails making a LOT of videos. Doesn't mean I can't strive to be super proud of all of them and make other videos in my "spare time." ****This challenge comes from my friend Maren, who pointed out that the reason why this is a good challenge is because I freaked out when she made the suggestion