So far, this year has been a reminder of the natural ebbs and flows of life. I know it is early days still and there are many days to come, as we are only in February, but I still find myself noticing that a commitment to self-care, self-compassion, and learning needs to be made consistently with each new day.
January was off to a really great start, in that way. I was so consistent with this whole self-care thing, it was incredible: I was working out nearly every day (a huge feat for this self-professed sedimentary creature), meditating at least weekly, and journalling fairly frequently as well. Twelve year old Morgan, who could never keep up a journal, would be so proud!
But somewhere near the start of February, it all started to slip a bit.
I hurt my wrist (and then my knee. And then my ankle…), which lead me to stop working out as often.
I got busier with school and practicum, so journalling started to slip.
I stopped creating outside of client response art.
I got profoundly homesick.
It got to the point where, one evening while video chatting, my partner straight up asked — seemingly out of the blue — “when was the last time that you meditated?”
At first the question mildly irritated me, but upon some reflection I realized that I had been noticeably grumpier, more anxious, and subject to more frequent bursts of sadness and loneliness. It’s kind of crazy, in a way, that I didn’t notice just how much impact a consistent routine of self-care and compassion had on my well-being until I all but stopped.
So, I’ve spent the past week or two really trying to get back into the swing of things. Some things were easier — much easier — than others to get back into. Like reading, once I remembered that audio books are a thing I have access to, and restorative self-care like baths and homemade face masks. My favourite is currently the raw honey + rose mask from Kale + Caramel. It’s so simple but so great!
Getting physical and meditating again have been a bit more challenging, I will admit it, but I got up this morning and made a nourishing breakfast before kicking my own butt in an at-home yoga practice. I fell three times. I’m super rusty. But I made it through! If I’m learning anything at all through this, it’s that I need to start acknowledging and accepting those natural ebbs and flows in my own life, and not letting them discourage me.
Treating myself with a little bit more compassion, a little bit more softness, and knowing that given time it will come back around again — just like the tide.
PS: In case you’re curious, here’s an update on my 25 before 26 progress!
- Make a serious commitment to self-care
- Complete my master’s
- Go white water rafting
- Start to exercise consistently
(I was so close to crossing this off! Guess there’s always next month …!)
- Go to another dance class
- Visit Stanley Park
- Visit Bowen Island
- See the gardens at UBC
- Visit Lighthouse Park
- Go on a mini post-MCPAT vacation
- Complete at least one large painting
- Have our third anniversary in Quebec City
Commit to journalling more
(I have come so far since the bright purple, electronically locked journal of my youth)
- Go rock climbing again
- Practice more gratitude
- Complete (at least) three self-compassion meditations
- Attend Taryn’s wedding
(Wedding shoes √ Bridesmaid dress ordered √ Next up, accommodations and flight)
- Visit Emily, in Hamilton
- See Rockcliffe Park in the fall
- Declutter, downsize, + simplify
- Start being (mostly) organized again
(I feel like February has been a bit of a stumbling block for this, but it may be on the mend?)
- Throw an unbirthday gathering once home in Ottawa
- Read eight books for fun — not just blogs + articles
(6/8! Shout out to audio books and also the amazing and affirming children’s books that Story Books as Medicine talks about!)
More commitment to living sustainably, both in life and at work/practicum
(I owe a lot of this to the awesome holiday gifts I received this year)
- Add (at least) another month’s worth of $ to the “fuck off fund”/emergency fund