Day 21

Day 21

if you are here, on day 21, that says something about who you are, and who you want to be.


Maybe this month was 21 for 21 for ya, or maybe you managed to get a few mornings in for yourself -- but other things tripped you up. What matters is you got a taste of what it can feel like to recharge your batteries. 

How did it feel?

Self-care isn't actually about being indulgent or a treat, it's the foundation of being able to do our best work out in the world, and be able to show up for the people that matter to us. When we are empty, we have nothing to give.

When you think about it, it's a bit like when airline attendants remind us to put on our oxygen masks before helping others. We need to do it, but our instinct is to put other things and people first. So we need to hear the reminder over and over to take care of our selves first so we can do more for others.


one more challenge for ya:

make a game plan

This month of challenges was intended to help us all reset, refocus, and rethink our old approaches to self-care as an after-thought.  But this challenge does nothing if we just fall back into old habits tomorrow.

So grab paper or a notebook, and make three lists:

No Time

- If you have only 20 minutes some days, what are a few things self-care ideas you could do, no matter how busy the morning or evening feels? "no time" is often an excuse we have for all kinds of things.

Let's cut through that BS, right now.

Right this minute, plan for it.

What are a few essential, short and impactful things you can do for yourself even when short on time?

Enough Time

- Write out a list of self-care you would like to do daily or weekly.

-Make a routine--maybe you prefer the same routine every day, maybe a few routines that you can switch up.

Extra Time

- What are a few bigger 'makes me feel alive' things you could do on a Saturday, or a long weekend? They might happen once in awhile, but they feel so good and refuel you on a deeper level. Make them a priority along with the 'little things'.

Keep these lists and use them

By planning for all time scenarios, you have a tool box you can come back to every day or evey week to help yourself say recharged no matter how pressed for time some mornings or days may feel. 

Then, lastly, spend some time with your coffee this AM thinking about how this month felt, what you want to keep doing, what you learned along the way. 

We want to send you huge love for diving into this topic with us this month. We're excited to see where this kind of momentum can take all of us. 

And if you are keen to keep going, remember August DED will be get rolling next week. Watch your email for detals. 


And, as usual, we got your morning jam... (starts with a strong beat, but trust us, it'll get you groovin' this AM)

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 20

Day 20

Think back for a moment--

How did you define self-care for yourself at the beginning of this month?

How would you define it now?

When we started planning this program, we reached out to friends and people we admire and learn from, and asked them the same question--What does self-care mean in your life? 

We were stoked to get back some pretty great responses, and see this conversation rippling through the community. 

One response today, from a friend at RYU, an athletic wear brand here in Vancouver that we have collaborated with in the past, comes from Juliet Korver, their VP of Product and Brand. She offered us her thoughts on self care and we wanted to share them with you, too.  They are simple, but fundamental. Take a read...


From Juliet:

Self-care for me is not an indulgence or a reward.

It’s a daily practice.

For instance, if I miss booking a massage, or getting my nails done, my week will go on. But when I neglect doing my laundry, shopping for groceries or cleaning my house, my week grinds to a halt because I am stressed and scrambling.

Keeping my stress levels at a low simmer is key to my well-being. Good sleeps, my to-do list done, a clean bed, dirty dishes not piled up, and an up-to-date calendar so I know where my time is committed, are the types of activities I need to take care of myself.

Having all the "little things" done allows me to be present. During my work day, binge organized to train daily, all mean I can relax when I come home at night. For me, that’s pure indulgence. 

I’d be happy to light my scented candles, take petal filled baths, and have beautiful flowers on the coffee table at all times. But if I don't prioritize the time to take care of my daily life structure, I would be stressed, unhappy, and less productive or efficient.

I am now going to make my bed, whip up some breakfast and dig for a clean pair of socks.

Juliet Korver-

RYU- VP of Product and Brand


Question for you: what daily essentials and "little thing" do you realize you need for your self-care?

Write them down, make it a list you can see everyday. Once you know those, you can start to make a lasting routines in caring for You, long after this July challenge wraps up -- or keep it going with us, DED will be back for a new round in August.

We'll see ya bright and early tomorrow AM for one more morning to take care of you. 


And, as usual, we got your morning jam...

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 19

Day 19

Think back for a moment-- to how life felt before and during this month.

What were obstacles that prevented you from making time for self-care?

When we started planning this program, we reached out to friends and people we admire and learn from, and asked them the same question--What does self-care mean in your life? Why don't we do it? 

We were stoked to get back some pretty great responses, and see this conversation rippling through the community. 

One response today, from a friend and long-time member of the CS community here in Vancouver: Cam McDougall.

In his life so far, he's been a criminal, chef, Finance Executive, CrossFit & Lifestyle Coach, cocial entrepreneur and now Impact Driven Philanthropist and blogger. His passion for helping others to design the life they want has been inspiring for us and we've learned alot from him over the years. So when he shared with us his thoughts on self-care, we wanted to share it with you too:


From Cam:

For me, self care starts by believing I am WORTHY of it.

I have really f*cked up in my time on this planet. From failed businesses, to relationships and activities, I have blown them all. And I know I am not alone, it's as simple as that. So how come every single time I make a mistake, or "learn the hard way" I get down on myself?

The truth is, because I have been addicted to beating myself up.

"I am not worthy of this, I could never have that. How could I miss that, I could never accomplish that..". And so on it goes. We do not feel worthy of TRUE self care because we are so caught up in what we don't deserve. So we continue down this path looking for external distractions as a coping mechanism.

Self care through simple pampering is like taking a pill to numb the pain, instead of looking for the origin. When we are down on ourselves and do not believe we are worthy of nurture and care, nothing can be done externally to fix the lack we harbour on the inside.

For this reason, I developed my own three pillars of self care that I apply every day.

  1. I only say positive things about myself 
  2. When I am feeling low, I sit in it and reflect on the lesson I am to learn
  3. I document my celebrations every night before I go to bed (Big or small)

With these steps, I change my mental framework, never avoid self-evaluation and make sure to end each day in a state of praise for the things I accomplished that day. 

Why?

Because I deserve it.

Big love, 

Cam MacDougall

IG: @cammacdougall


Question for you: what beliefs have held you back from self-care?

Once you unpack those, you can start to make a lasting shift in caring for You, long after this July challenge wraps up -- or keep it going with us, DED will be back for a new round in August.

Think about your obstacles you had, write them out, and see more clearly what was holding you back. We'll see ya bright and early on Monday AM. Enjoy the weekend!


And, as usual, we got your morning jam...

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 18

Day 18

What's in the fridge, Right now?

Think for a second -- is it full of food that makes you feel good, or maybe it's looking pretty bare?

What are you planning to eat today?

Are you someone who takes time each week to plan your meals and groceries, or maybe is it more on the fly, and often take out?

Our individual relationships to food are complex, and our tastes are too.

But one thing is certain--food has one of the biggest impacts on how our bodies feel every day, and are essential for keeping our tuned up and thriving for as long as we have.

Food can also be a way to take care of ourselves mentally each day, not just physically.

No matter how organized or not that you are with food--today, we want you to plan today's personal menu with two points in mind:

  • Choose meals you know will feel good (what feels healthy and good is up to you and what works for your body and needs)
  • Choose meals you genuinely look forward to eating every bite of.

Food can be a powerful self-care break throughout the day. Whether we like to plan it out or not, we eat thousands of meals in our lifetime. Each offers us a chance to choose what feels good physically and mentally.

 

So, let's make our meals awesome today.

 

Let's choose to approach our meals as a few of the best intentional moments of today, not an after thought.

Grab a pen and paper and start scheming--take out? home-cooked? What would your best-ever food day look like?

How does it feel to approach your meals this way--as something to look forward to rather than another obligation or after-thought on a busy day?

 

Plan it out, then go and make it happen. Let food be one more way you care for you today.


Here's your morning jam this AM, a classic singer/songwriter flashback from the 90s...

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 17

Day 17

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
— Neale Donald Walsch

When we began planning this month's RADical Self-Care challenge, we spent time talking about what self-care looks like in pop culture (bubble baths and spa days) and what it really means to take care of ourselves and refuel our bodies and minds.

While eating well, moving, and making time for learning and playing was right up there, so too was life moments that happen outside the routine, outside our every day norm.

Routines are vitally important for helping us to reach goals, grow, and make long-term shifts in our lives, but we realized we also need to prioritize moments of growth outside the daily grind and the daily/weekly routines. Routines are important, but left unchecked we can become stagnant after not too long.

Today's Challenge: Get outside the comfort zone

Take a minute (or 5) and think back--where have I been staying in my comfort zone lately because it's easy, not because it's actually taking care of me? Where can I try new things more often?

Are you eating the same meals or getting take-out most nights because it really takes care of you, or because it's really easy when you feel you have no time or feel stressed?

Maybe binging on Netflix most evenings instead of taking that time to do something that you actually care about?

Are there habits you do even though you wish you didn't?

Do you do the same things with the same people when you see friends?

When's the last time you explored a new spot where you live, made a new friend, or tried a new activity?

 

If answers easily come to mind, cool. If not....also cool, but may be something to think about more.

 

Making time to get outside our comfort zone now is essential on so many levels--

For many of us, our overall satisfaction with life goes up when we make time to explore/discover/try outside our regular routines.

Trying a new activity with friends or on your own can be daunting at first, but often deeply rewarding when we get that little feeling of "huh, I can do this after all".

Making challenge/growth/exploring/discovery a priority now and then breathes new life into our everyday life, and helps us grow in self-reliance, self-confidence, and helps us to reconnect with ourselves in a new situation.

Carving out time to play, discover and explore corners of life we haven't before matters, along with the routines and comforts in our lives. 

Today, try 3 new things.

It could be a simple as taking a new route to work, trying a new cafe, taking a new fitness class at the gym, or making a new recipe for supper. It could be bigger--taking the plunge and signing up for a course you have been meaning to try, trying an activity you thought you would NEVER try (hint: do it with a friend).

No matter what you choose, make time for exploration/discovery as a self-care goal for today. Along with your other self-care priorities,  stepping into moments of new are a key part to taking care of every facet of you.


Here's your morning jam this AM...

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 16

Day 16

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
— Howard Washington Thurman

Some quotes become fridge magnets and decorative pillows in home decor stores, while others cut through our BS so clearly, so directly, they open up a well of possibilities. For us, this is one of the latter. 

 

Today's Challenge: make a list of what makes you come alive

Big or small, every day things and bigger memories in life, write them all down.

 

Whether it's a long list, or you need to think hard and finally find a few answers, that's ok. Don't judge yourself, it's not a contest to see who has the longest list.

 

The world, and the people in your life, need more people who have found ways to balance their obligations with their passions, their 'have tos' with their 'deep down in my soul i want tos'. People who find ways to live in ways that feel alive, rather than grid and slog until they burnout. Once we have found ways to do this, we can then take what we love and help others. 

 

When we make time for the experiences that make us feel truly alive, we refuel our batteries 10x. When we feel alive, we radiate in a way that people notice. You've likely been around people like this--you can't help but feel drawn to them, their attitude is contagious or inspires you, and you want to find a way to live in a way that feels like THAT.

Living in alignment with what makes us feel alive we have more energy to show up for others, inviting them in and giving them permission to explore and live more fully in their own lives. Being around passionate people feels good, it's infectious, and our families, friend circles and work life benefit. 

 

But if we don't know what those 'alive' experiences and priorities are for us deep down inside, we can't possibly make the intentional choice to make time to get after them.


So, with your morning coffee, think back at the moments, big and small, that made you feel alive.

Then write them down.

Divide the list into daily/weekly/monthly moments you can do more of, and bigger ones that might only happen once a year. Frequent or not, these are each worth making a priority.

Then, note which ones you can do sometimes with others--help them to feel more alive, to step outside their comfort zone, or simply write down a few ideas where you can extend your passion to help and lift up others. Refueling our own lives spills out, and can help others in so many ways. 


While self-care includes the small routines we do for ourselves, we can shift our thinking to realize how radical self-care also includes making time to reconnect with the experiences that wake us up. These experiences put huge smiles on our faces (or quiet, complete contentment inside), and help us love this crazy ride together, on this wild wave of life.

We think it would be rad to hear what makes you feel alive. Share one idea with us over on the DED Facebook group. Who knows? You might inspire others to get out and get after it too. Motivation works best when we do it together.  

 


Here's your morning jam after you make that Feel Alive list this AM...

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 15

Day 15

We know that movement and good food helps to take care and strengthen our bodies, and perhaps they are part of your self care.

But how often do we take care of, strengthen, and help our minds to grow?

So much of our mental energy and attention goes outwards every day --to friends, family, for work and projects. But taking time to learn for ourselves, that is one way we can continue to grow and recharge.

All too often, we forget to make it a priority. 

The ideas we take in--whether by reading, listening, or the media we consume--have a huge impact on the way we think and who we grow to be.

Today's Challenge: set aside time for learning this morning

Whether you have a book on the go, or you want to give a new podcast a listen with your morning coffee, take in new ideas this morning.

Last week we asked you on Facebook for a few favorite podcasts in the DED community. We will keep collecting and sharing your recommendations, but here are a few this AM. 

Invisibilia

  • Anny likes this one for it's "great insight into how the mind works"

The Moth

  • Anny and Jessa like this one for compelling, true stories told to a live audience. Always insightful and eye-opening

This American Life

  • Jessa loves this one for it's human stories, investigative reporting on topics that don't make mainstream news, each week they choose an unusual theme and collect human stories around that theme.  

Sarah Blondin podcasts on the Insight Timer App

  • Both Taryn and Lauren love her podcast, calling her " authentic, soft, raw, relateable, open, kind, wise, and pure magic". Perfect compliment for your morning meditation.

Stuff You Should Know

  • Both Kristin and Fiona love this one -- learn cool things.

Are you a fan of podcasts? Read a book recently that blew you away and taught you alot? Drop it in the Good Links link below, we want to know about it and share it with the community. 


Here's your morning jam while you get after it this AM...

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 14

Day 14

Do you feel pulled in many directions each day? With a mix of obligations for others and things you do for yourself, the world needs and wants alot from us.

On top of that social media, technology... it's alot.

And it can feel pretty loud sometimes.

 

Where do you build silence intentionally into your day?

 

Our time and attention can quickly be swallowed up once the day gets rolling, and so the morning might in fact be an ideal time to carve out intentional silence for ourselves.

Not simply 'being too tired to talk' while you make your coffee, but doing silence on purpose. Elevating silence so that it is valued the same way we value other priorities each morning.

Today's Challenge: set aside time for intentional silence.

This could take any form that feels right for you:

  • sipping tea or coffee without distraction, soaking in the silence

  • a walk in your neighborhood, really listening to the sounds of the city as it wakes up

  • journalling / writing

  • meditation

  • yoga, stretching or any morning movement that helps you to rediscover, feel and hear your body after sleeping all night long.

  • drawing

  • sitting outside for 10 minutes and breathing the fresh air

The list of ideas goes on...

And so, try making room for intentional silence this morning.

See how it feels to fully take in the space that silence gives us in this busy world we live in.

Try savouring silence on purpose, rather than on autopilot as you go about your morning.

See what thoughts come up, what you hear and notice, how present you feel doing silence on purpose.

Then, get after the rest of your self-care this morning, and make this day count! 


Here's your morning jam while you get after it this AM...

PS if you have a favorite song that feels good for you in the morning, drop it in the link below! Would love to share it with the community. 

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 13

Day 13

With every act of self-care your authentic self gets stronger, and the critical, fearful mind gets weaker. Every act of self-care is a powerful declaration: I am on my side, I am on my side, each day I am more and more on my own side.
— Susan Weiss Berry

Nearing the end of the week, simple question: what do you need this morning?

 

-

 

What comes to mind when you ask this question?

 

 

 

Needing space?

  • Meditate

  • Take your tea or coffee outside

  • Go for a walk while the city sleeps

  • Read

 

 

Needing to get stuff done?

  • Set that timer for 10 min and do a few Life Admin things you have been putting off. Bills, emails, get them out of your way.
  • If it feels there is alot to do in other areas of life, make a plan this AM to break down the workload, organize it, and wrap some control around it. 

 

 

Needing simply to eat?

  • Make yourself a really good homemade breakfast, like it's a Saturday
  • Low on groceries? If you have a few dollars, take yourself out for breakfast or leave for work early so you can pick up something healthy that makes you feel good on the way to work.
  • Not a breakfast person? Then make the best homemade lunch, or pick up something delicious and nutricious on the way to work that you look forward to eating.
  • Simply put, make food your self-care today

 

 

Needing to grow?

  • Where specifically do you feel stagnant? Pinpoint it, then make a list this morning of ways you can grow and get outside your comfort zone in that area.

  • Read.  Here are a few recommendations from the DED community:

    • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

      • Adwin says "I really liked this one because it's short and it really helped me with procrastination ... kinda goes hand in hand with DED haha!

    • Daring Greatly - Brené Brown

      • Fiona says: The biggest thing I take away from it is the power in vulnerability and taking the risk to do differently in fear of not being accepted. It also talks about how shame can shape our lives. I think it's a book that anyone can definitely relate to because it touches upon topics that are purely related to just being a human.

    • the Suttle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson

      • Maddison says: it was great. It hones in on a few things - what’s important to you and are you willing to suffer for it and suffering if a part of life and you must embrace it because that’s how you grow. It’s really funny too.

  • What have you been meaning to try but haven't gotten around to it? Yoga, running, art, photography... This morning, find a few videos online or make a plan to find out how you can start learning asap. 


Get in the habit of asking yourself what you need every morning, and see how it feels. 

Now, hit play on your morning jam while you get after it this AM...

PS if you have a favorite song that feels good for you in the morning, drop it in the link below! Would love to share it with the community. 

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 12

Day 12

When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.
— Paulo Coelho

Ah, Boundaries.

Turns out, they are foundational for living the lives we want, and essential for preventing the 'burnout and checkout' way of living so many of us find ourselves in. But how often do we put aside time to carve them out and define them for ourselves....

---

If all you hear are crickets and early morning traffic right now, ha! Ya, us too.

---

Well, let's change that.

 

Yesterday we asked you to reflect on where your energy is going. For this morning, grab a paper or notebook and ask yourself:

 

Where am I feeling resentful, or stretched too thin?

Where do I feel I'm giving alot but not feeling supported in return?

Do I feel taken for granted sometimes?

 

Write any answers down, without judgement. 

 

  • Do you feel this way with certain friends?
  • Workload?
  • Co-worker dynamics?
  • Family obligations?
  • Pulling too much of the weight, or doing more than your share of the effort with a romantic partner?

 

In each case where we feel we are giving or stretched too thin, it may be because we have allowed ourselves and those around us to cross our unspoken boundaries. 

Recognizing and saying no prevents us from falling back into a loop of giving until we burn out. But if we don't know what our boundaries are, it's much harder to be proactive and to recognize when they are about to be crossed.


1. Make a list of what you want, but don’t yet have, in different areas of your life.

Make sure to include work life, home life, relationships, family patterns, health, finances, spiritual path, and any other areas that are important to you.

2. Make a list of what you will never tolerate again in your life.

This could include patterns from past lovers, friends or family, or even our own inner dialogue and habits. 

This question is key--when we can poinpoint those moments of 'I don't want this to keep happening' or 'I don't want to feel this way at work/with friends/with lovers' those are clear signs there is a boundary there that has been crossed. Time to define those boundaries.

3. How would you like to strengthen boundaries in various areas of your life?

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around health by ___________.
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries at work by _______________. 
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries with family by ______________. 
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around finances by ___________.
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around relationships by ___________.
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around fun by ___________.
    • This is important--if we don't build fun into our lives, we fill it with obligations and work, which can take its toll. Fun is vital too. 
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around ________ by ___________.
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries with MYSELF and __________ by _________.
    • This last one is key--we often put ourselves last, neglect self-care, break promises to ourselves because we think others and other priorities are more important. So, make a few boundaries for you, too. 

Once you have these boundaries written out, play with them, edit them until they feel right. 

Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.
— Anna Taylor

Go out into the day with these boundaries in mind and see how they feel.

Sometimes it isn't about overtly saying 'no', but simply you changing your behavior or words. At work maybe it's as simple as telling your boss or co-workers that you need to leave on time today due to an obligation (hint: that obligation is you!), rather than staying late again without pay.

Or it means shifting the conversation with a friend who often leans on you with their problems but doesn't ask about you.

Or speaking up and lovingly letting your mother know that her worries, while well-intentioned, are not helpful. But instead her insights and wisdom would be even more appreciated rather than her worries.

You may find that the more you exercise your boundary muscles, the more in control, energized, and empowered you feel. 

By setting boundaries, it's not about saying 'no', being selfish and giving less to others. It's really about telling people in our lives who we are and what we need. When we say no to the things we don't have the desire, time or energy take on, we can then say yes to the things that really matter. Only then can we show up more fully in our work and our relationships.

By communicating boundaries, we protect our time and energy so we don't give too much. In doing so we take a stand for ourselves and what truly helps us live the life we want. The added power in living like this is it will inspire others to do the same – a domino effect of clear, healthy boundaries and people taking a stand for what they need.

 

Hit play while you scheme and dream this AM...

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 11

Day 11

For this morning, pull out some paper or the notebook we talked about back on Day 1.

Part of self-care is not only doing what we need to refuel and recharge, but taking stalk of where our energy and time is going out--not only in terms of the people and projects in our lives, but also where we are directing our attention. If we don't fully understand and choose carefully, the cycle of burnout and checking out continues, and self-care remains damage control rather than the foundation we know it can be.  

We got three questions for ya--

What (or who) am I tolerating that I really don't want in my life?

How am I behaving as a reactor rather than an initiator?

How am I spending too much time on things that aren't my priorities?

And of course...

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 10

Day 10

Almost at the halfway point of this program, and to start it off we want to encourage you to start the week off with a bit of fun----

What would feel fantastic this AM? What would you NEVER do before work?

  • Watch an entire movie in bed with the most delicious breakfast (or popcorn, you choose)
  • Take a long bath?
  • Read for a whole hour outside with your coffee?
  • Go for a mini adventure--it could be a hike, or simply a long walk or run to see a part of your city you never see in the morning? 
  • We challenge you to do something that will refuel you this AM, that is out of the ordinary from your morning routine so far.

So take a minute, think of a few ideas, and when you find one that makes your heart leap a bit,

Do. That.

Because self-care is also about getting out of our routines, and doing things that make us feel alive. So take time out of your regular DED plans and intentionally challenge yourself to do something new and different that you haven't done so far in the mornings this month. 

We'd love to hear about what you do--hop over to the Facebook group and let us all know! 

And of course...

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

Day 9

Day 9

As we roll into the end of the second week of the program, we want to take a moment and acknowledge what we all have collectively done these last two weeks.

Over the past two weeks, hundreds of you have committed to winning at your own game and dove into something that most are unwilling to.

You made taking care of yourself a priority.

You put what matters to you before the world had a chance to take that space away.

More than that though, you played a part in building a community spanning over 10 countries and almost every time zone. That means at almost any time of the day, someone around the world is getting up to get after it.

That's powerful and we want to thank you for your willingness to embrace that side of life.

We think that's pretty damn cool.

 

Before We Look Ahead

Before looking at what's ahead, it’s worth taking time to sit back and reflect on what just happened.

Most of us have a fear of slowing down – unwilling to stop long enough to let what we’re doing catch-up to us. Maybe this is because we don’t want to confront how we spend our time or maybe it’s because we feel like we’ll lose momentum, but if there’s anything history has taught us, it’s that slowing down to reflect only helps us move faster, further, and more purposely.

With that, we have a single request from you this morning – take some time to reflect on what these last two weeks have been for you.

It will not only make a big difference in the rest of your 21 Damn Early Days self-care experience but if you incorporate reflection into your life, it will have a huge impact on where you end up.

To get you started, we got some simple questions...

 

Questions Worth Thinking About

Keep in mind these are just a guideline to get you started. Your reflection is an exercise in asking the questions you care about.

About Damn Early Days RADical Self-Care Edition:

Ask yourself:

  • What have you gained from waking up early?
  • What are your biggest struggles so far?
  • What positive stories have you been telling yourself throughout?
  • What self-defeating stories have you been telling yourself throughout?
  • Do you feel you're getting closer to what you want?
  • What differences do you notice in your life, routine, and mood before and during Damn Early Days?
  • What emotions have you gone through? What caused them?
  • Were there mornings that were particularly tough? What contributed to them being that way?
  • Were there mornings that were particularly enjoyable? What made them more enjoyable?
  • How have your views towards self-care been shaped by the experience so far?

Looking Forward:

Ask yourself:

  • Put yourself in your own shoes at the end of July. What do you want out of this? What defines “success”?
  • What do you want to feel at the end of this?
  • What do you need to do next week to move yourself closer to that your success?
  • What can you carry into next week that you learned this week? What can you drop?
  • What’s the top priority in your life right now?
  • Are there areas of self-care you want to change in the second half of this program?

And of course...

Day 8

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Day 8

What have you been putting off?

Think about it for a moment. 

Simple question, but there might be a lot of answers.

Write them down in a list.

Avoiding cleaning your place, or finally doing your laundry?

Sorting paper that's been piling up?

Bills? 

WAY too many emails/newsletters filling your inbox?

Telling your partner or a friend about something that has been bothering you?

Big or small, the list of to-dos adds up and creates stress and mental clutter.

This AM, it's time to cross a few of them off your list.

Set a timer for 10 min and tackle a few of them. 

It's straight forward, but sometimes doing the things we've been putting off, finally getting around to them, releases a huge weight from the stress in our lives. Sometimes finally just doing what needs to be done can in fact be a vital part of our radical self-care.

How does it feel to finally let that task go? To have it completed, at last?  

While you do a bit of that Life Admin, here's the morning jam below for ya. Then get after your Summit plans for the rest of the AM.

 

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

 

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Day 7

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Day 7

For this morning

Let's revisit a key idea from last week. It's something we need to keep doing, on the daily, in order for self-care to shift from being a band-aid that we do when we burnout to an essential practice that prevents overwhelm and burnout.

what do i need this morning?

Let that questions sink in, and see what needs come to mind first. As we talked about last week on Day 3 (missed it? Here it is), we need to make this question a habit that we practice often and that we remember to value and listen to. In the same way we care to ask 'what do you need, how can I help' to other people in our lives.

So, what do you need this morning? Where are you most in need to rebuild a bit. 

Mentally overwhelmed and need to reflect or play?

Alot weighing on you from work? Anything that you can tackle differently?

Physically need to move and wake up your body?

Feeling stagnant and need to learn and grow?

 

Ask, listen, then do it.

 

Give yourself what you need this AM, then get after your Summit goals. 

Keep asking yourself this question until it becomes familiar, second nature, and one of the best habits you have. 

 

As promised, here's the morning jam below for ya.

 

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

 

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Day 6

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Day 6

The biggest task in the morning is to try to keep my headspace from being invaded by the outside world.
— Austin Kleon

For this morning

Let's carve out and protect that space. No interruptions from the outside or online world. You in?

Your challenge:

After reading this, turn off your cell phone and home internet for an hour this am. 

That's it.

Sounds simple--because it is.

But how often do you turn off all wifi, cell data, everything incoming in your living space so that you can just be fully here, right now? 

Read, write, think, take a bath, listen to music on CD or on your computer if you like (no spotify, that's wifi), do anything and everything you like without the mental clutter of incoming messages or the nagging desire to check social media and emails. Block out all that online clutter, and see how this mental space feels this morning. This simple act can have a huge impact on us. 

P.S One of the best feelings you may have when you turn it all back on---the relief and clarity that comes when you see that no one needed you, the world kept on going, and it turns out nothing important happened while you were away.

Odds are, you won't miss much, but will gain alot mentally in that hour of real, disconnected space. You may find you feel more connected to your morning when that cloud of online connection and noise has been deliberately, fully silenced. 

Ready to try?

Turn off this device, get after your other self-care goals you wrote in your Summit, and enjoy this retreat from the world. See how it feels different or similar to mornings last week.

We'll have a new morning jam back tomorrow AM for ya.

 

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

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Day 5

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Day 5

Writing ... reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.
— Robin S. Sharma

New week, 5 more chances to build your foundation every morning before going out into the busy-ness of the day.

If you missed Day 1, take a read here. It will lay the groundwork for today. 

For this morning

Nothing long to read, but instead an invitation to reflect a bit and get some clarity. Remember, as we mentioned last week, just thinking about these questions isn't nearly as powerful as sitting an writing about them for a few minutes. You get what you put in to self-care like this. So, we challenge you--go all in on this. Stay open to what answers come up.

Grab your notebook or some paper and let's go:

1. What ways do you get re-engage with life

-- List them. Whenever you do these things, you feel better. Maybe it's talking to a specific friend who's insights always set you straight, or being out with specific people, getting out for a long hike or bike ride for the day and coming home invigorated and recharged. You name it, if it makes you feel engaged and reconnected to your life, put it down on paper right now. 

2. What is something that you always LOVE to do, even when you are exhausted? 

--Big or small, write them down 

3. What things do you do to typically 'unwind' or 'recharge'

--Once you have the list, go down the list and ask yourself--do they support or distract you from what you really love doing, deep down (ie the lists above). 

That's it.

Now, get after your other self-care goals you wrote in your Summit, and press play below on your morning jam .....  

 

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

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Day 4

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Day 4

The difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning, for forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man’s life.
— Doddridge

Let that thought sink in for a mintue.

 

Pretty powerful, hey? This time, every morning, adds up to so much more.

How has it felt, adding a few hours to your life that are just for you this week?

How has it impacted how the rest of your day has felt?

 

For this morning

Nothing long to read, but instead an invitation to create space of nothing, in order to make room for everything. 

Simply--take your morning tea or coffee outside.

It could be a walk with a real mug in your hands, sitting on the grass outside your apartment building, or on your balcony.  You can choose to make that time phone-free, but if you're down, would love to see a photo of your view. Share it on the DED FB group, so that we can all see the morning sky from around the world.

Spend that time fully engaged in nothing, and everything.

Every sip.

Every sigh of the morning wind.

Every thought that comes to mind now that there is finally some much needed stillness that can allow for possibility. 

Then see how your Friday feels.

 

While you make your cup and head outside, press play below on your slow morning jam .....  

 

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

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Day 3

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Day 3

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.
— Audre Lorde

When it comes to friends, lovers and family, we are used to reaching out and asking them---

"What do you need?"

"How can I help you right now?"

But how often to we ask ourselves those simple but essential questions?

- - - 

That's what I thought.

Ask yourself--why is this

Why don't we have the habit of asking ourselves "what do I need" as often as we do for others?

Why ignore this in ourselves, or avoid the answers? 

There can be a misconception that talking about our needs is 'admitting' we don't have it all together, that we aren't ok. But in fact, needs aren't about lack. It's the same way that a plant needing water and sun to grow isn't a weakness, it's essential to it's survival. So too are our needs. The key to taking care of ourselves before we burn out, is getting comfortable exploring what we need, sitting with the answers we find, and responding to them.

So today, your challenge is to sit for a minute and ask yourself:

What do I need this morning?

Let a few answers bubble up, without judgement. Sit with those thoughts and feelings -- needs can feel vulnerable to face at first. 

Only when we accept 'this is where I'm at this morning, this is what I need', can we take real steps to meet those needs. Otherwise, it's all too easy to let old habits creep in that mask things. and distract us from what is actually going on inside.

So, what do you need?

If it helps, list it out on a paper or in your notebook.

---

I'll wait.

Now, choose the most pressing one, or a few smaller ones. Write one thing you can do this morning to meet that need.

Then: Take Action. Do that one thing.

Feeling exhausted mentally, and just need empty, quiet space? 

  • Embrace empty, guilt-free space this morning.
  • Meditate
  • Take a hot bath and soak in that peaceful silence
  • Go for a walk with your coffee --in a real mug, try it--and look up as you stroll
  • Sit and write
  • Watch the sky come alive as the sun rises outside your window

Feeling stressed in your space?

  • Tidy your bedroom. Make it the most zen it's been in a long time. Put those clothes where they belong. Make your bed. ...Whoa, is this a boutique hotel? No, it's just your room, but better. 
  • Finally clear and sort those papers and stacks that have been piling up in other rooms.
  • Set a timer and see what a difference 10 min of tidying can do. If it felt good, do another 10 min.

Feeling lonely?

  • Reach out to a friend or coworker and make plans, send them a message.
  • Look up and join a few new events and groups where you can meet others who want to connect like you do. Try sites like www.meetup.com
  • Call an old friend or family member who makes you feel good whenever you catch up.

Feeling stagnant, restless in life?

  • Learn.
  • Try a podcast this am. Try This American Life
  • Find a few library or audio books online that you want to read, and get them. Need a good book to try? Ask the DED Facebook group for recommendations. 
  • Watch a Ted Talk, or a documentary online. Ask the DED community for their faves. 
  • Reflect and write a plan about where you want to go/grow. 
  • Feed your mind

The key is to make it a daily habit --

checking in with ourselves, how we are doing, and getting good at knowing and giving ourselves what we need. A little every day. 

See what it feels like to do that more, and put your own oxyen masks on before helping others. I'm willing to bet that before long, you will have so much more of yourself to bring into the rest of your life.

 

While you think about what you need, and plan one thing to do this morning, press play below on your morning jam .....  

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

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Day 2

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Day 2

In the spring mornings I would work early while my wife still slept. The windows were open wide and the cobbles of the street were drying after the rain.
— Ernest Hemingway

Before Damn Early Days, what did your mornings typically look like?

For most of us, it's a mix of caffeine, maybe grabbing some breakfast, making ourselves presentable and rushing out the door to work. To meetings, for kids, for everything we do out in the world. Or if we work from home, taking care of our daily obligations there. Maybe we take the dog out quickly, too. 

Far from recharging, to say the least. No wonder most of us don't like getting up early--to THAT. 

But what if we rethink what mornings can mean. What if mornings aren't about getting up in order to show up for the outside world, but it's a time when we get up in order to show up for ourselves. Afterwards, then, and only then, do we shift and show up for others.

What is the first hour of the day was protected, and prioritized, refueling our batteries and starting off our day feeling fulfilled, on course, and invigorated rather than rushed, late, or stressed. Added bonus: how would our days feel with and hour of WINS right out of the gate?

Today's Challenge: The Hour of Power

When you begin to think about building an hour that supports you, you will find there are many resources out there. But most of them are a variation on the Hour of Power. It's an idea created by Jack Canfield, best selling author "the Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be" and creator of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books (remember those?).

Simply put, it's creating and protecting 1 hour that focuses on you, in order to start your day off feeling recharged rather than running on empty. Imagine--what would the day feel like when your mind, body, and spirit are taken care of first. 

The premise is to spend 20 minutes taking care of 3 key areas of yourself so you are ready to step out and take on the rest of life. Take a look at these variations, and see if any combination feel right. Create your own Hour of Power, and adjust it as you need to this month. 


Mind/ Body/ Spirit


Mind


Spend 20 minutes feeding your mind. Try a Ted Talk, a podcast, or an uplifting or inspiring book. Absolutely no social media. Invest in material that feeds your mind instead. 

Bonus: did you know you can listen to youtube videos and audio on faster speeds? Just saying. More goodness, less time.


Body


Move. This could be taking a walk or job, walking your dog, or it can even simply be slowly stretching on a yoga mat. If you want to be really comfy, we won't judge--stay in bed and slowly stretch and twist. Wake up and use your body, rather than using it simply to rush out the door to work. 


Spirit (or the You deep down inside)


Writing, journalling, reflecting, writing about gratitudes

Meditation - more and more people are giving meditation a go. In our busy lives, simply the act of quieting your mind can be powerful. 

Popular apps can guide you through 100s of approaches to meditation. There are bound to be some that work for you. Try apps like Headspace, Insight Timer, or look up meditation courses near you or guided videos on youtube. Sometimes learning form a teacher can make all the difference for those of us who feel we just can't meditate. 

Or, for a simple challenge this morning, try this: What does the morning sound like where you live? Get a pillow, open your window or balcony door and sit on the floor or a spot near the window/door. If it's chilly, get a blanket.

Sit comfortably, eyes closed. Let the morning air in, and feel it fall down upon you.

Listen. To the city, to the wind, to anything you hear this morning, as the city is waking up.

Breathe. Deeply and slowly. 

Listen. When your mind wanders, that's no problem. Simply guide it back to listening to the morning. Try this for as long as you are comfortable, 10-20 minutes. See how it feels, I dare ya.


Build your own Hour of Power


Choose 3 areas that matter to you:

Writing/Reading/Moving

Journaling/Meditating/Reading

Body/Goal-Setting/Meal Prep

Yoga/Meditate/Cook

That's Important / That Too / Yes And Definitely That

What three areas matter to you?

If move is on your list, hit play and move around your kitchen to this morning jam below...


Do you have any favorite podcasts, books, or ideas for your Hour of Power?

Come share them on the FB, and get ideas from the community to add to your Mind list. 

 

Missed a Daily Dose? Find them here

Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

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