Howdy! How is February treating you so far?
I’ll admit–these few days of sunshine and spring weather are an unexpected blessing. Wherever you live, I hope you’re enjoying it as well.
Week 1 Instagram Recap
February is the roughest month of the year for me, emotionally speaking. For the past two years I’ve given myself a challenge that I’ve dubbed #fightingfebruary. It’s a way to get my mind off the dark days and to combat my seasonal depression head first. The Zentangle tiles picture here are the result of my fight in 2015. This year I’m turning my focus outward, away from myself. My goal is to use Instagram to create beauty and inspire and encourage. So, to the best of my ability, I’ll be here every day doing just that.
If you need some color or encouragement in your life, be sure to turn on post notifications. I can’t wait to brighten your day! And if you want to join the challenge, post using the hashtag #fightingfebruary2017.
Hope is my absolute favorite word, and each February I think about it a lot. On dark days, it’s easy to catastrophize. Some days I want to hide under a pillow or push back against unpleasant emotions. Reality can hurt, and all I want is relief.
Defined biblically, hope means to joyfully anticipate with confidence. It’s believing that God is faithful. February–or whatever *your* February is–will fall to a close. The darkness of depression will lift. Clouds will break and the sun will shine again.
So for today, choose to hang onto hope.
Some might misinterpret this quote to encourage a hedonistic lifestyle, but to me it feels more like a compass pointing true north. God created our souls. God has good plans for his children. Therefore, whatever is good for the soul is intrinsically good.
My list today hasn’t seen a single item checked off. But I’ve allowed my body to rest, have snuggled and tickled my kiddos, cleaned a bit, enjoyed lunch with my guy, and am currently lying on a heating pad, treating a tight muscle (thank you very much, Jillian Michaels). All these things fall into the “good for my soul” category. As for the rest, I can catch up tomorrow.
Mental health requires that we be kind and gentle to ourselves. What does that look like for you today?
It’s the weekend, and it’s a cozy-blankets-coffee-and-slippers-and-books kind of day. What are you doing to restore and feed your soul today?
Nope, not a typo. I took Sunday off. 😉
Mondays are my favorite, but that heart change was the work of many years. What was once a day I dreaded became my happiest and most productive day, all through a series of little choices.
(In the interest of full disclosure, many of these choices had something to do with coffee. Just sayin’.)
Through these annual February challenges, I hope one day to name this *month* my favorite, as well. Perhaps in a few years I’ll count this the brightest and most joy-filled month. It feels like an impossible dream now, but I’m convinced it can happen.
Change starts with little choices. Meeting a friend for coffee. Trying your hand at a new skill. Drinking tea from a cheery mug. What good choices are you making today?
Do you meditate or practice mindfulness? To be honest, until 18 months ago I thought it was all hippy hocus pocus and a waste of my valuable time.
Now? Not so much. But because I do have an insanely busy and distracted mind, I need help. That’s why I absolutely love the Rituals app. Three different types of meditations are offered, each with options between five and 20 minutes. Five minutes of “relax your mind” is the perfect ending to my morning workout and prepares my mind for the day ahead.
The Rituals app is free, and I don’t get anything for recommending it beyond the joy of sharing a favorite tool. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
And that’s it for week 1
Are you ready to start your own challenge? Comment below or use the hashtag #fightingfebruary2017. Stay hopeful!