October has always felt like “my” month. Not as in my birthday month (it’s not); more of a “Finally! A few minutes to myself!” month. September’s traditionally been a hectic month for our family with school and after-school activities starting. Don’t even get me started on the mayhem that is summer. On the heels of all that busy-ness, October just feels routine in a very welcome way.
What I’ve found, over the long green season of parenting, is that October naturally lends itself to being a restorative time. A time to revisit my “I will make time for me” declarations from the beginning of the year. A time to revisit resolutions and the progress (or lack thereof) made since then. My personal goals get a refresh, as does my budget, and – if I’ve done that correctly – my wardrobe. Or as I like to call it, my “rewardrobe.”
“Your life should be like a checking account, balancing out on a regular basis so that you always have assets to draw upon.”
That’s how an article on SparkPeople.com summed it up. And I agree wholeheartedly. “Me time” isn’t selfish or narcissistic. It builds your reserves. It makes you a better parent, partner, coworker, family member, friend. And, to take the bank account metaphor a bit further, it doesn’t have to be expensive.
It’s with this perspective in mind that I encourage you to consider making October YOUR month, too. I don’t mind sharing! You can even call it Ahhctober! Claim it as time you’ll spend being more compassionate with yourself, resetting goals and strategies – or setting goals and strategies if you’ve not tried that before – and being a little indulgent of your dreams.
Here are 5 easy, inexpensive ways to make October your month of “me time”:
- Dig up that old journal and start writing a few things for which you are grateful. Every night. (You’ll sleep better, I promise.)
- Carve out an afternoon me-time/tea-time ritual. Just decide to do it, then set out a pretty teacup or mug as a reminder, or take one to work with you. It’s lovely.
- Place visual reminders of your “me time” promises to yourself in strategic locations. If exercise is your vacation from reality, put your walking or running shoes in the bathroom. They’ll be one of the first things you see in the morning to remind you that you really like the feeling of having exercised. Or pack your gym back before you go to sleep and put it in the car.
- Take a deep breath and create a budget you’ll really use. I made a spreadsheet that lists the first half of the month at the top of the page and the second half of the month below it, so I know what comes out of each paycheck. I saved it to Evernote so I can access it on all of my smart devices.
- Start a vision board for your goals and someday dreams. Many people use Pinterest, but I prefer the hands-on experience of creating collages of magazine pictures on paperboard.