As we entered the new year, I chose the word "soften" as my guiding theme for the year. Since then, I've been allowing more softness into my life, especially in my daily routines and mindset. Here's an update on my progress so far:
Soft Mornings and Soft Nights
I've been experimenting with different ways to make my mornings and evenings more peaceful and gentle. Some things that have worked well for me include setting aside time for a slow morning routine, like sipping tea and journaling and visualizing, alongside creating a cozy nighttime routine, where I read a book and do some writing in my gratitude journal.
I've also been trying to avoid checking my phone first thing in the morning, so I can give myself the gift of quiet time to reflect and relax into the day.
In my last post, I talked about my struggle with perfectionism and my desire to soften my approach to life. Since then, I've been working on letting go of the need to control everything and embracing the idea that life is full of surprises and imperfections. I'm learning to be more flexible and open-minded, and to trust that things will work out in the end.
I've been practicing ways to physically soften my shoulders, such as stretching and using my heated therapy pillow. It's amazing how much tension we hold in our bodies, and I'm trying to be more mindful of releasing that tension and relaxing my muscles. I've also been practicing mentally softening my shoulders by taking a more relaxed approach to life and not worrying about things that are beyond my control.
One of my favorite aspects of softening has been cultivating a more compassionate and loving outlook towards others. I've been trying to be more patient and understanding with people (especially in traffic?!?), and to see the world through kinder, more empathetic eyes. It's amazing how much more connected and peaceful I feel when I'm focused on seeing the good in others.
I've been having fun incorporating more softness into my physical surroundings. From cozy blankets and fluffy pillows to soft fabrics and comfy clothes, I've been making an effort to surround myself with things that make me feel comfortable and relaxed and decluttering things that feel like clutter.
I'm happy to report that I've been taking even better care of my skin, from using moisturizing lotions to finally doing a long-awaited pedicure (in memory of my grandmother). It's amazing how much of a difference these small acts of self-care can make in how we feel about ourselves.
Finally, I've been working on being kinder and more compassionate towards myself. I've been practicing positive self-talk and treating myself with more gentleness and love. I've also been scheduling in more time for self-care activities that bring me joy and relaxation, such as writing, crafting, cooking, and reading. (I'm on my 4th book this year, which is crazy to me as I'm a slow reader.)
Overall, I'm proud of the progress I've made towards softening in 2023. Of course, there have been moments where I've struggled to maintain my focus or have fallen back into old habits, but I'm learning to be patient and gentle with myself in those moments. I'm excited to continue on this journey of softening and discovering all the joys and benefits that come with embracing more softness in my life.
Have you chosen a word to guide your year? Share it with me and let's support each other in our journey towards growth and self-improvement.