Self-Care Ideas for January

Self-care is essential for your physical and mental health. The winter months, social distancing, and other stressors make self-care a priority. Check out the following list of self-care ideas for January.

  1. New Year’s Day! Time to relax and count your blessings.
  2. Take a long nap or sleep in.
  3. Stay hydrated. Winter months are a perfect time to try herbal teas or other hot beverages.
  4. Indulge with a long hot shower or a bubble bath.
  5. Go on a nature walk.
  6. Write in a journal.
  7. Call a friend or your grandma.
  8. Write letters or thank you notes for holiday gifts.
  9. Go for a drive.
  10. Listen to loud music.
  11. Start or return to your exercise routine.
  12. Organize a portion of your living space.
  13. Meditate or pray.
  14. Get crafty.
  15. Spend an afternoon with a good book.
  16. Bring out your inner child and color in coloring books. Some of the adult versions are very interesting.
  17. Build a snowman.
  18. Go outdoors and take photos.
  19. Splurge and order pizza to go.
  20. Unplug from your electronic devices for an hour, an afternoon, or the entire day.
  21. Do a random act of kindness.
  22. Try a new recipe.
  23. Eat your favorite food.
  24. Buy yourself something. Warm, fuzzy socks are perfect for cold winter days.
  25. Make a playlist for quiet moments or bedtime listening.
  26. Binge-watch your favorite series.
  27. Drink hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows or whipped cream.
  28. Pamper yourself with an in-home spa day.
  29. Make a fruit smoothie.
  30. Create a vision board.
  31. Watch the sunrise or sunset.

20 Fun Frugal Fall Activities

The official start of autumn is still days away. Cooler nights, harvest time, and the subtle changes to the landscape are signs of the fall season. Due to the pandemic, fall is different this year. Numerous community events are canceled. Social distancing and other guidelines are still in place. But even on a budget, you and your family can enjoy the changing season.

Family Fall Activities

  1. Play a game of toss football.
  2. Go apple picking
  3. Try an apple cider slushy
  4. Eat a Carmel apple
  5. Go for a hike (Your dog can go too.)
  6. Go for a nature walk (Don’t forget your camera)
  7. Go on a Sunday drive just to look at the changing leaves.
  8. Collect brightly colored leaves
  9. Rake leaves into a pile and simply jump in. (Great fun at any age)
  10. Bake an apple pie. Or bake two, one to keep and one to give away.
  11. Decorate your home with a fall theme.
  12. Wax leaves
  13. Make your favorite homemade soup or try a new recipe.
  14. Collect pine cones for crafts
  15. Go stargazing
  16. Have a fall picnic.
  17. Have a bonfire on a chilly night.
  18. East S’mores
  19. Have a fall-themed craft day.
  20. Go to the farmer’s market.

Despite canceled events, fall is still a fun season. Spend time with your family. Or grab your bestie and head out for the day.

Photo Prompts for September

September brings cooler temperatures to the Northern Hemisphere. As summer fades into autumn, you have the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and take photos. Do you need some inspiration? Check out the following photo prompts for September.

September’s Photo Prompts

  1. Selfie (yes, start each month with a selfie)
  2. Water
  3. Current View
  4. Relaxation
  5. Low Light
  6. Bright
  7. Memories
  8. Colors
  9. Distance
  10. Food
  11. Time
  12. Sunrise or Sunset
  13. Nature
  14. Comfy
  15. Smile
  16. Love
  17. Noon
  18. Pet
  19. A Look-Back
  20. Close Proximity
  21. Harvest
  22. First Day of Autumn
  23. Leaves
  24. Roads
  25. Something to Your Right
  26. Home
  27. Lines
  28. Shapes
  29. Portrait
  30. Beauty

Have a great September! And take lots of pictures.

End of Summer Activities

Summer is quickly coming to an end. Soon, either virtually or in-person, school will back in session. Homework and work commitments will rapidly fill your schedule. Practicing social distancing and other guidelines in your area, you and your family can enjoy numerous fun-filled activities.

Do you need some inspiration? Check out the following list.

20 End of Summer Activities for the Entire Family

  1. Go on a hike
  2. Go on a nature walk
  3. Go camping (yes, the backyard counts)
  4. Make a fort in the backyard
  5. Blow bubbles
  6. Water balloon fight
  7. Play in the sprinkler
  8. Go for a bike ride
  9. Host a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt
  10. Go on a picnic
  11. Go on a walking tour of local sites
  12. Gather rocks to paint
  13. Go swimming
  14. Go out for ice cream
  15. Go on a scenic drive
  16. Have a craft day
  17. Host a game night
  18. Go stargazing
  19. BBQ
  20. Have a bonfire

The recent health crisis is a cause for concern. Staying safe and healthy is always a priority. But you can still enjoy the outdoors.  Get outside with your family, including the dog. Enjoy the remaining days of summer. A simple nature walk or hike can transform into long-lasting memories for your family. Grab your camera and go.

31 Days of Journal Writing Prompts for July

Are you looking to start journal writing? Or perhaps you are just looking for some inspiration to continue your daily writing? Keeping a journal is a beautiful way to get your thoughts and memories down on paper. Check out the following list of prompts for July.

  1. How did June go for you? What was your best moment? Add lots of details.
  2. What do you hope to accomplish for the second half of 2020? Be specific on your goals.
  3. How did you and your family celebrate the 4th of July? What is your best memory of the holiday from your childhood?
  4. Happy Independence Day, USA! Did you celebrate today? What did you do?
  5. What does freedom mean to you?
  6. What are your biggest fears with the coronavirus? Are you still social distancing? Are you wearing a mask in public places?
  7. What has the coronavirus taught you?
  8. Make a current gratitude list of at least 10 things that make you feel grateful.
  9. Mid-Week Smiles! What made you happy today? What made you smile?
  10. At this particular time in your life, what do you feel are your best traits? Why?
  11. Take a moment to think about a time in your life that was a significant transition. What was it? How did you handle the situation? What did you learn from the experience?
  12. In your opinion, what is the best or favorite part of summer? Go into details.
  13. Free write for 15 minutes.
  14. Is there a hobby or other activity from your childhood that you would like to try again? What is stopping you? Why was this activity important to you?
  15. Who is your inspiration? Why does this one person mean so much to you? Has your role model changed over the years?
  16. Name a person who you trust above anyone else in your life? Why do you trust this person?
  17. If you change your community, state, region, or even the world, what would you do? Now, write one thing that you can do to help promote this goal.
  18. Write about a summer job from your teen or young adulthood. What did you learn from the experience? What did you like and dislike about the job?
  19. What would you do if you won the lotto jackpot?
  20. Describe your entire day in great detail.
  21. What makes you feel stressed or overwhelmed?
  22. If you could walk out your door into a fictional world or a different timeline, where would you go? Why?
  23. Did you have a favorite book, comic book, television series, or movie as a child? Why was this particular media so important to you?
  24. Is there someone from your past that you need to forgive? Write that particular person a letter. No, you do not have to send it. Getting your feelings out on paper is a great letting go experience.
  25. Where would you like to be in five years in terms of finances, housing, family, or any other large scale changes? How do you plan to accomplish your goals?
  26. What was the scariest or dangerous moment in your life so far? What was the situation? Describe your experience.
  27. Is summer your favorite season? Why? If not, what is your favorite season?
  28. Write about your favorite summer vacation as a child? What was the best part?
  29. Describe your perfect summer day.
  30. Where is one place you want (or already went) to this summer? Why was this place a “must-see” for this summer?
  31. What are you or your family looking forward to in August?
  • Bonus: What is your favorite summer outdoor activity? Why?

Celebrating the Summer Solstice

Most people associate the first day of summer with the 3-day Memorial weekend. But technically this year, on June 20, 2020, the northern hemisphere will officially begin the first day of summer. Staying light longer, the sun will finally reach the furthest northern point in the sky. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year. After the summer solstice, the days will begin to lose light.

Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Different cultures have a wide range of traditions to welcome the summer. Unfortunately, due to recent health mandates, social distancing, and stay at home guidelines, many festivals and celebrations are canceled this year. But do not let all the restrictions keep you from celebrating the summer solstice.

  • Go Hiking: Numerous parks are open to the public. Yes, social distancing still applies to the trails, but you still can enjoy the great outdoors. Hike a new trail. Spend an extra hour outdoors. Hiking is good for the entire family. Even young children can enjoy easy trails. Of course, don’t forget your dog.
  • Go for a Walk: A simple walk around the block can be refreshing. Walk to your local park. The playground equipment may still be inaccessible. But enjoy the different paths throughout the park. If you are working, go for a short walk on your lunch break.
  • Enjoy Nature: Take a leisurely stroll in your local park to enjoy nature. Take along binoculars and a camera to capture your view. If you are allowed, pick wildflowers, collect rocks, and other nature items to use for craft projects later.
  • Meditate or Pray: Sitting outside in nature is the perfect time to reflect. Give yourself time to meditate or pray.
  • Watch the Sunrise or Sunset: Taking a moment out of your day to simply watch the sunrise or set, gives you a chance to relax and destress.
  • Cook a Feast: Okay, a simple BBQ or a picnic will do the trick. But cooking a meal and enjoying the celebration as a family is a great way to honor the changing season.
  • Host a Bonfire: If you haven’t used your fire pit this year yet, the summer solstice is the perfect day to start. Build a small fire, watch the sunset, and marvel at the stars. Oh, and don’t forget the chocolatey, marshmallow goodness of S’mores.
  • Celebrate Virtual: Due to restrictions, many popular sites, including Stonehenge, are celebrating the summer solstice online. Watch the sunrise or set, listen to music, or watch an event.

Regardless of the way you celebrate the solstice, enjoy the summer day. Summer goes by quickly. Soon, the cold weather will return.

Ways to Celebrate Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice officially occurs on December 21, 2019, at 11:19 pm EST. In the Northern Hemisphere, the astronomical event marks the first day of winter. Knowing as the longest night of the year, the day marks the return of the light. Slowly the days will grow longer and the night shorter.

How to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

People around the globe celebrate the Winter Solstice in many ways. If you are looking for simple ways to celebrate the start of the winter season, consider the following:

Go for a Nature Walk

Even if the sun is starting to set, go outdoors.

  • Dress appropriately. Remember to wear layers to keep warm.
  • Carry your cell phone, but put the device on vibrate.
  • Use a flashlight if needed.
  • Remember to walk in a known location for safety. Walking on a familiar path is essential if the sun is setting.

Go to the Library

On your walk or car ride, go to your local library to check out books about the Winter Solstice. Some quick title suggestion includes:

Your local library, online shopping center, or bookstore has numerous books related to the Winter Solstice.

Eat 

Combine your Winter Solstice celebration with your dinner. Host a special family night, or invite friends over to join you. Some basic ideas include:

  • A hearty Winter Solstice Soup to help you stay warm.
  • Swedish Saffron Buns or create bread in the shape of the sun to welcome back the light-filled days.
  • Mulled Wine, Hot Tea, or Egg Nog
  • Winter Salad
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Butternut Squash
  • Bake a cake in the shape of a Yule Log
  • Use nature and winter-themed items to decorate a cake.

Feed the Birds 

Long winter nights mean less available food for birds. Add extra seeds to your bird feeder. Or decorate a tree with edible food for the birds to enjoy.

Make Nature Crafts

Use items from your nature walk for crafting. Pine cones, small twigs, or acorns are perfect materials for wreaths and other nature-inspired crafts.

The Winter Solstice is a once a year event. Even if you just decide to curl up under a comforter with a good book, take a moment out of your busy work, school, or holiday schedule to celebrate the longest night.

 

 

 

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Ways to Give Thanks

November is about recognizing the positive attributes happening in your life right now. Showing gratitude about your daily life is good for your well-being. Are you looking for ways to give thanks? Consider reaching out to someone in need or volunteering. If you need inspiration, check out the following list.

  • Donate groceries to a food bank
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue.
  • Buy a coffee or hot chocolate for your co-workers
  • Give flowers to your child’s teacher
  • Cook a meal for a family going through a rough time
  • Leave a tip above the standard rate
  • Donate your gently used clothes to a women’s shelter (personal hygiene products are also a welcomed donation)
  • Offer to drive an elderly person around to run errands or go to a doctor’s appointment
  • Leave a positive review on social media about your recent restaurant visit. Give your waiter or waitress some positive feedback.
  • Engage in a kind gesture. Hold the door open for someone. Or allow a person with a single item check out ahead of you and your cartload of groceries.
  • At the drive-thru, pay for the next person’s order
  • Write a thank you card to your favorite teacher.
  • Volunteer at a nursing home.
  • Take a bag of groceries to a relative or person in need.
  • Volunteer or donate money to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
  • Volunteer to babysit
  • Tape quarters inside of a dryer’s lid at the public laundry mat
  • Tape quarters to a vending machine
  • Donate toys for the holiday season

Finding small ways to give thanks may have a significant impact on another’s person day.

 

November Photo Prompt Ideas

November brings numerous opportunities for photos. Depending on where you live, you may begin to see snow. Holiday decorations will start appearing. Thanksgiving (US) is at the end of the month. Make memories with photography is a perfect way to remember the month of November.

November Photo Prompts

  1. Selfie (always begin each month with a new selfie)
  2. Clouds
  3. Landscape or Skyscape
  4. Water
  5. Chocolate
  6. Love
  7. Socks
  8. Thanksgiving or Harvest decorations
  9. Sunset/Sunrise
  10. Current view
  11. Close
  12. Grateful
  13. Animal
  14. Time
  15. Orange
  16. Signs
  17. Soft
  18. Favorite Snack
  19. Yellow
  20. Something to Your Left
  21. Distance
  22. Weather or Snow
  23. Nature
  24. Turkey
  25. Beverage
  26. Green
  27. Something to Your Right
  28. Happy Thanksgiving! Your Thanksgiving View
  29. Favorite Pie or Other Dessert
  30. Holidays

Celebrating Sweetest Day on a Budget

Did you know today, October 19th is Sweetest Day? Did you plan ahead? Are you scrambling to find the perfect date within your budget? Celebrating Sweetest Day does not require a lot of money. In fact, with a little creativity and planning, many activities can be free or cost very little. 

Low-Cost Ideas for Sweetest Day

  • Picnic: Pack a lunch and head out to your local park for a picnic. If the weather is too cold, have a picnic inside. When eating indoors, you can also have candles and music to set the mood. 
  • Go for a Walk: Autumn brings bright colored leaves, harvest, pumpkins, and more. Get outdoors, go for a walk to view the changing colors. Head out to the nearest pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Enjoy the day together. Hold hands. Drink warm cider. Buy a pumpkin for Halloween. 
  • Go Hiking: Hit your favorite trail. Do not forget to bring your dog along. Hiking is a great way to spend time together. Being outdoors is beneficial to your physical and mental health. Your dog will be happy to be part of the celebration. 
  • Be a Local Tourist: Check out your local tourists’ sites. When was the last time you went to the hometown art gallery, museum, historical landmark, brewery tour, apple orchard, cider mill, or other tourist destination? Spend time exploring your town.
  • Make a Card: Remember getting a note with the words, do you like me? Check yes or no. Get creative. Make a Sweetest Day card. Write a poem or include a special memory. 
  • Make a PlayList: Put all of the songs that are special to your relationship on a playlist. 
  • Make a YouTube Video: Okay, it’s not what you think. Video the place you first met, your first kiss, your wedding location, or other memorable locales. Take the video pieces and create a documentary about the two of you. 
  • Make a Meal Together: Cook together to make the perfect meal or dessert. 
  • Movie Night: Cuddle on the couch, make popcorn, and binge-watch your favorite movie series. 
  • Unplug for the Day: Turn your phone to vibrate, step away from your computer, and just spend the day together.