This moment – self care Sundays


Natalie Mix

The first page of my Self Care Sunday journaling from this past week

I wouldn’t be doing this column justice if I didn’t admit that I was sobbing mere minutes ago. 

As I sat down to write, my attention strayed to the old stories on my staff profile—a valiant effort to grasp at inspiration—and I came across my Countless Thanks from last November. For the second time in the past year, that article brought me to tears. 

I am intermittently astounded by how far I’ve come since last November. I can never quite put that feeling into words, but it’s almost like tossing paints at a canvas on a whim, holding tightly to the best intentions as I do so, not being able to see how it’s all turning out, and then suddenly being shown that painting in its full glory, proving that every smatter of paint on that canvas was working towards this. 

Reading my Countless Thanks is like being shown a before shot of that canvas, the overwhelming emptiness of it all, and being able to truly understand the progress that has been made. 

That progress is measurable in a menagerie of minute details, but most notably, my Sundays. 

For as long as I can remember, the thought of Sundays has been accompanied by overwhelming anxiety. I couldn’t pinpoint when that changed, or if it’s truly changed that drastically at all, but I know it’s different now. 

Sundays are sunlight shining through the big double doors in the living room, loudly resenting that I’m being forced to sit through an online church service, but quietly appreciating the time that I get to spend with my family. 

Sundays are trips to Meijer with a plan in Notes app that I will definitely stray from, food prepping in the kitchen far too late at night, feeling proud of the canvas tote bag that I’ll carry around all week. 

Sundays are sometimes afternoons spent in the quaint ambiance of my job, and sometimes car rides listening to new music while trying not to laugh too much, and sometimes long hours spent with my friends, ignoring that tomorrow is Monday. 

And now, I’m trying something new on Sundays, something that sparks sprouts of excitement whenever I think about it, something that I have dubbed “Self Care Sundays,” as cheesy as that may sound.

What it means is that this whole Editor in Chief thing encompasses far more than I ever understood, and while I could not be more grateful for it, it requires me to purposefully partition off time for myself. What it means is that I’ve committed myself to intentionality this year, to slowing down, to being in the moment, and I can’t do that if I allow myself to be swept away by the bustle of responsibilities and opportunities. 

So Self Care Sundays consist of a guided journaling exercise that I created and a couple of other centering tasks that work for me personally: listening to one new song in its entirety, doing one thing that the person I want to become would do, and finding a place that makes me happy to journal in. 

This week was the maiden voyage of Self Care Sundays, and I already managed to disappoint myself. I failed to do “the one thing that the person I want to become would do,” I wasn’t sitting down to journal until 11 o’clock, and I couldn’t shake the whispers that I’d wasted the day away. 

But I still made my cup of Egyptian Licorice tea, lit my Autumn Sugared Leaves candle that I’d bought earlier that day, and curled up in bed with my journal and a needle-point pen.

When I bookmarked and closed the journal three-and-a-half cursive-filled pages later, I was filled with a sense of peace, already counting down the days until I would journal again. 

This is exactly what I hoped to do with this editor’s column—to be intentional about trying new things that may help me slow down. And the more and more I’ve pondered this column, I’ve embraced the idea of having you—whoever you are reading this—try these things with me. 

So my first challenge for you is Self Care Sundays, however they look for you. If you don’t like to journal, find a different way to express yourself and focus on the highlights of your week. If you aren’t energized by the tasks that I chose for myself, pick different tasks. If Sundays aren’t a day of the week that works for you, pick a different day. 

There are no rules here, simply an invitation to join me in slowing down and focusing on the moment.