Johnzelle’s Favorite (Self-Care) Things for 2022

While I’m no Oprah, her annual list of “Favorite Things” inspired this post.

I began to level up my self-care in the last quarter of 2021 after a few bouts of burnout. Today, I’d like to share a few of the things that I’ve been doing in 2021 or plan to start doing in 2022 to foster self-care for my mind, body, and spirit.

Acknowlegement: While some of the items on my list reflect my privilege, I’m intentionally including activities available to a range of budgets. Also, you’ll see some affiliate links/promo codes; however, using them is of no additional cost to you and helps to support my podcast.

Mind

Books

Books are my friends and I’m constantly using my Audible credits or downloading books from my local library’s e-library. My favorite genres include memoirs, books on race and social justice, and thrillers.

You can get your first two Audible books for free by clicking here (paid link).

Re-learning Spanish

I took four years of Spanish between high school and college. My last class ended ten years ago (suddenly feels old!) and the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it” comes to mind here.  So on this New Year’s Day, I have resolved to sharpen up my Spanish skills with the goal of someday being a bilingual therapist.

I signed up for a free 3-day trial with Rosetta Stone and am shocked at how quickly my Spanish skills are coming back… And here I thought I’d need to start from scratch! I’ll definitely be subscribing once the trial ends. Maybe if this goes well, I’ll pick up playing the clarinet again… 

Podcast

I launched my podcast, Perfectly Imperfect: A Podcast on Mental Health for Folx of Color in the Spring and have been having so much fun with it. It fits under the umbrella of self-care for the mind because it has pushed me to read more and to explore topics that I probably wouldn’t have. It’s also been a great place to grow more confident in my voice and to embrace imperfection, hence the show’s title.

You can keep up with my podcast and blog via my newsletter or on Instagram @panoramiccounseling_rva.

Body

Home Workouts

Once vaccines became readily available in 2021, I began leaving the house more. I’ll never forget the time I tried on my pre-COVID jeans and was shocked to see that only the jaws of life would allow that zipper to close. I had unknowingly been afflicted by the new dad 15 AND the Quarantine 15!!! I initially joined a gym, but as the variants and cases fluctuated, I felt safer working out at home. The jeans fit again!!

I’m currently using a workout plan I purchased (YEARS AGO) from Fitness Blender; however, you can access all of their workout videos for free at fitnessblender.com. For Christmas, I also treated myself to this set of Powerblock Dumbells and they have been a game changer! My friend Susan also swears by Peloton. Use her promo code WC6R4T for some new years deals.

Massage Therapy

This activity actually fits into both the mind and body categories. As for the body, I suffer from severe tension in my neck, back, and shoulders as a result of working remotely on my computer. In November 2021, I treated myself to a body massage and felt a literal weight lifted off my shoulders. It wasn’t long before I became a weekly regular. At a recent doctor visit, my physician wrote a letter so that I can use my health savings account to pay for these massages since it’s also part of a holistic treatment for my anxiety (paid link.)

If you’re in the Richmond, Virginia area, I highly recommend Unique Foot Relaxing who offer a variety of self-care services (despite the very specific business name).

Spirit

Hair Care

This activity fits into both the body and spirit categories; however, since I have dreadlocks, I found it more fitting for spirit. I shared a quote on Instagram yesterday that explains this well.

I tend to my locs in two major ways. First with weekly visits to the salon for a shampoo, conditioner, and scalp massage which feels like heaven! Washing my locs at home is quite the production and time commitment. Not to mention how necessary it is to keep my hair clean after all that sweating from the aforementioned home workouts. Secondly, I started seeing a loctician regularly towards the end of 2021. While it was fun to start  and maintain my locs DIY for the first 1.5 years of my journey, the time and energy it required got to be too much. So between the weekly shampoo visits and 8-week interlock (a technique where the stylist knots the dreadlock at the root), I can now look forward to being pampered as I let the professionals take care of my hair. You can follow the adventures that my daughter and I have with our hair on Instagram @mjzlocs.

If you’re in the Richmond  and are looking for a good salon, I recommend Regina Newby at La Vita Nova Salon. If you happen to have locs, I recommend Misha at Naturally Kinky Hair Salon.

Spiritual Disciplines

While I personally consider my faith to be a component of my self care, I know this item won’t resonate with everyone, so feel free to skip it or check out the podcast episode I did that explores the correlation. As for how I incorporate faith into my daily self-care routine, I’ve been LOVING The Bible in a Year Podcast with Fr. Mike.

Conclusion

While I won’t be concluding this post with the keys to a new Volkswagen like Oprah, I hope that you’ve been able to grab an idea or two or have become inspired to step up your self-care game in 2022. Happy New Year!

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