morning happiness

Challenges, Being Strong and New Pencils

Elina Januari, SelfCare

happy new year
A belated Happy New Year!

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written a blog post. I took a ‘sabbatical’ just to be after a very very fast-paced month of December. I was doing so much and keeping up with so much that when Januari came all I wanted was just to be present. The routines slowly started back up and we are back on track. 

To recap my December: I did a lot of challenges. These were a part of my finish the year strong operation. I was doing an illustrating challenge and this one I loved so much that I’m going to continue it this year. I basically failed it because I haven’t drawn 4 out of 31 illustrations but on the other hand I consider this challenge successful because it got me drawing every day. 

The other challenge was a reading challenge I wanted to read 13 books in the month of December and I did! Well, technically I listened to all of the books but this is my way of reading at this point and I have accepted this ‘flaw’. 

Then there was a planking challenge and stationary bike challenge. I did it almost every day and this was an awesome experience because at the end of December I felt fitter and stronger than I did in any other December from the past. 

Then there was the ‘cozy challenge’ when I did one cozy Christmassy thing each day. This was a very successful challenge I did almost all of the prompts and I felt like it helped me be more present and thus my favorite month of the year seemed longer and cozier. 

These were all of the challenges and honestly, they were as much fun as they were taxing. Not so much physically as mentally. Some days I felt a bit pressured but I didn’t want to quit because I wanted to finish my year strong.

birthday girl
It was my first GIF made on my new iPad!

This year I want to draw more. For my birthday my mom and my husband gifted me a new iPad and an Apple pencil. I’m so grateful, it felt so unreal. I’m so excited about all of the things that I can draw. I want to develop my illustrations skills further. I declared the month of January the month of ‘cups and mugs’. I still want to do a daily drawing challenge. I already have two mugs. I just want to explore my new apple pencil and my new iPad. It’s really a different experience. I had a third party stylus and an old generation iPad Air. The quality and the responsiveness of the Apple Pencil is so much better, I’m blown away! So expect to see more illustrations from me.

coffee mug
I love how this turned out, it has a realistic element.

The other thing that I wanted to talk about was my word for the year. I picked it in December and I still love it. The word is ‘Strong’. I want to be strong in all areas of my life. I’ve been dealing with my crippling anxiety for so long. And the last year was very positive on my mental health overall. I don’t have my anxiety completely under control yet, but I’m working on it every day. The thing that helped me the most I believe is exercise. It really makes a difference even for half an hour a day. If you suffer from anxiety consider exercise as a vital part of your mental health journey.

I want to get strong this year physically, mentally, financially and otherwise. I want to develop skills and work on myself. Actually, this is nothing new, the need for constant and neverending improvement of myself is a basic component of me. This year I just chose a word which I think underlines perfectly what I want to achieve. 

I hope that your year has been great so far.