Introducing the Me-Time Mixtape Newsletter

Question: Is your to-do list slowly killing you, and is your name nowhere to be found on it?

I know I'm being a bit dramatic, but sometimes that's how it feels. If you're like me, in between caregiving, parenting, handling work, and relationships, there's little time left over for YOU. I get it, and that's why I've created a new resource with my newsletter—one inspired by those music mixtapes from the 80s. Remember those?

I've redesigned my newsletter to make some time and space for our collective me-time. My new newsletter, the Me-Time Mixtape, is a companion to my podcast (Let the Verse Flow), offering 3 essential, hand-curated links to creative self-care tips, tools, and strategies you can use today.

Many of you have told me that you struggle to find (or add) me time into your busy schedules. I hope this newsletter will be a reminder to put yourself back on your to-do list! To make time for your interests, for rest, mindfulness, and moments of joy.

After years of working as a researcher, you could say I'm a bit of a detective, and I love finding new self-care resources and tools. So in addition to sharing new Let the Verse Flow podcast episodes (see below for my latest on keeping dreams alive), I'll curate 3 resources that I think are useful for helping you carve out me time. I call it the Me-Time Mixtape! It could be anything from a good essay or story to read, a resource for journaling, a mindfulness hack, or an audio affirmation. Three short resources that are designed to help make your me time a priority.

Let's dig in!

#1 Apple Jumps Into Journaling

iPhone users may have noticed a new app on their phone called Journal. Seems Apple thinks your journaling time is important too, and now offers a handy tool for those of you who prefer creating digital journal entries! As part of the iOS 17.2 update, the journal app helps you get into the habit of journaling. You can add photos, videos, and audio to your journal entries.

Here are some screenshots of a recent journal entry I wrote using the iPhone Journal app:

If you're interested in trying it out, check out this how-to article:

Apple launches Journal app, a new app for reflecting on everyday moments
Journal, a new iPhone app that helps users reflect and practice gratitude through journaling, is available today.

Read this preview, with a section on privacy, to decide if the app is right for you.

#2 Creative Flow Counts

What is creative flow and why is it so important? This article breaks it down. Key points: flow is intense concentration in an activity that feels good because the level of challenge is in line with your ability and skills. You lose track of time and become engrossed in something that satisfies you. My favorite flow activity: creating and editing my podcast; mixing stories, poetry and music is highly engaging to me. I could do it for hours without stopping (and I usually do)! Flow states are great for building our resilience. Read on for more:

Why does experiencing “flow” feel so good? A communication scientist explains
Flow occurs when a task’s challenge is balanced with one’s skill. In fact, both the task challenge and skill level have to be high.

#3 Survey: Creative Activities Boost Mental Health

Doing what you love can help you feel better; turns out that people who engage in creative activities report reaping mental health benefits such as stress reduction and anxiety management. Top creative activities: listening to music, solving puzzles, and creative writing all made the list.

Read on for the findings, and get going on that new creative hobby or project you've been thinking about. Start small and watch how it affects your emotional well-being.

New APA Poll: Americans Who Engage in Creative Activities at Least Weekly Report Better Mental Healt
About half (46%) of Americans use creative activities to relieve stress or anxiety, such as playing the piano, crocheting a blanket, dancing with friends or solving crossword puzzles. Americans who rate their mental health as very good or excellent tend to engage in creative activities more frequently than those who rate their mental health as fair or poor.

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Affirmations & Action to Keep Your Dreams Alive

Listen Now

P.S.: Yay😊 – you read till the end. Do you like this new newsletter format & content? Hit reply and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Journaling Resources (Try the 30-Day Journal Challenge)

The Benefits of Journaling for Mental Health & Wellness
13 of the top benefits of journaling for mental health and wellness in plain English -- totally relatable and ready to put into practice.
30-Day Journal Challenge (Writing Prompts to Get Started)
Here’s a fun & simple 30-day journal challenge for beginners (or those who need inspiration). Use the daily prompts to rediscover yourself.

Sign up for the Me-Time Mixtape Newsletter and get access to all my articles, including this free 30-Day Journal challenge (with starter writing prompts).

Let the Verse Flow is an independent, member-supported publication launched in June 2023 by Jill Hodge. If you subscribe today, you'll get full access to the website and newsletters. Members are vital to building a rich community of diverse voices. Join us by subscribing today; consider a paid subscription to support the community if possible. Thank you!