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I know why you’re interested in discovering some new self care activities. Our modern world is so filled with noise. We’re constantly bombarded with social media updates or notifications on our phones. These updates tell us where our friends went on vacation or what they’re eating for dinner. do we really need to know these details, all the time? What happened to hearing this stuff when you’re out for coffee with them?
As women today, we carry a huge weight on our shoulders because we’re expected to take care of most of the household, while still holding a part-time or even full time job.
I know, you’re tired.
It is for that reason that I’m happy to share some self care activities that I think will take your mind off the world. But, before I go into it, I want you to understand that self care is not selfish. When you take time for yourself, you actually help others.
Self care is also an integral part of your emotional well-being. If you haven’t checked it out, I urge you to do so right now, before you even read the rest of this post. It will empower your life and let you know how important self care really is.
You are the most important part of your life. You need to start treating yourself like it.
For you video learners out there, check out the video but if you prefer to read, keep on scrolling.
10 self care activities that will take your mind off the world
# 1 – Establish a self care morning routine that works for you
I outlined a simple and effective self care morning routine in a previous post, but I have been struggling with one part of it recently. That part is waking up as soon as my alarm goes off. Before I established this morning routine, I would hit the snooze button for over an hour in the morning. I no longer do that but I found myself slipping, and not waking up as soon as my alarm went off. I would lie in bed for an extra 10-15 minutes and then get up.
Because of this, I found that a great way to get up as soon as my alarm went off was to check my phone. This helped me open my eyes and concentrate on the bright screen which stopped me from jumping back into bed. The only problem is that “not checking your phone right away” was another part of my routine!
The point I’m trying to make here is that if you have a morning routine and you find yourself slipping, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Don’t use that as an excuse to give up on the whole thing.
Eventually I will get back to not checking my phone at all but for now, I decided to “cheat” a little so that the rest of the routine goes smoothly. Not checking my phone and then jumping back into bed for an hour is way worse than glancing at my emails in order to wake up right away.
Self Care morning routines are the best thing you can do to start your day. I would go as far as saying they are essential for increasing your positivity and productivity for the day. The problem is that many self care routines are overwhelming so you avoid doing them. Tony Robbins, one of the most famous motivational life coaches has a super intense morning routine. One that I would never be able to do. Don’t let these kind of routines discourage you, find something that works for you.
#2 – Help others
Did you know that when you help others, you release hormones in your brain that reduce stress? Psychology Today reported on a scientific study that proves this.
In all of these brain areas, MRI scans showed specific activation when a participant was giving support, but not when receiving support. For example, the researchers found that while performing a stressful mental math task, participants who gave the most support had reduced activation in brain areas related to stress responses. However, the person receiving support on a math problem didn’t display activation in stress-related brain regions. –Psychology Today
Of course this means that you can go out of your way to help those around you. That will definitely help you reduce stress and give you a feeling of satisfaction. But, I think there is another way that you could use this brain phenomenon to help your daily life.
The way to do that is to change your perspective on daily tasks.
For example, let’s say you have a bunch of work to do at the office. It can totally suck to think about how much time and effort this will take. But if you think of it as “I am helping my company thrive and advance” it can be a little easier to deal with. Just think of yourself like “wow, I’m such a nice person and a good helper” and boring tasks will be alot easier to handle.
Pssst… I think you might be interested in downloading my FREE Self Care challenge. Learn More.
#3 – De-Clutter your home
The decluttering part isn’t one of my favourite self care activities but the feeling of relief afterwards makes it totally worth it!
The best way to go about this is to take a bag and start filling it up with things to do donate or throw away. When you get rid of stuff you don’t need, it acts as a mental cleanse as well. It’s like taking a big deep breath for your brain.
Having too much junk or things you don’t need in the home can overstimulate your brain which could distract you and eventually lead to anxiety.
One 2009 study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, concluded that clutter sometimes translates to a homeowner feeling more depressed,especially if visitors comment on the mess. Other research, published in 2011 in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that clutter often means there are too many stimuli in your environment, which in turn makes it hard to focus. – Prevention.Com
Doing this also acts as a double whammy because when you donate the stuff, you are helping others. Talk about all around feel good emotions here!
#4 – Meal Prep
A lot of the self care activities out there forget about the physical side of it. Your body and it’s health is just as important as the health of your brain. A great way to keep your body healthy this is to meal prep healthy meals.
I hate meal prepping.
I do! It’s time consuming, it’s tedious and it involves a lot of thinking. But, what I LOVE about meal prepping is when you can go a whole week without having to think about your meals. You can do this because you spent one afternoon preparing the meals for the whole week. This is a classic case of suffer now, prosper later.
An amazing way to meal prep without all the thinking is to get a book or look up blogs that do the hard work for you. I find that the hardest part of meal prepping is just coming up with ideas and also re-using a lot of the same ingredients so that one grocery run covers you for the whole week.
An essential part of self care is utilizing resources so that your life is easier. Don’t be afraid to look up resources, you don’t have to do everything on your own.
#5 – Do whatever you want right now, guilt free
Self care activities don’t always have to be fancy. There’s nothing wrong with watching some TV or watching a YouTube video to re-charge. I know the go-getter in your head is always saying you should be doing something. That’s simply not true and sometimes you need a break.
The worst part about taking time for yourself is that half the time your brain doesn’t let you. It nags you and guilt trips you. You start thinking that there is something better you should be doing with your time.
The reason that go-getter has to stay quiet is because of a very real thing called burn out. Doing everything you need to do all the time is a recipe for getting burnt out. You will be more anxious, stressed and on edge if you never take time for yourself. Remember self care is never selfish.
#6 – Compliment your body and your mind
Compliment yourself. Do it in the mirror, write it down. Do it every day if you can. Write down ten things you are good at. Look at yourself in the mirror and point out five things you like about yourself.
Think about something for a second.
How many times do you tell yourself something negative? Something like “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I look weird in this shirt” or “my tummy is getting bigger.”
You’re constantly telling yourself negative things because that’s just what humans do. We’re so hard on ourselves. The problem is, who do we expect to tell us nice things about ourselves?
Do you see what’s happening here? You’re relying on compliments and words of affirmation to come from others. Hearing that stuff from others should be a bonus, it shouldn’t be the base. Your thoughts and your positive thinking can really start changing your emotional state. The only person you can rely on 100% is yourself. Take off some of that burden from others and start telling yourself how great you are. The more you do it, the easier it will be to start believing it.
- Positive Psychology is the Secret to a Happy Life
- How to Check Instagram without Getting Depressed
- The Self Care Morning Routine that Changed My Life
- Self Care is Not Selfish
#7 – Set some goals, but don’t tell anyone about them
One of my favourite self care activities is to set goals. You should write down a few goals with different levels of difficulty. Some are harder and will take a long time while some are easier and can be accomplished in a day.
The point here is to make it so that you can always be crossing stuff off the list and this will keep you motivated. This will make you want to keep crossing off goals and make it more likely that you’ll achieve the bigger ones.
The twist here is to not tell anybody about your goals. Inc. talked about a recent study which showed that people who announce their goals to others were less likely to accomplish them. When I first heard this I thought it was backwards but then I realized why it makes so much sense.
Whenever you tell your goals to someone, you feel a slight sense of accomplishment. For example if you start telling everyone that you are going to run everyday, you actually get a sense of accomplishment from others. Other people will probably say “oh wow, that’s really great” or “nice, I should start doing that too.” These words of astonishment and approval actually make you feel good about yourself and feel like you’ve done something when really you’ve done nothing.
It’s a lot better to just write down your goal and then start telling people “Can you believe I have been running every day for a whole year!” Then people will say “wow you’re awesome!” and this flattery is rightly deserved.
#8 – Diffuse some essential oils
One of the easiest ways to get some much needed relaxation time is to use aromatherapy. It’s a good idea to do this during a relaxing bath but sometimes we’re too busy to take the time out for that. I personally love to just sit and think and doing this with a diffuser is a great way to keep this experience positive.
Some good essential oils for relaxation are:
Some good ones for sleep:
Aromatherapy is often mentioned in self care routines, but what about our other senses? The one sense that I think gets overlooked the most is touch. We often don’t think about touch when we think about self care activities yet it so closely tied to our emotions.
Here are some ways you can comfort your sense of touch:
– A relaxing massage
– Some cuddle time on the couch with your partner
-Some cuddle time on the couch with your dog or cat
-Curl up in your favourite blanket
-Wear your comfiest sweatpants or pajamas
-Take a relaxing bath
#10 – Accept your feelings
Self care activities are supposed to make you feel better and more relaxed. One thing you need to avoid when doing self care, is trying to use it as a cover up. Self care is not a band-aid that you are using to cover up a wound.
It is the healing ointment or the medicine that you put on the wound, or better yet, it’s the protective gear you use to prevent the would in the first place. If you are using a self care activity in order to cover up your feelings, you are doing it wrong and it won’t help.
What I’m trying to say here is that you need to accept your feelings. If you are in a relaxing bath and all you’re doing is thinking about how stressed you are, that’s ok, let the thoughts flow through you. Let them come to you and then pass on.
Don’t fight negative thoughts or they will fight harder.
Don’t cover up negative feelings or they will find a way to come through.
Keep that in mind whenever you partake in any self care activities and you will reap the benefits a lot more effectively.
If you need a bit of guidance with taking some time to yourself, I urge you to start my FREE 10 Day Self Care challenge. 10 days of actionable tasks to clear your mind. Get all 10 days in one downloadable PDF! Learn More.
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