Self-Care (18)

There are a lot of troubles facing the world today. With COVID and pandemic anxiety-causing upheaval in our lives, we can easily get lost in all the fear and negativity. This does not help our peace of mind, nor does it promote serenity and inner peace.7860899062?profile=RESIZE_400x

For those with kids forced to learn remotely due to the pandemic, this year's back to school certainly looks much different than ever before. Your kids are likely anxious too, and uneasy because their routine is no longer routine.

It is okay to take your mind off all the bad news. It is okay to not watch the news this week. AND it is okay to take some time for yourself and do something fun!

Here are some ideas for five fun things you can do to get your and your family's mind off your troubles.

  1. Comedy movie night with your family. Grab the popcorn, get a hilarious DVD, or find one on your favorite movie streaming service and laugh. Laughter is a known healer. According to Mayo Clinic, "Whether you're laughing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that's no joke."

 

According to Help Guide, "With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use."

  1. Game night. Games are fun to play in groups, and there are many to choose from, including the good ole tried and true charades. Gather your family or a couple of friends and have a ball.

 

  1. Create a hiking treasure hunt. Find a nature spot near your home and go and hide some stuff out there. Create hints for those you invite to find the stuff and give a prize to the first person to gather everything on the list. This is a great activity that you can do with your kids, family members, and friends. It also gets you outdoors where nature can help clear your mind and reduce stress.

    According to Stress.org, "A study by Science Direct found that spending time outdoors can help improve mental health. According to their research, nature excursions can help alleviate feelings of time pressure and mental stress."7860901071?profile=RESIZE_400x

 

  1. Cook a gourmet meal and have a family formal dinner party. If you like to cook but never had the time, now is a great time to make that gourmet meal. Gather the recipes, shop, and get cooking. Have your family, including the kids, engage in the cooking, and set up process. Get out the fine china and have a formal dinner party with formal attire and all. This is a great experience for the kids to have and something they are not usually exposed to. If you are single, do the same by inviting a couple of friends over.

 

  1. Puzzle Night. You likely have not put a puzzle together for a long time. Puzzles are a great learning tool for the young and old. You need to look at pictures more closely. Puzzles develop the ability to plan, test ideas, and memory skills. You will look at the shapes, color, and size of the pieces. It is a great group activity.

Don't wallow in your troubles, distract your mind, and have some fun! It's good, your mind, body, and spirit!

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What Not to Do When Life is Hard

Don’t fall into blaming

The first thing we typically do when something goes wrong is to blame. We blame others or ourselves, depending on the situation, but blaming does no good whatsoever. It’s a waste of energy and keeps us focused on the problem, not the solution. Notice when you feel you want to blame or self-judge and come back to how you can solve the problem instead.7815044681?profile=RESIZE_400x

Don’t give up - let go
You may feel like giving up when it feels like the sky is falling in. But what is the alternative? Rather than giving up the possibility of feeling happy or your dreams for the future, let go of your attachment to them. This means you should go ahead and dream and take action that can make those dreams into a reality. But, don’t buy into the belief that if they don’t happen, that you won’t be able to be happy.

Don’t numb yourself

There are many ways we numb ourselves to the pain we feel throughout our lives. Of course, we could use drugs or alcohol, but even more often, we use keeping incredibly busy or tuning out by watching TV or playing mindless games. Even though it’s not fun, it’s essential for your healing to experience the pain that you feel. Unless you do that, the pain will stay with you in various forms until you allow yourself to feel it. 

Don’t isolate yourself

When we are scared, embarrassed, or worried, our instinct is to hide away to lick our wounds. Of course, there is a time for that - a time when we need to be alone with our feelings and thoughts, but it’s too easy to stay in that place of isolation far longer than is healthy. The less connection we feel to family and friends, the more depressed we become. This almost always increases our feelings of fear and worry. So, make a point to be around the positive, supportive people in your life, even when you don’t feel like it. 

Don’t hang out with negative people

When you feel like life sucks, you are more vulnerable than at other times when life seems rosy. Being around people who are always complaining or blaming is a sure way to make yourself feel worse. Know that it’s okay to say ‘no thanks’ to invitations that you know will end up in a complaining or back-biting session. Instead, get together with people who support your dreams and visions of the future.

 

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Letting go of something that isn’t working does not mean you are a quitter, nor does it mean you are someone who gives up easily when things fail to turn out the way you want them to. “Let it go” is the best advice you can ever get when you are trying to hold on to something that isn’t benefitting you in any way.7699587260?profile=RESIZE_400x

Quitting is when you cease to do something that will benefit you in the long run because you feel you have failed too many times or because you think you don’t have what it takes. Nothing good can come out of giving up on something that you have worked extremely hard for or something that can affect positive change in your life.

Of all the many disappointments Jack Ma confronted in his life, getting rejected from 30 jobs was probably one of the worst. He applied for a job at KFC and was the only candidate whose application wasn’t accepted. At some point in his life, Jack Ma decided to start his own businesses and let go of seeking employment. Some of the companies he started failed, but he became extremely successful because of the other companies he built.

Today, Jack Ma has a net worth of over $43 billion. He is one of the most highly-influential people in the world, has many outstanding awards in business, technology, and academics. He is also the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group.

Ma knew that letting go of something that isn’t working does not mean you are a quitter. He let go of seeking employment after deciding to create jobs and today, over 100 000 people have jobs because of that decision. He kept working on his businesses when other businesses had failed because he wasn’t a quitter.

Letting Go Is Necessary If You Are Going To Grow And Develop In Your Life.

If you are trying to save a relationship that is hindering your growth or one that’s lowering your self-esteem and causing you to doubt your strengths, you need to let it go. Refuse to dedicate your time and energy to things that do more harm than good. If you are still unsure of what your decision to quit your job, change your field of study, or continue working on your relationship means, here’s what you need to do:

  • Consider why you want to stop doing what you are doing. If you wish to resign from your job because you are investing more than you are getting out, then that’s not quitting. If you have received a better offer, go ahead and move on without any feelings of guilt.

On the other hand, if the reason you want to quit working on that big project you were once excited about is that you are tired of failing, going ahead with your decision means you are a quitter. It does not mean you are letting go of something that isn’t working.

  • Find out if the choice you are about to make is going to bring positive change in your life. If you are thinking of ending a relationship you have been trying to work on for years without any success, walking away does not mean you are quitting on your partner. It means you have realized the importance of not only looking out for the person you are with but the need to look out for yourself as well. If it brings you peace, a sense of relief, and the drive to go after your dreams like you once did, you need to let the relationship go.
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Have you been mulling the idea of creating or reinventing your morning routine? The idea can be intriguing, with so many influencers counting the benefits of waking up early and creating a routine that eases you into your day. Although, morning routines can be daunting: earlier alarms, countless rules, and guidelines about what you should and shouldn’t do, and all that leads to more stress. Keep reading for four quick tips that will help put the do’s and don’ts into focus.7507016856?profile=RESIZE_400x

  1. Don’t Be Rigid

Part of finding a new morning routine is finding what works for you. It’s a good idea to learn about the morning routines of others, but you can play around with your routine and schedule until you find what works best for you. Your routine is the foundation to your day. The more you change your routine the less of a routine it is. Which means you will not reap the harvest of having a routine. 

  1. Stick with It

Motivation is will get you started, but discipline will keep you on your routine till it becomes a habit. Make sure you are waking up the same time every morning and sticking to your routine. After awhile your new routine will feel natural, and it will be something you just do. You will stop reacting to life and stick to your routine. 

  1. Own Your Technology

Technology is an integral part of our lives; we use it daily. Many people will tell you not to look at your phone first thing in the morning; however, more than likely your phone is your alarm, but stop checking the weather and emails before you roll out of bed. Your morning reading my be on your phone reading this is okay. Be honest with yourself and your use of technology, not only first thing in the morning but throughout the day. The real question is Do You Own Your Technology Or Does It Own You?

  1. Prep Work

Waking up with a plan in place and being able to navigate it is a result of prep work most of the time. Take a few minutes, or thirty, every night to decide what you will be wearing, prep meals, or even get your morning necessities in the right spot. If you want to read a book first thing, make sure your book and blanket are waiting on the couch for you. You can also set out your favorite tea or coffee cup.

Morning routines are challenging to implement. They can also be a great start to your day. Just remember to give yourself time to adapt and to find your own rhythm.

 

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The number one indicator of a student’s success in school and in life after it is not their level of intelligence. It is their work ethic and willpower. Work ethic and willpower will carry you through most anything difficult. Studies now show that you can build and strengthen these two vital parts of yourself. You can start by creating a morning routine that will set you up for success throughout your day. 7465197101?profile=RESIZE_400x

  1. Same Wake-Up Time

Rising at the same time every morning helps to train your body and mind to make waking up easier. Doing this may not sound like fun in the beginning, but once you try it, you’ll never go back. Why? Because your body becomes regulated when you get up at the same time every day so that your sleep/wake cycles are on track. You’ll feel less fatigued and sleepy throughout your day.

  1. Meditation

Starting your day with meditation has two benefits. First, it is an easy and slow way to start your day (you don’t even have to get out of bed). Second, it will allow you to reflect on your thoughts. Bonus, if those are positive thoughts about your day. If they are not positive thoughts with meditation, they will become positive.

  1. Workout

Morning workouts are a great way to get your blood pumping and your mind clear for the day ahead. Working out will most definitely test your willpower, as well. 

  1. Breakfast with Others

Be it friends, family, or even a coworker, eating breakfast with others prioritizes the relationships in your life and will help to put your day into perspective. 

  1. Make a To-Do List

Writing a to-do list of your day’s tasks and then prioritizing the list will set your intentions for the day and give you a plan of action. Remember, your to-do list can be for work and personal. 

  1. Say Good Morning

Saying good morning to those you pass in the morning has a direct benefit to you and the people you meet. It may be the lift both of you need at the moment. When you say “Good Morning” to someone, they will feel an obligation to say “Good Morning” to someone else. 

  1. Keep Learning

You may not have time to add learning into your morning routine, but at least throw a book in your work bag. Continued learning, be it for any area of your life, is a process that takes time and commitment. You only benefit from it. 

You may not have enough time in your morning to incorporate all seven of these routines to start. Heck, you may only have time for one or two. The point of this article is to give you a proven morning routine that will set you up for success. You probably do a couple of these already. Make a decision to add at least one more to your morning routine tomorrow.

 

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Are you tired of everyone and their brother on the internet telling you that you need a morning routine? Well, That won’t stop anytime soon. They do have a valid point in the importance of starting and maintaining a morning routine. A set of processes that you can rely on and complete every morning do have many benefits. All those benefits can be summed up into three categories.7452699276?profile=RESIZE_400x

  1. The Power of Starting Your Day

Charles Spurgeon is quoted in saying, “Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began. . .” The start to your day, your “begin,” sets the tone for your entire day. Having a process to follow that sets you up to feel your best throughout the day will aid you in the “go on” portion of your day. A morning routine that is comprised of healthy habits will help.

  1. Your Willpower’s Last Straw

Science shows that much like your ability to keep your eyes open, your willpower also has a circadian rhythm. Your ability to make positive choices is most reliable in the morning when you first wake up and naturally decreases throughout the day. Making positive choices, therefore, is easier in the morning, so you are more likely to create a healthy morning routine as opposed to an evening routine. 

  1. The Nature of Ritualization

Have you ever noticed that certain things cause you to do other certain things? Getting out of bed triggers your desire to drink coffee, smelling the coffee makes you want to do your morning readings. The warmth of the coffee your drinking makes you think about yesterday’s things you can add to your gratitude list. Humans, much like Pavlov’s dog, are natural at ritualization. You may not drool when you hear the doorbell, but the sound of your coffee maker probably prompts you to do something. Mornings are full of these “bells” that will trigger you to do another step. A healthy morning routine is nothing more than a series of small rituals that you perform, and these will carry into your day

If there was any doubt before as to whether it was in your best interest to start compiling and performing a morning routine, you shouldn’t be now. Morning routines are fairly natural processes that humans go through; you need to make the conscientious decision to create one that is best for you.

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Most morning routines you find online take hours to complete. Thirty minutes of physical activity, three pages of Morning Pages, or twenty minutes of meditation. Most people can not find that kind of time in the morning to start. This gives you your excuse not to start at all. However, in only ten minutes, you can create a morning routine that will put you in the right mindset to conquer your day. Read below to learn a few time-saving practices you can incorporate into your morning. 7413843664?profile=RESIZE_400x

Minute 1 – Drink the Water

Start keeping a large glass of water beside your bed. Before you even get out of bed, drink the dang water. Your body is dehydrated because during the night your body is repairing itself, and you need to replenish the water you expel through sweat and urine. Drinking water will also help reduce the morning fog and grog that follows so many into their workday despite multiple cups of coffee. 

Minutes 2-3 – Do the Breathing

Your body is rehydrating now take a few minutes to do simple breathing exercises. This is as easy as timing your breaths to take six to ten deep breaths through one minute. Timing your breaths will force you to focus on your breathing and your body. Helping you to wake up and calm yourself for your day.

Minutes 3-6 – Stretch the Body

Some simple stretching will get your blood flowing, and your body has woken up. This will also help to ease you into the process of getting ready and the day ahead. Stretching has long term benefits as well including better circulation and flexibility overall. 

Minutes 6-9 – Find Gratitude

Take this time to find the things on what you are grateful for. Writing your gratitude down is not necessary but is very helpful. Just take a few moments to single in on aspects of your life you are thankful for and why. This will refocus your eyes to put a positive spin on your day and keep you present through the difficult moments. 

Minute 10 – Visualize the Success

Visualizing the successes you wish to have through the day will cement them in your mind and help you to become more confident. These can be successes for the day (a successful meeting) or long-term successes (finishing that half marathon or saving up a down payment on a house). Dream boards are extremely helpful in cementing your goals. 

To start you may not have hours to devote to morning routines, but maybe you can spare ten minutes of your morning to starting off on the right foot. As you continue every morning with this 10-minute start to your day, without trying you will find you are expanding on different parts of your routine. Your new morning routine will improve your attitude and performance throughout your day.

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7 Activity's to Start Your Day

Deciding on what to add to and take out of your morning routine can be difficult. For starters, you can’t do it all every morning. You must be selective about the activities you undertake. Keep reading for seven scientific back ideas to add to your morning routine.7376323290?profile=RESIZE_400x

  1. No Snooze

Hitting snooze does more to confuse your body than help it. While those extra minutes may feel like a relief, they are making the process of getting out of bed more difficult when you finally make the move. And the adverse effects can last for hours after you are up and moving. 

  1. Make Your Bed

Making your bed is an easy win first thing in the morning. Heck, you can even add this to your list and cross it off later if you want. This has the benefit of being a mental success immediately in your day. 

  1. Sunshine (if possible)

If possible, soak up some sun first thing in the morning. Sunshine is a signal to your body that the day is starting and that it should wake up. If the real deal isn’t possible, you can consider investing in a sun lamp to use in the morning.

  1. Move It

Physical activity can help increase memory and concentration, so why not start your day off with it. This can be as gentle as walking or yoga, and as short as twenty minutes. Find an activity and time allotment that works for you. 

  1. Meditate

The act of meditation is relaxing to the body while also improving physical health. Meditation can seem a little “woo woo” to many, but it can have significant physical and mental benefits. You can find a plethora of guided meditations on apps and podcasts.

  1. Goals

Taking the time to handwrite your goals every morning can cement them in your mind. These do not have to be huge life goals. Your goal can be as simple as reading an article at The Good Life Mall or as big as running a marathon. Just take a few moments to commit it to paper.

  1. Hydrate

Your body spends all night recovering and using the stores of hydration and calories you consumed during the day. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to replenish your body and sets you up for a day without the dehydration fuzzies. 

Before committing to adding or subtracting anything from your morning routine, consider the benefits of each practice individually.

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Most who write in a journal regularly do so to figure out some variation of “Who am I?” While this may not be the specific focus of your entries each day, it is the reason for keeping a journal, in many cases. Journaling is a way to discover yourself, clarify who you are and what you believe, figure out what you want, and uncover your real self. Journaling helps you read your thoughts, which leads to understanding your true identity even more clearly.6973134671?profile=RESIZE_400x

The Importance of Self-Identity 

The most important task we can pursue as humans is to know ourselves well and connect who we are with what we do. Journal writing is an activity that helps you achieve both things. But why is self-identity so important? Here are a few reasons.

Self-Identity is Key to Accomplishing Your Goals 

Knowing yourself is crucial to realizing and controlling your thoughts, emotions, and actions in your daily life. Your identity guides everything you do, including your reasons for doing them. When you do not know yourself, you make decisions based on whims or because of other people, not based on what is important to you. So, self-identity is crucial if you want to set goals for yourself that are meaningful and important to you as well as for helping you engage in the actions and decisions that will help you realize these aims.

Self-Identity Promotes Happiness and Self-Love 

It is impossible to love yourself when you do not know who you are. Understanding your real identity is necessary if you want to appreciate who you are, be content with the life you create, and learn to love everything about yourself. And the happier you are with yourself, the more love and understanding you have to share with the rest of the world. Loving yourself is crucial if you ever hope to love others.

Self-Identity Helps Create Balance in Your Life

Contentment in life comes when all parts of your existence find balance and harmony with each other. When your values and beliefs are congruent with your actions and emotions, when your goals are consistent with your decisions, when your motivations are in sync with your habits, you will enjoy contentment. But this type of balance is not possible without knowing yourself and understanding your identity. 

Journaling for Self-Identity

 Writing in a journal every day will increase your understanding of who you are as well as help you clarify those parts of your identity that are not aligned with other parts of your life. Journaling helps get you in touch with who you are, but it is also a way to see how your identity changes and evolves. 

Whether you are considering taking the leap and start journaling or you already write in your journal every day and are looking for ways to use your habit to improve your self-identity, then these prompts may help. The following are journal prompts that can promote self-identity and help you understand yourself better. Happy writing!

  • If everyone was paid $10 an hour, what would you do?
  • What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t (yet)?
  • What are the biggest regrets in your life?
  • In the coming year, what about your life that you would like to change?
  • What is your biggest strength? How do you use this in your life?
  • Do people see you the way you try to portray yourself?
  • Who are the important people in your life, and why are they important to you?
  • What do you think is something others misunderstand about you?
  • What are you most afraid of?
  • What is one squeaky gate in your community that you would like to oil?
  • What is the best advice you have ever received?
  • What is your most challenging flaw, and what are you doing to improve in this area?
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The most misunderstood aspect of self-care is this – it doesn’t need to be time-consuming, it doesn’t need to cost you money, it doesn’t mean making drastic life changes. Self-care can be small and still serve you in powerful ways. Even the simplest things can provide you with what you need. With that in mind, check out this list of small, influential acts of self-care.6972347461?profile=RESIZE_400x

  • Recycle Content

Recycling isn’t just for the environment. You can recycle content, too. If there is a movie, television show or book that you love, watch it again. Sometimes there is comfort in familiarity. You don’t have to sit at the edge of your seat, waiting for the ball to drop – you know every twist and turn, and that feels good. 

  • Coffee on the Porch

Take a cup of coffee and sit on the front porch and watch the traffic as it passes by your house. Or read a book. Maybe just rock. Quiet time is a vital part of our lives. Most people deprive themselves of this activity. Go-go-go is okay when you are supposed to be moving, but not when you have quiet time. There was a time when I thought people who sat on the porch were wasting time. Now I know it is an essential part of keeping your sanity and being productive.

  • Let it Go

We live in challenging times – the political world is raging on, and we get much of our news from social media. It’s easy to get sucked into arguments with friends and even strangers. Let it go. You won’t change any minds this way, but you will stress yourself out. Don’t look for fragmented news on social media! Most of it is taken out of context and twisted to make the writers point.

  • Compost

Why not take an extra minute or two to toss your old veggies in the compost pile? How is this an act of self-care? You’re spending time in nature, even if it for just a few moments. It will help you fight stress, feel connected to the earth, and leave you feeling more grounded. 

  • Meal and Movie

It’s your day off, treat yourself to a trip to the movies, grab yourself some popcorn and candy, and relax at the movies. But first, go out to eat at a restaurant by yourself. Dining by yourself will be uncomfortable at first. That is okay. 

  • Organize

There is something stress-relieving about organizing. It could be separating your DVD collection into each genre before alphabetizing it. It might be doing the same, but with old records. It’s just taking steps to complete a mindless activity that allows you time to pause and reflect. Unorganized areas are stressful. If you are like me, and this activity is torture, get someone else to organize your space. 

  • Unplug

If you feel on edge, then unplug. Forward your calls to voice mail, put your phone to the side and allow yourself time to zone out. That doesn’t mean chilling out in front of a television or watching movies all day. This is a total unplug. There is a time and place for the other options. This is about letting yourself daydream. It’s great for your brain. It’s when creativity sparks, and your mind chills out. Let it. 

  • Disrupt It

If you notice yourself having negative thoughts, then vocally disrupt them. Of course, this is something you might skip if there are other people around you. If that’s the case, you can opt to disrupt them internally. Regardless of which way you proceed, it’s an effective way to stop self-doubt in its tracks.

Most of these acts will be uncomfortable at first. Practice them till they become a routine part of your life. You will thank yourself.

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When you seek to find a life of completeness and harmony, you absolutely must address the spiritual aspect of your life. Without personal spirituality, you lose purpose, drive, and meaning in your life. You cannot become your best version of yourself, nor are you able to fully tap into your gifts without it. In the end, without the spiritual, you lose your desire to give back to the world, to make it a better place. With so much at stake, is it any wonder that finding your spiritual path is so crucial in living a complete life?6875310089?profile=RESIZE_400x

Thankfully it’s not hard to find. You begin, with a handful of simple steps: 

Pay Attention to Coincidence

When you find a moment in your life where everything lines up and falls into place, embrace the experience. This is synchronicity, and from it, you gain a fantastic feeling of affirmation. It’s moments like this where you find what you’re born to do. 

Pursue Passion

When you find something interesting to you, grab hold and see where it takes you. It is in a passion where you find purpose as you pursue what you feel you were truly born to do. 

Look for the Bigger Picture

When you step back and see how things are coming together in your life, it can seem a little daunting at first. Finding the reason for how things have unfolded can be a bit intimidating when you consider there are forces bigger than you who have arranged it in just such a way. Here’s where you need to be courageous as you follow the blueprint already laid out for you.

Accept Roadblocks

Sometimes things crop up to stop you in your tracks. When there’s no real reason for why things aren’t working, maybe it’s a gentle nudge from something outside of yourself, letting you know it’s time to move in a different direction. It’s here where you need to learn to let go. 

Look for Heroes

You are attracted to specific individuals for a reason. When you meet someone you wish to emulate, that you look up to, it’s because they’re speaking to something in your life you need. Ask yourself what lessons you’re learning from this encounter and pursue the path that flows from the answer you’re given. 

This is an exciting journey. After all, it’s not every day you figure out who you were born to be. Remember, this is not an overnight process. Your spiritual path is a journey that will take a lifetime. The rewards, though, are fantastic as you move forward on this new path.

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Scientists and doctors describe emotional health as how well you control your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. People with good emotional health are aware of their emotions, both positive and negative, and know how to deal effectively with them.  Your habits can help or hurt your emotional health by creating a positive or negative mindset and affecting your actions. 

Habits develop over time to the point where you aren’t aware you do them.6824440063?profile=RESIZE_400x

 They become automatic and part of your personality. These habits can harm emotional health: 

  • Negative Self-Talk
  • Negative Surroundings
  • Perfectionism 

Negative Self-Talk 

Self-talk is your beliefs about yourself and your abilities.  It’s the quiet voice inside of you telling you that you can or can’t accomplish something.  Negative self-talk can become an internal repetition of reasons you think you can’t succeed. 

Negative self-talk comes from previous failures and from listening to the poor opinions other people have about you.  Everyone fails sometimes, but when you accept those failures as the best you can do and don’t work toward improving yourself, doubts about your abilities become negative self-talk.  Thoughts and emotions like, “I can’t do that,” and “I’m not good enough for that” are messages of negative self-talk. 

Unfortunately, some people try to make themselves feel better by speaking badly about others.  Constructive criticism helps you improve, but negative comments from others listened to long enough will be incorporated into your self-talk.  Do not tell yourself you are polite by listening to them. If you respect yourself, you will remove yourself from the conversation—some people you will need to love from afar. Your future depends on your decision! 

Negative self-talk harms your emotional health in multiple ways.  It lowers your self-esteem and makes you less likely to try something new that you might succeed in achieving.  These missed opportunities reinforce your negative beliefs and add to your negative self-talk.  Letting negative self-talk stop you from reaching your goals isn’t a healthy, effective way to deal with your emotions or thoughts. 

Negative Surroundings

A positive mindset is based on optimism.  To grow as a person and achieve more in life, you need to have a positive mindset when faced with life’s challenges.  Your surroundings support your mindset.  If your surroundings are negative, you won’t get the reinforcement you need to become and stay positive. 

Schools, businesses, and organizations adopt mascots, mission statements, and mottos to create positive surroundings.  It would be best if you had positive surroundings in your daily life too.  Negative influences can develop into a habit that harms your emotional health.

Imagine your house or apartment has bare walls and is full of clutter and unfinished projects.  Now imagine your living space full of cherished mementos, pictures of fun activities, and motivational and inspirational posters.  Living in the first space doesn’t support your emotional health because it doesn’t contain anything positive for you to reflect on and only reminds you of your failures to complete your goals.  If living in this type of space has become a habit, you are harming your emotional health.

The people you spend time with and the books, movies, and music you use for entertainment may also be part of a habit of negative surroundings.  Do your friends spend all their time gossiping instead of planning for the future?  Do you look for entertainment from media about growing and being a better person?  Changing your habits of where and how you spend your time affects your emotional health.

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a habit that can affect your emotional health through stress and unintended consequences.  Of course, everyone wants things to work out the best way possible, but expecting or demanding perfectionism in every situation isn’t realistic or healthy.  Perfectionism becomes a habit when you can’t accept sincere efforts or partial rewards from yourself or others.

Striving to do better is a worthwhile goal.  However, expecting yourself to be perfect the first time you try something only hurts your emotional health.  When your efforts help you achieve a goal, the fact that you aren’t perfect at something along the way doesn’t matter.  Too many people add stress and worry to their lives by trying to be perfect.

Expecting perfection from others may have unintended consequences.  Although you may encourage someone to do well, expecting them to be perfect can ruin your relationship with them.  Other people often view perfectionists as unsympathetic, rude, or mean.  You can support your emotional health with help from others.  If you let your perfectionism push people away, you lose the support you need.  

Psychologists have shown that your habits affect your emotional health and mindset.  Negative self-talk, negative surroundings, and perfectionism are habits that allow you to avoid and change to improve your emotional health and succeed in life. 

I wrote a book to help you change your self-talk. Use the link below to get your copy.

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Did you know there are everyday products you are highly familiar with, that came about by mistake? These are products that came about in trying to invent something completely different.

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The Slinky

While working on a tension spring, Richard James accidentally let one slip off the table. When it hit the ground, it kept ongoing. This gave him the idea to make it into a product. The product was developed in the 1940s but is still available today. James’ wife sold the product in 1998.

Post-It Notes

3M was looking for a strong adhesive and set the research and development department to come up with it. They instead made a very weak adhesive, and one of the developers saw that it would stick to a surface but wouldn’t stay stuck. This gave them the idea to attach it to paper for notes. Hence, the Post-It note was born.

Velcro

In the 1940s, a man and his dog were in the woods hunting. Burrs stuck to his pants and the fur of his dog. This motivated him to studied how these burrs worked under a microscope. He then developed it into a product we all know as Velcro. It is still a viable product to this day.

Silly Putty

The United States government needed rubber during World War II, and it was in short supply. General Electric engineers tried to come up with a rubber substitute and instead came up with goo, which they felt they did not need. An inspiring business person paid them for the rights to the invention and named it Silly Putty. Plastic egg packaging was used since the release of the product was near Easter time.

Viagra

This product was meant to help people with heart conditions. Instead, they observed in clinical studies that men who took the pill became aroused. As you can well imagine, this product didn’t take much to market and became a success practically overnight.

Play-Doh

Play-Doh got its start as a cleaning product for wallpaper. When it didn’t do as well for that purpose, the inventors knew a teacher who complained about the clay her students were using in class. It was not pliable. The inventors suggested she try the Play-Doh, and the kids went crazy for it. An entire industry has been built around this product since then.

If you have been beating yourself up over making mistakes, it’s time to cut yourself a break. Who knows, you may even discover the next multimillion-dollar product in the process.

My book "Prove Your Inner Critic Wrong" will help you stop beating yourself up. Use the link below to purchase your copy now.

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Not having optimal mental health could be worsened by not enjoying life. If your life has turned into something that you dread, that’s a signal that you’ve forgotten what’s important. 

It would help if you looked forward to your life. You need to have fun and to laugh. If you think about it, try to recall when you last laughed like a child. Kids laugh without restraint, and they live each day to the fullest. 6023615300?profile=RESIZE_400x

Maybe you get up, and you immediately jump into whatever weighs on you. It might be seeing what’s new in your email that you have to deal with or handling bills or other stressors. 

Instead of starting the day off with peace and fun, you hit yourself with whatever steals your serenity and laughter. Remember how, when you were a kid, you’d run just to run? Or you’d meet up with your friends spontaneously and stay out playing until night fell? 

As an adult, you probably can’t recall the last time you did something that wasn’t already on your schedule. At some point in your life, fun took a backseat, and life became something to endure rather than to enjoy.

That happens when you pick up burdens and carry them around - when you get laden down with responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean that life has to become a chore or that you can’t enjoy your days.

Part of the issue can be because something is weighing you down. It might be a struggle with your job or finances, or relationships. But it would help if you got to the root of whatever is causing you not to enjoy your life.

You don’t have to live your days just getting through them. You can have the moments when you laugh with all the freedom and merriment of a child. You can decide to go out for spontaneous fun. 

Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean that you should forget what fun feels like. You don’t have to live every single day trying to juggle a hundred and one things to do. You don’t have to put up with emotions that leave you feeling sad and anxious. 

You don’t have to strive to hold everything together. You can free yourself and live your life with joy. Even on the days that are full of responsibilities that you can’t put off, you can still have fun. 

Discover what it is that’s holding you back. Dig deep and uproot the erroneous beliefs you might have or the burdens that grew because of a lack of emotional self-care. Remember again how to enjoy life in its simplest terms. Find healing if you need to. Embrace all the good you have today. Your happiness is not in your past or future. It is hidden in today.

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Worry can derail an entire day if you let it. But did you know you had the power to stop it in just 30 minutes of your time, freeing up the rest of the day to live your life? The answer is more straightforward than you think.

When you become accustomed to worrying, you gain a constant stream of negative feedback and information in your brain. It’s like leaving the TV on to a channel designed to inform you of every worst-case scenario, only personalized to make all those dire predictions all about you.

Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? 5860147056?profile=RESIZE_400x

But by designating 30 minutes every day for worrying and allowing yourself to worry only during those 30 minutes, you gain back your day and your life simultaneously. 

You start by setting a ‘worry time.’ Once you have this half-hour firmly in place (put it on your calendar if you need to), you can start kicking every worrying thought to the curb. You tell it, ‘later.” and then refuse to let it near you again until it’s your designated worry break.

How do you do this? Try these quick steps:

Pick a Time

Grab a half hour when you’re not going to be busy. Be careful not to pick one too near bedtime, though, as it might interfere with your ability to sleep. 

Become Conscious of Your Thoughts

Every time you have a worrying thought, tell it to go away until later. If it helps, jot the worry down somewhere, so you have a list to look at during your break. 

Use a Timer

Worries can very quickly take over as much time as you give to them. By setting your timer to 30 minutes, you’re keeping control of just how much time you’re going to spend worrying.

Record Your Thoughts

Either write down your worries as you think about them, or if you like, journal about your thoughts during this time. Be as detailed as you like. This might also be an excellent time to examine your worries, to figure out if there’s a recurring pattern or theme. Dig down into the heart of what’s troubling you.

Stop When the Timer Goes Off

At the end of 30 minutes, you’re done. Any new worries now have to wait until tomorrow. Close the journal, throw away the paper, do what you need to close off the worrying for the day. 

Repeat

Do every one of these steps every single day for at least a month. Why? Because it takes time to form a habit, which is what you’re trying to do here.

In the end, you’ll be amazed at how much freer you feel when you realize you don’t have to worry all day long. You’ll sleep better at night and be much more productive during the day. Not bad for an investment of only half an hour.

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It doesn’t matter how many steps you take to relieve stress if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Self-care is a practice that eludes many people, especially in the fast-paced and hectic world in which we live.

Meditation is harder to do if you’re not getting enough sleep. You’re more likely to find yourself cat napping during your allotted meditation time because your body just can’t keep up, just like exercising at the gym once a week isn’t going to do much against the tide of junk food you gorge on nightly.

Before you can take stress relief seriously, you must first meet your basic needs. Self-care is acting in a way that will promote your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Self-care is a necessary building block when laying your life’s foundations. To overcome life’s stressors, we have to build resilience, and you can’t have resilience without self-care. You are much better equipped to deal with life when you take steps to care for yourself.5702119659?profile=RESIZE_400x

Unfortunately, many of us look at self-care as an elusive luxury. It’s for other people. It’s not a priority because you’re not one of those people that has the time and money to invest in self-care. As a result, you feel tired, overwhelmed, and unable to deal with the challenges and changes that life throws at you.

There are acts of self-care to cover every area of your life.

  • Physical

To operate efficiently, you have to look after your body. Don’t forget the link between your mind and body. So, acting in your body’s best interests will naturally enhance your mental health as well. Physical self-care isn’t just about exercise. It has to do with the fuel you choose, the sleep you get, and looking after yourself medically as well.

When dealing with physical self-care, ask yourself if you’re getting enough sleep, if you’re eating the right fuel, if you’re truly in charge of your physical health, and whether you’re exercising enough.

  • Mental

How you think, the thoughts that you fill your mind with, these are the things that influence your mental well-being. You can keep your mind sharp by completing puzzles, reading books, watching content that inspires and sparks creativity. It’s also choosing things that will help you stay healthy mentally, which means acceptance of self and self-compassion.

When you address mental self-care, consider whether you’re making enough time for the activities that stimulate you mentally and if you’re being proactive about staying healthy mentally.

  • Socialization

Your social health requires self-care, too. Yet, it’s often one of the easiest aspects of our lives to ignore. Life gets busy. It’s hard to keep up. It’s crucial to your overall health and well-being that you maintain close connections and act in the best interests of your social life.

As you address your social self-care needs, consider whether you spend enough time with your friends (face to face) or whether you do enough to nurture the friendships and relationships in your life.

  • Spiritual

Don’t neglect the spiritual side of yourself, whether you involve religion in your life or not. Donating some of your time and money to a cause that interests you will enlarge your spiritual life greatly. Reading a daily meditation and taking walks, especially nature walks are powerful spiritual activities.

  • Emotional

We all need to have coping skills to address negative emotions. Sadness, anxiety, and anger are natural parts of life, but they will eat you up if you don’t know how to cope. You can practice emotional self-care by doing activities that address your emotions. Reading articles like this one are helpful. It could be a trip to visit your therapist or a long chat with a friend.

When considering emotional self-care; journaling and thinking about how you process your emotions, is extremely powerful. Find activities you can incorporate to recharge. You will be glad you did.

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Self-Care Isn’t Easy

Self-care is becoming more popular than ever before. In fact, according to Apple, the most popular trend in apps in 2018 was around the subject of self-care (https://apps.apple.com/us/story/id1438571562). It isn’t just a trend, though. Sure, there will be people who show a keen interest in it now and then dismiss it further down the line. In reality, though, self-care is something that has always existed. We just didn’t coin the phrase and start talking about it until more recently. The reason for this is our inability to accept that self-care is not selfish.5673584460?profile=RESIZE_400x

There has been a shift in focus these days. We are now openly discussing mental health, addressing well-being, and talking about how we can do and be better. Once upon a time, neglecting your own needs to put others first was just expected. You can live in anxiety. You can deal with anger. You can take the blows to your self-esteem, you can do all of that because you’re busy looking after everyone’s needs. That’s just not the case. As you expose yourself to stress regularly, you are wearing your physical and mental health down. This doesn’t just increase your risk of anxiety, depression, and sleepless nights. It also influences the health of your heart. 

No wonder we are growing more accustomed to weighing the benefits of ignoring care versus practicing self-care. Unfortunately, self-care isn’t easy, and here are some of the obstacles you will likely face in your journey. 

Self-care can be especially tricky if you are just now getting aboard the train. It’s easier to forget about yourself than you care to admit. Your mind will start to tell you things like you’re low on energy, you’re short on time, and you have a lot on your plate. Even though these things are true, it is not the whole truth. You are low on energy and time with a long list of things to do because you do not practice self-care. You choose others, and you suffer as a result. It’s okay if it’s a one-time event, but the problem is it isn’t. This is a pattern of behavior, and it’s difficult to overcome. The hardest part of practicing self-care is making the time for it. You have to commit to it just as you do family life, just as you do work responsibilities. 

You have been neglecting yourself for years. You’d think you’re so hungry for it that anything would do. The problem is that a lot of us hold unrealistic expectations for our self-care journeys. This isn’t a magic pill that will solve all of your problems. However, if you are determined, you can influence your life for the better. Eating one healthy meal isn’t going to result in immediate weight loss. Studying briefly for a test isn’t going to ensure you pass the test. Applying for a job is not a guarantee you’ll secure the job. One music class won’t make you a classical pianist. You get the picture – self-care just isn’t a quick fix. 

You can’t jump to any conclusions where self-care is concerned. More importantly, what works for you might not work for someone else, and vice versa. You may find a hot bath relaxing, but the thought of a bath is hell for others. We have our interests, we have our own needs, and how we meet them will depend on our personality. There isn’t a single act of self-care either. There are endless possibilities.

One reason self-care isn’t easy is that we often don’t know ourselves well enough to get it right. It is impossible to meet your needs if you have no idea what your needs are. So, start by getting to know yourself a bit deeper. You can experiment with various self-care acts and find out what works for you. If it doesn’t work, don’t force it. Just keep searching until you find your self-care.

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Relieve Anxiety With Self-Care

Anxiety is one of the toughest things to go through. It can turn your world upside down. Anxiety creeps up out of nowhere, and before you know it, it feels as though you’re being smothered. As time moves on, it gets so bad that you put yourself to bed, convinced you might not wake up. It’s debilitating. Anxiety can make you feel weak, it makes you feel embarrassed, and it doesn’t matter how hard you try to overcome it, your chest is heavy. The first step you need to take in your journey to manage anxiety is to accept it. You’re not weak. It isn’t embarrassing. So many of us suffer from anxiety. You’re not alone.5657502659?profile=RESIZE_400x

Through self-care, you can manage your anxiety to get yourself back to a point where you enjoy life. You’ll still have anxiety, your palms may still get sweaty, but you’ll have a better handle on it.

  • Breathing is calming. It helps you feel as though you’re in control. To people with anxiety, that’s a powerful thing. If you’re at home, then you can lie somewhere quiet to do this. Now lie down and place one of your hands above your stomach and the other on your heart. Now, slowly breathe in through your nose, counting to seven. Now, breathe out through your mouth while counting to seven. You can repeat this exercise until you feel calmer. It’s good to practice this breathing exercise in a quiet place until you get the hang of it. Once you do get the hang of it, you can practice deep breathing anywhere.
  • A journal is an excellent way to get a load off your mind. Write it all out.
  • Find a positive affirmation or mantra that you can recite each morning. Your affirmation should be something that encourages a calm mindset. You can write out your mantra or affirmation and stick it up around the house or in your car. Wherever you will see it and feel inspired by it.
  • It would be nice if you could disengage from every activity or situation that piques your anxiety. Unfortunately, that’s impossible. What you can do, though, is find helpful ways to manage situations you know trigger your feelings of anxiety. Pay attention to your physical response and find ways to avoid these situations. For the unavoidable situations, be aware of your breathing and navigate the situation as best you can. With practice, your anxiety will lessen.

The most influential act of self-care for people with anxiety is kindness. Be kind to yourself. Shield yourself from negative thought patterns, and when you have a terrible day – remember tomorrow is a brand new day. Create a daily routine that provides you with structure and purpose. Go out of your way to do things for yourself. You may enjoy walking through the woods. It might be reading a great mystery book or just soaking in a hot tub. It doesn’t matter what acts of self-care work for you. The point is that you complete acts that do work for you. You might not feel like getting up and going out for a walk, but once you do, you will feel much better.

  • Lastly, visit your doctor. If your doctor recommends that you take prescription medication to manage your anxiety, then consider it. A holistic approach may require the use of some medication. Remember that medication is a tool like the tools mentioned in this article. No one but you can tell you if you need medication but you. Your doctor is there to guide you.

Your priority is to find self-care acts that work for you. So, you might say the greatest act of self-care is knowing yourself well enough to know precisely how to meet your unique needs.

 

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