As I mentioned last week, with Valentine’s Day coming up soon, we are all thinking about love in some form. Whether it be a significant other, another family member, a crush, or even simply disliking the holiday… Let’s just accept the facts, we know it’s coming and it is probably on our minds.
What I feel is most important is loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves. Even if we have a loved one to spend the holiday or our time with, we need to take the time to take care of ourselves.
One of our biggest downfalls as human beings is stressing out. We’re constantly bombarded by anything and everything, we have mountains and mountains of work not to mention our home life to juggle, or we simply feel overwhelmed about life in general.
Here are some things you can do pretty much anywhere or anytime to de-stress when life is causing you to feel overwhelmed for whatever reason:
Write. Journal, blog, or jot a few notes down on a piece of paper to work through what you’re feeling. It’s quick and it helps a ton. Not only are you organizing your thoughts, but writing and rereading what you wrote can help you discover new things or come to realizations you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Read. Grab your favorite book or any good book and start reading it. It could be a novel, a self-help book, a real life story, anything that you find pleasing. Reading is relaxing because it gets you out of your own mind and into another world. While you’re taking a mental vacation between the pages, your mind can process other thoughts and feelings, which in turn helps you work through your feelings and calm down.
Listen to music. This one can be a given to a lot of us, but even though I love music, sometimes I can forget that it’s such a stress reliever. Pump up your favorite tunes, turn on your favorite radio station, or watch music videos. Sing along and even dance along, let those tunes carry you away!
Take a walk or workout. Taking a walk in the fresh air or getting a workout in can allow you to work through your thoughts and feelings as well. You can take out your frustration or disappointment and work super hard in your workout. Going for a walk is great too as it’s another way to get outside of your head while still allowing your mind to work through things.
Call a friend. Do you have a buddy you like to talk to when you need to just get it all out? Call, email, or message them. A true friend will always be there for you, as a listening ear or to give you advice if you want it (or sometimes when you don’t want it). Talking through things allows you to hear things from another perspective, out loud as well as through feedback from your friend.
Color. Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Grab or print a coloring page and something to color with and start coloring. It is really therapeutic. It allows you to zone out and do something with both your mind and hands that is constructive. Your pictures do not even have to be pretty for this to work. If you think this is something for you, I would also encourage you to go to the store and pick out a kids or adult coloring book and coloring utensils that make you excited to color: colored pencils, markers, crayons, colored pens, anything works!
Housework/organize. Work on cleaning, organizing, or decluttering your house, yard, or car. Making everything clean and fresh is remarkably refreshing to your mind as well!
Pamper yourself. Go see a movie on your own or with a friend/loved one, get your hair cut or colored, get your nails done, go to the library to spend some quiet time, visit a museum, spend some time in nature, or just do anything that makes you feel pampered and relaxed. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Just give it some thought and pick something that works for you.
Play. Play with your kids or pets, or those of friends/family members. It will help release the inner kid in you and help you feel more carefree and alive! Trust me, it is fun! Be silly and throw yourself into it!
Hot shower/bath. Water therapy. Take a nice relaxing bath if you can, or a hot shower. If you have access to a pool or hot tub, those can be amazingly relaxing as well. Whatever floats your boat!
My personal favorites are walking, writing, and reading. If I’m really antsy or anxious, putting myself to work picking up the house or organizing things helps me too. It gives me something to do physically that betters my world in some way! I also love to pamper myself whenever I get the chance to.
What is your favorite way to de-stress when you feel overwhelmed?
This time of year is rife with stress, so we need to take the time to treat ourselves right. It helps us be our best the rest of the time, as well as to enjoy the holidays and time with loved ones!
Simple Ways to Set Aside Time for Yourself
Whenever possible, take your time in the shower. Hot showers are especially relaxing and soothing. It may be one of life’s necessities but the shower itself can give you time to think through things that are bothering you, hopefully without interruption.
Take a walk. If you can, take a walk by yourself to just think and revel in the beauty around you. If you take a walk with a friend, talking can be therapeutic too. Sometimes we need or want to take the children in our lives on a walk too. It’s still a good way to set aside time for yourself. Take advantage of the quiet moments while also striking a balance with teaching them. I find it relaxing to just point out things and talk to my nephews while walking. Sometimes it’s not relaxing when they ask the same question five times in a row but it’s still usually fun.
Workout. Just in general, spend time getting your workout. Put yourself first for the time being and get that workout in. You can release frustrations, uncertainties, and even celebrate life’s victories. Plus you get the added benefit of knowing you’re doing something wonderful for your body which gives you some peace of mind.
Write in a journal or notebook. Take the time to write out how you feel, discuss your day, figure things out, or even make plans. I find writing out my day and discussing how I feel is so beneficial!
Cuddle with your favorite person/pet. The time spent cuddling your children or other loved ones, or simply cuddling with or petting your dog or cat can be good for your mental wellbeing.
Sit and breathe. Quiet your mind, maybe even close your eyes. If you believe in God, talk to Him. Either way, take time to reflect on your day and all of your blessings, all of the positives in your life. It truly sets the tone for the rest of the day. I’ve been trying to do this more often myself and know I feel better about life just relying on God and reflecting on any good things in my life.
Do something for someone else. You may ask, how is doing something for someone else setting aside time for me? I’ll tell you… doing something for someone else makes them feel good, which in turn makes you feel good to help them. I love helping others and do so not to get something in return, but it still makes me feel good to do so!
Go shopping for something fun! This is hard for some of us, as money is tight or we may face temptation to spend to much… but if you can, a little retail therapy can go a long way. Even stopping in the Dollar Tree or somewhere else that has low price items and browsing the aisles to pick out a few things can boost your sense of wellbeing.
Read (books, magazines, articles, etc.). Read something that you enjoy! Getting lost in a story or something pleasant can be such a nice way to put yourself first because it’s FUN!
Self-care: Hair, skin, nails, etc. Spend some time on self-care. It makes you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world when you have certain self-care things in order! Take a manicure or a pedicure (or both), having nice nails is so rewarding!
Haircut/coloring. Going to get your hair cut or get a color can be a mostly relaxing experience. My last haircut, I got a quiet beautician and I just let myself go, zoning out and just being. It was so enjoyable. I never experienced something like that. You could also find joy in having a conversation with the beautician as well! Either way is nice!
Organizing or cleaning. Such a weird, but therapeutic thing to do once you get into it. Organizing is fun because you’re getting things in order, cleaning is fun because after you’re done, something is clean! Sure it’s a pain to do sometimes but the results are refreshing!
Writing out cards or notes/letters to loved ones. Writing out your thoughts and making loved ones feel cherished and valued is time well spent! You will feel better when it’s done because a lot of us go through our days without much opportunity to say how we feel some of the time. So setting aside some time to do that will lighten your heart!
Art. If you like to draw or paint, that is another way to set aside time for yourself. Lose yourself in your work and make something beautiful.
Sit down to enjoy a sweet treat you really want. Life is too short not to enjoy something you really want once in a while. Treat yourself. Just make sure you enjoy it so it’s worth it!
These are some of my favorite ways to set aside time for myself. Those things really give me a sense of peace, or accomplishment, or both. Sometimes it’s hard to get started on the organizing and cleaning one, but once I do it is such a rewarding experience. I also am not a big on drawing or painting anymore but from time to time it is fun!
I hope you all liked my list. What are your favorite ways to set aside time for yourself? It could be simple like most of these or it could be something more elaborate. I’d love to hear what you do! We could all use ways to improve our sense of wellbeing!
Hope, such a simple yet powerful word with so many meanings to different people. It’s so important to have hope in our lives. If we didn’t have any hope for the future, what would we be living in the present for?
When I think of this word, I think of positivity and future. Sometimes I am just plain tired and that plays with my hope a bit but I manage to keep my hope high somehow by reminding myself that what I am feeling in the moment is only temporary… Tomorrow is a new and fresh day, full of possibilities and I can shape it in any way I feel like.
Hope pushes me to move forward. Hope gives me a reason to move forward. Whenever things aren’t going according to plan, I shift focus and remember that if I keep trying hard and doing my best, I will get where I want to go… or somewhere even better! That hope keeps me alive and happy in the moment.
In my opinion, it’s ideal to live in the present while looking to the future at the same time… and hope gives me the chance to practice this daily. I have hope that the future that it holds amazing things for me. I am confident in myself to make things happen, but I also know that wherever life takes me is where I’m meant to be. So I will just keep being me, keep holding onto hope for the future, and stay as positive as I can no matter what life throws at me.
What does the word hope conjure up in your mind? What do you have hope for?
This is something I’ve been learning lately. Not only am I seeing it proven left and right, but I’m learning how to implement it more in my life. I don’t want any regrets. I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I had done something, and be upset I didn’t just because I was afraid to.
Now I don’t just jump into everything that interests me, I do quite a bit of thinking still but I know I won’t have any regrets. I have so much more confidence and courage to try things that interest me.
So what do I do?
Weigh my options against what I want, how much I want it, and any pros and cons.
Decide if it’s worth any hardships.
Figure out how to get it done or prepare myself mentally/physically.
Go out and do it with the motto “just do your best and enjoy the process.”
This doesn’t mean I do this whole thing all the time, but it allows me to live life more while still feeling like I have control, stability, and comfort. It pushes my comfort zones just enough that it’s fun and I get to do something I might not otherwise have, but it doesn’t push them so far that I wish I hadn’t done whatever it was.
Why do I feel this is important? Because we aren’t meant to sit on the sidelines and be without risk. We are supposed to go out and have amazing experiences, to love and be loved by other people, to explore the world, and to admire the world and life itself! The more you live life to its fullest, the more ALIVE you feel!
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That little phrase makes it all seem more simple than it really is, but this is one of my favorite mantras and something I repeat often to others who are also trying to improve their health. It’s a pretty common saying and I’m sure nearly all of us have heard it somewhere at some point.
Why it’s one of my favorite mantras is because it’s right on point. When the going gets tough and I don’t feel like I can move forward, or move at all, I remind myself that all I have to do is keep moving forward. This simple phrase reminds me that it’s all in my power. If I need to take a break, physically or mentally, I do so. If I need to reevaluate my plan, then I do that too. Sometimes I don’t necessarily need to do either and in those case, going through the motions and doing my best to improve my mood helps.
Thinking of the alternative almost always helps in these instances as well, because the alternative is bleak. If I weren’t doing what I’ve been doing for over a year now, I wouldn’t be where I was and if I don’t continue, I will gain the weight back and lose the quality of life I so enjoy.
So whether you’re at the beginning of your journey, the middle, or even the end, remember that these tough times will pass and when they do, you will want to have “kept moving forward.” Your future self will thank you for putting one foot in front of the other no matter what. Like I said I do for myself, even if it just takes going through the motions of healthy living, you will be happier with yourself when things improve again.
The best days are still ahead of you, keep moving toward them no matter what!
In preparation for the half marathon I’m registered for in May 2016, I wanted to do a 5K race in August and a 10K race in November. So first I signed up for a 5K race near me happening on August 15th. Originally I had signed up for the run, but as the race rapidly grew closer, the minor foot issue I had going on wasn’t healing like I thought it would. This meant that I had to switch over to the 2 mile walk at the race event instead.
Understandably, I was horribly disappointed. In fact, for the few days leading up to the race I almost decided to just forget it altogether. It had been a rough and busy week for me and I was so tired, which in turn made it easier to feel down about not being able to actually run the 5K.
However, the side of me that desperately wanted to see what a race was all about eventually won out and I went! I’m super thankful that my realistic side convinced me to go! Upon arriving, first I checked in at the registration table and collected my race gear: a race bib with my number on it, a shirt with the race name on it, and my race packet with some goodies in it. I was so proud of the tee shirt that I put it on over the tee shirt I wore there right away. Then one of the registration ladies helped me pin the bib to it.
There I was, all set to go and full of excitement and nerves! Once it was time, I started out slow. I was warming up and also a bit cautious, unsure how races played out. They had told us that there would be volunteers directing us along the way so I looked out for them. Soon I was in the zone and fully enjoying the experience. I never walk fast but amazingly, even walking on a trail which I was nowhere used to, I managed to keep a good pace of 19 minutes per mile for the 1.75 mile walk. That is my fastest walking pace and I was ecstatic to have done that after not walking outside much in the previous two months.
My first race experience was a far cry from what I thought and always imagined it would be, but it was very pleasant and enjoyable. It really left a positive imprint on my mind and I can’t wait for more in my future. I’m hoping next year I will be able to do the actual 5K run for this race. The possibilities truly are endless. All you have to do is dream, plan, and believe in yourself! Have you ever thought about signing up for a walk or a run? Go for it! Enjoy every step of training and completing it. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it certainly is rewarding!