Stress free self-care

Typically, a new year sparks new goals, resolutions, reflection and even being open to major changes. Self-care is more than a resolution topic. Yet, with the overwhelming quotes and articles on the subject it can feel like there is a right and wrong way to practice self-care. There isn’t. Self-care is self-health and practiced best in whatever way is healthy for your unique needs.

Since stress is extremely unhealthy and the contributor to several health concerns, self-care stress reducers are not only calming, but essential to our overall health.

Self-care is acknowledging anything that causes stress and either seeking a solution or discovering a way to partner with it. Stress free self-care is being in tuned with your joy; how to create it and intertwine it into your daily life. Sometimes being in tuned with your own needs isn’t so ‘simple’ though. When we look at self-care as a task on a long list of responsibilities, it can seem stressful.

Self-care doesn’t require a full day of meditation, expensive tools, costly retreats, or even set rules. Sure, any one of those things can be a form of self-care, but none are required to actually care for your wellbeing. Finding moments to pause and calm racing thoughts is one of the best forms of self-care (self-health).

Stress free self-care is finding balance between emotional, mental, and physical wellness.

Self-care intertwines with every part of our lives; healthy relationships, nutrition, mental wellbeing (reducing stress), finding creative outlets, learning, emotional balance, physical health/activity, career focus, etc. It’s about finding your calm or at the very least partnering calm and chaos to live harmoniously so you can focus on your stress free self-care.

Example of a day filled with stress free self-care:

  • A stress free (or less stress) day begins the evening before. Write out your objectives for the day. Make the list as realistic as possible – focusing on tasks that are specific to that day. Create another goal list for the week and/or small steps that can be completed if time allows each day. Making this list (or lists) should not be stressful and take about five minutes each evening. Your unique lists are fluid and can be added to or adjusted as needed – it’s simply a starting point and a way to write out anything that might keep you up at night thinking about it or trying to remember everything that needs done the next day.
  • Wake up and spend 60 seconds to take a deep breath, acknowledging joy and gratitude, staying focused on waking up – not allowing racing thoughts of all the tasks and responsibilities required of you (yet).
  • Mindfully moving on to your next morning routine (or evening depending how your sleep cycle is) whether it’s showering, fixing yourself and/or family breakfast, preparing lunches, etc. Focus on the task at hand and breathe.
  • Glance at your list(s) and adjust as needed or check off completed tasks.
  • Before leaving the house or starting your day at home, practice pausing to breathe and acknowledge how you feel and what your body requires. If you are not feeling as well as you usually do, can you adjust your list before your day even starts and incorporate a bit more rest in place of certain tasks, or at the very least make a goal to be in bed a bit earlier than normal so you have a solution in mind to get you through the day and incorporate your rest as a priority, but also a reality with however busy your day may be.
  • Incorporate movement throughout your day whether it’s getting up from a desk you work at as often as you can or incorporating movement into your home routine – listening to your limitations and unique ways you can challenge yourself while staying safe and mindful. Using a chair or couch and getting up and down while watching a favorite show on TV or listening to music, an online lecture, etc. and stretching or even walking around from kitchen to bedroom, to living room (I live in a small home and use the path from my bedroom through my living room into my kitchen as a walking track), even 15 minutes two to three times a day is beneficial to self-health!
  • Get outside when you can. When weather permits get fresh air, feel the sun, take in the new scenery and if at all possible, move around while outside whether exercising by walking around your work building, your neighborhood, etc., or gardening, etc. Parking further away at work or the store, adds in a few minutes of activity and outdoor time. Again, 10 to 15 minutes a couple of times a day is so beneficial.
  • Take a break. No matter what your typical day looks like take a lunch break. Please. Make time for nutritious food. Planning a meal list, getting the groceries, cooking or creating the meals…it’s all forms of self-care (health). Finding new recipes is a form of destress for me, I spend about 15 minutes and browse online or through my cookbooks for new ideas about once a week or so and then create a meal around that, sometimes I adjust ingredients to either what I can afford, what I have on hand, and/or what my diet limitations and likes/dislikes require. Swapping out certain foods or beverages is a form of nutrition awareness. Again, not stressful, simply acknowledging realistic changes you can start to incorporate into your existing routine. I love potato chips. I use to buy a big back and snack on them daily. Eventually, the portion size was less and less, I never just open the bag and start to eat them, I don’t use a big bowl to pour them out in…I use a lid from plastic container that is about the size of small tea cup saucer. This is a good amount for me and a realistic habit changer for me personally. Incorporate what you can, cut out what you can, reduce portions when you can, and drink plenty of water daily.
  • Listen to your needs, when you need a connection and time with a friend, seek that – call a friend, go to lunch with a coworker, write a letter to a loved one explaining why you are grateful for them…take 15 minutes and connect. In the same breath, if you need some alone time, create that. Find a creative way, whatever is required for your unique self-care, find 15 minutes to embrace it and pause, be mindful during whatever works for you.
  • Give yourself love and self-acknowledgement for all accomplishments (whether they seem minor or major).
  • Create your calming down routine, even 15 minutes before you sleep to recap your day and acknowledge three moments you are grateful for. Write out your short list for the next day, and try to get in bed with enough hours to give you the sleep you require.

This is not medical advice and should not replace seeing a medical professional, but can be incorporated into your current health routine. Please see medical professionals when needed or with any new concerns you may have for your mental, emotional and/or physical wellbeing.

Self-care is necessary, but it should not be stressful. I will continue to share my tips and suggestions in the coming days, weeks, even months. Please share your self-care tips or questions below or contact me with your suggestions or questions!

Thank you for reading, thank you for following and thank you for sharing this space with me. Find me on Instagram @successencourager for quotes and more tips.

Please take care of you.

Nourish inwardly

Self-care and self-love are essential for overall wellbeing. So many goals and resolutions revolve around the self, yet the commitment is simply not made a priority. The most important goals are focused on nourishing inwardly, mental and physical health, expanding skills and learning new ones, and being happy with one’s choices and lifestyle.

Demands from jobs, family, responsibilities, budget, etc. take precedence over goals related to ‘self’. Yet, to truly devote time, focus, care and attention to loved ones, careers, financial and other responsibilities we should first acknowledge the importance of self-care, self-love, and committing to our personalized unique goals.

For example – A goal focused on health that includes dedicating time to walking or other physical exercises, better-eating habits, and meditation is not a selfish goal. Creating blocks of time to exercise and meditate and budgeting for healthier meals will result in a better whole self and actually allow more energy and focus to be dedicated to responsibilities. Better health is a form of self-care that not only results in feeling better but also presents an opportunity to set other goals and be more present at work and/or home.

Another example might be setting a goal to expand your education whether through formal class settings to obtain a degree or certificate or self-paced skill training. The time needed to complete this goal may seem like it takes away from another responsibility, but focusing on the ‘why’ and the results will remind you of the importance of expanding your skills and/or education and learning opportunities. The end result may lead to a promotion, career change or possible entrepreneurial opportunity to start your own business. The self-enrichment gained can result in numerous opportunities. The time dedicated to this goal could result in having more ‘free’ time in the future, more income opportunities or a career you enjoy more than your current one.

Your goal is unique to you, your reasons why is unique, and only you can commit to your personalized goal and set your unique pace.

  • Please pause.
  • Slow down and organize your schedule, your time, and your unique focus.
  • Prioritize tasks and goals to nourish inwardly so you can embrace the calm and growth internally that leads to encouraging others to do the same.

I have written posts to help assist in the goal-setting categories and process including defining your goal, but if you have any specific questions please reach out and ask! Comment here or email me at successencourager@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading & following! Connect with me on Instagram for daily inspirational quotes & tips.

The new Enrichment version of my Year in the Life of… goal-setting planner is now available and currently 25% off!! Click on the link to order a copy for yourself and/or get one for a friend. Once ordered please reach out to me and tell me what your current goal focus is!

 

nourish inward