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

Make it Monday

It’s Make it Monday! If you haven’t had an opportunity to read my last few post please do so to read more about the week-long goal-setting process! If you have been following along you are ready for Make it Monday!!

What is Make it Monday?

Make it Monday is a great day to create a list of a few steps that will get you started on your goal-focus. I suggest a to-do list with about three steps, but no more than five to start. Example – If you are focused on your health (reducing stress, overall wellbeing, etc.) you may want to make a list that looks something like:

  • Walk each evening for 30 minutes.
  • Purchase healthy groceries & make lunches for work instead of eating out.
  • Make a smoothie for breakfast each morning instead of eating a processed breakfast bar.
  • Be more conscious of meals and snacks.
  • Cook healthier portioned meals at home at least 3 nights a week.

The steps you choose are ones that are simple to incorporate into your personal unique lifestyle. Please make these steps realistic for you and don’t make all the changes at once. Add in other steps once you are comfortable with these; once the to do list becomes a comfortable part of your routine.

I suggest keeping a weekly calendar or journal to record your steps and celebrate your accomplishments!

Join me in the daily journey with doable steps, tips & encouragement!

Share your progress below or email me at successencourager@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading & following my blog!

Defining uniqueness

How do you define or discover your uniqueness? If we are all unique individuals and have our own personal journey then what magic formula can ‘fit us all’?

There is no magic formula for becoming the best version of yourself. You do not need my permission to evolve into your highest self. You simply need your permission and self-love. Love yourself so much you dedicate time to your joys; learn to listen to your inner voice and take action to encourage it.

There are so many learning styles, goals, definitions of happiness and processes to create a future that is unique to each of us. By empowering ourselves to discover our personal uniqueness and encourage others to discover theirs, we define what being valued looks and feels like. We not only respect the differences we embrace and encourage them.

The formula is unique for each of us, yet requires one common thread – – – Time…dedicated time. Acknowledge what completes you, what brings you joy, what burns inside of you and dedicated time to your journey; encourage your uniqueness.

What is your unique process to focus on your goals?

Also, I’m excited to announce that my goal focused journal planner is now complete & available in small batch printing!!! This planner even has a section to record your weekly recap, current read, daily focus (wellbeing, spirit, etc.), and is simply published so you can personalize it for your own unique journey! My excitement about seeing a completed goal in print form is beyond measure and my gratitude to all of those encouraging me and supporting me extends to all visiting my sites! The planner is currently 15% off.

Questions? Comment below or email me – successencourager@gmail.com

How to be you

The simple phrase ‘be you‘ can seem quite complicated. It’s a phrase, mantra, and question that is asked so often and encouraged in daily social media quotes. I am a huge fan of the phrase, it’s simple to say….yet it’s a bit more time consuming to define. I have had several conversations with several personality types that struggle with this ‘simple’ phrase, including myself.

So just how do you ‘be you‘?

  • Goal-setting is unique to you. I have talked about a week-long process for goal defining and setting in past posts and strongly encourage self-discovery through goal-setting. To set a goal means you realize what you want to accomplish and what will bring you joy. Even if you do not have a concrete action plan in place exploring what makes you happy is a huge accomplishment and process. Defining yourself through unique goals brings you closer to being your authentic self.
  • Focus on self-care. I believe goals and self-care go hand and hand. Self-care is acknowledging your mental, emotional, and physical well-being need attention. Overall health and happiness are keys to being yourself.  When you embrace the areas in your life that need your attention, you can ‘be you’ comfortably. Part of self-care that encourages ‘being you’ is meditation and focusing on your thoughts; being mindful.
  • Surround yourself with a supportive circle. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support? Does this circle embrace and encourage your unique self? Do you encourage uniqueness in return? Find a support circle that is a good balance of a unique group.
  • Learn. Expand your knowledge by researching and learning about what you find of interest. Study and perfect certain hobbies or professional development. I encourage you to reach beyond your comfort zone and learn something new as often as you can. Learning helps you express your uniqueness and builds confidence.

There are several tips shared via articles, blog posts, social media discussion boards, etc. I think the four above sum up the basics and are realistic to incorporate without getting too time-consuming or complicated. I’d love to hear how you focus on being you! Send me an email or comment below!

Also, I’m excited to announce that my goal focused journal planner is now complete & available in small batch printing!!! This planner even has a section to record your weekly recap, current read and daily focus (wellbeing, spirit, etc.)! My excitement about seeing a completed goal in print form is beyond measure and my gratitude to all of those encouraging me and supporting me extends to all visiting my sites! The planner is currently 25% off.

Questions? Comment below or email me – successencourager@gmail.com

 

your unique goal

 

Set goals that support well-being

As you may know, I set a fiction reading goal this year. I’m also excited to be working toward a healthier more active lifestyle. These goals are personal to me and support my well-being. By choosing goals that are personally realistic and of interest to me (bring me joy) I allow myself to focus on accountability and by tracking my progress, I can focus on incorporating a little more to each goal as time allows and I feel comfortable.

The rule with goals is…there are no set rules. Sure, there are the basic steps, but goals are just as unique as the individuals setting them.

Even if a million other people set reading goals the process and reason could be entirely different for each. The start date and dedicated time are most likely different. For some January 1 is a great energetic day to begin a new goal, but if you have a job or other responsibilities that are hectic during that time then it might seem like the worst date to start. Dedicating time in the morning may work for you or a long lunch or before bed.

Goals should:

  • Help you accomplish or incorporate something into your life that brings you joy
  • Create happiness
  • Balance your responsibilities, self-care, and personal growth
  • Bring you closer to a bigger goal
  • Support your overall wellbeing

Focus on a personal goal:

  • Start by defining a goal or a positive habit that you know will bring you happiness and encourage a positive well-being
  • Dedicate time daily that works with your unique schedule
  • Celebrate progress and adapt as needed

What does your goal-setting look like? How do your goals encourage positive wellness?

Also, I’m excited to announce that my goal focused journal planner is now complete & available in small batch printing!!! This planner even has a section to record your weekly recap, current read and daily focus (wellbeing, spirit, etc.)! My excitement about seeing a completed goal in print form is beyond measure and my gratitude to all of those encouraging me and supporting me extends to all visiting my sites! The planner is currently 25% off.

I’m working on setting the date for my first goal-setting small group workshop!!! More on that soon!

Questions? Comment below or email me – successencourager@gmail.com

my_wellbeing_r1

Goal setting method

I personally use a goal setting method I call the window pane. It is a layout of the goal categories I focus on (read more about those here). There is a section with this method in my goal setting journal (on sale on sale now!)

How does it work?

  • Review each category and the definition:
    • Well-beingMental and physical health; stretching, walking, meditation, conscious eating, plenty of water. Ask yourself – What are my health goals, what are my limits?
    • SpiritSelf-care, gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, create, hobbies. Ask yourself – What brings joy and peace? What nourishes me?
    • Circle – Mutual relationships that allow you to give and receive support; family, friends, work friendships, recovery groups, clubs or hobby groups. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support?
    • ProductivityDaily routine; work, volunteering, caregiver, budgeting, learning. Ask yourself – What is my current daily schedule (define it). What do I want my future schedule or routine to look like and consist of?
  • Create four sections (or use the layout in the journal) that looks similar to a window pane. Put the title of each one category in each corner. Write out your definitions of important areas in your life for each of the categories.
    • For example for Well-being, I have noted that I miss yoga, but enjoy my daily meditation. A goal that could result from this is to sign up for yoga class or research free video options and incorporate into my daily routine.
  • Review your list and ask:
    • Where can I improve?
    • What area do I connect with the most?
    • What area needs attention?
    • Which area can I focus on starting today?

Once you see the layout and can focus on the area that you connect with most you can set small steps to create your new current goal focus. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that all areas need focus at once. It all starts with one focus; one step. I sometimes keep my window pane visible where I can see it daily as a reminder of what I’m focused on and what I will take a step toward each day!

I’d love to hear what your main category focus is! Comment below or email me at successencourager@gmail.com. Find me on Instagram for daily encouragement quotes!

Thanks for reading and following; keep goaling!

Goals are works in progress

No matter how many posts or quotes I share about goal setting I am always working on the main one with a few others floating around in my mind! Goals are works in progress. Some may be completed, but other branches of that goal extend out and need attention. For example, a goal to lose 10 pounds doesn’t completely end after those 10 pounds are gone. That accomplishment most likely requires maintenance and serves as a catalyst for other positive habits and goal setting.

I have talked about categories before and more about those can be found here. Categories help me focus, organize my main focus and helps me stay accountable. My current goal is a blend of productivity and spirit (most categories overlap).

My goal setting encouragement journal was a work in progress for almost three years (some brainstorming started before that!). Sharing something with the world that I am so very passionate about has truly fed my spirit. The challenges have strengthened me, I’m truly grateful for the amazing relationships I have built and beyond excited that I actually have a printed version of a dream turned into a reality! This goal is far from complete though; it’s certainly a work in progress.

This goal has inspired several other goals. Through the challenges and lack of a mass sell out I have discovered so much about myself & looking forward to much more discovery! Without all of the mini goals and celebrated accomplishments, I could have lost focus. Even as I type this I am working on a cover re-design; (goals are works in progress)!

Your goal is unique to you. Your why is personal to you. No matter how grand or simple your goal may seem, it’s worth your attention and dedicated time. It’s part of you, it’s part of your journey that will create your future.

Live with intention (defined as a determination to act in a certain way and to live with a plan). I encourage you to focus daily on creating your joy and peace. You are capable and worthy. Whether you focus on a category, a personal or professional goal, or a dream you keep thinking about. Take action. Create the steps. Celebrate accomplishments!

I’d love to hear what current goal you are working on! Share in the comments below or email me at successencourager@gmail.com. Find me on Instagram for daily encouraging quotes.

You can purchase my goal setting journal here. With revised cover and currently 25% off; under $15!

Thanks for reading and following!

 

Taking care of yourself – Empowering

I think there are some misconceptions about what self-care truly means.

Self-care is defined as “self-care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated,” by Wikipedia.

And ‘selfish‘ is defined as “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others,” by Merriam- Webster.

While we are on definitions I’d like to confirm one other one; Empower – “to encourage and support the ability to do something and to give someone official authority or the freedom to do something,” according to dictionary.cambridge.org/us.

SO how better to empower ourselves and others than through self-care?

  • Learn as much as we can about what we are passionate about.
  • Set and accomplish goals that will promote our own well-being so we can either care for others or encourage others to focus on their own well-being
  • Create art, resources, tips and guides, and shrae it all with others

How is any of that selfish or self-centered? It’s time to focus on goals and empowering not only yourself, but those around you and those seeking information and encouragement.

Thoughts?