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.

Personal Development

Personal development is equally important as professional development. Learning a new skill to advance your career can seem easily obtainable, yet devoting time to personal growth may seem less important or even a selfish use of time. Personal development has many forms yet is unique to everyone and should never be ‘finished’. Personally, one should strive to discover, evolve, and grow for their entire life.

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself and/or evolve and it should never be ‘finished’.
Discovery and personal development take time, love, growth, and more time. Please be patient while taking action and nourishing your unique process. Set your pace and give yourself permission to dedicate time to your personal growth without feeling guilty. Please set goals with intention and dedicate time to self-care.
You are in control of how you show up for the world. Showing up as your authentic self is just as important as being career-ready.

Skill training actually becomes more effective once you acknowledge your boundless potential and true self-awareness. Confidence is not arrogance. Confidence is knowing what you are capable of and taking action and trusting each decision you make will take you closer to your future self; the self you are capable of being and the ability to continue supporting it.

A form of personal development is self-care. Through self-care, you present the best version of yourself to the world. Evolving into the best version of yourself encourages growth in other areas and gives you the clarity to focus and define the steps needed. Self-evaluation will help you discover where you currently are and where you want to grow.

I encourage you to set goals that help you discover your true authentic self and set a consistent self-care routine that will help you explore your self-discovery. There are several ways to take action toward personal development, here are a few:

  • Journaling
  • Define your core values
  • Create your own personal mission statement (and visualize your future)
  • Explore hobbies
  • Read
  • Attend workshops
  • Network through clubs or your local library (events and small groups)
  • Make time to meditate and spend some time alone
  • Share your efforts and/or goals with a trusted friend

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 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!

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Photo via unsplash.com

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

Your Potential

Sometimes we see more in others than we do in ourselves. There is a unique balance for providing support & encouragement to others while making time to do the same for ourselves. It is a necessity to acknowledge & nourish our potential by setting goals, self-care practices, and challenging ourselves.

Defining one goal-focus and setting a three to five step action plan can begin your goaling journey on any given day, not just January 1st.

I encourage you to pause and give yourself 15 minutes today to write out & briefly define a goal-focus that is unique to you and will encourage your self-discovery and encourage your own potential. Then put one step into action tomorrow & allow your action plan to evolve at your pace.

Please do something that creates self-discovery and an opportunity for practicing self-care daily.

Thank you for reading and following! Please find me on Instagram (successencourager) for daily inspirational quotes.

Sale – My enrichment planner is now available and 25% off!!

Try it Tuesday

It’s Tuesday!! The final day of my week-long goal-setting process. If you have not had the opportunity to read about the entire process please browse my last few blog posts for more details. If you have been following along – Congratulations!! It’s time to put action behind all of your research & discovery!

What is Try it Tuesday?

Try it Tuesday is the perfect day to try the to-do list you created. Put action behind your goal defining and research! Start turning your goal or new habit into reality by doing the steps.

Celebrate the week of work you have already put in and keep going! Add your to-do list to your daily routine!

Don’t get upset if you miss a day or something comes up, just pick up where you left off, just don’t quit!

This week-long process isn’t just for new goals, it can help keep you focused too:

  • Why not – confirm your goal instead of defining it, confirm why you are focused on this particular goal/habit
  • Tackle it – How is this goal or new habit transforming me? What outcome am I experiencing?
  • Focus on it – Are the tools and resources I’m using working for me? Do I need other tools or resources, what would make this more productive?
  • Successful Saturday and Sunday – Continue celebrating accomplishments, fitting in additional time for your goal or habit as time allows. Share successes with friends or track online or in a journal. Confirm your mindset toward your goals and accomplishments.
  • Make it – Keep creating a weekly list of what you need to accomplish your goals. Once that list is a comfortable routine, add to it. I suggest each weekend creating your weekly list to stay focused.
  • Try it – Stay focused on your to-do steps and incorporate new ones as you feel comfortable. Stay active toward your goal or habit! Remember, celebrate those successes!!!

Thank you so much for reading & following my blog! Please comment below or email me about your goal focus!

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!

Celebrate success Saturday & Sunday

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read about my weeklong process that started Wednesday please take some this weekend to read over (or mark your calendar to start the process on Wednesday)! If you have been following along please celebrate your success this weekend!

Celebrate successes on Saturday & Sunday – I encourage you to spend some weekend time celebrating successes on Saturday & Sunday!

Please review what you have already accomplished, confirm your mindset toward your goal, envision how your future will look with the goal or new habit in place, seek out at least one resource and get ready for Make it Monday!

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 so much for reading & following my blog!

Have a great weekend!

Focus on it Friday

It’s Friday! A perfect day to focus on your goal. If you haven’t had an opportunity to read about the first two days of the process please look over my last two blog posts.

What is Focus on it Friday?

Focus on it Friday – Focus on & research the tools and resources needed to accomplish your goal or start your new habit. Do you need to study or complete a certification to accomplish it? Or using a health focus as an example – you may plan to exchange a fast-food breakfast each morning for a smoothie so you’ll need to buy a blender or get yours out of storage. You may plan on incorporating more steps into each day and want new shoes or a step tracker. Maybe you want to join a gym or find a walking partner. Discover what you need to start your goal, but don’t overthink it, just research what you need to get started then adjust as needed as you grow and succeed. Keep the list short for now.

I have stretched the process over a week so hopefully, it is a bit easier to get started on a setting a new goal.

The entire process can be found here.

Thank you for reading & following! Follow me on Instagram for daily quotes & tips.

What goal are you focused on?

Transform Thursday

Yesterday, I posted about Why Not Wednesday, please read all about it if you missed it yesterday. Today, we continue the goal defining & goal-setting process with Tackle it & Transform Thursday! This is part of a weeklong method to define, set a goal, & plan out your action steps.

What is Tackle it & Transform Thursday?
Hopefully you had a chance to explore some goals yesterday. Now ask – How will this goal or new habit transform me or my future? What is my expected outcome? Envision your goal or habit in motion (tackling it), how do you want it to transform you?

Example – If health & wellness is your main focus you may say something like – When I’m healthier I can train for that marathon my sister and I always wanted to run together. When I’m healthier I can spend more active time with my spouse, children, grandchildren, friends…When I’m healthier I can travel more and go hiking. When I’m healthier I can feel better and start another new goal or habit.

I have stretched the process over a week so hopefully it is a bit easier to get started on a setting a new goal.

Tomorrow is Focus on it Friday!

The entire process can be found here.

Thank you for reading & following! Follow me on Instagram for daily quotes & tips.

What goal are you focused on?

Why Not Wednesday?

Reposting – Because I find this method helpful when I need to define & focus on a goal and at times when I need to get back on track! Questions? Please comment below or contact me.

If you are not sure what “Why Not Wednesday” means, you can read about it and the rest of the week here. It’s an exciting opportunity to start working toward a goal you want to accomplish!

After several conversations with friends and colleagues, one main topic is a desire for a better morning routine. So let’s focus on some details.

Why Not Wednesday is a perfect day to define what a perfect morning routine would look like. It might look something like one of these:

  • I want to read 10 pages of a book each morning and meditate for 15 minutes without interruption. Why – Because I have a long book list and have not been able to find time to finish a book in a long time and it brings me joy.
  • I want to meditate and do yoga before work each morning. Why? I feel stiff and tired most days & my stress level has been higher than normal. Meditation will help me decrease my stress and will help clear my mind. Yoga will help me relax and stretch my muscles. Once my stress is less & I am not as tired I can focus on more goals.
  • I want to wake up in time to make a healthy breakfast before I leave for work. Why? I don’t eat as healthy as I’d like once I leave my home. Eating at home (or preparing a meal to take with me) will be healthier, cheaper and provide a creative outlet since I love to cook!
  • I want to start walking in the mornings with my spouse. Why? We have talked about it for a long time, but never committed to actually doing it. I know we will enjoy the quiet time together and once we feel healthier we can focus on other exercise goals and maybe even train for our first marathon together!
  • I want to write 10 pages of the novel that I have put off for way too long. Why? It’s quiet in the morning and I could easily get up 30 minutes earlier and only write, no edits, just write every day. Once I finish my draft, I can edit and submit it to an agent!
  • I want to paint sunsets. Why? Painting has always relaxed me and being mindful of the evening’s beauty will help me unwind and even sleep better. Once I have a few paintings finished I might try to sell them at a local craft show!

See how each “I want” is followed up with a why? And how some of those lead to other goals. One goal might even inspire others!

Why Not is the first step (it’s that simple!). You don’t have to figure it all at once.

Have you defined a goal today? Congratulations! Share it below!

I encourage you to start tossing around ideas for Tackle it & Transform Thursday.

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