health, motivationalmonday, selfcare, stress

Motivational Monday Self Care

Motivational Monday Self Care Day! I know I have posted about this topic before, but it is SO important and especially important I think as we start a brand new year!  I know we all make New Year’s Resolutions for “ourselves”, but in my experience many of them cause us more stress than they relieve!  I am not going to suggest not making a resolution (that’s a whole other post), but I AM going to suggest being conscious of your own well being and taking care of yourself through this time!

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This first one is one that I have been trying to do and one that I find myself advising my daughter to do all the time….

  1.  Breathe.  Be conscious about your breathing.  You don’t have to try a yoga technique, but you can!!  This one is called Square Breathing and is one that I have had lot’s of success with.
  2. Meditate.  Have you ever had one of those days where your mind just can’t seem to “turn off”? It’s like the thoughts of your day just keep going and you just can’t get it to stop. This is where the benefits of meditation comes in.I have shared information before about meditative yoga, but it doesn’t need to be that involved, you can try a short mediation, like THIS.

3.  Eat natural/whole foods.  You are what you eat.  I always knew this to be true, but since I have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease I have really come to realize how true this is.  What you put in your body has a profound effect on how you feel, mentally and physically.  Don’t take my word for it, eliminate some of the processed/sugary/carb laden foods from your diet and see what happens.  Eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables every day. Drink more water and a little less soda. In making these little changes, you’ll feel much better.  Not much time?  Try this awesome soup recipe I posted last week!

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4.  Be grateful.  We ALL have something to be grateful for.  Try focusing on that each day and not on all the things that we WISH we had or WISH we were.  It can be difficult some days but it will help you immensely.

5. Give someone a hug… or kiss. When we give someone a hug (or a kiss) we get an instant boost of oxytocin in our brains, which is the brain chemical that creates feelings of pleasure, bonding, and intimacy. So give out some more hugs and it’ll make you and the other person feel better.

6.  Sleep.  That is all.  Just sleep.  Your body needs to recover from the stresses of the day and this is the best way to do it.  Give yourself this gift, consistently, every day.

7. Spend time outside. For the majority of us have desk jobs and sit in front of a computer every day, we don’t end up getting nearly as much time in the sun as we should be. So take some walks outside, even if you live in the frozen tundra like me, get some fresh air every day.  It helps, I know this from experience.

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8. Create something. Previous generations of our families took up things like knitting, cooking, drawing, playing music, dancing, painting, and so on. Today it seems that most of us have exchanged this for working more hours and spending more time mindlessly checking our cell phones and watching tv.  Honestly, there’s not a lot of joy that can come out of that.  So find a little hobby and start doing it. As you all have read I have taken up knitting, but another hobby that I have picked up are these great adult coloring books!!  I invested in some really good colored pencils and I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying this little hobby!!

**bonus item** Get a pet.  I know on the surface it seems like getting a pet will give you one MORE stressor, another living thing to care for besides yourself but I am here to tell you that having a pet can really make you feel better when you are down and there is something about the unconditional love of a pet that makes you feel good, and I don’t need to quote all the research that has been done on pet owners living longer and being healthier. (but there’s a link there anyway, just in case )

What are YOU doing to care for yourself?  Have YOU experienced the joy that is adult coloring?

 

xoxo

Heidi