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You don’t have to have hippy tendencies to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy. There are many different ways you can use smells to shift or improve your mood. From wax melts and candles to diffusing oils and bubble baths.
Baking is a triple edged sword (if there is such a thing) when it comes to self-care. It’s something that can be done alone, with friends and family or even as part of a class. Plus the added bonus is there is something delicious to eat at the end!
For some people, cleaning is their therapy. And a clean space is more than just clean. It’s calming, it’s motivating, it’s certainly helpful. Sometimes it’s what you do when you feel like you just need to do something. And sometimes it’s just a quick win to make you feel like you’ve achieved something.
Isn’t it nice sometimes to just daydream? Daydream about your dream job, dream holiday, dream life, or even just your perfect day. Thinking about the possibilities is one way to turn them into reality.
There are so many ways to exercise. From serious competitive sport to a weekly yoga class or even just going for a walk around the block. Exercise releases those endorphins that make you feel good. Plus there are so many unexpected benefits of working out. And if you need help to find ways to work out with kids, I’ve got you covered.
Spending time with my friends really fills my cup. It took me a while to find them. I used to complain to my husband about the lack of close female friends in my life. He would always say that I’d make friends with the other school mums, even though we were no way near close to having kids. But for me, even catching up with just one of my friends has a tremendous impact. Most likely because I find it a bit easier to have one on one conversations. And there are some friends out there that just make you feel drained after spending time with them. I’ve recognised who they are and try to limit the time I spend with them.
This can be hard when you are starting to be more grateful. So learning why you need a gratitude journal and how to start one is a great start. Start with some really simple things. When I first started practising gratitude I would just repeat the same things over and over again.
- I am grateful for my house that provides shelter from the elements for my family
- I am grateful for the rain that waters the garden and fills my water tank
- I’m grateful for my husband that works hard to provide for us
- I am grateful for my car that allows me to go to work, visit my friends and family and take my daughter on adventures
One of the easiest ways to look after yourself is to make sure you’re getting enough water. Now I know I really can’t preach about this. Getting my fluid intake is something that I really struggle with. So I’ve set the bar kinda low and it took me quite a while to even hit the mark consistently with it.
Invest in yourself
How many times do we buy things for other people? And how often do you buy things to invest in yourself? Take some time to think about how you can invest in yourself. It might be worth it to invest in some better quality or sustainably produced clothes. Maybe it’s time to step it up at work with some further education. Or increase your skills when it comes to a hobby like writing or photography.
Everyone needs some laughter in their life. And sometimes the lamest of lame dad jokes are just what we need. My favourite ways to have a good laugh are:
- Watching movies, White Chicks and We’re The Millers are my favourites
- Fail Army videos on Facebook or youtube
- Brandon Farris videos on Facebook (this is my newest fave)
Journaling is a great way to get to know yourself. Somethings we have a passing thought about something, but when we really pay attention and think about it properly our thoughts often change. I really surprised myself when I sat down and really answered the question What do I want? and What don’t I want? The list of things I didn’t want wasn’t very long, but I had a list of over 50 things I want. That’s crazy. If you flat out asked me what I want I could probably only think of 5 things.
Sometimes your list of little tasks or errands can build quicker than (something). And sometimes you just need to take half a day, or a whole day, to knock some of those tasks off your list. Sometimes its things that probably are important, like a doctor, dentist or optometrist appointment. Other times its getting photos printed, buying birthday cards or getting something finally dry cleaned.
It can be hard to find motivation sometimes. But really all it takes is completing one task, big or small, to get the motivation wheel turning. After completing one task, you start another and so on. Soon you will have knocked off half of the things on your to do list.
Take a trip down memory lane. Look through your old Facebook photos. Strike up a conversation with an old friend by saying remember when? Listen to the songs you remember from school discos. Watch some of your old favourite TV shows on a streaming service or YouTube.
Open your mind and be present. Be open to new ideas, opinions, discussions and change.
Make a plan. Make a plan for your day. Make a plan for your goals. Make a plan for your dinners for the week. Make a plan to start saving or get out of debt. Start planning your next holiday.
Not meditate, but just have minimal to no noise. Between the tv, radio, podcasts and computers, noise is pretty much everywhere. Having some quiet time can help you recharge and really focus on what you’re doing.
- Do the dishes or chores in silence
- Drive with the radio off
- People watch at a local cafe
I can give you a list a mile long of books I think you should read. I’m not going to do that. If you like to read, you already know what kind of books you like. Just make sure you read stuff you do like. And if you don’t like it stop reading it. IT took me a while to be ok with that one.
As well as keeping hydrated, getting enough sleep is also pretty vital. It can be hard to tell how much sleep you really need, but for most adults, 7-8 hours is just right. And I think by now you’ve learned that you can’t catch up on sleep. So trying to wake up and go to sleep around the same times, regardless of the day of the week, can be really helpful.
The hardest part about therapy is making that first appointment. Whether its the appointment with your GP to get the referral, or calling to book your first therapy session. I promise it does get easier after making that call.
Some of the people and brands we choose to follow aren’t always good for us. I know I’ve had to unfollow people and brands because I don’t like the way I feel after having an interaction with them. Unplug yourself from your computer, your phone and social media. Maybe even create some further disconnect between yourself and your tv. The easiest way I have found to unplug is by using the downtime setting on my iPhone. It blocks all of my apps, apart from a select few, between certain hours. So from 10 pm until 7 am all of my apps (excluding phone, text message, podcast and music apps) are greyed out and I get a warning when I try to open them.
Visit friends and family or visit a place you love. For me, my favourite place is the Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie and the nearby park. It’s my favourite place to catch up with my friends that all have kids around the same age. There are also a bunch of places I like to visit on mother daughter dates.
Work towards a goal
If you’ve set a resolution or two, or more its time to take some action. If you set a word for the year its time to remember it and start living by it. Make a plan that is going to help you achieve your goals, even if it means breaking it down into the smallest possible steps you need to take.
Think about what makes you different. If you are really stuck for ideas, reach out to those that know you best. You might be surprised by what they come up with.
Say yes to things that scare you. Say yes to something you might normally say not to. There’s been a trend of YouTube videos where parents say yes to everything their kids suggest. So say yes to your kids more often. You might be surprised where that simple yes might take you.
Take some time out to just sit and do nothing. Or stare at the clouds. Close your eyes and really listen to the sounds that you can hear and the things that you can feel.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of self care ideas. But there sure are a lot of options and ideas to get you thinking about how you can take better care of yourself.