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My life has changed drastically in the past few years. I went from feeling like an emotional, erratic mess, to feeling the most together I ever have. If you feel this way too, then these self care ideas are for you!
These simple self care ideas have transformed my life and my mental health. While ups and downs are unavoidable, following these few self care values have helped me create a better life for myself and my loved ones. I hope they help!
Stop listening to everyone – find the people who are where you want to be
Our family and friends might mean well, but that does not mean they’re always the best people to go to for advice.
Sometimes, it can actually set us back.
I spent years listening to people who weren’t where I wanted to be. I knew that. But I thought I could learn from their mistakes. Sometimes that can be true. And sometimes it’s not.
The best advice I ever got was to listen to the people who are where I want to be. The people that tell you to go for it, that it’s possible and that are honest about the journey because they’ve been through it.
Most changes are not easy. But if we find the right people to give us good, solid advice, we can learn so much more. And our journey becomes that bit easier.
But most of all, nothing beats the encouragement of people who have been there.
Related content: 3 Tips To Be a Better Decision Maker
Accept & honour yourself for who you are, right now
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
A lot of us (myself included) spend days and hours dreaming about the future us. How together we’ll be and how much better we’ll feel about ourselves, our work and our life.
But when we spend a lot of time thinking about the end game, we tend forget all we have to do to get there. We avoid the fact that, to be the person we want to be, we have to sift through the darkness. We have to look at all the stuff we try to avoid or tell ourselves we’ve solved (when deep down we know we haven’t).
It comes down to accepting our difficulties, and who we are right now. And respecting that everything we’ve been through has led to the person we are today.
As Brene says, we need to own our story.
Even though this is scary, dark and sometimes painful process, it’s also a process of self love. Of really looking at yourself and saying it’s okay.
Showing yourself a lil’ love and treating yourself like you would a friend, can really do self care wonders for your mind & mental health.
Create your long term vision by asking yourself how you want to feel not what you want
We spend a lot of time setting goals & not achieving them because our goals don’t motivate us.
Often, when we start something and realise it’s not what it seems, motivation can fade away!
Something that helped me change that was shifting my thinking to “what do I want” to “how do I want to feel”. When I focused on how I wanted to feel day by day, I started to realise that what I was doing wasn’t getting me there. And that was why I was so unhappy.
For example, a lot of us say that more money would make us happy right? But when we get the new job or promotion, after a few months, the novelty of it wears off. Because we’ve spend time thinking about the object as oppose to the feeling.
Even though we have more money, we might be working more hours or in a culture that doesn’t fit to us. And suddenly, the unhappiness creeps in and we tell ourselves that we’re just difficult or ungrateful.
When I started thinking about how I wanted to feel, the words freedom, loving my day, owning my work schedule and doing deep, meaningful work where what came up.
When I adjusted my goals and focuses to things that were going to create those feelings, that’s when my life really started to change. I found what I loved to do and gave me all the important things I was looking to feel in my life.
But most of all, I felt on point. I felt aligned with what I was doing and who I was because I had thought about that first, as oppose to objects.
While working after work could be tough, I kept my long term vision & feelings in mind. I knew the rewards and I reminded myself constantly. This is what kept me going.
So how do you want to feel? What’s your vision of your ideal day? What are the people that are where you want to be, doing?
There’s so much information out there to get you started!
Set 1 simple goal
Setting our goals and creating a vision can be exciting stuff. But sometimes, we’re one step away from running.
When we start to have a look at where we are right now and where we want to be, the comparison hole gets deeper.
We start to really question who we are right now and whether we can ever be that type of person. It’s a tough process.
One of the self care ideas that’s really worked for me to get out of that “can I” & “should I” goal setting loop is to set 1 simple for each area I want to change.
For example, I was focused on my eating habits. But cutting everything out and going cold turkey isn’t my thing. I struggled.
So instead, I choose one food group, and started slowly.
I’ve done the same with working out. I got into it and fell out of it again. So I decided to start with just a simple 20 minute walk 3 times a week. It’s a small goal, but it helps me to build on it.
When I go in hard, quickly, I find myself LESS motivated.
So what area of your life are you looking to change? What’s one simple goal you could aim for? Simple goals may seem small right now, but over time they add up to big changes.
Choose what you will and won’t accept in life
The only thing we can control in life is ourselves. We can’t control or change someone else. And more often than not, we can’t change our circumstances.
Out of all the lessons in my life and out of all the self care ideas that I speak about, this is the most important.
Who you let into your space is important. Positive, supportive, loving people can not only support you, but help you support others. When you’re around people that help you, you become better for it. And then you have the power and strength to help others.
But, the opposite is also true. When you’re around people that bring you down, it’s more than likely that you can do the same. Negative people can bring undue stress to your life. And really affect you and the loving ones around you.
So sometimes, it’s also worth considering your company. Who do you keep seeing because you feel you have to, even though when you see them, you feel drained? Are you respecting yourself and your space when you put up with certain peoples behaviour that you know takes all your energy? These are genuine things to consider and are SO important when it comes to your mental health.
It’s empowering when you decide what you will and won’t allow in your life. And can save you a sh*t load of stress.
Find your calm routine
Life can be stressful. Even if you do everything on this list, some days our mind and tough thoughts can’t be escaped. And that’s okay! Life was never meant to be smooth sailing.
But something that can help on those weeks, is finding a calm routine that works for you.
I’ve found using simple self care ideas such as incense, essential oils & a nice bath works wonders for days when the stress levels are through the roof! I’ve also found daily meditation has helped me too.
What could you do to create your own calm routine?
Even if it’s just taking 10 minutes out to read a book, watch a video or go for a walk.
Find a routine that helps calm you and gets you back to you.
Recapping the self care ideas on this post:
- Stop listening to everyone! Try finding people who are where you want to be and taking their advice. While our family and friends might mean well, the best place to really create change is by people who have done it already!
- Accept and honor who you are right now – this is an important step in any mental health change. When we begin to accept and appreciate ourselves for all that we are and have done, we move forward with a different mindset that can change our lives.
- When setting goals and your vision, focus on what you want to feel NOT what you want. This can help you create goals that keep you motivated, even when things get tough!
- Set 1 simple goal to start with. Small changes are important. If you want to get fit, try adding a 20 minute walk every few days first. By easing into it, you can create long lasting habits.
- Choose what you will and won’t accept in your life. If there are people or circumstances that are draining you and you have the power to change it – change it! Remember, we get what we accept.
- Find a routine that can help calm you. Whatever works for you! Whether it’s painting, gardening or dancing in the bathroom!