Self-Care Practices

Honoring and taking good care of ourselves is something that is often overlooked. We put it off because we get so busy tending to other daily tasks and needs of others. Maybe the intention is there, but it turns into a, "Oh, I'll get around to that tomorrow," deal or something of the sort. Here's the thing, though, how can we be our best selves if we aren't taking proper care of ourselves? Self care isn't selfish and it should be a priority. This is where balance comes in. Once you start implementing small self care practices to your daily routine, you will notice your inner places of peace rise to the surface. Do things for you and stop pleasing and meeting everyone's needs before your own. Of course there are the common known ways of caring for yourself such as eating healthy and exercising, journaling, and spending time doing things that make you happy, but here are a few other ways you may not have thought of. What are some of your favorite ways to practice self care?

Say no
Do it. It feels so good. Whether it be an event, plan, or project, sometimes you just have to say no instead of yes. AND THAT IS OK! People will understand. Things can pile up pretty fast and before you know it, you're running around like a crazy person with little to no down-time for yourself - something very vital in life balance

Write a gratitude list
I'm currently working on incorporating this into my daily lifestyle (and remembering to do so), but gratitude is so important in self-care. I know I talk about gratitude lists a lot on my blog, but realizing and appreciating all the goodness in your life will make you feel so much better. 

Listen to a podcast
I never thought I'd say it, but I've become a frequent podcast listener. Turn the TV off and find a podcast that fuels your passion and ignition. It's interesting listening to people talk about something they are so passionate about and it can really spark some inspiration. 

Early morning quiet time
Waking up early enough in the morning to give yourself extra minutes of just sitting and observing and thinking is much more beneficial than you'd think. It allows you the time to sort your thoughts for the day and create a mental plan. Maybe take some time to meditate and clear your headspace to start the day off on a fresh note. 

Change your space
Change your environment up a bit and go somewhere else for a few hours. I like to do this when I'm working on my computer. Different atmosphere sparks up new and different thoughts and perspectives. Maybe grab a coffee with a friend of even go by yourself. Don't stay in the same room in the same building in the same neighborhood in the same town for too long. 

Go to bed earlier than usual
Honestly, you could probably use the extra hour or two of sleep. Especially if work has been extra hectic lately or you've been having more plans to attend to. Don't wear yourself down, keep yourself well rested for the day ahead of you. 

Ask for help
This one may be difficult because some people don't like asking for help or admitting that they need help. But just do it. Save yourself the headache. People are there to help you and they want to help you. Maybe return the favor next time you see someone who looks like they, themselves, may need some assistance. It will feel good. 

The Art of Balance

I thank the universe
for taking everything
it has taken
and giving everything
it is giving 
- balance

I thought I would come to you today with some advice and thoughts on balance, because I was flipping through "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur and read something that really made me think. I'm by no means an expert, but as I've grown older, I'd like to think I've learned a lot about myself, and more in particular, I've learned that balance is a vital ingredient to be an organized, happy, and wholesome individual. Now, I would say I'm a pretty organized person. I keep things organized and clean in my home and at my work desk, I set deadlines, and I've been often told that I manage my time quite efficiently. I like to stay on top of things. I'm a pretty happy person as well and I try to keep a positive mindset. But that doesn't mean I don't get really down or stressed or anxious about little things in life along the way. Let me tell you, stress is my biggest enemy. It makes me worry like no other, lash out when I don't mean to, and sort of makes me just want to disappear for a little while. This is why balance is so important - so I don't get to those stressing points; doing little things here and there to keep me in the right direction. It's important to understand that the world...and life in general... functions on a balanced scale. Good things happen and bad things happen. Life takes and life gives. We have time for work and we have time for leisure. If we didn't have time for work, we wouldn't have some of the leisurely things in our lives, and if we didn't take time for ourselves, we wouldn't function properly at work. I've learned when it comes to deadlines, starting early is a huge reliever. If you have a free day, start on something a week or two in advance so you don't run into any issues. But, in the same vein, be sure to actually set days aside strictly for 'you' time. No work, no worries; nothing to bring you stress. If you like spending time outdoors, do that. If you enjoy bubble baths, facials, and tea, do that. Have your alone time for self-reflection and have social time with friends and family to connect. Manage your time efficiently and make time for things that bring you happiness while you also juggle inevitable life stressors. It's true, balance isn't always an easy thing to conquer. I've concluded over time that routines work great for me, but they don't always block out the stressful moments and that's OK. It's normal and you aren't alone. You just have to remember to breathe.
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