While I sometimes feel like this one is a little overdone, there is also some value to taking a moment to pause and think about it.
You don’t need to share a post a day about what you’re grateful for. You don’t even need to tell us here in social media land what you’re grateful for.
BUT, if you’re feeling low, it doesn’t hurt to take a moment, grab a Post-It note or the back of an envelope, or the notes app on your phone, and jot down three things that make you glad you’re here today.
OMG I miss having a bathtub so much. Long soaks are among my favorite things. More often than not I’m just taking a quick “get ready for work” shower, but every now and then I appreciate a nice long shower.
Warm water eases muscle tension and gets your circulation going, but did you know you can wash away more than grime? If you’ve had a rough day, hop in the shower! Visualize washing away negative emotions, angry words, or any of the crud people flung at you that day.
All that and you can sneak in a few minutes of alone time! (maybe… minus pets and small noisy humans). Enjoy!
This is one of my personal favorite self-care tools. I definitely see a difference in my stress levels when I haven’t done anything creative in a while. I have done a few different coloring books over the last couple of years. As many of you know, I am also an artist and regularly doodle or create art.
I recommend treating yourself to a big box of markers and your favorite themed coloring book. There are some funny swear word ones out there. I have a dragon one, and one with general abstract, swirly designs. You can also just grab a pencil and an inexpensive sketchbook.
What’s your favorite creative outlet?
You know that ‘all work and no play’ thing? It’s easy to get on the work, work, work routine and forget to take a little time out for fun.
Schedule a movie night or a game night with friends. Rent skis or snowshoes and take a little winter adventure. Make a snowman. Plan a day trip somewhere you haven’t been yet. Or just do something fun you used to love and haven’t done in ages.
A little lighthearted fun and laughter can do wonders for your well-being.
Finding alone time can be a challenge, and walks in the winter are a tad challenging. But, if you can find a time this month to go outside for a walk alone, I highly recommend it.
When you’re not paying attention to what the people with you are saying or doing, you get a chance to pay more attention to your surroundings. You might notice more birds, interesting patterns in the ice, or critter tracks in the snow. You also get a chance to just clear your head while getting some fresh air and exercise.
Of course, keep safety in mind. If you’re going to walk alone after dark, choose a fairly populated area or carry a self-defense tool. I recommend picking a sunny day and checking out one of the dozens and dozens of beautiful nature trails in our area. Now, go outside!
My name is Tricia and I have a clutter problem. Raise your hand if you’re with me.
One of my goals this year is to start working on some of my clutter. In fact, this weekend I tackled one small clutter pile. I feel pretty good about it!
Even if it’s just sorting out a junk drawer you’ve been meaning to deal with, pick a spot and go to work. Set out what you need to sort, like a trash can, a file box, a shredder… Don’t be sentimental. If it’s been in a clutter pile for a year, there’s a darned good chance you don’t need it. The next time you walk by that former clutter site, you’ll feel pretty good about it!
Touch Base With an Old Friend
Got someone you miss talking with? Old friends that you haven’t seen much of because of the pandemic? Reach out to them! Heck, reach out to more than one!
You can do the standard text or message them. You could *cringe* call them on the phone! You could even get a little creative and send them a snail mail note or card. Sometimes I like to drop a meme on a friend that’s one of those inside jokes, just for a giggle. Or find a really old photo and share it on social media.
Have some fun with it! Sometimes, it does the soul good to reminisce with an old friend, remember some laughs and good times.
Stretching is one of those things that you (I) know makes you (me) feel better, but it’s so hard to remember to do! At least for me. And I should, theoretically, know better!
Of course, there’s the obvious stretch before/after a workout or physical exercise (or giving a massage), but there are some other times where stretching may benefit you physically and mentally. Stretching when you get up in the morning helps you get your blood circulating and loosens up those movable parts that have stiffened up overnight. Stretching before bed can help prevent leg cramps and other muscle spasms. It can also relieve the tension that may cause headaches, neck pain, and injuries from “sleeping wrong”.
Stretching during the workday is especially important for those who spend a lot of time at a computer. Take time to look up at the ceiling, lean back in your chair to stretch your neck and pecs to help prevent “tech neck”, tension headaches, and upper back pain. Check out something called the Pomodoro Technique – breaking your workday into 25-minute blocks with 5-minute breaks in between. After four or so, you take a longer break of 15-20 minutes. Use the short breaks to get up, walk around, and stretch your neck and shoulders. You can even find apps that do the timing for you.
“Motion is Lotion”, so get started today keeping all of your moving parts stretched and moving well to reduce pain and increase your mobility!
I know, I know… who has time to sit and say ohhhm for a half-hour? I can’t shut my squirrel brain off that long! Who can get their body into that weird pretzel position for that long?!
Did you know you can just sit in a comfy chair to meditate? You don’t even have to say “ohhmmm”. Here are some tips to incorporate meditation into your life:
YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify… the interwebs are full of recorded guided meditations. I’m a long-time fan of Jason Stephenson on YouTube. He has a huge collection of meditations for practically anything you can think of, including anxiety relief, sleep, affirmations, and healing. He also has what I think is a very soothing voice. Find his YouTube Channel here.
This is a book written by a friend that features one-page meditations that can be practiced all day—while doing the dishes, waiting at the doctor’s office, or even in the shower. See? No pretzel required. (Great, now I want pretzels.) You can find the book here.
You don’t have to really even have a recording or an intent. Sometimes there’s magic in just putting down the work, phone, or responsibilities for five minutes and sitting quietly, staring into space. If your squirrel brain wants to gather nuts, just let it. Sometimes you might even find a solution you couldn’t see before around all the distractions.
There aren’t really any rules to meditating. There are different styles you might find you like, or you can totally make up your own. Like anything, it takes a little practice, so don’t give up after the first attempt. You got this!