25 Ideas For Self-Care

Ever feel like the more you give the more people want from you? 

We live in a society that rewards selfless behavior from women. Women are the care givers and many of us often neglect our own needs. We are too busy taking care of everyone else.  At some point, however, this self-sacrificing tendency begins to take its toll. We become irritable, resentful, or even ill.

With the additional stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to start taking care of yourself, for your own well-being and those for whom you care. The world is having to take a break right now through social distancing and quarantine. What that means for women is you could be bombarded with the needs of your family and the stress of the world’s illness. In order to stay sane and well, some new habits may be required.

Your health and your sanity depend on it and if you are to be any good at taking care of others, you have to be able (physically and mentally) to do so. The “law of reciprocity” states that in order to give, you must receive; the following list are some ways you can take a little time to receive.  

Here are 25 delightful, yummy, fun, and sensuous ways you can begin to take good care of yourself, so you can keep on being there for the ones you love.

  • Take a hot aromatherapy bath at least 3 times each week. This practice promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
  • Learn how to love yourself: Give yourself credit and say, “I love you” to yourself, in the mirror and as you go about your day.
  • Carve out a few hours per week, that are just for you. Your choice. “Me time” is an essential part of your self-care regime.
  • Take up a hobby or sport you always wanted to do, and then commit to doing it as part of your self-care routine.
  • Meditate. Just a few minutes a day can bring you a sense of inner peace and relaxation. There are many different methods from which to choose.
  • Focus on your breath. When you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a few minutes to just breathe. Focus on the in… and the out-breath. This helps calm the nervous system as well as refresh you.
  • Rest with your legs up against the wall. Scoot your butt up close to the wall and lift your legs. Allow your arms to flop out to the sides. Relax. It will get the blood flowing to your head; rejuvenate your legs, your mind, and your whole body.
  • Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel good. It tones your muscles, increases your circulation, improves your heart health, and can contribute to weight loss.
  • Find out what you are passionate about. Many of us, as women, are so focused on pleasing others that we don’t even know who we are or what we love to do! Try out new things and discover who you really are.
  • Practice gratitude. At the end of every day, write down three (or five, ten or 100) things for which you are grateful. Make sure you experience the feeling of gratitude. Keep a gratitude stone. Hold it in your hand as you think of the thing you feel most grateful for this day.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature is a wonderful healer. She calms us down and helps us decompress. It is good to sit by water, feel the breeze on your skin, and enjoy the benefits of sunlight. Nature is good for you.
  • Eat well. Simply start to eat more vegetables every day. Add in some fresh, organic greens, or some crunchy carrot sticks or celery. Add in seeds and a few nuts, and eat more chicken and fish than red meat. Choose organic when you can.
  • Drink enough water every day. There is no hard and fast rule for how much is enough but the experts currently say about nine glasses for women and thirteen glasses for men. That’s a lot! Drinking plenty of water hydrates your skin and helps keep it smooth and supple.
  • Sleep well. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Drink chamomile or another calming type tea in the evening. Put a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow.
  • Laugh. Find a reason to laugh every single day. Watch funny movies, try to see the funny side of a situation, or practice laughing for no reason at all. Yoga laughter is one way to learn this!
  • Let go. One of the biggest keys to a happy, healthy life is in learning to let go. Learn to let go of what you cannot control, of outcomes, of stress, and let go of being right.
  • Sing. Whether it’s in the shower, in the car on the way to work, in a choir or a band, singing makes you feel good. It releases endorphins and oxytocin, which help you feel happy and connected to others.
  • Do yoga. Yoga has so many benefits: A calm mind and a relaxed body; greater strength and muscle tone; improved flexibility and tranquility.
  • Forgive yourself and others. Forgiveness is a practice, which benefits you and your mental health as much as it benefits the one who is forgiven. Practice daily and above all, forgive yourself.
  • Eat chocolate. Chocolate contains anandamide, the “bliss enzyme”. Chocolate was called the “food of the gods.” Why would you deny yourself this sensuous delight?
  • Take action. The key to self-care and wellness is to put some of these ideas into practice. That means taking action. Otherwise, nothing changes. What small step will you take today?
  • Surround yourself with positive people. People who lift you up, encourage, and support you are healthy to be with. Limit interactions with those who drain you or put you down. That means, drop those FB friends who are not positive and pull you down.
  • Take time to smell the roses. Life goes by very fast and stopping to be present enhances the journey. It also keeps you calm, centered, and much less stressed. Caring for yourself means enjoying and savoring each precious moment we have been given. Don’t let life pass you by.

  • De-clutter a room in your home. You will feel so much more at ease when you get rid of all the excess. You may find that you are able to concentrate better, and you will feel more relaxed with less clutter.
  • Create an affirmation and say it daily. Try one of these or make up your own: “I love myself and treat myself kindly.” “My health is flourishing and so is my life.”

Give a few of these ideas a try and begin taking care of yourself. We all need some tender love and care.

Dare to Follow Your Inner Guide

Have you ever just known in your heart that you should do something?

Or avoid something?

Usually you think you know what to do, but self-doubt and other well intended people give their “honest opinion” that rains on your parade.

Such was the case with my book entitled Wiggle: Super Powers You Never Knew You Had.  You see, the title and cover for the book go against most “expert” opinions about what you should name a self-help book or what kind of cover it should have. I had a LOT of opinion coming at me from several directions. The doubters did not like the name because “It sounds like a children’s book.” Then to make matters worse, I used a cartoon looking cover with a dog on it! “And what’s up with those Super Powers?”

The book was written to hopefully help people. I did not have the intention of making a bunch of money or even trying to find a publisher. But being a competitive person, I got caught up in trying to do the best I could with the project and hoping it would be a success to my standards. So I read books about self-publishing and dove into the never-ending supply of “free seminars, books, videos” designed by people who sell “how to write a bestseller.”

I wrote the book. Then when the time came, I agonized over the name and the cover for quite some time and almost buckled under the pressure of “the experts”.

But what made the decision so hard, was without WIGGLE and the concept of wiggling, the book really was just any other self-help book. If I changed the title and used a more conventional name it might sell better but  it was not me. I knew in my heart that it was wrong to go against the original name.

My advice to people is to follow your heart, to listen to your inner voice. So, I stopped listening to the experts and their followers and did what I knew was right for me.

When it launched the kindle book immediately took the #1 spot in several categories as a New Release. It then went to the TOP 100 in New Releases.  As suggested by the experts, I did some free promotions and the downloads were over 3000 topping the charts in the free categories as well. After the promotions the book was able to achieve #1 Bestseller status in one category and top spots in several other very competitive categories.

Now it has tapered off and may bottom out. I am happy and have enjoyed hearing from people who have found my book to be helpful. No matter what happens from here out, it was true to my inner guidance.

I encourage you to listen to your heart and follow what you know is right for you. It may not be the popular choice. It has a potential to go all kinds of wrong. But then again, it has the potential to be wildly successful and better than you ever dreamed.

Dare to Follow Your Inner Guide!

 

Reinvent Yourself

What if you were the Mayor of a dying town…

What would you do to save the town…all the people depend on you…the livelihood of thousands depend on YOU.

I recently took a long driving trip from Texas to Michigan. Along the way we passed by a little town with an interesting story, Casey, IL.  As is the case of many small towns in our country, years ago, Casey, IL was a dying town. The travelers on  I-70 were passing by and Casey was going unnoticed.

Thanks to the creative genius of Jim Bolin and his family, Casey, IL now proudly boasts several BIG Achievements. That is, Casey holds several Guinness Book World’s Records. The first record was the World’s Largest Wind Chime, located at 109 East Main St. The chime was installed in 2011 and was just the beginning. They now have the Worlds Largest Rocking Chair, Knitting Needles and Crochet Hook, Mailbox, Golf Tee, and Pitchfork. The town also has many large attractions that are not “certified” as the World’s Largest, but fun to see nevertheless: I saw a large bird cage, pencil, yard stick, cactus, minion, ruler, and teeter totter (soon to be certified). Each item must be functional in order to be considered for the Guinness Book of World Records.  Below is a picture I took of the knitting needles and crochet hook, along with the items made during the Guinness certification.

Needles and Hook
Worlds largest knitting needles and crochet hook, located at The Farmer’s Wife, Casey, IL

Besides being Super Sized, this story is a fantastic example of Reinventing something.  It started with one idea… the Windchimes (see below). Little by little,  excitement grew and the town became known for something.  The inhabitants started to feel really good about living in Casey, IL. Tour buses now come to see all of these works of wonder and money flows. The little town is prosperous.

windchimes
World’s Largest Windchimes at Casey, IL

What can we learn from Casey, IL?

Obviously, not everyone can go build a World Record sized object. However, each one of us has talents and abilities that go untapped. You can reinvent yourself. Just like at Casey, you might have to start slowly and make changes gradually. It took several years to build the Windchimes.  We are all a work in progress. If you do not like who you are today, think about what you can do to make some changes.

What would you like to be?

Think about what special talents you have that could be put to use.

How might you start using those talents to help others?

How can you express something you have always wanted to say?

 

Your reinvention may not be large in size. Your change might be something other people might not notice at first. The key is to decide what you want to do and begin taking the actions you need in order to make change happen in your life.

So, right NOW – write down what you would like to change or begin in your life.  Write down on that same page, any ideas you have about the subject. Can you think of a way to actually take the first step toward doing this thing? If not, don’t panic…keep the paper near you and when an idea comes to mind, write it down.

If you can think of something to do…write down how, what, who, all the details you can think of to make this idea happen. Then, wait a day before doing it.

I know, that sounds kind of crazy…I am trying to get you to take action, but I am saying wait?  Yes. Wait. Let the idea ferment in your mind. Sleep on it. Get more specific about what you want to do. Do not jump off a cliff because you came up with a great idea.

After you have thought it over and made your plans more specific. TAKE ACTION. Small actions are usually a good idea, especially when going after a big dream. Why? Because you are making a big change and change does not usually just happen over night. It usually takes work, and time, and sustained effort.

As you progress with this idea, make adjustments as needed. It may take building several “World Record” projects before people start noticing your change. Keep the little town of Casey, IL in your thoughts as you make your changes and develop you plans.

Begin today, what you will be tomorrow.