Self-Care

Selfcare is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good selfcare is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety(Psychcentral.com).

Self-care is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Doing so enhances our ability to live fully, vibrantly, and effectively. The practice of self-care also reminds both you and others that your needs are valid and a priority(activeminds.org).

Here are two definitions of self-care. I thought I should do a post on this topic, because I believe most people forget to apply this in life. And I think it is important, during these times to have some self-care. It is important to nourish your mind, body and soul. It is a wonderful thing to do things for ourselves. We like to help others, but sometimes forget to help ourselves, and that can be a downfall for some.

Having some self-care time can help one become healthier, happier, refreshed and more at peace. Agnes Wainman explained, self-care is “something that refuels us, rather than takes from us.”(Psychcentral.com). I really like that explanation. Self-care is about doing something that benefits oneself physically, mentally,spiritually and emotionally.  I like to list some things you can do to apply self-care in your lives. There are many things one can do to practice self-care.

  • Take a walk(probably one of my favorite things to do, and always recharges me, and makes me feel refreshed)
  • Give yourself a pedicure/manicure
  • Meditate(another thing that relaxes my mind and body.
  • Exercise(it is important for the body and mind to get at least 30 minutes of activity a day)
  • Mindful time(avoiding distractions and allowing time to be with yourself and your thought can help you find peace and clarity)
  • Eat nutritional foods(your body and mind need the right amount of nutrients to thrive)
  • Take a hot bath
  • Apply lotions/oils to body
  • Journal(always good for oneself to get our thoughts out to the world, it is also helpful to look back on your words to see how you have grown as an individual, or how far you have come)
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Read a book
  • Go outside and lay down,watch the clouds, or look at the stars-depending on the time of day
  • Put on a homemade facemask
  • Have a splurge day(buying something you may not need, but enjoy buying, or eating something unhealthy, but enjoy eating once in awhile)
  • Be creative(color,draw,compose,knit,crotchet,sew)
  • Write down 5 positive things about yourself, and your life
  • Try a new recipe
  • Learn a new language
  • Learn something new about something you find interesting
  • Connect with family and friends(skype calls,or phone calls may be ideal at the moment)
  • Dress up(even though you can’t go out, sometimes it is nice to just dress up for fun, do it for yourself.It might make you feel good.
  • Watch/read inspirational stuff(whenever I feel uninspired/unmotivated, I always seek inspiration to get me back into my flow)
  • Try crossword puzzle/sudoku
  • Have your favorite meal or dessert
  • Have a glass of wine
  • Take time away from SNS(social media can create turmoil and negativity to your life, sometimes pulling away can be good for you)
  • Go to a lake/beach(just hearing the water, looking at the water flow,just being there in nature can be therapeutic)
  • Play an instrument
  • Play board/video games

There are plenty of things you can try to apply self-care in your life. I wanted to remind you all to take care of yourself, and always try to seek ways to improve your mind and body, so one can live a happy, peaceful and fulfilled life. This can all be done by taking care of yourself by doing things you enjoy, and that can benefit your mind, body and soul. It is okay to do things for yourself every once in awhile. Everyone needs self-care time.

Source1:https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-self-care-is-and-what-it-isnt-2/

Source2:https://www.activeminds.org/about-mental-health/self-care/

Saturday Food for Thought Post

IMAG0487Practicing mindfulness doesn’t quickly alleviate anxiety, depression, or any other negative emotions. It takes patience, practice, persistence and training. I like the comparison of training for a marathon. Just like you build endurance for a race. You got to take the same steps to get to a more peaceful state of mind. My mind is a lot more at ease now that I have been practicing mindfulness for a couple of years. I keep improving, my negative emotions continue to reduce. Things I couldn’t handle before I am much better at coping with it now. Baby steps, how you cope and handle stressful situations, or difficulties in life will get better. You will be able to find more peace, calm, and happiness in your life. It isn’t a quick fix, but it will eventually get you to a more peaceful place with continuous practice. You will see results little by little.

Coping With Disappointment

I have written a previous post on this topic Rise From Disappointment I like to talk more on this subject, since I have been feeling a bit of disappointment lately. Disappointment is defined as sadness, or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hope and expectations.

We may have to face lots of disappointments, during these times with lots of plans being undetermined, or cancelled. I had plans, and goals this year, but it will most likely not happen, due to this pandemic, and how things are changing. I am a bit disappointed at the probability of the many concerts I planned to go to this summer not happening.

I will say, it is okay to feel disappointed, these feelings are part of life, and being human. Learning to accept these feelings can help one move forward. Hopes and expectations can lead to a person feeling sad, angry, disappointed, and unfulfilled. It is okay to make plans, hope, and be excited for future experiences. We just have to remember that life is unpredictable, and there is a possibility things won’t work out as planned. When we look towards the future, we are creating a world that doesn’t exist, whether it is an exciting, or scary experience. We don’t know what the future holds. The future experience we create in our minds doesn’t always mean it will become reality.

I found something interesting online that discusses the set-up of disappointment. They mention five steps.

1.You are in a situation where the outcome is uncertain

2.You hope for a positive outcome

3.You feel you deserve the positive outcome

4.You’re surprised you didn’t achieve the outcome

5.You couldn’t control the outcome through personal achievement

Source:https://www.bestpsychologydegrees.org/the-psychology-of-disappointment/

Number 3 is a key point. We tend to feel things are owed to us in life, but the reality is nothing is owed to us. Good things are not owed to us. Great experiences are not owed to us. Being aware of this can help one from not feeling anger, or bitterness towards oneself, or the world. It will stop you from asking why questions, like why me?, or why does bad things happen to me?, or why does the universe hate me? Questions like that, which necessarily doesn’t serve you in any way.

The last point is also important to look at. It sucks when something is out of our control. We don’t like when we can’t control a situation. It makes us feel powerless. Although, we can’t control the situation. We can control how we handle it, and how we can move forward from it. And that is also a powerful thing.

My plans may not happen, but I know there are plenty of other joyful experiences out there that I can experience, like taking scenic walks, going to the park, and going on hikes. I will just hope that I can experience these concerts someday in the future, that is all I can do. I know the excitement of the experience was created in my mind, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen the way I envision it, and that is okay. This mindset can also work towards stressful, or scary future situations that make you anxious. It may not be as bad as you think it will be, just like a fun experience may not be as exciting. Reality is different from our mind’s expectations. I will try to focus my energy on the experiences I can control.

Disappointment is a reality we should try to face, so we don’t end falling into a world of despair, sadness, and anger. In the end, with mindfulness, and life’s unpredictability. It is about facing reality, and the acceptance of that reality. This will help set your mind at ease, and create a more peaceful and happy life for oneself. It definitely helped for me.

Meditation: Life is not controlled. Expectation creates ...

Coping Through Uncertain/Difficult Times

Plans, vacations, appointments, schedules are all postponed, cancelled, or uncertain. Some are facing job losses, and financial instability. These times are difficult for everyone in one way, or another. It is hard to stay positive and calm all the time. Lots of thoughts may overwhelm you with all this uncertainty. With all of this, we must figure out ways to manage and cope. It is either that, or self-destruct, and fall into depression and despair. You, nor I, want that. I wanted to write down a list of ways that can help one cope through these tough times. So how do we cope?

Do what you can control:There are many things we can’t control about this situation, but all is not lost. There are also many things you can do. Things are not black or white, or all or nothing. There is grey area to work with. If you lost a job, maybe find ways to fill out resumes, and do job searches. I am sure there are plenty of places hiring, maybe some people you know may have some ideas, ask around. If you can’t go to the gym, do some home workouts, or do some exercises outdoors. If you can’t meet with friends, call them, or virtually hang out with them. There are things that you can do in this situation. It is all about working with what you got.

Find little joys&happiness:I just went for a walk Saturday. I also did some fun kpop reviews on my other blog. I really enjoyed doing this, and it made the weekend exciting. I was also excited to try these frozen fruits I bought yesterday. Finding little things like this that bring you joy is important through these times that may make you perceive the world negatively. Finding the little things that can make you happy can bring some excitement back to your life.

Take deep breaths/meditate:Whenever my thoughts overwhelm me. There can be times when all my thoughts about this uncertainty overwhelm my mind. I use the technique of taking deep breaths. This helps calm my thoughts. If you like to dig deeper. Closing your eyes, and doing some meditation can help calm your thoughts, and bring some clarity to the uncertainty.

Find Inspiration/Guidance: Looking for others for a different perspective, and outlook on life can be helpful. If I feel a bit down, I like to read my mindfulness books, and watch my favorite inspirational Youtube channels to guide me back to a more positive mindset. Doing this allows you to see things from a different perspective, and view things from a different light that you may not have thought of, or maybe just needing the reminder.

Express gratitude:We tend to put our focus on the negative. Try to take some time to write down 5 things you are grateful for. This could show you there are some good things going on in your life, and that not everything is bad. This could bring a bit of positivity back into your life.

Be productive/creative:This gives you a sense of accomplishment and achievement. It may be hard to do some things in these times, but there are plenty of creative, and productive things one can do to counteract the uncertainty, and difficulty of these times. It may even bring you joy after accomplishing these things.

Be kind to yourself:Remind yourself that it is okay to feel sad, anxious, lazy, lonely etc,… through this. These emotions are normal. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling this way. Show compassion and empathy for oneself.

Avoid News-The news likes to catastrophize, they like to show things that will shock their viewers. They rarely posts good news, because that isn’t what grabs attention. They tend to make things seem worse, than it is. Sometimes it is best to keep your distance from it. Be informed, but try not to consistently check up on it.

Talk to others/journal:Letting your concerns out to the world is very therapeutic. Try to use these outlets to help you cope. I always feel better writing my concerns down on paper, or talking to someone about it. Releasing it out, and not bottling it in can be very helpful.

Reflect on past coping skills: I saw this in one article I was reading for my research on this topic. I really liked this one. Delve into the past, and reflect on what you did in the past to help you cope through these times. We all been through something in the past, but you got through it obviously, what was it?, and can you apply it now? I like this one. This can help build your coping skills strength.

Take mindful breaks:I was on the computer yesterday, and I was getting overwhelmed with all the information being thrown at me. I was starting to feel lethargic and down. I decided to take a mindful break, and I felt so refreshed, rejuvenated, and relaxed once I did it. Being with your thoughts. You are able to find clarity, which then can help you problem-solve, and figure things out. Too much information being thrown at you can get overwhelming. It can also make it hard to confront your thoughts and concerns about life, so you may not be able to find clarity, and figure things out. A mindful break may be needed to gain perspective. It also allows you to live in the moment, and truly live. One is truly living when they are aware of the moment.

Accept:Last coping strategy, but certainty not least. These times make one aware that life is uncertain, unpredictable, and reminds you that losses will happen in life. Use this situation as lessons for the future. Uncertainty and difficulty will happen again. It is a natural part of life. Security, safety, and stability are not certain in this life. Situations like these helps bring us back to reality, and away from our perceived safety net of stability. Also, things can be much worse. Just think about all those movies & books about pandemics, or past diseases and viruses that killed many more people. See the reality of the situation, and keep moving forward.

We are all dealing with some type of difficulty, or struggle, but that is something we deal with daily, not just through this pandemic. That is life. There are good. There are positives as well. I hope these strategies can be helpful in some way. We just got to keep hanging on. Work through it. Keep moving forward. We will get through this, like the many other struggles we have gone through in the past. I hope you all have a lovely week.

Being Mentally Healthy

What exactly does being mentally healthy mean? We talk about physical health, but emphasis should also be put on mental health. How is one mentally healthy. There are many ideas of what constitutes as mentally healthy. The world health organization defines it as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to society.”

I have a couple of ideas of things that can fit into what defines a mentally healthy individual:

  • Ability to cope with difficult situations
  • Having a more positive, realistic approach to life
  • Acceptance of life’s situations
  • Ability to keep negative emotions at a minimum

All these factors can promote a healthy mindset. Mental health is about having clarity, awareness, understanding, and acceptance. The ability to practice mindfulness can cultivate a healthier mental mindset.

Helpguide.org mentions some other key components of being mentally healthy:

  • A sense of contentment
  • A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun.
  • The ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity.
  • A sense of meaning and purpose, in both their activities and their relationships.
  • The flexibility to learn new skills and adapt to change.
  • A balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc.
  • The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships.
  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem.

I just like to mention that having a mental disorder does not mean one can not be mentally healthy. It can be a disruption to one’s life, but it doesn’t define the person, and one can learn to cope with it, and live a mentally healthy and fulfilling life.

It is important to focus on our mental health. Being mentally healthy helps us navigate and cope through this unpredictable and stressful world we live in. It allows us to see things more positively, and gives us the opportunity to figure things out, and problem-solve.

In the article of Building Better Mental Health by Helpguide.org they define it wonderfully, they state ” Strong mental health isn’t just the absence of mental health problems. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental health refers to the presence of positive characteristics.” I truly believe it is important to put just as much emphasis on mental health as physical health. I holistic approach to our well-being is important to living a peaceful and fulfilling life.

Be Kind to Yourself When You Fail

There will be a something in life you would like to work on in your journey to self-growth and improvement. It may be eating healthier, working out more, being more positive, or productive, or being more kind to yourself, or whatever else it may be. I just like you to know there will be days on your journey when you will fall off track.

I write this because, although I like to be more mindful. There are days I fall into distractions. The thing is you must remember to remain kind to yourself, and not beat yourself down for one bad day. You are not perfect. I did feel like crap by the end of the day of being full of distractions, but instead of being hard on myself. I told myself I will be more mindful the next day, and that is what I did. I gave myself a pass, because I know I am human, and missteps will happen. I learned to move on from this, and keep moving forward.

Failure will happen from time to time. Try not to let that one bad day defeat you. It is one day you slipped up. There is always the next day to get back on track. You did nothing wrong by slipping into old habits, it happens. Habits are hard to break. Habits are part of who we are. As long as you are mindful of the bad day, and learn to accept what happened. You can move forward to getting back on track. Doing this can steer you away from beating yourself up, and punishing yourself for a human thing. You will fall many times, but it is important to learn to get back up just as many times.

Keep moving forward on your journey. Treat yourself with the kindness and compassion you deserve. Learn, accept, be kind, and move forward. This failure to be mindful has invoked inspiration to write this post, so there can be good in failure. It isn’t a bad thing if you learn from it, and continue to focus on evolving and improving oneself.

1 Quotes: Entrepreneur Quotes: Accepting Failure YouTube

Take Time For Silence

I spent my morning being in silence(away from distractions), and being mindful. I feel amazing, refreshed, relaxed, and at peace from doing this. Mindful time is good for the soul. I read this passage this morning, and thought it was perfectly timed with my mindset at the moment. I was able to be inspired and creative, while enjoying, and embracing the quiet. It is hard to be inspired with noise and distractions. It is nice to give your mind space to be free.

I wasn’t able to find inspiration recently, but having my mindful time has invoked my inspiration. I truly appreciate this time of silence. Try to give yourself times of silence to clear your head. It is truly a lovely experience. I lacked this yesterday, too distracted, but getting back to mindful silence is a beautiful experience. It is hard to sit in quiet, but once you are able to do so. You realize the beauty of it. Have a lovely mindful day everyone.IMAG0455

Mindfulness Reminder

I absolutely love reading my mindfulness books, because they provide lovely reminders to me, sometimes the reminders are really helpful for me at the moment. Some reminders come at the right time, like this one. I read this one today, and I really needed this reminder. I spent too much time scrolling today. I realized I lacked too much mindful time today. I decided I will stay off the computer, and phone for the rest of the day, and practice mindfulness. I need space to be creative, to be inspired, which I am lacking at the moment.

It is really good to have daily inspirational reminders to keep you on track, and to put things into perspective. We get lost in the noise that we forget to enjoy the silence. Time to unplug, and embrace the loveliness of the quiet. My mind needs it. It is important for our peace of mind to unplug every once in awhile, especially when we had too much noise for the day.IMAG0433

Home Activities

We are now advised to stay home. As an introvert, this hasn’t been too difficult, but there are times I wanted to just be out. I do miss going to work and being active, but for the most part I have enjoyed my time home. For most people who aren’t used to being home all the time. This can be a difficult time. It may be hard for some to find things at home to do.

I just like to compile some activities that can be fun to try at home. There are plenty of things that can be done at home. I understand it can be hard being home at all times. It may get boring, but we got to try to make the best of the situation, instead of making it worse by complaining, or getting upset by the situation.

I say it is important to do a mixture of things throughout the day to keep things interesting. If you do one thing for a long period of time that may be when boredom sets in, or when you indulge in some entertainment for too long. You may feel like a slob, or unaccomplished for just doing that all day. Doing one thing can get boring, so I tend to mix up what I do in a day when I am home.

This time home can teach all of us about ourselves, how to be creative, you may even gain something from this. Maybe you’ll have time to do something you been wanting to do, or maybe you’ll realize you really didn’t want to do that thing after all. Maybe you learn something new, or find something interesting you never thought about before. There can be many adventures and discoveries, even from your home. You just got to search for it. Down below is a list of activities. I put them into four groups. Maybe these are some you tried, and maybe there are some you might like to try, or maybe not. I just wanted to show that there can be plenty of things done at home.

  • Entertainment– Watching TV shows, Reading a fictional, or entertaining book, movies, listening to music, and playing games(board,video,puzzles,word searches) are a great way to pass the time. I usually indulge in TV shows, or movies at night before bed. I try to limit my time watching, because I don’t want to spend all day watching something, so I watch at night. This gives me the opportunity to turn it off much sooner, than if I watch early in the day. The other things I try to spread throughout the day.
  • Productive Activities– This can be creating something, improving, or working on a skill, learning something new, doing a task, or working on goals of yours. I usually write, journal, meditate, practice yoga, clean or color. Drawing, cooking, cleaning, decluttering, sewing, composing, painting, playing an instrument, crotcheting, designing etc,. Whatever creative thing you can try. This is the time to try it. It can be relaxing, but also rewarding to try these things.
  • Physical Activity-It is important to get movement in your body through out the day. It can be easy to get lazy, while being home, but it is important to get some physical activity, even 15 minutes of it. There are plenty of home workouts. There are workout equipment you can use at home. I have a jump rope, and an exercise ball I like to use. You can do yoga. You can also just walk around your house. I do that to get movement. I also try running in place to get a bit of cardio going. I also do a bit of dancing. This is the time to get creative. There are plenty of exercises that can tailor to your interest if you try. It is important to remain healthy through this time. It can be easy to just slouch around, and do nothing, while at home.We must try not fall into that trap.
  • Gaining Knowledge-I guess this can go under productivity, but wanted to give it its own category. I love learning new things, and being inspired. I have really been into nutrition, and healthy eating, so I have been taking some courses in Nutrition. I also watch plenty of Ted Talks. I follow a couple of educational channels(VOX, Vice News,Last Week Tonight, Crash Course) to gain knowledge on a plethora of topics. I also follow a couple of blogs on nutrition(Pick Up Limes and MindOverMunch). I also follow plenty of inspiration vloggers on Youtube as well, to find inspiration for myself, and my work. I also like reading my mindful books to get hits of inspiration throughout the day. There is an app called curiosity, where they have articles on many different topics to get me thinking. I just bought a couple of educational books about the universe as well, since I love learning about it. Finding time throughout your day to learn, and be inspired can be rewarding and fun. Learning something new can help you as an individual grow, and become more knowledgeable. You can read books, watch videos, documentaries, take courses, learn a language, learn to cook, get educational, or inspirational apps to help gain knowledge.

Another thing I like to add, is it may be easier to overeat, and indulge when you are home at all times. Remember to be mindful of when you get up to eat something. Asking questions, Am I really hungry?, or Am I doing this, because I am bored/upset/stressed?, or is this really going to fuel my body?, or Am I hungry, or just thirsty? These questions may help reduce the amount of times one eats something.

Also going out for a walk isn’t forbidden. This is one activity you can still do, as long as you are practicing social distancing, so don’t be afraid to try this activity as well. The fresh air is needed when you are stuck home all the time, especially for those who live with lots of people, and need to get away.

As I mentioned, a mixture of these activities can help the day go by smoother, and less boring. Variety is key. I hope you all stay positive, peaceful, safe, and sane through these difficult times. We can all get through this together if we remain compassionate, and positive, and help each other out. Have a lovely day, or night everyone.

Calming the Stressed/Anxious Mind

My anxiety sprung up a bit yesterday night, and last morning. Worrying about how to deal with HR related stuff for my leave of absence, having to make phone calls that I normally don’t like to take. Phone calls are stressful for me. I had to deal with more phone calls these past two weeks, than I had all this year. It can be overwhelming, but for the most part, the exposure has made it easier to deal with phone calls. I normally do my best to ignore phone calls, but have been answering all of them lately with little hesitation, so there is a positive. Anyway, back to the anxiety.

Anxiety is our minds way of preparing for the worst case scenario. It is for our survival. It doesn’t recognize that our everyday fears are mostly non-threatening, but our minds see it that way. The logical part of our brain recognizes that, but the amygdala, and limbic part of our brains overwhelms that part.

There were three things that helped calm my mind. One was, taking a step back, and just letting things be. I realize things our a little overwhelming right now, but worrying isn’t going to solve anything, and it is just going to ruin the rest of my day. I want to enjoy the moment as much as possible. I tell myself, things will come together. You will not die. It isn’t the end of the world. I will figure things out. Just let it be. My worries seem to dissipate, and weaken when I think this.

Another thing I did was meditate. I did this last night, after feeling nervous about making the phone call. This helped calm my mind and body down. The thoughts kept coming in, but I kept letting them in, and letting go. Eventually, things calm down, and then clarity comes along. The amygdala was no longer ruling my mind. The logic and reasoning part overruled it. I realized that it won’t be as bad as I think it will be, and that I will get through it, like the many other phone calls I got through. I was able to sleep peacefully with no worries. I did make the phone call right when I got up, because even though I was calmer. It is best for me to get things done and over with.

In the morning, I became a bit stressed again from all the things I needed to get done from that phone call. I decided again that stressing wouldn’t help, so decided to do something good for my body and mind. I decided to some yoga. This gives me a chance to put my focus on my body and my breaths, by doing that, it keeps my mind away from all those negative thoughts. Once I was done, I was able to find calmness and clarity. I was able to be aware that everything will be fine, and that now that my mind is clear. I can figure out what I need to get done, and that is what I did. I also felt refreshed from getting a nice and relaxing workout.

I did not want anxiety and stress to define my day. I wanted to make use of my day in the most productive way. Worrying doesn’t help. It gets nothing solved or done. I found some ways to help calm my mind from those stressors. Maybe they can be helpful for you, or maybe there are some others way that help you. Either way it is best to find calm and peace as much as you can possibly can.