Figuring out a self-care routine that supports my wellness journey and my mental health has taken a bit of trial and error. After reading a ton and seeking advice from others, I’m in a place where I know what I need in my life to feel well and good. I wanted to take the time and share with you some of what I do to keep me in high spirits and I encourage you to try some of these out for yourself.
Prayer and Meditation
In May of this year, I decided to change my morning routine and start waking up at 5:30am. The reason for this was to allow more time to do specific activities in the morning before my day started, some of which included praying and meditating. It is important to start the day in this manner for a number of reasons. For starters, praying is essentially talking to God and starting my day giving him thanks and showing gratitude is how I want to begin my day. It also an opportunity to connect to my faith in a personal manner. Meditating, on the other hand, helps me quite my mind. I am a chronic overthinker and over the years I’ve noticed how my mind controls most, if not all, of the decisions I make. It affects how I talk and feel about myself and when I’m not aware of my thought process, I tend to do things that are self-sabotaging. Since applying regular meditation to my weekly routine, I can feel the difference. My mind is calmer, I can clearly understand my thoughts, and less reactionary. I also find that in social situations I am more attentive and actively listening to others when engaged in conversations. I am still working on getting more consistent with my meditation practice but in general, it’s been very beneficial.
I can’t stress how much journaling has been the key component in my growth. Journaling is my way of documenting thoughts and emotions in a real-time. The biggest take away is being able to go back and read through those thoughts after an extended period of time. I get to recount what has changed in my life, what new habits I’ve adopted and how it’s helped for the better (or worse). I can also acknowledge if I’m engaging in limiting beliefs, or tireless loop by doing the same things but expecting different results. Getting out of my head is one of my biggest issues but mixing journaling along with meditating allows me to decode my thoughts and emotions. Journaling is something that I will never give up and if you identify as a creative or a hopeful creative, I suggest using journaling as a tool for gaining clarity.
I wouldn’t categorize myself as a bookworm but over the years reading has become my favorite downtime activity. It’s no secret that I’m a self-help book junkie and in all honesty, it’s my form therapy. Since I started reading for therapy, I’ve been able to heal and help myself through some of the most difficult times of my life. The tools that I’ve gained from these books have been the foundation for growth. Gaining expert advice and applying what I have learned over the year is what has helped me elevate my thinking. I’ll be sure to share some of my favorites self-help books in a later post.
It’s hard to find the words to express the wonders that yoga has had in my life. I’ve been practicing at home yoga for 2 years and since starting, I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for my body. Prior to beginning a regular yoga practice, I was extremely self-conscious about my looks. I was not comfortable in my own skin and felt pressure to change or “fix” certain parts of myself that I thought needed to improve. I was unaware of how much these body goals and unrealistic standards of beauty was affecting me. Yoga has helped me break free of that. For the first time in my life, I feel confident in myself and beautiful in my own skin. I love my figure and no longer feel pressured to transform my body to fit into a certain mold. Yoga has not only changed how I look at myself, but it has also helped nurture my mind.
Having a Support System
If you don’t have someone around who you can talk to and support you, I highly suggest reaching out and making a friend. For me, my friends have been one of the most beneficial forms of support throughout my wellness journey. Having people around who I can talk to and share some of what I’m experiencing makes me feel less alone in my struggles and has lifted some of the weight off my shoulders. As an introvert, I tend to keep everything inside and bottled up and it can be difficult to let people in. But as I’ve learned, there’s no need to suffer in silence. There are good, well-intentioned people all around us if we are willing and open to making a connection and let them in.
Listening to Podcasts
Listening to podcasts is a newfound favorite of mine. Podcasts are another self-help medium outside of reading that helps keep me in a positive state of mind. Hearing others who are going through similar situations as myself and hearing how they overcame that has been empowering for me. It makes me feel like I too can overcome my own personal struggles. I recently found a few podcasts based on wellness and building your positive spirit that I’d love to share in a later blog post.
Having a good diet is one of those pieces of advice that never gets old and one that I take to heart. When I don’t eat well, I don’t feel well and if I’m not taking care of my body, I can’t expect it to take care of me. When I’m eating well, I have the energy to do all the things that need to get done. I also get sick less often, and I’m aware of what’s going into my body since I cook most if not all of my meals. Eating well also allows me to save money which is one less thing to stress about so all in all, it’s a win-win.
I’ll be honest, finding the willpower or the energy to go outside can be hard for me so this is something I need to apply more of into my life. Due to a series of unforeseen events, I have not been able to get away and go off camping or hiking at all this year. I recognize how my mood changes when I’ve had long periods of time indoors. Getting outside and feeling the sun and fresh breeze really does the body good and allows me to reconnect back to nature. As winter comes full swing and the temperatures continue to drop, it’s important I try to find the strength to get out of the house once in a while. Winter depression is very real so I must do my best to take this piece of advice seriously.
Cleaning Your Space
Cluttered space, cluttered mind. That is my philosophy. Putting things away and having a clean space to work is simply refreshing. Have you ever wanted to get work done but found that your surroundings were way too disorganized for a steady workflow? I have been there! Since getting rid of things and simplifying my life, the stress of having to clean up my space when it gets out of hand has drastically reduced. If I go through times where I’m trying to get work done but find it difficult to focus or clear my head, I look at my surroundings and find that’s usually what the issue is. Taking the time to clean up my space and get things in order usually motivates me to start working on other tasks. Because my surrounding is in order, it motivates me to get clear on my thoughts as well.
Sometimes Netflix and literally chilling is what the body needs. Giving myself permission to do nothing has been extremely difficult but I’ve slowly begun to understand the importance of rest. When we are in constant work mode, we burn out quickly and I have had my share of burnouts. My biggest goal moving forward is to find ease and joy in everything that I do. That means acknowledging that sometimes what I need is to lay in bed and watch movies all day versus pushing myself to do more. Allowing for the time of rest is vital for body and mind. It’s okay to take a break and you should never feel guilty for needing one.
I hope you found this post helpful and would love to hear about your self-care/wellness habits. Be sure to comment below or share with someone who may need a bit of insight.