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Tag Archives: self love

28 Ways to Practice Self-Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s day may be just a day, but I liked to love myself all month long.  Whether you are burnt out from living with one or more chronic illnesses, a workaholic, or both, here is a list of 28 ways to make some time and to do something just for YOU!!! Pick a few or do them all!

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Drink plenty of water: I know this doesn’t sound like much of a “treat”, but it is for your body! Water helps maintain balance of your body fluids, energizes muscles, and makes your skin look good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Take a bubble bath: Fill your tub, light some candles, turn on some soothing music, and relax.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Call a friend: Carve out time to have a phone date with a friend. Hearing my besties voice at least once a month makes up for us not being able to hang out in person. Whether your friend lives nearby or out of state, a phone date is an easy way to make time for each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Go stargazing: Go outside and watch the stars.  If you have the energy, get out of the city.  Go where the stars shine bright.  For fun, try to spot various constellations. Click here for a guide to help you find the constellations. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate:  Want to know how I make my hot chocolate extra special?  I add 30mgs of CBD isolate to my cup and then I top if off with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Spend some time in the sun:  I get that not everyone lives where it is nice enough to sit outside during the month of February, but there are still ways to soak up some sunshine.  If you can’t sit outside, try siting by a window that allows the sun to pour into your home.  Open your curtains, let light into your house. Not enough?  Click here to learn more about a heat lamp that helps to improve circulation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Start a journal: Journaling can be done in various ways.  You can use it as a way to share your life story with future generations, to release your fears or anger, to keep track of your daily wins, or to learn more about your body and behavior to possibly prevent some nasty flares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Take a nap: Yes, I know that those of you with chronic illnesses take a lot of naps.  But when was the last time you took one just because you wanted to?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Warm your pajamas in the dryer for a few minutes before putting them on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Get dressed up for no reason: During the years that were spent in bed and even now with working from home, I don’t really have a reason to dress up.  Every once in a while I will put on a fancy dress just to feel good about myself, even though I have no plans to leave the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Spend the day in your pajamas for no reason:  If you are like I was before getting my chronic pain mostly under control, you probably spend most of your days in your pajamas.  However, have you done it because you wanted to?  I find there is a huge difference in how I feel about myself when I am being forced by my illnesses to do something rather than when I choose to do the same thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Donate items you no longer use:  I used to decorate my home with all kinds of knickknacks and trinkets.  But after chronic pain entered my life, I didn’t have the energy to keep up with dusting or cleaning all the items I had out.  Nor did I have the energy to sort through drawers or closets trying to find what I needed.  Purging my home of what I no longer used and decluttering my space simplified my life.  It takes less time and energy to clean and I no longer have to go hunting for the items I do use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Exercise:  Whether it be going for a run, walk, practicing yoga, or tai chi, do something good for your body.  There are many options for doing yoga while seated.  Click here to see if this form of exercise might work for you.  If chronic pain is preventing you from exercising or you are looking for an alternative to opioids, click her to check out a drug free pain relief option that took my pain management plan to a whole new level of awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. Get a mani-pedi:  Make an appointment at your local salon/spa or do it yourself.  Having well manicured finger and toe nails always makes me feel better about myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. Plan a spa day:  Book yourself a day or afternoon at a spa.  Schedule a facial, massage, or both.  Can’t afford a spa day?  Invite a friend over or have one by yourself at home.  Purchase face masks, soak your feet, sip champagne, and nibble on some fruits and cheese!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16. Read a book:  When is the last time that you made time to get lost in a book?  Re-read a favorite or dive into a new one.  Click here for my recommendation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Dance:  Turn up your favorite song and dance!!! I do this at least once a week.  It’s a great way to let go of physical stress, burn some calories, and an opportunity to just let myself go wild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. Enjoy a smoothie:  It doesn’t matter if you make it yourself or pick one up from Juice it Up, treat your body and taste buds to a delicious smoothie.  Just make sure to take the time to savor and enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. Binge your favorite show:  Spend a day doing nothing but binge watching your favorite show.  I prefer binge watching over viewing a series once a week.  It’s like watching a long movie! Click here to get 2 weeks of Hulu FREE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20. Make a memory jar:  Throughout the year, whenever I have a moment that makes me smile or jump with joy, I jot it down and place it in what I call my joy jar.  Then at the end of the year, I go through it and am once again reminded of the good in my life.  Click here to learn more about it and how to make your own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21. Write yourself a love letter:  It is easy to forget what we like about ourselves.  Take some time to write a letter reminding yourself of all the reasons you love you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22. Watch a comedy:  When I need to escape, I like to get lost in a comedy.  Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.  Click here to see which comedy is my first choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23. Make time for a hobby or try a new one:  When is the last time you enjoyed your hobby?  Maybe you gave it up or were forced to because your body wouldn’t allow you to do it anymore.  Either way, make time to resume a hobby or try something new.  Who knows, it may provide a distraction from pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24.  Tidy up one corner of a room:  Fully cleaning a room is typically too much for the chronically ill. Instead, try doing a corner of one room today, then another tomorrow, and so on.  In time you will have tackled every corner without killing yourself and you will go to bed each night with a sense of accomplishment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25. Take a social media break:  Every once in a while I take mini social media breaks.  Sometimes it is just a day, but when I find that my social media feed is fueling my anxiety and depression I take two or more days off.  I don’t make a big deal about it, in fact I never announce it.  I just don’t open the app, post, or comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26. Create an uplifting playlist:  Fill your playlist with songs that make you smile, tap your toes, dance, and sing out loud!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27. Have a good cry:  Most people would never know this about me, but I love a good cry.  I love having the house to myself, watching a sappy movie, and just letting myself bawl like a baby.  Having an occasional cry is why I am able to be as happy as I am most days.  It is liberating to release the anger and sadness that chronic illness cause.  Can’t get time alone?  Grab a Bluetooth speaker, crank some tunes, take a long shower, and let those tears flow!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28. Unfollow toxic people on social media:  Stop following people who are always angry, picking fights, or are emotionally abusive.  You become what you are exposed to the most.  Instead, follow people who inspire and uplift you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Swimsuits & Shifting Focus

This post contains affiliate links.  The pennies earned offset the expense of running the blog and website.

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I pay too much attention to wanting to be thinner and feeling sad I can’t drop any weight. I should be thankful I can move it and do some cool activities!!”

This is a quote from a friend who hikes, does triathlons, skis, and has a blast playing actively with her kids. Yet, she was feeling sad that the number on the scale wasn’t going down and that she wasn’t thinner. I think most women share her frustration. I know I do. Our bodies do amazing things, yet we’re unsatisfied with them because they aren’t smaller. Because they jiggle. Because they have stretch marks, lumps, rolls, or loose skin. Because they don’t look like they used to. Because they don’t look like that actress or that other mom who always looks cute. I hear this from women over and over, of all different ages and levels of fitness. I’m sure men have the same struggles.

So, how do we shift our focus? First, strive to appreciate what our bodies can do. By re-training ourselves to focus on body functionality, we can regain a more balanced perspective toward our bodies. Even if you can’t go up the stairs without getting winded or have to use a wheelchair, your body still does amazing things. Your smile lightens the hearts of those around you; your arms give comforting hugs. When we make an intentional effort to appreciate what our body can do, the aesthetics matter less. Also, continue to challenge yourself to see what your body can do, which will grow your self-confidence AND body confidence.

Re-frame your thoughts. When you shimmy into that swimsuit to play with your kids, think, “We’re going to have so much fun today!”, instead of, “Ugh, my huge thighs are so ugly!!”. This is a struggle for me every time I put on my swimsuit, but I’m always glad that I chose to join in the fun, instead of letting my negative thoughts and self-consciousness get in the way. It’s hard to choose to have a positive frame of mind, but it makes a huge difference. When you notice that “mama belly” that just won’t go away, think, “WOW, what a gift that I got to carry in there.” Also, recognize that some things are simply genetic, natural, or unavoidable with age. Saggy skin, stretch marks, cellulite, some lumps… These are just part of life; while they may be somewhat improved by various things, acceptance is key. You don’t have to be perfectly happy with every aspect of your body. However, you can still be respectful and appreciative of your body, grateful for the amazing gift that it is, no matter how it changes as you age and/or deal with health struggles.

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Remember that people you see on TV, in ads, and on social media are generally airbrushed, filtered, photoshopped, covered in make-up, and posed in the best lighting and angles. Many of those folks have teams of people that get them ready, exercise for hours a day, have personal chefs to provide healthy meals, and/or are just genetically blessed with flawless skin and a certain body type. 

Consider taking a break from the scale. If you just can’t stop thinking about that number, stop weighing yourself for a while. Focus on how you feel (physically and mentally), striving to take good care of your mental and physical health, and appreciating what your body does for you every day.

That reminds me… Another thing you can do to help shift your focus is to take good care of your body with regular movement, eat mostly healthy food, tend to medical and mental health issues, get adequate sleep, and don’t forget to use it for FUN. Maybe you can’t burn up the dance floor like you used to, but your dancing days don’t have to be over, even if you have to groove while seated on a chair.

Finally, choose your influences carefully. If the media you consume or the people you hang out with tank your body image, adjust accordingly. Redirect your friend when they start criticizing their body (or someone else’s). Limit your time with them if they are consistently spewing negativity. Stop reading that airbrushed “health” magazine. Surround yourself with people and influences that build others up and put you in a positive frame of mind.

Your body is amazing. How will you thank it? What will you do to shift your focus?

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