By now you have probably seen them. You know the positive statements and quotes that keep showing up in your social media feeds. Sure they are cute and make us feel good to read them, but what’s the deal with them? Positive affirmations describe how we want to be. Positive affirmations are a tool we can use to change our negative thoughts to positive thoughts. If you keep telling yourself something over and over again, you start to believe it. That is often how negative thoughts take over our mind. We can learn to control our thoughts and thus change the outcome of our lives.
Hobbies can be a lot of fun. We may look at them as unimportant and just playing around. They are actually more important than we may think. When you read lists about self care, hobbies are often included in the list. If you seek therapy for mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, it is usually recommended that you try a hobby. So why should we make them part of our lifestyle?
Vision boards often look like an arts and crafts collage you may have done as a child, but now adults are using them to visualize their goals of who they want to become, what they want to do, and what they want to have in the future. There are no rules to creating your own vision board. Basically you sit down either by yourself, with your family, or even with a group of friends and find pictures & words that define what you want on your vision of your future life. Then you make a collage of them on whatever material you like. Your vision board could be as simple as magazine pictures & words glued to a piece of card board or poster board. Or you could get more creative and attach pictures & words from printouts or your own drawings/writing to a more solid background such as a cork board or picture frame. You are probably thinking by now that this sounds like it could be fun to create, but is it really useful? This past week I did a little experiment to find out!
Candles are a really awesome self care resource to tap into. They can be helpful in so many ways. Most people use them to set a mood or to relax by. Some people will use certain scents to create different outcomes in their well being. For example many people find Lavender, Chamomile, or Sandal Wood to be relaxing. Some people find that Peppermint, Cinnamon, or Clove will help them focus. I find Peppermint to also be useful to help with breathing issues such as colds and asthma. Some people even find that Pine helps to reduce stress, depression, and/or anxiety perhaps because it reminds them of taking a walk in the woods. Part of the reason people find candle scents relaxing is because they remind them of a good memory they have. Some people find the candle flame itself to be mesmerizing. I won’t go into all the reasons people find them relaxing today, but instead will give you a list of ways you can use candles and let you experiment with scents or no scents yourself to find what you like.
There is a lot of information out on art journals now, but can anyone really do it? An art journal is a journal where you combine art and words to express yourself. My research says that you don’t have to be good at drawing to create your own art journal. There are so many ways to be creative. Art journals are supposed to be a great place to practice your skills as well as get thoughts out of your head and onto paper. In addition to the emotional care aspect, being creative and learning new things is great for your intellectual self care. All this sounds fantastic, but can I really create my own art journal? I decided to give it a try this week.
Google meditation and it is easy to quickly become overwhelmed. There are literally hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of ways to participate in meditation! Meditation is about being relaxed and aware. As stated at www.freemeditation.com , “Authentic meditation enables one to focus on the present moment rather than dwell on the unchangeable past or undetermined future.”
Journaling is a written record of your thoughts, ideas, experiences, and observations. It can be done in words or drawings. There are no rules to journaling. Journaling can serve a range of purposes. Because I like lists and the number 10, I will use the rest of this blog to inform you about journaling in lists of 10! Lists are one way to journal.
Emotional self care is about connecting with your emotions. You need to give yourself permission to experience your emotions, even the sad ones. By acknowledging and then releasing your emotions many aspects of your life are improved. Emotional self care does not mean you will never experience bad times, anxiety, or depression. Instead you will gain better coping skills for those moments. You gain control over the way you think, feel, and respond to life.
What is Mindfulness? Being Mindful is about experiencing life as you live it, It’s about using our five senses to be aware of the world around us. It’s also about being in touch with your own thoughts and emotions. When you are mindful, you give yourself permission to slow down and live in the moment.