Monday, February 8, 2016

Increase your happy! 10 Outstanding Self-care Life Hacks

"Take care of yourself. "

"Make sure to take time for self-care."

"Take care of you first, or you won't be able to take care of anyone else."

How often have you heard those words or something similar? I know I have heard and said them more times than I can count. The problem is no one ever seems to give you anything concrete that you can actually DO in order to accomplish that goal.

And really that is what we need to make it a goal. Instead of thinking of self-care as another thing on our to-do list it is really important to rethink and reframe it as a goal and an accomplishment. For some reason, our society has thought of self-care as a luxury rather than a necessity. Because of that social stigma it takes some time to reframe the thought process so if we think of it as an accomplishment to actually participate fully in self-care it becomes a positive activity rather than a dirty little secret or "guilty pleasure."

There is no guilt in taking care of yourself. You don't feel guilty when you take care of others and you owe yourself the same courtesy, so start TODAY, make it your goal, and you will be sure to follow through. 

Start  your day with an intention. 

One great way to do this is to find a mantra for the day or the week. You might also want to choose one that is a "fall back" for days or times you are just too overwhelmed to think straight. It happens, to all of us, at some point so being prepared with a back up plan and knowing it is in place gives you that much more peace of mind.

Meditate for just 2 minutes.

This can mean repeating your daily mantra, just sitting in stillness and trying to clear your mind completely or it might mean practicing deep breathing excercises. Mix it up and do which ever you feel you need in that moment or combine them all. 

Start a gratitude journal

This can be done on your computer, phone, tablet or in an actual paper style journal. Do what makes sense for you. It does not matter if you want to use crayons, pretty papers, pencils or markers or if you simply add to a list every day on your phone. The only thing that matters is that it is something you will use. 
Use an alarm to remind you to set time aside to do this until you begin to remember all on your own. And don't worry if you never remember to do it yourself and need that reminder every day. All that matters is that you do what works for you. I found that after 100 days I was doing this throughout my day and that I no longer needed the journal. 

I started my journal 4 years ago and still find myself adding to it daily. Some days are harder than others but there is always something to be grateful for if I just think about it.


Find a way to move your body that is both within your capabilities and that you enjoy. There is no sense in doing too much and then regretting it and if you do not do something you actually like you will find excuses to avoid it. Yoga, walking, and stretching are some things that I like to do and that have helped me with pain management. Each of us is different and needs to work within our own capabilities. Forgive yourself for what you cannot do and do what you can.

Check your language

Notice how you talk to yourself. If you are using more negative words to talk to yourself, it is time for a change. Failing does not make you a "failure." Your inability to do some tasks or to move in a way others believe is "normal" does not make you "broken." A need to be away from drama or those that refuse to take your needs into account is not "selfish" it is self-preservation. 

Get support

We all need support. It may be a friend or a group of friends, business associates/groups, family or a therapist, in some cases.  Build your support network where you need it and never feel that you are "less than" because you need that support or help. Everyone needs support and asking for it is not a weakness but a strength. It is courageous to ask for what we need.

Let Go

Let go of anyone or anything in your life that drains you, causes you angst or anxiety, makes you feel "less than" or causes you harm either physically or emotionally. Toxic people, activities, and habits need to be removed from  your life. You know who and what they are if you give yourself a moment to just think about it. If you avoid certain people or situations or you come away for them feeling like you need to sleep for a week, it is time to change your interactions with them. 

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Never say "yes" to something you want to say "no" to and make sure you say "yes" to those things that make your heart sing! This is probably the one thing that will make the biggest diffrence in stress and anxiety levels and afford you the time you believe you don't have available to you for your own pursuits.

Also remember that once words leave your mouth they cannot be put back. Never say in anger what you would not say otherwise. If you find it too difficult to bite your tongue leave the situation until you are calmer and able to speak your mind without being unkind.This goes for electronic communication, as well as, in person communication.


Eat in a way that nourishes your body and soul. That means giving your body what it needs to perform at an optimal level, but it also means giving yourself permission to indulge sometimes without guilt and without second guessing yourself. Decide if you are able to do this on your own or if you need the assistance of a nutritionist or support group. 


Sleep is important. Make sure you are getting enough so that you feel as rested as possible. This may mean adjusting your schedule, removing stimulus right before you sleep and coming up with a routine that gets your body and mind ready for the Land of Nod or even cat napping through the day.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Please tell me what you think! :)