Posted in better life, guest post, self-care, self-care practice, Self-Care Tip, self-improvement

Guest Post: 10 Effective Ways to Reduce Stress in the Modern World

By Elizabeth Shields

Had it up to here?  Got a lot on your plate, or feel at the end of your tether?  However, you choose to dress it up, express it, describe it, stress is a fact of modern life.  Fast-paced, permanently connected, 21st Century living can leave us frazzled and wrought.  The World Health Organization has called stress the “Health Epidemic of the 21st Century”.   Yet, it is not inevitable that we must accept stress as a permanent condition. There’s plenty of simple steps that turn the heat down on stress.  In this blog, we’ll journey through 10 effective ways to reduce and combat stress.  So, sit back, relax and read.

#1 Get Realistic about Resources

Stress is that feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure.  The mental assessment where we know our resources do not match the requirements of the to-do list.  A simple way to redress the lack of balance is to review that list, with our resources in mind.  Any more than 10 items on a to-do list for a given day is likely to feel overwhelming.  Accept the reality that you may need to say no if your resources don’t allow for it.   Practice the word “no”, remembering it is a complete sentence!

#2 Delegate

That to do list?  What can you delegate to help share the load a little?  Whether it’s finding ways to upskill a junior employee by delegating a creative or interesting project, hiring some home at help, or getting the kids involved in household tasks, delegating can be a great stress buster.  Try to avoid the guilt-trip mindset that says you are simply passing your stressful tasks onto someone else.  In the case of children, delegation of some tasks teaches responsibility and models healthy work-life balance for your kids.  Junior employees can learn a great deal and gain experience and hiring in some home help supports the local economy.   

#3 Remember the Rule of “Good Enough”

Some stress is caused by a sense we aren’t measuring up to expectations.  Remember how it felt to have a teacher write on our report we “must try harder”.  Stressful.  Yet, sometimes we place unrealistic expectations upon ourselves, in other words we fall foul to perfectionism.  When it comes to your own expectations, “good enough” is a stress-busting maxim. Aim for a good-enough job most of the time, and you’ll soon feel the weight of stress slipping away.

#4 Whose Judgement Counts?

Connected with the idea of self-expectation is the idea of others’ views on our performance and worth.  You’ll never please everyone in life.  No matter how hard you try, or how successful you are, there’s always a critic on the side-lines offering judgmental comments.  Decide now, once and for all, whose judgment matters to you.  It makes it a lot easier to trust your own decisions, actions and feel content with your choices.

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Posted in a guided journal, guided journal, journal, journaling, self-care, self-care practice, Self-Care Tip, self-empowerment, wellness

Self-Care Tip: 5 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself

A small act of kindness can go a long way. A smile can brighten someones whole day. A thank you can make someone feel appreciated. And giving yourself some positive self-talk can completely change the way you feel about something. Kindness matters, especially being kind to yourself.

When the topic of being kind is discussed, it’s usually about a kindness someone else has done, or something you might have done for someone else. All types of kindness are important. Every single act of kindness (no matter who is doing it) helps spread more kindness. But in the process of being kind to others, are you also being kind to yourself?

You can be kind to yourself in many ways. In this post, I have listed 5 ways to show more kindness to yourself.

1. Positive Self-Talk is one of the biggest ways you can be kind to yourself. It can be easy to fall into the pattern of negative self-talk. In fact, you probably do it all the time, but may not even be aware of it. I challenge you to see if you can catch how you talk to yourself.

Are you being your own cheerleader? Are you giving yourself positive feedback? Are you being encouraging and compassionate? Are you forgiving yourself for past mistakes? I bet you say these kind of encouraging words to your friends and family all the time, so why not say them to yourself as well?

2. Do Something Nice For Yourself is a really great way to put yourself in a good mood. Maybe you deserve a nice massage? Or perhaps a new hair cut? What about a new outfit that makes you feel fabulous? Or maybe just an extra long soaking bath?

When you take the time to do something nice for yourself, you are showing kindness and love to a very special person––yourself. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?!

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Posted in self-care, self-care practice, self-empowerment, self-improvement

How To Start A Self-Care Practice

Image from Pixabay

Last weeks post, Why Is Self-Care Important?, I got the ball rolling on what I hope will be a regular blog series talking about self-care. I say hope, because self-care is my number one priority. It comes before even committing to do things like writing posts for this blog.

Be Aware Of Triggers

In fact, I try to stay away from any hard commitments on purpose, because I can’t stand being on hard deadlines. It’s one of the things I have recognized as a trigger point for me, so I try to soften this trigger point as much as I can.

That, my friends, is one important aspect of self-care. Recognizing your triggers, and being kind enough to yourself to stay away from them, or find a way around them, or soften things until you can face the trigger more head on.

Learn To Know How You Feel

Self-care is about being aware of how you feel. It’s about noticing when you get angry or upset and asking yourself why. And asking––Is this really worth getting upset about? Is this worth my peace of mind?

Does something, someone, or a situation make you feel bad? What can you do to minimize or cut any of these feel bad things from your life?

Minimize what feels bad and increase the good feeling stuff (whatever that might be for you). Do more of what you love. Do more of what you feel passionate about. Do more of what lifts you up.

Build Up More Awareness Of Yourself

Self-care is about getting in touch with yourself and recognizing what feels good and what doesn’t. Do things on a daily basis that’s going to help you get the awareness you need to identify your emotions.

For me that has been meditation and yoga. These two things have allowed me to raise my awareness significantly over time.

There are other ways to do the same thing if mediation and yoga is not for you. Do some research and see what resonates with you. I personally think that any sort of regular exercise, even just walking everyday, would be helpful. Regular movement of the body and mind are important for not just physical health, but mental as well.

An important part of self-care is taking care of yourself. That means implementing choices that are going to help you on a physical, mental, and emotional level.

Do Something For You First Thing In The Morning

The best way to get the day going on the right foot is to do something for you as soon as you roll out of bed. It doesn’t matter what it is or how long it takes, the main priority is to get those good feelings going right away. When you feel good, the day will go a whole lot better for you.

My usual go-to first thing in the morning is to journal. I do this either in bed before breakfast, or first thing after breakfast. I can spend anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes journaling. It just depends on what I need for that particular day.

My journaling can include releasing negative thoughts and emotions, but I also make sure to end my journaling session with some sort of uplifting writing that sets me up for my good mood to start the day. This is why I created the Journaling To Feel Good series.

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Posted in inspirational, self-care, self-empowerment, self-improvement

Why Is Self-Care Important?

Image from Pixabay

If you have been following my blog lately, you know that I have had a common theme in several of my posts on the topic of self-care. This is because this practice has taken a major front seat in my life, and since making this change, I’ve enjoyed richer life experiences.

So I would like to take the time to write out some blog posts on my knowledge of self-care and how powerful it can be, not only for myself (because it’s been a passion of mine for awhile), but anyone that might be interested in starting their own self-care practice, or those wanting validation (and support) for a the self-care practice they already have in place.

I will get the ball rolling with discussing why self-care is so important.

Self-care is the ultimate expression of love. When we love ourselves enough to care how we feel, we are showing love not just to ourselves, but others too. We can do more, be more, and share more when we are at our best. This is why self-care is an important practice to have in our lives.

The misconception is common that we should put others first, that if we take time for ourselves or focus on ourselves too much, then we are being selfish. But how can a person be a functioning member of their friends, family, or even society, if they are stressed out, frazzled, and/or too sick to give back time or effort?

When we don’t feel good (for any reason, no matter how big or small), we are not just stealing from ourselves, but every other person we come in contact with. We are stealing the opportunity to have peace, joy, love, and happiness. We are stealing the opportunity to be our best selves.

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Posted in a guided journal, guided journal, journaling, new release, self-care, self-improvement

New Release: The Daily Self Care Journal

Here it is The Daily Self Care Journal. I came up with idea for this around the first part of December. I wasn’t sure it would be completed and published in December, but I’m glad it was done for the new year. It’s a perfect way to get the year rolling.

This is not part of the Journaling to Feel Good Series. This is a standalone journal that can be used daily (or a few days a week).

It has six writing prompts each day that doesn’t change, but what does change is the affirmation written across the top of each page. I believe there are eight in total. One for a day, and then it rotates through them again. I find that repetition is always a good thing to help remember things that are important, and I believe these affirmations are really great foundation for a good self-care practice.

I’ve been using this journal for a couple of weeks now ( a proof copy), and I really like it as an addition to my journaling. I don’t use it every morning, but many of them. There are enough pages in this journal for a four month daily writing journal practice.

Here is the official book description…

Self-care is the ultimate expression of love. When we care about how we feel and give attention to ourselves in a regular and positive way, it opens ourselves up to a far richer and fulfilling life. This guided journal has positive affirmations and daily writing prompts to help bring awareness to the self and what is needed to realize our best life.

This journal is available in paperback on Amazon and as a printable on Etsy.

So if you are looking to start up or enhance your self-care for the new year, this is a great way to get that ball rolling!

If you try this journal, please consider leaving a review on whatever platform you purchase it on.

Enjoy!