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 a guided journal, journal, journaling, new release, self-care practice, self-empowerment

New Release: The 30 Day Journaling Challenge

This was an out of blue inspiration (Don’t you love it when that happens?). I brainstormed a fun way for those who want to get into journaling, or who have journaled but want to be more consistent about it. So I came up with the 30 Day Journaling Challenge guided journal.

This book consists of 30 unique writing prompts to help make journaling a new and fun habit.

Here’s a sample of some of the prompts that can be found in this book: I love to think about, I feel good about myself when I, one of my favorite memories is, the thing I do that brings me the most joy is, and one of my favorite people to spend time with is.

Here is the official book description…

Are you new to journaling, or simply wish to recommit to a daily journaling practice?

Then this book is for you!

This journal provides 30 unique writing prompts to get you started, helping you create a positive habit your future self will thank you for.

Are you up for the challenge?

Journal size is 5.25″ x 8″ with a glossy cover and white pages on the inside.

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

If you decide to take the challenge (and create a new habit of journaling for yourself), please leave a comment below and tell everyone how it went for you! I’d love to know about your results.

Posted in creative writing, creativity, journal, journaling, motivational journals

New Releases: 4 Lined Journals with Motivational Covers

Here are four more journals I recently designed. This project I started with the intent of still creating simple lined journals (like the last six journals I did), but this time with fun motivational covers––Because who doesn’t love some visual motivation!

I brainstormed, and then chose four slogans or affirmations that I have worked for me in my own journaling journey, and then played around with some images and fonts until I came up with these lovely creations.

Here is an official book description…

This motivational journal is a good for every day use, or great as a gift. This is a 120 page lined notebook or journal ready to be used for any kind of writing, journaling, note taking, and is especially good for reflective journaling on creating better quality life experiences.

This is also small and can fit in most handbags, packs, or even a back pocket. Journal size is 5.25″ x 8″ with a glossy cover and cream color lined pages inside. Pages are suitable for most types of pens.

All these journals can be used for any sort of generic journaling or note taking, but also can be dedicated to the topic of the covers.

Here are the individual links for each of the journals.

You Got This… I love this affirmation so much! I once had a journal with this phrase. In that time of my life, I was having a lot of hard days, and sometimes just pulling out the journal and looking at the cover was the positive boost I needed. This is an affirmation I have used quite a bit in my daily personal growth even before I purchased that particular journal.

The Best Is Yet To Come… This is definitely a winning affirmation that’s full of positivity and hope, because no matter what we have going on right now in our lives (good, bad, or in between), even better is always on the way!

Follow Your Dreams They Know The Way… This is a great journal for writing out your dream life. The things you want to have happen. The things you want to do or be. The things that fill you with excitement and promise.

Create Your Own Calm… This is a great place to either write out tools you can use to create more peace and calm in your life, or even a place you can release some of the “upsetting” bits and pieces of life, so you can create more calm after the release.

And that’s it for now. I do have a brand new guided journal releasing soon, so keep an eye out for that. Until then, have a great rest of January (I can’t believe the first month of 2021 is almost over already)!

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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