Tag: self-care tips

Self-Care Ideas for Men – Ultimate Guide!

Self-Care Ideas for Men – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing self-care ideas for men. We often think about self-care from a woman’s perspective. But self-care is something that everyone should be focusing on, not just women. One of the biggest myths going is that self-care is just for women. This could not…

Self-Care for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Self-Care for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing with you ideas on self-care for mental health. The phrase ‘self-care’ is a popular one, and conjures up images of luxurious bubble baths with a glass of wine or hour-long meditation sessions. Self-care has long been misunderstood in many ways, perhaps a mantra reserved for yoga-doers,…

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing some tips on how to sleep better naturally.

Do you ever wake up in the mornings and wish you were able to get better sleep?

Maybe you feel like you toss and turn all night or your brain just doesn’t shut off.

One of the worst things that can happen when you know you have a busy day ahead of you is to feel tired, fatigued, and unenergized.

If you work at a performance-based job where you always need to be on your A-game, getting no sleep can be so detrimental to your career.

Along with that, always being tired affects your energy levels which ultimately affects your productivity.

If you’re a busy person and you have a million things to do in a day, you know how important it is to feel awake and ready to work to get stuff done!

But, don’t worry, there are ways you can fight those sleepless nights and relax at bedtime. Below, we have shared some effective ways for calming your mind and getting a good night’s sleep.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified counsellor/therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

 

Sleep is so important, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, here are some tips to help you sleep better at night – I hope they help so you can feel more energised, focused, and ready to take on the day, every day!

 

Progressive muscle relaxation

This is one of the best exercises to induce sleep. A lot of sleep experts recommend evening meditation but if you suffer from anxiety, you may not want to meditate before bedtime. It might be more stimulating than relaxing.

Here’s how progressive muscle relaxation works…

Tense the individual muscle groups on your body, one at a time. Then, release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you relax them.

This exercise lowers the stress and tension in your body and it’s very effective for when you experience extreme anxiety. So, it’s useful for when you’re trying to relax enough to fall asleep.

How-to-Sleep-Better-Naturally

Once you’re in bed, take 15 minutes to complete this exercise. Start from the top of your head and go over each individual muscle group.

So, if you’re working on your forehead, raise your eyebrows as far as you can. Take a slow, deep breath as you do this. Do this for 5 seconds.

Once the 5 seconds are up, relax the muscle, and exhale. You will feel the tension flow out. Move on to the next muscle group.

Take care to focus on only one muscle group at a time. Don’t clench any other part of your body, only the muscle that you’re focusing on.

It becomes easier to do with practice. No part of this exercise should be painful.

 

Military method

The United States Navy Pre-Flight School introduced the now popular Military Method as part of the pilot’s training routine after they discovered that many of the pilots could not get enough sleep amidst training stress and gunfire noises in the background.

How to practice:

  • Start with your face. Relax all of your face muscles, including those inside your mouth.
  • Focus on the Shoulders. Droop them releasing all the tension and let your hands drop naturally to the side.
  • Focus on your legs. Exhale and let your leg muscles go limp and relax.
  • Take a few deep breaths. Let your chest relax with your exhale.
  • Once you relax every muscle from your face to legs, breathe normally and imagine a relaxing scene. You can also imagine yourself falling asleep.
  • If it doesn’t work, relax and say “don’t think” over and over for a few seconds.
  • You should fall asleep within a minute or two.

After 6 weeks of practice, the pilots could fall asleep in 2 minutes or fewer.

The technique worked even after drinking coffee and is also said to be effective if you need to sleep sitting up.

 

Abdominal breathing

Abdominal breathing promotes relaxation by altering the way you normally breathe.

Unlike with meditation, you won’t need complete silence. You can do it either lying down with your eyes closed or while listening to soft music.

Either way, in order to relax, you must pay attention to your breathing.

To effectively do abdominal breathing, lie on your back and place your hands on your chest and abdomen. That helps track your breathing.

Remember to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Others prefer exhaling through the nose, which is not an issue.

 

 

4-7-8 breathing

This breathing technique has been said to have the ability to put you to sleep in as little as 60 seconds – the technique is simple.

Lay on your back and breathe in deeply. Breathe into the count of four. Hold that breath for a count of seven. Exhale the breath to the count of eight.

Repeat this until you have fallen asleep. It is a cleansing breath, slow breathing technique, and will help your body to slowly calm down and create a feeling of calm.

 

 

Counting Breath

This type of breathing technique is precisely what it sounds like. You simply breathe in and count that as a breath.

Breathe out and count that as well. So, you would be breathing for each count. For example, breathing in would be count one, and breathing out would be count two.

This works for people that find counting to be restful and calming. It can also be the start of a breathing technique that bleeds into another technique like the 4-7-8 method.

 

Self-guided mediation

Many people have used self-guided meditation apps before they lay down to sleep. You may incorporate this new option into your bedtime routine.

How-to-Sleep-Better-Naturally

Combined with going to sleep earlier, practice some meditation via a free self-guided meditation app or YouTube on your smartphone.

This will help you relax your mind and in turn, you’ll slip off into slumber easier without negative thoughts.

 

 

Use a white noise machine

Do they have trouble sleeping without having at least some noise in the background?

Or if you live right in the heart of the city where it’s really noisy or in an apartment where the walls are thin, a white noise machine can be super helpful to help you fall asleep faster.

This white noise machine plays 30 different natural sounds and even comes with a handy timer so that it’ll shut off after a certain time period if you don’t want it running all night.

 

Stop using electronics too close to lights-out

You’ve probably heard that it’s not recommended to use your smartphone in bed.

Reading on your cell phone, laptop or e-reader or watching TV before bed can mess with your circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Plus, it may even contribute to weight gain, according to a 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Disconnect from your devices well before bedtime. If you like to read before you hit the sheets, opt for a hardcover book rather than an e-reader.

And if you can, take the TV out of the bedroom altogether so you’re not tempted to fall asleep with it on.

 

Try reading

Reading is a healthy activity as it primarily sharpens your imagination. Aside from that, it can also aid you in relaxing and staying calm before going to bed.

Reading may also help your mind separate stress from sleep time.

It is important to take note though that healthy reading should be done with the paper book, not the electronic one.

Books read from electronic devices produce a type of bright light that may lower the production of melatonin, a hormone that stimulates the sleep-wake cycle.

 

Minimise caffeine intake

Most people might like drinking coffee, especially in the morning as it may help them feel awake, but caffeine can have negative effects on your sleep if consumed in high amounts.

Because caffeine promotes alertness by preventing chemicals in the brain that trigger good sleep or encourage regular sleep cycle, this will make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The effects of caffeine may vary from one person to another, though, so it’s advisable you should not consume caffeine at least six hours prior to sleep.

 

Do a brain dump

A brain dump is simply the act of dumping all the contents of your mind onto paper as one might dump the contents of a purse onto a table.

You are spilling out stressors, your nagging thoughts, your pesky annoyances.

Whenever you feel confused, scattered, or overwhelmed.

It gets your swirling thoughts down onto paper so you can think about them and examine them and make decisions about them rather than just hold them.

If your thoughts are taking over when bed time is approaching, this method is great way of getting things off your mind to help you sleep.

 

 

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Final thoughts

If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I hope these 10 tips help to enhance your sleep quality.

These tips are very simple to put in place but surprisingly effective. So, give them a try today and start enjoying the best sleep of your life.

What are your tips and ideas to get a good night sleep?

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST SELF-CARE BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

How-to-Sleep-Better-Naturally

40 Self-Care Ideas for Mind, Body & Life Balance!

40 Self-Care Ideas for Mind, Body & Life Balance!

Today I will de digging deep and sharing 40 self-care ideas for mind, body and lifestyle. Self-care is about having the courage, tenacity, and resilience to take responsibility for your health and well-being. It’s a lifestyle where we recognise and honour our self-worth by engaging…

Self-Care Evening Routine – 30 Amazing Ideas!

Self-Care Evening Routine – 30 Amazing Ideas!

Today I will be talking through some ideas for self-care evening routine and the importance of having one. How many mornings do you wake up without hitting the snooze button on your phone or alarm clock? How many days do you wake up feeling content,…

Self-Care During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!

Self-Care During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be talking about self-care during a pandemic and what has helped me adapt to the lifestyle changes that have occurred over the past couple of years.

We are living in uncertain times. Each day brings a new set of challenges and changes to our daily schedule and routine.

Many people are feeling the stress and are not sure what the safest way is to manage it.

Whether we embraced or rejected the idea of social distancing, working from home or not being able to do all the normal things we used to take for granted, this year took a hit on our well-being and affected us by completely changing our lifestyle.

Even the toughest people I’ve known, admitted that it was not easy to go through the lock-down period, to be unable to visit their family and to completely give up your social life.

As time has gone on, anxiety and mental health issues have gone through the roof, so it’s even more important that we make time and don’t forget to look after ourselves.

 

 

WHAT IS SELF-CARE?

Because it’s important we’re all on the same page, right?

Let’s start with a self-care definition from Oxford Dictionaries:

“The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.”

“The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”

So basically, self-care is you and I taking responsibility for our own health, both mental and physical.

Seems pretty legit and certainly not self-indulgent.

In fact, for anyone to suggest that taking responsibly for your mental and physical health is anything but common sense, well they’re the one’s sounding ridiculous.

Please don’t let anyone shame you for self-care or listen to anyone that says anything negative about your self-care practices.

You are taking responsibility for your physical and mental health, that is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about at all.

Self-care is not selfish – as mentioned earlier, it will improve you as a person, and that will make you a better person to be around.

 

SELF-CARE IS THE DAILY ATTENTION AND LOVE FOR YOU!

When you take care of your needs, you feel nourished, content, in balance and this supports your ability to feel at peace. Self-care builds resilience in times of challenge.

Self-care is self-love. When you identify what nourishes and feeds your soul, and as you provide this for yourself, you feel loved.

It’s important to assess how much self-care you give, especially if you have recently (or if you have for a prolonged time), felt emotionally or physically drained or exhausted.

Self-care is also a learned behaviour. We are shown how to do this early in our lives as it is modelled by our caregivers and taught to us.

You may need to teach yourself self-care if it is something that you have not learned.

As self-care becomes a naturally occurring daily habit, your positive feelings about yourself grow immensely – and you feel autonomous as you are able to care for your needs.

 

Why is self-care so important?

In my opinion, as well in the opinion of a countless number of medical professionals, you should be practicing self-care year-round.

But, on March 11, 2020, the WHO (World Health Organization) declared COVID-19 an official pandemic.

On that day, the reality of our world changed and life hasn’t been the same since.

Self-Care-During-a-Pandemic

Many people dismiss the notion of taking care of ourselves. They’re are too busy, there are more important things going on in the world than our looking after themselves.

But the truth is, you need to take care of yourself now more than ever.

The reason is that we are simply living in stressful times, and to prevent our mental health from going down the drain, self-care is a must.

If you are a pro at this, keep doing what you are doing. But, if you have never practiced self-care in your life, there is no better time than now to start.

Below are some tips that I have put together that have helped me during these stressful times.

 

Self-Care During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!

 

Meditation

I thought this was complete nonsense a few years ago, now I love it.

The one thing that calmed my mind beyond belief, if done properly, is meditation.

This helps you become at peace with your thoughts, and also mindful meditation helps you stay in the present moment.

self-care

Try to meditate before breakfast, if not, then late afternoon/early evening is a good time to do it.

Meditation will seem like a chore at first, but the more you practice, it will become more of an enjoyable experience that you will look forward to.

There are tonnes of videos on YouTube to help you get started.

 

 

Practice Mindfulness

When you practice Mindfulness you expand you consciousness which brings you peace of mind.

I can’t explain how much this practice has changed my life. When you’re mindful your life will transform massively.

By living in the present moment, you become at peace with your past thoughts and illusions made up in your mind.

Observe your thoughts, become at peace with them, take away the emotional attachment.

When you find your mind wandering, revert back to the present moment.

The more you live in the present moment, the mind quickly loses control over you. The mind is a tool that should be working for you, not controlling you.

This takes a lot of practice, as your mind has spent so many years in control. The mind has been projecting its illusions on you all your life.

Purchase a book, research it on YouTube. The Mindfulness practice is life changing when used consistently and persistently!

 

 

Practice gratitude everyday

Focusing on gratitude will instantly shift your mindset to positive.

No matter what is going on in your life, you have the power to shift your focus to gratitude.

I also encourage the use of a gratitude journal – Every day write down or even just note in your mind at the end of each day, focus on everything you’re grateful for in your life and also how those things impact your life.

Always aim for at least 3 things.

Here’s some examples from my own journal:

  • I am grateful for the increase in traffic to my website today
  • I am grateful for the nice walk I had with Jo and Alfie (the dog) today
  • I am grateful for seeing the twins today

Try to make your gratitude note specific to today. So rather than me writing I’m so grateful for everyone who visits my website.

I would write, I’m so grateful for all of the people who visited my website today, and I’m especially grateful for the lady who took the time to leave a message saying how helpful my post was to her.

Gratitude is life changer when practiced regularly.

 

 

SELF-FORGIVENESS

Self-care is the emotional expression of giving yourself permission to heal, to return to peace – to be whole. It is the permission to release past hurts and self -recrimination.

When we forgive our self, and as we use our experiences as a learning ground for how we wish to be in the present and future, we can hold comfort in knowing that the experiences of our life, and our actions may hold presence – they are towards something pure and of meaning.

If you hold yourself in contempt for the actions of your past, you are not allowing yourself to heal – nor integrate what new information and choices you are now choosing.

We learn through trial and error – of not always knowing the right answer, of not having the capacity in some moments to live from our heart – to do our best.

If you want to practice self-forgiveness, begin with your gentle urging – your willingness to accept all of you as imperfect and perfect – as a work in progress towards all that you desire to be – and of the knowledge that everything serves to teach you much if you allow it.

Start with these words, said out loud: “I forgive you. I love you.” Notice how these words resonate at a much deeper level, offering you the permission to forgive yourself.

Say these words with compassion – allow yourself to take them in, to feel their weighted presence and relief.

 

 

Just Breathe

Focused breathing can help activate the body’s relaxation response, just 20 to 30 minutes of abdominal breathing every day can reduce both stress and anxiety.

Tapping into your breath is one of the quickest and easiest ways to calm your nervous system, Try an exercise like box breathing to begin feeling more centred immediately.

Square breathing involves inhaling, holding your breath, and exhaling, all in counts of four.

Make sure you’re in a comfortable position, whether it’s sitting down or lying on your back.

 

 

Take in nature

When you ground yourself in nature, you discharge negativity, and even more importantly, you recharge yourself with the loving and nurturing energy from Mother Earth.

After grounding yourself you’ll feel renewed, refreshed, centred, and balanced.

Whether you simply walk barefoot in your garden, or go to the beach or the wood, just get out in nature, allow yourself to be present by opening all your senses: see, taste, hear, smell and feel.

self-care-outdoors

If you live in a big city or work in an office, you may feel you don’t have much opportunity to connect with nature.

Nature time could be:

  • Spend time in your garden.
  • Walk around a park.
  • Go to the woods.
  • Plan your next vacation around nature time.
  • Visit a lake or river

This is also where crystals, essential oils and houseplants come in. You may want to bring little bits of nature with you and consciously tune into them at home.

 

Keep a routine

Sticking to a regular routine can help you regain a sense of stability and keep a better structure to your days during a time when it feels like we can’t even keep track of what day it is.

Have you ever slept in way too late and just felt like your whole day was ruined and like you were so behind on everything?

I have for sure and it’s not a good feeling!

So, try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, and stick to somewhat of a consistent routine to reduce your stress

 

Stay active

As hard as it may be, be sure to stay active. Staying active will strengthen your immune system, which will help your body to fight off any type of illness.

Not only that, but during a time in which we are often feeling distant from the world around us and incredibly uncertain of what the future might hold, staying active will also help to strengthen your mental health as well.

Do an at-home workout, or go for a 30-minute walk or run outside, even lift heavy boxes in your garage – be creative, but just make sure you are remaining active.

 

YOGA

Yoga may be considered exercise but it is more about a philosophy, a mindset – and a way of approaching life that includes the union of body, mind, and nonphysical awareness (as energy).

Whether some gentle asanas (postures) to stretch and strengthen your body first thing in the morning, as a healthful break during your work day, or perhaps an online class, you are choosing to nourish all aspects of yourself through mindful attention, posture awareness, breathing, care and love of yourself.

The benefits of yoga are remarkable.

 

Maintain a healthy diet

Staying motivated to eat healthy is extremely difficult during a lockdown, and that can be hard if your energy levels are down from your body trying to process a bad diet.

Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean you need to give up on all the unhealthy foods you love.

It’s all about moderation, listening to your body, and being mindful about what goes into your body.

Eating better has also been shown to increase overall brain function, energy levels, and self-esteem (because when you look good, you feel good!).

 

Limit your social media/ news consumption

Even for me, limiting social media or even unplugging completely is the hardest for me. Asides from trying to drive traffic to my blog and grow my accounts grow, social media helps me stay in touch.

It also keeps me informed about the state of the world and the new rules surrounding the current lockdown.

But all of this, to be honest, can be too much – right now, except you work for a news publisher, it’s not healthy to keep track of the current coronavirus cases.

You need to detach yourself from it to be able to cope with the situation.

Already, people are mentally struggling with the lockdown – subjecting yourself to daily news is just going to do more harm than good.

I’ve already starting limiting my news consumption and I can feel the difference in my health – you should try it too.

 

Choose your focus

Self-care and mental health are all about understanding what you want your focus in life to be and what choices you make based on that.

This could involve moving your focus to a new hobby or passion, or changing your attitude towards the things that bring negativity to your life.

By choosing what you focus on in your life, this means you stay busy and concentrate on those things that make you feel positive, happy, and in control of yourself and your mental and physical health.

 

Make sleep a priority

Both your body and mind are experiencing a lot of changes right now. We have never had to be cooped up for this long.

One of the best things you can do for your body and mind is to give them time to rest and adjust to what is the new normal – at least what has been the new normal during recent times and looks to be for the foreseeable future.

Regardless of the time you normally wake up, try to get to be a half-hour earlier or even an hour earlier.

Give your body and mind the rest they need so that they can perform to the best of their ability.

Strive for no less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you are having a difficult time getting this amount, ask yourself what’s more important: sleep or Netflix?

 

 

Read self-help books & articles

In the worrisome times of this pandemic, the perfect means of both learning and escape are: books!

As you social distance at home during this COVID-19 outbreak, it is a great opportunity to dust off books that you always wanted to read, or add new ones to the list – and an even better time to work on improving ourselves.

One of my favourite things to do when I feel overwhelmed is read.

It makes you realise that the things you are feeling are not uncommon and that things will get better. I also find that it can open my mind and allow me to see something in a different way.

Top tip:

I can’t recommend the following books enough, the below have been life changing for me:

        

 

 

 

Schedule time to connect with friends/family weekly

Connecting with family and friends may increasingly fall off your radar as the pandemic stretches on, so that’s why it becomes even more important to keep up with outreach.

Connecting with those you love will help you feel grounded, and remind you about the world and people outside of your immediate living space.

Spending time with loved ones may seem more difficult due to lock downs, but with technologies like Zoom and Google Hangout, it’s actually easier by most accounts.

Adding hangout time to your new routine will help give the brain a break from whatever it is that may be causing heightened stress and anxiety (for most, a dangerous pandemic).

​Seeing and conversing with people is also a good way to escape from the heavy dose of negativity that the news steadily delivers.

With screen sharing capabilities, there are a lot of fun things you can do with friends via your computer, like playing board games or even watching a live stream concert together.

 

Declutter your home

Tidying up your home can be a real mood changer. Being disorganised can increase a person’s cortisol and stress hormones levels in body. It makes you feel distracted and disrupts your concentration. Take time to organise your home everyday.

 

 

Laugh

Pretty much any sort of negative mental aspect is temporarily flushed out when you’re laughing. In addition to the mind, it also relieves stress in the body by relaxing the muscles.

There is a chance you’ve already made it through every episode of your favourite show, but if you have an internet connection, YouTube has lots of free content to keep you busy.

 

Self-Care During a PandemicFinal thoughts

Your body and mind are always going to be your most valuable assets. To get through each day, you need to do whatever you can do in order to keep both in good shape.

Remember to cut yourself some slack and to go easier on yourself during these challenging and pressing times. Schedule time for yourself and make yourself your own number one priority. Your mind and body will thank you.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST SELF-CARE BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

Self-Care-During-a-Pandemic

Morning Routine Habits – Ultimate Guide!

Morning Routine Habits – Ultimate Guide!

The key to a healthy positive mindset is in your morning routine habits – once I implemented tasks to complete every morning, my life began to transform fast. You will see the huge benefit to your mental health, and then it becomes a habit of…