We’re looking at a tough 4 years. I wrote a post about dealing with hard times, another one about dealing with grief. I think it’s time for one on self-care, don’t you? Being bi-polar and having lost one of the people most dear to me, I feel particularly qualified for this sort of post. Here are some of my top tips, bearing in mind that we’re all different and some stuff that works for me won’t work for you. But try them; they might help and if they do, it’s worth it.
Laughing releases soul tension and just gets you in a better space so you can move forward from that different space. Personally speaking, movies work for me – I love them! – but can rarely watch anything without my kids around.
Here is my post with a long list of all-time hilarious movies that you can watch with the kids around and lighten up.
But whatever works – whatever makes you laugh – make it a priority.
2. Get Outside
Walk, run, exercise, breathe or just be. But do it outside, because it gets you out of your head and back into another space.
3. Book of Positive Aspects
Get a notebook. Write down ONLY the positive things about anything you feel like – your work, a friend, a family friend, your home, whatever you want, but ONLY the positive. The idea behind this is that after writing a few pages of this every day, you are put into a different frame of mind and are lifted out of your funk.
It works. You need to sit down and resist the urge to write a bunch of pissed off crap; you have to ONLY write what you genuinely like about something, and move on to the next thing.
Some people call this “gratitude” but I don’t because I just don’t really like the word, “gratitude.” I prefer “appreciation.” Look outside and feel appreciation for your A-Team (- your angels and ancestors) watching over you and guiding you with love. Breathe deep and feel it, feel them. Feel the appreciation for every good thing that is in your experience. Think about it, write it if you want, draw it, create it, whatever feels good for you.
The point is to consciously appreciate what is working.
5. Keep track of what you are doing
I bought a Law of Attraction Planner this year. Here it is. I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever purchased, you know why? It forces me to keep track of all that I do. It collects my ideas, visions, dreams. I have little checkboxes for exercise, love & gratitude and meditation, goals to plot out and keep track of.
It’s totally overwhelming in the beginning and now, two months into this, I am rolling. I feel so alive, in charge! I don’t feel like the wimpy loser-type that I tend to feel like, or rather, when I feel that way, I just open this up and I’ve got a sweet little visual that proves that I’m actually making progress with my life.
In self-care, I think it’s very important to remember our accomplishments. Give ourselves a back-pat now and again, you know?
Dude. This is gold. Forget anything else I’ve said; if you really want the essence of self-care, this is it. I wrote a post to help get you started and explain what it’s all about – the post is linked here.
7. Take Care of Your Shell
Your body is your shell, the home of your soul. You only have this one, so be friends, make nice. Give it love, food that nourishes it, the exercise it needs, the things that make it feel good, keeps it sane (which includes taking your meds). Decorate it. Do what makes you – and your body – happy, truly happy.
8. Be Careful with Your Friends
If you surround yourself with negativity, it’s going to spill over onto you. You don’t need that crap. Keep your space drama-free, with good vibes by being selective with friendships, your time, energy, commitments.
9. Feng Shui Your Place
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of space arrangement (a great book about it that I used to get into it all is this one, Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui ). Get rid of stuff you don’t use. Arrange your space consciously, harmoniously.
Get in turn with your directions, art placement and plants (another good book is this one, Practical Feng Shui, or just go to your local library and check out all their books on Feng Shui!).
10. Get Creative
Color. Get one of those doodle books that they are selling everywhere. Whip out your paints and get busy with your kids. Play dough, legos, collages, chalk art, poetry, candle-making, sewing, knitting, beading, whatever floats your creative boat, DO IT.
The creative stuff seems to flood your brain with stabilizers that help you cope with hard things (okay, I totally just made that up, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? And most importantly, it really does help!).