10 Things to do on a Self Care Day
Ugh, It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. A little more than a week ago, I found out I might have been exposed to the Covid19 virus. I got tested and thankfully the results were negative. That night, I went over to a friend’s house to watch the election returns. Then the next morning, I found out that my friend had woken up with a fever. All this on top of anxiously awaiting the results of the election has got me stressed to the max!
So, as I can not go out until I know I am Covid19 free. As well as doing my best not to over consume the news for my mental health. It is the perfect time for some self care! Below you will find my top 10 suggestions for how to spend a self care day.
- Face Mask
- Write a Letter
Think about everything for which – you are grateful. Too often we take self care days when we are at the peak of our stress levels. This leads to negative, intrusive thoughts breaking into our consciousness. For me today, I can not shake the thought that I could be sick. I keep getting bombarded with thoughts about not being able to see friends and family. Also, a profound sense of sadness for how things have changed and we can no longer soliciaze like we did before the Covid19 situation. Don’t get me started with my intrusive thoughts about what could happen depending upon the outcome of the election!
Gratitude is a great way to change the neural pathways of your thoughts when catastrophizing. Thinking about everything you are grateful for also raises your vibration. Remember, there is nothing too small or too large to be grateful for! You can list people, places and things. You can also list accomplishments you are grateful for. You can list things that you get to look forward to. And you can list things you are grateful have passed. Once you get started looking for things you are grateful for you will be shocked how quickly the list grows. You will also be training your brain to focus on things that make you feel good rather than worrying.
Okay, okay, okay, I get it! Not everyone enjoys organizing as much as I do. But, hear me out… Creating a sense or order and having a clean area to spend time in creates a sense of calm and wellbeing. This happens because our brains can process information in a predictable manner. When done correctly, organization is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Take for example, that stack of papers I keep piled up next to my desk. Every time I look at it I remember the various things I need to eventually address. I plan to organize this area in a couple of ways. First, I need to move it away from my desk. It is too easy to distract myself while I am trying to get into the flow of writing. Placing those papers in my closet will instantly increase my ability to keep on task when wanted. I am also going to organize my papers into functional categories. That way, when I need to address something from the pile I can easily access it.
Take an objective look at the areas you spend most of your time. Is there anything you can organize? Even if you are someone who functions fully in a messy space this will be helpful. Start small so you are not overwhelmed. Organize your primary email account by unsubscribing to unwanted updates and offers. Organize your pantry so all of the unhealthy snack foods are less accessible than the healthier options. And if you are really ambitious watch a couple of episodes of the Home Edit or Tidying Up to get inspired.
If the past couple of months have taught us anything it’s that baking is a great stress release in uncertain times. I think this is because no matter what chaos is going on around us, if you mix the correct ingredients and apply the right amount of heat you will always get your expected result. This process is explored in the most delightful manner in one of my favorite movies Julie and Julia.
There are so many low cost and simple options when it comes to baking. For instance, these three ingredient peanut butter cookies or buying a box of brownie mix. You might also consider doing some meal prepping and creating freezer meals. Or getting your hands on a beloved family recipe and giving it some practice.
Notice, I did not say exercising, though that’s also a great idea for self care. Walking however, is it’s own special activity. In addition to physical health benefits including the release of endorphins. Walking also boosts our creative thinking. Really cool, right!?
While I get a great deal of enjoyment out of walking and listening to music or a podcast this is not the ideal situation for boosting creative thinking. But, hey it’s your self care day so do what you want. If however you are in a situation I frequently find myself then consider doing this…
First you need to take a break from whatever you are working on.Then take a walk at a comfortable pace without distractions like your phone or listening to music. Be intentional about noticing your thoughts. Are you engaging in negative self talk? Are you worrying about something that happened in the past or might happen in the future? Notice everything that comes to mind without judgement. If possible work towards clearing your mind so you are only in the moment walking. Shifting your focus often leads to that eureka moment.
I mean, do I really need to say anymore? Spending time with a face mask is not only calming for the skin but the mind as well! Here are a few of my favorite masks and DIY recipes.
No lie, this is harder then we all think. I am an older millennial who still knows my childhood BFFs home phone number by heart. I don’t love social media and am lucky to have a job where I do not need to check my email frequently. Still, I need to be very intentional about taking periodic breaks from technology for my mental health.
Like I said, at the time of writing this we still do not know the result of the presidential election. I am also dealing with my second Covid19 scare in less than a month. The urge to obsessively watch the news and engage about politics on social media is high. I also have an incredible desire to google Covid19 stats, facts, and personal accounts for hours on end. But, I know none of this is good for my mental health right now.
I have a choice, I can spend this time doing something positive. Like, writing this blog post (thanks for reading btw!) or doing any number of activities on this list. Or, I can feed my fears by plugging into the overload of information available online. If you haven’t watched The Social Dilemma I highly recommend it!
Write a Letter
Simple enough! Sitting down to write a letter is a fantastic exercise for organizing your thoughts and strengthening your relationships. If you have a child in your life that you want to fascinate, handwrite and mail a letter to them. I swear it will blow their mind and give them a thrill.
You might also consider sending a thank you letter. When was the last time you got a sincere thank note when you weren’t expecting it?
Writing to someone who you have lost touch with is also a way to spread positivity and joy. It doesn’t have to be anything earth shattering to be effective. I recently received a message from a childhood friend who thought of me when she was looking through old photos. She sent me one of the pictures and it was such a joyful experience for me to receive.
Honestly, this is one of my greatest fears. But, self care is more than just pampering. Taking care of ourselves means making sure we are secure. It is important that we understand what we spend money on because that reveals our values. We can learn a lot about our body, mind and spirit by periodically making and assessing our budgets.
For several reasons that would take multiple blog entries to describe fully the last couple of years I had to get serious about my money management. In the process I found out some interesting things. Just like organization being the gift that keeps on giving. Sticking to a budget or at least spending mindfully is a game changer in living a healthy lifestyle.
No matter where you are beginning you can always get to a healthy place! Seriously, if you would have told me that two years ago in the midst of my divorce, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But, no matter what cards you’ve been dealt (parents taking out debt in your name for instance) you should know there is a path forward.
I am a crafty lady! Expressing myself artistically has always come easily. However, I understand that not everyone feels this way. Luckily there are so many options for getting creative. And frankly, creating for the pure joy of being creative and nothing more. Here are a couple of options for getting creative. Currently, I am obsessed with learning to macrame and will totally post some photos of how it’s coming along on my Instagram.
This is perhaps the most powerful item on my self care list. You can use visualization techniques to manifest the future of your dreams. I was just discussing with a friend the future I have been visualizing in the midst of all the chaos I am currently experiencing. For me right now, it’s about visualizing the simple pleasures I will soon experience. Walking in the park on a warm day. Getting a coffee and eating delicious pastries. I visualize larger things too, getting married, having children and moving to my dream condo also factor into my current visualizations. It is amazing how day dreaming about your soul’s desires puts you into a great headspace and onto the path to reach those goals.