Self Care Checklist for When You’re Stuck Indoors

self care

Around the world in an unprecendented situation, many of us are being asked to stay indoors. Unsurprisingly, this can take its toll on our wellbeing, where we’re not able to see our loved ones and we’re cooped up in our homes. It’s important that we don’t forget to take care of ourselves every day, both mentally and physically. So I encourage you to take some time for yourself throughout this period – no matter how little time you have or small your actions are. To get your started, here are a few ideas!

  • Write down your thoughts and feelings down in a journal
  • List out everything you’re grateful for
  • Watch a comfort film or TV series (mine would be Gilmore Girls, the West Wing or Friends!)
  • Video call a family member or friend for a chat
  • Read a book that’s been sitting on the shelf
  • Light a candle and meditate for even ten minutes
  • Do some exercise or stretching
  • Put some extra effort into your morning coffee
  • Treat yourself to a warm bubble bath
  • Try out a new cooking or baking recipe

Have some more? Leave them in the comments!

Tips for staying productive whilst working at home

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More and more, people are taking advantage of the freedom and flexibility to work at home, rather than in the traditional office space. And now with coronavirus sweeping across the world, more of us will be finding ourselves at home. With that comes a certain mind-set shift to ensure we stay productive and on top of our work as much as we can. Here are some tips:

Create yourself a workspace – it’s tempting to grab your laptop and chill in bed whilst you work. But that won’t help get yourself into work mode – or help you switch off later at night. Find a space away from your bed to work peacefully, whether that be the kitchen table, the sofa in your living room or a desk in the bedroom. Having clear separation between work and relaxation will help put yourself in the right frame of mind.

Get dressed – similarly, getting yourself out of your pyjamas and into some everyday clothes shifts your mood from lounging to work mode. It doesn’t have to be a full on suit or tonnes of make-up, but putting on proper clothes can really help to boost your productivity.

Set up a group chat – how many times do you ask the colleagues sitting around you a question? I do all the time! If you’re lucky enough to have Skype, Microsoft teams, Slack, or another instant messaging services on your laptop, use it to your advantage to ask questions, delegate, or discuss tasks. Even WhatsApp could work. This will also help you not feel so alone if you’re not used to work at home.

Put away the distractions – whilst you might take more advantage of the freedoms of being at home, like listening to music whilst you work, make sure you don’t find yourself giving into more temptations – like scrolling through Instagram, getting sucked into a YouTube video spree, or online shopping – just because nobody is around to see you do it. Put away your phone if you need to.

Try the Pomodoro method – if you find it hard to stop yourself from succumbing to your distractions or you find yourself constantly finding something to do other than the work you’re meant to be doing, try the Pomodoro technique. It consists of breaking down your worktime into 25 minute chunks with short breaks in between. That way, you always know when you can check your phone or make a tea during your next break and focus on the task at hand when it’s time to work.

If you have any of your own tips, let us know in the comments below. Happy working from home!

 

How to approach a new challenge practically

Taking on a new challenge can be thrilling. But the excitement can also wear off and quickly turn into overwhelm or dread when we think about our goal. Passion is essential, but some practical steps can really help us stay on track:

  1. Take it a week or a month at a time – instead of looking at the habits you want to form as ones you’ll need to live by forever or looking at goals as ones that will take years to achieve, dedicate yourself to your new challenge for a week or month. This could be challenging yourself to a new habit for a month or splitting out your goal into mini-goals that take you in the right direction. Having a ‘deadline’ in reach really helps to push yourself, stick to it and remind yourself that its doable. At the end, not only can you celebrate, but accomplishing it will leave you wanting to do more.
  2. Plan it out – there’s no point in throwing yourself into something without first having a plan of action. A habit tracker that you can tick off every day or a calendar where you schedule in time to reach your goal helps to keep you accountable and organised, ultimately helping you deliver! Otherwise you’ll quickly find that you aren’t getting anywhere.
  3. Have a place to visualise – keep your sights set on that goal you’re trying to reach every day. I like to use a Pinterest board to collect pictures that represent my goals. Other ideas include a physical vision board on the bedroom wall or a daily morning ritual of visualising yourself accomplishing your goals. Whatever works for you!

Have any practical tips of your own? Please share in the comments!

7 ways to lift yourself when you feel down

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We all process our sadness, anxieties and problems in different ways. Sometimes we choose to face them head on, with a sword or a shield or empty-handed. Other times we want to bury ourselves away, letting ourselves pretend for a little while that our problems don’t exist, and maybe even hoping they’ll disappear for good.

Whatever your preferences, here are a few tips that may help you lift yourself back up when you’re feeling down:

Write it down or talk it out
Letting your worries out of your head onto paper or into the universe actually helps you to find the root of the problem. Relieving it from the inside gives you perspective on the outside and gives you the chance to figure out ways to solve the problem. Find a notebook or grab a friend and let it out.

Take a gratitude walk
Taking a walk around my neighbourhood really helps me release my negative energy. Instead of allowing your mind to circle around the negative thoughts, try listing everything you’re grateful for, no matter how small. It helps put the situation or your mood into perspective.

Switch up the environment
It’s tempting to sulk and wallow around at home alone when you’re feeling down, but your troubles are weighing you down there. Try and get out of the house; go see a friend or take a trip to your favourite coffee spot. Surround yourself with people. Sometimes we just need a little distance.

Accomplish something, like exercise
Focusing your mind on something completely different to what you’re going through, like an intense workout, is enough to make you feel good about yourself – or at least achieving something you set out to do. Exercise is a bonus, as it is proven to boost your endorphin levels, which increases happiness.

Transport to another world
Listen to your favourite music, crack open a good book, or put on a funny TV show. Your mood can instantly lift when you distract yourself enough to put some distance between you and the problem before coming back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.

Sleep
I know that I always feel worse towards the evening, when I’ve had a long day and am feeling tired. It can really screw up your perspective. Go to bed early and remind yourself that it will feel better in the morning. Wake up refreshed to tackle your troubles.

Remember…
All darkness passes and the sun rises. Everyone has bad days. Your problems won’t last forever.

(image: LD Fleming)

10 habits you can implement into your lifestyle

We can be the best versions of ourselves and live our best lives, but only with consistent action. Here are some of the habits I’m trying to implement into my lifestyle this year lead a healthier life:

Wake up earlier – Make the most of your mornings, whether it be to get a headstart on your to-do list or to have a mindful morning and take time for yourself.

Practice discipline – Get into the habit of making your bed in the morning, picking up after yourself, and resisting those chocolates in your kitchen cupboard. Becoming disciplined with small things in your life helps you practice discipline for when you really need it.

Gratitude journal – Reminding yourself about all the amazing things you have in life sets everything else in perspective and helps you get through the harder days. I like using the 5 Minute Journal, which is available both as a book and app.

Recite affirmations – Show yourself some love by telling yourself how awesome you are and set the tone for the day. Sit quietly before getting ready or say them out loud in front of a mirror. affirmyourlife.blogspot.com is great for finding affirmations that speak to you on a whole range of subjects.

Have a productive commute – Wherever you’re going and however you’re getting there, listen to a podcast or read a book to keep learning and keep the mind inspired.

Plan your week – We all have big goals, but unless we take small actions towards them, they’ll always seem far away. Each week list the actions you want to take, no matter how small, and write them down in your calendar so you know when you’ll be getting them done.

Track your finances – It’s amazing to list all your expenses in a week, because you realise the places you’re unnecessarily wasting money. Something as simple as making lunch or coffee at home instead of buying out can save hundreds of pounds a year!

Meal plan – Eat more consciously by taking the time to plan out what you’re going to eat during the week. This will cut down unnecessary spending, reduce snacking and impulse eating, and help you nourish your body.

Schedule in relaxation – Whilst endless motivation and drive is fantastic, make sure to take time to yourself, to relax and rest, whether you have half an hour each day where you treat yourself to a bubble bath or having a leisurely Sunday in your pyjamas.

Get enough sleep – We hear it all the time, but it’s much harder to do in practice. We need sleep to recooperate and rejuvenate, otherwise we’ll burnout and crash somewhere along the journey. Sleeping is healing for both the mind and body.

What are you trying to do more or less of this year? Remember, you don’t have to change everything all at once!

(Image: Pinterest)

How to stay on track with your goals

Focus on fewer goals – we often make the mistake that we want to change everything at once. And whilst there might be lots of things we want to achieve and change, we cannot do everything overnight. Pick a couple to really give your all to each month or each quarter. Once they’re engrained in your life, you can look at picking up more.

Break down bigger goals into smaller ones – our passion for our new year or life goals can slowly morph into overwhelm when we realise how long the road ahead is. That’s why we should set short rest stops along the way. Set weekly, monthly, quarterly milestones to give your journey more direction and make it more enjoyable.

Find your why – goals are nothing without the drive behind them. Make sure you’re setting goals that actually mean something to you and that you’re setting them for the right reasons. Create a vision board, even digitally on Pinterest, to remind yourself of your intentions and to push you when you need it.

Keep track of your progress – motivate yourself by tracking your habits and progress across the month. I like to note down what I’ve achieved and what habits I’ve stuck to everyday in a journal.

Improve your accountabilitytell a friend about your goals to help you stay accountable and get support when you need it. Plan out when you’re going to commit time to achieving your goals each week. Be realistic, but you have to make the time and stick to your schedule.

(Image: Twitter)

Three reasons to be alone with your thoughts 


Many of us are scared to be alone with our thoughts. We’re scared of what they might say and how they might make us feel. We’re so plugged in and invested in other people’s worlds, but neglect out own. Here’s three reasons to tune into what’s going on inside your head.

Reason One: Find solutions

When we listen to our thoughts and emotions, it’s likely that we’ll shed light on insecurities, anxieties and fears. But don’t be afraid. Instead of burying them away, we can actually face them and find ways to conquer them. We’ll see they’re not untameable. We’ll start to untangle the problems and find ways to overcome them.

Reason Two: Set direction

When we get in touch with our thoughts and emotions, we begin to understand where we want to go.  Sometimes we wander aimlessly because we’re lost. Sometimes we find ourselves walking a path because we’re following someone else. We’re not really thinking about what we want and where we want to go. But if you actually do take the time to think and listen, and you follow what your heart is saying, you’ll never be steered wrong.

Reason Three: Realise who you are

When we tune into our thoughts and emotions, we drown out the noise around us and find out who we are. That might be someone who doesn’t care what people think. That might be someone who stands up for what they believe in. That might be someone who sees things differently. Whoever you are, you don’t need to lock them away. Find out what you like and don’t like, where you want to go and what you want to do.

(Image: Kreesha Turner)

Three ways to be more free


Honesty 

Being honest is often daunting, but also liberating. Being honest with others and being honest with ourselves releases the weight of secrets, the pressures of pretence, and the tangles of a tale. We shouldn’t have to lie about who we are or what we do. It gets draining after a while, to the point where we can’t see a way out and life isn’t pleasant anymore. It might be daunting, but it’s true when they say that the truth will set you free.

Letting go of the past

It’s hard for us to forget our mistakes, and even harder for us to forgive ourselves. But whether we accept it or not, the past is done and dusted; it is written already. But that doesn’t mean the pen is out of our hands, that our story is already written. No, our story continues as long as we do. Whatever you do, don’t let it stop because of the past. There’s always time for a plot twist.

Following your heart

Don’t listen to others who tell you who to be, how to be, what to do, if you don’t agree. Whether it’s your family, your friends, your society, nobody has more power over you than you do. It’s exhausting trying to please everyone, meet their high standards, follow what is expected, because nobody’s outlook on life is the same. Nor should it be. Do you and be the best you that you can be. The rest will fall into place.

(Image: Pinterest)

Put yourself out there anyway


None of us have it all figured out. And we never will. But that shouldn’t stop us from putting ourselves out there, pursuing our dreams, trying things out, getting into a muddle, finding our feet again, or choosing another path. We don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward. And whatever we do, wherever we go, whoever we meet, it’s going to be all the better because we did it our way.

(Image: We Heart It)

5 tips to silence negative self-talk

Tip One: Stop comparing yourself to others

It’s said time and time again, but we can’t seem to get away from it. But it’s so counter-productive! We’re all different. Some of us excel in certain things and some of us suck at them. We all have something we’re better at and worse at. We all in different stories, at different chapters, with equally beautiful endings. Start playing to your strengths and working on your weaknesses. Be better than you were yesterday, not better than the other person in the room.

Tip Two: Don’t just think it, say it 

Thinking positively about yourself is harder than it sounds. But if we hear it, maybe we’ll start to listen. Stand in front of the mirror every morning and take a look at what you see. Let yourself know something you love about yourself and say it out loud. Or start the day with a positive affirmation out loud. It may feel weird at the beginning, but it will quickly sink in and transform your mindset.

Tip Three: Look at mistakes as spring boards

Failure and mistakes shouldn’t be looked at as the enemy. They’re actually the key to our success, but only if we act on them in the correct way. Instead of punishing yourself over mistakes you’ve made, focus on what you can learn from them and how you can use those teachings as fuel to greater success. 

Tip Four: Gather some perspective

Sometimes we need to step out of our own heads and look at our situation from the outside. What would your friends say if they knew what you were saying about yourself? What would you say to a friend in a similar situation? Challenge yourself on the negative things you say to yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself. Most of the things we actually beat ourselves up on aren’t a big deal like we’re making them out to be.

Tip Five: Focus on solutions, not just problems

Sometimes we feel like we deserve the negative self-talk. But really it doesn’t do us any favours. When we talk negatively about ourselves, we’re often focusing too much on the problems instead of thinking about what we could do to solve them and thinking about the action. But focusing on the solutions will automatically move your mind to a positive space, and the problem won’t seem as bad.

(Image: Pinterest)