Friday, August 14, 2015

Setting Intentions and Self Care

Hello, people of the interwebs! I haven't posted in a while because of life things, but I really wanted to share some things I've been doing lately to look after my health as well as my mental well-being/stress levels. Self-care is essential because if we don't take care of ourselves on the most basic of levels first, we can't be free to help others or even be in the moment with our loved ones in the ways that we want.

One thing I have been trying to do nearly every single day for about two to three weeks now is set an intention for myself for the rest of the day. I try to do this in the morning, before I get out of bed. Basiclly this means, I set up in my mind what I want to accomplish on a certain day. It could be a to-do list of tasks, but more likely than not I try to set up a positive way of thinking as my intention.

Usually, I dread getting up and going to work. Whenever I feel that dread, I try to replace it with a better, more positive way of thinking. For instance, I may be thinking, "Man I really don't want to go to work. Customers are mean." I'll then try to replace that negative thought with one such as, "Yeah, this job isn't the best right now, but I've been busting my butt applying to other jobs. There are a lot of good things coming my way and I just need to suck this up in the meantime."

Most days, my intention is, "Today is going to be a good day, no matter what others do or say around you. You're in control of your happiness and you're in control of how today is going to go."

Another way I like to set an intention for myself is either through meditation or yoga. For instance, if I have the time in the morning to do a quick yoga routine, I'll quietly thank myself for giving the time to the practice, however little time that may be. If I don't have time for either, I have found doing a simple yoga pose for at least five minutes, focusing on my breathing, and setting an intention for my day, has been super helpful. That one pose is: legs up the wall. I know it sounds way easy and pretty lame, but don't knock it until you try it. If you even google it, you'll come up with tons of health benefits for this one pose. If you want to try it, here's a helpful video!

Socially, I have been trying to make time to see friends and family, though I still don't see these people as much as I would like to. Being an adult, having adult means everyone is busy and everyone has a different schedule. However, I have found that when I make time to see these people, the ones who matter most, it really boosts my mood and overall well-being. I can't really explain it, but I just feel better, mentally. I plan on working on this more and more.

Aromatherapy is something fairly new to me. My amazing boyfriend got me an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser for my birthday and I am in love with it. I currently only have two essential oils, because they're a bit pricey for good quality ones, but I seriously have found a positive difference in my mood. I even sleep better! I add a few (2-3) drops of the essential oil to my diffuser, plug it in and just let the scent fill the room. I have lemongrass oil, which helps with depression and anxiety, lifts mood, can be used as a pain reliever, and can even boost energy. Psst, it's what I have in my diffuser now as I write this.

I also have lavender oil, because it's amazing. It calms and soothes nerves, reduces stress/anxiety, and can aid in relaxation/sleep. To help me get a deeper, more restful night sleep, I have been putting the diffuser on with the lavender oil inside while I play on my phone before bed. I know, I know. I should be meditating or contemplating my life goals or some shizz, but I really just want to watch Youtube before bed. Sue me. Anyway, I'd say within 20-30minutes I am asleep. Which is amazing considering it usually takes me about an hour to an hour and half to fall asleep normally. I sleep more soundly and feel a lot less tired throughout the day because I'm getting a fuller night's sleep. If you're interested in getting your own diffuser, here's where my boyfriend bought mine from: Aromatherapy Diffuser

Also, side note: be super careful with what you put into the diffuser. Don't, for the love of your lungs, DO NOT put potpourri oil into it. Only pure essential oils.

Getting organized is another thing I've been doing to help myself get motivated and be a more productive person. This is partly due to the fact that my sister MADE me a dang planner for a birthday gift and I'm in love with it. Anyway, just planning out my week: what I have to do, what bills are due, when am I working and off, when can I apply to jobs, when I should do this or's really helped to make my days more productive. In fact, yesterday was one of the most productive job-applying-laundry-doing-working-out-etc, day I've had in a long time. You can get nice planners for a reasonable price. Make planning things fun by using colored pens and highlighters and yes, many many stickers.

Finally, I have been trying to make time to read more. When I actually sit down with a good book and a possibly good cup of tea, I thoroughly enjoy it. I think my brain just gets so tired from all the other things I have going on sometimes that the last thing it wants to do is read a book. However, I've been making an effort to read more, despite feeling tired or wanting to play on my phone. Right now I'm reading Tina Fey's Bossy Pants and it's hysterical.

Anyway, this post was a bit of a ramble, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway. I hope this helped some of you out there who struggle to keep up with a self-care plan. You're not alone.

Don't forget to breathe.