These are challenging times and I feel we all need a bit of self care to survive and maybe even live more.
Sounds very dramatic I know but in so many ways [coronavirus, self-isolation, pregnancy and my beloved micro business ...] I feel more and more stressed out. It's time to put the breaks on before it's too late. Self care is about maintaining and promoting wellbeing and overall health, but within that self care is restorative. It is deliberate. It is time for yourself to breathe.
Of course it is about eating well, being kind to yourself, exercising and staying hydrated and other health promoting activities but it is also about those activities which are important to you as an individual. This could be sports, craft projects, a spa day or simply finally reading that book.
In many ways you will need to reflect what's important to you and to find out how important self care is to you?
Whatever the answer maybe always take into account that we can only give to others if we take care of ourselves and even though some people might try to tell us this is selfish - it is not.
You could start with the following three
1. declutter your surroundings to have what gives you joy
2. be organised - be it with your wardrobe or your daily life, it could help to stay calm and speed up daily tasks so there is more time for you
3. cleanse your surrounding with incense like Palo Santo wood or you favourite potpourri
I find the following especially helpful to slow down
4. Reevaluating my relationship with my phone or tablet
[To me it's more the tablet but putting it down, not checking social media, news alerts or emails [even though sometimes a struggle] helps me to slow down almost right there and then.
5. Try slow mornings by starting earlier and adding extra time to sit down with loved ones, read or get organised
6. Take more breaks or choose a purposeful break from everything by going on a walk or doing yoga
A quick self care moment to recharge and empower yourself can be
7. enjoying a special cup of tea
8. giving yourself a quick hand massage
9. sitting or standing upright for a moment and breathing in and out while following the flow of air through your body
10. listen to your favourite song
11. dance to a happy song
12. text a friend or family member to make plans or just say hi
13. put on some feel good clothing
14. eat something nice
15. practice being in the moment
16. watch the clouds to clear your mind
If you have 10+ minutes these things could help you find back to yourself
17. listen to your favourite podcast
18. read an enriching book
19. write down 5 things you are grateful for
20. watch a feel good movie
21. cook or bake something for yourself
22. create a vision board
24. do something creative
25. take a nap
26. get out into nature
27. do something new
29. take a bubble bath or similar
30. spend quality time with friends/family
Additionally for some people it is helpful to
31. find inspiration quotes for the week
32. writing a journal or doodling
33. laughing groups / club - some combine this with yoga
Well, I have to admit that I don't manage all of them but some are here because I do practise these for months regularly, others are based on research. Most beneficial to me are putting the phone
aside, making lists and to declutter, enjoying a tea quietly and taking the time to breathe while listing to my body. Of course everyone has to find their own balance and the tips above are just
inspirational. Leave a comment of one of your favourite self care routines for me to add!
All the best to you all,
* not all images in this post are mine but they are linked to their source
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Based on the meteorological calendar Spring is here and I feel a bit of Spring cleaning with minimalism in mind could just be the thing. I personally can't decide between Spring and Autumn, I love them both, the life in the changes, the colours and light at those times. Anyway, I think it is the change which is giving me energy and inspiration to move and change as well. It is not that I think I own clutter or would ever have a problem with throwing stuff out, nope not me, I always feel refreshed after a good old clean and clear. Maybe, I am still too German, haha.
Recently however, I feel the urge to slow down and to be a bit more consequent, by which I mean, not just have a bit of a clear out of unused things two times a year but change things so that this would not be needed anymore. So how to start this, how to change things.
I found loads of guides some 30 or 50 steps long, even a minimalism challenge was among them. Has anyone done one of those? Well, it is all too much for me, one could say not very minimal, pun intended. So I decided, I will choose 5 things I find useful and easy to incorporate into my routines.
Simplify my home by giving everything its space. I will only keep things I need [used within the last 3 months or so] or absolutely love and treasure.
Clear out my wardrobe, not much there really but I tend to hang on to stuff I don't wear as I dread cloth shopping. So my goal is to only have those pieces which I really wear.
Get rid of devices, best in a box or all in one place and switch them off at least one day of the week. I love this one, it was not in many guides but I think it will not only help me to be more minimalist but also to slow down and breathe.
This is a truly tough one for me but here goes nothing - simplify my calendar! Oi, that is something, every mum, small biz owner .... will know, even worse when having a creative life. Nothing is truly going by calendar but I honestly will try to get the business side, the side I actually should be able to plan, done by a reasonable calendar and who knows maybe I am going to manage even more ;)
Restore and cut back on waste - now I have to admit that this is not a new thing to me but I want to get more serious about it. Not just in my lifestyle but also with my art and craft. I recycle already as we do all and 90% of my packaging is done with recycled materials but I could start a garden bin, grow some herbs and look into low Co2 concrete and recycled concrete .... I am sure with time I will find even more and I am grateful for tips as well!
Well not sure if you feel the same way or not but may I invite you to join me in a bit of spring cleaning with minimalism in mind, maybe these 5 are just as right for you as for me and if not, I am sure you will find your own 5. The wonderful and happy part is the change, the renewal of Spring.
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I have heard about 'hygge' a while back and thought well, fair enough I like to cosy up, get the kettle on and the cosy blanket out. Done, right?!
Well, I went to Copenhagen during spring this year and of course what was the most interesting thing to bring back 'The little book of hygge' by Meik Wiking. I read it and found loads of habits and ideas on how we should make us all feel better. All nice and jolly. Thing is though, recently I came across more and more posts and articles like 'Hygge on a budget', 'Hygge vs Minimalism', 'Hygge for home and work' and so on. And two weeks ago I went to Germany, just to visit family over the weekend, you know the hygge way. At the airport I browsed some magazines and found that they even just published a magazine called 'Hygge' featuring all sort of lifestyle options and what we all should do to feel better.
I started to feel a bit irritated by the thought of hygge being a decor trend or even a must do now - it's a trend. I understand that we might want to look for beautiful items or cosy items that make us feel good. I am the last one not to understand that, I create and sell beautiful things myself and of course I want them to be precious treasures to you which make you feel good too. But that is just that - to make us feel good!
Well, I read some of those said articles in full and couldn't disagree more. Why should hygge not go with my / your decor. I hope to achieve at least in some areas a minimal life and I think hygge is never going to interfere with that thought.
Let's see, I live in a small studio flat in London. Yes, just a studio. I have to be organised or no work gets done. So everything has its place and gets put away. I don't have things twice and I need to be able to move things around for my photo shoots. If I feel things get to cluttery, you know magazines and books, I put piles together and drop them off at one of the station bookshelf or donate them. If I get something new the old goes. I think all this is pretty normal and very minimal. No budget requirements, no brainers, right?!
Maybe it is just me but one of the 'Minimalism vs Hygge' articles suggested that hygge asked for cosy clutter and clutter never works with minimalism. But I think the opposite is the case. Hygge and Minimalism are describing the urge to only use your most precious things to enjoy and decorate with. Only use the things that make you feel good. Neither, is asking for a sleek gloss white in all things for example. A clean space allows me too breath and feel fresh, even to recharge. So my room decor and surroundings are pretty minimal. However, I chose this environment to be 'hygge' in, if I might say so. I, of course, have good food and friends around to share it with or have a cuppa and a good book and my 'single favourite' cosy blanket in my minimal decorated room. Therefore I think minimalism and hygge both are not a budget thing nor are those two in a way against each other. If anything they compliment each other. To live with less you have to choose well and to keep only things you truly love. I would very well think that is point 10 of the hygge manifesto [picture on the left]. Your tribe, a place of peace and security can only be created with the things you love and have memories with. In a way I even would go so far that it is part of point 7 'Comfort'. Isn't it far easier to take a break and relax in an environment you feel free and home in?!
'Presence', 'Equality' and 'Truce' are more or less life choices and maybe even a choice of the company you keep. It is normal to me to shut my phone off when I am in a conversation and even though I do love all your posts and shares on instagram, facebook and so on, I do not need nor want to check the feed all night long. Although, I am writing loads of 'I' here and I like my alone time - I pretty much think 'we' over 'me'. With 'Truce' I am not so sure since my friends and I love good arguments but maybe I am taking it to literally.
Well, I think no one would say 'no' to good food and appreciation goes with it and all things, well and together - isn't everything better together?! Easy! Although, I am not sure how minimalism goes with or against it but maybe less food, haha.
Anyway, it is pretty much so, that I will keep living by the now called 'hygge manifesto' [before it was simply called 'the rules my mom taught me to be good human' not catchy I know] and will decorate and live as a minimalist. I think both are true parts of me. No budget, competition or any of such sort required. By the way, I think this will also work with other decor styles as long as it allows you to create an environment which makes you happy and allows you to be you.
Maybe all I am saying is totally crystal clear to you and I just got hung up on those posts or I misunderstood - but just in case you feel little like me here
are my thoughts and I look forward to yours.