February is known as the month of love with a huge lead up to Valentine’s Day. We show our partners, our kids and families how much we love them but tend to overlook one person in particular… Ourselves.
In this post, I wanted to share some tips and activities that help me to relax, reflect and take time for myself. I am still working on a few but aren’t we all? Starting a healthy relationship with yourself is an investment worth making.
This is a great way to unwind at the end of a day or work out a problem that you may not feel comfortable discussing with someone else. Reflecting on the positive things that happened during the day or putting the bad things to rest will help clear your mind for a good night’s sleep. Another approach to journal entry would be asking yourself questions and answering them honestly or writing positive self affirmations. Some journaling topics that may help:
- Write 5 compliments to yourself
- What are 3 goals you want to accomplish by the end of the year?
- What are 3 flaws that you accept and how can you look at these flaws in a positive light?
There are so many benefits to mindfulness and meditation. It is proven to reduce anxiety, lower stress levels and help us sleep soundly. So why aren’t we doing it more? It may sound daunting at first but easing into a few quiet minutes a day may be all you need to recharge.
- Breathe in, hold for 3 counts and exhale. Count 7 breaths.
- Bring your attention to your body, send the breath to any areas of tension.
- Do one thing at a time. When you are eating, just eat. When you are checking emails, just check emails.
As much as we are aware of how exercise can change our body, improve our moods and overall health. It’s still a struggle for most of us to fit it into our daily routines. It only takes 15-30 to get your heart rate going to make a difference. Exercise is a natural mood booster. While most of us drag ourselves to a gym or out for a walk, we always feel so much better when we are done. A few activities that might make you forget you are actually working out:
- Skating, skiing, and snowshoeing
- Set up an obstacle course in your backyard and challenge your kids for the best time
- Play tag
- Swimming, going for a bike ride or just walk
- Hula hoop, hopscotch and jumping rope
#4: Be Creative
Not everyone has a crafty side but being creative is more that scissors and glue on a rainy “crafternoon”. Expressing yourself through poetry, music, dance or tackling a project that you’ve been putting off are all great ways to get those creative juices flowing and do something that is just for you.
#5: Self Affirmations
The word “affirm” comes from the Latin meaning “strengthen or make steady”. In Middle English (1300’s) it was “affirmen”, meaning “to state positively”. When we’re talking about recent use of the word, affirm means to confirm or agree with something. It is a positive word and it usually means the truth. Setting out your intentions can help achieve your goals. If you say something enough you begin to believe it. It can help with anxiety, self doubt, work, and personal goals. Some examples are:
- I can take things one step at a time.
- I will not let anxiety control me.
- I am strong.
- I am worthy.
- I am beautiful.
#6: Digital Detox
“Reboot” yourself with a digital detox that can refocus your life and improve your wellbeing. In fact, digital detox and mental health are strongly realted, as digital detox has been proven to be effective in regaining excellent mental health status.
- Decide how long you want to detox for.
- Plan your detox.
- Make some fun plans.
- Log off.
Sounds easy enough right? I think this is the hardest one of all. Guilt usually takes over any sense of relaxation. We are always saying, “I’ll read that book after I fold the laundry”, or “I’ll watch some tv after rearrange the pantry”. Yes, there are somethings that need to happen like laundry, cooking and cleaning, but not everything has to be instant. Relaxing shouldn’t be a reward for completing a task. Our bodies need a break, both physically and mentally. A hot bath, a run, sleeping in or watching your favourite show are all great ways to unwind and chill out.
At the end of the day, we can’t be everything to everyone; but one thing we can be is ENOUGH.