Tag: self-care tips

Self-Care Ideas for Men – Ultimate Guide!

Self-Care Ideas for Men – Ultimate Guide!

Today we will discussing self-care ideas for men. We often think about self-care from a woman’s perspective. But self-care is something that everyone should be focusing on, not just women. One of the biggest myths going is that self-care is just for women. This could not be…

40 Self-Care Ideas for Mind, Body & Life Balance!

40 Self-Care Ideas for Mind, Body & Life Balance!

Today I will de digging deep and sharing 40 self-care ideas for mind, body and lifestyle. Self-care is about having the courage, tenacity, and resilience to take responsibility for your health and well-being. It’s a lifestyle where we recognise and honour our self-worth by engaging…

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be talking about how to sleep better naturally.

Do you ever wake up in the mornings and wish you were able to get better sleep?  Maybe you feel like you toss and turn all night or your brain just doesn’t shut off.

One of the worst things that can happen when you know you have a busy day ahead of you is to feel tired, fatigued, and unenergized.  If you work at a performance-based job where you always need to be on your A-game, getting no sleep can be so detrimental to your career.

Along with that, always being tired affects your energy levels which ultimately affects your productivity.  If you’re a busy person and you have a million things to do in a day, you know how important it is to feel awake and ready to work to get stuff done!

But, don’t worry, there are ways you can fight those sleepless nights and relax at bedtime. Below, we have shared some effective ways for calming your mind and getting a good night’s sleep.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified councillor/therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Ultimate Guide!

 

Sleep is so important, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, here are some tips to help you sleep better at night – I hope they help so you can feel more energised, focused, and ready to take on the day, every day!

 

Progressive muscle relaxation

This is one of the best exercises to induce sleep. A lot of sleep experts recommend evening meditation but if you suffer from anxiety, you may not want to meditate before bedtime. It might be more stimulating than relaxing.

Here’s how progressive muscle relaxation works…

Tense the individual muscle groups on your body, one at a time. Then, release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you relax them. This exercise lowers the stress and tension in your body and it’s very effective for when you experience extreme anxiety. So, it’s useful for when you’re trying to relax enough to fall asleep.

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Once you’re in bed, take 15 minutes to complete this exercise. Start from the top of your head and go over each individual muscle group. So, if you’re working on your forehead, raise your eyebrows as far as you can. Take a slow, deep breath as you do this. Do this for 5 seconds. Once the 5 seconds are up, relax the muscle, and exhale. You will feel the tension flow out. Move on to the next muscle group.

Take care to focus on only one muscle group at a time. Don’t clench any other part of your body, only the muscle that you’re focusing on. It becomes easier to do with practice. No part of this exercise should be painful.

 

Military method

The United States Navy Pre-Flight School introduced the now popular Military Method as part of the pilot’s training routine after they discovered that many of the pilots could not get enough sleep amidst training stress and gunfire noises in the background.

How to practice:

  • Start with your face. Relax all of your face muscles, including those inside your mouth.
  • Focus on the Shoulders. Droop them releasing all the tension and let your hands drop naturally to the side.
  • Focus on your legs. Exhale and let your leg muscles go limp and relax.
  • Take a few deep breaths. Let your chest relax with your exhale.
  • Once you relax every muscle from your face to legs, breathe normally and imagine a relaxing scene. You can also imagine yourself falling asleep.
  • If it doesn’t work, relax and say “don’t think” over and over for a few seconds.
  • You should fall asleep within a minute or two.

After 6 weeks of practice, the pilots could fall asleep in 2 minutes or fewer.

The technique worked even after drinking coffee and is also said to be effective if you need to sleep sitting up.

 

Abdominal breathing

Abdominal breathing promotes relaxation by altering the way you normally breathe. Unlike with meditation, you won’t need complete silence. You can do it either lying down with your eyes closed or while listening to soft music. Either way, in order to relax, you must pay attention to your breathing.

To effectively do abdominal breathing, lie on your back and place your hands on your chest and abdomen. That helps track your breathing. Remember to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Others prefer exhaling through the nose, which is not an issue.

 

 

4-7-8 breathing

This breathing technique has been said to have the ability to put you to sleep in as little as 60 seconds.

The technique is simple.

Lay on your back and breathe in deeply. Breathe into the count of four. Hold that breath for a count of seven. Exhale the breath to the count of eight.

Repeat this until you have fallen asleep. It is a cleansing breath, slow breathing technique, and will help your body to slowly calm down and create a feeling of calm.

 

Counting Breath

This type of breathing technique is precisely what it sounds like. You simply breathe in and count that as a breath. Breathe out and count that as well. So, you would be breathing for each count. For example, breathing in would be count one, and breathing out would be count two.

This works for people that find counting to be restful and calming. It can also be the start of a breathing technique that bleeds into another technique like the 4-7-8 method.

 

Self-guided mediation

Many people have used self-guided meditation apps before they lay down to sleep. You may incorporate this new option into your bedtime routine.

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Combined with going to sleep earlier, practice some meditation via a free self-guided meditation app or YouTube on your smartphone. This will help you relax your mind and in turn, you’ll slip off into slumber easier without negative thoughts.

 

 

Use a white noise machine

Do they have trouble sleeping without having at least some noise in the background?  Or if you live right in the heart of the city where it’s really noisy or in an apartment where the walls are thin, a white noise machine can be super helpful to help you fall asleep faster.

This white noise machine plays 30 different natural sounds and even comes with a handy timer so that it’ll shut off after a certain time period if you don’t want it running all night.

 

Stop using electronics too close to lights-out

You’ve probably heard that it’s not recommended to use your smartphone in bed. Reading on your cell phone, laptop or e-reader or watching TV before bed can mess with your circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Plus, it may even contribute to weight gain, according to a 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Disconnect from your devices well before bedtime. If you like to read before you hit the sheets, opt for a hardcover book rather than an e-reader. And if you can, take the TV out of the bedroom altogether so you’re not tempted to fall asleep with it on.

 

Try reading

Reading is a healthy activity as it primarily sharpens your imagination. Aside from that, it can also aid you in relaxing and staying calm before going to bed.

Reading may also help your mind separate stress from sleep time. It is important to take note though that healthy reading should be done with the paper book, not the electronic one.

Books read from electronic devices produce a type of bright light that may lower the production of melatonin, a hormone that stimulates the sleep-wake cycle.

 

Minimise caffeine intake

Most people might like drinking coffee, especially in the morning as it may help them feel awake, but caffeine can have negative effects on your sleep if consumed in high amounts.

Because caffeine promotes alertness by preventing chemicals in the brain that trigger good sleep or encourage regular sleep cycle, this will make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The effects of caffeine may vary from one person to another, though, so it’s advisable you should not consume caffeine at least six hours prior to sleep.

 

Do a brain dump

A brain dump is simply the act of dumping all the contents of your mind onto paper as one might dump the contents of a purse onto a table. You are spilling out stressors, your nagging thoughts, your pesky annoyances.

Whenever you feel confused, scattered, or overwhelmed. It gets your swirling thoughts down onto paper so you can think about them and examine them and make decisions about them rather than just hold them.

If your thoughts are taking over when bed time is approaching, this method is great way of getting things off your mind to help you sleep.

 

 

How to Sleep Better Naturally – Final thoughts

If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I hope these 10 tips help to enhance your sleep quality.

These tips are very simple to put in place but surprisingly effective. So, give them a try today and start enjoying the best sleep of your life.

What are your tips and ideas to get a good night sleep?

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST SELF-CARE BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

 

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Morning Routine Habits – Ultimate Guide!

Morning Routine Habits – Ultimate Guide!

The key to a healthy positive mindset is in your morning routine habits – once I implemented tasks to complete every morning, my life began to transform fast. You will see the huge benefit to your mental health, and then it becomes a habit of…

Self-Care During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!

Self-Care During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be talking about self-care during a pandemic and what has helped me adapt to the lifestyle changes that have occurred over the past year. We are living in uncertain times. Each day brings a new set of challenges and changes to our…

Self-care Guide – Take Care of Yourself!

Self-care Guide – Take Care of Yourself!

Today I will be sharing my self-care guide.

Self-care is the best gift we can give ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship with our bodies to improve our mood, boost confidence and reduces anxiety and stress.

Practicing self-care is especially crucial during this overwhelming time.

I never used to make time for self-care. I always had more “important” things to do. For years, my emotional and physical well-being suffered. Even the most basic of self-care practices went out the window – I’d often skip multiple meals in order to get more work done, I never drank enough water, and I did nothing to take care of my emotional well-being either.

It’s taken me a lot of work to get to where I am, and even now I still slip up sometimes. But I’ve learned a lot about self-care, and if you’re wondering how to start self-care for yourself, I’d love to let you in on what I’ve learned.

Consider this a guide on self-care, I hope you find some inspiration from it!

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist, so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice.

 

 

 

Self-care Guide

 

What is self-care?

Because it’s important we’re all on the same page, right?

Let’s start with a self-care definition from Oxford Dictionaries:

“The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.”

“The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”

So basically, self-care is you and I taking responsibility for our own health, both mental and physical.

Seems pretty legit and certainly not self-indulgent.

In fact, for anyone to suggest that taking responsibly for your mental and physical health is anything but common sense, well they’re the one’s sounding ridiculous.

Please don’t let anyone shame you for self-care or listen to anyone that says anything negative about your self-care practices.

You are taking responsibility for your physical and mental health, that is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about at all.

I’ve got no time for people who belittle self-care!

Anyway, before we move onto to why self-care is so damn important, I just want to give you a few examples of self-care activities below, so you can see how diverse self-care can be.

Activities

  • Having a few extra hours in bed
  • Practicing Mindfulness
  • Having a shower
  • Meditation
  • Eating healthy food
  • Eating unhealthy food (too right that cookie is self-care!)
  • Going for a run
  • Going for a walk for fresh air
  • Curling up on the sofa for an entire day when you feel down in the dumps!
  • Binge watching Netflix
  • Doing a no-Netflix week
  • Working on your hobby
  • Seeing friends for dinner
  • Not seeing friends or anyone for a few days if you need just you time

This is just a tiny number of self-care activities, but you can see how diverse they are and that some directly conflict with the one above or below.

Sometimes we need to chill out and just binge watch a ton of Netflix, but other times we need to take drastic measures to reduce our Netflix-watching time.

One size does not fit all, and what you need one week will probably be different from the next. But don’t worry, I’m going to make it really easy for you to figure out what kind of self-care you need and when!

 

Why Is self-care so important?

This seems like a no-brainer. But so many people forget how neglecting self-care damages other areas of our life – until it actually happens.

With energised minds and bodies, we can, first of all, be more productive. You can get more done in less time, and in turn have more hours left for the things you love.

As you can see, a good kind of a self-perpetuating cycle grows out of making your wellness and emotional contentedness a priority.

Through these activities/through patterns/habits, you make sure you live as your best self, rather than just exist. Cheesiness ahead warning, but why are so many of us concerned about making ‘enjoying life’ a frequent, rather than an occasional treat?!

Focusing on wellbeing and happiness now prevents burnout from creeping up on you and throwing your health and stress levels out of control. You should never feel bad about making yourself a priority, and inspires you to take action accordingly.

 

Depression and routine –  Why’s it so important?

Ok, now you know why self-care in general is important, what’s the significance of having a self-care routine for depression or any mental health issue?

Basically, routines tell our brain and body we’re safe.

Think about it for a second, if you are massively stressed or in danger you don’t do the same things every day because you’re dealing with stress or a dangerous situation. The disruption in routine acts as a signal that all is not well.

A signal we really don’t want to give our brains when we have depression.

Therefore, routines are really important because they do the opposite, they signal to our brains that everything is well and we don’t need to worry.

Which is exactly what we want – a nice, relaxed brain equals a happy life.

 

Make it a routine

One of the best ways to reach a goal or form any habit is through consistency and regular practice. The same thing applies to self-care.

In your calendar, try blocking out ‘non-negotiable’ self-care times. How frequent and how long these are depends on your lifestyle.

For example, you might pick thirty minutes before bed every night to journal and read a few chapters of a book. You might want to spend Sunday afternoons getting out into nature, or meditate for five minutes every morning.

self-care

For me, working out is a way to nourish my body and mind alike. So, after consistently dedicating 1-2 hours every morning 5-6 times a week to it, the routine feels effortless and I feel the benefits afterwards each time.

This will give you a more concrete plan of action than just wishing for some spare time to appear, and also something to look forward to as a way of recharging yourself!

 

Write out what your ideal daily routine looks like

Often, we’re unhappy and stressed, but don’t quite understand why. As a starting point, write out what an ideal day in your life would look like and the answer may be right there in front of you.

If you want to, split this up into morning, afternoon and evening.

What time do you want to wake up? Where do you want to spend your lunch break? How will you spend your last 30 minutes before bed? Then, see how this differs from your current routine.

Going forward, taking the necessary steps to change will be much easier this way.

 

Be realistic and intentional with your time

Reading the above, you might think: ‘but I don’t have enough time to block out!’

If that’s the case, firstly remind yourself that:

  • It’s much better to spend a few hours a week on self-care now than burn out and crash in the future.
  • By working on your physical and mental health, you’ll likely see a huge boost to your productivity and accomplish more in less time.

Then, look at where your hours actually go. Look for time wasters and distractions. For instance, if you spend twenty minutes every morning scrolling through social media, you could use that time for yoga and light stretches.

Do you procrastinate a lot and spend much longer on tasks than necessary? In that case, look at how you can streamline your workflow.

time-blocking

One of the reasons I practice and advocate time blocking is to make sure I’m as intentional as possible with my time. In summary, what you do is assign tasks to ‘blocks’ in your calendar.

This clearly identifies what activities make up your day, and when they take place. It encourages you to get work done as efficiently as possible and still have plenty of room in your life for other things.

Finally, remember that self-care doesn’t have to consume countless hours! What you get out of the time you put in is much more important than the amount. Quality over quantity, always.

 

Get someone else to hold you accountable

Find someone you trust to check in with once in a while. This can be anyone from a friend or family member to a qualified professional.

My accountability helper is my partner: she can just tell when I’m stressed out and reminds me to include enough me-time in my day, go to sleep early, not be constantly glued to my phone, and the like.

You know how we often have a tendency to show more kindness to others than to ourselves? Well, while we work on getting those balanced, it helps to have someone give you an occasional gentle (or stern) reminder.

 

Let go of guilt

Completely detach guilt from self-care. Try changing the way you think about it – for example:

Stop seeing it as selfish or a waste of time. As I said, you can’t a) excel at your goals or b) be there to help others when you don’t treat yourself with kindness. This is hard, in particular when you have goals and deadlines.

The last thing you might want to do is relax, meditate and go for long walks. But try looking at these activities as an investment – in your productivity and happiness alike.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you fall off track. Sometimes, I stay up way too late to finish a project or miss a few days of journaling. Setbacks will happen, so just leave them in the past and move forward as normal.

 

Check in with yourself and find a way to track your progress

This links to the whole ‘self-care = goal’ principle. I think we’re all taught the SMART goals acronym at some point in our life. The ‘M’, stands for measurable.

Find a system to make sure you’re consistently doing the things you promise yourself.

A habit tracker, either handwritten or digital, works well for this. I used to do this in my bullet journal, but have switched to spreadsheets (no judgement please haha) to make my illegible handwriting less of a problem.

At the start of each month or week, create a table with a column for your habits (for example, drinking 2L water, turning off your phone thirty minutes before bed, going to the gym, reading ten pages of a book) and a row for each day.

That way, you can check whether you’ve done everything as expected. At the end of the time period, look back and identify any gaps and areas you want to work on.

Some people like making a separate tracker for those big, important ones, like getting enough sleep and eating your fruits and veggies. That way, you can record more detailed information, such as exactly how many hours you got and how many portions you ate in a given day.

 

Remember that self-care doesn’t have to be complicated

The easiest and quickest way to make room for self-care in your schedule is by making it less overwhelming. After all, the last thing you want self-care to be is another cause of stress!

It’s much better to implement practices you can maintain over months and years, and really focus in on what’s compatible with your personality and lifestyle.

Extensive (and expensive) routines aren’t for everyone. Anything that replenishes your energy (both physical and mental) counts as self-care. This can quite literally be getting some exercise/fresh air, writing a few gratitude reminders, or starting your day with a slow breakfast.

 

Final thoughts

We’re often tempted to sacrifice self-care in favour of ‘productivity’ and over-scheduling our days. I’ve made this mistake numerous times, and drove myself to burnout. The solution? Recognising that it’s much easier to face life with a healthy and nourished mind and body.

Through a mixture of good time management, prioritisation and accountability, anyone can make self-care habits a key part of their daily routine. Be kind to yourself, and you’ll see the effects ripple throughout your life as a whole!

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST SELF-CARE BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

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