Mindfulness for a Tough Day
I fell asleep one night last week feeling anxious, ashamed and annoyed with myself. These days, it's rare that I feed my negative thoughts and allow them to accelerate to this stage, but every now and again, it happens.
And I woke up the next morning feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Once upon a time, this would have been a vicious cycle which perpetuated itself for an unpredictable amount of time. I could wake up the next day feeling more like myself and less weighed down by negative thoughts. Or, it could take a few weeks. Or months. I just waited and hoped that things would get better and that next time, I would manage my thoughts in a more constructive way.
When I started practicing mindfulness, I slowly came to realise that I had much more power than I knew. I could make choices. I couldn't necessarily control my thoughts, but I could control whether I believed them, or acted upon them. I began developing a self-care toolkit, which I could use whenever I wanted or needed.
In this article, I've shared several of my favourite mindful self-care tips. However, I also realised that I have a community of beautiful souls who I email each fortnight to share my journey with. Many of them have replied to my emails in the past with incredible insights, wonderful ideas and thoughtful comments, so last week I decided to ask them for their self-care tips, too! We are diverse people with our own self-care practices and I really wanted to celebrate it in this article. Therefore, not only have I shared my own tips, I've also included some amazing tips from my wonderful community!
A Mindful Self-Care Toolkit
(Check out Tara Brach meditations.)
I love spending time in cafes, so when I need a little bit of self-care, I head down to my favourite cafe and treat myself to breakfast or type up an article while I sip on delicious tea or coffee.
Sometimes just being around other people and being reminded that I'm not alone is good for my soul.
I can feel stress and overwhelm melting away when I spend time in the bath. I deliberately leave my phone out of the bathroom, choose a good book or inspiring magazine to read and sprinkle plenty of delicious smelling bath soak into the bath (I've been loving the Originale wellness soak from Soak Society!).
Sometimes, when we're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, we forget or choose not to listen to our needs. We might work without a lunch break, sacrifice sleep, ignore our health or push our body to do something which doesn't feel good (such as spending hours at the computer with a sore neck). Remember to listen to your needs and take care of yourself, especially during busy times! Not only is it important for your wellbeing, it can actually improve your productivity and increase the quality of what you're trying to do.
Spending quality time with the people I love and sharing what's going on in my mind usually makes everything feel much better! Reaching out is sometimes hard to do, however it can be incredibly empowering and gives the people who care about us a chance to offer their support.
A Mindful Self-Care Toolkit Checklist
Go to a cafe (or somewhere you love!)
Take a bath
Pause and be kind to yourself
Take care of your needs
Do what makes you happy