Wednesday, March 14, 2018

8 Little Ways to Take Care of Yourself

As I've mentioned a few times, my word for 2018 is Thrive. 2017 was a hard one for me. I mentioned this in my 2017 wrap up post back in January. It was a good year in terms of work, my relationship and trying a lot of new things, but there were a lot of personal issues where I ended up totally exhausted and unable to function outside of going to work and getting by.

As things in my personal life calmed down, I realized I needed to do a better job of putting myself first. You know how on a flight they say to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others? It's truly the same thing here. You have to take care of yourself so you can help others and thrive. Hence, my word ;)

This isn't going to be your typical roundup of bath bombs and face masks. Yes, those are great, and as much as I love a good bath, there are plenty of other ways I'd like to spend my time. These are some of the other things I like to do to prioritize my mental (and sometimes physical) health so I can be the best version of me every day.

one // Click unsubscribe. I started doing this during our physical clutter cleanse in February (more to come, soon!) and I really enjoyed it. Any time an email comes in that I realize I don't need or I haven't opened in awhile, I just unsubscribe! It's amazing how refreshing it is when you only have emails coming in that you care about. It also helps to unsubscribe from all the store emails (or put them in a hidden folder) so you're not tempted!

two // Reading. I understand that this isn't relaxing for everyone but man I love to get lost in a really good book. If you want to see what I've been reading recently check out these posts. Reading can be an expensive hobby, though, so I suggest a library card. Our library here in Charlotte is great and has tons of resources besides just the books - e-books, audio books, Lynda, etc. Another great option is (ref link) Book of the Month club. For $14.99 you get one hard back book a month ( you choose from about 4) and then you can add more for $9.99.
three // Podcasts. In the last few weeks, I've really gotten into podcasts. I've been listening to all sorts but mostly Bachelor themed, feminist and a few motivational/work related. Yes, it's a weird grouping - I know. I've been full on binging some of my favorites while doing every day tasks - getting ready in the morning, driving, making dinner, and even while at work when I'm working on building training and other similar things.
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One of my current favorites! 
The reason I find these to be taking care of myself is that they give me a lot to think about and its led to some great discussions with friends and over dinner at night with Christian. It's also great to listen to people who share my Bachelor thoughts and then I can dissect them with Maggie.

four // Declutter. I love stuff. When we first moved into our house, I wondered how we would fill up four bedrooms + an office. And, we almost have... In February, I started purging stuff. There's all that stuff you keep around "just in case" you need it. But, let's be real: you probably won't need it. I'm not talking about becoming a minimalist - because that will never happen in my household - but get rid of the junk in junk drawer! Or the random water bottles you never use. Or the magazines you're never going to read again. You get what I'm saying - you'll feel so much lighter!

five // Phones away! I'm sure we can't be the only couple who lays in bed on our phones, right? I've started swapping this habit out with reading and/or yoga. I try to cut out the phone around 9/9:30 because my goal is to be asleep by 10. We've all heard that turning off the devices will help you sleep and I can say that I have seen an improvement since swapping out the phone.

six // Yoga/Stretching. In addition to putting down the phone, I try to do some yoga or stretching before bed, too. Stretching is so important - especially after working out. I do a quick 10 or 15 minute session after washing my face and jump right into bed so I'm fully relaxed and can slip right to sleep. There are some great nighttime yoga flows on Pinterest if you're lacking inspiration!

seven // Midday walk. I mentioned this in my Day in the Life post, but a few co-workers and I like to pop out and take a quick walk during the afternoon when we all have a few free minutes. The last few months it's been tough to do, but I always feel refreshed after spending a few minutes outside in the fresh air and getting the blood moving. If I can't squeeze that in, I try to take Ellie for a walk in the evenings!

eight // Find something small you love, and do it every day. This can be anything - a piece of dark chocolate, a good cup of coffee, stretching, reading blogs, listening to Bachelor podcasts, watching an episode of Friends, you get it... Just something that you know you can look forward to or can use for those moments when you're having a rough few minutes.

What do you do to take care of yourself everyday? Anything I should add to my list?

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