Thursday, September 14, 2017

4 Ways I’ve Practiced Self-Care Lately

Last month, I talked about meeting up with my best friend from college who I hadn’t seen in almost ten years. My reaction to seeing her - turning into a blubbering, sobbing mess - was a wake-up call for me. So much has been going on in my life lately, and I haven’t made myself a priority. I’m constantly on the go, working ridiculous hours, adding to my never-ending to-do list, and forgetting to relax, take a few deep breaths, and just be.

Since then, I’ve started a journey to living a more mindful life. I want to live with purpose and intention instead of working myself to exhaustion day in and day out. I’ve found that when I do that - work non-stop - I don’t actually get much done. Sure, I’ll have super productive days, but my focus is split on a dozen different things at any given time and I’m doing bits of this and pieces of that, and nothing actually gets done.

I won’t lie, I’m struggling with living a slower, more mindful life. It’s hard to get out of the habit of being busy every minute, checking my phone incessantly, and constantly adding to my to-do list. But I’m working on it, and I think that’s what counts.

Here are 4 things I’ve done to practice self-care lately:

1. I’ve been rewatching old favourite movies. Movies that make me laugh, movies I can mindlessly watch because I’ve seen them so many times I practically know them by heart. Movies that make me feel good and leave me with a smile on my face.

2. I started a bullet journal. I kept seeing people on Instagram and Twitter talking about them, but didn’t pay much attention. I’ve always admired people’s fancy planners, but didn’t think I needed one for myself because I don’t have much of a social life and didn’t think I had enough to fill a planner. I finally decided to give it a try, so I bought a beautiful sketchbook with a Van Gogh painting I love on the cover (see it here), a 12-pack of PaperMate InkJoy pens, and I started my bullet journal. So far, I’ve done weekly spreads, a brain dump list, pages dedicated to gratitude, what makes me happy, goals, and my fall reading list. It’s not only a great way to get organized, it’s also a fun creative outlet, something completely different from writing, graphic design, and photography.

3. I’ve reached out to my closest friend when I needed someone to listen or needed a distraction. She’s also dealt with anxiety and depression for a long time, so it’s nice to talk to someone who understands. We talk about our problems and other serious things, but some of my favourite conversations are the ones about inconsequential things - shared interests, favourite things we have in common (lately our conversations keep drifting back to Jude Law in the movie The Holiday - can you blame us? *heart eyes*), crushes, photography, her cats, my niece and nephew, and other topics that don’t take too much brain power. We’ve also had some deep conversations that have been a balm to my soul. We’ve both taken a-typical paths in life, and it’s not always easy, but it’s comforting and a relief to have someone who not only understands, but also supports and motivates you.

4. One nice morning, I made an elaborate picnic lunch, and my mum and I went to the rose garden in the centre of our city. We kept saying all summer we were going to go, but we put it off. After holing up in my apartment like a hermit for a couple weeks, I knew I needed to be surrounded by nature, and it was the perfect way to spend a couple of hours. Side bonus: when we left and were waiting for the bus, a lady came along with the most adorable puppy, and I got to play with him for about five minutes. Yay for puppy snuggles!

Those are four things I’ve done to take care of myself lately. I’ve also been trying to spend less time on my phone (that’s not going great so far), be more physically active, and drink lots of water. I figure all these small steps will add up to a healthier, happier me.

What have you done to take care of yourself lately?

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  1. Great stuff! We women need to learn it's ok to take care of ourselves.

  2. Well, I'm pretty sure you've read my blog, so you know what I've done lately to take care of myself. LOL


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