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12 Powerful Self-Care Tools That You Can’t Live Without

12 Powerful Self-Care Tools That You Can’t Live Without

How much do you love yourself? How much do you show it?

My guess is that your self-love often takes a backseat in your life, right? You take care of all the people around you, but forget about your own needs, desires and emotional and physical health.

We’re going to change that today with some powerful self-care tools.

Self-care is one of the most important practices you will ever learn in life. If you’re happy, taken good care of, relaxed, empowered and in tune with yourself and your yearnings, you’ll be able to live life to the fullest.

We all respond differently to self-care and self-love practices and we all need different tools at different times in our lives. Don’t hold on to one single self-care tool, but be creative and have a whole toolbox ready for you to fall back on when you’re tired, stressed, overwhelmed or simply in need of some radical self-love.

The following ideas will get you started on your journey to a more fulfilled and peaceful life.

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1. Feed your mind with positivity

Unfortunately, we live in a society where negativity and lamenting about life, the economy and the world is almost a competitive sport. Who can complain more? You or me? But, you don’t have to play along.

You can play your own game: the game of positivity and self-empowerment. By feeding your mind with all kinds of positive statements about life, yourself and the world, you’ll subtly change your thoughts and your entire mindset. You’ll be empowered, more relaxed and, which is the most important part of all, completely at peace with who you are and what it is you want and cherish.

2. Be creative

Creativity is essential in every person’s life. When you let your creativity flow freely, you can release tension, let go of resentments, anger and blame and everything else that is keeping you from living freely and fully.

Put some music on and paint, scrapbook, write poems or stories, sing, play the piano, dance and express yourself in whatever form you want.

It’s crucial that you don’t judge yourself and your art and simply accept it for what it is: yours. Art can never be good or bad, ugly or beautiful. It just is. Art is all about perception, so perceive yours as truly you, nothing more, nothing less.

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3. Sleep

Oh, sleep. How important it is and how often it is neglected, right? Life gets in the way, we get busy, work late, take care of our kids, spouses, partners, parents and more. We go to bed late, get up super early and drag ourselves through the day, grouchy, tired and without energy.

7 hours of sleep is a must if you want to be well-balanced, in a good mood and function on your highest level.

4. Plan an at-home spa day

I love at-home spa days. They’re more affordable than their public counterparts, but just as relaxing and rewarding. Have breakfast in bed, soak yourself in a long, hot bath, give yourself a massage, paint your nails, plug your eyebrows, apply a face mask, do a natural body scrub and take a long, well-deserved nap.

You’ll feel rejuvenated, energized, relaxed and more grounded than in a while.

5. Create your own sanctuary

Having your own sanctuary, in which you can withdraw when you need some alone time is balm for your soul. Create it after your own likings with the colors of your choice, the decoration that soothes and comforts you whenever you feel down. If you do it right, you will feel safe, taken care of, loved and at peace the moment you step into your little haven.

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6. Stay in bed and read

Treat yourself to a day in bed with a good book, escape into the world of your favorite author and lose yourself in the story of the hero of the novel.

7. Practice mindfulness or meditation

I’ve recently taken on practicing mindfulness and meditation and it has enriched my life in many ways. Give yourself the treat of 15 minutes a day to just be. Let your thoughts pass by without holding on to them and focus on your breathing.

If meditation is too big a goal for you, then practice mindfulness by focusing on the things you see, hear and feel. Be in the moment and let all thoughts of the past or the future be overwritten by the reality that is right in front of you.

8. Do yoga

Yoga is amazing for your body, mind and soul. Your body wants movement, needs movement and is happy whenever you give it just that. When doing yoga, you’ll be able to connect your mind with the sequence of asanas and you’ll be deeply in tune with your body and the universe. It’s a great spiritual practice and something I won’t want to do without anymore.

9. Learn to say no

Having firm boundaries is one of the hardest things to have, especially if you’re a born people pleaser and who isn’t, right? But saying no, even if it feels uncomfortable at first, is crucial when you’re serious about honoring yourself. Always saying yes, always being there for others means always putting yourself last. Now, that goes against everything that self-love is about. So, say no to others more often and say yes to yourself.

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10. Start something new

Starting a new hobby or journey engages your mind in many ways and releases the happiness hormone dopamine. Take up a pleasurable activity that you’ve always wanted to try to see how rewarding it is. Pursue a new road in your life and notice how empowered you’ll be.

11. Declutter your home

Having a lot of clutter in your home weighs down your mind and your mood. Taking a day to get rid of everything you don’t need, wear or use will lighten your emotional baggage and free up space for something new.

12. Be you

Be you with all the perfect imperfections and flaws you have. You’re enough the way you are. There’s nothing more destructive than pretending to be someone you’re not and constantly going after the approval of others. Instead, focus on being who you’re meant to be and being unquestionably proud of it.

Do you have a favorite self-care tool? Be sure to share it with us.

(Photo credit: Row of Lightbulbs on Blue Backdrop via Shutterstock)

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Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Eating Psychology and Life Coach

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Last Updated on July 2, 2020

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

How can you get relief from neck pain?

There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

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  • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
  • How old are your mattress and pillow?
  • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
  • How do you manage stress?
  • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

Remedies for Neck Pain

Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

1. Everyday Activities

One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

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A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

4. Stress and Stress Management

Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

5. Accident or Injury

If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

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  • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
  • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
  • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
  • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

 

Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

1. Gua Sha

This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

2. Swimming

You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

3. Chiropractic Massage

Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

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I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

  • Cervical Manual Traction
  • Flexion-Distraction
  • Cervical Mobilization
  • Ultrasound
  • Cervical Drop Technique
  • Trigger Point Therapy

There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

The Bottom Line

If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

Reference

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