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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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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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