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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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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