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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)

More by this author

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Eating Psychology and Life Coach

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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