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self care

Self Care For The Busy Summer Bee!

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Self Care For The Busy Summer Bee!

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Summer is busy! This seems to be a topic of conversation with whoever I talk to lately. With the beautiful weather and so much going on, we can try to pack more into the few months of summer than we do all year. Plans every weekend, trips, extra events to attend during the week, and the draw to be more active outside, on top of our regular schedules. Yes, many of the things that keep us busy in summer are fun, but still can have a tendency to lead to some feelings of burn out, drained, tiredness, and generally feeling like we are constantly buzzing around like a busy bee! Whether it's summer time, or anytime we feel caught up in the whirlwind of life, it's such a good thing to remember how important self care is. We all know the basics. Eating healthy and getting adequate sleep & exercise are important to feel good in order to keep up with life. Being a busy bee can be fun, and all the summer fun can nourish us in great ways, but are you doing things to relax? Rejuvenate? Treat yourself & your body? What things are you doing to 'fill your cup'? What kind of things are you doing that allow some down time to feed the energy you need to keep up with the busyness life?

I've been feeling a bit caught up in the whirlwind of life lately myself, and have been hearing from so many people about how they have been as well. With this in mind, I thought I'd share with you today a list of ways that you can step out of the busy whirlwind of summer, stop your buzzing around for periods of time,  and take some rejuvenating time for self care. Making the time for some of these self care practices can make a huge positive difference in how you feel. When you are doing things to keep your cup full, everything else seems much easier to manage, and your can find yourself enjoying the busy summer life more.

If you've been feeling the buzz, and know you could benefit from taking some time for self care, the 10 tips below are for you! Pick one that you feel drawn to and start there! Making a little time to take good care of yourself can help the busy buzzing around of summer feel so much more enjoyable, and less exhausting!

Wishing you wellness!

Shelly

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10 Self Care Tips For The Busy Summer Bee:

  1. Take some time to care for your body. Maybe it's a long bath or spa night at home. Maybe it's going to a spa for a treatment or relaxing afternoon. It could be a massage or acupuncture session. Choose what feels best for you. Whatever it is, create some quiet time to give your body some love, so it feels rejuvenated!
  2. Cloud watching or start gazing! Summer is a great time to throw  blanket on the ground or find a cozy hammock to nestle into and take some time to just stare at the sky. Taking a few minutes to just sit still and soak up some sun rays can be a wonderful break too.
  3. Work on being more present with your normal routines of the day like brushing your teeth, getting ready for your day, and eating your breakfast. Allowing yourself to be fully present with the normal mundane tasks of your day, rather than rushing through them while thinking about everything else you need to do with the rest of your day allows you to own that time as yours. Starting your day by doing the tasks of your morning routine being fully present helps it to feel more relaxing and could turn it into 'you time' rather than time where your brain is consumed with all the other on-goings of your day & your life.
  4. Take some time to meditate, even if only for a short while. Starting your day with even a short meditation can set the tone for your whole day mentally and emotionally. It can also start your day off with a feeling of having some of your own time before you head into a full & busy day. Taking a couple of minutes to meditate in the middle of your busy day can really help to reset you as well, and leave you feeling recharged. In the middle of your busy day, take a minute to just close your eyes, and check in with yourself on your thoughts & feelings on the day. Take a minute to check in with how your body is feeling and know if there is anything that it needs. Then just take a minute to breathe and focus on your breath. Taking these 3 minutes in the middle of the day can work wonders. Try it and see!
  5. Unplug from electronics and social media for periods of time. Depending on your usage and work, maybe this means checking out  from electronics for a certain time of the day, or creating a healthy morning routine that involves not checking in online for the first hour or two of your day. It could mean taking weekends off of social media, or an entire week off. Whatever you can make work for you. Most of us have a tendency to be too attached here, and giving yourself intentional breaks is wonderful and recharging! It's not until you give yourself a break, that you really realize how much of your time & energy these things can consume you.
  6. Take yourself on a date and do something that is very relaxing for you. Maybe it is going to a movie, sitting in the park with a good book and a great lunch, or antique store perusing....whatever you find most relaxing on your own. Make a little time to just relax and treat yourself in this way.
  7. Take some time to journal. Use this time however it will best serve you. Write out things that have been bothering you,  celebrate the things that are going great for you, journal about what you are grateful for, use it as a tool to make a decision you are having a hard time with, or simply just write about whatever comes up. Journaling can be beneficial in so many ways, and is great time to stop and be introspective.
  8. Take some time to just 'be'. Curl up on the couch with a good book. Sit on your porch and listen to the birds sing. Sit on a park bench and people watch. Bring a floating device to a lake and just float.  If you are someone who struggles with constantly moving and being busy, making just a little bit of time here can really help to recharge  and calm you. If you are a really busy bee, be patient with yourself here. It may take a little time to relax about taking time to relax!
  9. Say 'NO' more often. We don't have to say yes to everything. Recognize when you are feeling tired, busy, or overwhelmed, and have the ability to say no to things, events, favors, or whatever is being asked of you. Many of us have a hard time saying 'no'. It  can take practice to have this become an easier thing, so start practicing! Ease up on the pressure you put on yourself in this way, and know that when you say 'no' to things, you are saying 'yes' to yourself by protecting your time, your energy, and taking good care of yourself. We can't be everything for everyone, attend everything, or do everything that is presented to us, or we would end up being depleted. This is an important thing to learn, and a huge gift to yourself.
  10. Especially when you are really busy, make a point to do at least one thing a day just for you. Just one nice thing for yourself. Treat yourself to something nurturing or rejuvenating...Even if it is just a little break in the day. You may not feel like you have the time on busy days, but make the time. We make time for so many things that are important in life. We can make the time for ourselves. It's the most important thing.

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Redefining Relaxation

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Redefining Relaxation

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Recently, I had a conversation with someone that sparked me to think about what we view as relaxation these days. I say these days because I think that culturally it has changed a lot. In our current fast paced world where we are running non stop and taking in information constantly, our view of relaxation is kind of skewed.
I was speaking to a woman that considers herself an introvert, so someone who naturally needs some quiet down time to themselves to recharge. When I asked her what she did for relaxation, what she named was working out, running, dance class, and even food shopping on her own, as she has 3 kiddos that are usually with her.
I found myself asking….are these things really relaxation? Are our lives just moving so fast these days, that exercise and grocery shopping is viewed as relaxation? What happened to the days of sitting on the porch swing watching the world go by? As a society has our definition of relaxation skewed? I personally think so.
Please don’t get me wrong….I don’t discredit exercise, dance, or any other activities that you enjoy one bit. They are amazing for your health, wellness, and happiness! They have great benefits that can be similar, like stress reduction, and mood boosting. You may feel really relaxed after you have exercised, and grocery shopping may feel relaxing compared to the rest of your busy day.  I’m just saying that exercise or grocery shopping is not actually relaxation in my opinion.
Why is relaxation important? Because it helps us recharge. It allows our bodies & brains that are so used to moving a million miles a minute in our fast paced culture to take a break. It benefits our immune system & reduces stress which affects all areas of our health, and our mood. For me, when I am truly relaxing, that is when I get to daydream about my life. I get to ponder the things that I don’t have time to ponder otherwise, and this is when inspiration flows in. It’s important time to me. It recharges me, and gives me time to connect with myself and play with those daydreams of mine. I believe that we are all creative creatures, and having that time to daydream and allow inspiration to flow at free will is so beneficial!
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What do I think real relaxation looks like? I know it can be different for everyone, but I’ll leave you with a few ideas that I like.
Maybe it means taking a slow stroll in the woods or through your neighborhood where you are taking in all the colors and textures around you and thinking about what you are grateful for in life, rather than running or hiking fast for exercise, or checking your email on your phone.  Maybe it's just sitting on the couch and cuddling your pet without taking in TV at the same time. It could be sitting on the beach and just staring at the water and daydreaming rather than running or reading a book while you are there. Just sit there and be. Maybe it looks like having a hammock in your backyard so you have a special place to go sometimes to just rest & listen to the birds. Maybe it’s laying on your bed listening to a favorite album. Maybe it is lighting a candle & taking a long bath. It could be sitting at a coffee shop, sipping on a latte or tea and just watching the world go by. I could go on for a long time with these I’m sure!
What is relaxation for you? Could you benefit by redefining what it means for you?
Whatever it is for you, it should be in an environment that you feel calm in, and free of distractions that could make you feel like you should be doing something else. I know….to some of you that may seem like a fairytale land, but we are creative people. When something is important in life, we make it work. We carve out a little time to make things happen that we view as priorities. Is getting a little bit of true relaxation in your life a priority? How much do you think it could benefit you?
So if you are willing,  I challenge you to take a little time for yourself to relax. Try it on. Make it a priority. You don’t need to carve out a huge chunk of time. Maybe it’s only 20 minutes, maybe it’s a couple of hours. If it’s hard for you, know that everything takes practice, even relaxing. Know that you deserve it, and that it’s good for you. Let your mind wander. Soak it up. Soak up the details around you and just breathe. Know that you don’t have to be filling every second of your day with busyness. With a little effort, before you know it, you could master the art of relaxation, and it could make a really positive effect on your stress levels, your health, and how you deal with everything in life. Giving yourself the gift of relaxation can help you feel more clear, and energized to deal with the rest of life. It also feels really good, and you deserve that kind of time.
Cheers to a little relaxation!
Shelly

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