How to Make “Me” Time

I spent part of my evening today with the music turned up and dancing in the kitchen all by myself…and I was loving it. Last Friday, I enjoyed sipping a beer while watching everyone else buzz around me…I look forward to my time curled up on my bed with my laptop before I hit the sack every night…

Solitude: noun –

the state of being or living alone; seclusion

Some identify solitude as a lonely state but I find it a peaceful state. I’ve learned to enjoy my “me” time quite much. It gives me time to reflect, it gives me time to observe, and it gives me a place to remove all the screens that I put up to the world. Having solitude, ‘alone time’ or ‘me time’ is critical to living a well-balanced life and to a good self-care routine. For both introverts and extroverts (and ambiverts), it is a time to recharge and to reflect, and to relax. There was a time that I had a hard time finding time for my solitude. My schedule was so busy and not living alone can also make it a challenge but I found myself starving for it, craving that down time. It was a challenge I needed to find a solution to.

  1. Evaluate how you are currently spending your time. Take a look at your schedule. Do you spend time doing tasks that aren’t necessary or can be eliminated? What can you take out so that you have more open time?
  2. Schedule some alone time in your planner. Block off a little time just for you. Get up early before everyone else and claim that quiet time as yours, or set aside some time in the evening, whatever works for your schedule, plan on at least an hour to spend by yourself every few days.
  3. Make a list of things you can do alone. – reading, taking a bubble bath, coloring or painting, journaling…even just curling up and scanning Pinterest…whatever strikes your fancy!
  4. Get outside. Nature holds so much beauty and strength. It is a perfect place to find peace and solitude. Take a walk or go for a hike in the woods or take a solo bike ride along the river trail.
  5. Set boundaries. Say no. Don’t be afraid to turn down an invite if you’re cozied up for some down time. This takes a little practice but get into the habit of not overbooking your schedule. Allow time for you to just have chill time. Don’t feel guilty for turning down social activities to have some alone time.

 

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A Fall Hike & My Sunday Self-Care Routine

There’s something so healing and soothing about being surrounded by nature. 

Today I got to head out on a hike for a work event…sometimes my job can be so fun! We headed up to Chickies Rock in Columbia. A nice walk through the woods, down the path to a beautiful overlook above the Susquehanna River. We were in the perfect moment of the day between rain and the leaves had just fallen coating the ground with oranges, greens, and reds. There was a group of about eight of us, some of us meeting for the first time. The diversity of conversation as we stood at the overlook and peered at the river rocks was great, filled with chats about movies to kids to more hiking stories.

Prepare for your week by doing something relaxing, enlightening and releasing on Sunday.

Sundays are my favorite day of the week. They’re my day to recharge and prepare for the week.

My #SelfCareSunday Routine:

  1. Go for a hike, do yoga in the park, go for a walk in your neighborhood – Get outside and breathe.
  2. Laundry day.
  3. Facial – a quick at home treatment to refresh for the upcoming week. My favorite right now is Triple Threat Detox Mask from Kalos. I received it in my Summer CauseBox this year and it is amazing!
  4. Paint your nails.
  5. Review your planner and schedule – this helps me prep for the week. I also plan out my exercise routine and blogging schedule for the week.
  6. Journal or Art Journal – this is a great way to release stress, thoughts and emotions from the previous week so you can start a new week with a clear mind.
  7. Pick up clutter and clean up the kitchen – this makes such a difference for me on a Monday morning.
  8. Call your Mom (or a friend) – I love a good chat with my mom. It’s a great way to go through all the “adventures” from the previous week.
  9. Netflix and Chill – I won’t lie, I totally spend part of my day Netflix binging and it chills me out for the upcoming week. My current obsession is Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce.
  10. Have a cup of hot tea – I end every night with a cup of tea…okay actually I drink tea all the time but I always have one in the evening while I’m winding down.

Sundays are a great day for a little pampering, a lot of self care and some self love to prepare yourself for the upcoming week. Make sure to make a little time for you! 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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How To Be Productive On A Sick Day

So I found myself feeling down and out yesterday morning, less than motivated to get anything done on a very busy week. Sick days are never convenient especially for us “always keeping busy and always have something to do” types. But when your body calls for some healing time you shouldn’t ignore it. king at my to-do list, however, I knew it wasn’t a day I could give up completely to stay in bed. Luckily I have a job that I can remote into and work from home on days needed and with budget time approaching soon I couldn’t feel more blessed to have that option. I needed to create a day where I could take my sick time but also still push through some productivity and accomplish some tasks. 

How To Be Productive On A Sick Day: Tips and Tricks to Help You Take Time To Heal but Still Get Things Done

1.) Take it Easy – I chose not to shower and get dressed. I chose to save that energy for meetings later in the day. I spent the day curled up in bed behind my laptop keeping me warm and comfy. This gave me a bit of sense of security not having to face anyone in person when I wasn’t feeling my best. Write out a realistic list of tasks that you think you can accomplish throughout the day.

2.) Start Small – Take a peek at your to-do list and see what tasks range closer to the “easy” side. For me, it was tackling sponsored Facebook posts. The verbiage is basically copy and paste so I didn’t have to get much thinking going early in the morning. Chose tasks that are also self-sufficient. Like laundry, this is a chore that you can throw in the washer and then let the washer do its thing. Save any hand-washing for another day.

3.) Hydrate – make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. This will help you stay more energized and it will help flush out the toxins. I am a huge fan of tea especially when I’m not feeling well so I kept a cup of hot tea by my side most of the day.

4.) Put on Some Background Noise – For me, this meant a good Netflix binge. The background noise kept me feeling more awake to work but still relaxed enough that I didn’t feel stressed.

5.) Take Breaks – Be honest about your limits when you don’t feel good. Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Remember a sick day is about resting so you can get better. Sick days are not the days to take over the world…save that for tomorrow when you’re feeling back to par!

Bonus – Go to be early! Remember that there is always another day, “what doesn’t get done today will get done another day”.

I knew I needed to give myself some extra self-care so that I could get better but I am also one that will stress about what I’m not getting done while I’m laying in bed being sick so I curated my plan of attack so that I could find the right balance to work for myself. This isn’t to say that every sick day can have this plan…some sick days you just have to let it all go and stay in bed! 

10 Healthy Nighttime Habits for a Good Night’s Sleep

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  1. Wash your face. Remove all the make-up and oils from your face and hydrate your skin with a lightweight moisturizer.
  2. Drink a glass of water. Drinking a glass of water before bed helps cycle toxins out of your body.
  3. No electronics half an hour before bed. Turn off the tv, put down your phone. Create quite time, take away the extra stimulation to your brain.
  4. Light an incense or candle. Calming scents can help us relax. Pick a cozy scent such as Tranquility or Lavender.
  5. Write down your to-do list for tomorrow. Get it off your mind so that when you lay down to sleep the thoughts do not continue to race through. Need some tips on building your to-do list – check out How To Build A Better To-Do List.
  6. Journal or Brain Dump. This has similar effects as writing your to-do list down. It gets all the racing thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. This gives you a chance to process the day so that you can let go of your worries for the night. Write about your grand ideas for the next day, write down your sorrows, whatever is on your mind, let them transfer to your journal.
  7. Read. I always have multiple books started. Fantasy to escape reality, Self-Growth books to strengthen my soul. Currently I’m reading “Altar of Bones” by Philip Carter and “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero.
  8. Yoga. This can be as simple as one pose. Legs up on the Wall is a great one for before bed – Legs Up The Wall Pose
  9. Meditate. Meditating prior to bed helps clear thoughts and worry out of your mind so that you can have a restful sleep. Check out How Meditation Benefits You for why it’s the bomb and some ways I work meditation into each of my days.
  10. Keep calming and healing crystals by your bed. I know this one may be a little too voodoo for some but I find crystal therapy very healing and enlightening. Choose crystals such as amethyst and rose quartz for self-love and emotional healing.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please reference my disclosure page. All opinions are my own. 

10 Simple Morning Self-Care Routines for an Amazing Day

The start of the day is the moment when we stage how our day is going to roll out. We can decide in those moments if we are going to make it a good day. Set yourself up for success by practicing self-care rituals to strengthen yourself for anything the day may bring.

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  1. Before you get out of bed, take three deep breaths. Clear your mind of any lingering thoughts before getting up. My rule is that I do not get up until I have breathed and let go and cleared my mind. I tell myself that I refuse to take negativity into my new day.
  2. Get out of bed and stretch. Stand tall and reach up high, elongating your body as much as you can. Reach back and pull your body into an arch, then lean forward and touch the floor. Or do a Morning Yoga Routine – https://yogainternational.com/article/view/graceful-morning-flow
  3. Make your bed. Tidy up your room. Create a clean area for a clean mind, an open mind.
  4. Make a cup of tea. Tea has been proven to be calming and cleansing. Creating a calm atmosphere prepares you for a calm day.
  5. Review your planner. See what is on your agenda for the day, create your thoughts around planning for an efficient and productive day.
  6. Read an affirmation or a Mantra. Read it aloud to yourself, write it down. Here are some I use for my Self-Care:
  7. “May my heart be brave, my mind fierce, and my spirit free.”
  8. “My soul is ready to live the life of my dreams.” ~ Sarah Prout
  9. “Special things are about to happen for me and I am ready to allow it.”
  10. “I am focused and persistent. I will never quit.”
  11. “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer
  12. Be still and just listen. After reading your mantra, take a moment to process it. Listen to the sounds around you, whether it is rain falling, birds singing, or cars bustling by on a busy street, just listen, find peace in the morning sounds.
  13. Write down three things you are grateful for. Write them in your planner so that you can be reminded of them throughout the day.
  14. Give your pup or your kitty a hug. Or child, or parent, or significant other, or your best friend… Feel the unconditional love they have for you fill you. Let that unconditional love stay with you all day. When you become frustrated, think of them.
  15. Before you walk out the door, say to yourself, “I’ve got this. I will make today amazing. No matter what today brings, I can handle it.” Say this as many times as you need to today because you do have this. You are strong enough to handle anything, you just have to believe it.

So go out into the world today and have a wonderful day, not because of what happens to you, but because you choose to.

How To Recognize When You’re Doing Too Much

I found myself on my vacation day in bed sick, stuffy nose, achy, and exhausted. Darn, I had so many plans! I wanted to catch up more on office work, get more forms organized for my Blog, write more Blog posts, finish some paintings for upcoming art shows, start some new paintings, needed to do laundry, had some research topics to tackle, clean and organize my room, post some new items in my Poshmark Closet…the list was forever long (geez I’m tired just typing some of my goals for my vacation day!). Well my day rounded up with me in bed watching Law & Order all day.

I needed to come to the realization that I had worn myself down. Maybe I picked up a virus somewhere too but I had worn myself out with late nights, early mornings, skipped meals, and a go-go-go attitude…and that was really why I was sick. I needed a down day and my body was telling me so, screaming it at me making it very obvious that my focus was to be to rest for the day.

We all do it, we get so excited,  or so inundated with a super long to-do list that we fall into just go do it and don’t stop until it’s done mode, and then we crash. We find ourselves so drained that we end up out of commission for a bit…and then we are at a stall, a stall in working towards our goals, a delay in life. We want so much out of life and we want to have it all done now that we push ourselves so much that we end up not functioning at all. We keep saying to ourselves “I got this”, and “Just push through” to stay pumped but are we doing too much? So how do we get it all done and not crash? We learn to recognize when we are doing too much, and then we shift, we re-adjust. To name a few, ones that I had to teach myself to be aware of:

  1. If you are finding yourself making silly mistakes – forgetting to turn the coffee pot on or put the K-Cup in the Kuerig before hitting brew, or you are making little slips during the like bad simple math solving or forgetting words frequently – then you are doing too much. Our brain starts having hiccups when it’s over-worked.
  2. If you are waking up in the morning feeling drained then you are doing too much. When I’m super busy I hate getting up in the mornings but when I’m on key I pop out of bed early happy to take on the morning.
  3. If you’re finding yourself having frequent negative thoughts or starting to dislike your daily activities. When you are over-exhausted you start to lose your passion, your drive.
  4. When you’re feeling cranky a lot or catch yourself snapping about things.
  5. When you feel so overwhelmed or so worried about meeting deadlines or completing tasks it’s keeping you awake at night then there’s too much on your mind.

So now what? How do we slow down? Each of us will have our own things, our own habits to put in place, that will work best but here’s my tips:

  1. Schedule a lazy day at least once a month. A day with nothing on the schedule, let the day lead you. If it turns out you curl up on the couch and watch a tv marathon then so be it. It’s okay to have days like this, it’s good to have days like this, not every day but a day here and there is healthy. Whether it’s once a week or once a month is going to be up to what works for you. For me I need to have one at least once a month, preferably I like one once every couple of weeks, that’s my balance.
  2. Drink water. I know you probably hear this one all time but hydration is sooo important. Water is a healing element, and it happens to be a big part of our natural make-up.
  3. Make it a habit to eat regularly, choose healthy and revitalizing foods – good proteins, fruits and vegetables, energizing grains. Keeping your blood sugars level will help you process things better and help you make better decisions. It keeps your energy levels even so you’ll have less dips and spikes throughout the day too.
  4. Make sure you do at at least three tasks or activities that bring you joy every day. Keeping your mind happy keeps you motivated and lessens the opportunity of emotional burnout.
  5. Stay organized. This not only keeps you accountable and more productive (so you can get more done more efficiently!)  but it also gives you awareness, it gives you an overall look of what all you have going on so you can assess the big picture. After being stuck in bed all day sick I was able to slow down enough to see how much I was doing day by day. I was able to put things into a better perspective and build a (more) reasonable timeline.
  6. Listen to your body. I’ve heard this so many times but I’ve finally started following that advice and it makes a difference. When my body is telling me I’m tired, I sleep. When I’m sore or achy, I need to rest my body. When I’m sick, I take time to recuperate. I fight the urge to ‘push through’ by reminding myself it’s better to rest now than crash and have to rest for days to bounce back.

I get wanting to accomplish everything, I really do. I am constantly telling myself not to fret that there is another day, “What doesn’t get done today will either get done another day or sometimes just won’t get done. It’s okay”. I have the kind of to-do list that is a rolling list, it just keeps going. This may sound like a very long list (which it usually is) but I’ve found it’s what works well for me. For me I’m creating an opportunity to keep working on this list, creating the expectation that this is a list that moves with me from day to day instead of having an end of day deadline (I put specific deadlines next to the actual task if need be).

Create a balance between a motivated, calm mindset and a well taken care of and rested body. With the Holiday chaos among us, we all know it can get even crazier but don’t set yourself out to have a burnt out January. Put together routines and set boundaries to protect yourself. Pace yourself to the finish line.

“Life is not a race, it is a marathon.”