Tag: mental health

how-to-stay-positive-during-the-lockdown

How to Stay Positive During the Lockdown – Simple Guide!

Today I discussing how to stay positive during the lockdown.

As COVID-19 spreads steadily around the world, many of us are finding ourselves spending all of our time at home due to government restrictions.

I have taken advantage of this extra time to focus on how I can be more motivated, organised and practice self-care

This is a difficult and stressful time for us all. Anxiety levels are high and the pressure of having the whole family at home 24/7 can be a lot to handle.

Working from home whilst home schooling is tough, but if your home is a mess and you have no routine this can have an even greater impact on your anxiety levels and mental health.

At a time like this it is vital to for our homes to be a place of comfort and calm. So, if you feel like you need some help then there has never been a better time to get organised.

Let’s get our homes in order, create a daily routine and give us something to focus on.

Today I will be sharing 13 tips to stay positive during a lockdown.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

How to stay positive during the lockdown

Mental & physical health

First of all, I would like to talk about the importance of continuing to take care of your mental and physical health.

The lockdown is frustrating but this could also be an opportunity to develop yourself or an idea you have been putting on the back-burner.

This is a good time to read a book, take an online course and start a new home workout regimen.

There are plenty Platforms online that have lots of courses that you can explore for new careers and hobbies.

Fitness professionals are also developing home online exercises that you can follow along at home with your family.

Physical activity of around 30 minutes daily will help keep you healthy, this could be going outside for walks, run, a ride while keeping a safe distance from others. You can also dance to music, walk up and down the stairs.

If you are working from home, make sure you do not sit in the same position for long periods. Get up and take three minutes breaks every 30 minutes.

 

Practice Mindfulness

When you put Mindfulness into practice your mind will declutter massively!

I can’t explain how much this practice has changed my life. When you’re mindful your life will transform.

By living in the present moment, you become at peace with your past thoughts and illusions made up in your mind.

Observe your thoughts, become at peace with them, take away the emotional attachment.

how-to-stay-positive-during-the-lockdown

When you find your mind wandering, revert back to the present moment.

The more you live in the present moment, the mind quickly loses control over you. The mind is a tool that should be working for you, not controlling you.

This takes a lot of practice, as your mind has spent so many years in control. The mind has been projecting its illusions on you all your life.

Purchase a book, research it on YouTube. The Mindfulness practice is life changing when used consistently and persistently!

Related posts:

Want to find out how practicing Mindfulness helped me turn my life around? Then see below:

Top tips:

Some great channels that I use for mindfulness videos, are the following:

I also recommend the following books to read:

 

 

Practice self-care

Last but not least, take some time to look after yourself. The best thing to come out of this experience is the opportunity to slow down and catch your breath.

The first few months of the year tend to be a sprint and we can begin to lose sight of our needs, because we are chasing moving goal posts.

Take time to cook for yourself, to do your chores properly, to spend time with your family doing meaningful things together and also just relaxing.

You now have time to sleep in during what was supposed to be that 1-hour commute, you also have time to read a few pages a day and time to do homework with the kids.

Self-care involves nurturing your relationships as well as looking after your environment. It’s not just bubble baths and fresh bedding – though it is equally important- it’s about finding that much needed balance and tranquillity.

Related post:

Want to find out how to make time for self-care? Then read our posts below:

 

 

Set out a daily routine

This one won’t be for everyone, but for a lot of people it is essential when trying to protect your mental well-being.

Setting out a routine every day can ensure you keep being productive whilst staying indoors on lockdown.

It also gives you a reason to wake up every morning and keeps some normality and stability in your life, as being organised with a routine can often help people feel more in control of their situation.

Having a daily routine also ensures you don’t spend all day in bed doing nothing, which is the worst thing you can do for your mental health and well-being at a crucial time like this.

Even if you don’t do any super productive things, even reading a book or putting a load of washing on is much better than nothing!

Related post:

Want to find out how out how implementing a morning routine into your life can have massive benefits to your mindset? Then see our psot below:

 

 

Meditation

I thought this was complete nonsense a few years ago, now I love it.

The one thing that calmed my mind beyond belief, if done properly, is meditation.

This helps you become at peace with your thoughts, and also mindful meditation helps you stay in the present moment.

Self-Care-Tips-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic

Try to meditate before breakfast, if not, then late afternoon/early evening is a good time to do it.

Meditation will seem like a chore at first, but the more you practice, it will become more of an enjoyable experience that you will look forward to.

There are tonnes of videos on YouTube to help you get started.

Top tip:

The below channels on YouTube are great for guided meditations;

If you want to learn about meditation, the follow channel is excellent:

If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about meditation, then the below books are excellent:

 

 

Make a daily to-do list

Knowing your goals is great, it means you know where you want to get to. But that is not enough without knowing what you need to do to get there.

Ultimately, every goal needs to be broken apart as much as possible and written down as a simple list of to-dos.

Having this little list of what you need to get done every day enables you to organise your time and how to tackle things. It helps keep you motivated.

how-to-stay-positive-during-the-lockdown

Every morning, try to write down your top 3 priorities for the day, and only after that all the other smaller things you’d like to get done during the day (IF you have the time).

This will help you stay focused on the things that matter and, in the same time, it will raise your energy levels and get you in that ready-for-action mood.

Related post:

Want to find out more about  how setting SMART goals can help you be more productive and positive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Practice gratitude

Gratitude helps you gain much needed perspective in times when you feel down. It helps you realise that life is not so bad and that there are still some very good things happening for you.

Most therapists recommend writing down a list of things you are grateful each day, you can do this in the morning or in the evening.

The list doesn’t have to be long it’s ok to write even 3 simple things that you are grateful for.

If you don’t know where to start, here are three things to start you off: I am grateful for the sunshine today. I am grateful for the meal I ate with my family and I am grateful for the wifi not playing up today!

You can be grateful for anything and everything and you are sure to feel a bit lighter, a bit happier once you have done this exercise.

 

Facetime or call family & friends

One of the most essential things to do in order to protect your mental well-being is to set times throughout the day to facetime or ring your family & friends.

This is a great way to ensure you are still keeping in contact with other people, rather than being completely alone in the house with no-one to keep in contact with.

how-to-stay-positive-during-the-lockdown

It’s also nice to talk to people you love about something other than the pandemic, as it can take your mind off it and leave you feeling in better spirits.

I also find facetiming helps protect your mental well-being, as seeing another person’s face can bring you back down to earth and keep some normality in your life.

 

Journaling

Another activity that can really help you sort your thoughts and keep a positive mindset during quarantine is journaling.

To be honest I am not journaling regularly, even though it can have a very positive impact on yourself. When I am journaling, I am particularly writing down my feelings and emotions when I am not feeling very good.

It is a good way to get these pulling down thoughts that keep circling through your mind out of the way. Once you have written down your concerns you 100% feel lighter and there is more room for positivity.

What you are writing has not to be in a certain order, just write whatever comes to your mind.

I would recommend using an empty notebook that is just being used for journaling, so you have all of your old journals at one place.

If you keep doing this regularly or when you feel like you need it is up to you!

 

Get some fresh air

Fresh air can work wonders when you need a break or just want to recharge your batteries. Even a short walk outside or just sitting on a park bench can make you feel uplifted and energised.

Not only that, but vitamin D deficiency is a known cause for tiredness and fatigue, so you must ensure you get enough of it.

Depending on where you are in the world, you’re probably allowed to be outside at least for a short time for some daylight and/or exercise.

Make the most of it and don’t let any day pass by without being outdoors for a little bit, if you can help it. If not, at least open your windows wide and let the sunshine in.

Related post:

Want to find out more about how slowing down and focusing on the present can help you be more productive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Remember lockdown is temporary

One of the biggest things I’ve been struggling with is not knowing how long this lockdown will last. It seems like it is going to last for quite a while but no one can say for sure.

The thing we all need to remember is that, however long it lasts, it won’t last forever. Take things one day at a time rather than looking for an end point.

Try to enjoy the time you have right now and soon enough we will be getting back to normal.

Everything will reopen (hopefully sooner rather than later) and everyone will go back to work. We will all be able to visit friends and family (and I expect there will be some great celebrations and social get togethers once this is all over!).

Related post:

Want to find out more bout how to develop a positive mindset? Then the see post below:

 

 

Limit your media intake

Sure, we still need to take in the appropriate government guidance regarding what steps to take next but it’s seriously damaging to our mental health and mood to be absorbing unnecessary amounts of negative and low energy conversation.

There’s a lot of that being passed around and it’s a dangerous spiral to get caught up in.

Acknowledge that being completely absorbed in the media during this time will do you no good.

There are very few people that can spend hours and hours in front of negativity without feeling the impact.

If you’re feeling a little low in mood, limit your media intake to 30 minutes at the end of the day to get the updates and please, continue with your day.

 

Declutter

Now is the perfect time to get into every room of your home and have a good clear out.

There will be many items you can throw or recycle but you may need to put some bigger items aside to take to the tip once social distancing is over. For now, you can store these items away in a garage or shed.

Disposing of your physical clutter will help you deal with your mental clutter and anxieties.

 

 

How to stay positive during the lockdown – Final thought

So, that’s my tips on how to protect your mental well-being whilst being in lockdown or self-isolation during this hectic global pandemic.

Do you have any other tips? Please write them in the comments so other people can see them. Stay safe and keep smiling.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Lifestyle board for later!

how-to-stay-positive-during-the-lockdown



brain-dump-exercise

Brain Dump Exercise – Declutter Your Mind!

Today I will be discussing what is a brain dump exercise and what benefits the practice can have.

I don’t know about you, but I used to often have so many thoughts running through my head at once, it would be overwhelming.

I would end up in a panicked mess, because I was going over in my head what I needed get done; and at same time getting myself in more of muddle in the process.

Where do I start and how do I fit it all in!

You may notice this more when you are trying to sleep or even when you are trying to concentrate on something.

How many times have you had someone talk to you and then you realise you have no idea what they just said to you?

Do you ever journal about your daily life? If so, good for you! Getting everything out of your head is a great self-care activity.

If you don’t journal, hey, that’s ok too! Journaling is a great way to improve mental health. So, with that in mind, have you ever heard of a brain dump? If not, you’re about to find out how to do one for mental health.

 

 

Brain Dump Exercise – Declutter Your Mind!

What is a brain dump?

A brain dump is a simple process of taking all of the thoughts running around in your head and recording them in one place.

You can use a brain dump for multiple purposes including studying for tests, learning a new skill or arrange your to-do list. The main objective is to organise your knowledge in one single spot for future reference.

brain-dump-exercise

The most common way I use a brain dump is to plan my week and create to-do lists.

Writing down the tasks that constantly fill my thoughts has been an effective way to make sure I don’t forget anything important. Also, just the act of writing down my thoughts makes them less overwhelming and easier to manage.

When I write down my to-do list, all of a sudden it clears up space in my brain and immediately reduces stress. With my entire to-do list is on a single piece of paper, it begins to feel more manageable.

 

Signs you need to brain dump

There are many scenarios that call for “dumping” your thoughts on paper. Here are just a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you going through a stressful period?
  • Did you recently experience a major life change, like a move or new job?
  • Is there something going on in your personal life at the moment?
  • Does the thought of checking off your to do list overwhelm you?
  • Do you feel anxious, stressed or tired?
  • At the moment, are you having trouble making a decision?
  • Are you unsure of what you really want?
  • Has organisation been an issue in some way lately?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a brain dump worksheet may help you gain clarity

 

 

Why does a brain dump work?

Brain dumping can accomplish two important things – first, getting your ideas onto paper simply helps calm your brain.

Get your ideas out of your head and they will stop keeping you up all night.

Second, putting your ideas down in words will help you evaluate them and determine whether they’re good enough to continue to explore, or if they should be filed away for later consideration.

When to do a brain dump?

The list may look a little bit different for everyone. But here are some major moments that I know I need a brain dump:

  • When you can’t focus on what you are working on;
  • When you are working long hours but not getting much done;
  • When you are about to start a new project;
  • When you are moving or traveling to somewhere else;
  • When you experience major changes in life, like a new relationship or a new job;
  • When you lose something or someone important;

These are all critical moments where you may have a lot of new tasks to tackle and decisions to make. Brain dump will help to calm your nerves down and to get you in a problem-solving mode.

Related post:

Want to find out more about how slowing down and focusing on the present can help you be more productive? Then the see post below:

 

 

How to do a brain dump

The trick to a successful brain dump is to not think too much about what you’re doing.  Don’t try to write in your neatest handwriting, or stop and think about what makes the most sense.

Think of it as if you were playing that first word that pops into your head game and just run through everything as fast as you can.

brain-dump-exercise

Your original list won’t be organised, or neat, or pretty.  It will most likely be chicken scratch, and a little bit of gibberish, but that’s okay.

We’ll come back to that, later.  The important thing right now is to empty your brain, as quickly as you can so you can stop feeling overwhelmed and actually get something done.

If you really stop to think, it’s more likely that you’ll forget something and start stressing out again.

 

Organise your thoughts

Once you done the brain dump, it’s time to get organised. After you’ve taken a break, sit down with your writing for a moment. Start a new page in your journal (or other outlet) and divide your writing into various categories. This can be done by sectionalising everything based on different aspects of your life.

Categories will vary depending on the general subject matters of your brain dump. However, here are a few ideas:

Categories:

  • Work
  • Personal Life
  • To-Do List
  • Stressors
  • Health & Wellness
  • Appointments
  • Home
  • Bills
  • Hobbies
  • Reminders

Take a look at your list and analyse the categories. This is where highlighters come in handy.

Which thought is the most urgent? Pick two or more pressing items on your to-do list and start with those first.

Also, don’t worry about categorising every thought into a neat list. You can add a separate section for random thoughts. Delete anything that seem unnecessary.

Continue to address each item on the list, but work at your own pace. These things take time!

Related post:

Want to find out more about  how setting SMART goals can help you be more productive and positive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Prioritise your thoughts

Now that you have created a couple of different categories, rearrange the items within each list so that you are able to prioritise what needs to be looked after:

  • High priority – needs most attention
  • Medium priority – can wait, doesn’t need to be done today
  • Low priority – low priority, can wait a while

Now you’re ready to start taking action with the information that you produced from your brain dump.

 

 

Repeat

You can do as many brain dumps as you want. Work mini brain dump sessions into your daily routine (for example, maybe each night after you tuck your kids in), or just do brain dumps once a week when you feel your thoughts starting to pile up.

 

Brain Dump Exercise – Final thought

In the end, there is no right or wrong method when it comes to brain dumping. You already have everything you need – your time, your thoughts, and pen and paper.

There are no rules, as well as there are no limits in writing – we can start dumping our thoughts by asking ourselves simple questions or making to-do lists for tomorrow.

Do you practice brain dumping? If you have any tips and tricks that you’d like to share with everyone, I would like to know.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Self-Care board for later!

brain-dump-exercise



How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

How to Change your Life for the Better – Simple Guide

Do you feel stuck in life? Do you start your mornings feeling fed up and already tired of the day ahead? Do you often ask yourself how to change your life completely?

Ever found yourself in what might seem like a downward spiral or a rut, where you just can’t seem to understand where your efforts and attempts at keeping your life joyful go?

A few years ago, I found myself in one of those ruts. After spinning my wheels for quite some time, I realised my so-called attempts at improving my circumstances were a farce—I was just exhausting my energy waiting for a saviour to come to my rescue.

It finally dawned on me that I am my own saviour and it was up to me to change my perception of life. The choice was mine to change my situation or live life every day in misery.

Life doesn’t have to be a constant chore or a drag. It can be a wonderful journey I’ve found. Here are 10 ways on how change your life for the better.

 

 

How to Change your Life for the Better – Simple Guide

Move your body every day

Any time you look up how you can improve your life, exercise will be near the top of the list.

If you’ve been avoiding making exercise a consistent part of your life, this may be slightly irritating. But the reason it pops up over and over again no matter where you look is because it matters.

Your body releases endorphins when you get your blood pumping. It makes you feel euphoric. It reduces stress and boosts your immune system. You feel good after you exercise and with the boost in happiness and energy, you are ready to show up for the world.

Challenging your body’s physical limits also helps you challenge your mind’s mental limits.

You will know you have what it takes to achieve crazy goals, because you had what it took to do that 50th press-up. You become stronger physically and mentally, and then you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.

Many people have a complex relationship with their weight, body image, and the word exercise; but it doesn’t have to be so hard.

How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

Set a goal of moving your body for 30 minutes every day.

  • Walk your dog
  • Do yoga
  • Lift weights
  • Go for a run
  • Hike in the forest
  • Jump on the trampoline with your kids
  • Take a dance class

You don’t need a gym membership or a personal trainer. You just need to find a way of moving your body that feels good to you and do it consistently. Find one thing, try it for a week, and switch it up if it doesn’t feel right.

If you’re not ready for 30 minutes, start with 5. Build the habit of taking time to exercise and increase as you grow more accustomed to it.

If you want to live a happy and fulfilling life full of energy and purpose, taking your physical health seriously is a big part of that.

It was one of the harder habits for me to build, but it was definitely the most impactful of all the things on this list. So, find an accountability buddy and get moving. Track your exercise in an app (I use FitBit). Set a small goal that you can achieve and build up from there.

And don’t worry about the weight. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up when the scale isn’t moving, but exercise is not about the weight!

Exercise is about boosting your energy, your mood, and your lifespan. 

It is not about dropping 10 pounds or getting back your high school body.

Top tip:

Exercise is great for your mental health! See this article from Mind for more information.

 

 

Start meditating

I remember when I started meditating sitting for 7 minutes was excruciatingly painful. Now I sit for 30/40 minutes and I love it (mostly).

Meditation was the doorway to so many new things for me. It taught me to be more present in my daily life. It taught me to witness or observe my thoughts and feelings instead of getting hooked by them. It taught me to hear my own soul speak.

I knew my meditation practice was making a difference with how I am in my everyday life. I once had a short fuse and temper, but now I am a more peaceful person.

It has had a massive impact on my life.

Instead of having emotional meltdowns, over certain situations, I feel complete peace. I smile joyfully and takes things in my flow.

That is the power of meditation. It naturally turns you into a calmer, more peaceful person. Make it a part of your daily routine.

Top tip:

The below channels on YouTube are great for guided meditations;

If you want to learn about meditation, the follow channel is excellent:

If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about meditation, then the below books are excellent:

 

 

Early morning routine

Never underestimate the power of a solid morning routine.

A morning routine not only sets your day up for success, but if planned accordingly, it can create additional time in your day to work towards your goals.

This is the magic about mornings.

The time is yours, because it’s happening before the busyness of the day hits.

Beginning a morning routine is one of the most important habits to start right now.

Waking up early is tough (I’m not really a fan either), but it is so worth it.

Related post:

Want to find out how implementing a morning routine has really helped me improve my mindset? Then the see post below:

 

 

Forgive yourself

We are all human beings and that means that no-one is perfect. No-one goes through life and never makes a mistake because if they did, they would lose the very essence of what makes them even.

This year, it’s time to move beyond the mistakes you’ve made in the past and move on with your life.

Many times, we hold onto these mistakes without understanding just how much they hold us back. It’s time to accept that they happened, learn from them and go on with your life.

 

Practice Mindfulness

When you put Mindfulness into practice it will change your life massively!

I can’t explain how much this practice has changed my life. When you’re mindful your life will transform massively.

By living in the present moment, you become at peace with your past thoughts and illusions made up in your mind.

How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

Observe your thoughts, become at peace with them, take away the emotional attachment.

When you find your mind wandering, revert back to the present moment.

The more you live in the present moment, the mind quickly loses control over you. The mind is a tool that should be working for you, not controlling you.

This takes a lot of practice, as your mind has spent so many years in control. The mind has been projecting its illusions on you all your life.

Purchase a book, research it on

Related posts:

Want to find out how practicing Mindfulness helped me turn my life around? Then see below:

Top tips:

Some great channels that I use for mindfulness videos, are the following:

I also recommend the following books to read:

 

 

Set goals

We all tend to have a vision for our life. What does that look like for you? What do you dream of doing?

I know you have something in mind you’ve always wanted to try but have been too afraid to get started.

Is it starting an online business? Is it a career change? Give this one some thought.

It’s time to think about what you truly want out of life and go after it.

It’s never the perfect time, and waiting for the perfect time will keep you from ever starting.

Identify the goals you have for your life, figure out a huge list of actions needed to accomplish these goals, and GET STARTED.

Setting goals is a life improving habit you need start right now. Don’t keep putting it off.

Related post:

Want to find out more about  how setting SMART goals can help you be more productive and positive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Focus on growth

It is often failure that can stop you in your tracks however, replacing the word failure with feedback completely transforms your experience.

Any time you feel you are not successful it is feedback you are receiving from what you have done.

What can you learn from this opportunity?

How can you change your approach in the future? What can you do better next time?

This is what is called a growth mindset.

Knowing that you might not be there yet but you are learning and growing in the process is an excellent mindset to hold.

How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

Rather than feeling restricted by limited talent or ability, you know that with growth and learning you are limitless.

Therefore, focusing on growth will result in an improved mindset and changed behaviour.

You’ll be more prepared and motivated to take on challenges and see your potential in the results.

Whatever result you obtain; you can learn from them and continually improve on them.

This kind of mindset opens you up to a new perspective in experiences and the opportunities around you.

You may find that you even seek out new opportunities as you see the potential of expanding your knowledge and growing into your best self.

Related post:

Want to find out more bout how to develop a positive mindset? Then the see post below:

 

 

Practice gratitude

Whenever you focus on gratitude you instantly shift to a positive mindset. No matter what is going on in your life, you have the power to shift your focus to gratitude.

I also encourage the use of a gratitude journal – Every day write down or even just note in your mind at the end of each day, focus on everything you’re grateful for in your life and also how those things impact your life. Always aim for at least 3 things.

How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better

Here’s some examples from my own journal:

  • I am grateful for the increase in traffic to my website today
  • I am grateful for the nice walk I had with Jo and Alfie (the dog) today
  • I am grateful for seeing the twins today

Try to make your gratitude note specific to today. So rather than me writing I’m so grateful for everyone who visits my website. I would write, I’m so grateful for all of the people who visited my website today, and I’m especially grateful for the lady who took the time to leave a message saying how helpful my post was to her.

I find practicing gratitude helps you appreciated the small things in life that often get overlooked.

 

 

Declutter

You don’t know how much decluttering your life can change your world until you do it. You can declutter your home of all broken, old, and useless items.

Your home will be more spacious, which will allow you to enjoy it more. Organize the items that are left and you’ll be amazed at the difference. There are other areas of your life that you can declutter also.

Do you have apps on your phone that you never use anymore? Delete them! Don’t replace them with more apps though. Only keep the apps you use on a regular basis. This will save you so much time. You can also declutter your social media and friends lists. Focus on the people who really matter to you.

 

Spend less time on social media/internet 

With the advancement of technology this day, people tend to spend more time on social media than real people.

Social media has taken over the world, people tend to use it for different things. Social media and the internet have made so many people rich but let’s not forget the fact that it has made some not useful.

People spend hours on social media without doing anything. Spend less time on social media and you will see the result you get on a daily basis.

If you have something important to do, I will advise you to get rid of or delete the apps and focus on your business. Use social media in your spare time when you are not using it for business.

 

Ditch the negative people

Negative people are toxic to your life. They will bring down your mood and try to kill your dreams. We all have struggles in our lives, but some people live their life in victim mode. You don’t need this kind of person in your life.

Surround yourself with happy and optimistic people. These aren’t people who act like life is always puppies and rainbows. Optimistic people still have bad days now and then. They know things will get better though.

Negative people complain about anything and everything. When you ditch the negative people in your life you will feel a great sense of relief.

 

Read more self-help books

I just can’t stress it enough, no one can deny the major benefits of self-help books to improve the quality of life, I’m personally addicted to self-development books.Self-help books are life changing, and the best type of books to help you improve your life!

The fact that something someone wrote has the power to change the way I do things just gets me. I get fired up just typing about it.

 

How to Change your Life for the Better – Final thought

I am so much happier this year than I’ve ever been. Part of this is because I’ve intentionally made some big changes in my work, who I surround myself with, and how I spend my time. But a lot of it is just because I picked up a few habits here and there that made me happier, more energetic, and more mindful.

If you’re looking to change your life, I hope you’ve found some inspiration and I hope that you start today.

What are your tips for a better life?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Self-Care board for later!

How-to-Change-your-Life-for-the-Better



10-ways-to-sleep-better-naturally

10 Ways to Sleep Better Naturally – Simple Guide!

Today I will be talking about ways to sleep better naturally.

Do you ever wake up in the mornings and wish you were able to get better sleep?  Maybe you feel like you toss and turn all night or your brain just doesn’t shut off.

One of the worst things that can happen when you know you have a busy day ahead of you is to feel tired, fatigued, and unenergized.  If you work at a performance-based job where you always need to be on your A-game, getting no sleep can be so detrimental to your career.

Along with that, always being tired affects your energy levels which ultimately affects your productivity.  If you’re a busy person and you have a million things to do in a day, you know how important it is to feel awake and ready to work to get stuff done!

But, don’t worry, there are ways you can fight those sleepless nights and relax at bedtime. Below, we have shared some effective ways for calming your mind and getting a good night’s sleep.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

10 ways to sleep better naturally

Sleep is so important so if you’re having trouble sleeping, here are 10 tips to get better sleep at night so you can feel more energized, focused, and ready to take on the day, every day!

 

Progressive muscle relaxation

This is one of the best exercises to induce sleep. A lot of sleep experts recommend evening meditation but if you suffer from anxiety, you may not want to meditate before bedtime. It might be more stimulating than relaxing.

Here’s how progressive muscle relaxation works…

Tense the individual muscle groups on your body, one at a time. Then, release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you relax them. This exercise lowers the stress and tension in your body and it’s very effective for when you experience extreme anxiety. So, it’s useful for when you’re trying to relax enough to fall asleep.

10-ways-to-sleep-better-naturally

Once you’re in bed, take 15 minutes to complete this exercise. Start from the top of your head and go over each individual muscle group. So, if you’re working on your forehead, raise your eyebrows as far as you can. Take a slow, deep breath as you do this. Do this for 5 seconds. Once the 5 seconds are up, relax the muscle, and exhale. You will feel the tension flow out. Move on to the next muscle group.

Take care to focus on only one muscle group at a time. Don’t clench any other part of your body, only the muscle that you’re focusing on. It becomes easier to do with practice. No part of this exercise should be painful.

Related post:

Want to find out more about how slowing down and focusing on the present can help you be more productive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Military method

The United States Navy Pre-Flight School introduced the now popular Military Method as part of the pilot’s training routine after they discovered that many of the pilots could not get enough sleep amidst training stress and gunfire noises in the background.

How to practice:

  • Start with your face. Relax all of your face muscles, including those inside your mouth.
  • Focus on the Shoulders. Droop them releasing all the tension and let your hands drop naturally to the side.
  • Focus on your legs. Exhale and let your leg muscles go limp and relax.
  • Take a few deep breaths. Let your chest relax with your exhale.
  • Once you relax every muscle from your face to legs, breathe normally and imagine a relaxing scene. You can also imagine yourself falling asleep.
  • If it doesn’t work, relax and say “don’t think” over and over for a few seconds.
  • You should fall asleep within a minute or two.

After 6 weeks of practice, the pilots could fall asleep in 2 minutes or fewer.

The technique worked even after drinking coffee and is also said to be effective if you need to sleep sitting up.

Related post:

Find out how implementing a morning routine into my life has been a massive help to me below:

 

 

Abdominal breathing

Abdominal breathing promotes relaxation by altering the way you normally breathe. Unlike with meditation, you won’t need complete silence. You can do it either lying down with your eyes closed or while listening to soft music. Either way, in order to relax, you must pay attention to your breathing.

To effectively do abdominal breathing, lie on your back and place your hands on your chest and abdomen. That helps track your breathing. Remember to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Others prefer exhaling through the nose, which is not an issue.

 

4-7-8 breathing

This breathing technique has been said to have the ability to put you to sleep in as little as 60 seconds.

The technique is simple.

Lay on your back and breathe in deeply. Breathe into the count of four. Hold that breath for a count of seven. Exhale the breath to the count of eight.

Repeat this until you have fallen asleep. It is a cleansing breath, slow breathing technique, and will help your body to slowly calm down and create a feeling of calm.

 

Counting Breath

This type of breathing technique is precisely what it sounds like. You simply breathe in and count that as a breath. Breathe out and count that as well. So, you would be breathing for each count. For example, breathing in would be count one, and breathing out would be count two.

This works for people that find counting to be restful and calming. It can also be the start of a breathing technique that bleeds into another technique like the 4-7-8 method.

 

Self-guided mediation

Many people have used self-guided meditation apps before they lay down to sleep. You may incorporate this new option into your bedtime routine.

10-ways-to-sleep-better-naturally

Combined with going to sleep earlier, practice some meditation via a free self-guided meditation app or YouTube on your smartphone. This will help you relax your mind and in turn, you’ll slip off into slumber easier without negative thoughts.

Top tip:

The below channels on YouTube are great for guided meditations;

If you want to learn about meditation, the follow channel is excellent:

If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about meditation, then the below books are excellent:

 

 

Use a white noise machine

Do they have trouble sleeping without having at least some noise in the background?  Or if you live right in the heart of the city where it’s really noisy or in an apartment where the walls are thin, a white noise machine can be super helpful to help you fall asleep faster.

This white noise machine plays 30 different natural sounds and even comes with a handy timer so that it’ll shut off after a certain time period if you don’t want it running all night.

 

Stop using electronics too close to lights-out

You’ve probably heard that it’s not recommended to use your smartphone in bed. Reading on your cell phone, laptop or e-reader or watching TV before bed can mess with your circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Plus, it may even contribute to weight gain, according to a 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Disconnect from your devices well before bedtime. If you like to read before you hit the sheets, opt for a hardcover book rather than an e-reader. And if you can, take the TV out of the bedroom altogether so you’re not tempted to fall asleep with it on.

 

Try reading

Reading is a healthy activity as it primarily sharpens your imagination. Aside from that, it can also aid you in relaxing and staying calm before going to bed.

Reading may also help your mind separate stress from sleep time. It is important to take note though that healthy reading should be done with the paper book, not the electronic one.

Books read from electronic devices produce a type of bright light that may lower the production of melatonin, a hormone that stimulates the sleep-wake cycle.

 

Minimise caffeine intake

Most people might like drinking coffee, especially in the morning as it may help them feel awake, but caffeine can have negative effects on your sleep if consumed in high amounts.

Because caffeine promotes alertness by preventing chemicals in the brain that trigger good sleep or encourage regular sleep cycle, this will make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The effects of caffeine may vary from one person to another, though, so it’s advisable you should not consume caffeine at least six hours prior to sleep.

Related post:

Want to find out how to make time for self-care? Then read our post below:

 

 

10 ways to sleep better naturally – Final thought

If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I hope these 10 tips help to enhance your sleep quality.

These tips are very simple to put in place but surprisingly effective. So, give them a try today and start enjoying the best sleep of your life.

What are your tips and ideas to get a good night sleep?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Self-care board for later!

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Panic-Attack-Tips

Panic Attack Tips – 7 Techniques That Helped Me!

Today I will be discussing panic attack tips and 7 techniques that helped me when I would suffer with them.

Panic attacks are truly terrifying, something anyone who has suffered having one will agree with.

Your heart beats out of your chest, breathing becomes more difficult, and everything you feel is impending death. Luckily there are ways to keep attacks from happening, or even riding one out while remaining relatively calm.

I was 36 when I had my first one, and I needed an ambulance, as at the time I truly believed I was going to die, it was horrible.

The paramedic talked me through calming myself down and I felt a bit silly afterwards as I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack!

I used to suffer with regular panic attacks for a period of about 2 years. Over time I learned how to control them and calm down myself down, and eventually eradicate them completely.

Panic attacks can be unpredictable. And I think it’s important to know how to deal with them when they happen because you’re not always in a place where you can just lie down and ride it out.

These techniques are designed to take the mind off the state of panic that you’re in and respond to something else instead. It can help you calm down faster, or avoid the panic attack altogether. They don’t work for everyone, but here are some of my favourites.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

How You Know You Are Having a Panic Attack

Before you learn how to control panic it is important to first understand what the signs and symptoms are for a panic attack. Not only does this tell you if that is exactly what you are experiencing, but it helps you to recognise the signs early so you can start implementing some of these strategies quickly. This lets you put a stop to the panic attack before it progresses, since they do tend to worsen over time. Here are some different symptoms you might experience:

  • Tunnel vision
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Fight or flight
  • Fear of losing control
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Flushes or chills
  • Sweating
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Twitching or trembling muscles
  • Feeling like you aren’t real
  • Flushed face
  • Fear of dying

Many people mistaken the symptoms of a panic attack with a heart attack since they are very similar, right up to the chest pains and dizziness. The problem with this is that even if you know you are having a panic attack, you have an intense worry that your worrying could lead to a heart attack, which then worsens the symptoms of the panic attack, making you feel like it is leading to a heart attack. The circle can continue unless you are able to put a stop to it.

 

Panic Attack Tips

Practice deep breathing

If you’re searching for tips to help you learn how to stop a panic attack fast, you’ve probably read about deep breathing. It’s one of the most common breathing techniques for anxiety and panic attacks, but it’s not always easy for everyone. It does take practice, but when you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it with ease.

Panic-Attack-Tips

To get started, find a chair to sit down in and put your arms on the armrests. Take a deep breath in through your nose, lasting for about 5 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds, and then breathe out through your mouth for 7 seconds. Repeat 10 times, and as you get more comfortable, you can repeat up to 20 times

Top tip:

The below channels on YouTube are great for guided meditations;

If you want to learn about meditation, the follow channel is excellent:

If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about meditation, then the below books are excellent:

 

 

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is our innate ability to be fully present in the moment – to focus on where we are and what we’re doing without allowing other, intrusive thoughts, worries, or fears to permeate our minds. When we’re practicing mindfulness, we’re impartial and non-judgmental to what’s happening around us, and when our minds wander, we redirect our thoughts back to the present moment.

Panic-Attack-Tips

Mindfulness sounds pretty simple in theory, but we live in a day and age where we are encouraged to overschedule our time as much as possible, and it can be surprisingly difficult to focus on the here and now without letting all of the things that are vying for our attention to take hold and send us into a stress-induced state.

If you’re looking for tips on how to stop a panic attack fast, mindfulness is an excellent strategy to learn. There are tons of great mindfulness resources and classes available online, and you may be able to find mindfulness instructors and classes within your area.

Related posts:

Want to find out how practicing Mindfulness helped me turn my life around? Then see below:

Top tips:

Some great channels that I use for mindfulness videos, are the following:

I also recommend the following books to read:

 

 

Muscle relaxation techniques

Help with calming your body. Focus on one body part at a time and release any tension then move on to the next area.  Practice doing this at night when you’re chilling in bed.

I like to start with my feet and work my way up the body.  Take deep breaths and release any tension in that body part before moving on to the next. You may drift off to sleep from the relaxation.  During a panic attack focus on this until you’re through the other side of the panic attack.

Close your eyes while doing deep breathing or muscle relaxation.  If you’re feeling lightheaded this is not the best alternative. Instead, focus on an object while breathing.  You may find one way works better for you than another.

Related post:

Want to find out more about how slowing down and focusing on the present can help you be more productive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Ground yourself

First, notice five things around you, then four things that can be touched, then three that can be heard, two that can be smelled, and one thing that can be tasted.

Panic-Attack-Tips

That way your mind is not focused on fear and doesn’t run around bouncing from one to another worry.

This is a common exercise often recommended by physicians to people that suffer from frequent panic attacks.

 

Focus on an object

During a panic attack, find one object and focus all your attention on it. Note everything you can about it (patterns, colours, size, etc.) to yourself.

This technique has the potential to take your mind off your panic attack and help your symptoms subside.

 

Pick a colour

Take a look around you, are there a particular colour you can see? Blue, green, pink?

Now, search the area around you and find as many objects as you can in that colour. Once you run out of things, you can move on to the next colour. And repeat, until you start to feel better.

This one is quite fun, and if you are a visual person it may be a better option than the two above as you are focusing on things that are actually in front of you.

 

Educate yourself

Learn as much as you can about panic attacks.  This could be the key to your handling of them.  Make sure you learn as much as you can about the possible causes and how to deal with them.  The more information you have, the better able you will deal with a panic attack when you have one.

 

Panic attack tips – Final thought

Each of these ways have been helpful to me when I was suffering from panic attacks. If you can apply some of them, your panic attacks won’t be so severe and extreme.

Once the severity of the symptoms starts to wear out, you will know that you are on the right track. It is not a fast process, but if you are persistent in your attempts to prevent and stop panic attacks, at one point they will go away.

What are your coping techniques for panic attacks? I would to hear them below.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Self-care board for later!

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Self-Care-Tips-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic

Self-Care Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Simple Guide!

Today I will be talking about self-care tips during the COVID-19 Pandemic and what has helped me adapt to the lifestyle changes that have occurred.

We are living in uncertain times. Each day brings a new set of challenges and changes to our daily schedule and routine. Many people are feeling the stress and are not sure what the safest way is to manage it.

Whether we embraced or rejected the idea of social distancing, of working from home and of not being able to do all the normal things we used to take for granted, this year took a hit on our well-being and even without knowing this we were affected by our change in lifestyle.

Even the toughest people I’ve known admitted that it was not easy to go through the lock-down period, to be unable to visit their family and to completely give up your social life. As we see an increase in the number of cases the anxiety that we might be going on lock-down arises and we need to make sure we don’t forget about ourselves.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

Why do we need to take care of ourselves now more than ever?

In my opinion, as well in the opinion of a countless number of medical professionals, you should be practicing self-care year-round.

But, on March 11, 2020, the WHO (World Health Organization) declared COVID-19 an official pandemic.

On that day, the reality of our world changed.

Self-Care-Tips-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic

Now, things arose that made us dismiss the notion of taking care of ourselves. We were too busy, there were more important things going on in the world than our skincare routine, or painting our nails.

But the truth is, you need to take care of yourself now more than ever.

The reason is that we are simply living in stressful times, and to prevent our mental health from going down the drain, self-care is a must. If you are a pro at this, keep doing what you are doing. But, if you have never practiced self-care in your life, there is no better time than now to start.

Related post:

Want to find out how to make time for self-care? Then read our post below:

 

 

self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic

Stay active

As hard as it may be, be sure to stay active. Staying active will strengthen your immune system, which will help your body to fight off any type of illness.

Not only that, but during a time in which we are often feeling distant from the world around us and incredibly uncertain of what the future might hold, staying active will also help to strengthen your mental health as well.

Do an at-home workout. Go for a 30-minute walk or run outside. Do yoga in your basement. Even lift heavy boxes in your garage. Be creative, but just make sure you are remaining active.

 

Maintain a healthy diet

Staying motivated to eat healthy is extremely difficult during a lockdown, and that can be hard if your energy levels are down from your body trying to process a bad diet.

Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean you need to give up on all the unhealthy foods you love.

It’s all about moderation, listening to your body, and being mindful about what goes into your body.

Eating better has also been shown to increase overall brain function, energy levels, and self-esteem (because when you look good, you feel good!).

 

Meditation

I thought this was complete nonsense a few years ago, now I love it.

The one thing that calmed my mind beyond belief, if done properly, is meditation.

This helps you become at peace with your thoughts, and also mindful meditation helps you stay in the present moment.

Self-Care-Tips-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic

Try to meditate before breakfast, if not, then late afternoon/early evening is a good time to do it.

Meditation will seem like a chore at first, but the more you practice, it will become more of an enjoyable experience that you will look forward to.

There are tonnes of videos on YouTube to help you get started.

Top tip:

The below channels on YouTube are great for guided meditations;

If you want to learn about meditation, the follow channel is excellent:

If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about meditation, then the below books are excellent:

 

 

Practice Mindfulness

When you put Mindfulness into practice your vibration will raise massively!

I can’t explain how much this practice has changed my life. When you’re mindful your life will transform massively.

By living in the present moment, you become at peace with your past thoughts and illusions made up in your mind.

Observe your thoughts, become at peace with them, take away the emotional attachment.

When you find your mind wandering, revert back to the present moment.

The more you live in the present moment, the mind quickly loses control over you. The mind is a tool that should be working for you, not controlling you.

This takes a lot of practice, as your mind has spent so many years in control. The mind has been projecting its illusions on you all your life.

Purchase a book, research it on YouTube. The Mindfulness practice is life changing when used consistently and persistently!

Related posts:

Want to find out how practicing Mindfulness helped me turn my life around? Then see below:

Top tips:

Some great channels that I use for mindfulness videos, are the following:

I also recommend the following books to read:

 

 

Practice gratitude everyday

During hard times like what we’ve been dealing with, it can be hard to focus on the things that are going well because so many difficult things have been going on.

All of the great things to be grateful for can be overshadowed by all of the chaos around you. Which, makes it all the more important to start practicing gratitude.

Even on the days that it seems like the world is crumbling around you, there are still many things to be grateful for. This exercise can shift your mindset and calm stress. What you focus on is very important!

 

Take in nature

When you ground yourself in nature, you discharge negativity, and even more importantly, you recharge yourself with the loving and nurturing energy from Mother Earth.

After grounding yourself you’ll feel renewed, refreshed, centred, and balanced. Whether you simply walk barefoot in your garden, or go to the beach or the wood, just get out in nature, allow yourself to be present by opening all your senses: see, taste, hear, smell and feel.

Self-Care-Tips-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic

If you live in a big city or work in an office, you may feel you don’t have much opportunity to connect with nature.

Nature time could be:

  • Spend time in your garden.
  • Walk around a park.
  • Go to the woods.
  • Plan your next vacation around nature time.
  • Visit a lake or river

This is also where crystals, essential oils and houseplants come in. You may want to bring little bits of nature with you and consciously tune into them at home.

Related post:

Want to find out more about how slowing down and focusing on the present can help you be more productive? Then the see post below:

 

 

Keep A Routine

Sticking to a regular routine can help you regain a sense of stability and keep a better structure to your days during a time when it feels like we can’t even keep track of what day it is.

Have you ever slept in way too late and just felt like your whole day was ruined and like you were so behind on everything? I have for sure and it’s not a good feeling! So, try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, and stick to somewhat of a consistent routine to reduce your stress.

Related post:

Find out how implementing a morning routine into my life has been a massive help to me below:

 

 

Limit your social media/ news consumption

Even for me, limiting social media or even unplugging completely is the hardest for me. Asides from trying to drive traffic to my blog and grow my accounts grow, social media helps me stay in touch.

It also keeps me informed about the state of the world and the new rules surrounding the current lockdown. But all of this, to be honest, can be too much. Right now, except you work for a news publisher, it’s not healthy to keep track of the current coronavirus cases.

You need to detach yourself from it to be able to cope with the situation. Already, people are mentally struggling with the lockdown. Subjecting yourself to daily news is just going to do more harm than good.

I’ve already starting limiting my news consumption and I can feel the difference in my health. You should try it too.

 

Choose your focus

Self-care and mental health are all about understanding what you want your focus in life to be and what choices you make based on that. This could involve moving your focus to a new hobby or passion, or changing your attitude towards the things that bring negativity to your life.

By choosing what you focus on in your life, this means you stay busy and concentrate on those things that make you feel positive, happy, and in control of yourself and your mental and physical health.

 

Make sleep a priority

Both your body and mind are experiencing a lot of changes right now. We have never had to be cooped up for this long.

One of the best things you can do for your body and mind is to give them time to rest and adjust to what is the new normal – at least what has been the new normal during recent times and looks to be for the foreseeable future.

Regardless of the time you normally wake up, try to get to be a half-hour earlier or even an hour earlier. Give your body and mind the rest they need so that they can perform to the best of their ability. Strive for no less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you are having a difficult time getting this amount, ask yourself what’s more important: sleep or Netflix?

Top tip:

  • Go to bed by 22:00 as the most regenerative sleep is between 22:00 and 02:00
  • Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
  • Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime
  • Remove all electronics from your bedroom when sleeping
  • Turn off all lights and make your bedroom dark – important for production of melatonin (sleep hormone)

 

 

Read self-help books & articles

One of my favourite things to do when I feel overwhelmed is read. It makes you realise that the things you are feeling are not uncommon and that things will get better. I also find that it can open my mind and allow me to see something in a different way.

 

Schedule time to connect with friends/family weekly

Connecting with family and friends may increasingly fall off your radar as the pandemic stretches on, so that’s why it becomes even more important to keep up with outreach. Connecting with those you love will help you feel grounded, and remind you about the world and people outside of your immediate living space.

 

Self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic – Final thought

Your body and mind are always going to be your most valuable assets. To get through each day, you need to do whatever you can do in order to keep both in good shape.

Remember to cut yourself some slack and to go easier on yourself during these challenging and pressing times. Schedule time for yourself and make yourself your own number one priority. Your mind and body will thank you.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Self-care board for later!

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