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mindfulness monday

Updated: Jan 23, 2018

Wow! Who would have thought starting a blog would be so tough? Definitely not me. What was suddenly exciting to me now seems intimidating. I find myself doubting my posts originality and thoughtfulness. I find myself saying, "Well nobody follows my blog, why does it even matter?"

It matters, because this is my voice. My outlet. I should not care if anyone sees this! I didn't start this to make anyone but myself happy... so I am trying to keep that in mind.

So hi again! I promise I'll try to be better about regularly posting on here but I am not going to stress myself out about providing content. I want this blog to be something special and somewhere I can come to vent about life, blabber on about how much I love food, talk about my relationships, and feel completely comfortable being myself.


So for Mindfulness Monday I thought I would share my top five favorite ways to practice self-love and self-gratitude. I believe wholeheartedly that it is very important to take time out of the week to "treat yo'self", you can take your mind off of stressful adulting duties or just life in general.


NUMBER ONE: GET PHYSICAL!

When life is feeling overwhelming and heavy I enjoy getting out of the house and leaving that negativity at the door. Taking my dog for a walk, going for a hike with family or friends, dancing, and yoga are my favorite outdoor activities. Nature always puts things into perspective for me and enjoying the outdoors and fresh air always puts me in a better mood.

As far as yoga is concerned, I started practicing regularly about a year ago when I was in a really hard place emotionally. When bad thoughts entered my mind or tears came to my eyes I would roll out my mat and force myself to do at least four sun salutations and it would usually lead to a full thirty-forty minute practice; bringing awareness to my own physical strength brought me emotional strength.


NUMBER TWO: TAKE A BATH

There's nothing quite like lighting all your favorite candles, making a cup of tea, filling your tub with hot water, bubbles, and oils, throwing a face mask on, and melting into the water to relax with some goooooood tunes playing in the background (I try to limit my AHHHmazing baths to one or two a month to save water but when I do take a bath, I make sure to savor every minute). Lavender and Eucalyptus are my favorite essential oils to use in the bath, lavender for it's calming qualities and eucalyptus for sinus relief and increased focus. When combined, they create a spa-like scent!

Lately, I have been using Yerba Buena CBD Chill Bombs*** from the co-op. They are heavenly! So far I have only tried their rose and lavender bath bombs but they definitely left me feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

When it comes to face masks my favorites include this one from Origins, the minty smell wakes you up and makes your face feel all tingly. Plus, the fact that you only have to keep it on for 10 minutes? Yes please! I love face masks, so I try to keep a decent amount on hand just for self-care emergencies.


***(CBD is the non-psychoactive compound found in hemp plants and it is used as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, and is a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia. CBD goes hand in hand with our own Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is a system that everyone is born with. The ECS repairs damaged cells and provides a state of internal stability.)


NUMBER THREE: WRITE DOWN YOUR GRATITUDES

Writing down my gratitudes is something that I have recently started doing. I saw a few people I admire on instagram advocating it so I thought I would give it a shot. I was skeptical at first since it's a pretty broad and vague prompt to write about, but before long I had a whole page of things that I was grateful for but usually took for granted. This is a self-care ritual that you can do almost anywhere and it only takes a few minutes to do. I prefer to write down my gratitudes if I am feeling super overwhelmed or anxious and don't have the energy to move around or leave the house.


NUMBER FOUR: MEDITATE

Breathing techniques, guided meditations, and mantras are great ways to build self-awareness and mindfulness. If you are new to meditation here are a few steps to make it into a habit:

1. Choose a quiet and peaceful space where you will not be disturbed and can be completely alone without distractions from electronics, pets, etc.

2. Start with a shorter amount of time like 10 minutes and then gradually increase the amount of time.

3. Close your eyes or keep them open with a downward-focused gaze and take a few cleansing breaths through your nose- three or four.

4. Become more and more aware of your breathing. Notice the air moving in and out of your nostrils and the rise and fall of your chest, allow your breaths to come naturally.

5. If you notice your mind wandering, let those thoughts come but allow your focus to land back on the sensation of breathing.


If my mind is wandering a lot during my meditation practice I try repeating mantras in my head. Some of my favorites include:

"Breathing in I calm my body, breathing out I smile"

"My mind is sharp and my head is clear as I move towards my dreams today"

"My body is relaxed, my mind is calm, my soul is at peace"


NUMBER FIVE: CLEAN

If my house is disorganized, I feel like my life is disorganized. Dusting bookshelves, washing dishes, and even vacuuming my floors make me feel productive and good about myself. Luckily my house isn't very big so cleaning goes by quickly and by the end I feel proud and content with my hard work. While cleaning I also enjoy diffusing lemongrass, peppermint, and orange essential oils, this combination gives my house a fresh, clean, and uplifting smell and always makes my house feel 50 times cleaner.



& there we are! My top five favorite ways to treat myself and practice self-care. Sometimes everything on my list gets utilized in a week, sometimes it's only one or two practices, and sometimes I don't need any of the things listed above to make myself happy.

So take some time this week to make yourself feel powerful, loved, and at peace.


xx

Shay





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