W – 10 Ways to self-care on a bad mental health day. #AtoZChallenge

W – 10 Ways to self-care on a bad mental health day. #AtoZChallenge

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Day before yesterday, a horrid thought came to my mind and shook the earth beneath my feet. I tried my best to get it out of my head. I tried deep breathing, I tried being mindful and focus on the task at hand, I tried diverting my mind, but to no avail.

it felt as if the thought was haunting me, frightening me and testing my patience. The panic was only growing by the hour and by evening, I could take it no more.

As luck would have it, my BFF messaged me and asked if we could talk. I called her up, instantly, and poured out my fears. She listened patiently and then reasoned with me how my thought was just that–a thought–that I was only nurturing since morning by thinking about it on the loop. What I had to do, instead, was replace the negative thought with a positive one and then hold on to it.

Focusing on that positive thought would help drive out the negative thought and I would feel better, she advised.

Whatever we think about strongly, is what the Universe sends our way, so why not think positive thoughts?

And, that’s just what I did. In a matter of minutes, I felt the panic leave my mind and calmness return.

What a treasure my BFF is; wonder what I would do without her!

 

As much as I work towards getting over my anxiety, there are days when my mental health isn’t in a good condition. There is fear, panic, anxiety, anger and every other emotion that pushes me over the edge.

However, I have realised that these days will always be there. Days, when my mental health will not be as good as I wish it was. But, there are certain things that can help me get over those scary moments and feel better.

 

Today, I am sharing 10 easy ways to self-care on such difficult days. Easy, doable things that will definitely help you feel better.

 

SELF-CARE ON BAD MENTAL HEALTH DAYS:

 

1 Have a heart-to-heart talk with your closest friend/sister/mum. It helps immensely when others listen to your woes objectively and give you their point of view–which often makes sense!

2  Switch off your phone Wi-Fi, lest you keep scrolling through the social media and feel worse.

3  Binge watch your favourite comedy shows.

4  Pick up a good book–a mystery, perhaps, or something light and frothy–and curl up in your favourite reading spot.

5  Sleep. Put your phone on silent and go off to sleep. Often, it is lack of sleep that worsens our mental health.

6  If cooking or baking is your hobby, then prepare your favourite meal. If not, order food from your favourite eatery.

7  Visit your beauty salon for a relaxing head massage or a mani-pedi.

8  Play some peppy songs and sing along, at the top of your voice.

9  On a paper, write down the thoughts that bother you. Read it aloud, once, twice, thrice, five times, or until you get fed up of reading it. Then, crumple the paper and throw it in the trash can.

10  Stand in front of the mirror and repeat your favourite affirmations till you feel the positivity sweeping through your entire being. Take a deep breath, smile and step outdoors for a walk in the fresh air!

 

Do try out these easy-peasy things when you feel low, and see how it feels. I hope it helps.

 

Love,

SHILPA…

Self-care for a bad mental health day.

 

This post is written for the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find the rest of the A to Z posts here. 

V – Affirmations to increase your Vitality. #AtoZChallenge

V – Affirmations to increase your Vitality. #AtoZChallenge

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There are days when everything about Life feels fabulous, positive and full of hope. There’s a spring in our step and confidence in our heart that come what may, we will handle it all with grace and strength. And, we do! We face every crisis with courage and come out of it all, stronger and wiser.

But, there are also days when we lose all hope and physically feel our vitality abandoning us, leaving us frail and helpless.

It’s for such days when all you need are words of wisdom, oF reassurance, that we can, and will, face it, fight it and emerge, successfully.

Just a few words full of positivity is all it takes to put that spring back in our step and the hope in our hearts. And, have you noticed how, it’s precisely when we need those words, that they seem to come to us from an unexpected source–maybe in a book we read, or the headlines in a newspaper, or even through someone’s speech–and we are left stunned, and revived, too?

I am sure you must have experienced it sometime in your Life. I have, and it felt like someone up there was listening to my prayer!

So, today, I am sharing these affirmations to restore your vitality and help you get back on track on days when you feel you have lost your strength.

Affirmations are the best way to encourage ourselves–one of the best ways to self-care. So, read on and do add some of your own favourite ones to the list. We all need these words of wisdom at every juncture in Life, don’t we?

 

10 AFFIRMATIONS TO INCREASE OUR VITALITY:

1  I will have a great day today.

2  I am happy as I wake up to this new dawn and I look forward to what the day has in store for me.

3  I am healthy and happy.

4  My health and vitality improve each day.

5 I have a wonderful life and amazing people who love me unconditionally.

6 I am capable enough to face all that comes my way.

7  I love myself–flaws and all–and am proud of myself.

8  I am strong, healthy and in perfect shape for my age.

9  I have plentiful energy and vitality that helps me take all that comes my way.

10  I am full of positivity and there is no place for negativity in my Life.

 

A few of these affirmations I need everyday, especially the first and the last one. For, there are days when my anxiety levels are a bit high for reasons unknown and I find myself too frightened and weak to get through the day.

And, thus, these affirmations that I intend to begin the day with.

 

How about you? Do you have any more affirmations you would like to share with me?

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

Begin your day with affirmations to find the strength to take it all!

 

This is my post for the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find all the posts here. 

 

 

 

 

U – Unplug for your peace of mind #AtoZChallenge

U – Unplug for your peace of mind #AtoZChallenge

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Do you remember those days from some years ago, when life was so much simpler and peaceful? There were no notification ting disrupting the peace of the day, nor gadgets that stole the limelight.

We could do a hundred things on weekends–chores, rest or entertainment, we got it all done and still had some time for more. But, how it all changed with the arrival of the internet! Our peace went for a toss, and so did our time, that has now become a precious commodity we are forever running short of.

Our day begins and ends with the gadgets, and all through the day we are checking out stuff that, if we fail to read, could as well spell the end of the world for us! We stay plugged in almost 24 hours of the day and wish we had some more hours at our disposal so that we could cram in some more work.

But, have you for a moment paused to think where this is leading us?

Living our life in the virtual world, working every free minute, toiling all day either meeting deadlines, or surfing the net, we are only inching towards self-destruction, you know?

How about making a slight change to better your life, instead?

Simply by developing a teeny-tiny habit of unplugging once a week we can change it all!

Unplugging as in, keeping the Wi-Fi of our phone switched off, putting our laptop/computer away and keeping the television off (if one is a TV junkie) and spending time doing things that need us to move around, interact with our family/friends, spend time away from our screens.

Here are a few reasons why you need to unplug on a weekly basis:

1 Staring at the screens all day has its side-effects, especially on our physical health. The continuous staring strains the eyes and can lead to dry eyes because we forget to blink when we stare at our screens. This could lead to eye diseases in the future.

2  Bending our head to look at our screens affects the neck and the shoulder muscles that tend to become stiff and this leads to the pain we often experience from hours of sitting at our work stations without a break.

3  Our back, too, bears the brunt of sitting hunched up for hours in front of our computers. WIth lack of time, we hardly indulge in any exercise that could give our spine, neck, arms, shoulders and eyes some workout.

4  Staying in constant connection with the virtual world leads to distancing with the real world we live in. It affects our relationships with our close ones as we are mentally and emotionally far away despite being physically by their side.

5 Our mind needs the change of scene. Thanks to the million things at our disposal, our concentration has reduced, drastically, and we cannot focus on anything for more than a couple of minutes. And, so that we keep up our mental health, we need to give our mind that much-needed recharging by focusing on the  world around us.

 

Agreed, that unplugging just once a week will not make much of a difference to our health, but it will definitely become a habit we will enjoy. And, once it becomes a habit, we will strive to indulge in it oftener. This will go a long way in restoring our physical, mental and emotional health, and help us live better lives.

So, what do you plan on doing this Sunday?

Unplug and enjoy a quiet day and see the difference!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

 

 

Benefits of staying away from the virtual world

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge and my theme is, ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find all the A to Z posts here. 

Z – Learn the art of Zen. #AtoZChallenge.

Z – Learn the art of Zen. #AtoZChallenge.

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Every time I heard someone say that they practised the Zen art when caught in chaos, I would imagine them sitting cross-legged with their eyes closed lost in deep meditation. Hoping to meet that zen state of mind, I would try to practise it myself to find some peace, but to no avail.

According to the dictionary, the aim of Zen is “to achieve sudden enlightenment through meditation.”

But, meditation is something one cannot master just like that! You need proper guidance from a master and years of practice. So, how do we get that enlightenment, that peace we all seek every moment?

That’s easy.

By learning the art of Zen!

Staying aware of the moment you are in, to experience that moment wholly, is what it means by learning the art of zen.

And, staying in the moment is self-care at its best!

We humans have planned ourselves to keep moving ahead, mentally, even as we live in a particular moment, physically.

As we  eat lunch, mentally we are far away, in some other world–our office, perhaps–making a list of chores that need to get completed.

As we enjoy an evening out with our family, mentally, we are worrying about the tomorrows–our kids’ education, health, finances, etc.

Basically, we are rarely present in the moment where we ought to focus.  We are on some trip of our own–in the future–paying least attention to what truly matters–the present.

And, that’s how our worries pile up.

Anxiety, fear, depression, stress–these emotions stem from the fact that we hardly concentrate on what we ought to; rarely use our imagination the way we are supposed to.

We imagine things going haywire and our lives getting ruined because of every negativity we can imagine. Is this how we take care of ourselves?

Self-care means paying attention to what you allow your mind to think about. It means caring deeply about your mind, your thoughts, your actions and reactions. Staying in the moment, learning the zen art is what will help you do so.

Whatever you do–be it folding the laundry, playing with your kids, working, cooking, making art–make sure you are in that moment.

Whatever you work on, make sure you do not expect anything–neither negative, nor positive–in return. Yes! I know how much we stress on being positive about the future, but isn’t it simpler focusing on the present, on the work at hand, doing our best and leaving the rest to the Universe?

HOW THE ART OF ZEN HAS HELPED ME:

It has reduced my anxiety levels, drastically.

It has helped me work better as I put in my 100% in everything I do. I don’t worry about the outcome.  If it’s something work-related, I just give it my best and move on.

it has made me much more peaceful and embrace every situation as it is.

I keep my confidence levels high with encouraging self-talk.

I am a lot calmer during a crisis than before.

And, it has helped me realise what happiness is all about!

 

Do you practise the art of Zen?

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

This post for the letter Z is officially the last of the posts for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but as I missed out on letters U, V, W and X, I will be sharing those posts in the next four days. Hubby had to undergo a surgery on his mouth and throat and had to be hospitalised. Now that he is home and getting back to work soon, I will be able to complete my challenge.

Do visit Metanoia for the remaining posts, too. 

Thank you for your encouragement and love!

 

Shilpa…

Staying in the moment is the best way to self-care

 

You will find my posts for the A to Z Blogging Challenge here. 

 

Y – It’s all about looking after YOU. #AtoZChallenge

Y – It’s all about looking after YOU. #AtoZChallenge

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As I go through my ‘A to Z of Self-Care’ posts, I wonder what message I am trying to send out. Self care is an important topic today and everyone seems to be talking about how we need to shift the focus to ourselves, fulfil our needs, give ourselves the importance we so deserve. But, is it making us selfish, self-centred, narcissistic?

I remember, when I was to get married, mum took me aside and gently advised me to put my family and their needs before myself; my feelings, my moods were to be put aside, in a corner, and my family given unconditional love and importance.

I did it. I followed my mum’s advice and did just what she told me to. And, as much as I feel good about it, I feel I lost myself, somewhere along the way. Well, my mum, too, lost herself somewhere along the way.

Sigh.

Today, as much as I tell mum to shine the spotlight on her, I know how impossible it is for her to do so; how impossible it is for scores of women to do so.

Looking after ourselves, fulfilling our wishes, looking after our health, caring for our feelings is all a huge part of self-care–something we haven’t been conditioned to do. Precisely why we need to begin doing so, now!

So, no, self-care does not mean being selfish or self-centred, but just loving ourselves, unconditionally, and giving ourselves the importance and the respect we deserve.

No, we aren’t being narcissistic; we are only trying to shift the focus to ourselves–the way we need to.

And, no, it does not mean we are ignoring the needs of others. It means, we care for ourselves as much as we care for the world around us, because we matter, too.

SELF-CARE IN A NUTSHELL:

In the span of 24 hours, if you can set aside even half an hour for yourself, consider it ‘self-care’–something you did just for yourself, your happiness.

Whatever it is–pursuing a hobby, pampering yourself, looking after your health, giving yourself a pep-talk, de-cluttering your mind of negative thoughts, getting rid of anything that’s toxic, showering yourself with compliments–if it’s something that makes you feel good about yourself, just do it, and feel the difference.

And, when you notice the difference, make a mental note about how happy it made you feel–happy and content–and I am sure you will get into the habit!

 

Go, look after yourself, girls!

 

Lots of love,

SHILPA…

Self-care does not mean being selfish. it mens you care for yourself as much as you care for the world around you.

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme is, ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find all the A to Z posts here