M – Practise Mindfulness. #AtoZChallenge.

M – Practise Mindfulness. #AtoZChallenge.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Our mind has this uncanny ability to wander off at the drop of a hat. It either goes away to some faraway land, or imagines some worst-case scenario that fills us with dread and anxiety.

Our mind rarely comes up with something favourable, something positive. Rare are the times, too, when it stands still, in the moment we live in

A hundred thoughts float around in our mind every minute of every day. We are not even aware of the many activities we do. We just go about our routine, mechanically, oblivious to the many experiences every minute holds in it for us.

Seldom do we make efforts to push away those thoughts and concentrate on the moment, live the moment, fully.

Being mindful of every moment helps us experience the moment in its entirety. Be it good or bad, difficult or painless, every moment has the potential to help us live life to its fullest, experience life to its fullest.

So, how do we practise this thing called, “mindfulness”?

TIPS TO DEVELOP MINDFULNESS:

What is that one activity you enjoy the most? While doing it, how does your mind work? Does it wander off on its own, or does it stay with you, in that moment, enjoying the activity?

For me, it’s when I practise Yoga, or draw and write, that my mind accompanies me…almost every moment. I still haven’t been able to tame it a 100%! I am glad I chose this topic, for, now I need to work on it in earnest.

Sharing today, a few tips from what I learned about taming the mind.

  1. Quit multi-tasking. It does not make you a superwoman, it makes you an exhausted woman. Do ONLY ONE THING AT A TIME.
  2. During a workout, for example, focus on: a) your breath, b) the part of the body that you workout on, and c) how it feels as you exercise. For instance, is there less flexibility that leads to discomfort? Does it pain while doing the particular exercise/bend/pose?
  3. While indulging in a creative activity, like art, cooking, or even your daily chores, put on your favourite music. Choose something upbeat, peppy, that entices you to dance along. Of course, you can’t dance while you draw/paint/cut/chop, in short, you cannot multi-task! But, the music will bring you into that moment as you work on your creation.
  4. Prepare a to-do list the night before, and tick off the tasks you complete the next day. A list helps you focus on the moment so that you fulfil the tasks, efficiently.
  5. Whatever you do–even small things like doing the dishes–do it with all your heart and soul. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it will help you control your wandering mind.

Sharing this link to a post on mindfulness written by my blogger friend, Vidya Sury. Her blog has loads of helpful posts on mindfulness. Do visit her!

Mindfulness is something you need to work at, each day, every day. Making it a habit will help you stay focused and keep your mind under control.

Begin today!

Love,

SHILPA…

Being mindful of every moment, helps us experience the moment in its entirety,

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge and my theme is, ‘SELF-CARE’.

You will find my posts here.

L – Listen to music/Love yourself, relentlessly. #AtoZChallenge.

L – Listen to music/Love yourself, relentlessly. #AtoZChallenge.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

I know, it feels like you have been hearing this self-care tip everywhere, all the time! But, it’s only because music has such a therapeutic effect on our mind that people stress its importance in our everyday life.

There is a tiny problem, though. It won’t help if you listen to soulful songs when feeling low and lonely; it will only worsen the situation and send you deeper into the abyss. I did it for quite some time and realised how gloomy it made me feel, so I switched over to peppy numbers, motivational songs…anything cheerful that set the tempo when lethargy crept up into my system.

Listening to some lively tunes while making my artwork, fills me with an indescribable energy which gives me such a ‘high’, I can actually feel the adrenalin rush! The songs from this particular playlist are my companions in moments of loneliness.

Music does have that impact!

 

MAKE MUSIC A PART OF YOUR EVERYDAY SCHEDULE:

Make it a point to play your favourite music while working in the kitchen, completing your chores, travelling, and, especially, when in low spirits.

Prepare playlists that you can listen to during different activities.

When in the need to boost your energy levels, put on some lively numbers and dance along.

Dance like no one’s watching, because no one is watching! Just let yourself go! You will love this thrilling activity.

Don’t worry if you can’t dance, just start moving. It makes for a fantastic workout in the privacy of your home.

Sing along, too, even if you can’t. Sing at the top of your voice and feel the difference in your mood.

it’s the best thing to fight loneliness with.

 

So, tell me, how many playlists do you have? ;P

 

L – LOVE YOURSELF, RELENTLESSLY

I couldn’t decide on which topic to choose from these two for the letter L, so I chose them both!

So, do you love yourself?

It was quite late in Life when I realised what it meant by loving oneself.

Loving yourself means:

Accepting yourself as you are and celebrating your uniqueness.

It means refraining from criticising yourself, or admonishing yourself for things that go wrong.

It means not blaming yourself for all the heartbreak you suffer from.

It means respecting yourself despite your flaws; being proud of yourself for getting through the highs and lows of Life, bravely. Yes, you ARE brave…very very brave!

And, finally, loving yourself means, making yourself a priority.

(I know, this last point is very difficult to achieve, for there are so many people who vie for that top spot on our priority lists.  But, it pays to prioritise yourself alongside them all. For, only if you love yourself,  can you love others, and keep them happy!)

Sharing this really beautiful video with Sean Stephenson…

 

Lots of love,

SHILPA…

 

 

Love yourself, relentlessly!

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge and my theme this year is, ‘Self-Care’. 

You will find all my posts here.

K – Be Kind to Yourself. #AtoZChallenge.

K – Be Kind to Yourself. #AtoZChallenge.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

If you are a fan of Ellen Degeneres, you must know her favourite quote:

“Be kind to one another.”

It’s, indeed, so necessary in today’s world, what with the kind of negativity we see around us. However, the one thing we often forget to do is,

BE KIND TO OURSELVES.

Now, pampering yourself at a beauty salon does not amount to being kind to yourself! But, trying to put yourself first, saying, “NO”,when you have to stretch yourself to accommodate others, giving yourself a much-needed break once a week (at least)–that’s what I mean by being kind to yourself.

Of course, it is not in our genes to say no to people, even when we know others are taking us for granted. We can never say no to someone who gets all emotional about how much they need our help and how much it would mean to them. We might be short of time and energy, but when someone pleads with us to do something for them, we forget about ourselves, our needs and agree to all that’s being asked of us.

How does that affect us?

We are forever exhausted from being over-worked, irritated for not getting the respite we need, and annoyed for getting used by others.

We spend our lives doing this and never understand the way we hurt ourselves in the bargain. Being kind to others is important, but being kind to ourselves, well, that’s a necessity–our responsibility towards ourselves, isn’t it?

Being kind to yourself also means not comparing yourself with others; not comparing their journey to yours or putting yourself down because of your failures/shortcomings.

Being kind to yourself means not stretching yourself over your limits–both, physical and emotional–to feel a part of the crowd.

Being kind to yourself means accepting yourself the way you are–flaws and all– instead of striving to ape someone you admire.

BEING KIND TO YOURSELF MEANS BEING YOURSELF.

THE ‘BE KIND’ WORKOUT:

  1. Tell yourself you are wonderful, and that you lack in nothing.
  2. Be careful what you talk about yourself–in front of others and in private.
  3. Do not get into a race with the world–you will only lose, miserably.
  4. Make your own goals, draw your own plans/course of action and work on it.
  5. Be your own cheer-leader.
  6. And, learn to draw the line–in short, say “NO” when you know you cannot agree to something.

 

You don’t need to stretch yourself like a rubber-band to keep the world happy, for, the world will never be happy, whatever you do. Keep yourself happy, instead. It will do a world of good to you, your physical, mental and emotional health.

Think over it. If you don’t do it for yourself, who will?

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

It's important to be kind to yourself first!

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’.

You will find my posts here.

 

J – Maintain a Journal. #AtoZChallenge

J – Maintain a Journal. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Journaling has been a favourite activity for many of us. Be it a diary you maintain everyday, or a bullet journal you maintain for your to-do lists, your daily/weekly/monthly goals, it’s something most of us have made an important part of our daily lives.

Writing my innermost thoughts in my diary relieves me from stress that I don’t wish to share with others. It also helps when I make some goals and need to have a clear picture of where I stand and what I need to work on.

It’s a lot like sharing stuff with your friend/mentor without the fear of being judged or your secrets revealed!

DAILY JOURNAL:

Journalling everyday is like sharing with your closest friend your everyday stuff, some secrets, daily anecdotes–stuff that makes for wonderful reading when you find yourself sitting idle.

It also helps you get over issues that bother you everyday. You express your stress through words, which often helps you find solutions to your problems. At times, it helps you realise how there have been no problems at all!

Maintaining a daily diary helps tremendously if you are an introvert (like yours truly) and prefer your own company. If there are issues bothering you, which you would rather puzzle out on your own, just share them with your diary and it will help you find comfort among its pages.

BULLET JOURNAL:

A bullet journal helps if you like planning. Preparing daily to-do lists, to writing your weekly or monthly goals that you wish to accomplish, bullet journaling is one of the best ways to not only get a clear picture of all that you wish to fulfil, but also improves your productivity because it makes you accountable to yourself.

All you need for a bullet journal is a book and a pen and you are ready to go.

Sharing today an article for bullet journaling especially for bloggers written by my blogger friend and mentor, Shailaja Vishwanath. She gives a detailed lesson on how to create a bullet journal and how it will help you plan for the future and also improve your productivity.

TIPS TO USE A JOURNAL:

  1. Use a Bullet Journal to plan your goals, whatever they may be. Even if you aren’t working, you could think of something you need to do for yourself and work around it.
  2. Using the bullet journal definitely helps us work harder and make an intelligent use of our time, in turn improving our productivity and giving us a clarity regarding things we need to accomplish.
  3. Write a letter to yourself in your Daily Journal. A letter telling yourself how proud you are of the person you have become, and how much YOU matter.

Gift yourself a journal today. The varieties that are available are mind-boggling. You won’t be able to make up your mind which one to pick and which one to let go! It will be one of the best things you would be doing for yourself, you know!

Love,

SHILPA…

Journaling not only helps you unburden your worries, but make weekly/monthly goals and improve your productivity.

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’.

You will find all my posts here.

I – Infuse your Life with action! #AtoZChallenge

I – Infuse your Life with action! #AtoZChallenge

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 “Infuse your Life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make your own hope. And, whatever your beliefs, honour your Creator not by passively waiting for grace to come down from high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen, right now, right down, here on Earth.”

_Bradley Whitford.

 

I read this quote in my friend’s post and was, instantly, filled with gratitude for finding a goal in my life, when I did. Being a homemaker, there wasn’t much I could do to fill my days, apart from the daily chores and looking after my family.

But, blogging happened, and I also rekindled my passion for art after more than two decades, and I found myself feeling a lot happier and content with Life.

Our lives revolve around our families and fulfilling their needs. Amidst it all, we lose ourselves and we forget that we have our own needs, too, that we ought to fulfil–for our sake, our happiness. Sadly, seldom do we recognise those needs, and spend our lives wondering what our purpose in Life is.

The one thing we fail to realise is that its we who need to find that purpose, create it (if we fail to find it) and work towards fulfilling it.

Life is passing us by. Every minute here is precious, which often gets wasted in doing nothing for ourselves. I am sure we will repent this idleness in the future, when we realise how we could have done so many things, and yet, we let time slip through our fingers.

So, get up and get going!

If you are a homemaker, then find time for yourself; set aside some time, which you can spend doing something for yourself.

Take up a hobby, or pursue one that you have long since forgotten. Hobbies not only awaken our creative side, but also keep us mentally, physically and emotionally healthy and happy.

I can understand how difficult it is with little kids who need your attention all the time. But, I am sure you can find some time to read books, or even solve puzzles in the newspapers.

If you can find time for your hobbies, try to make these a source of income. It won’t be easy, I know. It won’t even happen overnight, but, at least it will be a beginning–something for you to look forward to, something that will give you a sense of achievement!

If you can, try volunteering at an NGO, or a pet shelter, or your kids’ school. Not only will it keep you occupied, but also give you a sense of satisfaction that you used your time constructively. You will get an opportunity to meet new people. It could also open new doors for you!

it’s up to you how you infuse the action in your lives. It’s something you ought to do, so that years from now, when your children will grow and leave the nest, you won’t find yourself alone and miserable, wondering what to do with your time.

Think over it!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

Take some action....make things happen..

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge and my theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’. 

You will find all the posts here.