Hey there, welcome back to Cali Creates. It’s been a minute since I wrote a Mental Health / Self Care related blog, so I knew it was time to get back at it.
It’s been a struggle for me to find balance and time for myself lately. And, trust me, it shows. When I take time away from myself and self care, I will gradually start losing control of different aspects of my life. You don’t notice or show it early on, but within months, your room is a mess, your skin is breaking out, and you are just LOST emotionally.
Have you been there?
I know I have. I’m currently on the upward trend as we speak, but I was on a downward spiral the months prior. Trust me, it is SO easy to fall without noticing. That is why you should always put your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional self above all else. When these things go to the back burner, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Without you taking time for yourself, you can’t truly give more of your true self to others.
When I noticed myself on the downward trend, I signed myself right back up for therapy. Listen up ladies and gents, therapy is SO important. No matter if you have gone before or maybe you have never tried, if you are struggling with your mental health, find therapy. They literally make it so easy now with virtual visits. My health insurance covers all virtual therapy in FULL. Definitely take a look at your insurance or give your provider a call. You may be able to get free coverage too!
Anyway! Moving on with the blog post and stepping off my soap box. 🤣
I love my new therapist and she is teaching me so many things about self care. It’s been helping me, so I can’t wait any longer to share it all with you. Since there’s so much to learn and share when it comes to self care, I decided to start at the beginning with 4 Simple Self Care Activities to Start Now.
So, without further ado, I present to you the 4 Self Care Activities to Start Now:
Step 1) Take Mindful Walks
If you’re new to the self care world, I’ll take a minute to explain what it means to be mindful. Mindfulness is defined as a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without any interpretation or judgment.
So, how do you start taking mindful walks?
Well, here are some tips on how to get started:
Leave all distractions at home.
Silence your phone, leave the headphones, and let the pets stay home for this walk. Anything that could distract you from breathing, listening, and being in the moment should stay home.
Now, of course, keep your phones on you for safety reasons, but try putting it on “do not disturb” or silent mode.
Find a place in nature that inspires you.
I’m lucky enough to have a beautiful park close by, but try to find a place in nature vs. around the neighborhood.
Keep Focus on the sounds in nature surrounding you while moving at a steady pace.
The idea is to focus on your breathing, hear the world around you, and get your blood moving. This will help you find your peace and work through your problems while also getting your blood moving. It’s a win, win!
Think about something that is bothering you and practice deep, intentional breathing.
In your mind, target something that is bothering you. Take time to listen to the world surrounding you and take deep breaths. Find the real truth within these moments and breathe out the lie. Not sure how, try this (I like counting to keep my breathing steady):
Breathe in (1 - 2 - 3)
Breathe Out (1 - 2 - 3)
Then, focus on the truth when you breathe in (1 - 2 - 3)
And, breathe out the lie (1 - 2 - 3)
(ex. I release my self-doubt; I release my stress.)
Continue this process for the duration of your walk.
Step 2) Intentional Journaling
Journaling is so good for the soul. When I find time for daily journaling in my routine, I am always more calm and at peace throughout my days. That is why I’ve made it such a big part of my daily routine.
Whether you are interested in daily, weekly, or bi-weekly journaling, I think it is a good idea to start now. Oftentimes, you can find peace within writing out your feelings and thoughts. You can journal through anything that is bothering you, write what you are thankful for and show gratitude, and even just simply what you are thinking and feeling in that moment.
I find it is most helpful to journal when I set topics I’ve been thinking about as the focus of an entry, but I also have entries that are entirely random feelings.
Below I’ve listed some tips to help you through intentional journaling:
Pick up or order a journal that inspires you
I was given a Fringe Journal for my birthday (pictured) and I love it. You can click here or on the picture to grab your own.
Set a Routine
Make time in your routine for journaling. Block 10-30 mins in your day to dedicate to it. Some prefer to journal daily, while others are more comfortable with weekly. Choose a routine that works best for you and your needs.
Find a comfy, quiet spot
I have this super cute nook I created specifically for my journaling. I have no tv in front of me and am surrounded by my plants. Find somewhere in your home that inspires you to feel and think.
Focus your thoughts and feelings
I recommend focusing on any current struggles you’re facing and would like to work through. Alternatively, you can also write generally on how life is going and where it is taking you. I like to journal on my dreams, thoughts, feelings, and struggles. I typically let my pen take me wherever my heart currently is in the moment.
It’s easy to forget or fall off the wagon here and there, but remember to pick yourself back up and open that journal. You’ll find it really helps you find peace within your heart and soul.
Step 3) Proper Sleep & Rejuvenation
Everyone has heard of the age old "8 Hour" rule when it comes to good sleep. I challenge you to set boundaries when it comes to your nighttime routine. Try setting some rules for yourself so that you can start waking up relaxed and refreshed. Look below on some tips to get started:
Set Rules & Boundaries surrounding Bedtime
No digital devices before bed
Turn off the tv at a certain time
Trouble Falling Asleep & Staying Asleep?
Try a Sound Machine (I've linked what I use!)
Try Deep Breathing or Meditation to clear your mind
Step 4) Stay Hydrated & Nourished
Another age old rule that I'm sure you've heard of: 8 Cups of Water a day. I’m sure you’ve also heard that your body needs water for survival.
Well, it’s true!
Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly and efficiently. So being well-hydrated improves sleep quality, cognition, and your overall mood. It also helps regulate body temperature, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to cells, and keeps organs functioning properly. All that to be said, it’s time to get hydrated!
With that, it's also important to stay nourished. I find when I am more active, I remember to stay hydrated, but forget to take in better nutrients to keep me focused and energized. I’ve added some protein shakes, matcha, greens and superfoods, and other nutrients recently to help tackle that problem for me. Below I’ve added some tips and products that have help me stay hydrated and nourished:
Stay Hydrated Tips:
Grab a Motivational Water Jug to track your water intake more efficiently. (Linked the one I use!)
Keep yourself accountable throughout the day and notice how you feel.
Try a Hydration Multiplier to tackle Dehydration
Hydration Products I Love:
Products Helping me Stay Nourished:
Greens & Superfoods: I saw this trending on TikTok like everyone else around, but I also really love Mari Llewellyn who started the company Bloom Nutrition. Way back when in 2017, I started following her fitness journey and that kick-started my own personal fitness journey. So, of course, in addition to her gym training guides, I also have been trying her Bloom Nutrition supplements and protein powders. Anyway, back to Greens! The greens powder I linked contains 30+ nutrients including whole fruits and vegetables, fiber, probiotics, and more. Bloom Nutrition’s greens help you fight bloat, aid digestion, increase natural energy and boost immunity. I use this daily in addition to still eating fruits and vegetables on my own. And, I have definitely noticed the difference. I find I am more energized in the morning after taking it and also have found my bloating has gone down. They come in 5 different flavors and I’m obsessed with them all. They ACTUALLY taste good. You can try it out here!
Matcha: This is another fun find from Bloom Nutrition! I had never heard of Matcha until I started seeing Matcha drinks show up at Starbucks. So, of course I did my research and Matcha is GREAT for those of us obsessed with coffee. I noticed coffee was starting to take a little too much control on my life, so I wanted to have a healthy alternative to drink on my off days. Matcha was my answer! Matcha gives a natural boost in energy, focus, and concentration without the jitters, crash, or anxiety! It gives slow-release energy and a calm focus. Plus, it's packed full of antioxidants and other health benefits. You can try out Mari’s Matcha here! Just mix ½ tsp in warm water, then add 6 oz. of your favorite milk. YUM!
Protein Shakes: I like to sub Protein Shakes into my days when I have an active day ahead. I’ve tried both plant-based and whey isolate protein options and have linked my favorites below.
Plant-Based: I had been wanting to try a fully plant-based protein powder, so I gave Global Healing’s Pure Plant Protein a try and it did not disappoint. There's lots of added benefits like enhanced digestion and absorption. AND it's made with pure, clean ingredients.
Whey Isolate: I have been using Legion Whey+ Protein Powder. This brand is an all natural, non-GMO, fat-free whey that is cheaper than many of its competitors. Legion Whey Isolate Protein Powder is also made from 100% grass-fed whey protein isolate from sustainable dairy farms in Ireland.
There’s no day like today to start putting you first.
It’s time to start now. I hope these 4 Simple Self Care Activities to Start Now helped you in some way.
Comment below with your progress and other self care activities you like!
Until Next Time,