The fact is, you operate the best when you take care of yourself.
30 Days Radical Self-Care Challenge.
Here are the intentional guidelines for 30 days of temporary and radical shift change. Perhaps, some of the habits will stay.
Elimination of Binge-Watching
Since it stimulates our visual, aural and spatial senses, as well as triggering our movement detectors and a host of emotions, video lights the entire right half of our brain on fire. The problem isn’t that Netflix and other apps are addicting. It’s that our lives aren’t. You can use apps to block your usage, but the real hope is to find a nurturing activity that replaces it.
Unplug from the Smart Phone
Clearly, cellphones have taken over our lives – for better or worse. Heavy cellphone users are at risk of developing physical and mental health problems such as stress, insecurity, depression, and sleep disorders. And if you think a perpetual state of connectedness is good for productivity, guess again. Harvard researchers found that being available 24/7 actually leads to reduced productivity and lower satisfaction in your personal life.
84% of cellphone users claim they could not go a single day without their devices.
67% of cellphone owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when their phone isn’t ringing or vibrating.
44% of cellphone owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they didn’t want to miss any calls, texts, or other updates during the night.
29% of cellphone owners say they “can’t imagine living without” their phones.
Here are a few tips to cutting the metaphorical plug:
Turn off your electronic devices one hour before bedtime.
Resist the urge to look at your phone first thing in the morning. Instead, try meditating, watching the news, or making yourself a healthy, nourishing breakfast.
If you rely on public transportation to commute to work, bring along a newspaper, magazine, or book to read.
Download a “detach app” to help you unwind and unplug.
Put your phone in “do not disturb” mode.
Put your phone in Airplane Mode.
Turn it off
Get a landline. Use your computer for everything else.
Leave your phone at home. The world will not stop spinning if you don’t check Facebook every hour – trust us on this!
Leave work at work and home at home. Once you leave the office for the day, don’t fall into the trap of checking emails and voicemail messages. Unless there is an urgent deadline that you simply can’t miss, your work will still be waiting for you the next day – and you’ll be more relaxed and ready to deal with it.
Do a Dry Month
Make a decision to go without alcohol for a month. Choose to unwind some other way. Support your relationships and self care as priorities without feeding a habit like knocking back a few beers, shots, or polishing off a bottle of wine.
Drinking one green smoothie everyday for a month can help you lose weight, improve energy levels, and reduce craving for bad foods. They help reduce the symptoms of the cold and the flu. Loaded with photo-nutrients and antioxidants, fiber rich which helps digestion, infuse your body with alkalizing minerals for healthy bone formation and maintenance.
Meal preparation can take many ways, shapes and forms. Meal preparation allows for you to eat your favorite meals while pre-determined portion sizes ensure you don’t overindulge. It also frees up a lot of time each day.
Pick on day each week to prepare meals for five to seven days.
Prepare each meal in its entirety.
Prepare separate ingredients (i.e. cut vegetables and cook meats) to speed up the cooking process later.
Encourage your body to trust regular portions and staples of food at regular intervals is necessary. Drinking water 30 minutes before meal time, avoid drinking during meal time, and for an hour after eating is also imperative.
Calm Your Mind
Many people are not used to getting quiet and paying attention to their intuition. Heart based-meditation for at least fifteen minutes, twice per week (minimum of 30 minutes per week total) will help with the goal of easing into a routine. Using a meditation app is easier on some occasions.
“Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” ~ Elbert Hubbard.
Spread some positivity around and enjoy the vibes.
There are three components of happiness:
Momentary mood – how you feel right now
Life satisfaction – your overall evaluation of life
Assessment of specific life domains – work, relationships, finances, health, etc.
Positive Psychology research indicates that your capacity for happiness is set by:
Genetics (biology and heredity) – 50%
Circumstances (sex, ethnicity, income, education, geography, etc.) – 10%
Intentional activity (behavioral choices, thinking patterns, etc.) – 40%
Dr. Martin Seligman, a leading researcher in the field of Positive Psychology, uses the PERMA Model to answer that question:
Positive Emotion: what we feel (joy, pleasure, comfort, warmth, etc.)
Engagement: being fully absorbed in stimulating activities, being in “flow”
Relationships with others that are positive, nurturing, rewarding
Meaning: serving some purpose that is larger than oneself
Accomplishment: pursuit of achievement and mastery
To cultivate more happiness, we can:
Nurture quality relationships/friendships
Name your daily gratitude
Engage random acts of kindness
Respond actively and constructively
Be present and practice compassion
Build intrinsic motivation
Engage SMART goals
Avoid the temptation to complain and reinforce negativity
Customize a realistic and doable list of movements you can utilize to encourage flexibility, cardio health, and strength. A tip for people who struggle to find the time to work out is aim for morning workouts.
Do one movement for at least 30 seconds. See how many different types of movements you can do within 15-60 minutes everyday.
Keep tabs on how many reps of each movement that you do and write them down. It's great motivation when you can see that you're able to do more reps in weeks two, three, and four than you could in week one.
Buy yourself some flowers.
Pick a movie and watch it by yourself.
Buy a book, get a coffee, and settle in at the shop.
Take an Epsom and Essential Oil Bath
Make playlists for fitness, art time, you time, and road trips.
Visit an Opera, Show, or Museum
Go on a hike or do a photography hike
Paint plein air. (Or color in a coloring book outside at a bench.)
Order some modeling clay and sculpt something or join a pottery class.
Spend time in your garden.
Buy yourself a handmade object like a cool mug, jewelry piece, or painting.
Hugs and Smiles
Many people find peace in a hug or when they are smiled at. Smiles that reach the eyes. People find their calm when they settle into a hug. What harm can happen by hugging others more with permission, of course. Knowing that I can reconnect through a hug or a smile from the eyes can only make me a better human being.
Good B-O-U-N-D-A-R-I-E-S are a MUST. Sometimes you realize, after months of intermittently spending time with someone, that you just don’t vibe with them. One of the most self-care driven things we can do for ourselves is to regularly say ‘No’ to things, people, opportunities that don’t serve us or make us feel good. So I'm making it a number one rule to only spend time with people who I truly enjoy being around.
Make those appointments and go places you've been putting off for one reason or another. Go to the dentist, massage therapist, chiropractor, and anywhere else you need to. Instead of continuing to allow these health concerns to allow procrastination, guilt to creep in and cause irritability, or slowly suck mental and emotional energy out of you, carry out all of your health-related concerns and meetings within the thirty day period.
Remember, you operate the best when you take care of yourself. Give a try for 30 days. What else have you got to do?