3 Self Care Commitments That I Am Making

Hi Everyone!

It’s official, the past year and a half has kicked my butt. I have been challenged and stressed in ways that I could never have imagined and now I have hit a wall. I know that I am not alone in this. Almost every conversation that I have had over the past few months has highlighted that we have gone thru something major. And although there is now light at the end of the tunnel, many of us are coming out of the other side of this pandemic exhausted, stressed out and emotionally battered. If you are one of these people just know that you are not alone. Between increased work hours, attempting to achieve work/life balance, financial challenges, taking care of children and partners and homes (seriously why is there always so much laundry?!?!), we are all dealing with something and it is really stressing everyone out!

I have always held a lot of tension and stress in my body – relaxing is not a natural state of being for me at this point, but over the past few weeks my back has been tied up in painful knots thatI just can’t seem to shake. With my background in wellness, I tried every tool in my self care toolbox that I was able to but it made little difference with the pain. I finally booked myself in for a much needed massage and as I lay on that massage table with my masseuse painfully trying to loosen my stress knots I finally came to the realization that I need to make some changes or the impact of stress on my health could have detrimental results. I needed to make some self care commitments and stick to them if I want to be the person that I aim to be. Now it’s really easy at times like these to make bold proclamations, stay motivated for a short while then fall back into old patterns. My goal is to avoid this vicious cycle so I am making small habit and lifestyle changes that I can build upon while setting better boundaries with the things that are causing me the greatest amount of stress. I decided to put 3 self care commitments that I am making to myself in writing on the blog to help others that may be struggling, as Stylishly Zen is also a wellness blog. Here are the 3 self care commitments that I am making to myself:

Photo Credit: http://www.apple.ca

Make friends with and respect the Do Not Disturb

I bought myself an iWatch for my birthday this past January and I hate it. It tells me to stand when I am, it doesn’t count activity or calories accurately and it wakes me up in the middle of the night to either breathe or stand when I am fast asleep. Needless to say, I am not recommending this idiotic piece of tech to anyone. The one solution that I found for the middle of the night wake ups was to set a Do Not Disturb on my phone so the watch doesn’t wake me. I like that my watch no longer wakes me up but I am guilty of not respecting it. I am often still awake past my bedtime scrolling on social media dreaming about all of the glamorous lives that I am seeing. Sleep is important and I need to start prioritizing it for my body, mind and spirit. Making sure that I am in bed, lights out and phone down when the Do Not Disturb kicks in will go a long way in helping me get a reasonable amount of sleep for a clearer and well rested mind and body.

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Crowd out bad foods with better ones

When I was studying to become a health coach, we were taught the concept of crowding out. It means that you don’t need to completely cut out the bad foods from your life but you can lower your intake of them by increasing the amount of healthier choices that you make. Since the start of the pandemic potato chips have become a food group for me, and the idea of going cold turkey makes me want to dive head first into a bag of them. Instead I am going to work on making better choices while not depriving myself of my favourite junk food. By increasing healthier options in my kitchen when I come home late, stressed out and hungry. will help me to make better choices Healthier choices will help me to feel better in my body and hopefully eliminate some bloating which will make me much happier and comfortable in my body over all – basically a win win.

Increase body work

Body work is a loose term that I use to get better in touch with my body and how I am feeling overall. When I incorporate more body work into my lifestyle I feel more in touch with my body – I am more relaxed and more aware when I feel a little imbalanced so I can react faster to remedy it. For me a combination of yoga, foam rolling and massages work best along with epsom salt baths to relieve any residual tension that I may be feeling. I have managed to maintain cardio workouts over the past few months but yoga and pilates have gone out the window and my foam roller has been gathering dust in the corner of my living room. So I have now pulled my yoga mat out, dusted off the foam roller and made a commitment to my masseuse to come more often and I am hopeful that the pain that I am currently feeling will disappear (but the lessons will stay as I never want to get back to this miserable and painful state of being).

I will let you know how this plan goes in a couple of months. Hopefully I will have positive news to report. How are you doing with everything? Are you making any self care commitments to yourself? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today and I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

Five Simple Self Care Ideas When You Only Have Five Minutes

Hi Everyone!

Self Care has become a very popular term over the past few years. There are a range of opinions on it from selfish to necessary, but in reality it simply means to care for ones self in whatever form that means to you. Normally self cares lists include suggestions like “take a bubble bath” or “read a magazine” which are great suggestions when you have the time and energy, but let’s be honest – lately I have neither the time or the energy. Over the past few months it has become increasingly important to me to have self care practices in life that work within any amount of time that I may have. They don’t need to take a huge amount of effort but they do require a bit of mindfulness so that the pay off is more than worth it. The past year has been incredible stressful for many people around the world, so here is my list of quick self care practices that helps me to feel better when I am feeling a bit low:

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  • The magic of a cup of tea. There is something very comforting about a cup of tea (any type). The ritual of steeping leaves in a bag in hot water, holding the warm cup and taking slow sips are all small activities that can give you a moment to just breathe. I have always loved drinking tea for its myriad of benefits, but stealing a few moments just for myself to enjoy a sip or two has done wonders in calming my mind when things feel like they are in overdrive.

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  • Find your scent. This may sound a bit odd to some people, but fragrance is a very powerful tool and finding one that you enjoy and reminds your body to relax and unwind when you smell it can have great long term benefits. Personally I lean towards relaxing scents such as lavender and camomile oil to help me to unwind before going to sleep at night. I keep a bottle next to my bed and I apply a small amount at night. The scent tells my brain that it is time to slow down, relax and go to sleep. Whatever you choose though, look for something that reminds you to breathe and helps both your mind and body to unwind. You will be surprised how beneficial this technique can be when things are stressful and overwhelming.

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  • Take a hot shower and learn the art of self massage. This may not seem like a big deal, but taking a few moments to enjoy a quick hot shower is a great mood lifter. Try to focus the water to the area along your neck and back where you hold tension. I have also found that using a simple hand held massager on my neck before or after a hot shower has helped me release a ton of tension that I hold within my body.

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  • Move! This doesn’t mean that you need to do a hard core workout but you need to move your body – whether that means a quick walk around the block, marching in place or holding downward dog for a few moment. This will help you to connect deeply with your body and take a deep (and most probably much needed) breath

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  • Discover the benefits of facial massage. I love a beauty tool more then most people and my most used ones are the tools I have for facial massage. Whether it’s gua sha, a facial roller , or face yoga, facial massage is a great way to relieve tension that you are holding in your face. The added bonus of this practice is better product penetration and glowing skin, it’s a total win win!

And there you have it! My quick self care practices list that I rely on regularly to get me through life’s challenging moments when I am feeling low or overwhelmed. What self care practices do you rely on in your everyday life? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

Photo credit: http://www.stylishlyzen.com, http://www.pinterest.com

It’s Time To Bust Out The Summer Clothes

The first half of the year has flown by, and while I barely remember where some of those months went I am so excited to finally enjoy the warmer weather and to bust out the summer clothes. I am feeling stripes and solids, denim and white and summer dresses in every colour imaginable. I am also focusing on me and self care as I hope that you are as well – YOU ARE WORTH IT!!! Take some time to do whatever you need to do to feel balanced, happy and your best and don’t forget to drink tons of water, apply sunscreen and wear clothes that make you happy. Here is my mood board for June:

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All images via http://www.piterest.com

I hope that you have a beautiful and sunny day! XXS❤️