Exercise releases feel good endorphins—that’s science. But sometimes getting to those endorphins can be a real pain. It doesn’t have to be that way though. When you find yourself stressed out and overworked, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, crank up your favorite tunes, and move to the beat! Forget about the number of reps, and just enjoy being in the moment with music.
I believe it’s time we redefine what it means to be truly independent. Free of limiting thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. To release the relationships both personal and professional that no longer serve us and to continue to foster a connected relationship with ourselves. To question our privilege, challenge the status quo, and cultivate curiosity. I believe it’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
This is our Reclamation of Independence. What will you declare?
Being focused on a cause is great. Dedicating yourself to working tirelessly for change is both admirable… and tiring. You’re not a machine meant to zero in on a singular task forever, that’s why it’s great to let yourself daydream. Protect yourself from burning out by zoning out. Let your mind wander, and allow your thoughts to flow freely. Not only will it calm you down, but also it’s often just what you need to kick-start new ideas.
Let July be almost like a second “New Year.” Refocus your energy and check-in with yourself on the 6th month to stay on track. Let go of the negative and embrace the change while continuing to dream and focus. While change can be scary, it can also be beautiful and rewarding. Change can be one of the toughest parts of life, but #selfcare17 is letting it work for us.
There’s a reason why kindergartens are encouraged to nap. They’re growing bodies and developing minds need a mid-day boost. But just because you gave up finger painting and learned to read long ago, doesn’t mean you should quit on naps. Let’s face it being an adult is exhausting! We face so many challenges and are constantly developing new ways to cope. Do yourself a big delightful favor, and take a nap! I guarantee you’ll appreciate it more now than you ever did in kindergarten.
It’s easy to think of peace and quiet as a luxury. We reserve it for vacations or yoga sessions. But an occasional break from the noise of our daily lives can be an integral part of self-care. This week, practice being quiet. Silence your cell phone, log out of social media, no music, no talking. Take a relaxing break, and indulge in the gift of peaceful solitude.
As a young girl, I was a storyteller. Only I didn’t know it. That’s not what I called myself. I didn’t think I did anything out of the ordinary. My stories (like most kids) were my companions, my way of working out the tough stuff happening at school, and most of all, just…fun. I made up all types of stories: romance novel escapades (from a 9 year old’s mind) to epic heroic adventures to after school special type dramas full of lessons and social morals.
Naturally, I had no interest in keeping these elaborate stories to myself and would eagerly run into the living room hoping that I could find someone — anyone — to share them with.
It was my Grandpa Michael who would patiently listen to my breathless recounts of action and emotion and then he would give me the most maddening advice. “Don’t forget to write it down,” he would say.
Write it down?
Who has the time to stop and write the story down when you’re nine?!
My mind carried a variety of vibrant tales and I had things to do!
Still, he was persistent with his advice: “Write it down.”
Eventually, I did write them down and learned that (gasp) I could make a living doing so. But I knew that wasn’t really what my Grandpa had in mind. He wanted me to mark those moments of creation by taking the time to document the magic. To take the ethereal and make it material.
Finally, when I was ready to write my first book (and had been thinking about it for a zillion days), his words literally woke me up one night: “Write it down.” So, I shuffled out of bed and I wrote. I wrote for eight hours straight and as night became morning, I had a book proposal that I soon sent off and sold just a few months later. Unfortunately, he was no longer here with us for me to share the news – but I knew…that he knew.
Looking back, my evolution as a creator was always spurred by my grandfather’s advice.
He showed me that my stories had value and that my ideas were worthy of being remembered. He saw my potential in all of those early stories. Those dreams, written down over the years, became the roadmap by which I have built my career. That’s why this Father’s Day, I wanted to partner with Dove Men+Care to celebrate all of the men who have been there to care for us.
My grandfather was — and still is — my writing muse.
In fact, he’s the one who told me to write this story down.
With the constant stream of tweets and think pieces, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of voices weighing in on the world we live in. It’s not just about being inundated with facts and figures; we’re consistently entertaining others’ opinions. It can be useful, but sometimes we must simply listen to ourselves. Take a moment to really hear what your inner voice is saying, and let that voice guide you on this self-care journey.
“Hakunah Matata” might mean no worries, but it’s certainly not a motto for everyone. The words we say and the messages we send ourselves are a huge part of self-care. It’s not enough to regurgitate old sayings and positive talk you’ve overheard. Instead figure out what works for you, find words that have meaning, and give yourself positive motivation. Develop a mantra of your own that can lift you up when you’re feeling low and send you even higher when you’re feeling good.
Wondering about the world is one way to make connections that a hyper-focused mind may not see. Mind wandering may not let you discover a new place the same way physical wandering does, but it is a lot cheaper and easier to do. In our rapidly-changing world, sometimes we need to escape the here and now to protect our creative thinking. We need the space to create our vision for the future, to dig deeper into lessons and wisdom learned from past mistakes, and to put ourselves in other people’s shoes to exercise empathy. Mind-wandering is what allows us to be creative and lights the spark of innovation. In the long-run, it’s wandering that exercises our creative muscles and gives us a safe space to use our imagination when approaching our plans and possibilities for the future.