20 Ways to Practice Self-Care (Today)

Self-care is so important.

I woke up feeling particularly anxious this morning. Anxiety is something I’ve been dealing with quite often recently. A great deal of it stems from trying to manage tachycardia. If you want to learn more about tachycardia and how it affects me, click here to be directed to my post Living with Tachycardia 101.

With tachycardia you already have an elevated heart rate and when you add anxiety to the mix, your heart rate increases further. So, when I start to feel anxious I focus on grounding myself as much as possible to avoid feeling exhausted and weak.

Today I’m sharing with you some super easy ways to practice self-care!

Some of these ideas are also in my post 7 Super Simple Ways to Curb Anxiety (Tonight)!

  1. Take a long bath

    For added relaxation add some Epsom salt, essential oils, or bubbles!

  2. Make a list of things you’re grateful for

    Sometimes anxiety is caused by lots of negative thoughts and emotions. This combats negative thinking. If you think of reasons to be happy and grateful, it’ll definitely make it harder to be obsessed with what you don’t like or want to change.

  3. Put on a face mask

    These are some of my favorites: Keep Your Cool by Formula 10.0.6, I’m Real Avocado Mask Sheet by Tony Moly, African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask by SheaMoisture.

  4. Spend time with your pet

    Cuddling with animals can reduce stress, according to various studies.

  5. Read your favorite book

    Sometimes getting your mind off of what you’re thinking about can really help to calm anxiety. Mindfully reading a book is a great way to keep your mind busy without your thoughts racing.

  6. Meditate

    Meditation is a great way to calm the mind and body. I used to meditate during anxiety attacks and it helped so much. If you can’t get into sitting in silence and meditating, you can try a guided meditation. They have a wide variety of them on YouTube and apps like Omvana.

  7. Color or draw

    Coloring and drawing are like minor forms of art therapy. They help release pent-up emotions and feelings, while calming you down with repetitive motions and distractions.

  8. Journal

    Thinking about heavy things and need an outlet? Journal. You can find journal prompts all over the internet if you need ideas to get started.

  9. Watch your favorite movie or TV show

    Like I keep saying, distraction is key! If you can get your mind off of what’s bothering you, you’ll start doing better! I like watching animated movies when I’m stressed or anxious.

  10. Diffuse essential oils

    I’ve mentioned how therapeutic essential oils can be when used properly in so many of my other posts. I am obsessed with essential oils. I’m not saying that they can cure anything and everything, but they make living so much easier.

    *If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils and their many uses let me know in the comments below! I’m thinking about making a post about how I use them!*
  11. Have a hot cup of tea

    Hot beverages are calming in general, and beverages without caffeine like herbal teas are extra calming. I like drinking chamomile tea when I’m stressed.

  12. Try yoga

    Yoga has been used for centuries to heal the mind, body, and spirit. It leaves most people feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and content. I love practicing yoga before bed, and right after I wake-up in the morning. Check out Yoga with Adriene.

  13. Take a nap

    Napping is almost like pushing “refresh” for your body. It gives you time to unwind and relax. According to various sleep studies, 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to nap in the middle of the day.

  14. Light a candle

    A lot like using essential oils, this idea is all about grounding yourself through smell. Lighting a familiar scent can really help pull you out of any funk.

  15. Get some fresh air

    Feel like you need to run from a situation? Feel like you need to clear your head? Go take a walk outside.

  16. Call a friend or family member

    Sometimes you just need to hear a familiar voice to feel less alone. I like calling my grandma when I’m having a bad day and need someone to distract me from what’s going on in my life.

  17. De-clutter your space

    It is a known fact that the more cluttered your space is, the more cluttered your head will be. Take some time to tidy up your space when you’re feeling stressed. It’ll make a real difference.

  18. Wake-up early

    I like to wake-up as the sun is rising and watch it from my bed as it comes up. I can’t see the sun from my window, but I can see the colors in the sky changing, and watch the sunlight touch different parts of my yard as it rises. It’s relaxing and beautiful.

  19. Open your window

    This goes along with needing fresh air. Circulate some fresh air through your home by opening a window. You may even get some natural background noise such as bird chirping, the wind blowing, or (if you live in the city) cars passing.

  20. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

    Water is so important! I drink water around the clock, but crave it especially when I’m anxious! Make yourself a tall glass of ice water, and if you have a straw handy use it! Growing up I learned that drinking through a straw can actually help to regulate your breathing when you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack.

Let me know if you try out these self-care ideas!

How do you practice self-care? Let me know in the comments below!

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DIY Comfort Kit

What is a Comfort Kit?

A Comfort Kit is a collection of readily available items that help ease tension, decrease stress, and stop anxiety in its tracks!

Comfort Kits are great to have around when you feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, angry, sad, or even sick!

Let’s get started!

First you’re going to want to grab a box, basket, or set aside an easily accessible space.

When I first built my Comfort Kit I used a small cardboard box because it was all I had at the time, and it worked wonderfully! However, after moving into my room back home from college, I decided to clear a space on the bookcase next to my bed for this instead!

Next, brainstorm ideas for what to put in your kit! Items that you find calming, grounding, make you happy, etc. are all great things to include.

I chose to focus on items that ground me and make me happy for my Comfort Kit.IMG_8788

 

These are the items I included in my Comfort Kit:

  1. Ginger candy *

    • I love the way these taste and they don’t really expire! They are great to use for nausea so I also use them when I’m sick.
  2. Coloring books *

  3. Colored pencils and markers

  4. Head massage wand *

    • My mom bought me a wire head massage wand for Christmas and I absolutely don’t know how I ever lived without it. I use it when I’m stressed, overwhelmed, and for headaches!
  5. Journal

    • I like to journal when I’m feeling really stressed or worried. Sometimes it seems like you just have so much on your mind and you can’t figure out what you need to focus on first, and journaling really helps me figure that out.
  6. Slime *

    • I feel like a child for playing with this goop, but who really cares? If you’ve been on Instagram at all since the beginning of 2017, then you know that slime videos are trending. At first I didn’t really understand their popularity. I mean, what’s so special about flubber? But then I tried some out and I completely get it! It’s so fun to play with! I went to Sassy & Chic DIY Boutique in my hometown and bought two different colors of glittery galaxy slime made for children by children. My favorite right now is the purple slime.
  7. Essential oils *

    • Essential oils are a great alternative to using candles, in my opinion. If you live in a dorm or other building where burning candles is prohibited, you should really consider purchasing an oil diffuser. They smell just as good as your average candle, if not better, and there’s no fire hazard involved! I like to use lavender oil for headaches, anger, anxiety, and in epsom salt baths when I am sick or have sore muscles!
  8. Yoga mat

    • Yoga has been known in many cultures to help heal both the mind and body. It’s a good form of exercise that isn’t strenuous, and that most everyone can do. I’ve even visited senior centers that use “chair yoga” as exercise and life enrichment for their residents. Check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube!
  9. Buddha Board Mini

    • “Based on the Zen concept of living in the moment, simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design. Then, as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind – ready to create a whole new masterpiece.” – Barnes and Noble
    • I like to use the Buddha Board as an alternative to journaling and coloring.
  10. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

    • “One rainy afternoon, while riding a city bus, Gretchen Rubin asked herself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” She answered, “I want to be happy”—yet she spent no time thinking about her happiness. In a flash, she decided to dedicate a year to a happiness project. The result? One of the most thoughtful and engaging works on happiness to have emerged from the recent explosion of interest in the subject.”- gretchenrubin.com
  11. The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock

    • Most of all, ask yourself. Questioning attitudes and morals, putting deeply held beliefs to the test, this provocative bestseller is a deceptively simple tool for self-discovery. Covering love, money, sex, ethics, technology, and more, it may be the only publication that challenges— and possibly changes—the way we view and live in the world, without offering a single opinion of its own.” –thebookofquestions.com
  12. How to be Happy (A Creative Workbook) by Lee Crutchley *

    • “This book cannot fix you, and it cannot make you happy. The good news is that no other book on the internet can either, but you already know that. Because you know, deep down, that no self-help book can make you happy. Just like you know, deep down, that you can. Maybe you haven’t discovered that yet, or maybe you’ve forgotten, but you know more than you think about your own happiness. This creative and practical book will help you draw, write, discover, and remember those things that make you feel happy…or at least less sad.”-leecrutchley.co.ukIMG_8796
  13. 52 Things to Try Once in Your Life by Lynn Gordon

    • “Shuffle up your life a bit with outrageous suggestions that are bound to bring a renewed sense of adventure into anyone’s life.  They make a wonderful gift for your friend who’s becoming a stick in the mud as they inspire activities that may break them out of their crusty old mold to really make the most of daily life experiences.”- Perpetual Kid
  14. 14,000 Things to be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer *

    • “Something to be happy about: This mesmerizing bestseller is revised and updated. Originally published 25 years ago (happy anniversary!) from a list that Barbara Ann Kipfer started making as a child, it’s the book that marries obsession with happiness. And it now has 4,000 fresh and more current reasons to be happy.”- Barnes and Noble

I keep a big comfy chair next to my Comfort Kit, and a warm plush blanket. This way, when I need some extra comfort or warmth while enjoying my kit, I can cuddle up right there no problem. I also keep an essential oil diffuser in that same corner of my room, so that I can use essential oils from my kit when I need to.

There you have it, your very own DIY Comfort Kit!

Let me know what you put in your kits!

Share a photo with the hashtag #livingwithspunk on Instagram!

Feel free to share your ideas with me down below in the comments!

** Favorite things in my kit!

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