Warm weather is here and I’m going to get the most out of it! I’m so happy that it’s finally warm enough to walk every day. Walking has always been a way for me to wind down when life is overwhelming. Life has been stressful for me lately, so I’m being extra vigilant to rest and replenish myself in any way that I can. I wanted to share some of the unique ways that I practice self care on a daily basis.
Howl on our walk-noticing some of our friends walking nearby
Take a walk with a friend, your dog, or by yourself
-My husband and I live in Downtown Wichita,KS, which means we are just a couple of blocks from walking paths by the Arkansas River. We are also close to a library, several museums, outdoor sculpture areas, and a lot of art galleries. I love walking down the street and spending a few minutes in an outdoor sculpture park- either alone or with Howl. It is so nice to sit and admire art with my little buddy. I find walking especially peaceful around sunrise or sunset- and I love to go walking at both of those times on the same day.
It is so freeing to walk in the fresh air and sunlight…you mostly miss out on those things if you’re driving in a car. Gabe and I are also planning to eat at more restaurants within walking distance this summer.
Crochet or knit to lower stress
-Knitting has been shown to reduce anxiety and distract from chronic pain. And, it can be assumed that crochet works the same way.
I crochet for around an hour everyday while I listen to a podcast or chat with someone, and it really helps me work out my anxieties and frustrations. I fidget a lot if I don’t have something to work on with my hands. I’ve noticed that when I have run out of yarn to crochet with, I tend to be more anxious on a daily basis. I try to stay stocked for a project or two at all times these days 🙂
Bake something (vegan 🙂 )
-No restful day is complete in my mind without a delicious and nutrient-packed baked good. I try not to include any oil or sugar (as neither of those things make me feel good). Some of my favorite things to bake are:
1) Cacao-Banana Bread with Oat Flour (recipe coming in the future). I use a food processor to blend up oats, soaked dates, bananas, chia seeds, water, cocoa powder, and cacao nibs, and baking powder. Then, I bake it for about 20 minutes. This bread of full of vital minerals, so it is something I try to eat daily during my monthly cycle.
2) Spelt Carrot & Walnut Bread. You can use regular wheat flour, but I like the texture and flavor of organic spelt flour more. I blend flour, baking soda, soymilk, shredded carrots, walnuts, flax seeds, and some coconut shavings and throw it in the oven for around 40 minutes (the moisture from the carrots requires extra baking time).
3) Almond Flour Cacao Chip Bread. I just mix almond flour with xanthan gum, baking powder, water, and cacao nibs, and bake until golden. I’ve been pretty obsessed with this one, but it is MUCH more expensive than the others due to the almond flour.
No social media
– I avoid this entirely for the last 2 years and I never want to go back. I would never go back to the days of constantly checking my phone for notifications…now it stresses me out if I ever see the lock screen of anyone I know, because they usually have a dozen or so notifications at all times.
I try to live in the moment, and appreciate it for what it is…instead of comparing it to the lives of others on Instagram.
-In trying to reduce my screen-time, I’m opting for listening to podcasts or books instead of watching YouTube videos. Podcasts are longer, and tend to not have as many advertisement breaks. Honestly, it gets so frustrating when I’ve been in the middle of listening to a video explaining the dangers and contradictions of capitalism when I hear it being interrupted by an ad for Apple or some other giant corporation.
Sort through old cards/papers/documents
-This is one of the few times that Marie Kondo’s KonMari method applies to me. I’ve hardly ever felt that old cards from family members and friends “spark joy”. I’ve held on to an entire 18-gallon Sterilite storage tub full of “sentimental items” for my whole life, and now most of it has been recycled. I spent an afternoon off work sorting through all my papers and sentimental items, and ended up finally discarding all of the things that only depressed me (cards from family members who rejected my efforts to keep in touch, etc.) and now I have only saved a small fraction of it all. I now can easily look at the most special items.
- A Deathly Hallows Part 1 movie ticket stub- the last movie I saw with my stepdad before he passed.
- The only card I ever got from a good friend who later committed suicide
- All the cards from my mom (obviously)
Take daily naps
-This one has been a constant help to me for the last 2 years. I will never stop regularly napping again. Some days I don’t, but many days I make sure that I do. I find that my best nap times are between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. . Three hours is optimal for me. If you don’t regularly nap, you can try starting with a routine of a certain time every day when you’re usually groggy, and set a time for the time you’d like to nap.
What I’ve learned about my napping style: I like to nap before work or between clients. I like to allow at least 2 hours for a good nap, 3 hours for a great one. I sleep best with Star Wars, Moana, or the Lord of the Rings on the television at a low volume so I hear the score. 😀
Napping isn’t for everyone, but if you find yourself tired often even after 8 hours of sleep every night, it might be time to experiment with napping!
Read a book/Hang out at a used bookstore
-My genres of choice are Cozy Murder Mysteries and Environmental Economics. I have a nice selection here at home that I enjoy re-reading, but I also love to go to the library or local used bookstore and just explore for an hour or two 🙂 I’ve discovered some books this way that I would’ve otherwise not found.
A.S.M.R. Sounds (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response)
According to Urban Dictionary: “The sole purpose of ASMR is to relax people. The ASMR community is constantly growing on Youtube. Ideally, ASMR videos are meant to give the viewer a relaxing tingle at the back of their head and/or spine. ASMR videos usually involve one or more of the following things:
I love listening to ASMR playlists that include the sound of walking on hardwood floors, a crackling fire, and murmurs. I particularly like ASMR videos that are based on the world of Harry Potter. Here are some of my favorites:
Thank you for stopping by my blog today! 🙂 I hope this post gives you some good ideas on how to relax and wind down in your own life, and I hope you’ll give some of the things that I’ve listed a try.