Clarity 

Holi​stic Health

May 2020

31 Days of Inspirational Self-Care Tips

May 24, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #24

Wisdom Seeker


Today, you are encouraged to be a wisdom seeker.  Have you fallen into a rut and unable to crawl out?  There are many roadblocks in the world right now.  Seek out people, books, movies, magazines, etc that offer up positive wisdom and ideas that keep you moving in that "forward" direction.  Be a Wisdom Seeker!


Wisdom, sapience, or sagacity is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight. Wisdom is associated with attributes such as unbiased judgment, compassion, experiential self-knowledge, self-transcendence and non-attachment, and virtues such as ethics and benevolence. 


- Wikipedia


JOURNAL PROMPTS


1. My intention for today is ______.

2. What has been the most important wisdom I have gained to this point in my life?

3. What does it mean to be wise?

4. How can I use the wisdom I currently have, to help me navigate troubling times?

5. Today, I am grateful for ______.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Gilead

by Marilynne Robinson

May 23, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #23

Map It


"There are seasons and cycles for everything.  No storm stays in one place, so even if you are in the turbulent seas, fearing your boat will capsize, the winds will move along, as they always do and the waters will become still once more."

- Colette Baron-Reid


Today's self-care tip/suggestion is about "life mapping".  Set aside about 20 minutes today to draw a timeline of your life - 0 to your current age.  Start filling in positive memories on the timeline at each age that the event happened.  Hang your life map paper up somewhere you will see it daily.  Fill in joyful memories as they come up.  


The key is to "keep it positive".  You may even want to share your life map with family at some point in time.  Kids and grandkids love hearing stories from the "old days".


This is a practice in gratitude, joy and appreciation for all those special times that have made your life uniquely different.  In the midst of trying times, we often forget about the multitude of good things that have happened in our lives.  Remembering is a good thing.  It often helps us get through the tough times.


JOURNAL PROMPTS


1. My intention for today is ______.

2. My favorite childhood memory is ______.

3. My favorite adult memory is ______.

4. Today, I am grateful for ______.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


The Map

Finding The Magic and Meaning In The Story of Your Life

by Colette Baron-Reid

May 22, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #22

Plan A Picnic!


"My belief is that we were put into this world of wonders and beauty with a special ability to appreciate them, in some cases to have the fun of taking a hand in developing them, and also in being able to help other people instead of overreaching them and, through it all, to enjoy life - that is, to be happy."

- Robert Baden-Powell


Today's self-care tip is about planning something fun!  When is the last time you planned a small picnic with a friend or your family?  We are still in the midst of practicing safe physical distancing during the pandemic, so a small outing with those you already spend time with, might be a great diversion.  


Pack your favorite snacks and picnic items.  Enjoy a picnic on your patio, in the backyard, a neighborhood park or take a drive to the country if possible.  Grab the dog, a frisbee, a kite or whatever else sounds good.  Be spontaneous.  


It's amazing how something so simple, can be so much fun.


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is _____.

2. What can I plan to do fun this weekend?  Next weekend?

3. When is the last time I had fun?  What made it special?

4. Today, I am grateful for _____.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age

by Sanjay Gupta M.D.

Today, I will think "outside the box".

I will do things differently.

I will be creative and take a chance at creating more fun in my life.


May 21, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #21

Meditation


"The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.

 - Jon Kabat-Zinn


Did you know that meditation can help reduce blood pressure, as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, and depression, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health!


Many people still believe that you have to sit cross-legged with no back support in order to truly meditate.  Not true.  Just about anyone can enjoy the benefits of meditation, no matter what their physical ability.  You can meditate while you are relaxing in a hammock in the backyard, on a yoga mat, in your bed or even on the top of a mountain.


Not sure where to start?  Check out the recommended book of the day below and watch for our upcoming meditation releases on Facebook and You Tube beginning this summer!


To get you started, visit the You Tube Page for Tara Brach.  You will find many wonderful meditations including several that address a wide variety of topics, including emotions that arise during times of great stress, such as the pandemic.


JOURNAL PROMPTS


1. My intention for today is ____.

2. Meditation helps me ____.

3. I want to learn more about meditation because ____.

4. Today, I am grateful for ____.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Wherever You Go, There You Are:
Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life

by Jon Kabat-Zinn

May 20, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #20

Purge Social Media


Today's self-care tip has to do with social media.  Perhaps you have one or several.  Is it time to "fine-tune" your preferences, your privacy settings, your friend settings?  Today, schedule some time to clear out unwanted junk mail and ads.  


JOURNAL PROMPTS


1.  My intention for today is ____.

2.  Today, I am grateful for ____.

3. How much time do I spend on social media each day, on average?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose 

(Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61) 

by Eckhart Tolle

May 19, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #19

Dream


Today's self-care tip encourages you to do a little day-dreaming.  Gather some old magazines and newspapers, scissors, glue and some poster board - any size will do.  You can even cut up a cardboard box and use a piece of the box for your base.  Flip through the pages of the old magazines and newspapers and cut out pictures, words and/or phrases that catch your attention.  You do not have to choose a theme.  Just allow your inner knowing to guide you to what seems meaningful.  


Once you have cut all the items out, review them.  Look through all the items and throw out any that don't truly seem to resonate with you.


Now glue the photos, words and/or phrases on the poster board or box.  Notice what items you chose.  Do they represent dreams of the future or perhaps dreams realized?


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ________________.

2. Today I am grateful for _________________.

3. What do I usually dream or day-dream about?

4. What dreams do I want to make a reality?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


The Dream Interpretation Handbook: A Guide and Dictionary to Unlock the Meanings of Your Dreams

by Karen Frazier 


Today, I will let myself dream of possibilities.

May 18, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #18

Own Your Power


"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."

- Brene Brown


Today's self-care tip/suggestion is about truly "owning and living your full power".  It doesn't mean to bulldoze over people while pounding your chest.  It simply means to "be you".  Be respectful, but speak up if you disagree and feel you do want to be heard. Hiding behind an invisible mask doesn't help you.  While we want to be decisive and choose carefully who we share our thoughts with, too often we let other people roll over us with their words and actions.


It doesn't help you to tolerate those behaviors and it doesn't help the other person learn what is OK and not OK when they are with you.  You have a say in how you want to be treated.  If the other person disagrees, they are free to move on.


Repeated arguing about your needs and having another person disregard them is a sign.  Recognize that.  Acknowledge that.  Move forward.  That is healthy power.


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ________________.

2. Today I am grateful for _________________.

3. What does "owning my power" mean to me?

4. Do I set healthy boundaries?

5. In what areas do I need to work on setting additional boundaries?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

by Henry Cloud 

May 17, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #17

Yoga Nidra


Yoga Nidra is considered the "master key" to initiating shifts in conscious sleep states, where change happens outside of doing. In this ancient, simple and restorative meditation practice, you enter a state of non-doing, where transformation happens from beyond the mind rather than through the mind.


Nidra means sleep. Yoga Nidra is a unique meditation practice that stills the mind and progressively moves you through the same brain-waves that are normally experienced in sleep. 


There are five major brainwaves states: Beta, Gamma, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Brainwaves measure the electrical activity of the brain and the rate at which the electrical currents of the brain are cycling per second (measured in Hertz-Hz). Brainwaves can be observed with an EEG (electroencephalograph). Each type of brainwave has a specific purpose and helps us reach optimal mental functioning.


The initial stages of Yoga Nidra occur between Alpha and Theta brainwave states, but in even deeper states of Yoga Nidra - Theta and even Delta brainwave frequencies have been observed via EEG. Keep in mind that when a person undergoes anesthesia, the body is in a Delta brainwave state. The fascinating research information doesn't end there. In Delta states of Yoga Nidra, human growth hormone is released which is essential to maintaining proper metabolism.


TRAUMA


The clinical benefits of Yoga Nidra for PTSD are well documented. A published, peer-reviewed study on PTSD was conducted with returning war veterans who participated in eight weeks of Yoga Nidra. The results showed:


- reduced rage, anxiety and emotional reactivity

- increased feelings of peace and self-awareness

- relaxation despite ongoing challenges to mentally focus and intrusive traumatic memories

- better sleep

- mood improvement


In 2010, the War Related Illness and Injury Study Centers found that of 164 veterans attending Yoga Nidra classes, 85% reported improvements across 13 different symptoms including: disturbing memories, headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypervigilance, irritability and angry outbursts.


Yoga Nidra has also been studied for the management of chronic pain in veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries. Conclusions show significant and demonstrable health benefits for those with chronic pain.


Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga Nidra


Q - "I have knee and back problems and have problems bending. Is there alot of stretching, bending and standing in the practice of Yoga Nidra?"


A - The beauty of Yoga Nidra, is that there are options to adjust each session to help the individual client and meet them where they are at, both physically and emotionally. For some clients, we do light stretches to begin the session, but it truly depends on the unique needs of the client. The majority of the session is done resting in a comfortable reclining chair or on a yoga mat on the floor with an optional blanket and eye pillow. This was actually one of my first questions when I decided to try Yoga Nidra. I was pleasantly surprised to find a deeply meditative practice that did not leave me physically sore or uncomfortable.


Yoga Nidra has become very popular with all age groups. I also work with homebound clients dealing with chronic illness. It is very rewarding to receive positive feedback from clients who have struggled with severe insomnia. This practice allows your body to receive restorative sleep benefits without having to take sleep medications. That is a powerful benefit as well.


Q - "What is the difference between Yoga Nidra and Hypnosis?"


A - Great question!  While both hypnosis and Yoga Nidra are powerful tools, hypnosis is focused on optimizing the workings of the body/mind complex: thoughts, behaviors, habits and beliefs. Yoga Nidra works with these same things, but in a "greater context".

A key difference between the two is on a physiological level. The brain state of Yoga Nidra corresponds to meditation where both halves of the brain are operating simultaneously as one, in complete relaxation. A unified, sequential and synchronized movement of BOTH halves of the brain is detectable in medical imaging tests such as PET scans of those who are experiencing Yoga Nidra!


In hypnosis, the brain activity is different than in Yoga Nidra or in meditation. In hypnosis, left anterior executive functions are suspended; and the right posterior part of the brain is activated. This is just the beginning of the fascinating benefits to the human body.


Learn more by visiting our Yoga Nidra Webpage and learn how you can schedule an individualized session at Clarity Holistic Health.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Yoga Nidra: The Art of Transformational Sleep

by Dr. Kamini Desai

May 16, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Aromatherapy

Self-Care Tip #16

Essential Oils


Today's self-care tip is about the wonderful world of essential oils.


What are essential oils?


Essential oils are the essence of a plant, a gift from the earth, distilled and prepared for you to bring the power of nature into your home.


Inside many plants—hidden in roots, seeds, flowers, bark—are concentrated, highly potent chemical compounds. These natural compounds are essential oils.


Essential oils give a plant its scent, protect it from hazardous environmental conditions, and even assist it with pollination, among other important functions and benefits.


How Do Essential Oils Work?


When you open a bottle of pure, unadulterated essential oil, your senses are instantly filled with its potent aroma, even from a distance. What your nose detects are the naturally occurring elements of the essential oil.


Every essential oil varies in its natural makeup, so aromas and benefits are also unique. For example, Lavender oil includes elements that make it effective for soothing skin irritations, reducing anxiousness and feelings of tension, and promoting a restful environment for sleep.


Use Essential Oils to Transform Your Life


So many of the products we use in our day-to-day lives are filled with synthetic chemicals. These unnatural products can weigh us down and even negatively influence the way we think, feel, and live.


Pure essential oils offer an alternative to synthetic products. Essential oils are more than just natural products. Each with a unique chemical makeup, essential oils have dozens of benefits for the body and mind. Essential oil benefits are determined by the chemistry of the plants. If these natural chemicals are properly extracted, they can be used to help you physically, mentally, and emotionally in your daily life.


Essential Oil Uses and Benefits


Essential oils aren't a new hip trend.  You may feel like you've started to hear a lot about essential oils in the last few years. Plant extracts and plant-based products are deeply rooted in the traditions of the past. Essential oils have been used by ancient civilizations across the globe for:

Aromatherapy

Personal care

Healthcare practices

Religious ceremonies

Beauty treatments

Food preparation


What Are Essential Oils Used for Today?


Historically, essential oils were used as part of cultural practices and traditions. However, we now have increasing scientific evidence and research showing that essential oils can be effectively and safely used in a wider range of day-to-day practices and routines for amazing natural health benefits. Today, essential oils can be used for cooking, household cleaning, personal hygiene, sleep, emotional health, weight management, and much, much more.*


When you use essential oils, you'll have more natural solutions and fewer toxic, synthetically manufactured products in your life and home.


What Are Essential Oils Good For?


Since long ago, people have used essential oils and plant parts to improve their health and physical well-being. We’ve continued to explore their benefits today, finding that essential oils can be integrated into daily life for a plethora of purposes.


Curious about how you might use essential oils in your everyday life? Essential oils can be used to:


Support good oral hygiene*

Reduce appearance of skin imperfections

Promote healthy digestion*

Cleanse and purify the air

Promote an uplifting atmosphere

Maintain healthy respiratory system and clear breathing*

And more!


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Clarity Holistic Health is a Distributor/Wellness Advocate for doTerra Essential Oils.  To learn more and/or order products, visit our webpage.


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. Today I am grateful for ____________________.

3. What natural fragrances do I like the most?

4. Are there cleaning products in my home that contain potentially harmful ingredients?

5. What can I do to increase the overall health of my home environment?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Clinical Aromatherapy:  Essential Oils in Practice

by Jane Buckle

Learn More About Essential Oils

Click Here!


"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve

all of the world's problems at once,  but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have

because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own."


- Michelle Obama

May 15, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #15

Volunteer One Hour Each Month


Today, you are encouraged to explore volunteer opportunities in your community.  Imagine what a cumulative difference would be made, if everyone who was able, volunteered at least one hour a month.  


So how does helping others help you?  We tend to learn a great deal when we get out into the community and see what real life is like for individuals we do not know.  We may think having to wear a mask when going to the grocery store is a real crimp in our style until we go and volunteer at a food bank.  


Volunteering helps us gain perspective on life and it often helps us appreciate the good things we do have.  Many people live with abundance and it isn't until they experience situations first-hand, that they have a deeper understanding of the "bigger picture".


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. Today I am grateful for ____________________.

3. Where and what could I do to volunteer at least one hour each month?

4. What memories do I have of volunteers when I was growing up?  5. Did my parents/guardians/teachers volunteer?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering & Giving Back: 101 Inspiring Stories of Purpose and Passion

by Amy Newmark and Carrie Morgridge


May 14, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #14

Intuition


Today's self-care tip/suggestion is about intuition.  It's that little inner voice or "gut feeling" you often get when something doesn't seem quite right.


Maybe you are talking to someone who is telling you an exotic story that all the pieces don't seem to jive or a fast-talking salesperson seems to have an answer for every concern you have about the car you are interested in buying.


Trusting our intuition can help keep us on track and even safe. Today, spend time getting more comfortable with your intuition. Notice the thoughts, feelings and memories that come up for you.


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. Today I am grateful for ____________________.

3. When has your intuition proved helpful?

4. Has your intuition ever been wrong?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


The Art of Intuition: Cultivating Your Inner Wisdom

by Sophy Burnham

May 13, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #13

Gratitude


Today's self-care tip/suggestion is about the power of gratitude. Being grateful and thankful is not reserved just for Thanksgiving. It is something that can bring you into greater awareness of the many positive elements in life, each and every day.  Even when things are not going very well, gratitude can help us bring things into balance.  


Focusing only on the problems of daily life, can lead us down a very dark alley. Being mindful of the "rose that exists with the thorns" helps us better understand duality.


Today, allow your eyes and ears to soak up all the beauty that surrounds you.  


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. Today I am grateful for ____________________.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom 

(A Toltec Wisdom Book) 

by Don Miguel Ruiz

"Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you.

Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you.

This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe."

- Wayne Dyer

May 12, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #12

Time Out


"We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don't allow our bodies to heal, and we don't allow our minds and hearts to heal."

-  Thich Nhat Hanh


Today's self-care tip/suggestion is about allowing healthy "time-outs".  It is about taking a break to recharge.  When I was a kid, the words "time-out" had a pretty negative connotation.  For many, this still holds true.  But what if we threw a healthy spin on the old use of the term?  Taking time to rest and recharge is actually a good thing.


You are living through a historic pandemic.  There are no written rules on how to navigate what is happening right now.  You do NOT have to accomplish big things every single day.  


Today, you are encouraged to take a "healthy time-out" as needed. No self-shaming.  If you stay in bed until 2 pm.  That's OK.  Just make sure the kids are being taken care of if you have some :)


Take care of you.  Rest your body, your mind, your spirit.


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. What memories come up for me as I hear the words "time-out"?

3. What does taking a "healthy time-out" mean to me?

4. How can I teach my children (if applicable) what it means to take a "healthy time-out"?  How might I practice that with them?

5. Today, I am grateful for ____________________.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

by Charles Mackesy

May 11, 2020 - Coming Soon

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #11

Loving Kindness and Compassion


“Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

― Dalai Lama


Today's self-care tip/suggestion is to actively practice loving kindness and compassion not only to others, but also towards yourself.  So, what does that look like in day-to-day life? 


- You drop a glass and it breaks - you forgive yourself.


- You overdraw your bank account - you forgive yourself and make plans on how to prevent a repeat performance.


- You yell at your spouse - you apologize, forgive yourself and make plans on how to deal with stress in a pro-active manner.


- You get laid off from your job and can't pay the bills - be there for yourself.  


As hard as things get, be compassionate towards yourself.  You would do this easily for others. Do this for you!


This isn't easy.  Most people are pretty hard on themselves.  They mess up and they think about it over and over and over. Remember from previous tips - IT IS GOING TO TAKE PRACTICE.  Old habits can be hard to break.  


When you start mentally beating yourself up from messing up at one thing or another, close your eyes.  Picture yourself as a child learning to ride that bicycle for the very first time without training wheels.  Did you fall over?  Did you cry?  Did you scrape your knees?  Did you ever crash that bike and end up in the emergency room?  Possibly.  Becoming proficient at most things, takes practice.


When my daughter was about eight, she was pretty well experienced at riding her bike, but on a family bike ride just a few blocks from home - she hit some loose gravel and crashed her bike.  This time, the injury was an open cut to her chin and deep enough that we had to go to the emergency room where she had stitches.  She was surprised that something like that could happen after how good she had gotten at riding her bike.  


Even when we practice and get really very good at things, there are still going to be "bumps in the road".   Life happens.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  How we deal with it can change the overall course of our life in many different ways.  


It is OK to cry.  It is OK to feel the emotions that come up.  All of that is actually part of the process.  What is often lacking is the self-compassion and loving kindness towards self.  Remember. Remember to include that.  Practice that.  


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. Are you kind and compassionate towards yourself when you "mess up"?

3. Are you hard on yourself when you make a mistake?

4. How would it feel to be more compassionate towards yourself when things don't go well?

5. Write about two things, on which you can practice loving kindness and self-compassion.



BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

by Dr. Kristen Neff



May 10, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #10

Let The Sun Shine In


"Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means."


- Ronald Reagan


Today's self-care tip/suggestion is about the importance of taking time to get outside and soak up the sun - safely, of course. Remember to use sunblock for skin including face, lips, ears, etc.  Avoid crowded areas, but if possible - find a way to get 20 to 30 minutes of sun each day.  Depending on where you live, that isn't always possible, but on those sunny days - take full advantage.


So what are the benefits of soaking up the rays?  Sunlight and darkness actually trigger the release of hormones in your brain. Natural sunlight triggers the body's production of vitamin D which is a key ingredient for overall health.  Vitamin D helps protect the body against unwanted inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, improves brain function and may even protect against some forms of cancers.  Research suggests that light hitting your skin, not just your eyes, helps reverse seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. What do I like to do most when I spend time outside?

3. How do I feel when I spend time in the sun?  in darkness?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Becoming

by Michelle Obama

"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."


- Mahatma Gandhi

May 9, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #9

Clear The Clutter


"Our memories give us voice and bear witness to history, so that others might learn. So they might celebrate our triumphs and be warned of our failures."


- Mohinder Suresh


Alot of people have been talking about activities they have been doing since stay-at-home recommendations went into effect due to the pandemic.  One of those activities is cleaning.  Have you found yourself cleaning, re-cleaning over and over? 


De-cluttering helps us feel a greater sense of order, a sense of control - even if it is just a closet.  Recently, I pulled out a large zippered storage bag from the back of my closet.  It contained clothes that no longer fit, but, of course I plan to fit into "some day".  These outfits also carry special memories.  There are the tropical dresses I bought while working in Hawaii as a travel nurse for a three month contract assignment many years ago.  Holding up each dress brought back beautiful memories.  The evening a silly Elvis impersonator sang to me at a nightclub.  A moonlit excursion on a beautiful sailboat.  Exploring the islands with fellow nurse travelers.


While there are things that are good to donate forward or simply pitch to the curb, there will be some items that will return to the back of the closet.  Those are the ones with memories, and life is truly about living, loving and savoring special memories.


As you find yourself de-cluttering, take time to linger in the memories and leave some room in your closet to keep special items and room to add some new additions in the future.


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. What areas of my life do I need to "de-clutter" - physically and emotionally?

3. What memories have come up for you recently when you de-cluttered?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

by Brene Brown

May 8, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure


Self-Care Tip #8

Review-Review


"Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice."


-Anton Chekhov


Seven helpful self-care tips to review from our first week.


1. Journal

2. Breathe 

3. Sacred Space

4. Relax

5. Simplify

6. Move It 

7.  Read


How are you doing?  We purposefully created this mini-31 Day Self-Care Tip Adventure "short and sweet".  Your days may be busy and full, so the easier the start-up, the greater the odds that you will stick with it.  


Self-Care Tip #8 is about review and practice.  One generally doesn't learn to ride a bike perfectly the first time you venture out.  Whatever the new skill or habit - practice is going to be involved, so today - you are encouraged to reflect on past achievements and what helped you be successful.  Review the first seven tips and if you are behind on taking those few moments to sit down, jot down your intentions and reflections - today is the day to do so.  All of us get behind now and then. Being flexible - letting go of rigid constraints where possible - is good practice for those "flexibility muscles".  Little steps - one step at a time.  You got this!


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. How can I practice being flexible in my daily life?

3. Which self-care tip from Week One do I need more practice with?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Gift From The Sea

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh


May 7, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #7

Read It - Read It


"Think before you speak.  Read before you think."

- Fran Lebowitz


Today's self-care tip/suggestion is to consider choosing a daily meditation book to start each day.  It is an excellent way to ground yourself.  Starting each day with clear intention helps propel you into the direction you desire.


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. What helps me set my focus for each and every day?

3. What can I do to help increase a positive focus each and every day?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


The Language of Letting Go

by Melody Beattie


"It is so important to take time for yourself and find clarity.

The most important​ relationship is the one you have with yourself."

- Diane Von Furstenberg


May 6, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #6

Move It, Move It


"Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate."

- Author Unknown


Exercise is an important element of self-care.  Not only does it help you physically and mentally by boosting mood, reducing stress and anxiety, it helps burns calories and shed extra weight.


Incorporate a variety of exercises to keep it interesting:  tennis, yoga, walking, biking, tai chi, weights, swimming, aerobics.  10 or 15 minutes in the morning and again in the evening is an excellent starting  point. The key is to start a routine and work hard to make it become a daily habit - like brushing your teeth.  Make a simple refrigerator chart to help you with daily reminders.


We believe in keeping things simple as you begin self-care routines. You can expand as you go along, but in the beginning - keep it simple.  


How are you doing so far?  Keep at it!


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1. My intention for today is ___________________.

2. What exercise/s do I currently do?

3. What do I need to change about my exercise routine?

4. What are the potential benefits of including exercise into my daily self-care routine?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Life Lessons - Love Lessons

by Dr. Kamini Desai


May 5, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #5

Simplify - Simplify


"I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures."

 - Lao Tzu


Today we focus on the word "simplify".  Many feel that it seems nearly impossible to simplify the tasks of everyday life.  We have more conveniences than previous generations, yet taking care of many of the modern-day conveniences can actually take up alot of time. For example, computers are grand, but when they crash or get hacked into - time slows to a standstill.


Finding ways to simplify your life will require time and creativity. There will be things to let go of.  There may be relationships that need adjustment.  The process may initially seem cumbersome, but the end-result is usually well worth the effort.


Again, the key is to begin the process of examining the issue.  If you never step off the merry-go-round, you will continue the same cycle.  


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1.  My intention for today is ___________________.

2.  What do I need to simplify in my life?

3.  What changes are required to make this happen?

4. What are the potential benefits of simplifying certain areas of my life?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Only Love Today

Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love

by Rachel Macy Stafford

Monday May 4, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #4

Relax - Relax


“Just because you take breaks doesn’t mean you’re broken.”

― Curtis Tyrone Jones


Today we focus on how you can relax throughout each and every day - even on a Monday.  Too often, we reserve the idea of relaxing for weekends only.  We have purposefully chosen Monday for this topic, because Mondays can often be a bit more stressful.  


Perhaps you have just had a great weekend where you were able to sleep in and then do a few extra activities of your choosing. Monday rolls around and many are headed off to work.  During the pandemic, that might mean you are headed off to work in more difficult environments.  Even the air you breathe is now a concern.  These are challenging times to negotiate.  For some, heading to work means working at home and you might also have children to guide with at-home schooling.  Perhaps you are dealing with unemployment.  So many are dealing with multiple stressors.  So - finding moments to relax throughout each and every day is especially important.  It may only be a minute or 5 minutes here and there.  The key is to take those moments and  r-e-l-a-x  your nervous system.  It needs it now, more than ever.  Just as your body needs food, water and air, your nervous system needs time to rest.


TAKE 5 - Put away the mobile phone.  Turn off anything and everything that has a button, if possible.  If you can, step out into your backyard or maybe onto your balcony.  Close your eyes.  Stretch - really stretch.  Breathe.  Breathe deeply.  Use the tips from DAY TWO about intentional breathing.  The key is focusing in on your breath, your body and relaxing.  Intentional breathing and relaxation techniques help shut down excessive mind-chatter.


While all of this may sound very simple - it does produce substantial benefits for the body, mind, and spirit.  


JOURNAL PROMPTS


Today, choose your own topic/s or use these journal prompts.


1.  My intention for today is ___________________.

2.  What is my primary self-care activity to focus on today?

3.  What does the word "relax" mean to me?

4.  What am I grateful for today?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


The Untethered Soul:  The Journey Beyond Yourself

by Michael Alan Singer

May 3, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #3 

Creating A Sacred Space


Today, set aside a few minutes to create a small space where you can keep items that you frequently use for self-care.  You might want to use a night-stand.  Clear off the top and take everything out of the drawers.  Start anew.  Create a space where you have self-care tools and gentle reminders of why it is important to care for your mind, body, and spirit.  A night-stand works well because it provides a gentle visual reminder before you go to bed at night, get up in the morning or even when you take a nap.  Here are some examples of what you might want to include, but make this space - "your space."


- Essential Oils

- Aromatherapy Diffuser

- Herbal Room Spray

- Journal

- Favorite Books

- Salt Lamp

- Crystals

- Favorite Stones

- Favorite Tea Cup

- Inspirational Card Deck

- Oracle Card Deck

- CD Player

- Favorite Inspirational Music

- Gratitude Journal

- Candles (Try the battery operated kind with a timer if you want a small light on throughout the night).  

*Never leave a burning candle unattended. 


Journal Prompts for May 3, 2020


It's Day 3 as we continue daily journaling.  Choose your own topics or use the following journal prompts to get you started.  We are working on creating new self-care habits and by doing something small, each and every day, it helps develop the habit so it becomes a daily routine.  You get to pick which self-care habits you want to become permanent daily routines.  


Use the month of May to try out new strategies.  Think of it as a "practice month".  Next month, you will be ready to "fine-tune" your self-care so it is specific to your individual needs.  You are welcome to start adding your own ideas this month, but try out the suggestions offered as well.  You are "in training" this month to see how you can flex those self-care muscles in new areas.  Have fun with this!


1.  What do I think about right before I go to bed each night?

2.  What do I think about when I get up each morning?

3.  What does the word "safety" mean to me?

4.  How can I increase my sense of safety at home and when I am not at home?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


I Will Not Die An Unlived Life

by Dawna Markova


May 2, 2020

31 Day Self-Care Adventure

Self-Care Tip #2

Breathe


It may sound very basic.  It is and it isn't.  Most of us don't think much about breathing because we are busy juggling multiple tasks and obligations, each and every day.  Climb a set of steep steps and you are quickly reminded how important breathing is or when you get sick with a cough, cold, or something more serious.


Today, we invite you to find a quiet place to rest for a few minutes.  We suggest you set a timer for a minimum of 10 minutes.  Close your eyes.  Place your right hand over your heart and place your left hand on top of your right hand.  Focus in on your breath.  To begin, just "notice".  Notice the rate and quality of your breath.  Notice all the tiny details as your lungs expand and relax.  The key is to keep your focus "on the breath".  If your mind starts to wander, you can simply and silently say to yourself, "just noticing" - then return your focus to the breath.  You can even say to yourself, "breath in - breath out, breath in - breath out".  This is a wonderful way to calm the nervous system and to calm a busy chattering mind that doesn't want to rest.  While the practice may seem simplified, it is quite effective.  It is a 10 minute workout that is well worth it.


Journal Prompts For May 2, 2020


Continue your daily journaling.  Choose your own topics or use the following journal prompts to get you started.  Again, the key is to just get started.  Maybe you only write one line a day.  That is OK.  At the end of the month, there will be 31 entries to review and reflect on.  Information you can use or discard.


1.  What did I notice before, during and after the 10 minute breathing exercise?

2.  What can I do on a daily basis to increase relaxation into my life?

3.  What can I do to support my respiratory system?  

Examples:  quit smoking, exercise, deep breathing exercises

4.  What am I grateful for today?

5.  What self-care strategy will be a priority for my day?


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Breathe - You are Alive

by Thich Nhat Hanh

Welcome May 2020

May 1, 2020

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.


This month, our focus will be on self-care tips.  Each day, we will highlight a new self-care strategy and share a recommended book.  That will be 31 self-care tips and 31 books.  Plenty of ideas to help you focus and re-focus during this challenging time in history.


Self-Care Tip For May 1, 2020

Journaling


Today we focus on journaling and how it can help you gain deeper perspective.  If you plan to join us for this 31 day adventure, begin by journaling.  You can use a plain notebook or perhaps you may want to keep a journal on your computer.  Check out Penzu.com for a cool way to create a private online journal.  Write about anything that you feel joy or pain about.  For those who would like sample questions, we recommend the following:


1.  What are your priority concerns?  

2.  What are you grateful for?  

3.  What self-care activities do you currently engage in?  

Examples:  walking, biking, reading, good nutrition, spa days

4.  What self-care do you personally want to spend more time on?

5.  Why is self-care important to you?


The key is to "start where you are".  Just explore.   As you focus in on this particular topic, you will reflect on what has been going well and maybe what needs greater attention.  Keep it simple to start with.  The important part today - is to "start".  We will provide additional journal prompts, each and every day.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

by Stephen Covey