Most of us can’t deny that life gets way too busy. So busy, sometimes, that you may feel like you don’t have time to take care of yourself. In order to embrace all that life has to offer, move self-care to the top of your list.

The rituals you practice to take care of your mind, body and soul can be soothing and contribute to the contentment and joy you feel in everything you do.

Review these self-care rituals to remind yourself how important you are. Then, revive some of your own practices or add new ones that soothe you.

1. Practice soothing, healthful skin care. Regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, your skin needs all the help it can get. After all, skin protects you 24/7.

• Morning and evening, clean, tone and moisturize your face.
• Apply lotion to your body at least once a day to protect your skin from excessive dryness.

2. Exercise. Exercising relieves your stress and rejuvenates both your mind and body.

• Even if you just exercise 15 minutes twice a day (morning and evening), getting the physical activity your body craves will revive your mood and enrich your life profoundly.

• Try a 10-minute walk to give your mind a rest or lift your spirits. Whether you choose a brisk pace or a slow saunter to admire the landscape, consider it a gift to yourself to go for a brief stroll.

3. Re-acquaint yourself with the magic and exhilaration that nature provides. Nothing relaxes and nurtures us like getting outdoors.

• Find time to sit on your porch to watch the birds.
• Take a few minutes to care for a flower garden, or go for a walk in the park.

4. Shower daily. Bathing is one of the top self-soothing moments of your day. By adjusting one or two things about your shower, it becomes a relaxing ritual you can look forward to.

• Rather than rush through your bath or shower every morning and evening, take the time to soothe yourself by using a luscious soap or that new loofah sponge or bath puff.

• Light scented candles, put on relaxing music, and take the time to fully enjoy them.

5. Take time to do the one thing you really love to do. There’s something so delicious and special about having the time and space to do whatever it is that you get excited about.

• Maybe you’ve got an insatiable love of reading, but struggle to find the time to read with working and family tasks tugging at you. Or perhaps you like to sew or work with wood. No matter what your beloved activity, figure out a way to make it happen.

• Even if it’s every other day or once a week, an important part of self-care is doing what makes your heart sing.

6. Stay in touch with your feelings. You may think this sounds somewhat cliché. But the truth is that if you’re honest with yourself about how you feel, you’ll have more peace and contentment inside.

• Living your life based on your real feelings will bring comfort and joy to your soul. It can be a challenge to be truthful with yourself and others about how you feel. But if you do, the rewards are great.

Engaging in activities and rituals that soothe you deep inside enriches your day-to-day existence. A regular practice of self-care also demonstrates that you truly recognize your own worth. Discover a deeply satisfying life through practicing soul-soothing, self-care rituals.


6 Ways to Change Your Behavior

by Kevin on September 17, 2014

Do you sometimes feel as if you don’t have enough control over your life? Since our lives are the result of our long-term behaviors, you can regain control by making positive changes to your behavior patterns.

Following these strategies will make it easier to change your behaviors and exert more control over your experiences:

1. Make the new behavior as enjoyable as possible. For instance, you might dislike exercising, but if you could find a way to make it more enjoyable, you would partake more often in this healthy activity. Maybe you could exercise with a friend or discover a new form of exercise that you enjoy.

• The more agreeable the new task is to you, the more likely you are to do it.

2. Make a list of the positive benefits you’ll receive. By making a list, you’ll begin to see the task in a more positive light. Come up with as many benefits as you can and keep the list in plain view.

• For example, perhaps you feel like you should eat more nutritiously. Some of the positive aspects of healthier eating might include:

- I’ll feel better.
- My clothes will fit better.
- I’ll enjoy more vigorous health.
- I’ll be more attractive.
- I can play with the kids more easily.
- I can go hiking again without tiring half way through the trek.
- I’ll feel a sense of pride.
- I can go to the pool without feeling embarrassed.

3. Make the decision. Just decide that you’re going to do it; often that’s the hardest part. Making a decision is the first step to accomplishment. Until that point, you’re really just wishing.

4. Control your thoughts. If you focus on how much you don’t like doing something, it will be much more difficult to get yourself to do it. Try to catch yourself before you get too far down that road. When a negative thought like this arises, substitute a new thought from the list you made in step #2.

• The more incentive you have, the more likely you are to be successful.

• For example, if you spend all your time focused on how good you’re going to look after eating well for three months, your odds of success go up considerably. On the other hand, if you spend all your time thinking negatively, what do you think the outcome will be?

5. Reward yourself afterwards. A little reward can go a long way. So, after a new behavior has taken root, do something nice for yourself. More importantly, be proud of yourself for following through on any behavior that improves your life.

6. Be diligent. While getting started is often the most difficult part, it can be easy to backslide if you get distracted and stop paying attention. Every day, review how you did. How successful were you with exhibiting the new behavior? Each moment you spend measuring your progress serves as a daily reminder. This will help solidify the behavior.

Changing behaviors can be challenging, but it can improve your life in the long-term. Examine which behaviors you might want to alter to take your life to the next level, and then apply the process above. Be patient with yourself – you may have been doing something a certain way for many years. Some things will take time to change, but you can do it!


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