Self-Care for Those That Prefer to Stick Close to Home

If you enjoy spending time alone and prefer to work independently, you’re likely an introvert. Unfortunately, popular media would have you believe that the only way to be healthy is to surround yourself with others. From fitness classes to group-based travel, it’s easy to find self-care opportunities based around interaction. These, however, are not always right for introverts. Here are some things you can do to upkeep your health, no crowd required.

Guest PostBy: Melissa Howard at StopSuicide.info

Know What You Are Putting Into Your Body

There is no way to deny that what you eat has a profound impact on your overall health. The good thing is that eating well is something you don’t need a group of people to do. What you do need, however, is an understanding of food and ways to make healthy eating a habit. And there is no better way to do this than to learn how to prepare your meals ahead of time.

Meal prep starts by identifying long-lasting staples, like oatmeal and rice. You can use oatmeal to pack breakfasts for the road — Foodies Today recommends sweet potato and oatmeal muffins and chocolate overnight oatmeal smoothies. Both of these can be made ahead and enjoyed for days. Rice, which comes in a variety of forms, including Jasmine and long grain, is a likewise long-lasting meal base. Rice and oatmeal may help keep you from overeating.

Your pre-planned meals should also include lean proteins and produce. A bed of rice with shredded chicken, sautéed peppers, onions, and fajita seasoning, for example, is a healthy and delicious lunch that will reheat well in the right container.

Exercise Your Body Every Day

Food is only one aspect of your overall self-care routine. As Time asserts, exercise is just as impactful and can change the way you look and feel, as well as have an effect on mental health. Don’t let yourself get comfortable on the couch for too long; give yourself at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. If you do not want to deal with people, lack self-confidence, or just prefer your own space, there are many exercise programs online

Something else to think about is that you can have fun while working on your abs and agility. If you have a Nintendo Switch, games such as Ring Fit Adventure and Fitness Boxing can keep you moving from the comfort of your living room.

Take Up a New Hobby

Hobbies are not only fun but many, such as drawing, also have mental health benefits. Using the drawing example, putting a pencil to a piece of paper can help you gain a new perspective and may help stave off depression and anxiety. Drawing is also shown to help with your memory. The best part is that with nothing more than a piece of paper or sketchbook and pencil, you can get started today. If you don’t care for visual art, you can take that same paper and pencil and start writing, be it a journal or fiction.

Take Care of Your Home

Are things starting to pile up around your home? Do you often struggle to find the things you need, only to find that they’ve buried under other, less important stuff? If so, then you need to take some time to declutter your home. Not only will it help release any “bad energy” that may have built up in your home as a direct result, but it can help create a sense of peace and calm throughout your property. So, take a hard look around your home, identify areas that need attention, and set to work. You may be shocked at the difference it makes.

How you care for yourself is up to you. However, when your self-care plan doesn’t include crowds, you may need to look for alternative ways to do things like exercise and enjoy your free time. But remember, whether you’re an extrovert, introverted, or something in between, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to prioritize healthy eating. Once you’ve done that, everything else will fall into place.

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3 Ways to Find Creativity At Work

Ever wonder what sets you up to have those days where you feel creative and inspired at work? Here are 3 ways to find it during your 9-5.

Ever had that feeling at work when you feel on fire with ideas and things are bouncing so fast between you and your co-workers it is electrifying? You get sweaty, your pen runs out of ink, it feels like you have burnt through the pages in your notebook? Want more of those days? You have to create the creative space to get that going.

First, you have to have space. Creativity will not find its way to you if your day is too full of busywork, other people’s ideas and stories, or mental chatter around what is wrong with you (or everyone else). There will be no space for you to have an intuitive thought. So cultivate a work space that allows for staring into space sometimes. Practice meditation or deep breathing to help you slow down your brain so you have space for a new idea. It helps to get up and move every 50 minutes to an hour for 5-10 minutes. It is natural for your brain to need a attention break and this allows you to take it while engaging the rest of the body. Gives the brain other things to focus on … often a precursor to having a good idea. Ever lost something only to find it when you focus on something else? Same concept do not try too hard, allow your brain a break and see what creative thought crosses your mind next.

Next find some inspiring things. I like architecture pictures and books. So I have these around my spaces. They allow me a smile when I look at them. They also offer an opportunity to observe and notice connections I may not have seen at first. Thus giving me something to put together or build upon. It brings me joy and excitement to see something interesting and new, even if it is not my area of expertise. Put items you like in spaces so you can see them during your work day. This way you will find inspiration in your joy of these items you love. As you find inspiration, you find motivation. The inspiration helps cultivate ideas because you are in a state of flow, the motivation helps you act on them.

Finally, stay away from things that steal your creativity. Things like social media, TV, low self regulation, and negative people can rob you of your creativity by feeding you others’ stories and low energy. As you peruse their stories you forget your own. Now before you say … but Pinterest … know that you may find inspiration in each of the above, just make sure you are not sacrificing your own creativity to look at someone else’s. In addition, if you have not eaten well, slept well, done some movement, or drunk enough water you will not be in a place to think creatively. Make sure to take care of you so you are ready for ideas to flow and you have the endurance to enjoy the brainstorming session.

Today I had a couple of fantastic gatherings with collaborators and connections that really helped get my creativity flowing and projects outlined. I got to live in that sweet space of creating and planning, allowing for inspiration and outlines. It is one of my favorite spots to hang out, and I am sure glad I was ready for that kind of idea flinging this afternoon. I hope you have as much fun at your next creative session.