Embracing Self-Care Even When It’s Hard

There are many times in life when suddenly your ability to care for yourself goes out the window. In a flash, all of your learned habits become extremely difficult to uphold, and before you know it, you are letting yourself get behind with your own self-care. When this happens, however, it is best not to let yourself beat yourself up about it – as this will only actually make it worse in the long run. Instead, you should aim to get yourself back on track – not by deriding yourself, but quite the opposite – by taking positive steps in the right direction. Given that these circumstances are usually stressful or out of your control, it can be hard to do this – but still entirely possible with the right approach.

Dealing with Life Situations

First of all, you need to make sure that you are actually dealing with the life situation which has caused you to put your self-care on hold. This is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if there is something like this in your way, it is a good idea to get it out of your way  – and that means solving the problem, if possible. Secondly, your life situation is not separate from your ability to care for yourself but instead wound up within it. By dealing with the one, you are also helping the progress of the other. Fast solutions are best. If the situation is a divorce or a break-up, go for out-of-court solutions to get back on track faster. If it is the death of a loved one, grieve properly. Deal with your reality.

A Lesson on Self-Love: The Importance of Loving Yourself

Putting Yourself First as Self-Care

Usually, in times of stress, we have a tendency to look to others for guidance, leadership, and support. This is natural, healthy and to a certain extent useful. But if you have started to notice that you have probably been playing too much emphasis on others, then you might want to remember to try and put yourself first. This means stepping back, taking a moment to ask yourself what your own opinion on the matter is, and doing whatever you think to get your self-care back on track. You are the most important person in your self-care, so this is a hugely valuable thing to bear in mind.

A Lesson on Self-Love: The Importance of Loving Yourself

Being Kind to Yourself

If you are someone who often derides yourself for feeling a certain way or failing to be always positive, it’s helpful to learn not to engage in that behavior. Ultimately, it doesn’t help. What does help is to be as kind to yourself as you can manage so that you can look after yourself both now and in the future? You will find that this makes an enormous difference, so it is really worth thinking about. The kinder you are to yourself, the more likely you are to be able to embrace your self-care – exactly when you need to do that the most.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



Ebracing Self-Care Even When It's Hard

5 Self-Care Tools To Amplify Your Self-Care Regimen

Self-care is a big deal and should be taken seriously. If you are not going to invest in yourself and your happiness and fulfillment, then what will you invest in? The following products are great investments to help amplify your regular self-care regimen.

Massage Tools

Most people don’t have the money nor the time to head out to a masseur when they get a bit of pain or tension in their back. However, you can still fix the problem and feel the benefits of a good massage by investing in a massage ball. A massage ball is just one of many self-massage products that you can find on the market right now, so why not try it out for yourself?

journal, notebook, marble, pink, baby pink,

Journaling for Self-Care

Another great investment in yourself is to Journal. Journals are fantastic for helping you process your thoughts and clear your mind of stress. When you take the time to sit down and process things in writing, you will get a better perspective on the things happening in your life. Here are some of my favorite journaling tools:

Invest In A Quality Mattress

You spend hours of every day sleeping in your bed. The mattress you sleep on will, therefore, have a big impact on how you feel throughout the day. With the right support, you will surely feel better. ChooseMattress is a mattress brand that will help you to have fewer aches and pains each day. The condition of your spine is vital, so do yourself a favor and make this upgrade sooner rather than later.

Self-Care Candles

Scented candles are perfect for relaxation, so why not invest in some for yourself? You will really benefit, and it makes those moments of relaxation in your home even more relaxing and enjoyable. We all know that those moments are few and far between when you lead a busy lifestyle, so why not make the most of them? I LOVE candles and recommend them to everyone. Read more about setting up a relaxing bath for the ultimate self-care experience here.

Fitness Gear

If you really want to be kind to yourself, you should try being physically active. To make it that little bit easier and to give yourself some much-needed motivation, you should buy yourself some fitness gear. Becoming physically active is one of the most beneficial forms of self-care because it not only strengthens your body, but it also strengthens your mind!

Looking after yourself sometimes comes at a price, and what better thing to spend money on than your mental health and happiness? Each of these tools will help your wellness in different ways, so be sure to make the most of them next time you want to treat yourself.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here.  



5 Self-Care Tools You Need

A People-Helping Career Can Improve Fulfillment

When it comes to your job, are you fulfilled? If you aren’t, a career helping others is sure to increase your fulfillment. Positions within the health and social care industry allow you to make a genuine difference in the lives of others. This is because you are helping them when they’re at their weakest and often lowest points. If you’re a compassionate person and want a fulfilling job that gives you purpose, here are some ideas to consider.

Medical

Working in the medical field allows you the chance to help people heal from illness and injury. Doctors and nurses are obvious choices, but there are a lot of careers in the field. Some examples are paramedics, air ambulance crew, physiotherapists, midwives, and so much more. The higher level careers take years of training. However, it’s not impossible to make the switch or to get started. To get started, you need to be focused, prepared to study hard, and start from the bottom.

The Most Fulfilling Work: A Career in the People-Helping Field

Mental Health Services

It’s not just our physical health that matters, but mental health too. And mental health services are an important element of healthcare. The higher regarded positions in the field like psychologists and psychiatrists take many years to study for and are good places to aim for.

Mental health nursing is also an excellent choice, it’s a well-paid job which you can work your way up in but only requires a three-year bachelor’s degree so ideal if you don’t want to study further afterward. Another great mental health area to go into is counseling. This positions require less schooling than a psychiatrist but offer direct interaction with helping people.

Care Work

Care work is often revolving around elderly people or those with disabilities. You could be working in a nursing home, group home, or one on one with a client in their own home. Many care jobs don’t require formal qualifications to get started, so you could get started right out of high school and work your way up. You will take courses as part of training and gain skills, qualifications, and experience as you go—which is useful if you need to work and earn money quickly.

The Most Fulfilling Work: A Career in the People-Helping Field

Social and Community Care Work

There are lots of roles within the community which can help others with their lives and health. Housing and homeless officers, social workers, postnatal health workers, and community nurses amongst many others fall into this category.

If you don’t want a regular office job and prefer to be out and about, working in the community, this could be a fantastic option. It ensures people are integrating well with society and have access to the help that they need. In the case of community nurses, it helps people who would struggle to get to a doctor or hospital on a regular basis.

A job within the health industry genuinely benefits the lives of others. You could be the difference between someone living or dying, someone giving up hope and going on to live a happy life. You might not be able to change the world, but you can change the world for some people in this kind of career, what can I say, it’s fulfilling.

This post was written in collaboration. This means that while I have added to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation.



The Most Fulfilling Work: A Career in the People-Helping Field

The Benefits of Anxiety Journaling & Why You Need It

Since my move to North Carolina, I have been seeing a counselor on a monthly basis. Counseling is super valuable and I have learned a lot from it, including a lot about myself. One practice that I have taken from counseling is to track my anxiety. In my second session with my new counselor, she suggested that we track my anxiety feelings in a journal or on my phone—of course, I chose to write in a journal? Here are some benefits of creating your own journal.

Anxiety Journaling

What is anxiety journaling you might ask? Well, it’s a notebook, journal, notes app, etc. where you keep track of your anxious feelings. This can be done a million different ways. For me, as I said, I write in a cute little elephant journal. However, maybe your you, its easier to keep track on your phone. That’s entirely up to you!

I can imagine dozens of ways to track the anxiety, and it’s really up to you and perhaps your therapist. I personally take note of what the feeling is about, what my thoughts are while experiencing the anxiety, the severity of it (mild, moderate, high or severe), and the date and general time of day I experienced it.

The Benefits of Anxiety Journaling

Knowledge, Awareness, and Personal Growth

One of the greatest benefits I’ve seen since I started my journal is increased knowledge. Before I had tracked my anxiety, I knew that it happened and I maybe had an idea of what generally triggered it, but I really didn’t know anything about my patterns. Since tracking I have learned that I feel a lot of my anxiety in the morning. It is also generally triggered by driving and an ability to plan for or control something, especially in advance. There were some anxiety-provoking situations that don’t follow those trends of course, but that’s okay.

Not only am I tracking my feelings of anxiety, but I am learning more about myself and becoming aware of who I am and how my anxiety influences me. Naturally, when you gain knowledge and become more aware of something, you are able to grow. I am still in the knowledge collection and awareness stage but I am beginning to see myself grow. I am more able to tell you who I am regardless of the anxiety instead of defining myself by it. What I what and who I am is becoming more clear and I become more open to myself.

Overwhelmed?

I know how it may seem, overwhelming right? You already have anxiety, why do you need to worry about paying attention to it! I experience this on the occasion but mostly I have to make the choice not to worry about it. When I feel anxiety, it's not uncommon for me to not think much of it and go about my day. That’s okay, I’m used to those feelings occurring regularly and it will take a long time to build the habit of thinking about it and writing it down. It’s okay to forget sometimes.

It’s also okay if it’s not perfect. Sometimes you can’t really figure out why you are experiencing those feelings. That’s okay, write that down. Acknowledge the unknown feelings and over time you’ll become more knowledgeable and aware of its causes. This is a process and you won’t be able to do it perfectly, no one could. Just do your best.

So, with all this being said, what do you have to lose by trying an anxiety journal? Let me know how it goes for you!

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The Benefits of Anxiety Journaling

Seeing the World from Another Angle: Developmental Disabilities

I have worked in the mental health field for a decade. My favorite part of that work was the last half of it, working with kids from ages 3-21 with developmental disabilities and delays. I had absolutely zero experience with this population before then but I left with a lot of experience and a totally different person and mother.

Working with Developmental Disabilities

I was admittedly afraid of the kids at first because I knew that they could hurt me, and they did. I have a scar on my right eyebrow to show for it. A kid hit me in the face with a stereo cord because her CD skipped in the CD player. Before I left this facility, I would get injured in a lot of other ways. I was able, however, to help some of these kids be toilet trained, learn sign language, bond with others, and have fun.

Developmental Disabilities

I learned that kids with disabilities are just like other kids, which I already knew. They need love. When they don’t get it, they will act in ways that scream for that attention even though they can’t say, “Hey, LOOK AT ME! I NEED YOU!” or something like it. They can and will throw things. They will urinate on themselves and sometimes on you. Over a long period of time, their caregivers (or parents) will give up on them and bring them to facilities like the one I worked for.

What I Have Learned

These kids also need people to not give up on them after they don’t get something the first time. Their brains do work. I promise you they do. They just work a little differently. They may or may not be able to speak, but they can communicate. One of my favorite kids squeezed my arms every day to say “hello”, “goodbye” and when she was happy. Even though most kids with severe autism don’t even think of hugging you, she hugged me when she was being released. I cried along with her behavior analyst.

Most of all, they do hear. They hear very well. They can hear every word you say, and they can read your feelings when you are around them. If you don’t want to be around them, they can tell. If you love being around them, they can feel that too. I had so much fun working with these kids. It was not always pretty- I left work many days extremely tired, bruised and wondering why I ever signed up for this job, but I went back the next day ready for another round.

The best part was watching a kid finally “getting” something that a teacher, behavior analyst or one of us workers had been trying to teach them. It was incredibly rewarding, and hard to describe. It was also a lot of fun to do one-on-one work with them.

Developmental Disabilities On A More Personal Level

Each child has their own personality, and I am a mother of three. My younger son has severe ADHD and is also on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed while I was working at this facility. As a result of his ADHD, he sees the world a lot differently than I ever will, and some days I wonder what the world is really like for him. He has some sensory issues and is a quiet child. We love him just the way he is. He just chooses to see the world from another angle, just as the kids I worked with and many others do.

kids juice box

When you see a child with a developmental disability out in public, don’t automatically assume that they are to be pitied. You may be amazed at what they can do.

Wrae Sanders

Meet the Author

This Guest Post was written by Wrae Sanders of Brave Wings Coaching. Wrae is a life coach in Louisville, Kentucky and a mom of three with a BA in Clinical Psychology. When She is not working, she can be found reading or listen to podcasts. I hope you enjoy what she has to say about her experience with developmental disabilities.

Read more from Wrae here, or check her out on Facebook and Instagram.

Seeing the World from Another Angle: Developmental Disabilities

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