Photo by Inna Lesyk on Unsplash
Do you love the idea of taking better care of yourself, but you're just not quite sure how given how darn busy you are? You're not alone. I get how hard it can be.
The good news is... self-care doesn't need to take a long time or be hard to fit into your schedule. What I'm going to suggest to you doesn't require childcare and you can do it with your kids right there. You can do it anytime, anywhere and it is proven to lift your mood.
What I'm talking about is practicing GRATITUDE. If practiced regularly, it can actually re-wire your brain to think in a more positive way. In fact, it boosts serotonin and dopamine, those amazing feel-good neurotransmitters- and actually has a similar effect to antidepressant medication. That's powerful stuff! I'm certainly not suggesting you suddenly quit taking your antidepressants if you're on them- but gratitude can serve as an incredibly powerful additional neurotransmitter boost!
An easy way to start is to just look around you and find things to be grateful for. Even the simple things. Looking around me right now, I feel grateful for the computer I'm typing on that allows me to reach all of you quickly and easily. I'm grateful for the warm and cozy bed I get to sleep in each night. I'm grateful for my children's boisterous energy because it means they're healthy and happy (see how I reframed something that could possibly feel negative?)
Once you've mastered that, try being grateful for the challenges in your life. Not as easy, but it's possible to find gratitude almost anywhere. It helps to look at a struggle you're facing as an opportunity for learning and growth. For example, if you and your partner are fighting a lot, what is something to be grateful for in that? Perhaps your fighting is highlighting some longstanding communication issues, and by facing those issues together it is possible to grow as a couple and become closer. This is a situation that involves challenges and difficulties, but also room to practice gratitude for what is being brought to your awareness.
And practicing gratitude doesn't mean pushing away any "negative" feelings that may come up. If you've followed me for a while you know I'm a big believer in embracing ALL of your emotions and processing them in a healthy way. You can even try practicing gratitude for your emotions as they come up to really shift your experience of them ;)
What are you truly grateful for today? Who are you grateful for? What do you appreciate yourself and others for? Notice. Feel. And really let it in. 💜
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