Tag Archives: music

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 19

With only six days until the 25th are you feeling festive?

Are sleigh bells ringing in your ears? Is it beginning to sound a lot like Christmas?

All of our senses can take a bit of a pounding during the festive season, and our hearing is not immune to the excesses of party time. So my self care thoughts for today are based around your ears.

If things have been kind of hectic, give yourself some space without noise. Take a walk somewhere quiet and don’t put headphones on – just listen to what’s around you.

Or if that’s not an option for you maybe you could sit quietly at home, maybe playing a little classical music – something soothing like a piano concerto…

Then again, maybe things have been a little too quiet for you – maybe you need to play some Christmas albums and have a good old song along. Or, maybe go caroling?

Or maybe the spirit of Christmas has already overloaded your senses and you need to take a break from it with some crazy jazz, some banging metal, some turbo dance – what ever floats your musical boat. Just enjoy a little bit of whatever you need.

What works for one person will not always work for someone else. So if you feel frazzled by what other people seem to be enjoying, don’t worry. You’re just in a different head space than them right now, and that’s OK – you do what’s right for you.

 

 

 

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 14

Two weeks into December – it’s going fast.

Hopefully you’re feeling a little more organised after our day yesterday – I know I am.

I feel like I did something good – maybe I need a reward? Maybe you do to?

Today – treat yourself.

Part of self care is rewarding yourself for a job well done. If you’ve been following this months posts and completing them as you go, then you’ve done a good job. If you’ve not read any of them (yet) then you may well have done other things that need a little reward. Then again, maybe you haven’t done anything that needs a treat….but maybe you deserve one anyway? Only you know that.

What constitutes a treat?

For me there are a couple of rules.

  1. It must not be something you do every day. That’s not a treat, that’s a routine.
  2. It should be a little indulgent.
  3. You should enjoy it.

That’s it. It doesn’t have to cost money, it doesn’t have to take loads of time, it doesn’t have to involve giving up on other promises that you’ve made to yourself (like eating healthily) and it doesn’t have to involve anyone else – but it can if you want it to.

Some of the things I like to do include…

Turning off all the electronics, snuggling under a blanket and spending a few hours reading a book I like.

Doing my nails nicely. Maybe even cracking out the nail art and sticking a few sparkly bit on there.

Looking after my feet – the full pedicure experience. Soaking them in hot water with nice bath salts in, giving them a good scrub, filing the nails, lots of lovely foot cream and finishing with a lovely nail varnish.

Lighting candles or incense and making the house smell gorgeous.

Going out to a restaurant for a really amazing meal.

Having a box set binge – getting loads of episodes of a great series and watching them back to back (most recently Gilmore Girls – thank you Netflix!)

Putting on an album that I haven’t listened to for ages and have a crazy (private) dance to it.

Going to the beauty department at a local store and getting a free makeover.

Organising a catch up with friends.

Some of these things cost money, some do not. Some of them will appeal to you, some will not. The idea is not for you to do the things on my list, but to create one of your own. You should choose things that fit with what you want to do. How you want to indulge yourself.

If you think about traditional advent calendars, they tend to contain chocolate behind every door. I have a little problem with that. Apart from the fact that you probably shouldn’t be eating chocolate every day (it’s a treat not a staple food group) it’s so samie…the same thing every day just doesn’t cut it. Think of treats that you really want and use them sparingly, but make sure you use them…You’re worth it!

 

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Want to change your mood?

So you want to change your mood…

What do you do?

Despite what you might think, there are options.

Our normal reaction to being in a bad or sad mood is to wallow in it. If you’ve been dumped, you listen to love songs or watch dodgy RomCom’s on DVD. If you’ve been betrayed you might think about it over and over, trying to work out why it happened. If you made a mistake, you might play it over in your mind or talk to friends about it. If you’re feeling anxious, you can keep running through worst case scenarios in you imagination.

Now, I’m not saying you should dismiss the emotions you’re feeling. It’s good to acknowledge them and to be open about how you feel, but at some point – sooner or later – you want to change how you are feeling. That’s when these techniques can help.

Pattern Interruption

If the way you feel is triggered by something, or takes on a sequence of events, then this can be a useful technique. When the trigger or the first part of the sequence occurs, do something else. Change the pattern. You can do that by changing the things you are thinking about – name 5 fruits, 2 bald men and a flower – or by changing the things you are doing – leave the room, go do some housework, go for a walk. Just changing the pattern allows your brain to realise that one thing does not necessarily lead to another.

Swoosh it!

Think about the thing that makes you feel the way you don’t want to. Imagine it in a TV screen in front of you. Now think about something that makes you feel the opposite of this. Imagine that scene as though it’s in the corner of the TV screen – kind of like picture in picture. Count to 3 in your mind, and on 3 Swoosh the little picture and the big picture so that they swap places. Repeat this as many times as it takes for you to find it difficult to see the image of the thing that makes you feel bad.

Listen to Happy Music

We all have our own personal anthems. They might be songs we listen to when we’re getting ready to go out, or the song that makes us jump up to the dance floor, or maybe it’s the one that makes you grab a hairbrush and sing along. What ever your anthem is, play it and play it loud. Dance, sing, shake your groovy thing and feel better.

Be with People

Be around other people and talk about them. Don’t focus on your stuff, focus on theirs. Listening to other peoples problems can put our own into perspective and allow us some time to get free of our own.

Meditate

One of the amazing things that meditation gives us is the ability to see emotions for what they are – just emotions. They don’t have to control us and we can accept them or reject them, and we certainly don’t have to let them control our actions. With meditation you can learn to let feelings and emotions come into our awareness, and then let them drift away again. Monks that practice mindfulness meditation have been scanned using MRI’s and it has been found that they have actually managed to change their brain structure and they are happier as a result.

So if you want to change your mood, what are you waiting for.

There are things you can do 🙂

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My Happy Jar

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This is the latest post about my Happy Jar.

It’s a way to look back on things and remember all the little things that make us happy.

The idea came from a nice story I once heard about a woman who had a jar. Every time she thought of something that made her happy, she would jot it down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. Whenever she felt down, or fed up, she would go to her jar and find all the things that made her happy. Some things were big things, events that happened that she could look back on and smile, but most were little things that she could cherish and maybe even recreate to make her feel better.

So here are a few things from my Happy Jar this month

Making Tea in a Teapot with loose leaf tea

An unexpectedly warm morning in Autumn

The fragrance of a new candle

Reconnecting with an old friend

A cuddle when you’re feeling sad

Having a post reblogged

Chocolate cake (warmed up with a little bit of ice cream)

The smell of a book

The sound of silence

Helping out a neighbour

I know none of these things are amazing, there is nothing earth shattering about them, but all of them have made me smile and brought a least a little joy to my soul.

What will you put in your happy jar this month?

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