In find so much inspiration in the changing of the seasons. The coziness, the peaceful reminders that nature is always working its magic, and the feeling of fresh starts. When a new season begins, it’s a perfect time to evaluate your self-care routines and step things up. To kick off this season, I wanted to share three self-care goals for stepping up joy that will have a great R.O.E. (return on energy).
Evaluate Where Your Attention is Going
This one is big when it comes to your mental self-care. And it comes down to one strategy:
Stop giving your attention to things that don’t interest or inspire you.
That’s it! It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and let distractions take energy and focus away from goals, dreams, and other things that are truly important to us. By regularly evaluating where our attention is going and fiercely making edits, we can better stay focused on what really matters.
At the start of each season, create two lists. One list of five things you want to stop giving so much time and energy to, and one list of five things you’d like to give more time and energy to. Putting things down on paper can help re-set your mind and get you back on track. Study the lists and start creating shifts the day you make them. Soon the shifts in focus will become positive new habits.
Hydrate Inside and Out
It’s important to remember that hydration = energy! Even slight dehydration (which we all wake up with each morning) can cause a significant drop in energy levels. Feel tired in the afternoon? Drink a glass of water. It sounds like very basic self-care, but it works and it’s so easy to forget. Step up water intake to stay healthy and keep your mood and energy boosted.
And, don’t forget about your skin and hair. I once heard a piece of advice from a woman in her nineties that she offered when someone asked her how she had such amazing, youthful skin. She said, “Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!” She went on to say that if she could recommend just one habit for looking younger, it would be to moisturize well and use sunscreen every single day. I love the simplicity of this and am definitely stepping up my game this fall. The fact is, there are some habits that we don’t see significant results from right away, but you will seriously thank yourself for the effort at some point in your future.
And, on that note…try thinking about some additional habits you can be creating now that you’d be extremely grateful for down the road. A daily multivitamin? Five minutes of stretching in the morning for flexibility? A daily 20-minute walk?
Go on a Three-Step Clutter Clearing Mission (self-care bonus points!)
Every new season is a time for clearing out the old to make room for the new. To slow down and enjoy a little open space. In the fall, trees drop their leaves to release old energy, to rest, and to create space for new growth in the springtime. In the spring, nature has had plenty of rest and is ready to get started creating, growing, and blooming. We humans can learn from this and adopt similar habits.
Choose a three-week time period at the beginning of each season and spend some time during each of these weeks on clearing clutter.
The first week: focus on physical clutter in your surroundings. If you don’t use something, wear it, or enjoy it, let it go. If it’s stained, broken, or doesn’t work well, let it go. Donate, trash, and recycle. And get rid of the stuff quickly so you’re not tempted to go through and start pulling things out (I’ve been guilty of this!).
The second week: focus on electronic clutter. Clear out your emails. Delete files you don’t need. Delete photos from your phone you don’t want. Unsubscribe from email lists that create distractions and clutter your inbox. Trust me, you’ll love how good this feels and you’ll love the results. You don’t realize how much electronic junk drains your energy until you get rid of it.
The third week: focus on mental and emotional clutter. The reason this is the final week is because it will be so much easier to get clear on your priorities and focus when your environments are clutter free.
Try a meditation class, yoga, and some journaling. Go back to step number one in this post and evaluate where your focus and attention is going. Forgive someone. Learn deep breathing exercises, look at your calendar and see what you would like to eliminate or step away from. Create lists in your journal of thoughts and things to let go of and things you’d like to bring more of into your life. Do whatever feels like a breath of fresh air and clearing space. You’ll be amazed at the positive things that flow in when you make room.
Wishing you a beautiful season filled with light and joy.
For more ideas, join me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and check out my book Operation Happiness – The Three Step Plan to Creating a Life of Lasting Joy, Abundant Energy, and Radical Bliss, available in hardcover and as an audiobook. You can also download my complimentary audio class, The 11 Habits of the Happiest People below. Thanks for stopping by! xo
Photo by Victor Hanacek / Picjumbo