Micro Self-Care During the Pandemic: Use the Slow-Down Time to Form New Positive Habits
by Louise Murray
As the world is slowing down and retreating, we might be able to take a little bit more time for ourselves to nourish and replenish from within. Try to incorporate these simple wellbeing practices as recommended by qualified health and mindfulness coach Louise Murray into your daily routine to create new positive long-term habits. This will also help you live a better life when the lockdown is over!
Stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath. Do not underestimate the power of a deep breath. Try and do this simple breathing exercise twice a day or whenever you feel yourself losing steam:
- Deeply exhale with a whoosh sound
- Deeply inhale through the nose for 4, hold for 7, exhale through the mouth for 8
- Repeat for 4 breaths
Cup of calm
When you start feeling a little overwhelmed, this is a great 2-minute self-care tool. Make yourself a cup of your favourite warm drink and sit down. Notice three things in this moment – the colour of the drink, the weight of the mug, the feeling of the chair. Then consciously breath into your shoulders, try and relax them down a little and enjoy your cuppa – savouring the flavour. Return gently to the senses whenever you notice the mind straying into thought. Be open to your senses, rather than try to analyse what’s happening.
Self-love is the new ‘relationship goals’!
Positive affirmations are a powerful way of sending yourself a great dose of positive vibes and a great self-love tool. They can be grounding, energizing, motivating, inspiring – today let’s make them LOVING and send ourselves some loving kindness.
By starting your day with the repetition of one or more positive affirmations, you set the right intention for the day, brighten your mood and up your confidence. Try writing them down and keep looing at them throughout the day to remind yourself of them.
Here are a few of my favourite self-love affirmations:
Today, I choose me
I love my body and all it does for me
I believe in me
I love the woman that I am
I am growing and learning every day
I am deserving of happiness, love, peace, freedom, and anything else I desire
The more I practice loving myself, the more loveable I become
I deserve all that is good
I am loved
Develop an attitude of gratitude
Gratitude is a fantastic little mindset makeover tool and something that you can practice throughout the day. For example, a child’s laugh. Just be in that moment and mentally note down how grateful you are for that magical laugh. DONE! That’s it. Try and rack up as many of these as you can throughout your day. This micro self-care tool will help you embrace the everyday magic amongst the chaos and whirlwind of motherhood. Magic moments, are all around you if you can just try and tune into them – and if you can you are going to feel more positive, happier, grounded, calm and in control. You will shift your mindset into a positive ‘high vibe’ zone – and you will start to actually subconsciously train your brain to see more positivity all around you and in return this will attract more positivity into your life.
Do you sometimes need a thought shake? If you are feeling a bit low or flat, seek positive inspiration from others. It helps to shake your thoughts up – replacing any negative chatter in your head with positivity instead.
This might mean listening to your favourite music, listening to an uplifting podcast, or reading an inspirational book. If you choose a book or a podcast; set an alarm for 10 minutes, read/listen away and then you will come away feeling much more positive and ready to get on with the day again.
Sometimes our minds just need a little break and a good dose of positive high vibes to reboot and help us keep going! Learning to be in-tune with your mood and noticing when your mood starts to dip, and then having some simple tools to hand that work for you is a real gamechanger.
Assess your energy and avoid mood hoovers!
Self-care is hard and sometimes means setting tricky boundaries and letting go of the stuff that drains us. Make a list for yourself, and try to stop just a few of these things. You will gain SO much more quality time in your life. Here are a few ideas for your ‘stop-doing’ list:
- People pleasing
- Negative self-talk
- Overthinking things you cannot change
- Mindlessly scrolling social media
- Negative people
- Dwelling on the past
About the author:
Louise Murray is a Health & Mindfulness Coach with the qualification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and a mindfulness coach. She looks at nourishing people ON and OFF the plate by coaching them around 12 different aspects of one’s life. Through her work Louise discovered that its busy working women, who often put their own needs last after family and career, benefit from her support the most. She helps them fill their lifestyles with healthy balanced choices and live truly well, being the best version of themselves.