A Mindful Mini-Vacation in 5 minutes

Take a 5-minute mini-vacation without leaving the room!

This post guides you through a visualization where you imagine a mini-vacation to your “happy place.”

Take a few deeps breaths and bring to your mind your “Happy Place.” It could be an outdoor setting like the beach or mountains, it can be your favorite indoor space, a favorite comfy chair, or any other place that makes you feel calm and at peace. Close your eyes if it feels comfortable and is safe to do so. Imagine this place in as much detail as you can. Bring in your five senses and think about the sights, sounds, scents, and textures in the space.

Once you have your happy place in mind, notice how it feels emotionally and in your body to be in this space of peace and calm. Sit with this experience for a moment and tell yourself that you can access this feeling of calm and peace whenever you need it because is always present inside of you. Take a few deep breaths and give your self a moment to transition back into your current space. Remind yourself that you can access this “happy place and the feelings of calm that come with it any time you need it. And there you have it! Your 5-minute mini-vacation! Our minds and imagination are great mindfulness tools for self-care!

Looking for another mindfulness activity to incorporate into your self-care routine? Check out this blog post which explains the “breathe and smile” mindfulness exercise. Contact me at this link to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation to learn more about how self-care and mindfulness can support your mental wellness! 

Prioritize your wellbeing: Claim your peace and happiness

Myth: Making yourself a priority means you are ignoring the needs of others in your life

Truth: You can prioritize your wellbeing and care for the needs of others at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Many people think that prioritizing ourselves means not taking care of our family, social, academic, and professional responsibilities. This is not the case. It means you are using revolutionary self-care activities to make sure you are nurtured and supported. We have the right to be nurtured and supported in life.

Many of us need to actively claim our time, space, happiness, and joy. Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t have people in our lives or workplaces that ask if we feel nurtured and cared for. There is often no one saying, “Hey, you have been working hard lately, why don’t you take some time to yourself to rest and rejuvenate.” If you do have these people in your life, that’s wonderful! If you don’t have these people in your life, claim your peace by being firm in your commitment to revolutionary self-care activities. When we learn to claim our peace and happiness, we can avoid feeling as though our emotions are overly influenced by things that are out of our control.

Check out this blog post about revolutionary self-care to read more about how to claim your peace and happiness. Learn more about how to prioritize your wellbeing with revolutionary self-care by scheduling a complimentary 15-minute video call consultation at this link.  

Financial Social Work: Four Fun Money-Saving Self-Care Tips

My essay, Four Fun, Easy Ways to Reduce Expenses, was chosen to be published on the Center for Financial Social Work website! See the article included in this post below for information about how to incorporate nurturing activities and products into your revolutionary self-care plan without breaking the bank. To learn more about Financial Social Work (FSW) is a social work, visit the Center for Financial Social Work website or reach out to me for a complimentary 15-minute video call consultation.

Four Fun, Easy Ways to Reduce Expenses

You’ve completed your Personal Spending and Savings Plan (PSSP) and discovered that you need to reduce expenses. Cutting expenses does not sound pleasant. However, you can look at getting discounts and deals as a game or fun challenge. See how much money you can save and where you can get the best deal. Make sure that you are buying things that you need and can use. Don’t buy items just for the “thrill of the chase” or just because it is on sale. You are still spending money, even if it is a deal. Here are some fun ways to cut expenses and, if your PSSP allows, find discounts on fun activities, classes, and gifts.

1. Search for dupes and drug store brands.

It can be fun to see what types of dupes (less expensive versions of expensive items) people on the internet have found! Some items are the same product in different packaging. There might be a less expensive or store brand version that works just as well, if not better than the pricey brand name. Check out Costco and Trader Joe’s, as many of their private labels are actually popular name brands that they are selling at a fraction of the price. A word of caution here: Even though the products are less expensive, you can waste money if you don’t use them or if you buy a lot of dupes to test them out.

2. Trade tasks with family and friends.

You have probably heard of bartering or trading goods. You can also trade tasks. For example, if you would like to go on a date night with your significant other, but can’t afford a sitter, you can trade babysitting with a friend who also has kids and could use a date night. Or, let’s say you love to cook, though you are not so great at sewing, and you need some clothes altered. You could trade a meal with someone who knows how to sew. Just make sure that you are making a fair trade when considering the resources, time, and money you are devoting to the trade. Making a wedding dress is not equivalent to a pan of lasagna when considering the differences in resources devoted to the creation of the two items.

3. Look for coupons and discounts.

Look for discounts on fun activities if your PSSP allows. Groupon is a great resource for self-care and grooming types of services, such as haircuts, hair removal, and fitness classes, like yoga and pilates. Groupon activities can be gifted as well. Vocational schools for services like massages and hairstyling are great places to get discounted services.

4. Buy last year’s model.

Brands constantly release new and updated versions of their products to entice us to buy more. We can use this to our advantage by purchasing the model just before the newest version. This can be a great way to get sporting equipment, running shoes, electronics, and cars. Demo and floor models can also be a great deal if you don’t mind a few scratches or dents on the item.

I hope this brief list has sparked your interest in ways to get creative when cutting expenses. Happy bargain hunting!

*As published on the Center for Financial Social Work Website https://financialsocialwork.com/essay/four-fun-easy-ways-to-reduce-expenses

Self-Care: A Revolutionary Act

Self-Care for BIPOC women

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

Self-Preservation

Self-care for women, and BIPOC women in particular, can be difficult in a society that does not support our health and wellbeing. Poet and activist Audre Lorde presented the idea of revolutionary self-care for Black women decades ago. She states that caring for yourself “…is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation…” Finding self-care spaces that are welcoming for us can be challenging. Being happy and healthy in a world that often undermines our mental, emotional, and physical wellness is an act of self-preservation and can be extremely empowering. 

Revolutionary Self-Care

Revolutionary self-care is more than massages and bubble baths. These activities are wonderful and certainly nurturing. I would also encourage us to think of self-care from a broad perspective. Consider creating a life that nurtures your happiness and wellbeing. Here are some questions to think about when including revolutionary self-care into your life.

  • Boundaries
    Are you setting appropriate boundaries with regards to your time and energy? Do you ignore your impulse to say no to sometimes? Do you feel resentful, overwhelmed and/or tired because of this?
  • Basic Needs
    Are you giving yourself what you need when you need it? Do you rest when you are tired, eating when you are hungry, etc? Or are you ignoring your needs?
  • Create Nurturing Spaces
    Do you enjoy spending time in your personal and professional spaces? Are there things in your environment that make you feel happy, calm, inspired, and invigorated?
  • Managing Overwhelm
    Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you making yourself a priority so that you have the energy and mental capacity to be present in your profession, with your family, in your relationships and other areas that of life that you feel are important to you?

Your Plan

These and many other questions can be useful to consider when creating a life that incorporates revolutionary self-care. Feel free to contact me for a complimentary 15 minute video call consultation to learn more about how I can help you implement your revolutionary self-care plan!

Contact Me!

Peace and Joy for Busy BIPOC Women

Breathe and Smile

As BIPOC women, we  face many stressors in our daily lives. With challenges like micro-aggressions and systemic barriers that challenge our self-esteem and happiness, it can be difficult to find peace and joy. This simple and easy exercise can help us to find calm and peace in the moment. 

In his book, Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh recommends conscious breathing to keep you in the present moment and calm your body and mind. This simple technique only takes a few moments to complete. Simply recite to yourself:

Breathing in I calm my body (breathe in)
Breathing out I smile. (breathe out)
Dwelling in the present moment, (Breathe in)
I know this is a wonderful moment. (Breathe out)

If you can’t remember that, simply say to yourself:
“Calming, Smiling, Present Moment, Wonderful Moment”

If you can’t remember that, just remember to recite to yourself:
“breathe and smile” as you slowly breathe in and out.

Regardless of the version you choose, be conscious of your breath and your smile. Take slow and deep belly breaths to calm your body and signal the mind to relax. An easy and gentle smile relaxes the muscles in your face, helping to relieve tension in your forehead and jaw.

Give this simple technique a try to see if it works for you! Thanks for reading!

 

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