These are a few of the tools I’ve been using over the past few months to reduce my stress and improve my overall wellbeing. Some of the links are affiliate links.
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I first read this book over a year ago and it was one of the first steps I took to making a better practice of self-care. I started doing meditation right away, but the visualization and affirmations took longer to stick.
I used Headspace to learn about meditation. I really love his sessions on creativity and self confidence and have listened to both series at least twice.
The I AM Journal. This was one of the first tools I started using to get into a better gratitude habit. I loved the idea of writing down only THREE THINGS every day that I was grateful for and concentrating on my feelings. What I wanted most of all. How I would feel when I achieved those things. I don’t currently use this journal just because I don’t like to have yet another place to write stuff down in. But it got me started into the habit I’m using now.
I bought a copper fountain for my office and I love the constant gentle sound. I’ve got some crystals in it too that I’ve collected from various places. I don’t know that they make me feel better, but they’re pretty and I like them. Water is important for my muse (I’m starting to understand this more). As in my wizard story Nightgazer, “wellspring” is a metaphor for where the magic happens. I often picture Story bubbling up inside me like a fountain, and the sound reminds me to let the water — and the words — flow. It’s not so much work/effort, but tapping the well and letting the water come.
My Himalayan salt lamp is always on in my office. I love the gentle, warm glow that it casts so much that I bought another for my bedroom. I also have these salt tea light votives that I use in my office and around my tub when I take a bath. Again, I don’t know that they truly make me “feel better” fighting the negative ions in the rooms and such, but I *like* them. The glow is very comforting and makes me feel good when I see the light.
When I start a low-key sprint, I always do better if I put on my headphones and use one of my apps to help block out noise. Usually Naturespace but lately I’ve also been using Brainwave 35 with my own playlist of songs like Tibetan Singing Bowls, Crystal Bowls, etc. Very zen and relaxing.
Be Focused Pro is my timer app with set 10, 15, or 25 min sprints. The hardest part for me is stopping at the break and actually starting again. It’s easy for me to get distracted. I typically struggle with 25 mins. I lean toward 15 usually, but sometimes all I can manage is 10 mins. I do what I can when I can.
I’m experimenting with Productive – Habit Tracker this week to keep an automated list of my basic self-care tasks each day. So far I really like it, but I don’t know that I’m ready to spend for the Pro version yet. I love that it lets me color code items (so I have gold stars for sprints, and blue for zen stuff like meditation) and it keeps stats for me – though long-term, it’s hard for me not to get too focused on perfection and stressing about checking off an item. Which defeats the whole point of relaxation!
I’m still experimenting with visualization tools.