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Let’s be honest, right now we’re all stuck in isolation around the world and many are probably finding productivity a little more difficult than usual. There’s nothing wrong with that, this is an unprecedented time full of uncertainty and distractions. Fortunately as a work from home mom, with a preemie that required 4 months of isolation after she left the hospital, I know a thing or two about isolation. I also know one of the BEST ways to get your butt into gear is putting time and effort into yourself. We’ve talked a bit this month about self-improvement such as the Benefits of Personal Development, How to Upgrade your Quality of Life, and Mental Health Strategies, and trust me, the universe is telling you THIS is the right time to start working on yourself. So I put together a list of products you can probably find around your house that can help you get on track to improve yourself!
Self-development products to improve your quality of life
- Meal Planning: Meal planning is one of those habits that appear to bring you anxiety and cost time and effort, but in reality, it does the opposite. It subtly saves you a ton of time AND money. Whether you use a piece of paper, a refrigerator calendar, a notepad, a notebook, or used napkin, it’s a great practice to get into help you use your time more effectively.
- Mail Organizer: Mail is so easy to get behind on. It helps to have one place it all goes, and organize it as it comes in. We created a whole system right when you walk in the house so there is no excuse not to organize. Depending on your needs, a nice hanging file holder can do the trick with style!
- Purse Organizer: Purses can get out of control very quickly if you’re not careful. Then you spend far too much time looking for your car keys before you leave the house, your wallet in a store, or your chapstick when your lips are cracked and bleeding. I recently got a new backpack and grabbed one of these little purse organizers for it, and it works amazingly. Everything is so easy to see and find, and it even fits my laptop (hence why I have a backpack). Thankfully purse organizers come in many different sizes and shapes depending on your bag, but when you can see everything clearly, it’s far more inspiring to keep clutter, receipts, and unwanted items out!
- Life Organizer: If you’re like most people, you have your emergency numbers saved to your phone, your mail center near the front door, and the bills paid online. Sounds fine right? What about health records? In the office! Your birth certificate is probably in the safe. Last year we had a fire close-by and raced around to find important documents. It never occurred to me how odd it was to have all of these important things in DIFFERENT places. I have since organized everything in easy to find system all in one spot. If you need some help with this, the Life in Motion Binder walks you through this exact system to get your life in order quickly and efficiently. You will never have to look anywhere else with all of this in one spot!
How to improve your mental health
- Journal: When emotions start getting the better of you, the first thing you should do is write. Freewrite whatever comes to mind for 5 minutes to empty your head. Describe your day in extensive detail. Talk about things you are thankful for. Pursue joy. Or buy Let That Sh*t Go and leave the bullsh*t behind!
- Weighted Blanket: When anxiety starts to get the better of you, there is nothing more comforting than a hug. Add in social distancing and well, that is a horrible cycle of anxiety. Enter the weighted blanket. Wrap yourself in (the appropriate weight size for your individual weight) and it literally feels like a hug. I’ve used one for years, I love my Quilty because it’s Minky (SO SOFT), it’s a gorgeous color (I have the teal), and the cover is removable for easy washing.
- Oil Diffuser: I’ve always been skeptical about essential oils, but I have to admit; placebo or not there is something both comforting and relaxing about the smells. I got this Oil Diffuser Gift Set for my mom to try, it’s a beautiful design and comes with 20 essential oils to try out. She loves the Eucalyptus and Rosemary scents for sinusitis and focus. Psst. My house constantly smells of peppermint (migraines) and Lavender (it’s relaxing!). You could also skip the diffuser and grab the essential oils for baths or even aromatherapy candles!
- Light Therapy: Isolation tends to make people retreat to their beds which may seem relaxing for a day or two, but can quickly turn to anxiety and depression. Getting out of bed as much as possible is the first step, and the second is getting into the light. If you find your house is dark, no backyard or the weather is too bad for walks, a light therapy lamp can really improve your mood and mental health. This lamp from Philips doubles as an alarm clock and even helps you wake up more refreshed!
How to improve your health and wellness
- Water bottle: This is the perfect time to drink LOTS of water. It can clear up your skin, help you lose weight and sleep better, to say the least. Grab the nearest water bottle and carry it everywhere. If you want something that can really keep you honest, grab the HydraCoach – it literally keeps track ON the (digital) bottle and reminds you when to drink. No app or syncing required!
- Foam Roller: A foam roller post-workout is the best way to improve the workout experience and keep muscles from straining. You can make do with a water bottle from the freezer, or try this vibrating roller from Vulken, it’s the cheapest massage you can get and you don’t even have to travel to get it!
- Jump Rope: This might seem random, but jump rope is an easy way to get your heart pumping and your legs moving. For those with less room, jumping jacks are a great alternative. But if you have the room, I recommend the Soonhua Smart Jump Rope. If you’re anything like me I lose count 3 jumps in. This one counts my jumps, has a sound reminder if I set for a certain number of jumps to target, and has adjustable WEIGHTS. Plus, the rope comes off for a room saver option. On top of everything, it barely costs more than a cheap set in the kid’s section.
- Fitness Watch: You don’t NEED a fitness watch, I will be the first to say that. But I love them. I have the Fitbit Versa and it changed my life. It reminds me to take steps if I’ve been sitting for too long, it plays music and helps me with workouts. It tracks my sleep, my steps, my heart rate, even my periods. It even notifies me when I get a text message or call, and if Starbucks were still open I could scan to purchase my coffee. Before the Versa, I had the Charge, and before that, I had an even older version of the Charge. I’ve been a Fitbit fanatic for over 10 years and would recommend them to anyone who needs a kick in the butt to get you moving!
How to improve your professional skills
- Planner: Keeping track of your responsibilities, managing your time and measuring your goals are key to professional advancement. There are thousands of planners out there to choose from, but I’ve talked about it before – I LOVE my Cultivate What Matters Planner. It’s so much more than JUST a planner, and comes with a community! Check them out to get the full scoop!
- Listen: Listening is an extremely important skill that is far too often underestimated. Learning to listen to starts with things you are interested in listening to, AudioBooksNow are a great place to start. Training yourself to listen (bonus points you learn something at the same time)!
- Vision Board: Vision boards are a great way to get you dreaming, and working towards those dreams. It forces you to question your goals, and see it every day. No time to figure it out? Grab a Vision Board Kit with everything you need to walk you through the process and build your very own personalized vision board.
- Read: In a time of isolation, but you want to read everything you can get your hands on, the Kindle is the perfect tool. You can buy and download ANY book you want and read it immediately, but if you’re not sure you want to buy it – you can sign up for Kindle Unlimited which gives you instant access to millions of ebooks without paying for them individually!
How to improve your spiritual health
- Guided Meditation: Guided meditations are everywhere on YouTube, but there is a reason that spiritual coaches, mediation practitioners, and yoga instructors are paid for this same thing. I’ve talked about the Muse before, a guided meditation headset that gives you real-time feedback on how you are doing to help calm, relax, and get the most out of the experience. It is literally a personal meditation assistant that tracks and measures your progress.
- Singing Bowl: If this sounds ridiculous, you probably haven’t heard one. You could probably find one on YouTube, but if funds allow I highly recommend grabbing a Tibetan Singing Bowl to promote inner harmony and peace. This one even comes with PDF guidebooks to teach you different ways of using it!
- Gratitude Journal: Finding gratitude in life that surrounds you is the best way to get in touch with your spirituality. Find a piece of paper and start describing things you are thankful for. Want more guidance? Grab IN PURSUIT OF JOY in my shop for a 30-day guided workbook to find happiness in your life again!
- Pillow: Whether your sense of spirituality comes from meditation, prayer, thinking, writing or creating, you will need somewhere to sit. Grab the comfiest floor pillow and reconnect with the earth. If you don’t have a nice floor pillow, I recommend a meditation pillow as they are made with comfort while sitting still for long periods of time in mind! This Brentwood Home pillow keeps comfort, practicality (removable cover for easy washing) and style in mind!
- Gift Baskets: In a time where you can’t drop by a friend’s house, a gift basket is a fantastic way to show someone you care. Think about their tastes: chocolate lovers, coffee connoisseurs, BBQ Queens, Junkfood fanatics, even Spa gift sets can make people feel loved and appreciated!
- Penpals: Sure you text each other all day, but anyone can text in their sleep. To improve your friendships, write to them. A nice long handwritten letter. Draw silly pictures, tell them about your day, tell them you miss them, describe what you’ll do together as soon as you get out of quarantine. For even more fun, get some beautiful stationery and really go wild!
- Activity Books: I love these, I was a nervous wreck on my first date with my husband (OMG he was so out of my league!), he jokingly picked up an activity book and we learned more about each other in the first 2 weeks of dating, than most people know about their significant others after two years. Full of games, puzzles, questions and more to fill up your time, keep you honest with each other, and who knows – maybe you’ll learn something about each other!
- Communicate: The easiest and fastest way to improve your relationships is to communicate better. If you don’t know where to start, try 4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication in Love, Life and Work!