12 ways to reconnect with your inner child

12 ways to reconnect with your inner child

  Just want to let ya know: The information and tips on this website are from my personal experience and views and are not a substitute for any type of medical, psychological or health advice. My goal is to empower people struggling with anxiety in non-traditional ways that they can do alongside professional help. 

There is always help out there, and you can find a mental health professional locally, through your doctor, or through an online directory like this one. This is a link to a great article with affordable therapy options and this is an affiliate link to a great online therapy option. If you are in a crisis, there’s a list of help hotlines here. You are not alone!!

  Just want to let ya know: The information and tips on this website are from my personal experience and thoughts and are not a substitute for any type of medical, psychological or health advice. My goal is to empower people struggling with anxiety in non-traditional ways that they can do alongside professional help. 

There is always help out there, and you can find a mental health professional locally, through your doctor, or through an online directory like this one. This is a link to a great article with affordable therapy options and this is an affiliate link to a great online therapy option. If you are in a crisis, there’s a list of help hotlines here. You are not alone!!

30 self-care tips for introverts (and why it’s important)

30 self-care tips for introverts (and why it’s important)

“Society has a cultural bias towards extroverts” – Susan Cain

It doesn’t take a whole lot of searching to discover just how true this statement is. When it comes to introversion and extroversion, we definitely live in a world that favours the latter.

But first of all – what exactly is introversion and extroversion?

(spoiler alert: it’s not just “shy” and “not shy”)

 

Disclaimer: products on this page may contain affiliate links. We only promote products that we think are super awesome and will provide value to you! You can read more about our terms here.

Extroverts – The Social Butterflies

Extroverts are people who get energized when they’re around other people. They’re the social butterflies of the world. And if these butterflies spend too much time alone, they’ll start to feel isolated and uninspired. Full of life, full of energy, and full of chat – you’ll always find the extroverts wherever the action is (think Genie from Aladdin – that should paint a pretty good – if not slightly exaggerated – picture).

Introverts – The Not-So Social Butterflies

Introverts, on the other hand, get their energy from being alone. This doesn’t mean they don’t like being social or aren’t friendly, it just means that too much social interaction drains them. They therefore tend to be the ones who are quieter, more introspective, and usually a good few feet away from all the action (think Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Slightly romanticized, but I think we’ll take it).

There’s a place for both these wonderful types of people in our world. But the reality is: society tends to privilege extroverted traits over introverted ones.

Think about it – how many times have you heard ‘leadership’, ‘action-oriented’ and ‘team-player’ spewed out as virtuous qualities to aim for? And how many times have you totally faked these virtuous qualities on your resume in an attempt to land a job?

There’s an extrovert expectation that’s imposed on children from the time they can walk and talk – Beth Buelow

This extrovert expectation can be seen everywhere you look. The business world is a perfect example – where being persuasive, decisive, and assertive – trademark extrovert traits – is pretty well the holy trinity of the corporate game (besides being able to speak very LOUDLY).

And it’s not just in the business world – this extrovert bias can also be seen in the other most important institution in our societyschools.

Participation grades – my story

When I was in University, we had this god-awful practice in place called participation grades (I’ll take a moment here to let every introvert reading this catch their breath).

During class, we were expected to speak up and contribute to the discussion. The thing is, I didn’t want to speak up and contribute. It wasn’t because I was shy – it was just because this simply wasn’t the way I (or any other introvert sitting in that class) operated.

I work best by listening to other people and then having time to process my thoughts on my own.  And a 30 minute class discussion where 20 people are going back and forth debating doesn’t quite allow for that.

I would always feel so overwhelmed when I was sitting in these classes. And it didn’t make matters any better when I could see my professor glaring at me from across the room just waiting for me to “speak up”. 

It never happened, and I have the grades to show it.

Knowing yourself and the world around you

What it all comes down to is this: you need to know how you work and you need to know how the world around you works. Only once you know this will you be able to understand how to make yourself happy in it. 

This is true for both introverts and extroverts. Introverts, however, may need a little extra help with this, as our society does little in the way of helping them on its own.

And THIS is where the power of self-care comes in

For us introverts, think of self-care as your lifeline. Without it, you’ll have a hard time being able to function in the extroverted world around you. That’s why for this article, I thought I’d round up my best, most effective self-care habits to keep all you introverts feeling fulfilled, energized, and FULLY operational!

So go some place quiet and listen up (which I know you will because you’re all great listeners), because here are 30 THINGS that are going to help you survive in this hectic world.

Come out of your shell’ – that noxious expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go and some humans are just the same” – Susan Cain

30 Self Care Ideas for Introverts

 

1. Schedule in daily alone time

Now when I say schedule, I mean schedule – schedule it in that calendar like a doctor’s appointment! Even if it’s for ten minutes every afternoon, make sure you spend some part of your day A-L-O-N-E.

2. Learn how to say ‘no’

And stop feeling guilty about it! There’s no need to take on more than you can chew. If your body’s telling you that you don’t want to do something, you need to listen to to you body. 

3. Have a solo morning routine

Being alone in the morning is essential for an introvert to start their day off on the right foot (read: be in a good mood). Wake up before anyone else, do your stuff, and watch how much more aligned you feel for the rest of the day.

4. Have a solo night routine

This is just as important as your morning routine. Ending your day alone will give you time to be quiet, reflect, and work through any thoughts you have before going to sleep.

5. Stop comparing yourself to extroverts

Remember – society favours extroverted traits. This means that people who aren’t like are going to be celebrated as the “ideal” in the media and in your life. Don’t let it get to you. Remember: you are totally fine just the way you are.

6. Spend time in nature

This is one of the best ways to feel instantly refreshed and energized. Go for a walk around your block, go for a hike in the forest, or even just take a few deep breaths on your doorstep (pretending not to notice any of your neighbours who walk by, of course).

7. Read a book

Immerse yourself in the pages of a book and let them wisp you away to a whole different world (because sometimes our world can just be too darn much – and too darn loud).

8. Journal

Journaling – especially stream of consciousness journaling – is an incredibly powerful tool that helps you get in touch with your innermost thoughts and, therefore, your true self (also – it’s WAY easier for us introverts to express ourselves in writing rather than speaking).

9. Check in with yourself

How are you feeling in this moment? Are you okay? Are you stressed? Overwhelmed? Overstimulated? Make a habit of asking yourself these questions a few times a day. In fact, annoy yourself with how often you ask these questions!

10. Have a TV show just for YOU

Watching creepy crime dramas with your partner can be great, but don’t forget to keep some feel-good shows specially for you! Gilmore Girls for the 80th time, perhaps?

11. Do some breathing exercises

Deep breathing is an immensely powerful way of bringing your thoughts out of the outer world and into the inner world for a few moments. If you want to learn about some specific breathing techniques, you can find them explained in our free Anxiety Handbook!

12. Listen to your favourite music

Put in your earbuds and jam out to your favourite tunes alone in your room. Use your hairbrush as a microphone, 2001 Lizzie Mcguire style. We won’t judge. In fact, we’ll be doing the same alone in our room!

13. Listen to podcasts

Tuning out the world and learning at the same time? Pretty much the definition of a win-win solution for any introvert. Try checking out these podcasts that are especially designed for us quiet types.

14. Exercise

We already know that exercising is crucial for pretttty much everyone on this earth, but introverts can benefit even more from the alone time it gives them. 

15. Listen to spa music

For me, listening to spa music is the quickest way to just calm down and zen out when I feel overwhelmed. Here’s a good playlist to get you started. WARNING: be careful not to close your blinds while you listen to it, or you may do what I’ve done MANY a time and accidentally forget that an outside world even exists.

16. Use some essential oils

Aromatherapy is another great tool you can use to counteract the hecticness of the world. My personal favourites for a chill-out sesh are lavender, eucalyptus, and clary sage. Pair this with the above mentioned spa music and you’re in for a real time.

17. Research something

Introverts tend to be naturally curious and good at studying. A good way to satisfy this urge is by researching a topic you don’t know much about. I suggest labelling a notebook “My Introverted Investigations” and using it to write down all that you discover!

18. Take a bath

This makes a great addition to your solo nighttime routine. Add in some essential oils for an extra bit of well-deserved pampering.

19. Bake or cook something

Yet another great way to get in the zone and tune out the world for a while. Plus, if you can get lasagna or cookies out of it, it’s a pretty sweet deal!

20. Clean your house

Try dedicating a half hour each day to cleaning. On top of giving you some much-needed alone time, it also has the added perk of ticking stuff off your to-do list!

21. Do something creative

It could be playing music, writing, doing some art, even just doodling on a scrap piece of paper – spending some time getting in touch with your inner artist child is a great way for introverts to feel more energized.

22. Shop alone

This is a MUST for every single introvert out there. Spending an afternoon shopping alone – whether that’s grocery shopping or treat-yourself shopping – can be all you need to feel fulfilled for the rest of your day. And get this: the only person you’ll have to talk to the whole time is the cashier!

23. Take a break from social media

The constant bombardment of information and photos of OTHER people can get exhausting. Switch your devices off and just focusing on doing your thing.

24. Take a long shower and spend a lot of time getting ready

Honestly, who doesn’t like a nice, thorough shower and then spending a good two hours in the bathroom self-pampering? Sorry roomies – bathroom is occupied for the foreseeable future.

25. Look through old photos

This is a super cute and personal activity that’s meant just for YOU. Close your door, open you old photo albums, and take a wistful walk down memory lane.

26. Schedule a date with your best friend

Although introverts get refreshed by being alone, we can also sometimes get this from spending one-on-one time with one – ONE (did I mention one?) – of our closest friends. Just make sure it’s someone who you feel comfortable being totally yourself around.

27. Set specific times for contacting people

If you’re an introvert but you have a lot of friends, it can be overwhelming when text after text after text starts to cram up your inbox. Instead of feeling like you have to respond to everyone STRAIGHT away, set aside 30 minutes a day dedicated to catching up on your correspondence (sounds romantic, no?).

28. Go on a solo day trip

If you’re an introvert and you’ve never spent a day at a museum, art gallery, or even a restaurant alone – you’re seriously missing out. This is one of the most refreshing things that we can do as introverts. Plus – it’s also a fantastic way to gain confidence!

29. Take a long drive

Turn up the radio, roll down the windows, and just enjoy the cruise. Maybe discover a new town, maybe get lost, maybe accidentally drive to the mountains and stay for a month… whoops.

30. Schedule your week

One of the most useful things you can do as an introvert is spend some time (on a Sunday!) scheduling out your week. This allows you to schedule in advance time to spend doing these self-care habits.

It’s one thing to read about self-care, but it’s a whole other thing to actually incorporate these habits into your daily routine.

Natalie Burns-Holland

Natalie Burns-Holland

Content Creator at Mindaya

Natalie is a freelance writer living in Edinburgh, Scotland.
16 productivity tips that will crush your to-do list and supercharge your life!

16 productivity tips that will crush your to-do list and supercharge your life!

If there’s one thing that all of us on this earth share, it’s the desire to GET STUFF DONE!

We humans are a productive species, and that means that we need to do things in order to feel fulfilled. In fact, a recent study found that the more busy a person is, the happier they are!

So what does this mean for us?

It means that we should think of increasing our productivity as a worthy goal – not only for the sake of ticking things off our to-do list – but also for our happiness in general!

That’s why I’ve decided to round up 16 of my best, most effective productivity tips to share with you. So get those pencils ready, ’cause after you’re done here, you’re going to be ticking a whole lot of stuff off that list of yours!

 

Disclaimer: products on this page may contain affiliate links. We only promote products that we think are super awesome and will provide value to you! You can read more about our terms here.

1. Create a morning routine

We may not all be morning people, but research shows that there’s a direct correlation between how early a person wakes up and how successful they tend be. This is because of a couple reasons:

First of all, the earlier we wake up, the more time we have to spend doing healthy morning habits. These habits will then set the tone for the rest of our day. Some examples include:

  • Writing stream of consciousness
  • Stretching
  • Mindfully drinking our coffee/tea
  • Writing down things we’re grateful for
  • Repeating positive affirmations to ourselves

On top of this, waking up early also means that we’ll have more hours in our day to get things done. Once we finish our healthy morning habits, we can just get straight to work (even before most people have waken up yet!).

2. Group easier tasks together and get them done first 

Here’s a good rule to follow: if it can take you 5-10 minutes to do, just do it (I promise this isn’t a Nike advert!).

Take a couple minutes (in your morning!), to list all the quick and easy tasks you need to get done – whether it’s responding to an email, calling someone back, or even unloading the dishwasher. These are super easy things to do, but if you keep putting them off, they pile up, and that’s when they start to get overwhelming.

Plus, when you do these quick tasks first thing, it’ll get you in the “get stuff done zone”. Once you start doing even the simplest of tasks, you’ll be surprised to see how motivated you are to keep going!

3. Do your most dreaded task right away

We all have that ONE task on our to-do list that we keep putting off because we just don’t wanna do it.

Whether it’s a big time-consuming project or just one little chore that we shiver at the thought of actually doing (returning a phone call that makes you uncomfortable, perhaps?) – you just have to get it done.

The easiest way to do this? Get it done first thing in the – you guessed it – morning! After you’ve done a few of your small tasks, get the cringe-worthy one done and dusted and OUT of your mind (and enjoy how amazing it feels after you do so!).

4. Write everything down on paper

Sunday is great for so many things – movie nights, roast dinners, and planning out your next week!

Spend some time on Sunday evening listing all the things you want to get done in the following week. But here’s the catch – leave your computer and your phone turned off. Instead, write it all down on – GASP – physical paper!

Okay, in all seriousness, writing things down on paper rather than on your electronic devices has SO many benefits (as this article does a great job explaining). For me, the biggest benefit is being able to physically cross everything out when I accomplish it – there’s no better feeling in the world, I swear. 

And lucky for you, my Goal Planner was designed to help you with just this! I created this planner to guide you in getting clear on your goals so that you can break them up into smaller tasks to do throughout your day. It’s a fantastic resource for helping you take charge of your daily habits so that you can manage stress much better!

5. Don’t hesitate

Shout out to all my fellow procrastinators out there! Okay, this is one tip that I struggle following the most, but it’s also one of the most important ones (funny how it always seems to work like that!).

When we look down at our to-do list (handwritten on paper of course!), it can be overwhelming to see everything we have to get done. Often when this happens, we have this funny little habit of doing nothing at all rather that just doing something!

This is called procrastination, but I like to call it inaction. Why? Because it has the solution right there in the word – ACTION!

Honestly, just start doing something. I promise, once you do, you’ll get in the zone.

6. Eat healthy

If you want to be productive, there are 3 key times during the day you’re gonna want to pay special attention to:

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner (okay, let’s be honest – snack time too!).

What you put inside your body is going to make all the difference with how many things you’re able to get done throughout the day. Food is fuel, and your body and mind need fuel to be able to focus hard and work harder (if you want more insider tips and tricks on how to incorporate healthy eating habits into your daily routine, I suggest heading on over to my website and checking out my Design Your Anxiety-Free Life course!).

7. Take breaks

We’re all human, and that means we can’t be operating on superdrive all day long.

No matter how overwhelming your to-do list may seem, you MUST take breaks. Not only will it give your mind and body a much-needed rest, but it will also allow you to be more productive when you start back up again!

Schedule in advance small chunks of time throughout your day that you will dedicate to doing something that isn’t work.

Now, as much as our phones and the TV remote may be tempting, I advise against just flipping on a screen. Instead, the best thing to do on your breaks is something that rests you but also charges you. These things include:

 

  • Reading a book
  • Stretching/working out
  • Spending time in nature
  • Doing something creative
  • Listening to an inspirational podcast
  • Cleaning (yup, I said it! But honestly, you’d be surprised at what epiphanies you can have about your work while washing the dishes!)

8. Get in some exercise

Exercise is like the cousin of eating healthy – and you need the help of both these cousins if you want to get stuff done during the day! 

Working out is such an underrated component when it comes to being productive. I can’t stress this enough – if you want to feel motivated and productive, you need to get moving!

Whether it’s a stroll down your street, a quick yoga session, or even just a 5-minute stretch in your office – any and every form of physical activity is going to be your saving grace during your working day (which my Habit Tracker will help you stay on top of doing!).

9. Group similar tasks together 

This is what many people would call a productivity “hack”. Why? Because it’s a super easy yet not very well-known tip that only THE most successful people do (which will soon be YOU!).

When you’re planning out what you want to get done during your day, try as best you can to schedule similar activities in during the same time frame. For example, let’s say you have a lot of correspondence to do (phone calls, emails, texts) – schedule those in for one time block. If you have a bunch of cleaning that needs to get done, schedule each cleaning task in another block together.

When you do this, you’re allowing your brain to stay in similar “zones” as it does similar tasks. This means that you’ll spend less mental energy “switching” from one task to another completely unrelated task.

10. Break up bigger, daunting tasks into smaller chunks

This one is for that MONSTER on your to-do list (you know that one I’m talking about!). In order to defeat the beast, you gotta take it in chunks.

Instead of focusing on the WHOLE task, break it up into 3, 4, 5, or as many smaller tasks as it requires. Separate each task on your to-do list so that your brain just thinks of them as small, not-so-daunting tasks. 

11. Focus on one thing at a time

You have a million things to do. I know. I totally get it. But the only way you’ll get everything done is when you work on One. Thing. At. A. Time.

Whenever I have a never-ending to-do list, I tend to lose focus on one task because I’m thinking about that other thing I need to do, and that other other thing I need to do. I have to constantly remind myself that this way of thinking is NOT helping me – in fact, it’s distracting me from doing what I need to do!

Just take it one step at a time. You’ll get to everything. Don’t worry.

12. Have a good organizational system in place

If you’re anything like me, then you naturally have about TEN different places where you keep all your thoughts and notes organized (email, Google Grive, Dropbox, Microsoft Word, notes on my phone, notes in my notebook etc etc…). This is no way to be, and it will just end up adding more time to each of your tasks.

One of the best decisions I ever made in terms of my productivity was to streamline my organizational system. How did I do it? One word: Evernote

Evernote has been an amazing help in keeping all my many (MANY) thoughts organized an in their place. Honestly, if you haven’t already, I recommend downloading it (it’s totally free!).

13. Minimize distractions

Social media is great way to connect with people. It’s also a great way to lose FOCUS.

I, along with many of you I’m sure, have often fallen into the trap of taking a “five minute break” that turns into me scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed for HALF AN HOUR (I swear that social media distorts the time-space continuum).

My best advice to you? Switch your devices off. Your friends can wait, you can upload photos later, and you definitely don’t need to see who posted the latest vacay pic.

I know that this can be difficult to do on your own, but there are some super helpful apps out there that can help you out with this.

14. Get enough sleep

Who could say no to some extra Zz’s?!

Just like eating healthy and exercising, sleep is another vital function that our body NEEDS in order to be in tip-top condition to get things done.

If you struggle getting enough sleep, then I recommend you check out my Free Anxiety Handbook. In it, I share one super effective relaxation technique that works absolute wonders in helping you fall asleep easier and faster!

 

15. Say ‘no’ sometimes

One of the biggest things that has helped me focus more on the important things is learning the art of saying ‘no’.

It can be difficult to tell people that two-letter word, but honestly, once you learn how to, it’ll be a total game-changer. Whether it’s taking on more responsibilities at work, running some errands for your family, or doing a favour for your friend – you are always allowed to say ‘no’.

People will understand if you just explain the truth – “I’m really sorry, I won’t be able to do this for you because I have a lot of pressing things I need to get done but I’ll be happy to do it [insert time when you’re free]”.

 

16. Realize that the world will go on if you don’t get everything done

Go easy on yourself. If you don’t get everything on your to-do list done, it’s okay. You’ll survive. The world will go on.

You need to work through your to-do list with less of a “I-need-to-get-everything-done-OR-ELSE!” mentality and more of a “I-just-have-to-work-through-this-step-by-step” mentality. All is good, all is well.

You’ll get it done.

If you want more help crushing your to-do list and living a stress-free life, then check out my Productivity Secrets and Goal Planner! In it, I’ll be giving you worksheets and planners that guide you in structuring your day in a way that works for your schedule and aligns with your goals!

Natalie Burns-Holland

Natalie Burns-Holland

Content Creator at Mindaya

Natalie is a freelance writer living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

How to use stream of consciousness journaling: 7 tips to start clearing your mind

How to use stream of consciousness journaling: 7 tips to start clearing your mind

Picture this:

It’s Saturday morning.You wake up with a beam of sunlight pouring into your room and birds singing outside your window. It seems like the perfect morning. But something’s not quite right. Despite the sun, the birds, and the weekend vibes, something’s just…off.

You don’t feel relaxed. You feel overwhelmed. There are a gazillion things rushing through your mind – I have to buy groceries. When’s that assignment due? I really should clean the bathroom. The job application deadline is tomorrow. I need to get started on that. Will I have time practice guitar? I haven’t practiced in ages. Maybe I’m no good at guitar. Maybe I should quit. I can’t quit! When do I get paid? The more you think, the more anxious you get. No wonder you’re not feeling the Saturday morning vibes – your mind is going crazy!

When your thoughts are running a hundred miles an hour, it’s easy to feel confused. And when you feel confused, you lose sight of what really matters, and how you really feel. That’s where stream of consciousness journaling comes in.

What is “Stream of Consciousness Journaling”?

Stream of consciousness journaling is a method of journaling that involves writing down your thoughts as they come to you. No proofreading. No overthinking. Just transcribing every thought that pops into your head down on paper.

In stream of consciousness journaling, the magic happens in the messiness. When you stop censoring your thoughts and instead let them come to the page organically, what you’re really doing is allowing yourself to communicate with your inner voice, your intuition, your soul. The part of you that has all the answers. The part of you that’s unclouded by stress, anxiety, and ego.

It will Help You Understand Your Mind

Stream of consciousness journaling has a tendency to bring to the surface problematic thinking patterns, to uncover fears you didn’t know you had, and insights you didn’t know you needed. Thoughts that come from the depths tend to be the most profound, and the most necessary.

So if you’re ready to push past the distractions and delve deep to discover what’s really important to you, here are my 7 most helpful tips on stream of consciousness journaling:

1. Journal in the morning – Our thoughts tend to be the most chaotic and muddled when we first wake up. By writing in the morning, you’re sifting through all that chaos straight away, leaving you with a clear, focused mind for the rest of the day.

2. Don’t force anything – Be true to your thoughts. Stream of consciousness journaling should never feel contrived. It may not be enlightening, it may not be earth-shattering, it very well may be “I’m so tired, I don’t know what to write”. If that’s what you’re thinking, write it down.

3. Be patient – Don’t give up if you don’t get an ‘aha’ moment straight away. If you continue with it every day, your intuition will take you where you need to go. You know just as well as I know that all good things take time.

4. Forget the rules – Throw any concerns you have about spelling and grammar out the window. The point isn’t to create publish-worthy prose, the point is to let your soul take control (your soul doesn’t care about ‘you’re’ vs ‘your’).

5. Be specific – Your journal is no place for cautious generalities. Pin-point as much as you can – specific names, feelings, emotions, events. This is for your eyes only, so don’t shy away from writing precisely and explicitly.

6. Write by hand – Writing by hand in a physical journal rather than on your computer slows you down and keeps the intuitive part of your brain engaged. Your keyboard is far too linear for this type of writing.

7. Allow for jumps – Our thoughts can sometimes be quite sporadic, and that’s okay. If at one point you’re writing about your dog, which then reminds you about that movie you saw last night, which then reminds you about a dream you had one time – let yourself go there. No need for tidy transitions.

You have the tips, you have your journal, and you have your pencil. All that’s left for you to do?

Let it flow!

Natalie Burns-Holland

Natalie Burns-Holland

Content Creator at Mindaya

Natalie is a freelance writer living in Edinburgh, Scotland.