THE POWER OF SMILING, DELICIOUS CHAI AND LOVE YOURSELF CHALLENGE

This post was first published earlier today on my Weebly blog “Bee SelfCaring“. “Mindful Music Monday Mug” was formerly known as “Music Monday Care & Love“. 

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Welcome to “Mindful Music Monday Mug” & “Love Yourself Challenge” . We are informal here. No perfect presentation of ourselves but loving the way we are with all the frizzy hair, laughing lines around our eyes and the messy home too! I hope this photo makes you smile. You understand soon 🙂 .

Welcome back self-care ninjas! How has your week been? Have you tried out to dress nicely? How has it been?

Now, this week was a real challenge for me as I am not one for the make-up, dressing up and getting up for it. But I made an effort to at least think about what I am wearing. I can’t really chuck any clothes out because I do not own many. Also, I still have no income so can’t just go and buy something new. But I’ve decided once the finances are sorted to go and buy myself a couple of nice outfits that I really like and not only use because they are comfortable. Definitely a development here. And what about you? Have you decided on any changes in your wardrobe?

But before we go on to chapter 5 of “Singing in the Rain” let’s have a look at the extra March feature on “Bee SelfCaring”

For the month of March “Mindful Music Monday Mug” has an added bonus: I am taking part in a challenge called “Love Yourself” by Carol Anne from “Therapy Bits” in which she invites us to find something we love about ourselves every day. One heck of a challenge I would say. But maybe it’s not so difficult for you?

Here is what Carol Anne wrote on the first day of the challenge:

“List something, or more than one thing, you love about yourself, for the entire month of march!
Each day, we’ll make a daily post calling it love yourself challenge, and list what you love about yourself!”

Self-care and Loving yourself!

I believe that part of caring for ourselves is to develop healthy self-esteem especially if you live with a mental health problem. I often find it rather hard to find things that I like about myself so finding 31 of them is definitely a challenge.

And I am taking the challenge, Carol Anne! Thanks for hosting it!!!

Love Yourself Challenge Day 18

Wow, day 18 and I am still going even though I have combined several days as I have quite some trouble to find things I love about myself. But, so far, I managed to find one for every day!

Today I love about myself that I am able to learn and improve myself.

In fact, it has always been my goal to become a better person and so reading self-help books or doing courses in qigong or mindfulness are an integral part of my life. That’s pretty good I think. Yes, I think I am even proud of that!

Carol Anne was busy with life so we connect this post with her day 4

Find my other “Love Yourself Challenge” posts over at my Weebly blog “Bee SelfCaring

What’s in our mugs this week?

And why mugs in this blog feature anyway? If you have signed up for the Bee SelfCaring/The Bee Writes… newsletter you got a download about easy daily steps to self-care. One of which is my “Self-appreciation mug”. No, it does not mean to get arrogant about yourself it means to allow yourself a mug (or glass) of your favourite beverage while contemplating what you have achieved and giving yourself praise for it.

This is a great way to raise your self-esteem and to realise how far you have come which in turn will encourage to make more changes for the better.

If you are following me for a while you know that I love tea and often spice mine with cinnamon for example. There is, of course, a long tradition in India of drinking spiced tea and theirs is called “Chai” which means this week I am sharing a tasty “Chai” recipe with you:

I haven’t had the chance yet to try it out but will let you know about my experiences next time.

Singing in the Rain ~ week 5 ~ Smiling and Laughing

This week Rachel Kelly introduces us to the beneficial effects of smiling and laughing. She goes back to ancient times when humans grouped together to survive the many threads they had to face. Our brain is trained to detect dangers and a stern expression suggests to it that danger is around. Smiling and laughing, however, is a tool to bond with others who might help us against the outside dangers and also suggests to the brain, that it can relax.

It is strange that I came across this mechanism just last week when I started to try out a Qigong routine in which it is suggested that you instantly relax when you smile. I’ve tried it and it works, by the way. It is also funny, that I try to make my husband smile or laugh at least once a day. Not sure why I started it but it is my (not so) secret mission to lighten his day and it definitely is beneficial to his mood.

Rachel suggests for this week to start smiling as it is often easier than laughing. She suggests that smiling leads to laughter and I think it’s worth trying out. So one of her exercises for this week is to choose to smile at as many people as possible. “Singing in the rain” offers a cute roster with ovals so you can keep track of the smiles you give out to others but feel free to just make your own. She also suggests to jot down happy moments in as much detail as you can. Who were you with. Where was it? What happened? This way you have a reminder of good days which often acts as a “smile starter”. There is also an smile exercise which I do not repeat here. I am sure you can find some on the internet if you are interested.

But if you love Rachel’s approach then I encourage you to check out Rachel’s “Singing in the Rain ~ An Inspirational Workbook” by Rachel Kelly on Amazon for the full benefit of her suggestions!
(I am not affiliated with Rachel Kelly and get no rewards for this suggestion)

Mindfulness in March

Above I mentioned a QiGong routine I have started to follow a couple of days a week. While it is not exactly Mindfulness I believe QiGong helps you to become more mindful and aware in your life and that is why I bring it into this part of Mindful Music Monday Mug. The video starts at the “Inner Smile” exercise which is the one I mentioned above.

 

Video credit: YoQi via YouTube

This weeks Music

And to support our smiling efforts this week I suggest to you to add some songs that make you smile or even laugh to your self-care music list. Here is one that always does the trick for me. Well, it’s more the video than the song itself 😉

Video source: nikki7993 via YouTube 

Mindful Music Monday Mug Chat

For a couple of weeks, I have tried out a chat feature via Skype. No one seemed to be interested or the time was just badly chosen. However, I have no other time when I can easily do so it had to go. Sorry!

And to remind ourselves how to take part:

SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO TAKE PART IN THE MINDFUL MUSIC MONDAY MUG (formerly Music Monday Care & Love)

​~ I invite you to appreciate yourself with a cup of your favourite beverage or the recipe I introduce in this post
~Additionally I offer you questions, exercises and ideas to explore self-care, self-love and self-improvement.
~ I invite you to share your ideas and experiences in the comments or write a blog post about it and leave the link in the comments.
~ Also feel free to visit the blogs of our fellow self-care explorer ninjas.

Now dear self-care explorer ninja’s
Come, chat about self-care
Share some great music
And have lots of fun!

DISCLAIMER:

I am not a health professional. My posts describe my thoughts, my experiences and my conclusions about life, mental health and self-improvement. My described actions always go alongside therapy and do not substitute professional advice by a health professional be it a doctor, therapist or counsellor.

I invite you to try out self-care tools, however, if any of these make you feel uncomfortable please stop and do not go further ahead. Also, if any of the tools suggested bring up issues that need dealing with do not hesitate to reach out for professional help. To recognise when you need to stop and when to reach out for professional or any other help is one important part to learn when it comes to self-care.

Please look here if you need further guidance:

UK:
Mind
NHS

USA:
MentalHealth.gov

Canada:
Government of Canada

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