Self-Care: slowing down & practicing gratitude

March can be an exciting month, a time where Spring is just on the horizon and things begin to awaken with new life. As exciting as this month can be, it can become easy to fall into the trap of "whats next." As entrepreneurs and creatives I think this is especially difficult. We are always thinking about the next project or collaboration. As much as I  hear people talk about embracing the "Hustle," I'm going to be honest with you.

The "hustle" mindset doesn't work for me. 

I tried this mindset of go-go-go and all it gave me was a face full of stress zits and sleepless nights. So at the start of the year I vowed to take back those sleepless nights and begin practicing a little self-care. I looked back at the previous year and realized I had a lot of great ideas, but most of them got lost in the "hustle." Instead I promised myself that this year would be different and I'm excited to say that as March is already passing quickly,  I have maintained the practices that I began at the beginning of the year. I want to tell you I have noticed such a difference in myself and the people I have been able to share my story with, that I knew I needed to share them with you too. 

Self-Care: Taking time to slow down & practice gratitude + a FREE Workbook!  | Kendra Castillo
Self-Care: Taking time to slow down & practice gratitude + a FREE Workbook!  | Kendra Castillo

Sometimes I think the little lie of believing that if we slow down the rest of our plans will crumble or that someone else will beat us to that perfect project, is the beginning of our demise. The irony is that when we actually slow down and practice a little self-love we begin to produce better work, we are able to think clearly and those awful stress zits slowly go away! 

For me it started with taking a little "me" time in the morning. Getting out my journal and slowing down before the day even got underway. To me it was the action step that I needed to take. I needed to break my bad habit of immediately waking up and scrolling instagram, checking my emails and already feeling behind from the "to-do" list I made yesterday. 

Tell me I'm not alone in this bad habit?? 

The best part was that I knew I didn't have to feel like this forever. This feeling of constantly being one step behind. I began with a few tiny changes. The first was waking up at the same time every weekday (even thought I am NOT a morning person). I then poured myself a cup of coffee, grabbed my journal and settled into the couch. I began taking time every morning to practice a little self-love. I allowed myself to pause, to leave my phone far away and keep the distractions of the day at bay for 10-30 mins. 

At first it was a little painful, the habit of checking my phone was worse then I thought. But after even one week I began craving those uninterrupted moments. I started to have more focus, more joy, more confidence. That may sound funny, but the truth is, when we take time to reflect we are able to see areas in our life that we may need to adjust in order to become the best YOU, you can be. So here's my lesson...

It is important to take time to self-reflect.

To pause during the busyness of life and evaluate who we are becoming and who we want to be. It can be oh so easy to let the days, months and years slip by without accomplishing the goals that we had in mind. It’s one thing to dream big dreams, but it is another thing to be able to put action to those dreams. Putting action to the dream allows it to actually become a reality.

What is more beautiful than seeing a dream become a reality, becoming part of your story!

So this month I want to encourage you to take some time for yourself  and write down a few things in each of the three categories I have provided. I have found that when I take time to slow down and document my gratitude, write my goals and acknowledge my accomplishments I feel more motivated and inspire to keep dreaming big!

I suggest that you try to sit down at the beginning of the month and write some of your goals for the upcoming weeks. Then each week steal a few moments from the busyness to get quiet. I promise you that taking time to practice a little self-care will help you become the best version of yourself.

Use these pages or your journal as a place to reflect on your accomplishments, gratitude and goals!

I’d love to share this journey with you! Share your observations, self-reflection or anything that is inspiring you during this month over on instagram by tagging #growinggratitude.

LifeKendra Castillo