the declaration of you! A post about self-care

The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they've craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You's BlogLovin' Tour, which I'm thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more -- and join us! -- by clicking here.
Self-care is all about looking after yourself. It is such a simple concept, but something that we often ignore, particularly when it comes to looking after our minds.
Modern life can be pretty chaotic - phones ringing, push notifications and texts buzzing away, the demands of work and family life - and all of this can take its toll. Our heads become full of thoughts that can build up, spiral out of control and overwhelm us. It is no surprise that people burn out and, well, stop enjoying life. In fact, according to Headspace, 80% of people think that "life's moving too fast" and over 50% have "difficulty relaxing or switching off" [source].
My life is busy, and I realised I didn't have ways to keep everything in check and take time out, I would likely implode. That's some motivator. Over the years I have tried out all sorts of strategies, some which have worked, others that haven't, but by far the most effective has been mindful meditation.
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
On purpose,
in the present moment, and

Jon Kabat-Zinn [via.]
Ideas and thoughts are constantly swirling through my mind, and most of my thoughts are positive and constructive. However, from time to time my thoughts will wander, and negative elements will creep in, bringing me down. These thoughts are generally about the past, a time that no longer exists, but that can have a huge impact on my emotions. Mindful meditation helps me to focus on the right now. This is a pretty great distraction technique when things get too much, but it also helps me to live in the now.
It isn't difficult to meditate, and it doesn't take a lot of time. My favourite introduction to meditation is Headspace. The brainchild of Andy Puddicombe (a former Tibetan monk), Headspace is a series of 10 minute podcasts that gently guide you through the simple steps to mediation (there is also a great podcast in conjunction with the Royal Parks that I would really recommend you check out) and leave you feeling calm and centred.
Taking 10 minutes a day to focus on the moment has given me such a fantastic sense of wellbeing, which is ultimately what you want to achieve from caring for yourself. Mindful meditation isn't all there is to self-care, but I reckon it is a pretty good start.
What is your route to self-care? Do you meditate? Is it all about nutrition? Does exercise do it for you? Tell me, I would love to know!
Also, you can join the conversation at The Declaration of You's Facebook party TODAY at 9.30-10am PST/11:30am - noon CST/12:30 - 1pm EST!