12 Ways to Reconnect with Your Inner Child

12 Ways to Reconnect with Your Inner Child

In part 1 of this article, we went over how negative experiences from our childhood has lead to us having unhealed wounds in our adulthood. We also discussed the 22 ways you can tell that you may have unhealed wounds.

Now it’s time to move onto the fun part – that is, the healing part

The importance of healing your inner child

When we nurture our unhealed wounds from childhood, we are “re-parenting” the childlike part of ourselves. We are telling our inner child that it’s okay, that she’s not in danger, and that we haven’t forgotten about her. Okay, I know it sounds super hippy-dippy and New Age-y, but TRUST ME, it will make such a huge difference in your life! Besides, the alternative is much worse.

If we ignore the fact that our inner child has wounds (which a lot of us do) and if we don’t give our inner child the nurturing and attention it needs (which a lot of us don’t), we’ll keep performing the same negative behaviours over and over and over in our life. And it will just make us feel worse and worse about ourselves.

Too often, instead of giving our inner child the attention, encouragement, and support that it yearns for, we put her down and criticize her. We look in the mirror and lament about how much weight we’ve gained or how “ugly” we are. We scold ourselves if we eat a little bit too much, if we don’t do something “perfectly”, or if we say something “wrong” in a social situation. We tell ourselves that our partner is going to leave us, that we’re worthless, that we’re a failure.

We need to stop putting our inner child down.

It’s time to re-parent that forgotten part of ourselves. It’s time to revisit the unmet needs, irrational fears, unsolved questions, suppressed emotions, lost enthusiasm, and forgotten creativity. Our inner child is and always has been there, and she’s crying out at us for the guidance that was lost along the way.

12 ways to heal and reconnect with your inner child

1) Apologize for neglecting your inner child

You need to acknowledge and tell yourself that you’re sorry for disregarding your inner child for so long. This is the first step in getting a dialogue between you and her started back up again!

2) Remind yourself how wonderful you are

Stop focusing on your flaws and all the things “wrong” with you. Every day, write down three things that you love about yourself. It could be anything from your ability to make other people laugh to your Minnie Mouse-shaped birthmark on your foot!

3) Be mindful of (read: CENSOR) your inner critic

Remember – just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean the child you once were is gone. Look at a photo of yourself as a child and realize that whenever you say hurtful things to yourself, you are saying those hurtful things to that vulnerable child in the photograph. I know, it’s sad – but it’s true.

4) Find a safe place

Make sure you have a physical space where you can just hide away from the world for a while and let your inner child’s thoughts and imagination run free. Maybe it’s your favourite cafe, maybe it’s a spot in the forest, or maybe it’s in the corner of your closet!

5) Pay attention to your feelings

Ask yourself throughout the day, “how am I feeling right now?” (*spoiler*: the answer you get is from the voice of your inner child! She loves when you ask her this question). Keep in mind: the most important part of this is taking how she responds seriously.

inner child guidance

6) Tell yourself you have nothing to feel ashamed about

There’s no need to hold onto shame or regret of things that happened in the past. You’re a human, you’re learning, and you will make mistakes (because that’s what humans do). Just let it go and make sure your inner child knows that you forgive her. Trust me, this will make her VERY giddy to hear!

7) Remind yourself that you’re not at fault

As we’ve learned, a lot of how you behave isn’t because of you, but because of your environment. Go easier on yourself – a lot of it’s not even your fault! Think about it, would you blame a child this much? Likely not!

FYI – this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on bettering yourself, it just means you shouldn’t do it from a place of blame.

8) Rediscover a forgotten passion

Did you love making art when you were a child? Grab some coloured pencils and get drawing! Don’t worry about it being “good” or not. Your inner child doesn’t care about those sorts of things.

9) Do ‘childlike’ things

Reconnect with the little things that brought you joy as a kid. Maybe you loved a particular type of sugary cereal – buy it and have it for breakfast every now and then! Maybe you loved playing games on your PlayStation – get an old copy Spyro or Crash and just enjoy!

10) Write a letter to your inner child

Write anything that comes from the heart. It could be nurturing words, an apology, encouragement, advice, or even a short story! Just write something – your inner child will love reading it no matter what it is (bonus: your inner child doesn’t even care about grammar!)

11) Visualize

Here’s a fun exercise – grab a photo of yourself as a child and stand in front of a mirror. Look at the photo, and then look at yourself. This will really help you make a connection between yourself and your inner child and will help you visualize yourself as that child now!

*Tip: This is a great exercise to do onto other people as well. Look at the people in your life – your friends, your partner, your parents – and imagine them as children. When you do this, you’ll come to realize that everyone, just like you, has an inner child that has wounds and insecurities that needs nurturing. This is a great way to cultivate compassion and understanding towards others.

12) Remember it takes time

Years of neglecting your inner child won’t solve itself overnight, but with little steps taken each and every day, you will get there. Each time you do something to reconnect with your inner child, you’ll notice that little differences start sprouting up in your life. And trust me, it’ll be an amazing thing for you to experience.

When we heal our inner child, we let go of things in the past that we didn’t even realize we were holding onto. We learn to become in tune with ourselves in a way that we didn’t know we were missing out on. We learn, most of all, to love ourselves.

Natalie Burns-Holland

Natalie Burns-Holland

Content Creator at Mindaya

Natalie is a freelance writer living in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Why You Need to Stop Feeling Guilty for Not Being Productive During COVID-19

Why You Need to Stop Feeling Guilty for Not Being Productive During COVID-19

If you’ve been scrolling through your social media feeds lately, you may have found yourself scratching your head wondering when the heck everyone suddenly became bread-baking experts, meditation gurus, and fitness pros

Well, you’re definitely not alone in your confusion.

As COVID-19 lockdowns have swept across the world, a very noticeable surge of “productivity pressure” has started to sprout up alongside it. Everywhere you look, it seems as though people are encouraging you to follow their lead and use this lockdown to get stuff done, develop your hobbies, and altogether just become the “best you” possible.

Just take, for instance, the viral tweets about how Shakespeare wrote King Lear when he was in quarantine during the Plague in the 17th century. Or how Isaac Newton used his time to come up with the theory of gravity. Right, because that’s the kind of pep talk we need right now … (???)

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.

Productivity shaming during COVID-19

This “productivity shaming” that’s currently being spewed at us from the media is hugely problematic. Let’s get this straight – we’re currently in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic that’s causing HUGE upheaval in the world.

This isn’t just something that’s going to pass in a few months – this is going to change the way our very society functions. I’m not trying to scare you, I just want to give you some perspective (because so often this can get lost in the media).

Honestly, this is really big.

Yet for some reason, we’re still being told by our apps, by social media influencers, and by – perhaps worst of all – ourselves, that we need to use this time to focus on us. To self-improve. To be our “best” every single day

We’re currently going through a collective trauma experience – how on earth are we supposed to be operating at our “best” every day?! It’s challenging enough when life is normal!

You need to go easier on yourself

The world is not at its best right now, so of course you’re not going to be at your best right now, either. This immense pressure put on us to “get things done” is just ridiculous, and only adds more pressure onto our already anxious minds!

Despite what your social media feeds may be showing you (read: lying to you) about all the *brilliant* things that people are learning, achieving, and getting done, it’s really not reflective of reality. 

The reality is, anxiety and depression levels are up, and LOADS of us are finding it difficult to stay healthy, let alone productive, inspired, and creative. I promise you – you’re not the only one feeling this way.

In fact, this is a completely normal response to the pandemic. Don’t be fooled by the productivity shamers that are inundating your social feeds. Afterall, we know we can’t believe everything that people show us there.

Different responses to stress

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ reaction to stress, change, and uncertainty – we all respond completely differently. So it’s only natural that we all react differently to the global trauma we’re currently experiencing.

Some people may deal with stress and uncertainty by being uber productive (think, for example, of that one classmate you had who would always leave their assignments until the very last minute, pull an all-nighter, and then somehow manage to still get a stellar mark on it). That’s totally fine! But you need to realize that not everyone is like this. In fact, a lot of us aren’t like this.

For a lot of us, it’s a struggle to even find the energy to get out of bed during lockdown. For a lot of us, the only thing we can manage to do is sit in front of the TV and binge-watch shows all day long.

This. Is. Okay. 

There’s no right or wrong way to deal with an unprecedented global pandemic. None of us know what’s going to happen, and none of us know what we’re doing. So if you don’t become fluent in French, if you don’t become ripped, and if you don’t end up writing a novel, it’s all good.

Tip: if you’re feeling particularily stressed about the Coronavirus situation, I recommend downloading our free Anxiety Handbook!

A note on self improvement

The self-improvement movement that’s become mainstream over the past few years has had some seriously great benefits. Here at Mindaya, we are ALL about personal growth and we believe that everyone has the power to become the best version of themselves and live the life they dream of living!

But as with all things in life, too much of something can be a bad thing. 

In recent years, the media has taken this idea of ‘self-improvement’ and morphed it into being something more about productivity than about actual pleasure and fulfillmentProductivity is only ONE aspect of self-improvement. Being productive isn’t an end in itself, it’s a means to an end. You shouldn’t strive to “do more” just for the sake of “being productive” and “accomplishing more”. This is so absurd! The whole point of being productive is so that you can spend more time doing the things you love and the things that set your soul on fire.

The “hustle” mentality that’s grown out of the COVID-19 lockdowns is pushing for productivity at the expense of our humanity. Our beautiful world is going through uncharted territory – now’s not necessarily the time to be focusing solely on improving yourself.

Okay, now that you know the truth about the ridiculous claims that “you need to be productive during isolation”, it’s time to take a great big sigh of RELIEF! Rest assured that you are doing perfectly fine no matter what you’re doing (and no matter what you’re NOT doing). It’s okay. It’s all okay. 

Finally, I wanted to summarize a couple tips that will help you deal with the COVID-19 productivity pressure. Write them down on your phone, or stick them on a piece of paper above your workspace so you see them every day!

10 tips for how to cope 

  1. Remind yourself every day that the world as we know it is going through a major change. Remind yourself that this is a big thing. 
  2. Recognize that having anxiety is normal right now (as well as feeling more depressed, lethargic, unmotivated, and uninspired)
  3. Take what people say on social media with a grain of salt (remember: people always portray the best version of themselves on social media, it’s not a genuine reflection of reality) – better yet, take a break from social media altogether
  4. Remember that there’s no right or wrong way to cope with a pandemic
  5. Stop measuring your worth against other people’s achievements. 
  6. Remind yourself that this is temporary and that things will get better
  7. Stop focusing on your future for a while (ex –“I want to have achieved ‘XYZ’ by the time the pandemic is over”) – focus instead on what you’re doing in the present moment 
  8. If you do want to set goals for yourself during isolation, make sure they’re realistic and start with baby steps (ex – doodle on a scrap piece of paper for five minutes, watch less than 4 hours of TV, stretch for 3 minutes on the bed every morning) 
  9. If you ever start feeling the guilt about not being productive creep back into your mind, just let it be – don’t give your guilt unnecessary attention (that is, don’t start feeling guilty for feeling guilty!
  10. Remember that we’re all in this together! 
Natalie Burns-Holland

Natalie Burns-Holland

Content Creator at Mindaya

Natalie is a freelance writer living in Edinburgh, Scotland.
How to Heal Your Inner Child When You Criticize Her Every Day

How to Heal Your Inner Child When You Criticize Her Every Day

As we make our way through life’s journey, somewhere along our travels from childhood to adulthood we often pick up some very flawed beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. There’s one belief in particular that stands out, as it has the most damaging effects on our lives… 

That belief is this:

That when we grow up, we have nothing to do with our childhood selves. That ‘childhood’ and ‘adulthood’ are two separate entities that exist independently of each other. Once we’ve grown up, we’ve moved on. We’re adults. And there’s nothing child-like about that – right?

Wrong.

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.

You’ve probably heard the term ‘inner child’ thrown around before, but like many terms, it’s gained a bit of a misunderstood reputation. In reality though, it’s super simple:

Think of your inner child like you think of your shadow. Although you’re not physically your shadow, it’s still very much connected to you and follows you wherever you go (even if it’s a bit hidden at times!).

The exact same goes with your inner child. Even though you’re not physically a child anymore, she’s still very much with youJust because you’ve gained the title of “ADULT” doesn’t mean that you’ve suddenly severed all ties with the childlike part of yourself.

In fact, there are really only two things that have changed about you since you’ve become an adult:

1) your outward appearance

&

2) the things you’ve learned throughout your years living on this earth

And it’s this second one that we’ll be focusing on in this article – because this is one that causes us some problems!

The lens we see the world through

When we were children, we were constantly learning about ourselves and the world around us. Our minds were like these super porous sponges that just sopped up everything we saw, heard, and experienced.

We learned what was “right” from what was “wrong”, what was “good” from what was “bad”, and what was “normal” from what was “weird”. All these things we learned became logged in our mind to create a kind of ‘lens’ that we saw the world through. And this ‘world lens’ of ours doesn’t just stay with us in childhood, it stays with us our entire lives.

In other words, the experiences we’ve had in the past shape the way we see (and behave in) the present.

This can be a bit tricky to understand, so if you’d like a bit of a deeper explanation, check out this previous blog post: How Negative Thinking Gets Wired into Your Brain. It does a great job explaining how this “thought-logging” works in more detail. I also suggest signing up for our free 4-Day Anxiety Course as it comes with some super useful hands-on exercises that help you analyze and challenge your ingrained thoughts and beliefs!

What becomes of bad experiences?

Now, many of the things we learned as children that become logged in our minds as adults were perfectly fine. For example, if we burnt the tip of our finger on a candle, for the rest of our lives we would know that fire = hot. I think we can all agree that that’s a fairly useful part of our ‘world lens’!

But there are also many harmful experiences that have become logged in our minds that make us believe certain things. These are called “wounds”. These wounds will differ from person to person, but there’s one thing for sure: everyone has wounds in some form or another. In fact, the vast majority of the negative behaviours and negative traits we have in life are a direct result of unhealed wounds from our childhood.

Here are 22 common signs that you may have unhealed wounds from childhood:

  1. You have low self-esteem
  2. You have poor body image
  3. You have problems when it comes to eating (bad relationship with food)
  4. You have feelings of shame or regret over something that happened in the past
  5. You’re a people-pleaser
  6. You feel inadequate as an adult
  7. You have trouble committing to or trusting other people
  8. You have difficulty letting go of things (or people)
  9. You feel as if you don’t have your own sense of identity
  10. You have feelings of guilt/shame when it comes to romance
  11. You have issues with jealousy
  12. You have social anxiety
  13. You regularily engage in self-destructive behaviour
  14. You have trouble doing “grown-up” things on your own
  15. You have difficulty making decisions (either big or small)
  16. You’re unable to assert your own opinion to others
  17. You have anger issues/you can’t control your emotions 
  18. You feel anxious when outisde of your comfort zone
  19. You feel like you’re wearing a “mask” around other people (you feel you can’t fully be yourself)
  20. You have dependency issues
  21. You’re passive-aggressive
  22. You have difficulty communicating/confronting others

Hot to figure out what your wounds were

There are SO many different types of childhood wounds that may result in negative behaviours (like the ones listed above) in adulthood.

On the more extreme side, there’s trauma. Trauma is the most harmful wound of all, as it can have absolutely devastating consequences.

But besides trauma, there are so many other ‘little’ wounds that may have caused you to behave a certain way in adulthood. Here are a few examples of some common negative behaviours and the possible wounds that may have caused them:

  • Negative behaviour/trait: you have difficulty asserting yourself to others
  • Possible wound: You were taught that “children should be heard and not seen”

 

  • Negative behaviour/trait: you have guilt when it comes to romance
  • Possible wound: You were told that you couldn’t date until you graduated High School

 

  • Negative behaviour/trait: you believe you’re incapable of doing things on your own
  • Possible wound: You were coddled as a child

These are of course just a few examples – I encourage you to do some digging and think about what your own wounds may be!

But even if you can’t quite pinpoint what your specific wounds were, that’s totally okay! You don’t need to know exactly what they were in order to overcome the negative behaviours associated with them. 

The only thing you need to realize is that you DO have wounds from your childhood, and that they are in desperate need of some TLC!

So in part 2 of this article, I’ll be going over 12 practical steps you can take to reconnect with and heal your inner child. 

Read part 2 here

Natalie Burns-Holland

Natalie Burns-Holland

Content Creator at Mindaya

Natalie is a freelance writer living in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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 (if this is particularly difficult for you, I suggest heading over to our website and checking out our Conquer Your Anxiety course!).

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.

If you want some guidance in creating your schedule according to your needs, then head on over to our website and check out our Productivity Secrets and Goal Planner! In it, we’ll be giving you super helpful advice on how to align yourself more with your goals and innermost desires so that you can structure your week in a way that fits YOU!

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!

 

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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.