Engaging Your Sense of SIGHT with Self-Care
The other day, I woke up in a particularly bad mood. It wasn’t due to one specific thing, but from the moment I opened my eyes, I felt “off.” As the day went on, it was almost comical how everything seemed to go wrong. I locked my keys inside my house, almost ran out of gas, and came home to a mess left by my pup!
We have all had those days. Whether it was due to a bad day at work, miscommunication with a friend, or simply waking up on the wrong side of the bed, none of us are immune to those lousy days!
What got me through it was- first of all- humor. I had to laugh at the ridiculousness of my day. I also spent time indulging in some of my favorite things as a method of self-care, including a hot shower, chocolate covered pretzels, and taking my (naughty) pup on a nice long walk.
On the walk, I spent extra time paying attention to my surroundings. Not only did it take the focus off the events of the day, but it truly made me feel better.
My challenge for you is, especially on those “my day was so bad that someone must be playing a joke on me!” days, is:
Find 1 beautiful thing to focus on. Easy enough, right?
Here are 15 ideas to engage your sense of SIGHT in daily self-care:
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- Browse a Magazine: When is the last time you looked through an art or yoga magazine or a National Geographic? They are full of beautiful pictures- many of nature!
- Wear Glasses or Sunglasses: If you normally wear contacts, try wearing your glasses for a day (or vice versa). If you don’t wear either, indulge in a pair of sunglasses. Not only can it change your appearance, but it can literally change your perspective!
- Look At The Clouds: Remember doing this as a kid? You watch the clouds and share what images you see. Grab a blanket and lay on your lawn or at a park. What do you see?
- People Watch: I truly mean this in a non-creepy way! The next time you’re sitting on a park bench, notice the people who walk by. There are so many things you can learn just by watching their body language- are their arms crossed? Are they facing towards or away from each other? How much space is in between them? Not only can this be fun, but it is also a great way to temporarily distract yourself from everything going on in your world.
- Mandala/ Coloring Book: One of my FAVORITE ways to relax is to color a mandala (otherwise known as a coloring book)! Don’t forget the markers and colored pencils!
- Take Pictures: I know we all have our iPhones and Androids to snap a quick picture, but there’s something about the act of using an actual camera to capture memories. I use this camera (especially when I travel) to take beautiful pictures! I also LOVE my polaroid instant digital camera!
- Visit a Museum, etc.: When you have some free time, check out your local museum, aquarium, zoo, botanical garden, or park!
- Watch Cute Animals: This could mean spending time with your own pet, watching cute animal videos, or volunteering at a shelter. As a goldendoodle parent (aka “doodle mom”), my absolute favorite thing to do is scroll through pictures/ videos of goofy doodles doing doodly things!
- Funny Videos: When you’re in a bad mood, all you need to do is type “Funny Videos” into a google or YouTube search and I guarantee it will change your mood! One of my favorites is the “Charlie Bit Me” video!
- Watch Satisfying Things: As a perfectionist, I cannot describe the joy I feel when things fit perfectly together, or I can watch an artist, hairstylist, or designer make something that seems to defy reality! Just type “satisfying things” into YouTube and I guarantee the videos will leave you mesmerized!
- Make a Scrapbook: In this digital age, it’s not as common to print out pictures anymore. As an avid scrapbooker for many years, I absolutely adore the ACT of making a scrapbook, in addition to looking through it later. Here is a scrapbook kit with all the supplies you need!
- Make DIY Artwork: My favorite DIY project involved 3 white canvases, mod podge, and PostSecret books (this PostSecret book is great, too)! I cut out my favorite pictures and arranged them on the canvas, then mod podged over them. It turned into a beautiful picture that looked professional and did not cost too much $! PLUS, you can keep the books on your coffee table or bookshelf to read later!
- Create a Vision Board: It’s great to have goals. It’s even better when you can SEE those goals! This book is a great guide to making a vision board, and this cork board/ white board combination is a great starting place!
- Save Your Favorite Memories: My favorite picture is on the background of my phone and computer. I carry around a printed picture of my family in my purse. I save my favorite quotes on my phone’s “to do list.” When you find a picture, quote, or something else that you want to remember, find a way to make it easily accessible to you!
- Watch Your Favorite Movie or TV Show… again: There is something about watching FRIENDS that is so comforting for me. I have probably seen every episode about 12,583 times, but I will never get tired of Chandler’s jokes or Phoebe’s songs. This can be a great way to distract yourself, or to multitask when you want some background noise!
I would love to hear if you try any of these ideas! How do YOU engage your sense of sight in self-care? Drop a comment below!
Liz Gray, LCSW, RPT is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist in Connecticut. Liz works with children, adolescents, and young adults, and especially loves to use EMDR and sandtray therapy when working with clients. For more information, contact Liz HERE!