It is inevitable that life will throw us curve balls at one time or another. No matter how positive our outlook is, how well organized and how on top of things we are, there are moments when we wished things went a little smoother...or a lot. So since we can almost guarantee the ups and downs in life, would it not make sense to prepare for those by building resilience and be prepared for those not so welcome moments? Enter Self Care. If you are still wondering whether this pertains to you, take a look at the list below and see if you fall into any of those categories:
10 reasons to seek Self Care
- You are in pain and would welcome some relief.
- You need tools to manage your anxiety, depression or other dis-ease in life.
- Happy & Joyful are not in your vocabulary.
- Past trauma does not allow you to move on.
- You need direction and focus in your personal or business life.
- You do not feel fulfilled.
- Life feels like a burden.
- You are moving through life exhausted and with no hope.
- Can someone else just take the lead for a while?
- You just need a break!
Do any of these statements reflect where you are right now? Don’t fret – there is hope. While sometimes we need to take baby-steps to getting back to the life we crave and deserve, it is possible to get on that return journey and start enjoying life once again.
Have you ever heard of the phrase SELF CARE is HEALTH CARE?
Probably not; because we have been brought up to believe that taking care of ourselves is selfish and we should put everyone else first. And we do, most of the time. This is especially true for us women, who day in and day out we begin and end our days by serving our families, loved ones and all those we come in contact with. But just because we are caretakers by nature and have this innate tendency to care for everyone all the time it does not mean we need to drain ourselves doing so. Guys as well. The role of men in society is not looked at lightly either. They are family supporters, financially, emotionally and physically and are expected to be there at all times to fulfill their role. What happens though when your cup is not only empty but just plain dry? How do you selflessly give of yourself when you don’t have an ounce of energy to spare?
Enter Self Care!
Taking care of yourself, physically and emotionally is anything but selfish. You know the saying “If Mama aint happy there aint nobody happy?” Well, what it means is that when we feel tired, drained, emotionally exhausted and financially tapped (male or female), the challenge can be so great that we want to withdraw from life and can go into a spell of depression and self-pity. We can feel so overwhelmed, that even though we are in auto pilot and things get done, deep inside we just want to curl up and “die”.
If you took a moment right now to take inventory of your emotional well-being what would you come up with? What in your everyday life brings you joy? Who do you spent your time with that uplifts and inspires you? What small or large things do you partake in during your every day that bring a sense of joy and renewal? What dreams, goals and aspirations do you have to look forward to? If you are having trouble coming up with any positive statements and goals, then chances are you are needing some down time. You might say “But I don’t have time for downtime”. Bills need to get paid, kids need to be driven around, dinner made, house cleaned – whatever it looks like in your life – and I can’t take time off for me. That would be irresponsible! Do you know though that in just one hour a week or a few minutes a day you can begin to give your life a chance at being something your enjoy and crave? You don’t need an entire spa day or a silent retreat to feel great – although those would help too. You just need to make a commitment to yourself for a few minutes a day, to allow yourself the moment of pause. And do you know that by keeping your battery charged you can take better care of others, because you have the energy and you are in a good mood?
Stop and take a breath. Look at the pretty sky and perhaps sit by a grassy spot. Now take three or four full, inspiring and energizing breaths before you rush on to the next thing. Mind your diet and be mindful of what and how you eat instead of woofing down your lunch before your next appointment.
And make a commitment to yourself to attend a regular scheduled appointment at least once a month, to take care of your body and mind. A time where you shut off your phone and allow yourself to receive and renew your senses. If you are not ready to commit to a daily practice, start off slow – maybe just once a week, and let yourself just blissfully disappear into a place where time and space do not matter! YOU DESERVE IT! And so do your loved ones.
For now, here is a quick and effectice way of returning yourself to calm and peace:
1. First bring your attention to the center of your chest and imagine yourself breathing in and out of the center of your heart. Perhaps take a bit longer and fuller breaths than usual, Inhaling and exhaling to the count of five. You might even try to see your breath as while light or a color coming in and out. Notice if the color of the breath is as clear and bright coming out as when you breath in. If your exhale "looks" muddy, keep taking full breaths untill the out breath is as bright and enegizing as the in breath.
2. Then think of a memory of gratitude, appreciation, or love. And begin seeing each breath coming into your heart through that filter of gratitude, appreciation or love. Consciously direct each loving breath in and out of the center of your heart and feel it filling you up.
3. Take a few minutes, and enjoy the quality of each breath while the world goes on around you. It only takes a few breaths and you will find yourself relaxed and rejuvenated.
You can practice this exercise while in a meeting, on an elevator, in the bathroom, or walking through the store. Anytime you feel you can use some calm and peace practice this breathing. This type of practice builds resilience and capacity in the heart and allows you to go through life in a much happier and content state. Should you choose to make this a daily practice, you will notice great results as you begin to feel more energetic and in control of your life and your health.
A few breaths can change your life! You have to breathe anyway; let's make each breath work for you.
With heartfelt blessings,