For Healing Resources and practical Self Care tips for whole body health and emotional well-being, check out the resources here on HealingCatalyst.com and in the book.
The theme in my private practice seems to be Self Care for the New Year. From clients of all ages, I’ve been hearing the same refrain: “I’m exhausted, out-of-balance. I’ve had enough of always putting everyone and everything ahead of my own needs, I’m going to take care of myself this year!” But how do you manage that? – especially if you aren’t in the habit of listening to your own needs?
It can be a juggling act – balancing the demands of loved ones, work, and a household. What do you do when you see no opening for quiet time? You start small. Take a deep breath. And then another. That creates the opening. It’s powerful to feel the opening a breath or a moment of “permission to relax” can create.
You’ll want to do it again because it feels good. And as you follow that good feeling, you build an entirely new foundation of self care, based on well-being and good feeling.
It’s a chicken-and-egg thing. The more you open, your energy flows more and the easier it is to open some more. Flow = health. Flow of energy, flow of breath and blood. The more we uncork the genie of flow, the better we feel and perform.
As with all habit change, the trick is to start small and keep going. Lasting change takes time. And many of the resources you already have – you just need to use them consistently. 😉
This year, see how many healing connections you can make that translate into all areas of your health and well-being. Make a list of small, manageable adjustments you can make to your Self Care routine and see how the space opens up in your body and in your life. Pick two of these and start.
- Breathe in the transitions of your day. When you concentrating on a task, you’re in your head and will be breathing shallowly. But as you shift to something else – or even at a stoplight if you’re driving – throw your belly out and take a big, resetting breath. This small thing can have a huge impact on your overall energy flow and balance.
- Slow down your eating. Take a few deep breaths before picking up your fork or spoon and give thanks with your heart and body, as well as your mind. Often we eat too fast, on the go, without really tasting our food. Try sitting down and taking extra time for two more meals per week. Buy some extra-special, healthy food and prepare it with love. Focus your consciousness in your mouth as you chew to take in the wonder of the flavors and textures. If you’re not eating food that’s good for you, eating consciously will help you shift toward better food. Read more Conscious Eating Tips.
- Take a hot bath once a week. This is great for your muscles and slows down your nervous system before sleep. Pamper yourself. Add 500 ML of epsom salts and/or baking soda for a detoxifying bath and essential oils for the aromatherapy. OR for the fun effect, squeeze in a bunch of dish soap for luxuriant suds. If a tub is not available, take a long, hot shower with special soap. The point is to give yourself extra time, attention, and permission to enjoy and relax.
- Give yourself permission to do less. Schedule “open” or “empty” time and let the divine fill it with wonder. Watch a fire, flowing water, clouds, or sit under a tree. It can be hard to trust that things will be ok if you aren’t maxxing out your effort 24/7. But you are not a machine and you need rest and down time to balance out. You’ll be amazed at how much more efficient you are when you are refreshed.
- Listen to yourself. See what other things your body and psyche are asking for. Once a week, check in with yourself about what your body is asking for – more sleep, exercise, better water, nourishing sex, connection with others, stillness, etc. See if by the end of the year you can build the habit of checking in at least once per day.
- Unpack your Emotional baggage. Give yourself permission to feel! Because ours is not a culture that supports feeling and expressing deep or unpleasant feelings most of us need time to process anger, sadness, even joy or fear that have have stuffed away during the course of “getting it done”. What helps you relax and open up emotionally? – Time with your pet? – Taking a walk in nature? – Watching a tear-jerker movie? – Talking with a friend? – Exercising hard? Singing/screaming in the car (loud, with windows rolled up)? Add these into your week so you don’t get so emotionally backlogged. Think of it like brushing your teeth or taking a shower; feeling your feelings is part of self care.
Quantify these items to give you easy, observable benchmarks. Write on your list that you will start by noticing 3 transitions/day and taking a full breath (#1) or by scheduling 2 hours of “empty” time this week. (#4). Start small so that starting feels easy and you have plenty of room to improve. Increase the numbers gradually to build confidence and deepen the groove of the new habit.
Every month – or when it makes sense to you, check in and see how you are doing. What needs adjustment? This blog comes out every 2 weeks and it will have self-care reminders, tips and inspiration to hold and guide you into greater well-being.
More Self care tips and resources
Get a Massage! Decide to get one regularly, once per month. Read my article on How to Choose a Bodyworker for inspiration.
Here are some tips for avoiding burnout at work.
What about Night waking – How to go back to sleep
This quick Breathing Tool can give you the little boost you need.
For a more thorough exploration of your emotional well-being start reading Issues in Your Tissues. It has stories, tools, exercises, insights and support for healing changes on both physical and emotional levels. Get your copy today.
Follow up on Wisdom 2.0 People’s Stage contest:
I made it to the finals in the Wisdom 2.0 Peoples Stage contest and I’m looking forward to presenting at the conference in February! Thank you for your votes. See my post from the 2015 Wisdom 2.0 conference.
#selfcare #resolution #healthtips #Relaxation #selfcaresupport