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April 22, 2015

Self-Care: A Revolutionary Act—5 Simple Ways to Restore Sanity.

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Do you ever feel like there is an endless amount of tasks to be done throughout the day?

We are living in an age of the over-glorification of busy, often finding ourselves burnt out, at wits end, frazzled and fragmented.

There are a million and one things on your list of things to-do, one more thing being asked of you may just send you over the edge.

We all know the feeling but few of us realize it’s distracting us from living our lives fully. How do we make a break from this monotonous way of living while still taking’ care of all our responsibilities?

Here are some simple yet powerful suggestions:

1. Take 10 minutes for silence

Allowing time in the day to listen to your internal “weather report” is crucial. There are so many external demands to be met each day; we rarely take the time to ask ourselves how we’re doing.

Silence and reflection is a critical way to weave meaning into our daily experiences.

Tuning in to your inner dialogue not only promotes a greater sense of awareness, it also helps you empathize with others; allowing you to be more present and receptive to yourself others is always valuable resource.

Put your smartphone down, turn the television off and give yourself a listen!

2. Go on a walk.

Numerous studies have shown that taking a walk improves neuroplasticity and enhances mood.

Many of us spend the majority of our days indoors and at a desk.

Walking is an excellent way to increase circulation, giving your body and brain a break, and strengthening your ability to attend to daily stressors.

It doesn’t have to be a power-walk or exercise oriented, at all. Simply taking a break to walk at whatever pace feels good to you is enough!

3. Notice your self-talk.

You may hear it while looking for motivation, when you’re procrastinating, or after you’ve made a mistake. Sometimes our words can be pleasant or comforting, more often than not, the ones that stick are negative and judgmental. We are our worst critics.

Recognizing and rearticulating self-talk to reflect positive qualities of self, plays a huge role in how we participate in and perceive this world.

Our thoughts manifest through our bodies and interactions with others. Perpetuating a negative, self-critical view will eventually break us down, physically emotionally, mentally. Ain’t no body got time for that.

Practicing kindness and compassion for others has to start with you.

Be nice to yourself, you are doing the best you can.

4. Treat yourself.

Although many of us have adapted to operating on high-speed for basically, ever, bodies need rest, time to heal and TLC.

Self-care is about your whole being. Not only should you comfort yourself with sweet words of encouragement, you should do something nice for your body too.

Indulge in a pleasurable act. I’m not saying stuff your face with bon-bons every single day. Moderation is key with the bon-bons. I’m saying do something nice for your body. Take a bubble bath, have sexy time, belt out your favorite raunchy pop song, rub your feet with coconut oil, go to bed early, make yourself a nice dinner.

Show yourself some love; you deserve it.

5. Allow yourself to take up space.

We carry our emotions, plans, opinions, and other mental formations in our bodies.
We are constantly asked to be small, keep to ourselves, be quiet, and conform.

This linear thinking and movement is not good for our fluid, ever-changing bodies and minds.

Take time during the day to lay on your back on the floor, yes the floor.

Allow your spine and all it’s little vertebrae to yawn, stretch and make space. Roll around, slosh from side to side, or make imaginary snow angels. Move in ways that you wouldn’t normally move. Allow yourself to be expansive.

It’s okay to take up space!

Holding tension and worries from our lives is a job our bodies are too good at doing.

We need to learn how to unwind. This constant stimulation through social and technological interactions is absolutely exhausting for the soft animals of our bodies.

Make it a goal to not look at a screen immediately before bed. Lay on the floor for at least ten minutes prior to bedtime.

Breathe deeply. Sigh with relief. Repeat.

Completing one or more of these straightforward yet effective exercises can be incorporated into your day easily. If you think you don’t have time, then it’s all the more reason to stop what you’re doing and start taking care of yourself now.

Making time to integrate all the fragmented pieces from years of wear and tear means a lot! Not only are you taking care of yourself, you’re setting a good example for others to take care as well!

This is your only body and your only mind. You are lovely and you need to know it.

Abigail's rome photos 968

“Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest—thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the under wood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.”


~ Beau Christopher Taplin

 

Relephant read:

The Art of Self Care.

 

Author: Abigail Porter

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Images: Author’s Own

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Abigail Porter