Self-Care Has Never Been More Essential

“When we care for ourselves as our very own beloved—with naps, healthy food, clean sheets, a lovely cup of tea—we can begin to give in wildly generous ways to the world, from abundance. —Anne Lamott, author

Since 2020 there have been so many uncommon adversities that we’ve all had to deal with that self-care which was once dismissed as a luxury should now be considered a vital daily practice. It takes effort to feel tranquil, balanced and collected which happens when we create practices to care for ourselves. Self-care is a very personal and intentional practice of improving our physical and mental health.

I believe in leading by example, so I’ll share my recent journey of introducing self-care into my daily practices, hopefully it will inspire you. Since I’ve healed from my self-created back injury, I’ve taken time to reflect on how I was thinking and why I was filling my days with a rigid agenda and unreachable ideals. To change that I knew I had to take some serious steps. So, starting that week I began spending more time doing things I used to consider luxuries. Since then I’ve added an assortment of simple and doable self-care practices and so far I’m more aware, tranquil and really enjoy each day. I can now say without a doubt that I am happier than I’ve been in a very long time. Even though the chaos continues in the outside world, there are ways to soothe and pamper ourselves that I believe can only make us a better person for ourselves and those around us.

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. Jack Kornfield

If you’re ready to begin your journey, start by carving time into each day to indulge your five senses with purposeful self-care. There is no wrong way in doing self-care, the list I created below are my ideas, you can create from this or create your own ways of pampering yourself. Caring for yourself doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, this is just about finding simple ways to give attention to yourself. Practicing self-care is about doing something for yourself that evokes positive emotions. I sincerely believe that if we feel good and are at peace, we can bring that into everything we do. And if for no other reason, Adam Feldman says, “Self-care also helps us sharpen our mental and physical health through better self-esteem, stress management, and overall well-being.”

Luxury at Home – Nurture Yourself

  • Get plenty of sleep, when you can, turn off your alarm
  • Spend time with your pet(s)
  • Have a good cry
  • Take time when eating to enjoy the taste of the food, savor the joy of nourishing your body
  • Scented or unscented candles and flowers can make any room feel special
  • Set some time aside to read a funny story, watch videos or shows that make you laugh out loud
  • Enjoy a midday break, treat yourself to enjoyable refreshments
  • Make your shower or bath luxurious by using a special soap, scented lotion, include items to slough your skin, play music, use soft lighting, have live plants and super soft towels
  • Give yourself spa treatments, a manicure or pedicure, a facial treatment, a foot massage, a footbath, or a soothing body massage,
  • Spend some quiet time reading, meditating or writing
  • Take a leisurely walk
  • Read a book
  • Educate yourself on something you’re interested in
  • Declutter, add live plants, some pictures or colorful items to lift yourself
  • Take some time to appreciate yourself, compliment yourself, it’s a healthy and simple thing to do that will lift your spirits
  • Set time aside to do nothing
  • Make an indulgent meal, something that you might usually have for a special occasion
  • Plate your meal for presentation as you’d receive it in a fine dining restaurant
  • Use linen spray in a scent you love
  • Enjoy time in nature
  • Rub CBD oil where you may have aches
  • Put on comfortable Loungewear
  • Take a nap

True luxury is being able to own your time – to be able to take a walk, sit on your porch, read the paper, not take the call, not be compelled by obligation. Ashton Kutcher

The following lists are from Alastin Skin Care

The Psychological Benefits of Self-Care

  • Reduces feelings of anxiety and anger
  • Reduces instances and feelings of depression
  • Improves your thought life and direct it to more positive things
  • Increases your sense of optimism and hopefulness
  • Reduces negative thoughts and feelings
  • Changes your mood from bad to good
  • Helps you build stronger connections with yourself and others
  • Increases your self-awareness and ability to self-reflect
  • Helps you respond better to challenges
  • Increases your patience and tamp down on a short fuse
  • Increases your focus and productivity (so you can do all the things!

The Wellness Benefits of Self-Care

  • You’ll sleep better
  • You’ll strengthen your immune system
  • Your relationships will improve
  • Better finances
  • You’ll be able to think clearly and refocus
  • You’ll freely and copiously give more of yourself

“Practicing self-care can help you sleep better, improve focus, and strengthen relationships. That positive daily routine can support a happier, healthier outlook so you can enjoy the good times, too.” findyourwords.com

Thank you for reading my post, I sincerely appreciate your taking the time.

A Time for Mindfulness, The Sky Isn’t Falling, Maintain Serenity

Grocery shopping, usually an enjoyable experience for me was a journey into self-mastery. because I absorb and am naturally very sensitive to the energy of those around me. As I quietly walked through the store, the fear and anxiety were palpable. I witnessed out of control, panicked and worried people collecting multiple carts with several family members, pushing, shoving and racing through the store scooping large quantities of merchandise into their carts as if the world was coming to an end. While there was a temptation to find fault and judge, for my own self-protection I remained focused on what I was doing, stayed to myself and concentrated on departing when I was done.

The condition of the store (images below) was unthinkable. As the cashier was ringing me out, we chatted about the state of things, she said it is the “Chicken Little” story come to life.

“The moral of the Chicken Little story is to have courage, even when it feels like the sky is falling.

To make things worse, the media is exploding with a steady stream of inflated piffle and misinformation that frightens and upsets people. This only increases unnecessary fear that brings extreme psychological stress and out of control anxiety only increasing weakened immune systems. Fear spreading is the real danger, calm and common sense are the catalysts to avoid extreme situations that can and will take place if fear continues to dominate a very controllable circumstance.

EFFECTIVE MINDFULNESS Practices

Exercise such as:

  • Yoga, stretching, walking

Aromatherapy, use these scents to increase calm:

  • Lavender
  • Vetiver
  • Bergamot
  • Roman chamomile
  • Neroli
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Orange or orange blossom
  • Geranium

Take supplements to increase wellness:

  • ashwagandha,
  • omega-3
  • fatty acids,
  • green tea
  • lemon balm
  • valerian
  • kava kava
  • Reduce caffeine
  • Laugh
  • Eat and sleep well

Practice mindfulness through:

  • meditation
  • unplug, be present in the moment
  • watching your thoughts when they wander

Create a mini arts program for yourself:

  • play games, read a novel, relax with music

As with every difficult situation we are challenged by, It’s important to remember all we can do is our best, continue to live our lives and expect the best outcome. Whatever your spiritual practices, we can all contribute by withholding judgment, remain considerate, compassionate and understanding.

The truth is:

“The vast majority of cases are going to be mild, and people are going to recover just like they do from a cold or flu-like illness.”— Dr. Amesh Adalja

Stay well, be at peace; find the sacredness and joy in everyday life.

Your Heart’s Wisdom – The Power of Belly Breathing

deep-breath-final

Several years ago I learned to breathe through my diaphragm the way we breathe when we are born, it literally changed my health.  The heart’s wisdom is only improved when we take the steps to create a healthy environment for it to live in. Along with bettering your overall heart health, diaphragmatic breathing also improves many other vital functions and helps your body to become stronger and more able to withstand the daily stresses of life and even reverse some already present medical problems.

Here are more facts supporting breathing through your diaphragm instead of your lungs. I’ve also included informational resources for you to read to understand the process and benefits.

To help you realize the importance of deep diaphragmatic breathing, here are 12 benefits to regularly practicing this healthy habit:

  1. Reduces the risk factors for heart disease such as lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), raising good cholesterol (HDL), lowing blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugars
  2. Cuts chances of cancer by as much as 400%
  3. Reduces negative stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol)
  4. Helps reduce cravings for processed carbohydrates (junk food)
  5. Cuts chances of diabetes by strengthening the insulin beta receptor sites
  6. Improves quality of sleep by improving stage 1 and stage 4 sleep cycles
  7. Lengthens the cell’s life span by cleansing the cells more thoroughly through increased lymphatic flow
  8. Slows the aging process by increasing the secretion of human growth hormone (the anti-aging hormone)
  9. Optimizes the immune system by strengthening T-cell formation and improving lymphocyte production
  10. Improves your mood by elevating the “feel good” hormone, serotonin, and other positive endorphins
  11. Improves mental focus and concentration by increasing blood flow to the Pre-Frontal Cortex of the brain
  12. Improves the quality and effectiveness of meditation by changing brain wave activity from the more stressful beta wavelengths to more relaxing and healthier alpha and theta brain wavelengths.

Here’s how to reap the amazing benefits of deep diaphragmatic breathing.· Sit in a comfortable chair with your eyes closed and inhale very slowly thru your nose using your diaphragm (your belly should expand while you inhale with little or no chest movement).· Once your lungs are full and your belly has expanded, hold your breath for about 6 to 12 seconds. ·Then slowly exhale thru your mouth making sure you use your belly to push the air out.· Once your lungs are empty and your belly is contracted, repeat the cycle.· Your goal is to complete 10 cycles· (inhale, hold, exhale) or 8 to 10 minutes of deep diaphragmatic breathing a day.The best times to practice this type of deep breathing is first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.· To enhance the benefit of deep breathing, I suggest visualizing your goals or picturing your ideal life while practicing this habit.· Personally, I pray while practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing.

For the next 30 days, I challenge you to practice deep diaphragmatic breathing for at least 10 minutes a day everyday.· This is one of the best prescriptions for improving your health and optimizing your wellness.· Good luck and good breathing. (from http://www.samvarner.com/physical-wellness/deep-breathing.html)

Mainstream medical professionals are promoting the natural and simple process of slow, deep breathing for ultimate health and peace of mind.

Here are a few resources to help you to learn more about it:

From Harvard Health Publications:

Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response

http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response

From Psychology Today:

The Science of Slow Deep Breathing

Learn about the powerful health benefits of slow deep breathing

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-neuroscience-mindfulness/201602/the-science-slow-deep-breathing

From the Chopra Center:

Breathing for Life: The Mind-Body Healing Benefits of Pranayama

http://www.chopra.com/articles/breathing-for-life-the-mind-body-healing-benefits-of-pranayama

Thank you for stopping by, namaste.

Foolproof Ways to Improve Your Life

Let go and let life happen

The only magic a control wand has is disappointment and grief.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t just wave a magic wand and make something happen

Let go of what you can’t control. Channel all that energy into living fully in the now.” -Karen Salmansohn

How do we stay present? Most of our thoughts are about the past or the future, rather than the present moment. What we end up doing is passing through the moment by concentrating on what was or what may be and in doing so we miss the gift of now. That’s how life ends up passing us by – we do it to ourselves.

Part of being present is learning to go with the flow of life and releasing the need to control the results or outcome of a situation or challenge you are faced with.

Coming from someone who was a control queen which always includes needless suffering and usually ends negatively, trust me I know, I’ve done it to myself, a learning experience for sure.  I have since learned to listen to my gut and follow my instincts and even though I don’t always understand what I am going through and why, it always turns out for me in a way I could have never imagined. That is the beauty of letting go of control, because there are millions of possibilities that a situation could go in and letting go makes that possible, I know I’ve experienced the magic of the Universal flow.

 

Affirmations to Help You Learn to Let Go

I willingly surrender my attachment to what other people might think about me.”

“I let go of my attachment to the material things that surround me—I can take these or leave them; it is all the same.”

“I give up the negative emotions that have created a comfort zone for me—they no longer serve me.”

“I release the need to judge others’ thoughts and beliefs.”

Are you ready to let go of unnecessary stress, worry, and anxiety from your life, work and relationships?

Giving up control doesn’t sound easy, but it can be.  Rather than trying so hard to make something happen, take a leap of faith and follow your heart, there is true power in choosing this way of being, it works every time.

Control costs you:

  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Freedom
  • Energy
  • Creativity
  • Support
  • Ease
  • Connection
  • Love

Start by asking yourself a few important questions:

  1. Why am I afraid will happen if I let go of control?  How does my fear affect me and those around me?  (Be honest with yourself.)
  2. Am I willing to let go of control? (this may sound difficult, but we really don’t have control of anything but ourselves so this one is well worth your time to work on.)
  3. Look for support.  (Find someone who already knows how to let go of control who is willing to help you learn to go with the flow of life.)

Key actions to help you start on your own:

  • Surrender and feel the state of tranquility.  Be of the mind that you intend to take a leap of faith and allow life to flow from your intuition.

 

  • Be present, in other words stay in the moment.  When you can let of the past go and trying to forecast what the future holds for you, you will begin the process of going with the flow.  When you live in the moment, you will know that life is too precious to waste on worry or being fearful, neither of those  emotions does anything to help your situation.  The past is gone and over and the future isn’t here yet, so you really have no choice but to be in the now.  There is a great deal of power in being right where you are.

 

  • Take a laugh break every day. Find something to make you laugh until you can’t breathe every day.  Laughter is the best medicine isn’t just a quote, it truly is the best way to relax and feel better!

 

  • Go outside and take a walk, take a deep breath and enjoy nature, it feels good and you will feel better.  I guarantee it, I do it all of the time.  I have been through some pretty tough situations that have lightened when I’ve gone outside. It will help you to relax and find search your heart for a solution.  You will get ideas and answers to help you to deal with anything you are faced with.

When you ask yourself open-ended questions you ignite your conscious mind and create a new way to a solution.  I wish you all of the magic and miracles that life has to offer.

Examples:

Am I happy with____________________________?What do I think would happen if I chose____________________?Is there another way to ___________________?What else can I do_________________?Is there something specific that I am looking for?

 

 

Are you ready to take a leap of faith and trust in yourself and in life?