Let's talk about self-care! I'm so happy to be able to write about a topic that is so close to my heart — self-care and the importance of making it a priority. This wasn't always the case for me, though. It was a slow learning curve as I prioritized others before myself. Many moons ago my destiny catapulted me to another country from my home in London, United Kingdom, where I had lived most of my life, leaving behind everything that was familiar to me, to the Great White North... Canada. Not only was I getting acclimated to a new country, but also a new family. Luckily the language was the same, “eh?” 😊
Maybe you've felt the same way...
The loneliness and the challenges were enormous and weighed heavily. I felt out of place and disconnected. I explored my feelings to no end and when I hit rock bottom, I finally chose to surrender as “what you resist will always persist.” Letting go was my saving grace and it was only then that the magical synchronicities took place. The quote “when the student is ready, the teacher appears” was certainly true for me. The teachers and their gifts were divinely placed in my path. That was the beginning of my 10-year journey with complementary therapies that helped me find solace and a sense of well-being. My goal is to share some of those self-care tools below that I wish I had known earlier.
I am grateful that mental health awareness is part of the conversation as it nudges us out of our seats of complacency and invites us to re-evaluate our sense of well-being. To assess where we are on the well-being scale, we can...
Do a self-check by asking these questions:
- How Am I Feeling Today?
- What's Been Worrying Me Lately?
- Am I Providing My Body with Its Basic Needs?
- What Am I Doing to Bring Myself Joy?
- Who Do I Have in My Corner?
It may feel strange to ask ourselves these questions, but remember the wise quote by Aristotle, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Over time, the self-checks will become a natural part of your routine. Use a scale from 1-10 and make a note of it. By monitoring the scale, we can make some small changes to take care of ourselves and help manage our stress better.
If we are honest, we can all still feel the residual impact of the pandemic and the dramatic changes that took place because of it. We are juggling multiple demands all at once, trying to balance family life and professional life. Dealing with the fast-paced growth of technology and moving towards more 'no touch' and 'no contact,' it is even more important in today's world to stay grounded, be intentional in forming connections with people, and practice self-care to adjust to the “new normal.”
5 Daily Practices
Let us explore some simple practices you can easily incorporate into your day.
Start by setting an alarm every day for 5 minutes in the morning and listen to a 5-minute meditation on YouTube, perhaps this one! Set positive intentions for the day ahead. This helps you establish a calm and focused mindset.
2. Box breathing
Breathe in for a count of 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and breathe out for 4 seconds. This simple exercise can help ground you in the present moment and release tension. Check out the video link in the resources below.
3. Schedule Breaks
Sit out in nature or take a short walk and pay attention to your surroundings. Notice the sensation of your feet touching the ground, and the sounds of nature. Engaging your senses in this way helps bring your focus to the present moment. By stepping away from work for a moment, you can recharge and improve productivity.
Incorporate gratitude into your work routine by reflecting on and appreciating the positive aspects of your job. Take time to acknowledge and express gratitude for the support of colleagues, the opportunities you have, and the progress you've made. Cultivating gratitude helps shift your perspective and enhances overall job satisfaction.
5. Set Mindful Boundaries
By establishing mindful boundaries, you create space for relaxation, hobbies, and quality time with loved ones. At the end of each workday, take a few moments to reflect on your accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned. Celebrate your successes and acknowledge your efforts. Reflecting mindfully helps you gain insights, set intentions for the next day, and create a sense of closure, allowing you to fully disengage from work and enjoy your personal time.
Need More Practice or Resources?
I write this in the hope that it is compelling enough to motivate you to take some action, to make small changes that will eventually transform into your daily habits and help manage stress to create a sense of well-being. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me for more practices or resources here! I've been in the holistic space for many years practicing complementary therapies such as Reiki, energy healing, reflexology, EFT (emotional freedom technique), hypnotherapy, Pranic Healing, meditation, visualization, and aromatherapy (essential oils).
I'd love to hear some of your stories and your journey around mindfulness in the comments below! In the meantime, here are some helpful resources for your own journey through self-care.
Box Breathing Technique - Example here!
Gratitude Affirmations - Listen and repeat here!