I hope I got your attention with my title, because I feel that this is an area that many people struggle with. The balance between taking care of those around us, taking care of our responsibilities in life, and finding time to take care of ourselves. We may even believe that taking time out to nurture ourselves is a selfish act. I am here to tell you that this is just not so. In fact, really nourishing yourself, filling yourself up is one of the least selfish things you can do, because when you are filled up, you really are so much more valuable to those around you. You cannot give that which you do not have.
Here are my top five tips for taking care of you this season, so that you can then take care of those you love.
- REST – This is a four letter word that most of us are totally afraid of. Are you one of those people who think if you let yourself slow down, even just a little, you will never start back up again? This is a sign that you are WAY over due for a rest! Try going to bed even just 30 minutes earlier than you usually do, or carve out 15-20 minutes to just sit and breath quietly with your eyes closed. Our bodies and our brains are not machines, and they do need rest to keep working at their best.
- Express Gratitude – This can be in the form of a gratitude journal, a devotional prayer, a verbalized thank you to someone or something that you love, or just a silent acknowledgement to yourself that you are blessed. The simple act of expressing our thanks can literally change our state of being, bringing us from a place of fear, to a place of love. This simple shift in perspective can have profound effects on how you view and perceive the world, and this in turn will nourish you. It can also help to shut off our “Flight or Flight” pathways and turn them into “Rest and Digest” which is so much better for us physiologically.
- Move Your Body – Physical activity of any kind, be it dance, walking, jogging, wrestling with your children and especially yoga, will promote fresh blood flow, endorphins, and a sense of calm in your body. Taking just 20 minutes out of your day, 4-5 times a week to move will feed you mentally, physically and emotionally. You can use your workouts as a time of releasing old and negative “junk” from your life, as a way of physically working out your emotions, or as a way to clear your mind. All while taking care of that body of yours that was designed to move!
- Dine When You Eat – When you eat, choose foods that are bright and colourful. These foods not only treat your sense of sight, they will also be the foods that are most nutrient dense and nourishing for your body. (Assuming those colours were naturally produced, and not formulated in a lab, but I am sure that you deduced that) Eating a wide range of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and grains will go a long way to nourishing your body, and fuelling you for your busy life. You would not expect your car to run on fumes for days, so why would you expect that from your body? Also, when you do eat, try to turn off the T.V, the phone and close the lap top. Set the table and sit and eat, chewing your food. This will encourage proper digestion and assimilation, which will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished, rather than bloated and uncomfortable.
- Laugh, Live, Love, Enjoy – Laughter is really one of the most powerful transmutes of negative energy ever. It will help to lift your spirits, and see life as a playground, not a battle field. I cannot stress enough how important I feel it is that you are able to laugh. Spend time with people who make you feel light. Watch television shows that make you feel inspired. Read articles on subjects that get you thinking and feeling inventive. Dance. Jump, sing, play. Really allow yourself to enjoy life, every single day. After all, what are we here for, if not to uplift one another.
I hope that your fall is filled with love, good food, good people and lots of yoga. Love, Ali.
Want to learn more? Contact Ali Washington, RHN at firstname.lastname@example.org