Here we are entering the last month of Spring and many clients and students have been complaining about feeling a lack of energy. I have chosen the topic “self-care” as a reminder to put our health and wellness on a priority list. Or as I like to say “me first, darling!”
If you have been checking your newsletter regularly you will have noticed lots of wonderful changes happening at the School of Complementary Therapies and in my clinical practice. While all this change is good, the fact of the matter is all change causes stress. So, I was feeling somewhat tired lately, and noticed I was a little “puffy” and that it was time to put my teachings into practice. How does the old saying go ‘healer, heal yourself’? I’m going to share with you some of the ways I get my life back into harmony.
Give yourself permission to make rest a priority.
Life can be stressful. We have to contend with traffic and work. We have families to care for. And many of us quite simply don’t get enough rest. We are encouraged to exercise and to eat well, but rest is just as important for our overall health and well-being. Are you getting enough rest and sleep? Start by identifying periods during the day when you can be without stimulation. Yes, find some time to do nothing. Find those times and allow your body and mind to rest. Even if all you have is 5 to 10 minutes, slow down and just breathe deeply. One of the wonderful benefits of this is that it helps put your day-to-day concerns in perspective.
Aim for 8 hours sleep a night.
Sometimes when we are stressed we can kid ourselves that watching TV or playing on the computer is the “rest” we need. No, we need time to do nothing and to sleep. Get to bed a little earlier. Bonus here-not only will you have more energy and feel less stressed-research suggests that appetite-regulating hormones are affected by sleep and sleep deprivation may possibly have a role to play in weight gain. Sometimes when my mind is busy I find it difficult to get enough sleep. I use my CD Radiant Health to help me doze off. By starting my night’s sleep fully relaxed by the progressive relaxation my mind switches off. By listening to the positive affirmations my brain starts to focus on the important stuff and I just don’t wake-up with the busy brain. If fact, I wake up feeling fabulous!
Use your imagination to help you reduce stress.
Using your imagination to help you relax is a terrific way to reduce stress and work through those day-to-day challenges. It’s simple, low-tech and effective: all you need is your imagination and a few minutes to yourself. Begin by closing your eyes and taking long, slow deep breaths. Imagine that you are in beautiful surroundings. It can be somewhere you have visited or somewhere you would like to! Focus on bringing all parts of the image to life: the colors you see, the sounds you hear, the scents you smell. Bring the images into focus and try to “stay in” the scene for at least five minutes. Practice this exercise for a few minutes every day or use it whenever you’re stressed.
Give yourself permission to sort out what you want to take with you into the future and what you want to leave behind.
Suze Orman, in her book The Courage to be Rich encourages us to find 25 items in the office that can be given away or thrown away. She believes that by creating a void this allows the Universe (God or Goddess) to fill it with something better. Emma and I took this to heart and cleared the office. It felt so good that we both took time to go through our homes and had a lot of fun getting rid of clothes that no longer fit. You can pass things on or have a garage sale, or take stuff to the Thrift Shop. The game is to start by identifying where your life and/or business is cluttered. Then throw it away, give it away, or find a use for it by the end of the day.
Let someone else look after you for a while.
I have been going to see my friend Siri for a Massage and getting Reflexology from Ade. Wonderful stuff! Treat yourself to a nice dinner out and let someone wait on you, cook the meal and do the clearing up! Can’t afford dinner this month; then go out for breakfast.
Make time for play!
And don’t forget to take play time. I have been going to lunch and breakfast with friends, dinner with my kids, walks with mates, and the other day had a wonderful time in a park on a swing! Get back in touch with life’s priorities and make a little space each day for play!
And the amazing thing I’ve remembered – that when my life is in harmony, I have lots more energy to get the things I need to do done.
So, see you later – I’m off to catch a movie.