Stop, breathe and take care of yourself. 6 practices to make self care a part of your everyday life
Life these days is just too busy, too rushed; it pulls us in different directions all the time; it requires our attention to different matters all at once until we start feeling depleted, like we have too many things to do and too little time to do them. We get overwhelmed. In moments like these we need to stop and literally take a deep breath. If we want to function properly in our everyday tasks we also need to take care of ourselves and get in touch with what we need.
I am not an expert on self care, my goal is to share with you the practices that work for me, that I know will bring you back to center so you will feel more balanced inside and little by little the chaos around you will start to get less noisy.
1. Breathe. One of the most important things you can do to reconnect with yourself is to start breathing consciously. Next time you feel overwhelmed by external circumstances just breathe, really noticing your breath: its quality, its softness (or roughness), its length. Let it be a little longer each time until your inhale and your exhale feel even. Take a moment to just listen to your breath, to feel it, letting the noises around you be as they are, feeling whatever is inside you just as it is. After this tiny break go back to your life and notice if you feel calmer, maybe slightly grounded. The beauty of this practice is that you can do it anytime, anywhere; how awesome is that?
2. Choose to eat foods that nourish your body and make you feel light, not heavy. As much as you can, choose fresh fruits and vegetables over refined sugars and processed meat. Drink a good amount of water to stay hydrated and drink less soda or sugary drinks/juices. Little changes in your diet can do wonders for your well being.
3. Find time everyday to do one thing you like. It doesn’t matter if you only have 10 minutes; go for a walk, look at the trees, do yoga, meditate, journal, spend time with someone you love (any being), call your friends, do ANYTHING you love!
4. Listen to your body and rest when you feel tired. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep, at least 7 hours. Again, listen to your body and if something hurts take care of it, give your body some love!
5. Meditate. Take time to sit still, to listen to your breath and to feel the sensations in your body. Let go of all that noise present in your head 24/7 for at least five minutes every day and reconnect with your deepest essence.
6. Feel gratitude. Before you go to bed, take five minutes to write down three things you were grateful for during your day. Think about the little things that bring joy to your life, like maybe your morning coffee was extremely delicious or traffic wasn’t so bad. Noticing these little things and feeling grateful for them everyday will bring you closer to experience a better sense of well being in most (if not every) aspect of your life.