We only have so much time in the day to accomplish all we need to do. And, on those days when things are too piled up we often take the time we would like or need for ourselves off that list in favor of completing other tasks or meeting our responsibilities. Before we know it we have fallen into a pattern of self-neglect and eventually, we loose touch with our greatest resource … ourselves. I am often asked how to reconnect or manage and juggle priorities to reverse or avoid this pattern without putting additional demands on our schedules. Though the list below is not an all-inclusive list or guide on how to get back in touch with you, it does include some of the general thoughts I share with clients:
Your body is your home: Your body is where you reside. It is where you live your life and it is always with you. Your outward appearance is a reflection of your inner state. Looking in the mirror can so often be a good way to gauge the state of your home. Do you look tired, sallow, broken out, gaunt, swollen? If you do, it is time to take a breath and check in. You will be happy you did.
Watch your thoughts, Part 1: Take a moment to listen to your self talk. If there is something negative that comes up in your thoughts, for example, “I’m stretched so thin I’m not doing anything well”? If so pause and take a moment to think of something you did do well. Eventually you’ll see some consistency in what you are doing well and that becomes a positive to build upon. Combating each thought that says you are not good enough with a thought that states something you are good at will create a space of accomplishment where there was once a void.
Watch your thoughts, Part 2: In yoga and meditation classes I often share the philosophy that we are not all one thing or the other. The body is capable of being tight and relaxed at the same time. It is just that we often pay attention to the tension and not the part of us that is soft, relaxed. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to recall a favorite memory, smell, moment. Notice how this shifts things in your mind, relaxes you a bit and allows you to refocus from a place of calm. Things won’t seem as overwhelming once you are refocused.
Don’t punish your body for your choices: We only have one body and the way we treat it will affect it’s ability to take care of us, move with us through our day and support us. So, if you feel tired, sore, anxious, don’t punish the body with stimulants, quick-fix pain relief ointments or pills (unless needed and prescribed by a doctor). Instead, listen to the body and it’s intuitive wisdom. Slow down. Breath. Adapt as needed. Drink a glass of water, have some herbal tea, eat a healthy snack, and/or go for a walk. Don’t neglect to see a doctor, get a massage or take other appropriate self care measures when you need them. Trust me, everything else can wait. And, if you are sick or otherwise unable to do what you do, things won’t just be put on pause for an hour, they will be delayed or halted all together.
Follow these simple, no time commitment steps and see what changes come about for you. Feel free to share your observations, questions, comments with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!