Relax, Reflect, Recharge

De-Stress Your Mind and Body

13335830_645757565572612_4734345543615956057_n

“Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, and then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.”           Jennifer Louden

Happy Friday!  This isn’t just any Friday.  It is the Friday of a holiday weekend.  For many, it will be the kickoff to 3 days of family, fun and sun.  For some, they will use this time to relax and recharge while others will think of the million things that need to get done.

Yup, I am the one who pushes myself.  For years, I didn’t seem to have an off switch.  I mean to be successful you need to work hard, right?  I am learning that self-care is important for me to reach my BIG goals.  Sometimes I think the latest round of health challenges was the wake up call that I needed so I had no choice but to nurture and heal myself.

It can be tough finding time to practice self-care, we all need to nurture ourselves—emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.  Here are some tips that you can start to practice this weekend…

1. Take ownership.

Take personal responsibility for your wellness. We need to form and maintain healthy habits that enable us to thrive. No one else can do this for us.

2. Commit.

It wasn’t until the brain fog, the chronic tiredness along with the aches and pains set in was I willing to make a commitment.  It was when I was unable to do the things that I loved that realized the many things that I took for granted.  Identify the self-care practices that help you function at your best—meditation, short walks, getting out in nature; anything that helps you recharge physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Then schedule these activities into your day.  Start with just 10-minutes a day so it isn’t so overwhelming.

3. Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the foundation of self-care, because we’re only able to identify our needs when we’re present in our bodies. Mindfulness also nourishes our spirit by rooting us in the present moment. By practicing mindfulness, we become engaged with our surroundings.  Meditation is a great way to get a sense of calm, peace, and balance.

4. Take breaks for deep breathing.

I always thought this was crazy BUT taking regular mini breathing breaks throughout my day helps me to connect my mind, body, and spirit. Believe it or not, a few deep breaths during the day also energizes me.

When you breathe in, feel the gratitude for your life.  When you breathe out, et go of all the unnecessary demands that you place on yourself.

5. Nourish your spirit.

This could be getting outside and enjoying nature—a leisurely walk at sunrise or sunset, a swim in the ocean, or even just stepping outside into the fresh air and stopping to acknowledge how truly miraculous the world is. It is the simplest of acts that will fill your spirit with light.

6. Beware the “busy life.”

We are all BUSY.  Some believe it is a sign of success. How successful are you when you are stressed, exhausted, physically and mentally depleted, and missing out on opportunities for joy in your daily life?  I am trying to set boundaries so I am not using being too busy as an excuse for living a beautiful life.

7. Keep it simple.

It is only when we slow down that we’re able to recognize all the chaos that can fill our world. Keeping life simple is now a priority.  Where can you simplify or scale back? Where are you creating unnecessary stress or drama in your life?  When I keep it simple, I am open to accepting more love, laughter, joy, and happiness into my world.

8. Recognize and eliminate energy drains.

Who and what drains your energy?   What habits, activities, or relationships aren’t healthy for you? What, if eliminated, would provide a huge sense of relief?  When you are exhausted, and your energy is depleted, you need to learn to manage and replenish your energy—mind, body, and spirit—so that you can recover quickly.

You are worthy of self-love and self-care every day. We all are. For every positive choice we make, we support our mind, body, and spirit. Self-care fuels us with the strength and energy we need to achieve all of our dreams.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel

Self-Compassion

2

 

“Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time.” ~Christine Arylo

It is the New Year and our first Tasty Tuesday and already I am changing things up.  Was one of YOUR New Year’s Resolutions to eat healthy

snoopy awesome

Did your alarm go off and the first thing you thought of was yesterday’s failure to stick to the play.  Did Negative Nelly stop by to “beat you up”?  Do you feel that until  you reach the “optimal” number on the scale, that you will never be acceptable or lovable or enough?  I am here to tell you that is so not true….

Today is a NEW day and with it comes a NEW opportunity to eat healthy.  I struggle too.  In the evening is the toughest when I find myself mindlessly eating after tracking everything I put in my mouth during the day.

Do you know the ONE thing that made the most difference lately in my weightless journey?

Acknowledging that I’m human, allowing myself to be imperfect, treating myself kindly and gently when I stumble.  This is also a great foundation not just for healthy eating, but for living a happy life.

When I cease to beat myself up for “blowing it,” there is nothing for me to rebel against.  When I gave myself permission to be human and imperfect, there was no need to beat myself up anymore.  Self-compassion does not come easy for me.  It is something that I work at and practice daily.

Dr. Kristen Neff, the world’s foremost researcher and author on self-compassion defines self-compassion as three elements:

  • Mindfulness – noticing that you’re feeling badly, as if observing yourself from the outside
  • Common humanity – recognizing that stumbling, personal inadequacy, and suffering are part of the shared human experience
  • Self-kindness – being gentle and loving with yourself, as you would a beloved friend

I have struggled with the NEW Weight Watcher’s program.  NOT because it is hard or  restrictive.  I have struggled because it is about change.  Change in the way that I think about certain foods.  I mean I lost 108 pounds on the old plan, why do anything different, right?  The truth is that I see why I am stuck.  I see the things that have sabotaged my weight loss.  Actually, this is the BEST WW program yet.  I am more aware of the hidden sugars.  I am more aware of eating clean so less processed foods.  I actually have to think before I pick something to eat instead of mindlessly eating things that are fat free or diet.

The greatest gift in this new journey is learning to practice self-compassion.

What’s something you’ve been frustrated with yourself about this week? Can you try practicing self-compassion with that? If it were your dearest friend, instead of you, how would you respond to her? Try turning that kind and loving voice on yourself and see what happens. And remember, practicing self-compassion takes practice, so if it’s hard for you, be self-compassionate!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!