Keep Calm and Practice Self-Care

I’ve been really evaluating my self-care process this past week. I think I have a pretty good routine that works for me and that keeps me healthy. I’ve always enjoyed working out, yoga, contemplative thinking and eating well. I’ve studied Reiki, had lots of energy work done, studied and practiced flower essences. I am not afraid to go deep and work on myself. I don’t always enjoy the ride and sometimes I feel like I am flying with angel wings around the universe and other times I feel like I am on one of those spinning kiddie rides that make me nauseous. To see the light, you’ve got to live in the dark. The mud, the pit, the underworld or the boogy mans house.

Self care is so important. It’s more than getting up in the morning and brushing your teeth and washing your hair. It requires more discipline than that. You don’t have to follow anyone’s rules on how you structure your self-care, but you’ve got to have a practice.

I’ve been evaluating my process a lot these past two weeks while road tripping back to the ‘Heartland’ where I grew up. I drove 8 hours round-trip from Charlotte, NC to Cincinnati, OH. I saw family, stood in a dear friends wedding, partied and rambled on. I was able to maintain a good solid routine while away for 6 days. I managed to do yoga at least 3 days, meditate regularly, hike, walk, swim, dance, and eat at an Earth Fare. I didn’t have my juicer, so I drank green juice every morning from the Kroger nearby. I ate more processed foods than normal, which I think hurried up my moon cycle and brought it days earlier than expected. Between the driving and the cramps, I was zoned. I still had to return home and wake up the next day to teach 3 yoga classes all over the city of Charlotte. I was reminded how much maintaining a self-care practice is important in creating less stressful and chaotic responses.

I happened to re-read a section in Sara Avant Stover’s book The Way of the Happy Woman that reminded me of self-care acts that I was either doing well or lacking in. I felt so inspired to strengthen my self-care and commit to the things I am lacking in.

Check out this list on how to be a happy woman.

Create a Sacred Space

Set up an altar in your home. A sacred place where you can go to and pray or find peace. Don’t let any dirt or crumbs come in this space. Smudge the space every week or so to clear the spaces energy.

Your Absolute Yes and Absolute No Lists by Sara Avant Stover

Say YES!

* Sleep at least eight hours a night

* Take a candlelit bath a few times a week

* Do yoga six days per week, even if you only practice for 10 minutes

* Go for walks outside at least a few times a week

* Spend mornings in silence

* Meditate a minimum  of ten minutes per day

* Eat simple, wholesome foods that agree with me

* Get a pedicure every month and a massage every other week

* Dance at least once per week

* Write in a journal daily. Write gratitude lists or just write your thoughts on paper. Try at least 3 pages or just doodle.

*Go on at least one meditation retreat and one beach vacation a year

* Meet with friends at least twice a week

* Go to Farmers Market every week

* Rest after travel before going back into daily routines

* Unplug from the phone and computer one day a week

Where to Say NO!!!

* No checking email first thing in the morning or before bed

* No laptop in bed unless watching a movie

* No working on Sundays

* No strenuous activity or work on the first day of my moon time

* No red-eye flights

* No letting things slide or not speaking up for what I want or need

* No call waiting. Disable the function on my phone so that conversations don’t get interrupted

* No competing with or comparing myself to others

* No checking email more than a few times per day and don’t zone out while looking at the internet

* No excuses for not letting my body move or get outside every day, unless I’m sick.

* No eating when I’m angry, upset, or having a stressful conversation

keep calm and practice self care

Believe me, it’s not easy to maintain ALL of the above. However, to practice practicing these acts, will create a better understanding and relationship with  self-care. I find that in the morning upon my awakening and stepping my feet onto the floor, I say to myself or out loud, all the things that I need to do first before doing anything else that is important. It’s usually the same conversation everyday and it beefs up my self-care muscles each time I acknowledge its importance.

So take a moment, to once again re-read the above lists and then go and strengthen your self-care routine.

enjoy!

Mary Breath

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