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Take Time to Replenish: 5 Self-Care Strategies for Stressful Times
Over the past 22 years, I’ve read hundreds of books on mind-body health. I’ve spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars studying with some of the best yoga teachers, happiness educators, and new thought spiritual leaders in the world today.
They all share one message in common:
Self-care is necessary for living a fulfilling, healthy, meaningful and happy life.
Yet, when we’re stressed, self-care is usually the first thing we push aside, and our lives eventually suffer.
Insomnia, depression, anxiety, lethargy, digestive issues, communication difficulties, resentment, anger, craving, avoidance, loneliness, and relationship issues are among the many signs that we need self-care strategies. But too often we tend to ignore these symptoms and they become chronic.
Yet, with just a little willingness, and a few simple and sustainable choices, we can get to the cause of these issues. We can begin to heal our mind, body, and heart, and discover how to bring our best self to any day, even the stressful ones!
5 Simple Self-Care Strategies
1. Know Your Why:
Instead of self-care becoming just one more thing you have to pack into your already busy schedule, make it meaningful. Make it powerful. Know why you do it. Know the benefits of doing it and what it’s costing you not to.
When we practice self-care we’re working toward a larger purpose. We’re doing the one thing no one else can do for us.
Remember, in part, you’re committing to be your best self and take back control of your mind, body, and life. You deserve some self-love.
My daily practice helps me to be a more in-the-moment and playful mom to my 4-year-old son. I’m a better coach/teacher to my clients. I am filled up to serve and help more people (which I know is my calling) and I have a lot more energy.
2. Fill Your Own Tank First:
Self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s necessary. In Western culture, we’re often encouraged to be rat racers. We put our happiness off to some distant future after we reach our goals. But the problem is, another goal pops up and we miss out on the joy right here, right now. And this outlook creates a life in which we neglect ourselves in the moment, where life is actually happening.
Let go of the idea that self-care is selfish. It’s actually the exact opposite! When we don’t take the time to fill our own tank first, we’re much more likely to be all we think about. We become distracted by overwhelming circumstances, frustration and even resentment, which interferes with our ability to be fully engaged with life and our loved ones.
You wouldn’t go on a fun and adventurous road trip without filling your car up with gas. The same is true for your body and mind.
3. A Little Goes a Long Way:
You don’t have to spend hours a day on self-care. A little goes a long way. Start by committing to just 10 to 15 minutes a day meditating, breathing or journaling. Or do something else that feels nurturing to you and your soul.
For example, I get up one hour before my 4-year-old son so that I have quiet time to do my inspirational reading, journaling and meditating. The key is to create a daily practice that you can sustain so that you can really experience the benefits.
4. Create a Sacred Space:
This is simple, but it really makes any self-care strategy special. I use essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and lemon. You might play soothing music or light a candle.
It’s also helpful to find a space or place that is comfortable and calming. This can be as simple as a seat in your favorite room.
When the weather permits, I like to go outside and listen to the birds as I do my morning journaling and reading. Some people like to have one spot where they practice all the time in order to build positive energy around that space.
These simple rituals will prompt your mind and body to prepare for the practice.
5. Schedule It
Put it on your calendar and commit to it for at least 21 consecutive days. Remember to keep it sustainable and you’ll be able to create this new habit with more ease.
Think about how you show up for everyone else. Imagine you are keeping a commitment to someone you would never let down. Take advantage of that energy and quality to keep this commitment to yourself.
You can do this! I often teach my clients to build their calendars around their priorities, rather than trying to fit their priorities into their busy schedule.
Interested in teaching Restorative Yoga? Study with Judith Hanson Lasater and YogaUOnline - Teaching Restorative Yoga: Nourish Revitalize and Rebalance Your Spirit.
Reprinted with permission from JoyStoneCoaching.com
Joy Stone is an experienced and certified Yoga Teacher and Personal Transformation Coach. She is also the founder of Soul Subscription – a holistic online membership designed to help you stay consistent on your spiritual path and true to yourself. With over 13 years of professional experience, she is passionate about helping men and women break free from fear, frustration and overwhelm and breakthrough into a life they truly love. Joy's special style of coaching uniquely blends the most essential tools & life-empowering practices from eastern and western psychology & philosophy. She received her positive psychology education under Harvard Professor, Tal Ben-Shahar, Wholebeing Institute and her yoga teaching certification under the Anusara style -- a therapeutic application of yoga psychology and practice. You can learn more about Joy and her work at www.joystonecoaching.com