Self Care, Self Love

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in the mirror but you are eternity and you are the mirror.
— Kahlil Gibran

You, like many, may be the foundation in your life, and when you crumble, everything around you falls apart, Does this sound about right? Everyone talks about wellness, but what does that actually mean? Wellness is about taking a pro-active approach,  responsibility for and being accountable for your own state of health. It includes living consciously and with intent. It is working towards the goal of finding a recipe for balance in your life that allows you to fully engage in work, family, relationships and most importantly, your relationship with yourself. If your reserves are depleted, then you cannot work and play at full capacity. Wellness is a choice and making healthier choices is within your control. It is a decision to move toward optimal health and a lifestyle that you design to achieve your highest potential for health and well being. Like most of us, you just need some guidance and support. It's difficult to know where to start on your own and even harder to stay committed and following through with the process.

How are wellness goals achieved? If your life is complicated by ongoing stressful conditions, it is best to address these issues and reduce these stressors whenever possible. When stressful conditions are unavoidable, it often leads to a downward spiral of progressively impaired self-care, at a time when you need your full health and personal strength. When we are in good health, it is important to maintain and support that state of wellness. When we are challenged by difficult situations, it is even more critical to develop a self-care practice that boosts reserves; this practice will fortify you with the resilience and increased energy you need to function during high-stress periods. It helps YOU take care of YOU. It is difficult to take the time during a crisis, but so very important. It's not selfish as you may be thinking. So what are a few steps that you can take to keep yourself well during times of stress or a crisis?

  • Find support and learn to ask for help -- no shame in this and no need to suffer alone.
  • Talk to someone either a trusted friend or therapist -- join a support group if necessary.
  • Find your determination and decide that you will get through this difficult time, just as you have at other times in your life.
  • Do what you can and focus on one task that will give you a sense of accomplishment -- one day at a time.
  • Decide what's important to manage now, and put the other things in a journal or on an imaginary shelf to deal with later. You can also create "worry time" which is a designated time set aside to worry later. This can help you contain some of that anxiety.
  • Get active by walking, biking, yoga -- exercise helps you deal better with stress.
  • Remind yourself of your many strengths -- write them down if you need to, and look at them often. If you don't know what you're good at, ask someone who knows you well.
  • Take care of yourself this includes: sleep, proper nutrition, rest, play, connections with others and relaxation.
  • Practice breathing consciously -- pay attention to when you may be shallow breathing.

Practitioners of wellness have amazing techniques to help you and most importantly, help you to help heal yourself. Your body is an amazing healing machine. There are natural ways to deal with challenges that include:

  • Relaxation therapy
  • Stress management
  • Psychotherapy
  • Aromatherapy or essential oil treatment
  • Physical exercise or movement
  • Yoga therapy
  • Energy healing and Reiki
  • Focused breathing
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Chakra balancing
  • Guided meditation
  • Body focused therapy
  • Body work
  • Nutrition support
  • Holistic health coaching and nutritional guidance
  • Positive life-style changes that affect sleep and energy.

All of these practices are useful in one's quest for comprehensive health and well-being. In fact, studies suggest that these holistic and psychological practices can increase and promote the body's natural abilities to heal neurological, endocrine, circulatory, and musculoskeletal and other body systems. Your body was elegantly designed to repair itself when damaged, but you must support and facilitate this process. Make sure that your primary food is healthy relationships -- the good ones are supportive and nourishing, not negative and depleting.