September is Self Care Awareness Month, which makes it a great time to begin focusing on taking care of ourselves. We are very good at taking care of other people, and all too often we neglect to include self care in our everyday lives. It is crucial to remember that we cannot fill another person’s cup from our own empty vessel.
When we mention self care, it might bring to mind spa days, manicures, massages, and bubble baths. While all of these are great, in reality, self care is a mindset of identifying your own needs and ensuring that they are met.
Self care is about paying attention to how you feel, learning to communicate clearly, eating right, moving right, sleeping enough, tending to your mental health, and making sure that you have what you need to thrive. Because when you are well taken care of, you bounce back faster from life’s curveballs and you can do more for yourself and for others.
Here are some easy and effective ways to practice self care every day.
Do you ever feel that you are going 90 miles an hour managing all the activities in your life? That can sometimes feel like you are barely hanging on for the ride. Going at full speed all the time can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally, and may lead to feelings of helplessness and frustration.
When we rush from one task to the next with barely time to notice what we’re doing, where we are, and what is going on around us, there is no time to process events or our feelings about them.
Take a few moments to really look at the things in your schedule. Look for things that don’t need to be there, and areas where you can put some space between tasks and appointments, so you can move through your days at a more reasonable pace. If you allow for some “empty” spaces in your schedule, you can slow down and pay attention to what is happening at the moment.
Slowing down your day may also help you to be more effective in the things you need to do. Your mind is amazing, and even still, it can only do so much. If you continuously push your mind and body to their limits, they will eventually take action on their own, whether through a loss of concentration, fatigue, or illness.
You can practice being present by being mindful of whatever you’re doing at the moment. Mindfulness is about just focusing on one thing. It is a discipline of being able to shift mindfully from moment to moment and between various states in life. Before you move on to the next task, take a deep breath. Allow yourself time to shift your focus to the next thing that needs your attention. You’ll be able to approach the next task with more clarity and calmness.
Sometimes we can find ourselves getting carried away by some arbitrary thought process. If you find yourself getting wrapped up or enmeshed by an unrelated thought, gently move your focus to what is going on right now, on your actions, on your environment, and on others around you.
You can practice mindfulness with this exercise. Close your eyes and imagine you are watching leaves float down a stream. Imagine that each of your thoughts is one of these leaves and just watch them each float down the stream with the current. Seeing your thoughts floating like leaves down your stream of thought allows you to be more focused with less tension and stress.
When you find yourself speeding up and stressing out, pause and take a deep breath. Push your stomach out and breathe in deeply, then exhale completely. Take a couple more. Imagine breathing in relaxation and breathing out stress, strain, and tension. By focusing on breathing with your abdomen, you trigger a parasympathetic nervous system response that naturally lowers stress.
The Role of Hypnosis
As an added bonus to all the positive changes you can create with hypnosis, the process of being in hypnosis is profoundly relaxing, and clients say that it is the most relaxed they have ever been. In that relaxed state, your body slows down and begins to restore itself, just like it does when you sleep.
I encourage you to take advantage of the free audio program and abdominal breathing guide using the links below. And when you’re ready to experience more, just let me know! 🍥
Karen Gray is a Certified Hypnotist, Registered Nurse, and Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis. For more information visit GreenMountainHypnosis.com