I’m sure it’s not news to you when I say that it’s impossible to go through your days on earth without experiencing some challenging times.
Change is the nature of life and it seldom comes easy. But I do want to talk to you today about staying calm and taking care of yourself during the storm. Just because life gets lifey, it doesn’t mean that you have to lose your peace of mind.
What I usually see during calamities large and small, is women going into warrior mode. We strap on our crisis hats and get to work. We take charge, make sure everything gets done, handhold everyone else through their emotions and advocate for whomever needs it.
Of course all of this goes down while we are attending not only to the situation at hand, but also to regular old life–still managing to work, take care of the house, feed hungry stomachs and pay all the bills.
Women do all of this exceedingly well except for one major drawback. While we are taking care of everyone else, we completely ignore our own needs, deplete ourselves terribly and then wonder why we are angrier, heavier and more worn out than ever when the situation has resolved.
This has certainly been me in the past. And while I will admit that I am good at crisis mode (most of us are) it has taken its toll on me physically and emotionally.
So with my separation and the subsequent fall out, I was ready. Sure, I have still been there for others and done what has needed getting done, but I have also been doubly sure to prioritize myself at the same time.
Self care is always important, but during a challenging life circumstance it is critical.
You’ve heard me say for years that putting yourself first isn’t selfish it is a necessity.
Many people can’t quite wrap their arms around that one. So let me put it to you another way.
Even though you are a grown up, part of you is still a kid.
If you doubt the truth of that statement, think of how you feel when you get together with your birth family. Think of how you behave when you fight with someone or when life hands you a disappointment. You revert to a younger you, right?
That is the kid inside and she is in all of us.
So let’s consider, what do kids need?
Kids need sleep, nourishment, movement and love.
So those are the things that I have been making sure that I get during this upheaval; the things that I would make sure that my kids got.
Here is what that looks like for me personally:
The basics—enough sleep, healthy food with some yummy treats and lots of hot tea, kombucha and water.
Walking the dog—even during the winter I get outside almost every day with my beloved Toby. I get to move my body, breathe the fresh air, admire nature and most importantly—think! I get so many of my best ideas during this daily 30-60 minute jaunt. Sometimes I can make peace with something difficult, other times I use the stroll to visualize what I want for myself and still other walks are simply to admire my beautiful town. No matter what, I always feel better coming home than when I left.
Meditation—I got trained in Transcendental Meditation in December and it has quickly become a regular part of my routine. TM is practiced twice a day for 20 minutes. I know that sounds like a lot (it did to me too!), but it is actually something that I look forward to each day. It is a specific type of meditation that can only be taught by certified TM instructors. There is all kinds of scientific data touting its benefits, but even without that, it just makes me feel good. (Learn more about TM here.)
QiGong—I have been doing qigong four to five times a week for a year now. You may be familiar with tai chi which is the grandchild of qigong. The main difference between the two is that tai chi flows from one movement to the next while qigong repeats the same movement many times. I enjoy the meditative quality of the repetitive motion and not needing to remember what comes next keeps me more in touch with the motion.
Qigong has helped me slow down. I will be the first to admit that I used to laugh at older people in the park doing tai chi—”what are they doing?!? They are barely moving! That isn’t exercise!” Yes, that was me and my judgmental self.
What I have since learned is that qigong is a practice that cultivates effortless power. It connects your mind, body and spirit and allows you to tap into your own energy, or qi/chi. Energy is the foundation of life. Cultivating a relationship with mine has gotten me more in touch with both my instinct and my intuition. (Learn more about my QiGong Master here)
Baths— I turn on the music, light the candles, dim the overheads, add epsom salt and essential oils and ahhhhhhhhh….take me away. My body craves being in salt water and since the warm ocean is either miles or months away—my baths come in a close second.
Family and friends—I can’t say it enough—receiving love and support from my inner circle has been my everything.
These slow down practices have been life savers during this time of upheaval. But if they hadn’t been in place before the craziness hit, there is no way I could have fallen back on them now.
No matter what, you will always benefit from self care–but it can be especially beneficial in these trying political times.
So what are you doing to care for the little one in you? Is she getting what she needs?
Think about it. You would do it for your child without a second thought. Don’t you deserve the same?
In order to change your life, you must first change your mind.