As a Womens’ Well-Being Coach and mother to 2 young boys, I find practicing good self-care to be foundational to my own happiness and that of the others that I love and support. After years of trying to do it all and crashing and burning all too many times, I now see self-nurturing as my primary responsibility in every day. Our moods affect everyone and everything we see and do. Like a radio transmitter, we emit what we are feeling and magnetically attract to us circumstances and reactions from others that play right into our moods. Start the day off kilter and watch how things will catch you off guard time and again. You will miss the train, not get a seat, realise you’ve forgotten to call someone back, feel ignored at work or at the shops. It barrels on into event after event – reminding me of that knowing phrase ‘getting out of bed on the wrong side’.
It’s up to us to set and reset our energy, expectations and availability for the day ahead. Then we are well ‘planted’ in our intent, poised and centred in our readiness to engage with the day and live our best. Of course if you have young children, you may well have your day started for you, in which case grace under pressure is the best thing you can aim for! Being realistic about the time you have available to you and learning what little positives steps you can slip in, is vital to the success of your aim. Taking those steps kindly and consistently is the key to transforming your life from one of reactivity to one of creativity!
Firstly and obviously, a good nights’ sleep sets the scene for a decent day. I know there are those who don’t really have a choice over whether you sleep or not, based on little peoples’ sleeping habits. To those I say, spread your expectations for rest out over your entire 24 hours. Adjust your resting to mimic your child’s’. Even if you cannot sleep whenever they sleep, you can be sure to build in something restful or kind to you in that time. As a mum whose kids slept like strobe lights (on and off all night long!) sometimes in life you just have to accept the task in hand, know it’s going to strengthen you, and be clever and kind to you. Milk every moment of bliss you can steal; revel in the stillness of the sleeping child, play great music whenever you can, indulge in good aromatherapy in your showers, keep a book of inspiring thoughts beside the loo and do enjoy a regular night or day out for you and your love. Putting your own needs for nurturing high on the list will mean your child has a warm mum to snuggle up to, rather than the frazzled version you will become if you think you don’t rank as high as your loved ones.
Of course self-nurturing is just as important to those without children. The feminine spirit is highly responsive to the feelings and needs of those around us, whether we know them or not. Remember being in a situation where someone is acting out, maybe it’s caused you to tense, breathe more shallowly, search hard for solutions, or numb out and distance yourself. These reactions are all because the incoming information is overwhelming your own sense of self and inner equilibrium. Wouldn’t you like to remain calm and at choice in your response? Then making a habit of knowing your centre is the beginning of knowing how to get back to it under duress.
Start your day celebrating you. Make sure your home environment pleases you, even if it’s just one area that you can really call your own. Indulge your senses with your morning routine. Be aware that what you focus on determines your mood, so is listening to the news every morning or a morning TV show really going to help your day start right? Knowing your music collection and using it like a healing tool is fantastically effective. Feeling cross? Whack on Alanis Morissette and let it move, breathing deeply – if you are on your own or in the car, I highly recommend letting some noise out! Making sounds, does the Soul a power of good. All that polite suppression of our natural noises bends us so far out of shape. If you’ve never done it, please try it, we were not designed to be quiet and demure in the face of stress! But choosing how and when you let off the steam is highly recommended – you don’t want to scare the heck out of anyone! If you need some soothing- let Enya’s sweet soul or other healing music bring you back to your heart… or dance your way into work with dynamic beats to lift you into the zone that makes you rock!
Spend a little time each day checking in with your breathing too. When we are stressed or anxious, we breathe shallowly, trying to minimise our feeling response to the event. But all this does is stuff the tension deeper for resolution another day, a day we usually try to avoid at all costs!
We women are highly attuned feelers, emotions are our feedback system, like nerve endings letting us know that we need to move our hand away from a hot stove. Our emotions show us how we feel about something we are seeing or thinking. It is our perceptions that determine our emotions far more than the other’s actions. Listen to your reactions. Buy yourself some time when life’s getting hot. Step back from the situation and give yourself a timeout. Take some deep breaths, count in for 4, hold your breath for 7 and breathe out for 8. Do this a few times and you will feel yourself return to more calm, allowing you to come from your front lobe wisdom rather than your fight or flight reaction. Breath is the fastest way to change our stressful reactions and be at will rather than at the mercy of stress. Then we can see a broader take on the situation and potentially see with our hearts instead of our fears.
Another great technique is to take regular pauses in your day to envision how you would like the next segment of the day to go. Imagine the people that you are going to meet with, see yourself smiling, offer an intent that things work for the highest good of all involved. Know that your intentions and expectations set the flow of your own energies and you will also discover that you have a surprising amount of influence over how others will behave towards you too. If you’ve ever worked with someone that you know does not like you, you will have also noticed how differently you end up behaving around them. Conversely, when you hang out with those you know appreciate you, you will see yourself giving and being your best. We are all multi-faceted and we affect each other so deeply on an unconscious level. Go in to any situation expecting to find something that you like in those you meet and you will find it. Go with an attitude and watch events prove that story too.
Finally here’s another principle to look out for in your life… The deep feminine in all of us is receptive; the yin receives, whilst the yang gives/does. If we do not define what we wish to receive and determine the quality and depth we believe we deserve to receive, then our subconscious beliefs will manifest for us the proof of our expectations. Taking full responsibility for what you are attracting and adjusting your self-care, so that you fill yourself with good feelings daily, will mean that you are not hungry and needy for any attention. You will become discerning and clear about who and what enters your life, your work, your home, your body. We only have 24 hours a day, would you not want to be a conscious creator of your day, rather than an unconscious receiver of whatever is flowing your way?
Taking care of yourself has a far-reaching impact for you and for those you interact with. Attune yourself towards the best in you and expect to meet the best in others. Take your conscious time-outs and tune in…what is the next best step you can take?