Guilt free self care tips : Love yourself!

Guilt free self care tips : Love yourself!

Go guilt-free and love yourself!

I think most people have got the message by now that loving oneself is essential for health and wellbeing. We have heard the analogy of placing the emergency oxygen mask on ourselves before the child so that we can help them. However, when we are caught up in the hustle-bustle of daily life, it can be so common to put our own needs last on the list or feel guilt that putting ourselves first some of the time is selfish. That leads us to become more and more depleted emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
It is important to remember that even though we make mistakes and are often imperfect in our own eyes, we can be our own worst critics. Making mistakes and errors is part of life and is best dealt with gently ( as we would with someone else) and with a sense of humour if possible.
Just setting aside a short time each day to lavish care and love upon our bodies and spirits can really make a difference to how we cope with stress and adversity.
Here is my bullet journal list that I use as my reference to help me find a solution to more negative mind states (printed below). I also set aside one day a week as a “Me” day where I make sure I have a number of hours to do something that feeds my soul and banks nourishment in my being to keep me topped up with good feelings.

When you are feeling down:

  • Make a herbal tea and read an uplifting book.
  • Sing along to your favourite music tracks.
  • Take some time to pamper yourself with a face mask and paint your nails.
  • Write a letter to yourself a year from now.
  • Cleanse some crystals and place them on your body as you rest.
  • Get a new hairstyle.
  • Go to the cinema and watch something uplifting.
  • Do something to help someone else.
  • Make a Golden Milk drink as a natural anti-depressant.
  • Write a gratitude list.
  • Journal about what is getting you down.
  • Watch a motivating TED talk.
  • Remember to not take things personally and keep perspective. See The four agreements.

When you are feeling exhausted:

  • Make a delicious green smoothie to energise you.
  • Massage your feet with some aromatherapy oils.
  • Give yourself or receive some Reiki/ Healing.
  • Take a nap. I give you permission, no guilt required!!
  • Do some gentle movement exercise to get your energy flowing again. eg the energy routine.
  • Make a list of the people, places, habits that are draining you and consider leaving them behind!
  • Have a device detox and unplug from social media etc.
  • Say “No” in a kind way to requests that are too much for you.
  • Ask for help from family / friends in a specific way so that they know what can help you and when.

When you are feeling irritable / frustrated:

  • Go for a stroll.
  • Drink a big glass of water.
  • Treat yourself to a few squares of dark chocolate to boost your Magnesium levels.
  • Take some photos outside in nature.
  • Visit somewhere new that you haven’t been to before for a new outlook.
  • Go to the theatre or a music concert.
  • Drive somewhere high up to watch the sunset.
  • Go out to a cafe for breakfast and read a quality magazine.
  • Have a facial at a beauty salon.
  • Breathe more deeply and have some quiet alone time.
  • Allow yourself to really feel your feelings so that they can move and evolve. Don’t repress them as they can get trapped in your energy field which can lead to further imbalances.

When you are feeling stressed:

  • Create an art journal page.
  • Have a swim and a sauna.
  • Play with clay.
  • Cuddle a pet or even a teddy if you aren’t receiving any human hugs.
  • Find a new guided meditation to follow along with.
  • Plan a trip away.
  • Enjoy a great yoga class.
  • Take up knitting.
  • Walk barefoot on the grass.
  • Write a Brain dump list.
  • Forgive yourself and others.
  • Declutter and clean one cupboard.
  • Join an online support group on facebook or similar.
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When you are feeling lonely:

  • Meet up with a friend in a cafe.
  • Invite a friend around to watch a funny film together.
  • Bake a cake and take it to someone to enjoy together.
  • Go camping for a night to meet new friends.
  • Join an online class to learn something new and make new connections.
  • Listen to an audiobook wrapped up in a blanket with hot chocolate.
  • Say “I love you” every time you look in the mirror.
  • Connect with Source energy to remember you are never alone and you are always supported and loved.

When you are feeling sad:

  • Find a dance class or put on your favourite music and dance at home to lift up your energy.
  • Swim in the sea, a lake or a river.
  • Get up early and watch the sunrise.
  • Burn some uplifting aromatherapy oils.
  • Watch some old comedy that really makes you laugh.
  • Go to an art exhibition.
  • Learn a poem or try to write a song.
  • Buy yourself some pretty flowers.
  • Be around trees.
  • Use some vibrational essences eg Bach flower remedies to help shift your sadness.
  • Do some chanting and/or vocal toning to raise vibration.
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In essence:

Take some time for yourself and allow stresses and strains to fall away. Life is too short to be spending most of it wound up and overwhelmed. You deserve time for yourself. You need alone time, some people need a lot of alone time. As they say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. Why you would be pouring from a cup and not a teapot or jug, I don’t know, but you get the meaning!

“Well ordered self-love is right and natural.”    Thomas Aquinas

I have found as someone with Chronic conditions that I am always frustrated that I am not managing to get on and do what I want to do and that in turn means that I find it really difficult to allow myself to rest and take a nap. I always want to be doing stuff and I suppose In feel that I have missed out so much on doing what I wished to do that I don’t want to “waste” a single second of the rest of my life. Resting is not wasting time however and often more can be achieved post power nap than would have been done otherwise. So ditch the guilt about the housework or the garden or the long “to do” list and take some nurturing time just for you. You deserve it!

Schedule some self-care.

Today: Schedule some self-care. Find at least 15 mins in the day where you can choose a self-loving activity and try to stay aware of how it affects your mood.

Also: pick a day to be your “Me day” where you go some where new or take a yoga class or whatever feels the most nourishing to you. Scheduling it in your planner, diary or phone will ensure that you don’t put yourself at the bottom of the list again.

Share: Please comment below, what are your favourite self-care practices and what difference does it make to you when you make time for them? I would love some new tips!!  

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Is Anger Slowly Killing You?  Choose Forgiveness!

Is Anger Slowly Killing You? Choose Forgiveness!

As January draws to a close, many of us will be looking forward to the rollercoaster of a film that is T2. Trainspotting was a groundbreaking film for my generation and its long-awaited sequel T2 has a lot to live up to. Hearing Renton choosing Twitter, Facebook etc in the trailer has made me realise what a different world we live in now compared to when the first film came out in 1996. In a week where we have had the inauguration of the new POTUS and Theresa May initiating some of the impending Brexit negotiations, many will be feeling anger and frustration. The women’s marches have inspired me this week and I choose to focus on positivity. So here are some tips and thoughts on how to:

Choose forgiveness.

Choose peacefulness.

Choose happiness.

Anger

In my role as a mother, I feel that teaching my kids how to recognise, identify, and process their emotions is one of the most important skills that I can teach them. There are often outbursts of anger from both of my sons as they have fiery personalities. One evening recently irritations were rising and they started to get a bit physical with each other. We separated them and they both went to bed incredibly upset. My husband was angry too. It is hard when faced with flaring anger and confrontation to stay calm. We always try to assure the boys that we love them even when they have misbehaved as we want them to know that our love is unconditional. Interestingly on this occasion, it was by showing them lots of love in their grief and extreme anger that allowed them to apologise and make friends again.

I have noticed that one of my boys tends to want to cover his ears, hide and run away from situations when he is overwhelmed. often followed by an earache the next day interestingly.  The other gets enraged, loses his temper and then tends to move into a self-blaming place of shame which is overly dramatic and also detrimental to his health and happiness. I grew up in a household where there were next to no shouting or raised voices. I like fact that my kids express their anger but the trick is to get them expressing it safely and without collateral damage. We aren’t there yet. In fact, I am amazed our sitting room door is still on its hinges after the repeated slamming!

anger

Communication

A few years ago I attended a course on Non-Violent Communication. It was one of the most challenging activities I have ever undertaken. It felt like learning a totally new language. Not that I was particularly aggressive or violent in my speech previously, but there were subtleties that I had not previously thought about that could be improved upon. One stumbling block was that even at age 40, I was struggling to identify what I was actually feeling. We were given a list of emotions to peruse and that helped a lot but I really did feel a first like I was having to recognise a whole new vocabulary of emotions in my being. It was noticeable however that by being more specific about the quality of the emotion I was feeling, I had more chance of communicating clearly and with empathy.
anger

Non-Violent Communication

The four components of Non-Violent Communication (as developed by Marshall B. Rosenberg) are:
  • Observing (and being aware if we are also evaluating)
  • Feelings ( identifying and expressing how we are feeling in a responsible manner)
  • Needs (identifying one’s own needs and enquiring about and sensing others’ needs)
  • Requests (asking for actions that might fulfil our needs and enrich our lives)

Do visit the link above to learn more about NVC and to find out about courses and resources on how to communicate with compassion.

Is anger slowly killing you?

Now that the statistics on the likelihood of developing cancer are so shockingly high, I feel that anything we can do to reduce stress and anger in our lives is extremely important. After all, resentment and stress have been shown to depress immune function* and cause all sorts of physiological problems. If our immunity is down then cancer is more likely to grow. Of course, the aetiology is multi-factorial but if we can maintain a harmonious energetic field in our bodies then we are well on the way to staying healthy. Recent estimates by the World Health Organization suggest that by 2030 depression and stress-related problems will be the most debilitating and widespread health disorders on the planet, closely followed (rather tellingly) by autoimmune disease and allergy.**
*Brod S1, Rattazzi L, Piras G, D’Acquisto F. “As above, so below” Examining the interplay between emotion and the Immune System. Immunology. 2014 Jun 18.
**The Physiological and Psychological Effects of Compassion and Anger. Glen Rein, Mike Atkinson, and Rollin McCraty. Journal of Advancement in Medicine. 1995; 8(2): 87-105.
Anger

Trapped Emotions

If we are to teach our young people to manage and express their anger in a positive way and to show forgiveness, then we must model these qualities ourselves. If you are a parent, it’s easy to insist that your child apologises and let’s go of their frustration but perhaps we as adults struggle with that too. Forgiveness can be difficult, but one thing is for sure, if we don’t forgive, the person that mostly suffers is ourselves. Emotions that are unexpressed and unresolved can become trapped in our bodies and lead to more stress and eventually illness. Louise Hay wrote in her book Heal your life that the underlying emotional basis for developing cancer is longstanding resentment and hatred. It is crucial that we learn to release these trapped emotions and improve our ability to understand others’ choices, with compassion and empathy. Options to help release these trapped emotions are Emotion Code and EFT, Matrix Reimprinting and sound therapy. I explain more about these modalities in my post on energy healing.

Forgiveness

A great resource if you are having trouble forgiving yourself or others, is Colin Tipping’s Radical Forgiveness website. There are many free downloads of worksheets to guide you through forgiveness processes. Sometimes this processing approach to letting go of resentments is needed along with the energy work, to ensure that the negative emotions don’t return. The Work by Byron Katie is another self-enquiry approach that is incredibly helpful at turning your perception of a situation around and developing empathy for yourself and others.

Are you holding onto resentment and anger?

You would be so much lighter and happier without them. Have a go at releasing negative emotions using one of the methods mentioned above. Do let me know in the comments below of any times where you have seen the direct benefits of forgiveness on your health.

6 easy ways to regain peace of mind.

6 easy ways to regain peace of mind.

Peace of mind is the holy grail in these chaotic busy times. If you can maintain a calm serenity in your day, then life is so much easier. Here are six simple actions you can take to encourage more peace of mind. I have found them incredibly helpful this year especially when I am out of sorts, exhausted and stressed.

1) Get organised.

Getting much more organised has improved my quality of life immensely this year. I have done this by starting to plan more effectively. I found that I constantly had a “to do” list bouncing around my head. Even if I had written down a list down for the day, there were always more things popping into my head about future events. This did not encourage a peaceful mind!

So, by chance, I came across the practice of Bullet Journaling. Because it helps me to list and prioritise my tasks for the day, it allows me to get so much more done. As well as a planner, it is also a space where you can be creative if you wish, adding doodling, colouring and fun collections of lists or projects. It really helps you get clear on your goals and the steps needed to achieve them. You can fully personalise it to your needs and there is an amazing online community of bullet journal fans out there, all happy to share their breakthroughs and tips. Kara of Bohoberry inspired me to give it a go, as she makes her journal so visually pleasing, but is still very clear about what is working effectively and what isn’t. There are of course many other planner styles and apps which can be useful but I do encourage you to check this out. I will be posting more about Bullet Journaling and what I have found helpful in days to come.
peace of mind

2) Avoid or reduce exposure to television and radio news.

As a sensitive person, I find the daily onslaught of depressing and upsetting bad news overwhelming. To be honest, I cut out TV news a very long time ago but even the radio news drains my energy and can leave me really upset at times, especially if a very emotive story comes on when I am not expecting it. The thing is that we don’t actually need to be updated every half an hour on distressing news stories. It causes our stress levels to rise and is so detrimental to a good night’s sleep if taken in just before bed.
I do buy a weekend newspaper and then I can choose what I wish to expose myself to … and when. I feel that this is a much gentler way for us to stay in touch with world events if that is what is desired. And let’s not forget how biased and subjective the media can be: whose truth are we really ingesting anyway? I think this is easily forgotten when you watch television news night after night, which is certainly not conducive to a relaxed state of mind.
How about turning the telly off and as the kids program used to say..go and do something more interesting instead!! Or even better: more relaxing!
peace of mind

3) Journaling.

It can be hard to know where to start with journaling. My first experience of it was with The Artist’s Way course by Julia Cameron many years ago, part of which entailed writing three pages of free-flowing words as they came, each morning. I wrote an enormous amount of drivel and it was really beneficial! There were eventually some Aha moments and my mind was so much clearer for other, more interesting and creative tasks.
Now I enjoy a mixture of journaling my emotions –  as I really need to get them out sometimes – and Art journaling, a lovely combination of writing thoughts down and either painting over the top, or incorporating text into the arty page. It’s so therapeutic and in moments where I am really struggling with difficult situations and uncomfortable emotions, it’s so helpful to write them down and see where that stream of consciousness will take me. Even if you just want to make a massive frustrated scribble, that is beneficial too. It’s all about identifying emotions and getting them moving. After all they are just feelings “in motion” and we don’t want them getting stuck in our bodies as that leads to all sorts of imbalances. So write it out and get messy! For more about Art journaling see my links to amazing inspiring Art journal enthusiasts.

4) Tapping.

Tapping can seem a little strange at first, but it’s an effective way to quickly shift dense energy, uncomfortable emotions and stress in the body. Tapping ranges from the simple (eg. tapping with the fingers on the thymus gland area at the top of the sternum to stimulate immunity and increase life energy) to a more extensive round of tapping on acupressure points to fully free up a limiting pattern or trapped emotion (eg. A round of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or energy routine by Donna Eden). If you are new to EFT watch the video below with Jessica Ortner to get an introduction to the technique and much more information at her website

5) Conscious Breathing

Meditation is being hugely promoted at the moment – for good reason. It benefits us in so many ways physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. However, it doesn’t have to be a complicated technique or a strenuous activity taking immense concentration. Keep it really simple. Meditation can be just taking a few aware breaths into your belly whilst on a five minute work break. Even if you are a complete beginner and your brain is overactive with a million thoughts, this simple act will relax and restore you. If there is still background noise happening in your mind, don’t worry. At least you are still bringing conscious awareness to the breath for a few moments. This will calm stress hormones and increase oxygenation to the body as the breath becomes slower and deeper.  With practice, this time can be extended, or you can just try to incorporate these moments of conscious breathing into your day numerous times. This will bring more peace of mind and it also feels good! For more simple meditation and breathing techniques, coming soon … my post on source meditation.

6) Get Grounded

Getting barefoot feels so damn good, it’s often a mystery to me why I don’t do it more often. When I was travelling in Australia, I was barefoot the majority of the time while staying in a particular hostel for three months. My feet started to become more robust and my health was the best it has ever been. Yes, the weather was often great, but more than that, being barefoot was more socially acceptable. It wasn’t unusual to see people barefoot in the supermarket or the street. Okay, I admit this was in the rather eclectic Byron Bay and not Sydney city centre but the point is that it was acceptable to walk around without shoes and it felt great. We spend so much of our lives insulated from the earth’s energies and we need those energies to be healthy and well.

Healing Frequencies

When astronauts first went into space, they became physically unwell as they were no longer exposed to the Schumann frequencies of the earth. This frequency emission (originally measured at 7.83Hz) is now installed in the spacecraft so that the astronauts stay well. The Schumann frequency is the frequency of the earth’s ionosphere. However, mother earth herself has her own healing frequencies and magnetic field. According to the HeartMath Institute, the Earth’s magnetic field carries biologically relevant information that connects all living systems. When we constantly insulate ourselves from that connection by wearing rubber soles and rarely sitting on the earth, we miss out on an enormously beneficial healing relationship. I feel so much better when I just get barefoot on the earth for 10 minutes.

 

Peace of mind.

However, another way to more consciously ground to earth’s energy is to do a simple visualisation. This allows us to let go of tension and stress and let that be absorbed by the huge living being that is our home. And once we have let go of all that density, we can then consciously ask for and allow earth’s beautiful healing frequencies to come back up into our bodies, revitalising and renewing us. How wonderful that we have this beautiful relationship with the planet available to us in every moment. After all, we come from the earth and we will return to her. Coming soon: a grounding meditation with solfeggio frequencies to bring you back into balance.

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