Here are some things that have helped me…
- Turn off the morning news: I am on a strictly “need to know” basis these days, at least in the mornings. If it is really important, someone will let me know. Not only are you not hearing a litany of negative things that can make you tense at the start of your day, but the quiet you give yourself helps you connect and tap into what is really important. There are so few times during the day that we allow ourselves to get quiet, which helps center us. It may take some time to get used to the quiet, but try it for a while, you might be surprised at how you feel for the rest of the day.
- Take a walk in nature: It’s not a news flash that reconnecting with nature is good for the soul. It is one of those things in life that is hard to explain and hard to quantify. Much like you hear when people come out of a long depression and say they didn’t realize how depressed they were. We often don’t realize how disconnected we are when we don’t make time for nature in our lives. Even if I can’t make time for a walk in the woods, I actually believe that walking barefoot in the soil out in the yard gives me a much needed dose of connectedness. Talk to anyone who gardens and they will tell you how much better they feel after spending some time digging in the soil with their hands.
- Get a Massage: If you can’t make time, and I mean make not find time, I recommend treating yourself to a massage. It’s the next best way to connect with your inner core. Don’t forget to breathe deeply while you are getting your massage to get the maximum benefit of relaxation and inner peace.
- Aromatherapy: The next best thing for a quick hit of relaxation is to surround yourself with a calming sent. On my desk as I write this are 2 brands that I like; Wyndmere Stress Relief or Calm Space Lavander. I just roll a little on my temples and/or wrists and breathe deeply for few moments, then get back to work re-energized.
- Visit with family or friends: “Visiting” is a tradition that we are losing as a society. There was a time visiting at the kitchen table was a daily activity that bonded us as human beings. All you had to do is show up. The conversation didn’t need to be profound, although it was sometimes and often unexpectedly. Mostly the conversation was just about the stuff of the day. Try it, just go visit your Grandmother or Uncle or neighbor, just for the heck of it. Don’t worry about the content of the conversation just enjoy and value the time together.
- Try an attitude adjustment: Take notice at all the things that frustrate and/or anger you, two of the most draining and counter productive emotions. Being conscious is the challenge, but when I am not taking good care of myself I find that my knee-jerk reaction to often negative first. Here are a few suggestions to get started:
- When you feel your negative energy rising, try stopping for one second and turn around a negative reaction or angry outburst. For instance, when someone cuts you off on the highway, remember the time you thought you were paying attention but didn’t notice that car that you cut off…by accident. Consider forgiving them immediately just as you would like to be forgiven for the mistakes you make.
- Staying angry helps NO ONE. In fact it can be detrimental to your health. Anger can elevate your blood pressure, increase the threat of stroke, heart disease, cancer, depression, anxiety disorders and in general it can depress your immune system. Carrying anger can keep you from making choices that are in your best interest or keep you from performing at your highest potential. It can show itself in subtle ways such as putting a chilly wall between you and others or by being continually impatient. The antidote is to develop self-compassion and compassion for others. Shifting compassion for others could require you to think less of yourself in a situation and more about others. As in the car cutting you off on the highway example, instead of being put out and feeling like this person is doing something bad to you (a.k.a the victim), consider that something might be wrong in that poor person’s life and you can help them by letting them in graciously. Even if it is a selfish act on the part of the other drive, bask in the knowledge that you are not that person cruising for a heart attack. Grace and dignity come from a compassionate heart and are much cheaper than a face lift, compassion engenders its heir radiant.
- The next step is to find out what you are really angry about and deal with it. With a little hard work, or metaphorically “digging in the dirt,” you can restore your core personal value and find peace for you an those around you.
7. Rescue Remedy: When all else fails, have a little Rescue Remedy by Bach Flower Remedies, on hand. It helps to shift the scene. All green divas (and dudes) should carry this with them. It is designed to promote systemic stress relief -AND IT WORKS! It has been traditionally sold in tincture form (liquid drops), but now they have these really cool little tins of alcohol-free ‘pastilles’. I was sold on this amazing shift when I used it on my babies, especially when they were 2 years old. But it works for teenagers and adults too. Have a teenage drama queen in the house, you need Rescue Remedy.
Be creative and “make” the time to care for yourself so you can live a rewarding and deeply compassionate life.