Once you start honoring yourself, watch your inner places of peace rise to the surface…
This post comes from nutritionist and model, Courtney James.
Honoring ourselves is a thing often overlooked.
“Oh, I’ll get around to meditating tomorrow.”
“I’ll take that yoga class sometime soon.”
Ironic, because if we don’t take time to care for ourselves, how can we be our best selves, most competent workers or fully present with our partners? Are we expecting someone else to provide us with the comfort and care that we crave?
We must prioritize ourselves first and foremost, and know that it IS possible to comfort ourselves. And no, this is not being selfish (a common misconception about the ‘looking after ourselves first’ principle).
Of course, prioritizing self is not always easier said than done. Not only can unforeseen family and commitment issues often interrupt dedicated self-care, we are also required to achieve a heck of a lot in one day. If we ‘don’t have the time’ to do something for ourselves, then the need to make time is even MORE imperative!
Finding balance is a practice and, like anything worthwhile, it requires absolute discipline, commitment and dedication. Below are 5 self-care tips I have found to create an enormous shift in my and hopefully your perspective. Once you start honoring yourself, marvel at how much less you may react to external situations/people, and watch your inner places of peace rise to the surface! How beautiful that this can happen! Remember that our natural state is one of joy and peace — it is only the outside clutter that needs removing in order to tap back in. The more we take care of ourselves, the less the clutter will affect us.
Remember, breathe deeply. Our bodies’ number one need is oxygen (more so than water and food). If we breathe shallowly, rather than breathing with purpose deep into our stomachs, we may start to disconnect and become ungrounded. As many of us know, more can be achieved from a place where we are fully present. Breathing deep sends the right signals to our brain and nervous system and lets the parasympathetic system kick back in.
Acupuncture. I get acupuncture every month to realign my chakras and balance those energies, or “chi”, that I’ve absorbed from others. The insertion of needles into key channels of the body can shift these blockages, as well as release muscle tension or seizing. Basically, acupuncture ‘resets’ me. I have the best sleep and feel so yummy that the word salubrious comes to mind. ;)
Morning and evening check-ins…including meditation. Now I know meditation can be somewhat of a daunting or overwhelming notion, particularly if you’re unsure of how to meditate. The truth is, there is no ‘right’ way to do it, so there is no ‘wrong’ way to do it. To ease your way into relaxation, try listening to a pre-sleep guided meditation. Michael Sealey has some great ones (he’s a personal favourite due to his soothing and comforting Australian accent). Before my nightly wind-down, I also write a few words in my journal, acknowledging my feelings in that moment and from the day’s experiences. Journaling is, of course, not mandatory — sometimes just breathing and checking in with how you feel– and letting yourself feel it — can be enough to allow release of undesired emotions. When we don’t check in and identify our true feelings, we create a massive disconnect with what is important to us, and no one wants suppressed emotions and feelings! They will ALWAYS resurface, and often when we least want or expect them to!
Massage. I have absolutely NO qualms about my bi-monthly massages. ;) Similar to acupuncture, it alleviates tension and increases both circulation and lymphatic drainage (always much needed after air travel or disrupted routines and sleep). If some view it as ‘indulgent,’ I find it necessary.
Say ‘no’ to toxic people, and be unafraid to speak your truth. I know this is much easier said than done, but the message you give yourself when you say ‘no’ to someone who isn’t good for or to you, is that you honor self. You will be rewarded as a result! When done respectfully, there is nothing wrong with removing yourself from those with whom you are not aligned. If it’s not that simple, allow yourself to speak openly. You will immediately feel a sense of relief.