Time is a funny thing. It’s a way for us to organize our daily lives and to act on tasks and commitments, but it can also be a fantastic way to reflect on the past and focus on the future. Taking time to reflect on the current year, it is easy to spot notable change happening all over the world. All of us have been impacted in one way or another, and whether you agree or disagree with the change around you, we all must reflect upon these changes and continue to practice self-care and strive to live our best life now!
For example, just this year, Dan and I have gone through career and job transitions, downsized our current living arrangements (AGAIN!), pivoted our passion project/dream business, dealt with personal challenges and so much more! Change can be exhausting. With so much on all our plates, just how in the heck do we start to take time for ourselves and choose to make a conscious and sometimes radical shift in our thinking and actions to take better care of ourselves?
Here are a few themes we have embraced for this Fall season, resetting from summer and becoming more mindful of how we take care of ourselves and each other...
No, the idea of fullness doesn’t mean literally filling your plate this Thanksgiving with that extra piece of turkey or another dollop of garlic mashed potatoes. For us, being “full” has much more to do with what we put into our hearts and souls than the food we put onto our plates (although that is important too). Remember this motto: “Don’t deprive, but STRIVE to be healthier: in mind, body, and spirit.”
We are all different. Different strokes for different folks, right? We have found that moderation and making better choices MORE often is what works best for us. This can be as simple as eating a smaller portion of that truffle mac or eating it less often. Perhaps it is just enjoying a calming tea in the evening instead of a craft beer or cocktail. We have noticed that by doing more of what is good for us and being more mindful of that process has helped us make positive self-care changes over time. This creates a fullness in our lives that was not there previously.
2. SCHEDULE YOUR “ME” TIME aka SELF-CARE
This year we have really embraced and continue to do more of whatever fills us up in a positive and healthy way to include self-care and self-love. For us, it’s about more walks, yoga, singing, music, dancing, massages, travel (even if only on a weekend trip or staycation) and eating and drinking well. With so many choices out there on how to best include self-care into your daily routine, we are huge proponents of scheduling a little “me time.” Life happens, and it’s easy to forget or make excuses as to why we will get around to it later, but having a specific date and time to enjoy the things that fill you up is part of acting and creating lasting change.
Creating an action plan doesn't have to stop with scheduling in your “me time”. Scheduling your daily activities helps with accountability. For example, knowing the night before how we are going to nourish our bodies the next day with physical activity and planning our meals and snacks is extremely helpful. We find the app ASANA very beneficial for scheduling and to-do lists, both for business and personal.
Also, scheduling workouts, yoga class and taking walks outside for fresh air helps us commit to our self-care plan (mind, body, spirit) - it eases our stress, anxiety, and worries, and helps clear our minds of the unnecessary chatter. This Fall, give yourself permission to enjoy the leaves changing colors, attend a local farmer’s market, get that pumpkin latte (maybe half caffeinated or half the sugar), or our favorite pumpkin (red-lentil) pasta from Trader Joe’s. Prioritize your self-care and write it down!
3. LESS IS MORE
Minimalism is trending in a big way and the idea of filling your life with more experiences rather than more stuff is a big movement, especially in the yoga and wellness circles. The practice of self-care blends well with the idea of cleansing your life by getting rid of things that do not serve you anymore. Letting go can be empowering, especially when the things that you are letting go of include old ways of thinking, clearing out old negative beliefs and replacing them with healing words and mantras; in a sense, de-cluttering the mind.
We have embraced the minimalist lifestyle over the years and we noticed how stressed we felt with more “stuff” in our lives, or with too many thoughts in our minds. So, we have purged, sold, donated, and given away most of our material possessions that no longer serve a purpose. We are STILL learning to release and let go of our self-limiting thoughts, fear, and negative self-talk; letting go of more anger, judgment, anxiety, and stress- because it just doesn’t help or serve us on any level.
The idea of letting go, a term that is often associated with minimalism, isn’t just about letting go of material things. It’s about being HONEST with ourselves and letting go of whatever we hold in our minds, hearts, and spirits that adds to our fear-based thinking or living. Fear covers everything from stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, depression, etc...
Try this on for size. Instead of comforting yourself with material possessions this holiday season, try surrounding yourself with people that support and inspire you to live out your true self/purpose; those people who make you feel loved, appreciated, supported, and add value to your practice of self-care and self-love. We feel it is important to have or create a tribe or "Kula" that is mutually beneficial where love, peace, support, sincerity, trust, and respect are valued.
Taking the time to practice self-care is important. It is important to enjoy the variety that life offers with the changing of seasons, weather, elements, and notice the changes our senses get to enjoy. We have come to find that the trick is to embrace the internal shifts, moods, changes as we go through each day and this life, allowing ourselves to feel, to be, and to accept what we cannot change and to be grateful for what we do have the power to change.