There are moments in life when you need radical self-care. When things accumulate, you are too busy, your calendar is full of personal and work or business matters, and you start feeling depleted, tired, stressed, or anxious, this is the time to stop and reflect on your present circumstances. It is the moment to take time for you. Time to take good care of yourself, replenish batteries and regenerate.
You are not like a machine that, when the battery is low, can be connected to the power and, in a short amount of time, is restored to the original energy level. We tend to ask our bodies and minds for more than they can give. We postpone our needs, prioritize others, and sacrifice our well-being for many different reasons. I do it inadvertently with a certain frequency. I am not the one to tell you that you should stop. I want to remind you that it is your responsibility to take good care of yourself.
Once you lose your health, good mood, and zest for life, it will take you more time to recover than if you stop and take some restorative measures when you observe the first signs of overdoing, fatigue, lack of joy, or burnout. Life loses its meaning when you are not feeling well emotionally, spiritually, or physically. It makes sense that this happens, but we ignore the signs repeatedly until we are in trouble, get sick, or need a long vacation to recover from all the excesses.
You will feel it. Your body will send you enough signals. You will see it in your mood and the absence of happiness. If you need to stop, do it now. Don’t procrastinate on this matter. If you don’t, life will do it for you. Usually, in a big way, at the least expected moment, when you don’t have time to stop, when you have to solve many things, when you have big plans for your life, business, or family. Life will impose order. Self-Care needs to be radical. No excuses. Nothing else is more important when you need to take care of yourself.
Wouldn’t you prefer to take care of yourself now, not lose your balance, and enjoy life to the fullest? Or do you want to keep running around until your battery is so low that recharging it will take a long time? It is your choice. It seems that life pushes you in one direction, and you can only say yes to your commitments and those that keep coming. Different things may be asking for your time and energy: family members, work, children, moving homes, an illness…
It doesn’t matter what it is. What is crucial is that you recognize early enough that you need to be there for yourself and take care of yourself to serve others properly. Do it because you Love yourself, because you owe it to yourself. Learn to say no when necessary. Decide what you can and cannot do. Delegate, postpone, or ask someone for help if you need it. You are not invincible.
It is for you to recognize what you need. Still, if you listen deeply, you will hear a voice whispering inside yourself, asking for things like sleep, rest, silence, relaxation, clean air, proper breathing, movement of a certain kind, stretching, hydration, or a concrete kind of food… The voice communicates with you all the time, but you may not hear it in the middle of the chaos and noise of modern life.
Think about how our ancestors lived. They were more in touch with nature than us; they ate food from the season and had time for conversations, music, lecture, contemplation, and walks. They lived slowly, and we don’t. I invite you to consider if slowing down may help you to take radical care of yourself. You are the most important being in the world. There is only one like you. There is no substitute for you. Don’t undervalue yourself. You deserve to be good to yourself.
”Our lives are so busy, and for many of us the demands are overwhelming. Some of us focus so much on the needs of others, we lose sight of ourselves. Stop, for one moment.
Take a deep breath. Be still. Refocus. Concentrate on improving your life. One situation at a time. You can’t be much good to others if you’re no good to yourself"
Calmness and peace of mind are normal states of being, and you may have forgotten how well you feel when you are at peace, tranquil, and your body is relaxed. Relaxation and peace of mind are inner states. You may tell yourself that you are stressed by the circumstances, the environment, the situation, and that there is nothing you can do about it. But your inner state doesn’t depend on the external circumstances, but on how you react to them.
You cannot change the current situation. It is hard, and I am sure you don’t want to experience it. Can you accept what is happening without entering a spiral of fear and stress? Most of our suffering is created by our fight with reality. Make this easier for you. At the present moment, you are safe, all is well. Don’t transport yourself to an unknown future. Live here and now. Be in this moment. Look for what makes you feel good and do more of it. Center your attention on what still works (not on what does not).
Focus on yourself right now. Scan your body and see how you feel. Look at your mind and see what the predominant thoughts you have are. Are you tense or relaxed? Is your body at ease or contracted? Is your mind at peace or racing? Lots of things can be happening inside you, all at the same time. What you think and feel affects you, all of you. Stress, worry, and fear create a challenge for the body and lower its ability to heal itself.
Observe yourself and ask, what do I need now? What can I do to feel better? Maybe you can stop and take some deep breaths, or close your eyes and relax every part of your body for some minutes, connect with people you Love and cheer them up or allow them to uplift you, journal everything you are experiencing to let it go, listen to your favorite music and dance, devote some time to learning something new, read a good novel and move into the world of imagination… Be creative!
You can change your thoughts and feelings, you can decide to look at a situation differently. Nobody except you is in charge. Yes, there is fear, panic, and scary news, and you can feel all of it in the environment. If you lose your peace of mind you can come back to it. You can release and not accumulate all the emotions you experience and see in others around you. Don’t overwhelm yourself with information and conversations filled with negativity.
Humanity is facing a very difficult situation and trying to control something that is new. But we have done it before, we have overcome illnesses, wars, destruction, hunger, other pandemics… and many other disasters. You will go through this, but try to remain calm and positive as you do. Try to be there for others. Bring peacefulness and a bit of happiness to the world in these difficult times. Be a pillar of light in the dark moments. You can do it!
There is a place inside yourself where there is peace, stillness, and tranquility. It is a place where you can let go of all the thoughts and feelings that don’t allow you to be at peace. It is a place where you can rest, and allow your body to relax. It is an inner home, a place where you feel still and your mind is calm.
You have the key to this space where the outside world disappears, and you can experience true peace. You can arrive there by cultivating mindfulness, relaxing your body, being in silence, taking a pause and being with yourself, breathing slowly and deeply, doing a guided meditation, going to your heart and connecting with the energy of Love that resides there… going within. Invest in yourself and your health, and remain calm.
"When you have peace in yourself and accept, then you are calm enough to do something,
but if you are carried by despair, there is no hope"
Thich Nhat Hanh
STOP AND BREATHe
All of us have experienced moments when we felt overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted, or out of energy and enthusiasm for life. Life’s circumstances will put you in a spot where you don’t have any other option but to accept the challenge and do what needs to be done.
The reason why you feel so tired can be an excess of work, the deadline of a project, or just not enough personnel in your company. You may be experiencing stress from your relationships, maybe your marriage is not working, or you have lost a loved one and are grieving. Maybe you can’t sleep at night because you are taking care of a sick family member or your child, or just thinking about how to pay the bills at the end of the month.
The worry will eat away at you. You won’t be able to find a solution by worrying. Instead, you will add more energy to the problem. You will drain yourself and run out of energy. This is the energy that you will need to be able to focus on what you can do differently, and on how you can receive help. Yes, you can receive help, if you allow it to happen. You are never alone, and you don’t need to know how to resolve every situation you are faced with.
Take a deep breath… yes, now. Do it now. What are you going to lose? Just let me guide you. Take another breath, and now a deeper one. When you exhale, let go of all that is worrying you. You haven’t had enough with one breath to release everything? Then take another one, and one more, until you visualize all the worry, stress, anxiety, and dark clouds on your mind going away. Great! Thank you for trying.
Now, focus on inhaling the most wonderful and powerful energy that you can imagine. Every breath you take is a new beginning, and when you inhale, you take in all the new you want in your life, and when you exhale, you let go of all the old that you don’t want in your life anymore.
Why have I asked you to do this breathing exercise? Because I know that it works. Because I also needed to read it. I have the temptation to put more things on my calendar than I can accomplish. I start big projects, and travel around the world, and I serve my clients, but I need to remember that I cannot lose myself in the process, that my well-being and health are my first priority, and that nothing will make sense if I lose them.
When you feel so tired that you cannot think clearly, when you need a crane to get up from bed, when you cannot relate with others without getting triggered and angry and the smallest things bother you, stop and breathe. Just that. Reconnect with yourself, reassess your priorities, and ask for help if necessary. To whom? To whoever will come to help you.
The help you need can come from an unknown person, a colleague, a friend, a sibling, or a being sent by the Universe (there are a lot of them ready to help you if you allow it to happen), or even a book or a message. Be smart enough to not sacrifice yourself for any cause, person or reason. If you Love yourself enough you will understand why you cannot do it. You are the most valuable thing you have, and unless you are ok, you won’t be able to help anyone else.
"I’ve decided to be happy because it is good for my health" - Voltaire
CREATE YOUR INNER SACRED SPACE
In the world we live is more necessary than ever to find a way to connect with ourselves. We are always doing, rushing, stressed, and feeling the weight of the world on our shoulders. It is important to find a way to recharge the batteries of your body, mind, and soul.
Find a daily practice that helps you stop the noise in your mind, the worry or fear. Figure out something that helps you to let go of the limitations and the pressure. You need an inner sanctuary. It is not a physical place; it is more a place inside of you where only you have access, your place. It is a place to relax, to unwind, an imaginary site where you can stop, relax, and find true peace.
People find relaxation through meditation, breathing exercises, the sounds of nature, watching the sun rise, sitting on the beach and listening to the sound of the waves, receiving a massage, or doing exercise. But the place I am describing can be accessed at any time. It should not require a lot of time for you to get there, or a special practice.
What I am suggesting is more of a pause, anytime you feel the need, to return home, a place to reconnect with who you are, with the eternal part of you, the one that is not limited by external circumstances. Try to pause during the day, and allow yourself to be centered and balanced again. Be sure you are in a meditative state throughout your day, not only when you have the time to do one of the activities that help you unwind or let go of stress.
Love is a pathway to arrive to this place. Love is the energy that connects all of us and that will allow you to connect with yourself. When you have a bad day, or feel sad, your mood changes in the presence of someone you really Love. The energy of Love is contagious. But you cannot rely on others to change your state of mind, or to solve your problems. Remember that Love is always there, within you.
You are Love and you always have access to Love. If you are having difficulties, if things don't look good, if you are facing problems and don't know how to solve them, go home. Go to this place that I have described, you will feel safe there. It is a space where you are supported, healed and guided. There you can have access to your higher self, a self that is connected with the Universe and with all that exists. There you will find solutions, answers and lots of Love.
"Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the
problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive... to live now...
to have the courage to confront each day"
Judith Costa is a Life and Love Coach, Seminar Leader, Writer and Speaker. She has a Masters degree in Psychology & Psychotherapy and an MBA. She helps her clients to overcome their blocks to Love, to Love themselves and to manifest the relationship they want.