Why is self-care so important?
These days we are busy people with family, work, commitments, and even the day to day things like cleaning the house. But we need balance in our lives. If we are always working or on the go and never stop for a minute to reflect or just be, then stress, burn out, and tension sets in. The body and mind need to rest, reflect, process, and relax. A little goes a long way. Simply adding 10 minutes of self-care to your day on a consistent basis adds up and helps us live a more balanced life.
So what should I do?
Bringing awareness to any tension in the body, whether it is physical or emotional is the first step.
1. Address the discomfort
2. Let the tension go
3. Learn from the dis-ease or work towards healing from it
I think holding a space to allow these things to come to the surface, in a safe nonjudgmental way, gives you time to process and heal.
Your breath holds space, literally and also mentally and emotionally. Breathing deeply from the diaphragm calms the body, helps moves the organs, and the lymph. Movement of the lymphatic fluid is important because that is our sewer system and needs to eliminate out of the body. If there is stagnation or a blockage in the lymphatic system this may cause tension or physical discomfort. A blockage in the mind or emotions can also cause tension just in a different way.
Your breath is a good way to check in with your stress level and see if you are holding any tension in the body. Try this right now. Sit or lie down and focus on your breath. Is your breath shallow or in your chest? Are you holding any tension in your shoulders, low back, or hips? Inhale nourishment, exhale waist. Inhale new energy; exhale what no longer serves you. With every breath release tension and relax deeper into your body.
Self-Reflection and Quiet Time
This goes well with deep breathing or by itself. Taking some time out of your day, from 10 minutes to an hour or more, to process what’s going on in your life can help you sort through all of the noise. Don’t judge what comes up just be aware of it. Sometimes when I have a problem I want to fix it right away or come up with some sort of plan, but if I reflect and process first, the answer will come when I’m ready to hear it. Or it seems more like the answer was always there I just wasn’t ready to receive it until I got quiet.
It’s when I get into my head that seems to be the biggest obstacle. Really ask yourself when was the last time you just sat quietly alone and didn’t think? Sometimes journaling can be helpful to just get things out of your head. There are a lot of distractions in life, but if we take time for ourselves to cut out all of the noise, really listen, then things will become clear and we can create the life we want to live.
Massage can hold a space for you to breathe deeply, reflect, process, and become more aware of any discomfort you are holding. Often times clients say there were areas in their body that they didn’t know had tension until the massage revealed it to them. A massage session can give you space to bring awareness back to your physical, emotional, and energetic body. Adding massage to your self-care plan on a consistent basis can help keep you accountable and release any tension. The amount of time or frequency depends on the client, but I would say the most important thing is to be consistent with any self-care option you choose to do. It’s about bringing awareness and balance.