Tag Archives: reflect

3 Tips for Self-Care Around the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us once again.  And though the holidays are often all about family gatherings, holiday parties, and taking part in all the various festivities to get in the “holiday spirit”, it’s important to remember that self-care is vital in these few months.

When the days are getting shorter and the days and nights getting colder, our bodies have a tendency to want to spend more time in rest.

Though we may forget with all the holiday hustle and bustle, winter is a time to reflect and recharge our batteries so we can be prepared to plant new seeds for the year ahead.  It’s a time to let go of the old, so that we can be open to the new that spring brings us. 

For this reason, it is vital to give ourselves enough time to rest during this season.  If not, we can quickly as easily find ourselves drained, exhausted, and, more than likely, sick on the couch with a bunch of kleenex.

So how can we adequately take care of ourselves this holiday season?  Here are 3 ways:

#1 – Hop on the “no train”

Though saying “no”, can be difficult for many of us (especially those of us who like to “please” people), it’s incredibly important to learn how to do if you’re going to take care of yourself.  You can’t really find time to rest and do all that you want to do if you’re saying yes to everyone else.

When we’re saying “yes” to what everybody else wants from us, it isn’t very empowering.  In fact, it can make us feel like others are more in control of our lives than we are.  So if you see value in taking care of yourself, it’s incredibly important to start saying no to things you really don’t feel like doing.

#2 – Give yourself more time to just rest

The winter months are not the time to sign up for an extra evening paint class or to take part in that new book club.  The holiday season keeps us busy enough as it is.

So try to minimize extra activities so that you can maybe go to bed a little bit earlier or maybe sleep in a bit later.  Your body and immune system will thank you — trust me.

#3 – Reflect on this past year to create a better vision for the year ahead

As I stated earlier, winter is a time to reflect, release and recharge so I find it very important to give ourselves time to do that!  One way to do this is by journaling to reflect on experiences from this past year and creating resolutions for the New Year.

WinterReleaseReflectRecharge

Click to Tweet: Winter is a time to reflect, release and recharge so be sure to give yourself time to do that! via @jenilyn8705

For myself, something that I found very valuable in this process is Danielle LaPorte’s book, The Desire Map.  I used to be a very goal-oriented person, but I’ve found over time that one or two things happened when I’d make a goal: 1. I’d experience little to no enjoyment upon meeting the goal or 2. I lacked motivation to actually achieve the goal cause I just wasn’t really “feeling it”.

What I’ve liked so much about Danielle’s method is that she doesn’t have us focus on the goal itself, but the core desired feelings that we want to experience as a result of that goal.  It’s based on the idea that we don’t want to achieve the goal, but the feeling that can potentially come with it.

So if you’re interested, you can check out The Desire Map and see for yourself.  If not, I still encourage you to explore this for yourself and find your own unique way to give yourself time to reflect on what you’ve experienced this year and get a sense for what you want in the year ahead.  It’s vitally important in the growth and evolution in our mind, body and soul.

Take action now!

How can you start to find more time for you to rest and recharge this holiday season?  Share in the comments below!

Finding Blessings When Everything Comes Crashing Down

About mid-way through the year last year, I felt like my life was suddenly crashing down.

It started off with being notified that I needed to find a new place to live after I had just moved 3 months prior.  This followed with bad news about a chronic health issue that I had been dealing with.  In addition, when it came around to be “that time of the month” my PMS was at the absolute worst that it had ever been in my entire life.  All I wanted to do was lay around curled up in a ball for an entire week.  This all then concluded with a notice that I had been let go by my part-time job.

Needless to say, I panicked.  I freaked out. I was overwhelmed with anger that all these things had to be happening to me all at once. I had a complete emotional and mental breakdown.

I felt like my body was breaking down.  I felt like my entire being was breaking down.  The only thing I could do — or even have the physical energy to do — was to cry.

… and that’s what I did.  I cried.  I cried a freaking lot.  And I did something else too — I stopped trying.

I stopped looking on craigslist for apartments and jobs.  I stopped debating on what actions to take.  I stopped pushing myself to do all these things in hopes to find a solution to all my problems.

Instead, I just did what I could.  I let go and decided to go with the flow.  I stopped trying and pushing myself and decided to surrender and take care of myself.

StopPushingLetGo

Click to Tweet: When your stressed cause everything is falling apart, stop pushing yourself to “figure it out” and just let go. via @jenilyn8705

It was then that I allowed myself to really relax and enjoy all of the incredible blessings that I had experienced around that same time, such as:

… having an astounding result to a TinyBuddha article of mine that I never would have expected!

… making new friends who are also life coaches or entrepreneurs.

… celebrating my amazing boyfriend’s birthday.

… moving forward in my relationship by both of us exchanging our first “I love yous” 🙂

… finding out that my parents were coming to visit me the next month.

… a childhood friend finally having her baby.

… having the time (and living in an area) where I had the opportunity attend group meetings for extra support.

… and so much more!

Often times when we find ourselves in a period of our lives where everything seems to have been uprooted and we have everything but security, we find ourselves all stressed out and caught up with feelings of anxiety and anger over what happened to us.  We find ourselves so caught up in these emotions that we completely overlook all the wonderful little blessings that are going on around us at the same exact time.  We can find ourselves so incredibly focused on all the “bad” that is happening that we cut ourselves off from seeing the “good”.

So what should we do during these moments of high-stress when it feels like everything in our lives is crashing down?

Breathe.

Often times when we are super stressed out, we completely forget about the most essential thing that keeps us alive and healthy: Breathe.  So stop and take a moment to take some deep breaths.  Take a very deep inhale and allow your exhale to be longer than your inhale.

This technique of breathing where we do a longer exhale than our inhale is a great technique to help calm down the body and help us relax.  I have personally used it on the nights where I’m having trouble sleeping to help me dose off peacefully and it has worked wonders.

Take time for yourself.

When we’re super stressed because all of our plans seem to not be working out, we tend to get so focused on fixing all of our problems and life challenges that we have forgotten the most essential aspect for our growth and progress: Our own personal well-being.

So give yourself a 1 or 2 hour break to simply do “nothing”.  For for a walk.  Take a warm bath.  Read a book simply for the joy of it.  Cry… cry a lot.  Eat and really savor a nutritious meal.  Watch reruns of your favorite TV comedy.  Focus on you and what you truly need for the health and well-being of your own mind, body, and spirit.

Reflect on your blessings.

Moments before you go to bed, get out a journal and make a list of all of the blessings in your life.  Is it a blessing that you have a certain amount of money in your checking account?  Is it a blessing that you have a friend or partner to support you during this difficult time?  Is it a blessing that you have made new friends recently?

Write down a list of all the blessings that come to you.  After you finish writing them down, go through each one and say out loud to yourself, “I am grateful for _______” in order to really acknowledge to yourself and to the universe that you are thankful for all these current blessings in your life.

Take action now!

What are some of the blessings in your life?  Share them in the comments below!

The Simple Mindset Shift To Make You Feel Fulfilled — Instantly!

For the past few weeks I have been going to an acupuncturist for my digestive issues.

As a way to track my progress, I’ve been keeping a daily journal.  It’s not so much of a “journal” as we would normally think of a journal.  Instead, it’s a bit more like a “this is what I ate today” and “this is what I felt like today” kind of journal.

Keeping the journal has been beneficial so that my acupuncturist knows what has been going on for me.  It’s also been helpful so that I can pinpoint any “not-so-great” foods that trigger some kind of bad reaction.

Well, for the first few weeks of working with my acupuncturist she asked me for information for each day of the week.  Every Friday to start my appointment I’d go ahead and whip out my journal and go over each day with her.

Then somewhere around my third week of working with her, I just happened to have a really bad week.  I felt miserable and I was very frustrated over the fact that I felt like my progress just completely stopped.

Fortunately, we managed to find some acupuncture points that needed some extra attention and we managed to get my system back in balance.

Now the next week, I came in and went through my journal on a day by day progress once again, but this time she stopped me and said, “Don’t break it down by the day.  Are you better this week from last week?”

This stopped me in my tracks a bit because, of course, I was habitually focusing on that one or two bad days that I had that week.  I had completely overlooked that this week had, in fact, been better than last week as a whole.

We all tend to do this all the time.  Whether it involve a health concern, a relationship dynamic, a career objective, or just some general goals that you have for yourself.

We tend to focus so much on what we have yet to do rather than how we have already done.  We tend to focus so much on our future objectives rather than to really look at what we have already accomplished.

Because we focus so much on what we have yet to do, we prevent ourselves from really feeling fulfilled right now.

That’s the super simple mindset shift: To take the time to really reflect on the past in order to really see how much progress we have actually made.

Fulfilled

So how can we really implement this?  Here a little guide you can follow…

Step 1:  Identify what it is that you are trying to accomplish, improve, or become better with.

This could be improving a relationships dynamic or to feel better physically.  It could be a career objective.  If you’re struggling to really know ask yourself: What in my life do I wish was better?  What do I want to feel more satisfied or fulfilled with?

Step 2: Put forth the effort!

Whatever it is that you are trying to improve — find a way to make it better!  Just start doing the work.

And please note, that I actually encourage you to not set any strict goals for yourself.  The reason for this is because when we set goals, there is disappointment that sets in when, for what ever reason, we don’t fully accomplish that goal.  We start to fall into this mindset of “I’m not good enough” which is exactly what we don’t want!

So the key here is to just start doing something!  Put forth the effort without any preconceived notion that your outcome has to be one particular way.  Just because your result isn’t exactly what you hoped for doesn’t mean that it is “bad” or “wrong”.

Step 3: Reflect on your progress!

You may, like me in my health situation, decide to keep a daily journal on your progress and then just reflect on the progress you made at the end of the week.

OR you spend time at the end of each week writing a journal entry to reflect on what you have done this week and how that has been better than the week before.

Another great thing to do if you are feeling really down and unfulfilled is to really look at your progress as a whole.  Ask yourself: How am I better now today than I was 3 months ago?  A year ago?  Three years ago?  5 years ago?

Step 4:  Treat yourself!

After you reflect, be sure to give yourself a little “pat on the back”.  You deserve it!  You’ve made progress to improve this thing that you’ve been wanting to make better in your life!

You may even want to go so far as to actually give yourself a little “treat” like that brownie you’ve been craving or some really uber healthy greens for dinner!  Or maybe it is a yoga class, a walk on the beach, or a nice warm salt bath.

Taking the time to really do this on a regular basis is a great way to give yourself some “fuel” so can really allow yourself to feel blissful, happy, and fulfilled.

Take action now!

Right now I want you to share some of the progress that you have made — it can be a big thing or something really small that you’ve made in the last week or month.  Share it in the comments below!