“ The most important experience of my life, I would say is that of transcending to a place of stillness and silence - twice a day, everyday.”Deepak Chopra.
Self care priorities are a bunch of mindful habits that support and grow your emotional, physical and spiritual well being. They can take as little as 30 seconds or longer. Enjoy and experience them as often as possible throughout your day.
Here’s my top 5 self care priorities for the year ahead, which I’m very happy to share with you. You may relate totally to mine, or have a completely different set of self care priorities altogether. Either way, I encourage you to put yourself first more often, and nurture your physical, emotional and spiritual needs by creating your own top 5 self care priorities.
1: Remember To Breath:
“The True Man breathes with his heels; the mass of men breathe with their throats” By Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu
You’d be surprised how many times a day you actually hold your breath, gasp or “suck in” stress and frustration. Stop often, and spend a valuable 30 seconds or more slowing down and deepening your breath.
Calm relaxed breathing is my sanity saver. It slows down a racing mind, soothes the nervous system and unhunches the shoulders. Remember to inhale way past your belly button and deep into your abdomen for full benefits.
I intend to focus on my breath hundreds of times a day, particularly when driving, waiting in queues and sitting on the computer. I know it will help me stay present.
Withdraw your attention from the outside world and give yourself permission to relax, unwind and experience the bigger picture of life. Turn everything off, close your eyes and simply observe your breathe or listen to your body. Lying down (in corpse pose) triggers a whole new response in your nervous system and is an excellent way to spend time in silence. Meditation, of course is another great option.
Meditation and silence will always be a part of my self care priorities. The biggest shift I personally have noticed with meditation is that my responses to challenging situations are far less stressful.
3: Move And Nourish Your Body:
Fuel your body with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid overly processed, packaged, canned and deep fried foods. Home cooked meals are the best.
Clear the blockages in your body by moving it. Find time each day to walk, stretch or take a class.
This year I intend to walk more drive less, continue with my yoga practice and work on improving my flexibility, particularly the hamstrings. Most of my meals are cooked from scratch, organic where possible and always vegetarian.
4: Be gentle on yourself:
You can either push and fight your way through life or be graceful and go with the flow. Accept the present moment by thinking gently, eating gently, drinking gently, cleaning the house gently, shopping gently, talking gently and driving gently.
When you think, act and respond gently you trust more in the flow of life and fill your body with a peaceful energy. Rushing and over reacting cannot exist at the same time when you are being gentle with yourself.
I’ll be asking myself the following question as often I can throughout my day. “Am I being gentle in this present moment”
5: Uncomplicate Your Life:
Simplify, simplify, simplify. Eliminate all that is weighing you down, stressing you out or complicating your life.
Get rid of your clutter, bad attitudes, wasteful habits, busyness, excess bills or over committing. The less you have to worry about and look after, the lighter and happier you will feel.
Once a month I focus on one specific area of my life, to simplify and uncomplicate. At the moment I’m focusing on my kitchen and shopping habits.
Here’s a few more ideas that I have simplified in the past: