Self-care begins with protecting your resilience.
These last few weeks and months have challenged all of us in so many ways. As I shared in my last blog (“This coronavirus pandemic is not the first one. It won’t be the last one. Why optimal wellness is crucial.”), resilience is key for us as human beings.
Resilience creates the conditions for each of us to be present with these challenges in a strong, thoughtful and focused manner. How is resilience supported in your everyday life?
Let me share some ways to support resilience in your life. Take time and create rest to reset and restore yourself.
This was an important lesson for me as I share in my book, Cleanse Your Body, Reveal Your Soul. Ayurveda offers many daily and seasonal life hacks to support your well-being.
#GiveLife #TakeCare Freedom to Choose Wellness Challenge
Commit to a resilience retreat for the Fourth of July weekend, starting today. Each day, walk through the five Rs—Retreat, Rest, Refuel, Rejuvenate, Restore.
This July Fourth weekend is a perfect time to create a personal retreat for yourself and others in your life.
Fewer activities may be available now that many states are increasing safety measures to support a reduction in exposure to this new virus in the coronavirus family.
Think of a theme to have for the retreat. It can be as simple as how freedom is not or is in our lives. For all of us, true freedom comes from within. Free will allows us to make choices. Are these choices life affirming or life draining?
- Share expressions of freedom (or chosen theme) through words by journaling or writing poetry, actions in the home, and even a one-act play with your family.
- Meditate in the morning for 10-20 minutes. This is most supportive for the mind, body and spirit.
STEP 1: Reflect on freedom and share your insights with your loved ones.
Rest is good to have built into the retreat and in your life during most weekends. It can be simply a time of quiet with no electronics on in the home.
- Take a twenty-minute nap.
- Take an Epsom salt bath with lavender or your favorite essential oil.
- Do nothing—just daydream.
STEP 2: Build rest into every day of your retreat.
Food usually is a part of the retreat or a doing a simple fast with fruit and vegetable juices is possible.
- Healthy, nutritious choices support your digestion.
- Keep meals simple and fresh. Limit your meals to two a day, unless your health prevents you from doing so.
- No alcohol or mind-altering substances are to be consumed for the most supportive results.
STEP 3: Commit to healthy, nutritious foods, and keep your meals simple and fresh.
Connecting with the earth further recharges us as only nature can. Forest bathing is becoming more popular here in the United States. The movement started in Japan—and now there’s plenty of research supporting the value of going into the forest. (Hansen, M. M., Jones, R., & Tocchini, K. (2017). Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(8), 851. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080851)
Go outdoors to connect with nature.
- Do this during a time of day that is safe for you.
- Explore nature in a quiet, observing way. If you are near a park or nature center, taking a walk there brings you in touch with nature.
- If it is safe to do, take your shoes off and walk in the grass. Sit next to tree. Feel the earth with your feet and when you are sitting down.
Light exercise such as walking or a gentle hike are good to include. Yoga and tai chi are good options, if not too vigorous.
STEP 4: Find a way each day to connect with nature.
RESTORATION is defined by the state of being bodily and mentally vigorous and free from disease
At the end of the holiday weekend, sit down and reflect how things shifted for you. Take stock of what worked and what to do differently the next time. Ask the following:
- Am I more rested/relaxed?
- Is my digestion humming along and supporting me?
- Am I physically and mentally more alert?
- What part of the retreat supported me the most?
- Am I feeling restored?
STEP 5: Take stock of this experience and commit to new intentions going forward. What has been restored in you?
TOOLS for DAILY LIFE
These simple steps are available to most of us and can become part of your life on a regular basis. Create times to rest and do nothing, disconnect from electronics, and simply be with yourself. These gifts allow for restoration to be possible for your body and mind. A reset point is then an option with increased capacity for your being to face the challenges of each day.
Retreat, rest, refuel, rejuvenate, restore. See what part of these five strategies you can bring into your daily life.
Notice how it feels to you when you are doing this.
Resilience can be a part of your toolbox to face each day with strength and fortitude needed today, tomorrow and each day going forward.
There is one more R word that I want to share: Redemption. Arianna Huffington’s post on Redemption is powerful. Taking a spiritual as well as moral/ethical view on how to approach this moment in history, I highly recommend it. Take a look at it. (“The Healing Power of Redemption”).
In optimum health,