We all get so busy in life and in our daily routines that we often forget our most basic needs as humans. The crazy schedules and demands we have nowadays make it so easy to run ourselves down and miss time to really nurture ourselves. In essence, it truly takes effort and conscience habitation to feed our spirits those essential elements we need to feel whole. I know as a mother especially and really at any age, I am barely able to take two minutes for a bathroom break let alone put quality time into even the little things that I enjoy in life. I know that every single day I have to be so aware of what my needs are and what I am doing personally to fulfill those requirements for myself. Of course there are those around us who love and care about us and help us a long our way in life, but the truth is that the absolute only person to make sure 100% of the time that our needs our met are ourselves. Always. This is such a valuable lesson in life to be mindful that we create our own happiness and must pause daily to give ourselves, in whatever capacity, the soulful nourishment that we desire. These “conscience habits” are those little moments to push pause on the craziness of life and take a few minutes or as long as you need to go “back to the basics” and feed your soul. I would love to share a few of my personal, yet simple ways I incorporate this into my daily life.
- Stay Hydrated: One of our bodies most simple needs is hydration, and the most purest form to do this is simply, water. I absolutely love water! This may sound strange but I would choose water over any other beverage. I am not a soda drinker and I really prefer to not drink my calories. One of my favorite things to have each day is an ice water with fresh lemon cut up in it. I really work hard to consciously remember to drink enough water. If I get busy during the day, that is one of the most difficult things for me to do is keep consistent on my hydration. It is so important for our bodies to maintain enough fluids being that the human body is composed of anywhere from 50 – 65% water depending on the person. The only thing that I hate about drinking a lot of water each day is that I swear I have a squirrel bladder and I feel like I have to pee every 5 minutes!! Ha! Hopefully you all have a lot better tolerance for that than I do!
- Nourish your body with Healthy Food: This one is extremely important. I cannot emphasize this enough. I have been through many periods in my life that I was not putting healthy and nourishing foods into my body and I suffered. There was even a point that I ran a half marathon and was training, running extreme amounts of miles per week, but although I was doing massive exercising I was eating crappy and actually very out of shape and heavy. It was such an eyeopener for me to understand that my body was 85% food intake and 15% exercise. I have struggled with food for many years and sometimes turn to it in times of stress, depression, or frustration. I truly have to be aware each and every day of why I am eating and what it means when I do. It has taken me time to adapt a completely different way of thinking about food. I now ask myself if what I am putting in my body will nourish and do the things that are of the utmost good for my body and its needs. I surely still have times of eating junk or splurging on foods that are not healthy and it is constantly a work in progress. We all have our weak areas that take more work for us and food is one of mine. I know how important it is to have a healthy relationship with food, and to continue to invest in my health and well being and support that with a balanced diet. Be mindful of what your body needs. Support your system with nutrients that are imperative. Make smart choices and think through it even in times when it is easy to grab something quicker and not as healthy. You will be so much happier, healthier and feel amazing!
- Quiet Time: Oh how I love quiet time! Yes, I love the busy, lovely energy of my family and the fun and chaos that we have each day with our busy schedules too. But, there is nothing like those few precious moments, whether it be two minutes or a half hour, of a complete clear of the mind and our souls silent rejuvenation. It doesn’t really matter when, how, or where this practice takes places but the importance of it is just to completely clear your mind and just be still. This is actually an extremely difficult thing to do if you have not ever tried it before. Our minds chatter incessantly even when we want them to stop. This practice of quieting the mind is the main goal of meditation. If you are not comfortable with that term or a large commitment into the depths of what meditation can entail, then my favorite way to use this amazing tool is to think of it simply. I feel we have no need to over complicate this practice. I love the extreme learnings of meditation and all the depths into which that can lead but in reality I, as are most of us, have an extremely busy life and schedule. This unfortunately means that I have very little time some days and to invest in a long meditation period would be nearly impossible. I like to keep it simple and uncomplicated and take a few moments to concentrate on my breath to center myself and then to do my best and just be in the moment to quiet my mind. That’s it. Nothing fussy or long. Just take a moment for me, be in my own body and space and breath. Sometimes I can do it more frequently and other times not as often but I definitely enjoy it each time I experience my quiet time.
- Work it out: Exercise is a must! Some days it’s hard to fit it in the schedule but I know it’s always worth it! I don’t really think it matters what kind of workout we choose to do as long as it makes us feel good. I think the most important part is that we just keep moving and that we are taking care of ourselves in this process. I have friends who work out two hours a day and run crazy miles, and go to tons of classes at the gym. For me, I do my best. I have to be practical and realize that although there are times when I have done all of those things, it is not realistic for me to stick with this kind of workout schedule. My body doesn’t keep up with that kind of rigorous routine for too long and realistically, as far as time and practicality it is just not going to work. I have determined that I have about 30-35 minutes per day to fit a quick, efficient workout in. I keep it mixed up with weights, toning, and cardio and I continue to strive to do better and look better. One of my favorite ways to enjoy myself and burn some calories is a good hike! I am very fortunate to have amazing places where I live to do just that. I think the secret is mixing in things that you have fun with, whether it be hiking, tennis, golf, soccer or other activities, and then some work outs that you just have to get the job done and push through it. I have a few pounds I would like to shed, but I exercise because I feel good and it keeps me healthy. It is important for our mental well being as well as our physical when we exercise. We all know the benefits this has on us in so many ways. The trick is finding what works for you and how to implement that into your lifestyle. Each one of us has to find our balance and decide what type of workouts are best for our own bodies and how we can accommodate that in our lives. Customize it to you!!
- Connect with Nature: Elements of the earth always seem to ground me in some kind of magical way. There is always something so peaceful about the ocean, a forest, the mountains or just our own backyards. The beautiful thing about nature is that if you don’t have the resources to experience it in an abundant way in your own city or town, there are always ways to bring the outdoors in and partake of it in your own way, shape or form. My favorite outdoor in element is flowers and the beauty and joy that it brings me. I love seeing the gorgeous colors and enjoy the wonderful fragrance that each flower brings It really is so awe inspiring how nature is so persistent and determined. To see how with each season, it cycles through stages of life and the perseverance of its growth and blooming. I am grateful that the gorgeous town in which I live has so much abundance of outdoor recreation. If I am ever in a bad mood or going through difficulties I tend to seek the comfort of nature. Even the soft blowing of the wind through the trees, the glow of a full moon, the smell of fresh cut grass, or the breathtaking views of a good hike can rejuvenate me in ways that nothing else can. My daughter Avrey and I found these little gems of succulents at our local plant nursery yesterday. I thought they were so fun and hopefully I can keep them alive to enjoy them for a long time to come!! If you have been missing the element of nature in your life, find that connection again in what inspires you. The old saying “stop and smell the roses” really is amazing advice!
- A Good Nights Rest: We all know how important this is in our lives! Sleep is key! I am such a disaster if I have not had a good, solid, full nights rest. I realize how unfocused I am all day and also how cranky I can get. There are many things you can do to help you get a great sleep. Everything from a warm bath at bedtime, reading a book, yoga, stretching, and many other things can assist you to a better nights rest. I know for me making sure that all my technology is turned off and out of reach is very helpful in not being disturbed through the night. I love to use a sleeping mask pillow filled with lavender to keep the room dark and the relaxing scent of lavender is comforting as I rest. If you are one that struggles with sleeping well, it is sometimes tough to find a remedy for a full nights snooze. Hopefully you all are fortunate enough to have good sleeping patterns. I know how vital this is in maintaining a healthy and happy life.
- Journal: This is such a therapeutic process. Although we may not have the time or energy every day to do this amazing practice, even doing it once a week or as often as you can is a wonderful thing! There is something about putting your feelings down on paper. I realized at one point in my life I had the tendency to journal when I was going through tough times versus good times. The writing process is a great way to show an honest perspective of our true selves. There are instances where we may just jot down feelings and emotions that are coming so free and organically that we may not even be aware that those feelings were inside of us until we read it back at a later time. The clarity to which we write is a very pure form. At times it is difficult to read of memories that we may have forgotten had it not been for the insight to the journaling, but this is the work and the growth that our experience here on earth are all about. Take the time to express your feelings on paper and read through them occasionally to see the lengths in which you have journeyed. One of my favorite things to do when journaling is to write down things that I am grateful for. To take time to pause and appreciate even the most simplest of things gives us an abundance of gratitude in our hearts. This always helps me to be thankful even on the days when nothing seems to be going right. I am happy that I have memories and experiences that I can reflect back on to see how much I have grown and to recall many beautiful times in my life.
- Make the most of every moment: This is the magic to life! Embrace every second. Live every minute to its fullest. Do the things in life that bring you the purest joy. If you want to dance….. dance. If you want to sing…… sing. If you want to love……. love. Most of all just live. Live in every way, every day, take every chance, laugh along the entire journey, smile through all the days, and fill your heart with happiness in every single way. Be kind, have gratitude, show respect, be your best, stay true to yourself, embrace others, be forgiving, live right. Make it your experience exactly how you want it to be. It’s your choice through the entire adventure.
My heart is full of appreciation for all of you and I would love for you to share with me some of your “basics” that help you through each day of your lives. Every day is a thoughtful effort to be my best, do those things that make me a better person, strive for improvement, and appreciate all that it is. We are all in this journey together and for that I am truly inspired and grateful.
Embrace all that you are. Love thyself. Nurture thy soul. Enjoy your journey.