We all know how important it is to slow down and take the time to enjoy life, but sometimes life has a way of taking over! We’re all busy and trying to do twice as much as we did the day before in half the time just to keep up. When do we have time to nurture ourselves?
Over the past year I have relocated to another state, leaving behind family and friends. I have changed careers and married the man of my dreams. I’ve gained new family and friends and lost a best friend to cancer. Through it all, I have tried my very best to stay true to who I am and maintain a sense of balance. I struggled to keep a thread of normalcy and sense of “self”. I found that it was difficult for me to concentrate on all of the “new” in my life and nurture my mind, body, and spirit simultaineously. It is an ongoing process and here are five things I learned on my journey:
1. Be grateful. I try to take a moment each morning before I get out of bed to be still and allow my mind to scroll through all of the reasons that I am blessed. In those quiet moments, I’m able to develop my mental checklist and focus on what I have to be thankful for. It may change from day-to-day, but starting the day counting your blessings provides a great mindset. When you set the stage in the morning, those blessings are present and evident in your day.
2. Look for the ordinary miracles. My husband is a master at this and has taught me well. When we were long distance dating, he would send me text messages of a beautiful sunset/sunrise or a fresh snow and say, “I just wanted to share this beautiful _____ with you”. He takes the time to seek out beauty and wonder all around us. Through him, I’ve learned to walk through life with my eyes wide open and look for the beauty of my surroundings. Even the worst of days can be laced with wonderful things. Being appreciative truly changes one’s perspective!
3. Be self-aware. It is so easy to tick off all of the reasons you may not like someone or something, but do you really know what it is that you DO like? I have to admit that I was guilty of this judgmental mindset, and had to challenge myself to dig deeper and explore what truly makes me happy. What provides me with that sense of balance? Take time and allow yourself to truly “feel”. Make note of when you’re most happy, peaceful, and calm; try to incorporate those experiences in your daily routine on some level. Through all of the changes in this past year, I’ve discovered that if I take a moment each day to do something that makes me happy, I can find that sense of balance. I may knit for a while, read a good book, sing really loud to the music I love, or be out in the beautiful nature of CO. One of my husband’s methods to happiness and sense of balance comes from picking up his guitar and playing music. What are your calming experiences?
4. Tap into your support network. Women tend to have this subconscious need to tackle the challenges of our daily lives on our own. Well guess what? You don’t have to! We all have people in our lives that want to love and support us through whatever we’re going through, so why not let them? Living a thousand miles away from my closest friends and family, I quickly learned that it really didn’t matter how we connected, as long as we did. Through email, social media, Skype, and phone calls/texting… they’re right here with me. Surround yourself with positive people, whether it’s live and in person or virtually, and tap into each other’s positive energy. Your spirit will thank you!
5. Take care of your body. Through life’s ups, downs, and challenges, it might seem that there’s not enough time to prepare a healthy meal or get a workout in, but taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do to bring balance to your life. Make sure you schedule those annual checkup & screening appointments, go to the dentist regularly, eat healthy, and find ways to MOVE your body.
You are responsible for your own happiness! I challenge you to incorporate these five steps into your daily routine for one week. Keep track of how your day is different and come back to this blog and share your experiences. YOU are worth it!
Categories: Self Empowerment