Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by nature, and especially rocks. Without them, this beach could have been just like any other. Actually, before we stumbled upon them, we had been walking for a long time without even seeing many shells or stones. Maybe that’s why finding them left such an impression upon me.
They made the experience an unforgettable one.
Just think, if we were each a grain of sand, no one would be able to tell one of us apart from another. All they’d do is step on us!
But if we each were a rock, people would stop and take notice. They’d see that each of us has our own unique combination of earthy color, texture, shape, and marks that life has carved into us.
Individuality, and our ability to express it, is an often overlooked part of health and wellness. When we hold back our true selves, it causes chronic stress, which we all know to be directly related to many conditions.
The more you pull in all that nourishes you, the less any and all negative energy will drain you, and the easier it will be to share your authentic self with the world.
In my eyes, it all starts with what we eat, but it certainly doesn’t end there. There are many forms of nourishment, other than food. Just think about the people, places, and activities that make your heart sing. Are you creating enough room for them in your life?
Parenting is not easy these days. It often requires a lot of juggling. It’s easy to drop the ball, especially the one that enables us to take time to ourselves.
Now that a new school year is upon us, how will you find time to nourish your Self toward the healthiest, happiest life possible? Here are a few ideas to get you started, and they only take between 5 and 20 minutes each:
- Take 5 minute breaks when you get frazzled. Close your eyes, listen to a favorite song, do some stretching, or get a breath of fresh air.
- Practice deep breathing, using Dr. Weil’s techniques. My favorite is #2, the “4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise.” It can be used daily to alleviate stress, calm the nervous system, get more oxygen to the brain, and/or to improve sleep.
- Keep a gratitude journal, and add to it every day. You can add small blessings or big ones, and review what you’ve written on difficult days, to refocus your thoughts on the positive side of life.
- Use visual imagery to transport yourself to a different time or place, even if it’s only for 5 minutes. A photo of a loved one smiling, or a favorite vacation spot, will warm your soul.
- Lose yourself in a book, even for just a few minutes. Sometimes, you can learn things from book characters that you can’t from friends or family. They can help you see things in new ways. While you’re at it…
- Have a cup of tea, cold or hot. Savor each sip.
- Give a friend or loved on a hug, or a phone call. Physical and emotional connections are essential to optimal health and wellness.
- Practice a random act of kindness. Putting a smile on someone else’s face will surely put on on yours too!
- Exercise for 20 minutes. It can boost your mood! A walk outside in the sunshine might just turn around your day.
- Carve out time for activities that make you feel the most alive and well. Even if you do them once a week, or once a month, doing so regularly could make a very big difference in your life.
Taking time out of our days to appreciate ourselves, and all that we are and hope to become, is an essential part of living a healthy and happy life. By pulling in more of what nourishes us, we can minimize the forces that drain us.
Like rocks, we all have different textures and colors, sizes and shapes, strengths and weaknesses, beauty marks and scars; but our differences are what makes us each unique and special. When we try to cover them up, that’s when we get buried in the sand.