Self care: Preventing A Breakdown

Image source: Society for Psychotherapy

Image source: Society for Psychotherapy

Do you ever have those days where you feel like all you do is run, run, run and still feel like you're behind? Maybe you skip lunch one day or only get a few hours of sleep another day. Or maybe you don't realize that you were so caught up until the end of the day when you finally lie down and take a deep breath? These are all, unfortunately, very common habits of modern day, fast living Americans. I fully believe that our fast- paced society is leading us astray from personal wellness and respect, which in turn affects everyone's human experience in this life. 

With extreme stress inevitably comes "burnout." Burnout is the last phase of months or even years of using your reserve fuel and never taking the time to refill. With burnout comes exhaustion, both mentally and physically, and often leaves you sick and with no choice but to rest.

Not only does stress leave an impact on our wellbeing, but changes in the seasons can have a noticeable impact on our bodies and moods. According to Ayurvedic medicine, we are now in the time of Navaratri. Ayurveda follows closely with the cycles and rhythms of nature and especially the moon. Navaratri occurs twice a year in the "gap" seasons. Winter into Spring and Summer into Fall. They are both times of the year where it is very easy to get wrapped up in an accelerated pace and to let our self care fall by the wayside. During this Navaratri with the cooler temperatures blowing in, it is of the utmost importance that we take the time to fully appreciate and nourish our bodies with quality rest and whole, healing foods. 

It is entirely too common for stressed individuals to ignore our bodies signals until it is too late and we fall ill. Here is my compiled list of self care habits:

1. Get some sleep!

It is the basis for a healthy lifestyle- It will literally improve your body and brain function.

2. Nourish.

No more quick stops at McDonalds/ Taco Bell, etc. If we expect our bodies to keep up with our busy lifestyle, we need to give it adequate energy.

3Get your massage/acupuncture/therapy.

So many times I, personally, have rescheduled my self care so that I may help others. Make time for yourself and stick to it! No one else is going to do it for you!

4Breathe.

Remember, in times of stress, it's very likely that you are holding your breath which is depriving your body and creating more of a problem. Take those deep breaths and feel your mind and body slowly come back to a level playing field. 

5Do the things that bring your soul joy.

Just as important as work is to your life, so is play. When you give your spirit the time to restore, it will keep you healthy and enlivened. To be stuck in the same routine of comfort is to disengage. We must keep learning and discovering and experiencing to fully nourish our mind and spirit. Take some time to go for a walk or to plant your bare feet in the grass. Watch the leaves fall and admire the ebbs and flows our lives take us through.

Every season can teach us something about ourselves and the cycles of life. I believe that the fall is a time for us to fully appreciate our vitality and our mortality. We are only given one body in this life and we must treat it with the respect and love that it deserves. 

-Arielle Ferrell, LMT

 

Image source: Where Easy Living Begins