25 Tips for Practicing Radical Self Care

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25 Tips for Practicing Radical Self Care
Powerful, easy ways to nurture your mind, body, heart and spirit every day

HEART CARE
Tip#1 – Smell is the most evocative of all of our senses since it’s directly connected to the limbic system, the seat of all emotions and memory. Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that the scent of vanilla helped to calm patients before surgery. To de-stress your heart, take a whiff of lavender, neroli, melissa, or ylang-ylang essential oils. Or to simply improve general heart circulation, try basil, rosemary, or thyme.

Tip#2 – We all know what we should do to protect our time and space, both at home and at work -- close our door when we don't want to be interrupted, not pick up the phone, say "no" to office gossip. Creating firmer, healthier boundaries means enjoying more supportive relationships and having more energy to do what you love. What boundaries do you need to re-establish with your family, friends, and co-workers regarding your time, energy, or personal space? Where would some well-placed "no's" make a big difference in your life?

Tip#3 – It does a heart good to be able to reach out and help someone else, and it doesn’t have to cost a penny. There are activities to suit every interest - Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Literacy Volunteers (tutoring adults), Christmas in April (building homes), to name a few. Find out what's available in your area either by checking the Internet or asking a local priest or rabbi. Or, maybe your company maintains partnerships with some volunteer organizations.

Tip#4 – “Freeze Frame” is a powerful technique to use in stressful moments to shift focus away from your racing mind or disturbed emotions to the area around your heart. Pretend you're breathing through your heart to help focus your energy in this area. Recall a positive fun feeling or time you've had in life and ask your heart what would be a more efficient response to the situation, then listen to what it has to say. Check out www.HeartMath.com for more details.

Tip#5 – Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” can do wonders for lifting your spirits and soothing a troubled heart. Try writing down 3 things you’re grateful for at the beginning or end of each day. Better yet, make a point to regularly tell the people in your life – at home and at work – something that you appreciate about them and watch them light up. You’ll feel pretty good, too!

Tip#6 – Play a little game. Pick at least one conversation each day where you commit to keeping the other person the center of attention – no offering advice, responding with a story of your own, or negating their experience (as in "oh, it's not so bad"). Allow yourself just to be with her/him. Appreciate the quality of quiet connection that occurs.

SOUL TIME
Tip#1 – Schedule at least 15 minutes of "creative silence" into your daily routine, particularly if you have a project to tackle or problem to resolve. It may be hard at first to turn off the mind chatter, but gradually that still, small voice of inner wisdom will catch on to the fact that you've created a space for it to be heard and you'll find your intuitive hits will begin to percolate up from the depths on a regular basis.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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