25 Tips for Practicing Radical Self Care


Powerful, easy ways to nurture your mind, body, heart and spirit every day

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.

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.

Tip#2 – Whether it’s your kitchen, your home office, or an office cubicle, how excited are you to walk into your workspace each morning? Does it feel like “sacred space”? If not, think of a few ways to en-soul it… maybe adding a water fountain or aromatherapy lamp, creating a mini-altar of meaningful objects, or hanging a special picture.

Tip#3 – If you're feeling completely frazzled in the middle of your day and your attention is scattered in all directions, take some time to re-gather your energy with some intentional breathing. On the inhale, breathe in those qualities you need most (joy, calm, focus, etc) and exhale what you want to release (impatience, anger, negative thinking, etc). Just 2 or 3 minutes will calm your soul.

Tip#4 – We all need a regular dose of play to maintain optimal focus, balance and creativity in our lives. When is the last time you see-sawed with a friend… or even a co-worker?! And yes, it is possible to swing VERY high with a suit jacket on or a skirt tucked under you. How about keeping some jacks or a Frisbee in your desk drawer, or a yo-yo, or one of those little paddles with a ball attached where you bat the ball as often as you whack your head?! Could be just the infusion of silliness you need when you’re having a rough day.

Tip#5 – Try putting your dreams and wishes into words by writing short, specific phrases or affirmations, posting them where you'll always run into them, and speaking them out loud each day. It’s important to always state them positively and in the present tense -- instead of "I want a job that doesn't drain me", try: "I have wonderful, fulfilling work that nurtures and expands me mentally, emotionally and financially". If you keep stating your desires as "I want", they'll always remain "wants" instead of "haves".

Tip#6 – Our connection to nature is a deep and visceral one – not for naught that she's referred to as "Mother". Whether you work in the middle of the city or in a grassy suburban corporate complex, make sure you spend some time outdoors every day. Rather than eat lunch at your desk, take your sandwich to an urban “green space”, or go for a walk through a nearby park. Fresh air and Vitamin D-laden sunlight has a real healing and re-juvenating effect.

Tip#7 – Believe it or not, it’s possible to bring a sense of spirit to your commute. Listen to sacred music on your headphones or car radio instead of the news. Even standing on a bus or subway you can practice a powerful little grounding meditation: breathe into your solar plexis on the inhale and as you exhale, imagine energy flowing down through your legs and deep into the Earth where you can "wrap" it around a hook. Then on the next inhale, draw it back into your solar plexis and anchor it there. Try it 2 or 3 times and by the time you get to work, you’ll be grounded and energized and ready for action.

Creating an ongoing habit of nurturing your body, mind, heart and spirit begins with intention. Add a little creativity, a pinch of moon magic and some seasonal “spice”, and you have the recipe for maintaining a well-nourished Circle of One ongoingly. Now imagine what might happen if everyone you knew made that same commitment to re-connect with and re-energize their divinely-connected SELF-center. What an extraordinary power-grid we could create!

For information on WomanSpirit coaching & creating self-care rituals, contact:
Deborah S. Roth, MA            Life Design Coach & Interfaith Minister
(212) 665-9660 ~+~ Deborah@SpiritedLiving.com ~+~ www.SpiritedLiving.com

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.