MEDITATE OR DEEP BREATHE IF YOU WON'T MEDITATE
I am a huge fan of meditation, but I realize that some of us may not quite be interested in embracing it at this point. No worries - there is something still here for you to do! Please realize that the benefits of meditation are real, even scientific, and the practice of meditation will help you handle stressful situations with more peace, clarity and calm. But you can also benefit from minutes of deep breathing as well. You can practice diaphragmatic breathing, which reestablishes and gets you back into your parasympathetic nervous system versus your sympathetic nervous system. Your parasympathetic nervous system calms you, it is the place from which you can relax and restore. Contrarily, the sympathetic nervous system is where you are when your heart is pumping fast, your overwhelmed or stressed, and it engages the fight or flight syndrome. To move from that space to the relaxation space is triggered from deep breathing or meditative exercises. And, when in this space you can heal, recalibrate and reset, and your body can stop producing cortisol. Cortisol is pumping through our veins during our stressful days, and consistency of that causes disease and bodily stress.
TIP: Meditate via a free app like Insight Timer, Headspace or find videos on YouTube. OR simply deeply breathe in for a count of four, hold for five, exhale for seven. Try this in multiple cycles. Listen to soothing music while you do.
SPA OR DIY SPA TIME - BOTH ARE GREAT!
So many women feel the guilt when they want to pamper themselves, but this is part of the process of self-care. Our moods are enhanced when we feel nurtured, and generally speaking, we are nurturers ourselves. However, if we don’t nurture ourselves, we tend to feel depleted, and as if no one even cares and we start to feel as if we don’t matter. This is when you can turn it all around and replenish your mood, your soul, your ‘tank.’ That’s right - we do it ourselves, for our feelings of well-being.
The act of going to a spa is one where we are physically touched - which can be healing in and of itself, where we re nurtured, and where we feel cared for. Afterwards, in many instances, we look and feel more relaxed, happier. But spas can be pricey, and luckily it doesn’t have to be something necessarily you do at a spa to be pampering. You can ‘pamper’ yourself via a hot bath, epson salts and some essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus. You can pamper yourself by sitting outside with a cup of hot tea. You can light a scented candle and arrange fresh flowers, but mindfully appreciating it as you do. It’s the attitude towards something that you’re doing that can also make it pampering! So, it’s how you approach whatever you choose to incorporate.