7 Healthy Habits to Restore Our Minds, Bodies & Souls
(Keep scrolling down for information on Our Struggles/7 Healthy Habits to Restore Our Minds, Bodies & Souls OR read Last Straw to learn where the inspiration came from. At the end you'll also see what's happening right here in Carlyle, SK!
My eyes are welling up. I’m trying to keep my heavy tears pinched in, but it’s soon out of my control. My cool salty tears begin trickling down my face.
Oh my god. Someone’s going to see…
Clenching, and trying so hard to stuff it back in.
I shouldn’t feel this way. Other people have it WAY worse. You should be grateful. HOLD IT TOGETHER, Morgan!
I can’t. I burst like water from a dam – these strong and steady walls that I have built over a twenty nine year life span are collapsing right before me. I’m letting go of everything I expected myself to be, and there’s no holding back. It’s happening, and that’s final.
I’m not just crying. I’m UGLY CRYING. You know the one where if feels like you can’t catch your breath, you’re heaving, there’s tears, snot, it’s both the best AND the worst feeling, and afterwards everyone is wondering who beat up your face? Yeah, that one.
So, what now? It’s time to just…BE.
My yoga teacher covers me with a quilt, but not just any quilt. One that’s been homemade; likely passed down the family line a time or two. It embodies a mother’s love and feels like a comforting embrace from my own mum.
I’ve been encouraged by my yoga teacher to let my feelings flood in; and it feels amazing. So honest and pure. I don’t have to try and change or fix how I’m feeling. I get to just…be.
It’s the first time that I’ve openly, and without any guilt, let myself break down since becoming a mom. It’s also probably one of the first times in a very long time that I haven’t tried to change or convince myself out of how I’m feeling. Life is so much easier when we can just be in the moment that we’re in.
That was my “breakthrough” or “final straw” moment when I realized that I’m not the only woman feeling like this. Feeling like putting my own needs first so that I can be a better mom, partner, daughter, and friend is a BAD thing.
At this moment in time, it all started to come together. I was simply in a yoga pose that was nurturing my postpartum body. I had a rough experience delivering our son and didn’t feel nurtured or take the time to look after myself postpartum. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Postpartum Depression were taking over my life. But, in that moment – simply restoring my body through yoga and nurturing my soul – I finally felt that I, and someone else, took the time for me…and I broke.
I broke because I felt guilty trying to look after myself by take time for self-care. I broke because I was feeling so pressured. As women, we put so much strain on ourselves to be perfect. Have the perfect job, family, finances, home, skin, hair, weight, clothes, blah, blah, blah…it’s so soul sucking.
Perfect is right here, right now. Whether it feels ideal or not, it’s exactly the way it should be and accepting things as they are opposed to trying to fix everything is going to save yourself a tonne of unnecessary worrying, sickness, pain, AND money.
Only I can take care of me and only you can take of you – we can’t expect this from other people nor will it really change what you’re feeling inside. Once you take steps to nurture yourself, the warmth, kindness, and generosity of others will follow. Not until we see our own worth and step into our best selves will everything else in our lives start to jump on the bandwagon too. Not until we start to take time for our own self-care, self-acceptance, and personal growth will we start to embrace this beautiful body, mind and life that we have.
I hope you enjoy the suggestions below and are able to incorporate some into your daily best-self practice.
In today’s world, being a woman can feel so hard. We have a myriad of complex issues all the way from our mind, to our bodies and right down to our soul. You might be feeling/experiencing:
o Imbalanced hormones/high cortisol levels due to stress which can lead to exhaustion, weight gain, loss or increase of appetite, food cravings, pain, skin irritations, thyroid imbalance, etc.
o Being at greater risk for depression, anxiety, and multiple health concerns such as heart disease, breast cancer, ovarian and/or cervical cancer, gynecological/fertility issues, candida, autoimmune diseases/inflammation, etc.
o Worry. Hell, we even worry about worrying! Who am I? I can’t believe I said that. I’m not smart enough for/or to have _______. She’s so much better than me. I look so fat. I can I help them/fix their problem?
o Judging and comparing ourselves to other women, people, and families. This can look and feel like we need to be the primary caregiver to our family, keep everyone happy, have a fulltime career, have the perfect home, do everything we can for the community, cook, bake, exercise, juggle our own to-do-lists…it’s so overwhelming!
o Self-doubt and negative self-talk.
o Feel the need to look a certain way when it comes to our weight, skin, hair, clothes etc. due to comparing ourselves to what we see via social media, TV, etc.
o Feel like an outcast or incomplete if we don’t a) have kids b) have a man c) have our career figured out d) own a home.
7 Healthy Habits to Restore Our Minds, Bodies & Souls
1) Make Time for Self-Care
Step 1: Put Yourself FIRST
OMG, Morgan! I’m a mom. What about my job. If only you saw my list to do. What about my kids?!?
Slow down. I never said drop EVERYTHING, pack your bags and go. I just want you to take some time for yourself. Reconnect. Find peace and stillness. Rest. Restore. If you take time to do this, I GUARANTEE you will experience some or if not all of the following:
o feelings of panic disappear
o calmness (in the mind and body)
o making decisions becomes clearer/easier
o the chatter in your mind starts to slow down/doesn’t consume you
o being more efficient/productive because you’ll spend less time in your head worrying/overthinking
o cortisol levels will plummet which could result in: weight loss, bye-bye brain fog, hormones begin to balance, aches and pains begin to subside, etc.
o increase of energy
o less rise and fall in your emotions
o appreciation for what you have and gratitude for the people around you
If you feel you can’t take 20 minutes a day for self-care, then you should probably set aside an hour!
Honestly, that’s a telltale sign that your mind and body are SCREAMING for some rest and attention. Don’t fight it. Give in – you won’t regret it!
Sometimes the hardest part is setting a boundary for ourselves, and our family, and honouring it. But, if you start honouring that this is something that you need - your family will too!
Self-Care Options/Things to Explore (hit up Pinterest for more ideas!):
2) Do Something That You LOVE
You want to feel like your best self? Find that thing – your niche – that makes time nonexistent. When you’re doing this activity or job that you love, hobbies don’t feel like hobbies and jobs don’t feel like jobs. It feels like you’re just doing what you’re meant to be doing. You’re in alignment. You are your best self or stepping into your higher purpose.
Examples/things to explore:
o Journal about what you love/love doing
o Try a new exercise
o Join a class related to what you love
o Building your dream job/making the next right move towards it (remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”
3) Try: Yoga, Meditation & Rest
Move. Breathe. Rest. Clear your mind.
Practicing yoga or joining a yoga class can do so much more than tone your body. It can give you that time you need to just be with yourself. Nothing else to focus on other than that moment that you’re in.
What we learn on the mat we can take into our everyday lives. We can begin to see the thoughts and stories that we play in our mind, and how they are affecting our lives, holding us back, and/or creating bad habits.
We are not defined by our thoughts nor do we have to believe them or let them rule our life. AKA THOUGHTS ARE NOT FACTS! Yoga and meditation can bring us back to just being in the present moment rather than being wrapped up in the chatter of our mind.
Yoga and meditation can take us into much needed deep states of rest. In rest, our sympathetic nervous system (our fight or flight receptor) can relax and our parasympathetic nervous system (rest, heal, grow part of our brain) can jump in and help mend our wounds mentally and physically. Mindful resting and relaxing will AMPLIFY everything that you’re already doing to do heal your body and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Stress is a powerful trigger for illness mentally and physically, and rest/finding peace within is the best antidote.
Examples/things to explore:
4) Find Balance & Nurture Your Soul
Finding balance in your life can feel so tricky, but I’ve touched on this already. It’s not a matter of you CAN’T make time for yourself. It’s a matter of not being willing to prioritize time for yourself. Put it at the top of your list to find balance and to nurture your soul. You and those around you will all benefit.
Find something that makes your heart sing, helps you shed feelings of anxiety or despair, fills your cup, and energizes you. You won’t regret it!
o Taking time for self-care (see #1 in this article)
o Find someone to talk to/help you move through your struggles and step into your best self/help you achieve your dreams.
See www.seekerwellness.com for support in southern SK/Carlyle, SK.
o Start a gratitude journal.
See this article for Ways to Express Gratitude and check out below for gratitude journal prompts. Pinterest is a great resource for these!
o Do something that you love
o Try a new yoga class
o Join a meditation group
o Try something new to find something you love/are passionate about
5) Move / Get Some Fresh Air!
Things in our life begin to feel clearer and easier to deal with when our bodies are healthy. However, in today’s world, exercise might be getting a little excessive.
If exercise ever begins to feel like working out is something you HAVE to do, you feel guilty if you don’t do it, and/or you’re compulsively exercising, you might want to take a step back and reevaluate how you move your body and how often.
Exercise can be vigorous, but still be gentle at the same time. When we overdo weights/cardio we are raising those fight or flight hormones (sympathetic nervous system) in our body which can lead to hormonal weight gain, sore and achy joints, skin irritations, exhaustion, etc.
I am by no means saying that exercise is a bad thing! For so many of us it’s an incredible stress reliever, confidence booster, and a part of our social lives. I’m just suggesting that if you feel like you might be over doing it, you’re hurting, or you feel guilty for not exercising so you compulsively exercise – just take a step back and look at the big picture. Talk to a naturopath or another professional in the exercise world that you think could help you develop a program more suited to you and your needs.
You could try:
o Nature Hike (check out all of the amazing trails Kenosee Lake, SK. has to offer)
o Nia (sensory based movement practice that intertwines dance and martial arts)
o Martial arts
o Join a local exercise class (know your limits and don’t feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing – just do you!)
6) Lay Off the Technology
Social media, computers and cell phones are a convenient way to keep in touch and to stay in the loop with our friends and family. On the flip side, it can also work to our demise. Too much screen time can be health concerning. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and I’m afraid our phones/social media are a perfect example.
Cell phones and other devices carrying wireless internet, increases our level of radiation exposure when we're around them. Radiation exposure from our devices is carcinogenic, so reducing our screen time/using “airplane mode” is SO important. Also, try not to keep your cell phone on your body for too long or often (i.e. remove from your pocket or refrain keeping it right next to you at all times).
If you find yourself being sucked into social media/spending too much time on your phone or device, set limits on your browsing time and establish a time to shut your phone off at night. An hour before bed is ideal, so your body can naturally go into a restful state which makes it easier to fall asleep.
When you’re browsing through social media, remember to put on your “realistic lenses”. We typically share all of the good in our life, see pictures with perfect lighting or filters. This can lead to constant judgment of ourselves and comparing ourselves to others. So, remember next time you’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram that everyone is human just like you. You might be seeing all of the happy or filtered moments in someone’s life, but what you might not be seeing is the messy, uncertain, and difficult times that all of us go through.
-Q-Link Clear: these handy buttons for your phone, tablet and/or other devices strengthens your biofield making you less susceptible to the radiation coming from your phone. Just stick it to your phone and, viola. You’re much more protected than without it!
See www.shopqlink.com/collections/q-link-for-devices-1 to order or for more information.
-Reduce your screen time/shut off your phone 1 hour before bed
-Put on your social media “realistic lenses” before browsing newsfeeds (read above)