I was on my way to an appointment and stopped at a signal having a lovely conversation with my daughter and WHAM! I was rear-ended hard. This happened last month and I have been recovering from whiplash, a slight concussion and a sprained neck. It came out of the blue just like a big two by four to the back of my head. My head and neck say, “that is exactly how it felt!” As a result, I have had to cut back at work and slow way down everywhere else. I get tired and my concentration is low by the middle of the afternoon.
It is a real hassle to slow down and rest so that my body can heal. I remember right after the accident, I was laying down, resting, and I could feel the force that hit the car running through my body. It felt like it was trying to find a place to land. As a CranioSacral therapist, I can say—that is exactly what it was doing. It was surreal feeling the sensation in my body and knowing what was going on from a physiological perspective.
As I have to rest quite a bit right now, I thought about nurturing self and what does that mean? It is tough to take time when you are stressed out and then to add a physical injury, fatigue and metal fog on top of all of that and it makes for a very empty and drained teacup. I have used the metaphor of a teacup to describe: YOU as if you are constantly filling it up and giving it away, you will feel drained, burned out and overloaded!
The key is… to fill up your teacup to overflowing and put a saucer under it. Once your teacup is full to the brim, you can catch the overflow of all that good stuff that flows from the inside of your teacup, out into your saucer. Guess what you do then, you give away what is in your saucer and you keep the filled teacup.
Self-nurturing cannot exclude taking care of others. It just does not work. What works is to take care of yourself as well as you take care of others! Self- Nurturing is a big part of Self-Care.
Here are 5 slow and steady ways you can add Self-Nurturing to your day.
Take time to plug into your personal connection to source. This is an empowering and calming practice and you can start with 5 minutes. Stop, Notice and Breathe in your connection to source is a simple way to practice connecting with Divine. Sit in a quiet space. Feet on the floor, spine lengthened, and STOP and begin to breath in a gentle breath and breathe out all excess tension. Notice where you are still holding stress, or tension. Now connect to your personal source via a color, sacred picture, or sacred word. Now you are ready to Breathe in your personal connection to source into this part of your body and Notice what happens to the tension. What a Wonderful way to nurture yourself.
Plan a creativity date. Creativity is a powerful way to self-nurture and a must to fill up and over your teacup, so you have plenty to give yourself and those you care for as well. This can be as simple as buying yourself a cup of cocoa with whip cream! Possible creativity dates: walk 10 minutes; color with colored pencils; take a bath with a soothing essential oil; create a weekly ritual for yourself that includes pleasure for pleasure’s sake; cook your favorite dish; go see a movie in a theater.
Pound it out with the 10-minute Walking Ritual. This is a needed self-nurturing tool if you need to solve a problem, get some extra energy or boost your Relaxation Response (this is what helps you relax all systems and return to balance in your body). This is simple. Plan a route at home and at work that you can do when you need it. Planning your route makes it easy for you to plug it in at a moment’s notice.
Take time to do nothing and rest afterwards. You read it correctly! This is powerful medicine for those who are overloaded and on the vicious chronic stress cycle.
Wear your favorite lip stick, gloss or color or buy yourself some flowers! Feeling beautiful or surrounding yourself with beauty is a lovely way to self-nurture.
I suggest picking one to practice for a whole week and then pick another one and repeat. Explore and find your ways to self-nurture. Remember the key is to fill up your teacup to overflowing so you can give your saucer away.