Do you know when it is time to nurture yourself?
With Mother’s Day around the corner, I find myself sitting peacefully and quietly, thinking of two things-
- I think of my own mother who departed her earth-bound existence nearly a decade ago. My memories with her are fond and I often draw upon those experiences in my own parenting.
- I think of how I mother myself. By this I mean how well I nurture and care for myself — for this is not taught in school and certainly isn’t openly discussed in Western culture.
Sure, there is a societal discussion about which self-care is all the rage within pop culture. However, when you’re in the throes of stress, the knowledge of where exactly to turn for guidance is substantially lacking.
Autumn is a season for reflection of the recently passed high vibe season that was summer. Let’s face it, since the peak of the pandemic we’ve experienced a lot of change in the world. We haven’t returned to normal, and we’re showing signs of feeling a little frayed around the edges — I call it the unspoken pandemic effect.
Reflection is unavoidable with the change of season. The energy associated with this activity is elevated due to the reduction of sunlight. We naturally slow down from the high vibe summer pace. This slowing down allows you to ponder all those special joy bubble moments.
Are your messages clear?
As you reflect on all your awesomeness from summer, is there a them arising from your experiences? Can I invite you to ask yourself the following?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- What lit up your heart?
- What gave or took your energy?
When you reflect on the season, are the messages that you receive or interpret clear? Or are you stuck in the product of your stress response?
I’ve been asking those questions above in my professional clinic space, within my meditation and coaching circles, and amongst my friends and network.
There is a resounding and very shared collection of responses that sound a lot like this-
- I wish I had the time to do …
- I’m too tired to do that …
- Lately, I’m screaming at the kids from a space of frustration, and I hate myself for it
- I’m worried about money and job security
- I’m feeling more anxious than usual
- I’m having trouble getting to sleep because of my overthinking
Do you know what?
There’s a truckload of shame jammed into those responses, and most of the people I talk to are using phrases that sound like “I’m just so stressed …all the time“.
What I consider worse, is not only are people disassociated from their stress reactions, they are unable to measure its impact until there is a symptom experienced — like impact on quality sleep, capacity to remain focussed, ability to remain tolerant or patient.
Self Care is NOT being Self Absorbed
Implementing small actions and developing habits to regularly and consistently defuse stress and regulate a calm nervous system is vital for thriving in life. Otherwise, you are merely surviving it.
One of the key fundamentals of your reflective self-care practice is to learn how to acknowledge and then measure your stress response within your body.
Do you know how to observe how your nervous system responds to life experiences?
When you understand your own signals, you can make different choices. You can choose to invest your time and energy into an activity (or chore), or you can rest. It’s that simple and complicated.
- do you wake up energetic or lethargic?
- are your energy levels sustained throughout the day, or is there a slump?
- do you find yourself over-analysing situations or feeling out of control?
- has the fear of money or lack of money mindset kicked in with interest rates?
- are you concerned about your budget with respect to rising food prices?
What activity could you explore to quieten this busy mind, or even soothe your frayed nerves?
There is no shortage of activities that you can undertake to feel calm. Everything from varied types of meditation, playing music and dancing, walking outside in nature or even just cooking can be calming.
Do anything that enables you to become mindful. By this I mean the sounds of the thoughts quieten. Perhaps purposeful breathing can reset your diaphragm reflexes and your back muscles relax accordingly. This releases stress on the dorsal root of the vagus nerve which drives a soothing action to the gut and enteric nervous system.
In other words, do whatever calms your farm. I’m not talking about meditating like a monk. I’m talking about understanding what small action will calm you in under three minutes.
I’m inviting you to immerse yourself quietly and gently back into a space of calmness. This is the space where you adult yourself and can feel nurtured. This is not a selfish act. Being calm enables you to maintain focus, relationships and your capacity to juggle all the balls of life.
Take charge of mothering yourself this May. Your future self will thank you! It’s not being selfish, it’s essential.
Karen Humphries is a Change Facilitator. She is a qualified Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, LEAP & NES Practitioner, Intuitive Meditation Facilitator, Clinical Hypnotherapist, and published author. She is a self-confessed laughaholic. She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’