The art of intention

I was recently exploring self care practices with a client. There are numerous types and manners in which we can care for ourselves. For example, we may want to practice relaxation. We may want to get grounded, meditate, "come back to ourselves"- or as this client and I were describing, to unhook (shall I say detox?) from others unhealthy energy. We may want to take care of our bodies, perhaps by way of exercising. We may want to nurture our creative side.  And so on...

While exploring self care practices with my client, we determined that the actions were there but the intent was missing. Let me explain. She would make and take a detox bath for herself but would get in the bathtub and get right on her iPad. Strength: taking a detox bath (see a great recipe for this below). Concern: she lacked mindfulness; awareness of what she was giving to her mind and body. 

No matter how short or simple your act of self care is- formalize it!  Come up with an affirmation, meditation, and/or prayer to implement intention. Try some of these: 

  1. "I am taking this time to cleanse and heal my body". Then take some breaths and really visualize what you want your body to receive (e.g. Increased muscle strength, relaxation from stretching, release of negative emotions). 
  2. "I am taking this time to give myself a break/come back to myself/refill my cup". Then physically remove yourself from the chaos/your office space/etc. and make your break worth it! 
  3. Say a prayer before and after your act of self care. This can be to any spiritual entity, the sun, nature, or even yourself. Practice formally beginning and ending your acts of self care so that they are sacred.  

Or choose your own way of setting intention for your time to care for yourself!  And let me know your great ideas and how it changes your self care routine! 

 

P.S. Make a lovey detox bath by adding baking soda, Epsom salt, and some lavender essential oils.  Don't forget to hydrate too! Enjoy! 

 

The art of doing nothing

The recent spring snow storms of Colorado have reminded many of us to slow down.  I've even heard from clients, "the snow storm allowed me a weekend to do nothing". Wait just a minute!!!  WE can give ourselves permission to slow down, relax, "do nothing", etcetera etcetera.   And we should!  (Many of you know how I feel about the word "should", and... I will still use it here).  

My wise uncle recently told me, during a conversation about my move to private practice only, that it's also okay to do nothing sometimes.  A good reminder for me too!  Most of us live in an environment that promotes go go go.  "Doing nothing" appears lazy, like something we are only allowed to do if we take a beach vacation.  Our minds and bodies actually NEED down time to rejuvenate.  We truly can give ourselves and others permission to relax and revive. 

How do we do this you ask? 

1) Take a mental health day (sick day) from work.  If you were throwing up and/or contagious from the flu, you would stay home, correct?  How is feeling mentally unwell any different?  Take a day to heal your mental health just like you would your physical health.  Doing this from time to time actually reduces our chances of getting serious mental or physical illnesses that take us out for weeks or longer at a time.  Ideally, we would work a mental health day per month into our schedule....ready to go for it?

2) Prioritize your mental health/need for relaxation as you would your physical health. If you injured yourself, would you pay whatever necessary to heal it through doctors?  Same philosophy as above...if your mind or body feels injured from stress, depression, anxiety, just the go go go of it, heal it!  Rest. Comfort yourself. Pamper yourself. Check in with a mental health professional or other healer. Rest. 

3) Make relaxation part of your routine as you would exercise or the like. We don't have to wait until we are feeling mentally unwell to rest. Work it into your schedule! This can look like a few minutes a day, when you take the time to breathe and stretch. This can look like a weekend a month to do something you truly want to do- whether it be binging on Netflix or hiking a 14er. Remember, relaxation and rejuvenation looks different for each of us. 

Feel like that's a good start to give yourself permission to go do nothing for while?  I hope so. 

I'm off to do a little nothing..... 

Adventures in 2016

Last year at this time, I wrote a blog about focusing on and developing MYSELF rather than just my business. I wanted to take this time to report some accomplishments from that goal as well as what I hope's to come in 2016! 

While I can continue to improve, I did spend a lot of time on myself in 2015.  And as projected, my business continued to grow and evolve along side. I also learned that the more I respected my time and boundaries, the more my clients did- WUT? Yes, not only did my clients respect me more, but again, my business flourished. Prior to 2015, I would remain available by phone and email during vacations- I didn't want to lose new clients by taking time off!  Welp, this year, I took two vacations where I shut it all down.  You guessed it, I actually gained clients during those weeks! 

I don't just want to talk about how my business benefits from me taking care of me.  I would like to share that I spent quite a bit of time, energy, and $$ this year on my health and wellness. I learned more about myself emotionally and physically and made some life changes to try to address these issues. It's hard sometimes to spend money on health services and products, but I (and YOU are too!) am a priority. So, I spent some time looking at what I do/did prioritize in my budget and what I would like to prioritize in my budget: my health. 

Don't let anyone shame you (especially yourself!) for spending money (within your budget of course) on your health or for choosing healthy options in your life!  

As an extrovert, I love services that include others and physical touch.  So, massages, facials, acupuncture, and chiropractic are huge for me in addition to talk therapy. I have also realized how much diet impacts my energy and moods.  I post about this often, but I cannot stress enough how much food impacts our vitamin levels, which impact our hormone levels, which impact our energy, moods, blood sugar which then impacts everything back again.  Our bodies are a system, so don't think for second that you can get totally healthy without addressing it all. 

Okay, this is where I stop droning on and give you some useful links! 

Eating for mood links I love: 

 http://www.foodforthebrain.org/nutrition-solutions/depression/about-depression.aspx

 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-genetic-destiny/201410/diet-and-depression

Exercise options in the foothills I love: 

 http://jcls.jazzercise.com/facility/conifer-jazzercise-center

 http://www.crossfitaspenpark.com/

 http://taspens.com/pages/class-descriptions

Alternative therapy options in the foothills I love: 

 http://www.aspenparkchiropractic.com/

 http://www.acupunctureevergreen.com/

 http://taspens.com/pages/taspens-wellness-practioners

 

Oh! So I didn't talk about my adventures in 2016!  In addition to continuing self care and development, I hope to move in to private practice ONLY!  I can't wait.....TO BE CONTINUED