In this series, how to step into 2022 as an Agent of Hope, I offer ways to find internal power in these uncertain and anxious times. This next step builds on what we have previously explored regarding how you can increase your influence over your own words, thoughts, and actions.
We now look at cultivating self-care and resilience. This next step takes you beyond enduring and surviving, allowing you to tap into internal energy, so that you can meet challenges with grace and skill.
Why does this next step matter? Our current global context tends to keep us distracted. We find ourselves pitted against each other, physically depleted, and caught up in an emotional and mental whirlwind. Now is the time to tap into your internal power to regain essential connections. These connections allow you to cultivate Resilience – the combination of internal balance and stability. With balance and stability, you can meet challenges with confidence and finesse.
Let’s look at how self-care increases a sense of internal power and balance.
Because of feeling pressured, or because of judgements about self-care, we jump to the conclusion that it is too time consuming or costly. We may hear ourselves say, “I don’t have time to go to a gym. Self-care is for the privileged. I wish I had 45 minutes to waste! It’s too expensive.” Such narratives undermine and sabotage us as we seek to understand the true purpose of self-care – rest, restoration and rejuvenation.
Shifting perspectives on self-care, and permitting the wisdom of your heart and body to reveal what’s good for you, will allow you to discover that the practice of self-care is a moment-to-moment creative process of getting your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs met.
Here are some tips to move forward on your new-found, self-care commitments:
1 –Release distractions. As you let go of distractions (too much time on our devices, too much time following the news, unbalanced diet, not enough time in nature, to name a few), you regain
a connection to yourself, quiet the internal storm, and increase your capacity to listen to your own inner wisdom and the parts of you – your heart and body – that are always informing you of what’s best for you.
2 – Commit to 1 – 5 minutes each day. Devoting your full attention to 1 – 5 minutes of self-care will have more impact than 45 minutes of exercise while you are texting, or complaining and worrying that you are wasting time. I call this “The 1440 Challenge!”
Have you ever considered how many minutes there are in a day? There are one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes in every day of your life. During those minutes we work, sleep, eat, interact with others, travel from one place to the next and many other things. But how many of these one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes do you use to nurture yourself? If you can take one minute out of one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes in each day to nurture yourself, and do that every day, you will see the quality of your life change.
As you do your 1 minute, you may notice that you WANT to add a couple more minutes to your practice. Great! Other days, doing your 1 minute will be enough.
3 – Expand your notion of self-care to include the nourishment of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self. If you are feeling ambitious, you may devise a daily 5-minute self-care practice:
- 30 seconds of centering
- 1 minute devoted to each of your 4 selves
- 30 seconds of centering
4 – Find things that work for YOU. Be creative. What can you do to increase physical vitality, emotional stability, mental clarity and spiritual grounding?
Need guidance? Get in touch with the Weston Network to find out more about practices that I have cultivated over decades that are time and energy efficient, easy-to-apply, no equipment needed, and very potent in their short- and long-term benefits. I also recommend a book written by a dear friend, Dr. Darlene Ifill-Taylor MD, founder of Three Strand Wellness Center in Charlotte NC, called Get Well! Making the Wellness of your Mind, Body and Spirit a Priority. It is a short, fun book that gives great tips on caring for the different aspects of yourself.
I hope these suggestions help you live into your story of hope, and step into 2022 with confidence – rested, restored, rejuvenated!