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HOW (& WHY) TO START A JOURNEY OF SELF CARE IN 2019

HOW (& WHY) TO START A JOURNEY OF SELF CARE IN 2019

What is this mania with “self care”? And what even IS self care??

 

Strangely enough, #selfcare means taking care of yourself!  But what I really mean is truly taking care of yourself with little acts of kindness to YOU. To my mind it is a huge comment on the life we are living that we have to consciously stop & think about engaging in self care: about being kind to ourselves, and giving ourselves a little hug…

That “little hug” can be anything that equates to giving a little special time to yourself. It might be stealing some time in the afternoon to indulge in reading a favourite book, or getting up half an hour earlier to start a practice of mediation in solitude, or treating yourself to a long ramble in the woods once a week. It can be ANYTHING that genuinely feels like a little “me time”. This fact is important: if you don’t actually enjoy reading, then reading a book will NOT constitute me time for you; if the thought of lying in the bath for 20 minutes just makes you feel frustrated and bored then that isn’t self care for you. Choose wisely: select something you will genuinely enjoy, and something which will be a true “switch off”. Time to “park” everything else for a while and simply focus on YOU: on doing something you like whilst not even thinking about anything else…

 

 

In today’s society our day to day lives are such that we are forever being pulled in different directions. We have constant demands on our time, from a work ethic that (largely due to our digital world) often demands 24/7 availability, to children whose clubs and hobbies have become a full time job, to the “MUST DO” habit whereby we MUST fit in exercise/meditation/self development too. It can all seem totally overwhelming, & it can feel nigh on impossible to fit in anything else, but I promise you it is possible to carve out an extra 5 or 10 minutes in your day if you set your mind to it. It is YOUR choice, and it has to be YOUR commitment: if you make that commitment, the benefits to be had are endless…

 

THE BENEFITS OF SELF CARE

Giving a little back to YOU makes you feel less resentful of ‘giving’ to everyone else. If we’re honest, we’ve all been there. That feeling that everyone always wants a piece of us: the kids, your partner, work, neighbours – even the dog! It is impossible to achieve this without some degree of resentment unless we find a way to give a little back to us too.

Breathing space: time to “switch off”. In a society of constant demands – from the “ping” and “woosh” of notifications on our phone, to the endless stream of info for our kids activities – the chance to “switch off” or “unplug” for a while becomes a luxury. It is a NECESSARY luxury: one we need to make time for.

Welcome release from from mind chatter. The idea of “mind chatter” goes back to the Buddhist concept of “monkey mind”. Buddhists observed the never ending restlessness of a monkey and compared this to our own restless minds. Our minds are never still, (it is believed humans have around fifty thousand separate thoughts each day), and when this is added to the stresses of modern day society, we can see how real a NEED we have for this release.

Improved health. Taking time out for ourselves will enhance both physical and mental health. When we are forever “on the run” our bodies and our minds feel the pressure. Both end up “running on empty” and this can lead at best to feeling a little run down, and at worst to burnout.

Lowered stress levels. If we are a little clever about which activities we choose as self care, we can succeed in significantly lowering stress levels (see below).

A chance to be mindful. There is a very good reason why “mindfulness” has become such a buzzword: it is SO very necessary as an antidote to what today’s world throws at us. But how easy is it to be mindful in the midst of our never ending day-to-day? Not at all! Giving yourself a few minutes each day for self care however can double up as an opportunity to be mindful as well.

Feeling better about YOU. Giving yourself a little time, a little kindness, equates to giving value to yourself. If we don’t believe we’re worthy of that, then we are really not respecting “self”: not awarding ourselves enough self worth. Committing to a regular practice of self care gives value to YOU, thus increasing self esteem.

AN EXTRA “PLUS”

An added advantage of elevating self esteem is that feeling better about yourself can be the first step to start to doing other (perhaps more challenging) things to make you feel better still: to make you the best version of you that you can become! So we’re talking the biggies like exercise and nutrition, which are themselves a hugely important aspect of your self care. If you start with simple “me time” activities such as those discussed above, this will get your self esteem back where it belongs. This in turn will do wonders for your ability to tackle the bigger challenges a little further down the line: just think what that might do for your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions, and your ability to stick to them…

 

HOW TO “UP” YOUR SELF CARE TO THE NEXT LEVEL

If you can include some activities that are more specifically related to stress management, then this will enhance ALL of the above even more. Some examples might be:

  • Getting out in nature (scientifically proven to lower stress hormones)
  • Practising “Belly Breathing”
  • Starting a daily practise of Gratitude
  • Starting a daily meditation or mindfulness practise

Once again, ALL the above are pleasant things to do: I’m not asking you to go clean the house, I’m asking you to find the time to do something lovely!

 

I am well aware that for most of us, the most challenging part of this whole article is actually FINDING THE TIME. I get it: I’ve been there. But I PROMISE you that ANYONE can find five minutes extra in their day. It is about prioritising YOU, and that is the very first step in self care. There is a wonderful Zen saying which states:

“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy: then you should sit for an hour”

…no more need be said!

HOW TO PUT ALL THIS INTO ACTION

Your first step has to be believing you are worth it, remembering your own self value, and therefore finding that time. The second step is COMMITMENT: make the decision that 2019 is going to be the year that you give back to YOU – and therefore to everyone around you. Write down your commitment to a self care programme, sign it & place it somewhere you will see it regularly. Tell other people about it: telling others increases accountability. Then jot down a list of activities that you consider to be true self care for YOU.

If you’d like to take it all a step further and to engage in a daily 5 minutes of stress relieving self care, then do grab my FREE download here. This is where the real turnaround happens. The guide will take you through a simple, manageable, step-by-step process to carve out that time and practice self care activities that will truly address your stress levels as well. In the space of just seven days you will start to see the difference, and THAT is the turning point: the point at which you realise that SELF CARE WORKS: that it is oh so very worth putting in that time. And you’re not thinking it because you’ve read my article: you’re BELIEVING it because you’ve tried it yourself, and you’ve seen the results .

 

HOW AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE BRINGS MORE OF WHAT YOU DESIRE

HOW AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE BRINGS MORE OF WHAT YOU DESIRE

This week I am thrilled to share a blog post by Amelia Critchlow from her own site SoulSpaceHealers. Amelia has been a guest blogger for me in the past, and I know you’ll all love reading more of her material…

 

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melodie Beattie 

This post will walk you through becoming aware of your thoughts and how to start focusing on the things you DO like in order to bring more of what you desire into your life.

SO, WHAT IS GRATITUDE?

Gratitude is recognising what you already have and acknowledging and expressing appreciation for it, through thoughts, words, and action.

How often do you think about what you have got versus what you haven’t got? And how often do you think about what you don’t like versus what you do like in your life?

We know that what we focus on we get more of, and what ‘we think about we bring about’. Therefore, watching where our focus goes (because that’s where energy flows), we become aware of our thoughts and what we would like to create more of in our lives. I call it conscious creation.

However, are we really aware of what we are most focused on and therefore drawing to us? All of us are energy hubs vibrating our own personal frequencies. The frequency you vibrate will be drawing to you the experiences you have in your life.

 

GRATITUDE NOW

Ask yourself; what do you love about your life right now? What are the things that are going well and you’re really grateful for? Can you list more than three things?

By thinking about what you do have you move your thinking and feeling from a place of lack and scarcity to one of abundance and fulfilment. By focusing on the things we are grateful for we also create new neural pathways in our mind and shift our energy into a higher vibration – knowing that like energy attracts like energy (we are all essentially magnets!). The best things that come in to our lives come from a higher vibration rather than a lower vibration. If you’re not sure about high or low vibrations, think about when you feel sadness or anger (lower vibration) versus when you feel happy or elated (higher vibration), accidents and negative experiences are more likely to occur in our lives when we are in a lower vibration state or mood.

Start now, today, by bringing your awareness into your life and listing out things you are truly grateful for. If you are struggling then ask yourself, ‘what could I be grateful for?’ (Tony Robbins asks this question in his book Awaken The Giant Within).

 

AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE JOURNAL

Find a journal or notebook you love (always has to be one you love of course!) and make it ‘Your Journal Of Gratitude’ or ‘Attitude of Gratitude’. Make it a practice to write in this journal as often as you can, ideally every day. List out 3 things at the end of the day that you are grateful for – it doesn’t matter if you write the same things down over time, this will just be drawing more of it to you remember 🙂

In the morning when you awake, lie quietly and think in your mind about the things you are grateful for and the things you look forward to that day – you will be sending a message to your mind to look out for good things and you are more likely to experience them.

You can also use social media to acknowledge and express what you are grateful for, demonstrating it on a wider level, whilst at the same time encouraging others to adopt the same positive habit too.

Then, in your journal, begin to note if over time your default focus is moving from lack to gratitude. Notice how more of the good stuff is showing up in your life. It’s important to make note of when you seeing good things showing up.

What you acknowledge in gratitude from today, (present), will begin to form your experiences for tomorrow, by focusing your thoughts on positivity and abundance we begin to draw more of precisely that to us.

**Remember you can always contact us at soul.space.healers to discover how to uncover your deeper sub-conscious beliefs with Theta Healing to see even more abundant changes in your life. Check out our soul sessions here.**

 

Amelia has also just launched the dates for her 1 Day Retreat – not previously run before! This is your chance to meet Amelia in person, learn more about Theta Healing® whilst getting creative and understanding more about how to manifest what you want in your life (and gratitude is a key ingredient!) 

5 WAYS TO MAKE A DEFINITIVE DIFFERENCE TO YOUR WELLNESS…& A GIVEAWAY!

5 WAYS TO MAKE A DEFINITIVE DIFFERENCE TO YOUR WELLNESS…& A GIVEAWAY!

A big thank you to Liz Shaw for inviting me to script a blog post for Shaw Lifestyle. My name’s Amelia Critchlow and I’m really excited to be here!

 

Liz and I bonded over Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic and sharing our approaches to stress management and optimal wellness – particularly when juggling a busy life and solo-parenting.

 

My own experiences with stress have led to lots of exploration and today I share what has worked for me: where I was (years ago) and where I am today are two very different places.

 

For many of us, life is hectic and busy; we earn, care-give and maintain ourselves and our homes too. Carving out time to care for oneself is VITAL – without it we can grind to a halt and our minds or bodies may stop functioning as well as they could, and it is only then we take heed. If instead we maintain a way of life that supports our wellness as a prevention rather than cure method, this is a winner all round.

 

 

MY STORY…

It was when I decided to return to study to complete an MA in Fine Art that I noticed I could no longer consume foods and drinks that once agreed with me, and discovered, like many others, I had become intolerant to gluten and probably the chemical overload in many of the foods we eat today. A journey ensued to find out why, (the GPs diagnosed stress), and to explore ways to manage this. Here began an exploration of ‘wellness’ in its entirety – uncovering key elements needed for optimal well-being. Moving forwards, this inspired my exploration of all things organic, and my subsequent training in Theta Healing and Soul Re-alignment and Coaching.

 

So, here is my own ‘to-do’ list of 5 things that really make a difference to wellness. Consider this an EXPERIMENT – this is what I do. It takes the ‘work’ out of it, and creates a sense of fun!

1. Create a NEW habit of eating and drinking well. It takes about 10 weeks of doing something different for it to become a new habit. Do it with a buddy to share top tips, recipes, accountability (or book-mark this blog & keep referring to it!): taking the right supplements will support the change. Go organic too. Reducing your chemical intake will reduce internal stress on your body. Take note of what makes you feel better – although detoxing can be painful at first, it feels amazing once it becomes a part of your daily practice. Drinking enough water is vital too. Buy a re-useable bottle and give yourself a daily ‘water goal’. Seeing yourself attaining a goal each day will be really motivating.

2. Do something creative. We are all creative creatures by nature. Whether it’s compiling your favourite music for a device, or clothes for your wardrobe, decorating, crafting, baking, playing an instrument, doodling, or DIY – this part of you NEEDS to be honoured. You will feel infinitely better. Take your diary and block in this ‘creative’ time. Make it as important as any other appointment – from dentist to work meeting. This encourages you to value YOU, and this feeling of value will increase the more you honour it.

 

 

3. Move your BODY! Body movement releases endorphins and is the best stress-buster. It moves your energy and creates a ‘state change’. If you are feeling angry, depressed, sorrowful or plain ‘meh’ – just try it and see what happens from 15 minutes of yoga, a walk in nature, a cycle, a swim, or dancing to your favourite song or two (whilst no one is looking) – whatever takes your fancy. Do this regularly and take note of any state or mood changes you notice, so you log and ‘see’ your progress.

4. Change your mindset and develop an ‘attitude of gratitude’. We know that what we ‘think about we bring about’. Our ‘state’ or thoughts carry a vibration we then exude, and like magnets we attract experiences that reinforce our state. As thoughts precede decisions and action it is these actions that then form our experiences, therefore it’s important to be mindful. Write down 3 things a day you are grateful for and notice whether more of these things start to show up in your life. Please note: new habits take time to form, so be gentle with yourself and keep going and experimenting.

5. SLEEP. None of the above will be possible in the same way without enough good quality sleep. Never underestimate how important sleep is. Bodies and brains both function better with the right amount of sleep (you will have a good sense of what is the right amount for you) and also unbroken, good quality sleep (avoid alcohol or the TV). This may be tougher for mothers with younger children and babies, and if so, invite people to give you ‘sleep breaks’. Again, take note of the differences you feel in your body and mood when you do this.

 

Treat yourself to a ‘wellness’ journal or diary. Take time to write in your ‘feel good’ time, your sleep, your creativity, your exercise and take notes of the before and after feelings. This will spur you on. Stick healthy and inspiring recipes in there, log your daily water intake, what exercise you did and over time you will marvel at the magic you are creating in your own life!

There are many other wellness tips, but these 5 are really key for me. Up to this point in your life you will have created the habits you have now. Consciously or unconsciously we continuously create thoughts and beliefs which inform our decisions and actions. If these become mis-aligned, we find we are inadvertently self-sabotaging our true desires or creating the ‘wrong’ outcomes in our lives. This is where Theta Healing is so valuable – with Theta Healing we look at where our ‘mindset’ first began, what thoughts and feelings we have about things and how these sub-conscious programs run our lives more than our conscious minds do! If you would like to find out more, or have enjoyed this post, please do check out my website; soulspacehealers.uk and check in with the giveaway below….

 

 

GIVEAWAY…

And so for my #Giveaway: I am offering 2 complimentary half hour consultations with a taster of #thetahealing included for 2 lucky readers. You choose an area you wish to focus on – something you may be finding particularly challenging – and we will work together on how we can address and shift it.

Please email me at: info@soulspacehealers.uk with one sentence about why you feel you would benefit from a Theta Healing session with me, and two people will be selected. Answers to be received by Monday 11 June and those chosen will be informed Tuesday 12 June 2018, and announced on the blog…

 

 

About Amelia: Amelia followed the traditional route of finishing school and heading off to University, and graduated with both a BA Honours Degree and mother to a gorgeous small daughter too! Years later, during her MA in Fine Art, health issues raised their head which meant a radical re-assessment of diet, lifestyle and attitude. A visit to a Naturopath, and training in Neal’s Yard Remedies Organics started the next part of the wellness journey and living a fully organic existence (wherever possible), which led on to training in Theta Healing, and currently Soul Re-alignment and Coaching. This has been totally life changing and the next ‘building block’ in a journey to ultimate wellness that embraces inner peace, fulfillment and tranquility in amongst this #crazy experience we call life.
Click here for Amelia’s website: https://www.soulspacehealers.uk/

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