Mindfulness & Self Care

Today is interesting. I woke up feeling pretty wrecked from my monthly cycle, but still have to mom, teach school and coordinate life for three other humans. As such, I am trying a gentler flow for the day. We will see how it goes as focus is difficult with all the distractions and feeling pretty wrecked physically.

For those who don’t know what it is like for women or who are blessed to have gentle cycles; a bad month can feel flu like with the aches and pains, along with your lower abdomen constantly cramping and a tight lower back that feels like you worked out too hard or lifted something the wrong way. This is accompanied by headache, neck ache, moodiness and the constant feeling of having to use the bathroom. Then there is the expectation that you are to keep performing at top level instead of giving your body the rest it needs at this time.

However, since the current structure doesn’t allow for days off when we feel horrid mindfulness helps save the day. By being mindful of how my body is feeling I can review my task lists and see what I can rearrange. Today, physical labor is off the list. I will focus on the tasks that are gentle on my body and if things go well get to bed early.

Mindful moment. I pause to breathe and listen to my body. What is it telling me? I hurt, I am tired, my sinus’ are bothering me and I am thirsty. Okay, how do I remedy this? Thirsty, that will help with the aches and pains if I am properly hydrated. One of my favorite drinks is hot water with honey, fresh lemon and fresh smashed ginger. If I am not in the mood for something sweet I leave out the honey. So off I go to put the kettle on.

Teaching my children has revolved around the sofa and my heating pad. We are taking turns between group class topic discussion and individual time. A snack tray on the kitchen counter to handle the kids nibbles means that I do not have to get up every five seconds to feed someone. Now, art lessons give them a creative outlet and a break for myself.

Self care isn’t always easy, especially when we have responsibilities. Utilizing mindfulness can tell us what we need. Knowledge of our life and stepping back to objective in what we really need to accomplish versus what we feel we have to do can assist us in managing our day. This will help us with responsibilities and self care. Balance is hard. Sometimes we need to take it moment by moment.

While learning to embrace mindfulness and self care it is okay to take things moment to moment or task to task. Give yourself permission to be mindful and practice self care while you handle your responsibilities. Incorporating self care and mindfulness will slowly begin to shift your perspective, which will create subtle shifts in your life.

Cheers to self care and mindfulness,
Irisa

Mindfulness as Stress Relief

Mindfulness as stress relief is something that I am immensely grateful for. Without mindfulness, I would be unable really hone in on the things stressing me out and resolve them.

This morning, I woke up with a headache, body aches, tension in my neck and shoulders and that awful, tight feeling in my stomach. Immediately, my thoughts went to worry and guilt over two things. Instead of wallowing and being upset; I decided to follow this awareness and see what it was telling me.

I made my coffee, grabbed a journal and pen and began to write how I was feeling. The main source of my stress was over the quote we received for a bathroom remodel. Okay cool, source acknowledged by why was that stressing me out so much? After all, this bathroom remodel is in the category of “this would be awesome” instead of “we have problems.”

I kept writing and asking myself questions. What the writing revealed was blocks and traumas involving myself, money, relationships with men, self worth and boundaries. It was very eye opening and I gave myself some time to then do forgiveness and gratitude work on those blocks.

The end result has been a decrease in body tension and stress. Awareness on personal blocks and a grateful feeling towards my mindfulness practice. Had I not been mindful to how I was feeling, I would not have recognized that I was having a physical reaction to emotional issues. The muscle tension and headache could easily been attributed to sleeping wrong, change in weather or the nightly blanket battle with my husband and dogs.

Let’s do a mindfulness exercise:
Grab your journal and pen or electronic device.
Get comfy and prepare to breathe.
Breathe in through your nose … one … two … three…
hold your breathe … one .. two … three …
Exhale through your nose … one … two … three…
Repeat
Repeat
okay, put pen to paper and take stock of how your body is feeling. Then check in on how your emotions are feeling. Write down what comes to mind.
We are simply practicing mindful awareness of our physical and emotional connection.
If you feel called to write more and follow this awareness, please do so.
If this was enough for you for today, then congrats on beginning the journey and mark you calendar to do it again tomorrow.

Mindfulness works in ways you may not yet imagine. It brings an awareness and clarity that cuts through the mental and emotional clutter. This helps us grow and heal as an individual.

May you find peace in mindfulness,
Irisa