I always get excited when we've turned a corner in the new year. Now it's mid-February and we've had a taste of some warmer days, a groundhog has predicted a shorter winter, and we're experiencing ever-increasing daylight hours.
For me, these are all reasons to be inspired to do more as I'm eager to fit more into my day. Once the feeling of winter isolation has lifted, it's like I want to try to fit anything and everything in that I missed during "hibernation." I attempt to plant all the seeds of ideas left dormant for the past few months.
One of my personal assignments going into the new year was to intentionally "mind-hibernate" and to listen increasingly to my heart. This is my take on "self-care" and "self-love": I call it "heart-time."
It sounds counterintuitive to "assign" following the heart's intuition, but stick with me here. I'm generally the person that lies awake at night overanalyzing everything about how the day went, what I said, what I thought, saw, heard, tasted, smelled, touched. Just saying "no" to my brain is like some kind of bad shock therapy - it doesn't work.
So I let my mind do its thing and compromise by scheduling breaks for myself to be open, creative, and free from inner examination. I use these moments as mindful meditation to get out of my head and back into my body. I find that when I focus on the task at hand, away from distraction, I'm much more clear-headed, present, and efficient at what I try to accomplish whether I'm on heart-time or when I return to mind-time.
Here are some of the things I consider to be helpful to integrate heart-centered self-care into my day.
Get it all out on paper. I prefer to write at night, but there are some major benefits to stimulating your creativity by writing first thing in the morning. Try keeping a gratitude journal and gives thanks for each day's gifts, or honor your dreams and aspirations with some free-writing. Don't be afraid to explore some of your deepest-held fears - being honest with what you are feeling as you write is an important part of allowing your heart to speak.
Ever heard that if you drink a gallon of water a day you won't have time for drama because you'll be too busy peeing? This may be true, but staying hydrated keeps your energies flowing through your body while also flushing out any negative energies that are remaining stagnant. For heart energy to flow, it needs a clear path through the body. Make it enjoyable by finding an herbal tea you love, squeezing some lemon, or simply find a reusable water bottle that gets you pumped up about hydration. Getting a head start by hydrating right when you wake up can set you up for a great day.
Try to find a peaceful place without too much noise or distraction. Even sitting in a park or near water gives you a chance to feel grounded and connected to the earth and therefore present in your body.
Take a break from all the blue-light-emitting technology surrounding us. If you feel inclined to be still plugged in to the necessities (for me that sometimes means phone and email) at least take a break from social media.
Listen to what your body wants and choose from multiple styles and exertion levels. Weight lifting every single day or even daily yoga may not be optimal for your mind/body connection. Do the type of exercise your body craves in the moment, despite what you might have planned and draw your attention to your breathing and make time to stretch.
Want to do more to boost your energy level and immunity through the remaining winter months? Let's chat about how my coaching program can take you into spring and summer feeling like your best self!