Love yourself – You matter
I hear you say…”I love and care for my family and friends. That’s all that matters to me!”
My response… “You have forgotten the most important person. The one who really needs your care and attention, yourself.”
Are you receiving enough self-love? Take the test……….
1. Do others consider you open for business 24/7?
Are your boundaries being observed by others or do people call you at all hours of the day and night?
When someone calls, do you always answer?
2. Does the squeaky wheel get your attention, even when you know you need to replenish and renew?
Regardless of how exhausted you are, is your answer always yes?
3. Do you rush to the rescue even when you haven’t been asked?
4. Are you suffering from….
- a new or worseing health condition
5. Does your motivation for helping others centre around fitting in or being liked?
If you answered yes to any or all of the questions, please consider providing yourself with a bit more self-love. A bit more self-care.
The consequences of not loving and taking care of yourself can be detrimental to your health.
Self-love means accepting yourself as you are, warts and all. Truly knowing yourself and acknowledging your limitations.
Self-care, on the other hand, is taking the necessary steps for yourself, on a daily basis, to relax and recouperate.
If you neglect yourself, you will be more prone to stress related illnesses.
To those who answered yes to 3 or more of the questions, you are a care provider, a caregiver.
A care provider does not have to be a healthcare professional. You are one of the beautiful souls who truly cares about others. Perhaps, so much so, that you normally put the wellfare of others before your own.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, caregivers report chronic conditions including heart attack, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis at nearly twice the rate of non-caregivers (45% vs. 24%). Caregivers also suffer from increased rates of physical ailments including acid reflux and headaches.
If you are a caregiver, you are a precious commodity.
Please take a moment to really consider how important it is to nourish yourself.
If you become ill or incapacitated, how will you be able to support those who are dependent on you.
In an airplane, as a care provider, you are asked to put the oxygen mask on yourself first so you are capable of helping others in need.
Why? Because if you put the oxygen mask on another first, you may pass out, and render yourself incapable of providing help.
This same logic should, therefore, extend to your personal life. You need to nourish and take care of yourself.
Love through Relaxation to Release Stress
Your body holds your stories, your emotions. It is the body and, not the mind, you need to listen to.
The body is a highly sophisticed instrument that is always trying to find balance, health and wellbeing.
Everytime your body encounters a change of experience, no matter how small, it provides feedback. It takes in information through the senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch – and then it lets you know how it feels about the situation by providing you with a reaction.
- Butterflies in your stomach
- Sweaty palms
When your body reacts it hopes you are willing to listen and to respond in an appropriate manner.
Unfortunatley, it is not always possible, even when you are listening to your body, to stop and take that moment. Sometimes you are required to soldier on and complete the task at hand.
After the fact, your mind may move forward but, and here’s the catch, your body stores the memory, the emotion, of what has happened until it is cleared.
The body remembers, even if the mind has moved on.
These memories consist of an emotion. Held emotions create a stress on your body. Prolonged stress hinders your body’s ability to function and thrive.
Clearing your body of stress is only possible when the body relaxes.
How to Relax the Body
Relaxation and not distraction is required to clear the body.
Distraction is of the mind. Relaxation is of the body.
The 3 most popular ways to relax the body…
- Tai Chi
What do these 3 practices have in common?
The intention of all 3 practices is to get you out of your mind and back into your body.
Stress causes you to chest breath or shallow breath.
Take the test…..
This test is best done while you are standing. If you are not able to stand, please sit with your back straight and your feet on the floor.
When you are ready, put one hand on your chest and the other on your lower abdomen – below the belly button.
Take in a deep breath – hold – release.
Note which hand(s) move. If you are relaxed, only the hand on your lower abdomen will move.
Mindfullness asks you to stay present to feel your body.
It is asking you to get out of your head and into your body.
The body and not the mind is the feedback mechanism you need to listen to.
Being present means you are fully aware of your body’s reactions to your surroundings.
Some believe the mind is stronger than the body and, therefore, suggests we are supposed to discard or override what our body is telling us.
I can hear my father saying – “Just walk it off”. Regardless of the situation.
I don’t believe, walking it off, is in my best interest. For my highest good.
If you are unable to get in touch with your body, you will be unable to release the emotions you have stored.
Paradox – A word to the wise!
There is an inherent paradox to relaxing.
When your body is relaxed, it will start to release what no longer serves you. The feelings (emotions) related to the memories, the stories, you have been keeping.
You must be prepared to feel your emotions. To sit with your emotions for a short period of time and then to release them.
Emotions must be felt to be released.
This is why relaxation can be so hard for many. If your body relaxes, you will be forced to confront your feelings. The feelings that you have pushed to the side and burried.
Please note that relaxation techniques, such as meditation, are not for everyone.
Allowing buried feelings and memories to pop to the surface can be excruiatingly uncomfortable. Without proper guidance during the process, meditation or any other relaxation technique, may prove more harmful than good.
When I relax and the feelings start to emerge, this is the process I use to release the emotions.
- While feeling the emotion I say silently or outloud to myself, in this moment I am feeling_____________________.
- Still feeling the emotion I then say, I acknowedge, understand and accept this feeling of______________________.
- Lastly I say, I release this feeling of _________________________.
I know I have truly released the feeling when my body once again relaxes.
I go through a cycle of relaxation, release and then relaxation again.
The more often you meditate, the easier it becomes to be the casual observer. To feel your emotions without judgement allows you to release with greater ease.
Your ability to be a casual observer, non-reactionary, is such a valuable tool which can be used in all aspects of your life.
Special Word to the Women!
In women, I believe your heart chakra, the 4th chakra, spins clockwise.
For a woman, this means you are truly capable of self-love and self-compassion.
Love will only be satisfying when it comes from within. When you love yourself, you create a light which shines brightly on all you encounter.
Loving yourself is the key to your wellbeing.
In men, I believe the heart chakra spins counterclockwise, meaning men receive love and acceptance externally.
Men and women are, therefore, quite different.
I believe it is imperative for woman to stop trying to emulate their male counterparts, and to start acting and reacting to the world as women.
As a women when you act and react from a place of self-love and self-compassion not only are you healthier but, your family and your community benefit from your light. A light that cannot be extinguished because you have honoured yourself and truly love yourself.
I am a complementary care provider. I am not licensed Medical Professional.
All the services provided by complementary care providers are, complementary too and do not replace the prescribed treatment/therapy of a licensed Medical Professional.