Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Exquisite Self Care

"How do you practice radical self care when you feel pressure and stress?" This is the prompt from The Wisdom Bloggers Sisterhood this week. What perfect timing, Stacey Hoffer
Weckstein! As beautiful as spring can be, it is often a stressful time with pressure to get things done , start new projects, get in shape for summer and make plans for vacations, summer camp,etc.  Some of us even have birthdays/ new beginnings on the calendar! Then for some there is also the challenge of springtime pollen allergies. Yikes- definitely time to focus on how to feel good despite the stress and pressure. The key to dealing with stress and pressure for me is EXQUISITE Self Care that makes me feel good inside and out. 
 My most stressful time is spring; it is migraine/allergy season for me.
I had to learn to manage stress when  migraine headaches were controlling my life. Migraines for me were clear signals from my body that I was stressed out. The best gift from migraines was learning to be responsible for my stress levels (which in turn led me to learn to take complete responsibility for my happiness and my life- that is another blog!). I learned to avoid food and drink that stressed my body. I learned to reconnect with my body through music and dance. I learned to relax with coloring books and colored pencils and cutting out paper dolls! I learned that sleep is critical! I also learned how to manage my emotions so that I am responsible for how I respond to people and situations that challenge/trigger me.
My priority is to FEEL GOOD no matter what is going on in my life. Every Body is unique! Would any of the following work for you? Here is my list:
Easy first step for me- appreciate  beauty everyday as the spring unfolds. Here is the view from my kitchen window:
If you do not have a gorgeous view from any of your windows find a place you can easily visit - preferably outdoors. Fresh air and natural light are refreshing! If you are affected by pollen find out what works for you. I take small amounts of pollen and raw honey from local bees throughout the spring .

Take time to see the beauty around you- even if it is a small vase of flowers or favorite object or photo at your work space. We NEED beauty to support our good feeling energy.

Slow down! When we get stressed we tend to work more and attempt to get things done faster. Slowing down takes practice! No need to get everything done at once - prioritize - one step at a time. Slower is better! Focus -not multitasking -  is really more efficient (easier said than done- this DOES take practice!)

Have a glass of water- take a short walk- take some relaxing breaths! It's amazing how relaxing and energizing conscious breathing is. Ask your body what would feel good .

Take mini dance breaks - have some favorite dance music on your phone or on your computer. Most songs are about 3 minutes long. Move to the music and shake out the stress. My favorite prescription for stress!

Check in with yourself frequently to see how you FEEL. Feeling good is a CHOICE. Choose even one small thing about life right now to feel good about. If there are no choices- find some! Make a list of what lights you up- and choose one to practice in a moment when stress is mounting. Sometimes a brief nap will work wonders.
Limit your interaction with people who are a drain on your energy. Arrange to connect with them when you can be resilient and strong.
Unplug from electronics! Schedule time to be completely unplugged- especially in the evenings.
Have some essential oil to diffuse or to sniff from a small glass bottle -choose a scent that makes you feel good - whether calming or uplifting what ever you need at the moment.

Eat food that truly nourishes your unique body. Make sure it tastes fabulous!
 Make sure you are drinking enough pure water. Being dehydrated is stressful. 

Show up as your best self- a fast way to feel good! Wear your favorite colors, feel good in your clothes. Maybe wear some accessory you really love- even add a little sparkle-

In the evening take a scented bath or have a shower while diffusing your favorite essential oil. Wear your  prettiest most comfortable sleepwear -or just your gorgeous birthday suit to sleep in.
Go to bed earlier- read or listen to your favorite feel-good music and get a refreshing night's sleep!
All of the above are easier said than done. The hardest part is making the decision that you are responsible for how you respond to stress.It helps to check in with a friend, a personal guide or whoever will encourage you to actually begin and keep practicing whatever steps you choose to create your own Exquisite Self Care.
Please leave a comment and share what Radical/Exquisite Self Care  steps you take when you feel stressed and pressured!

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