Are You Burning the Candle at Both Ends?

If you could just sit quietly for a moment, close your eyes and calm your breath, what thoughts come into your head? If you could give yourself just 20 minutes a day just for you to recharge, what would you do? What would you do if time was not an issue? What would you do if you were expected to take this time for yourself each day?

Self-care is not a selfish thing to do. Did you know if you don't make time to take care of yourself, you will not be any good to those around you? If you are constantly going from one thing to the next, you run the risk of becoming depleted emotionally and exhausted physically. It is really important to give yourself permission to take this time to get back to feeling centered and grounded.

I have been making an effort to do this 3-5 times a week. My goal is to take 20-30 minutes each day to shut out the world and spend time doing something I enjoy and makes me feel alive. On days I don't practice self-care, I am running from one thing to the next and I notice I have somewhat of a knot in my stomach. It feels like a ball of anxiety and tension. Feeling this way raises cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol is a good thing when it comes to helping us through a scary or dangerous situation. It is our fight or flight response in the body. For example, if you are walking in a big city and you suddenly feel like you are being followed, your immediate response is to get to somewhere safe. The adrenaline in your body kicks in, which launches your energy into high gear and you do what it takes to get out of there. Once you realize there is no longer a threat, your body calms and the stress of the incident slowly dissipates. This is a normal bodily response. However, constantly feeling stressed and overworked on a regular basis can lead to all kinds of health problems such as digestive issues, depression, heart disease, weight gain, trouble sleeping, anxiety and brain fog.

I have noticed I am less stressed and have more sense of calm in my day when I make it a priority to do something just for me. Here are several things that you can do to help feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of your day.

  • Hot bath with a few drops of lavender or other calming essential oil
  • Read a good book
  • Take a walk in nature
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Dance
  • Get a massage
  • Sing a song
  • Good quality sleep (7-8 hours)
  • Breathing exercises
  • Favorite way to exercise
  • At home spa treatment
  • Dry skin brushing
  • Prayer or meditation
  • Journaling
  • Talking on the phone to a good friend or loved one
  • DIY shower body scrub (see below for one of my favorite recipes)

I encourage you to find something you can do at least two times this week just for you! Notice how you feel afterwards. Can you commit to doing this on a regular basis? You deserve it! For more information, contact Abby at 813-390-9181 or amason@thewinchesterinstitute.com.

Calming Body Scrub:

1/2 cup organic brown sugar of coconut palm sugar

2 Tbsp local honey or Manuka honey

3/4 cup sweet almond oil or jojoba oil

5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Mix all ingredients and place in a glass jar with lid.Transfer the amount you need to a BPA free plastic container for each shower.