Are you going through a rough time, feeling out of whack, or just want some tools to feel better in general? Here are five easy tips to jump-start your self-care practice and improve your general well-being.
1. Be in Nature
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”John Muir
Being in nature is an efficient healing source and a great way to start your self-care practice and quickly shift your mood. Go barefoot in your backyard and feel the grass under your feet. Walk in your local park and look up at the trees. Visit a garden and literally smell the roses. Notice the colors, aromas, and diversity of nature. On my daily walks, I’m reminded of the abundance of the universe, and it lifts my spirits and clears my mind.
2. Share How You Feel
“Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”Brené Brown
This self-care practice can be a hard one for many people who try to appear to “have it together all the time.” I’m going to let you in on a secret….NOBODY DOES! I used to be a master of hiding how I felt. But working with horses taught me to share my authentic self. Keeping your true feelings buried causes you to feel alone, which can lead to depression. Call a friend, family member (my sister is my go-to), or visit a therapist (or an Equine Gestalt Coach). When you share how you feel with a trusted confidante (person or animal), you instantly feel lighter, more connected, and not so alone.
“What a comfort is this journal. I tell myself to myself and throw the burden on my book and feel relieved.”Anne Lister
By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you have a healthy outlet for them to be released. It can give you a new perspective and it’s a powerful way to reflect on what is and isn’t working in your life. My favorite journaling practice is Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” exercise of writing three pages each morning. I love stream-of-consciousness journaling as a self-care practice — it allows me to download my thoughts and feelings through the pen.
4. Move Your Body
“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.”Carol Welch
Crank the music and dance in your kitchen, or go to the gym and sweat it out. Nothing gets you out of your head, and into your body faster than raising your heart rate. Even when I don’t feel like it, I make it a priority to exercise at least 20 minutes four-to-five times a week and I ALWAYS feel better and more energetic after this self-care technique.
“Suffering is due to our disconnection with the inner soul. Meditation is establishing that connection.”Amit Ray
Take five to 15 minutes each day to sit, close your eyes, and observe your breath. This self-care practice helps relieve anxiety, and connects you to your inner guidance. By meditating regularly, you develop the ability of observing your thoughts instead of your thoughts controlling you. I love guided meditations because they help keep my mind from wandering all over the place. I highly recommend the Headspace Meditation app for simple 10-minute guided meditations.
We ALL feel out of whack at times and by integrating these self-care techniques, you can experience more balance and increased well-being.
Article and photo provided by Devon Combs, Founder of Beyond the Arena and Equine Gestalt Coach (healing & awakening through horses).