Today is international day of happiness and so far I am feeling good. I woke up early and got lots of little jobs out of the way before work, I wished everyone a good day, I meditated (or tried to), I listened to my Oprah Winfrey audiobook- all the things that set me up for a good day. Oh, and it’s sunny which helps of course.
So far today is a good day and I am thinking happy, positive thoughts and loving life. But I have to admit that there are also days when I do all the things outlined above, but then the downer hits and I find it extremely hard sometimes to lift that dark, heavy cloud.
You can start your day with the greatest intentions but you can’t always stop the negative feelings from arising. You can repeat your positive affirmations over and over, but sometimes they just don’t work. You can write down all you are grateful for, but still find yourself feeling gloomy for some unknown reason. That is ok. That is normal.
We are human and realistically it’s not possible to feel good and upbeat all of the time. That is just a fact we have to accept. Life is full of highs and lows, and it is meant to be that way. If it wasn’t, how would we know to appreciate the good times or even tell them apart from all other times.
Here are some of my tips for when you are having a down day:
1.Allow the feelings to come and go. Remind yourself that a feeling is temporary and when you are ready, it will lift.
2.Try not to dwell on negative thoughts. Remember that negative experiences are a result of negative thoughts in the past, so stop yourself from creating more negative experiences. Either force yourself to think positively, change the subject in your mind or just try not to think at all for a few moments!
3.Be grateful. It can be really hard to come up with a list of things to be grateful for when everything seems to be falling down around us, but trust me there is always something. Start with small things like thank you for my eyesight/ the clothes I am wearing/ my bed. I know you will find more the longer you linger.
4.Cry if you have to. It lets it all out and helps you to feel better.
5.Watch something funny, it’s an undeniable way to lift your mood. Laugh!
6.Tidy. A clear space is a clear mind. I know personally that the thought of tidying or cleaning can put me in a worse mood, but once I get started it genuinely makes me feel soooo much better. It’s like a fresh start!
7.Put on some upbeat music and have a dance. Or a sob. Or perform your own private concert. Music helps to clear the mind and releases good hormones. Before you know it you will feel less stressed and in a much better place.
8.Write it out. Or type it. You will often notice maybe 20 minutes or half an hour have gone by before you even realise, and all that is clogging up your mental insides is now splattered all over a page which you can delete, burn or save. Whatever you please, but the main thing is that it is no longer inside. It is like hitting a ‘release’ button.
9.Have a bath. Take time out to pamper yourself and prove to yourself that you are worth time, care and attention. You are worthy of love! Believe it and act on it. If there is no one around to give you that hug you need, then hug yourself. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Comfort your inner child.
10.Whatever you do, try and find peace somewhere. Whether its going for some fresh air, meditating on the beach or in your bed, or nipping to the bathroom for two minutes during a busy day to just breathe. Come back into yourself. You are a spiritual being having a human experience, once you come back into your mind and steady it, you can do anything.
Our jobs our focused around providing ways for others to practise self-care, and look after their body/mind/spirit. But do you get as much time as you would like to do this for yourself? A lot of the time no, right? But let me tell you why it is so important that you do!
As a holistic therapist, we are using up our energy to provide relaxing treatments for others and this can be such a great feeling. However, it can also be draining on our energy so it is vital that we make sure we have taken the time to look after our own energy for a number of reasons:
1. So we don’t burn out
2. So we are able to provide the best energy to our clients and therefore the best version of us and our services
3. So that we can stay in the right mindset to keep attracting abundance and success!
The holistic therapies industry can be a really busy one, and the hours can also be a bit scattered! But one advantage is that being self-employed we have a lot more say! In order to make sure you fit in the appropriate amount of self-care, it is necessary to set some boundaries. This can start with setting a start and finish time to your day and making sure you stick to it. Then you will be able to plan your self-care routine and know that you will always have time for it!
Here are some tips:
1. Have a set time to go to bed and wake up every day. This is a good way of improving your energy levels and helping your body to make the most of the rest you get.
2. Decide what you have time for. There is no such thing as not having enough time for self-care! You can always find time for what is important. When you give yourself a time slot you can then choose an activity that suits.
3. It is good to have a variety of things you can do for your self-care, and you will begin to look forward to them!
For example, you may decide to do a ten minute meditation every morning when you wake up and before you go to sleep, or take ten minutes to have a coffee and read in the morning before the busy day begins.
It is also nice to schedule some longer activities that you might do once a week or every two weeks, such as going for a massage, taking yourself out for lunch, or a lovely long walk on the beach.
Remember that self-care isn’t just about taking time out, but includes all aspects of a healthy life-style. When you deny yourself something that will make you feel better or be healthier, you are essentially telling yourself you’re not worth it.
So turn it around now and tell yourself:
My body is worthy of looking after with a healthy diet, lots of water and exercise
My mental health is worthy of my love, therefore I will openly write or talk about my feelings so as to release any negativity.
I am worthy of feeling good so I will think and talk about things that help me to do this, such as pondering over happy memories or making a list of everything I’m grateful for!
Now is the time to practise what you preach! Let me know what you like to do for self-care, and any tips you can share.