Photo by gemsling
A note from Jamie: I had the chance last year to enroll in one of Lisa Byrne's courses, and found it incredibly helpful in my walk as a mother. She has a gift for empathy and encouragement-- backed with her knowledge as a holistic health counselor. I highly recommend you check out her upcoming course if you need to refresh yourself as a mom and a woman, and I'm so happy to have her sharing here today.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “self care?”
Most of us conjure images of bubble baths and day spas. Manicures or long walks in nature.
We don’t often think of self care as something that happens during the most demanding parts of our days...instead, we think of self care as what happens in our “off” times in life.
I believe self care needs to be redefined if it is going to give us, as busy moms, the truly restorative nature that we desperately need.
When we begin to practice self care throughout our days (and not just in special hours set aside for “me time”) we can begin to actually fill the well as we go along, we can care and support our well being in the midst of others-focused days, and we can find true restoration without needing to wait long stretches until we can “steal away” some time for ourselves.
In my upcoming course, Reset, Refresh and Radiate: Harmonizing our hormones for calm, productive and energized days...I’ll be exploring a whole slew of new tools that you can begin to use in your daily life as a busy mom to help balance your inner biochemistries, regain calm and clarity, and increase vitality and energy.
Here are the 8 categories of self-care tools that can weave into your days to bring in greater calm, energy and vitality as you go.
Photo by Rochelle, just rochelle
You eat all day, and every meal is an opportunity to support your body, mood and mind toward vitality and wellness. Most importantly as you learn to know what food “says” to your body, and how it influences your body- these healthy choices make a whole lot more sense and food becomes a tool to help shift what is off center.
You also can use targeted nutrition throughout your day to support specific systems that you know are in need of extra nourishment and care.
2. Herbal and Natural Supports
One of the amazing things about the earth is how perfectly it provides for your best health. Knowing how to use the wisdom of nature through different botanicals, herbs and superfoods can be a tremendous tool in creating harmony on many levels.
3. Breath Work
Your breath impacts how you feel and react throughout the day, as well as your actual physical biochemistry.
Did you know that you have sensors in your lungs that are hard wired to places in your brain which control the stress response and the calm response?
Did you know that shifting the cadence of your breath, even a few minutes every day can help your body self regulate its blood pressure and heart rate?
And did you know that learning easy breathing techniques can be one of the most powerful tools against your sugar cravings?
Breath is something you do while lying on a massage table and while managing an angry toddler- and having it at your disposal as a tool toward self care is an amazing way to stay centered and calm while managing demanding times.
4. Body Work
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The incredible thing about how you are wired is that your body, mind, moods and spirit all impact each other in an equal 2-way pathway. You can use your body to shift your mood. You can use your mood to shift your mental state and clarity. You can use your mind to shift your body and biochemistry (including your metabolism).
Using body work techniques that soothe and re-regulate the nervous system, control and balance your hormonal systems and support your digestion is a powerful way to bring self care in every day, all day.
5. Mind Work
Learning ways to self examine and shift negative thought patterns (which are tremendous energy drains) are mighty tools in the new self care tool box you need as a busy mom.
Moreover, learning to still and quiet thoughts effectively so that “monkey brain” doesn’t take over all day long is an equally important skill to master.
6. Self Awareness and Self Connection
An unexamined life is a great breeding ground for fatigue, overwhelm and stagnation. When you regularly (and even in the moment) use laser targeted ways to assess what is really happening within your inner person, you can use that wisdom to make choices that honor who you are and are in congruence with what you value and prioritize.
And that is a huge energy boost- to live your outer life in congruence to your inner truth.
And it is also not easy to do when you live stressed out and over scheduled.
What is transformative about bringing simple self awareness practices to your everyday life is that you begin to make more intentional decisions about how you spend your time, how you respond and interact with others and what needs to shift and change to bring in more wellness all around.
It is the groundwork for living a life that is inspired and also reflective...outward and exuberant as well as centered and rooted. True balance in motion.
7. Energy Work
Photo by janie.hernandez55
While it may feel as though you are a physical being...your actual physical body is mostly energy. You are, at the very core, much much more energy and space than physical stuff.
And so, working with your energy and helping it flow and grow and become strong and robust is a powerful tool to have as you go through your day.
The fascinating thing about working with your energy is that the practices are easy, quick, can be done anywhere, and are immediately effective.
8. Life Management
The truth is that when you begin to care for yourself, you begin to see how much you need to order your life around wellness. Rituals, routines, organization and scheduling becomes a tool that you can use intentionally and mindfully to help you stay centered, vibrant, and clear minded.
We all know that your outer clutter impacts your inner clutter. Using simple life management and time management tools to help you direct your time to be used in ways that truly reflect how you want to live is essential to mothering from a healthy place.
These eight categories are just an overview of the ways you can redefine self care as a way of living that supports your well being, balance and vitality while meeting the demands of your life.
Which of these tools do you bring into your life right now? Which would you like to learn more about?
If you are interested, I invite you to find out more about my upcoming course, Reset, Refresh and Radiate. It begins this Monday, August 1 and runs for 5 weeks.
Lisa is a women's wellness expert and holistic health coach who blogs at The WellGrounded Life and teaches courses and workshops on holistic nutrition and healthy living in a busy lifestyle.