In recent weeks we have talked about how incredibly important self-awareness and mindfulness are to building resiliency. Mindfulness is one tool for building self-care. As most of us know, self-care is essential to maintaining health and being able to respond to the ongoing demands around oneself. People often feel guilty or selfish for taking care of themselves over others; especially common in parents. We know, however, that if our cup is empty, we have little if anything to give to those around us.
Self-care includes mind, body, and spirit. This delineation is helpful, as a balanced approach to overall health can ensure we don’t overemphasize one area over others. Most of us have strengths or preferences in one or two areas and then the other areas either significantly lag behind or don’t get any attention at all. Self-care in any area is better than nothing; however, most times, one thing in each area is better than four items in one area.
To ensure self-care is holistic and intentional, it is recommended that people have self-care plans. Self-care plans are also recommended as part of a stress prevention plan, an organized way to stay on course. Since people’s brains are not able to access all information in crisis, this plan allows for the person to plan ahead to know which tools need to be utilized in order to respond to increasing stress.
There are hundreds of ways that people can attend to their mind, body, and spirit. Examples of self-care activities include:
You may have noticed that many of these examples could have gone in several if not all categories. For example, yoga positively impacts the mind as it is a form of mindful activity; however, it also strengthens the body. Additionally, some people practice yoga in a way where they feel a spiritual connection. The same is true for spending time in nature. People who spend time in nature often exercise to improve their bodies. Being outside is also a great opportunity for the mind to feel more centered and present, which allows this connection outside themselves to also become a spiritual practice. Participating in self-care activities not only keep our bodies healthy but also ready to respond to daily demands.
Doing a check-in with ourselves is essential before we decide on which self-care tool we are going to reach for. This entails silencing the body, centering the mind, and being present within ourselves. It can look to an outside observer like meditation, however, it is more accurately described as mindful awareness of our bodies. As you center yourself in your body, you begin to scan each area systematically. Where you start is less important as ensuring you scan each part of yourself. How is each area feeling physically, performing, and is this an area that needs maintenance?
Being aware of our internal world appears to be a simple concept but can be difficult to put into practice. The way Ajivar helps guide you is by continuously assessing how your body feels, what emotions are present and what you are saying to yourself that is keeping these sensations active. By being completely in tune with your body’s signals, you will quickly learn to accurately react to situations without taking them personally or even being upset about them. You will begin to see people’s behavior as neither positive or negative; rather, different than yours. You will have an opportunity to respond without judgment, from an intentionally, centered place within your mind and body. Can you imagine how much freedom and peace that would bring to your life?
To achieve this state of bliss, we need to understand everything that goes on inside of the body and mind in order to realize that we ALWAYS have a choice on how to react in EVERY situation. Again, tuning into the cues of the body, our thoughts and feelings are key.
Ajivar gives you self check-in tools with the AJ Guide asking you about your thoughts and body feeling connections. These check-ins increase your awareness over time to show how what you are thinking and feeling impacts each other. Ajivar also gives personalized tools to respond to the body’s needs in that moment. For example, you may get a recommendation to watch a meditation video by a lake as you prepare for an exam or presentation. This could have a significant impact on your mind and body allowing them to rest, repair and bolster your spirit as you connect to nature and whatever source that resonates with you. As you practice these small tasks within your self-care practice, you will notice an accumulated positive impact within yourself.
Has your organization implemented a self-care plan for its members? Self-awareness is important for running a well-balanced and successful business. Learn more at https://ajivar.com/