There are so many things to do in any given day.  Lists seem to grow by themselves overnight.  Most people walk around overwhelmed, stressed, and resentful of the many things they are responsible for in their lives.  People wonder when life got so complicated, and where all the joy went.  Many people feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on their “to do” lists.  How many people do you see in your day walking around smiling and relaxed?  The answer, unfortunately, is probably not very many, if anyone at all.  How often do you or the people you know take the time to relax for a moment  in the day, breathe, and  “stop and smell the roses”?  The Fall season is rapidly approaching and with it comes the ever present holiday season.  October’s Free Teleseminar is all about preventing the holiday blues, so today let’s start with one of the most important factors in preventing the blues… Self-Care

Self-care is a vital part of your overall emotional, physical and mental well-being.  This is not just about meditation, or deep breathing, though they can make a big difference in stress levels, but today it’s about finding things you love and making time in your day to do them.  Everyone has something, (sometimes many things) that they love, desire, have fun with, brings them joy, peace, pleasure, etc.  Sit for a moment and think about what you love.  Is it a hobby, an activity, visiting with friends, learning new things, meditating, reading a good book, etc?  What do you love that you don’t always make time in your busy schedule to do?  Breathe slowly and deeply and just allow yourself to take a moment and think about what it is you love to do that makes you feel good, happy, invigorated, centered, etc.  Let your feelings flow freely on this subject without judgments as to whether it’s something you’re good at, you haven’t done in a long time, you have no time for, or it’s silly or childish.  Just let yourself remember how good you felt participating in this activity or hobby.  If you‘re struggling with this exercise,  I would suggest that you stop reading this for a little while, and as silly as it may seem, go outside and find a swing.  Maybe you have one in your own backyard, or maybe you need to take a trip to a nearby park, but go find a swing, and let yourself swing for a little while.  (if you can’t get to swing, or you’re not quite ready to actually get on a swing, then allow yourself to sit back and remember—)  Feel the air on your face, and the joyfulness that comes from that flying feeling. When that swing gets going, and you feel like you’re flying, and swooping up and down, remember the freedom?  Remember the lightness in your body and mind?  Your spirit soars with you.  You can feel almost weightless, and nothing else matters in those moments.  This kind of feeling is what provides you with a break from your stressful, busy-ness filled day.  This is what it means to “stop and smell the roses”.  In the moments that you are actively present in an activity that you love, whatever stresses you have in your day or in your life disappear, and your mind, body and spirit truly lighten up and relax.  When we, literally or figuratively, stop and smell the roses, we are giving our systems a break from our stressful thoughts, feelings and activities.  It is exactly these breaks that rejuvenate our spirits, clear our minds and refresh our energy so that we can face our days, our challenges, our responsibilities with renewed clarity and a refreshed perspective.

Make a list of activities you love, or want to bring into your life.  You write down and keep appointments for meetings, doctor visits, important engagements, obligations, etc., and you MAKE time for these things. You also need to MAKE time for things that you LOVE!!!  If you feel guilty or resentful or exhausted and worn out when you don’t care for yourself, and you have little in your life that gives you pleasure, then you’re going to feel angry and resentful and worn out all the time.  If you’re afraid that you will feel guilty when you do care for yourself, then instead of staying stuck in what you know doesn’t work, it’s time to start incorporating things you love into your life.  (maybe lack of self-care is one of those negative behaviors that needs to be released—).  The guilt WILL dissipate as you discover that caring for yourself by doing things you love actually increases your productivity overall.  When we take care of ourselves, our energy is restored, we feel more alive and more vibrant throughout the day, and when we have something to look forward to it makes daily stresses easier to manage.  The things you love that you now bring into your day become your reward(s) for all you do and handle.  You find ways to reward the people in your life for what they do and for who they are, it’s time you learn to reward yourself as well.  In reality, making time to do the things you love is not just a reward; it’s a necessity.

You can start small with just a few minutes each day.  It might be a long, hot shower or bath at the end of a day.  It might be getting together with a friend for an hour one day each week.  Maybe you’ll choose to take a walk outside in the middle of your day to clear your head and breathe in the “fresh” air.  Maybe you’ll take up knitting or crossword puzzles or jigsaw puzzles.  It doesn’t matter what activity you choose, it only matters that you choose SOMETHING that you love and make an appointment with yourself where you add it into your life.  Look at your calendar.  Mark down the time and place for your activity.  Breathe in slowly and deeply and see yourself engaged in this activity.  Feel the smile on your face, the lightness in your heart, the ease of your breath flowing through you.  STOP!  BREATHE!  FOCUS!  This is what stopping and smelling the roses is all about.  Stay tuned for additional recommendations going forward to live your life empowered and fulfilled… and of course, join Carmel-Ann and me on Wed. Oct. 10 for our Prevent the Holiday Blues free teleseminar… Wishing you a great Fall and an enjoyable holiday season…  Loren

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