Try these simple steps in caring for yourself with compassion......
Begin with the simplest of things! Whatever sounds good... something you've found nurtures you.... a hot bubble bath at night with a candle and soft music...getting a weekly massage or taking a walk with a friend ...
(1) Be in Nature.....We've been conditioned out of our ability to perceive miracles! Nature is full of them. We must honor the simple things that have been excluded from our lives, like morning walks to watch the sunrise, catching the moon in it's various phases, being outside to wish upon a shooting star, watching robins on a fence, sitting by trees and streams. These gifts of life renew our soul and our core healing energy!
(2) Take quiet time....at least 20 minutes alone each day in a quiet room, away from distractions, for clearing your mind, following your breath in meditation.
(3) Remember to BREATHE! This is the most basic of all bodily functions and the most "unconscious" one. Turn your attention to your body. Notice how often you might catch yourself actually holding your breath or breathing very shallowly. Allow whatever feeling is there to be experienced, breathing with it until you notice a shift. No need to make demands, simply attend, allow and respect.
(4) Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude.....We lead such privileged lives! Appreciate the beauty of the home you live in, where there are warm fireplaces, soft lighting and color-coordinated rooms. Be thankful for the food you give your body as fuel. Love the body that is yours. Consider where it came from and bless it.
(5) Keep a diet diary....for one week record everything you put into your body. Take a good objective look at it. How often do you eat, when, how much? Is this the kind of food that will build radiant health? Consider if your lifestyle and diet are consistent with your highest values and if not, seek assistance in aligning them.
(6) Love yourself! Begin to notice just how innocent and lovable you are. Stop the blame and the constant critical self-talk. Speak lovingly to yourself. Treat your body with the same care you would your pet, your car or your child. When you feel stress, take 5 minutes to give yourself a foot massage, put back the car seat and breathe deeply, reminding yourself of your value and difference you make in the lives of those you love.
(7) Make a happiness list...list 20 things that you find nurturing that are free or cost very little...Keep going until you hit 20, even it takes an hour! Reflect on this list and utilize it whenever you need a lift.
Dr. Sally LaMont practices in Marin County, California and can be reached at (415) 267-7679