“There is only – love.”
This picture was taken last weekend at West Wittering Beach, approx. two hours away from London. It was such a beautiful trip with astonishing nature and great weather. I love exploring the place I live in and since Corona, I introduced a new weekend routine (thanks to my friend`s kitesurfing inspirations) – to explore a new beach as soon as the weather (and safety) allows. Naturally speaking, England has amazed me with its beautiful coast lines, beaches (sandy and pebbly), and hiking trails. Besides its “outstanding natural beauty” (this terminology really (and eligibly) exists here!), I found out that these explorations nourish my soul immensely and keep me fulfilled, alive, relaxed. And this is what my blog post is about today – how to nourish yourself, to unapologetically choose #selfcare time, and also how to deal with moments (or people ;)) that are draining.
Practicing mindfulness, I have been aware of things, situations, and people that serve me well and those that don`t. Growing up in a normed society, and to some parts, also as a woman, we have been used to, unconsciously or consciously, please somebody else first than ourselves. Fairly, there are expectations to meet, be it at work or for your family. There is also a good reason to be guided by others` expectations, if it is, for example, for the benefit and value of relationships and friendships. It only seems that we may tend to overly think of others and their expectations / reactions / perceptions first, losing touch with ourselves – meaning what really serves us well and what supports our growth, wellbeing, and real personality. Examples include hanging out with people although they actually don`t vibe with us; doing something you don`t enjoy, but cannot say “no” to; scrolling on social media although we may know we feel bad afterwards.
This is a reminder that your time, energy and attention mean so much – they are actually your limited currency!
Think of money where we think twice (or maybe not ;)) what to spend it for – but how about our time and attention? Do we put in as much as focus and consideration who the people are we are surrounded by, what things we consume and welcome in our lives? Even if we control our channels, it is still another thing to actively choose time for yourself and do what nourishes you – e.g. spending more time with your loved ones, reading your favourite books or expressing your creative streaks.
There was a book interviewing dying people on what they would have done more in their ending lives – often it was having done more what they love.
Moreover, we often heard and may understood with our mind that all our thoughts, activities, and people define our life and satisfaction. Yet, we seem to follow others` rules than our own as if we were caught by some established patterns or we have not learned to listen to ourselves (first). I also like to remind myself that my day only has 24 hours and my battery only stretches to 100%. So what is really worth my energy and attention? (I also read that when we die, we actually see our entire life in revue – do you then not want to see pictures full of moments that cherished you?)
Let me share one tip when you have to deal with people that are draining – this seems to be a common situation we are in, esp. in a normed society. If you want to assess your friends, the key question would include – do they really want to see you as happiest as you can be? Do they genuinely celebrate your successes? Do they really make time for you to be there for you in uglier moments (and not to feel better because you don`t!)? Do your friends share a good set of your values and inspire you to further grow? While all these questions seem a lot, there are three good short question to help reveal the value of a friend in your environment:
- Before: Do you look forward to seeing your friend?
- During: Are you truly happy when you are with your friend?
- After: How do you feel after you have seen your friend?
Let me also share another “life hack” when dealing with difficult moments at work, e.g. colleagues that trigger you, overload of work, moments of deadlines and lots of external expectations. Here, obviously it may seem less easy to take some time off and think of yourself first – at the end, someone has to do the work, right? However, I also recommend to do what you need to do and this may not involve so much of your time – what about scheduling some 5-10min for yourself before work starts? (I meditate every morning to keep me sane. :)) What about 5-10min during the day to call your family / friends, read a chapter of your favourite book, do quick yoga or what I do – visualize my favourite moments in life (this is so nourishing!!:))?
My favourite part though is practicing mindfulness and building your resilience muscle.
When I encounter difficult or stressful moments, I remind myself to take a couple of deep breaths – when in stress, our body is alert and our breaths are more short-lived. Taking deep breaths helps your body and your mind to calm down. Also learn to accept what currently is and choose a voice that supports rather than judges you or the situation (i.e. adding more pain to the pain). Instead of thinking “Why is this happening again?!”, you can choose to think “Ok, this seems to make me feel annoyed, I seem to not like this at all, but how can I see this differently?”. As a bonus – you can send love and health to the person, who triggers you. At the end (I know easier said than done) – your inner peace and health is more important than resisting the reality! And who knows, what reasons may be there (e.g. someone may grief over the loss of a loved one, someone may just go through a heartbreak, someone may just worried about their financials, …)!
My last call for action is to conclude that we do not wait for vacations until we feel recharged, motivated and grateful again – we can always start with what we have. So it is up to you to see what you need to feel like you had a mini-vacation – notice the space of possibilities that is in front of you!
How do you nourish yourself before listening to others` expectations? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I would be very keen to hear your views! :) PS: Subscribe to my Newsletter to stay in touch for any upcoming posts and news :)
This week`s ...
Inspiration: Veit Lindau – Marry Yourself (How Radical Self-Love Revolutionizes Our Lives)
Reflection: What really nourishes me and how do I make more time for it = me?
Intention: Schedule time (from 5 to 60min) every day to do what really fulfils you – no guilt, no justification, no excuse. Try to introduce this valuable time (your currency!) gently to your precious life :)