THREE MORNING TIPS TO ANCHOR YOU IN TIMES OF STRESS
This year is flying by for me. Having just got engaged, launched a new business (this one!), running another - Farm Star Living, and anticipating moving into a new house with my fiancé soon, there’s change all around me! It’s hard sometimes to keep up with everything that has to be done! In truth, I know I’m not alone and that we all may feel that way sometimes, but it doesn't stop me from feeling sometimes that I've just hit my limit! We’re human after all.
That’s why I have found having a foundation of self-care practice in the morning – and consistently doing things that are good for my mind•body•spirit, is so critical. This way when stress is at a fever pitch for me, or when I feel that life is moving too fast and everything is in overdrive, I can find a way to get back to center and feel grounded.
Having skills to lean into during these moments can be so helpful to get you back to where you are feeling more peaceful and .... ready. Ready for whatever is coming at you!
I started incorporating a me-time self-care morning years ago, and although it has changed a bit from time to time, having this as a steady daily go-to has been a game-changer. I can use these skills and remember the perspective I have gleaned from doing these to help me when days are a bit more stressful.
So, here are a few of the things I’ve found that make the difference in my life:
MEDITATION - EVEN IF YOU FEEL YOU'RE BAD AT IT:
Every morning, most afternoons and every evening, I listen to a guided meditation. Whether it's five minutes or ten, I love to just sit still and take a moment. I'll browse my app(s) and choose a meditation from different topics that might include ‘visualization,’ stress reduction, affirmations, breathing, relaxation, manifestation, ‘future self’ thoughts, and whatever other topic strikes my fancy. All of them help me refocus my energy and get me realigned with the bigger picture of life. Meditation recalibrates my nervous system (moving me from fight or flight back into a more peaceful one), helps me reconnect with my higher self, and even provides insight into things that I might be working through. As part of this, I am also listening to courses on things like 'boundary setting' or 'learn to pause before reacting,' or 'ways to declutter your mind and life,' and all of them help me grow.
I also have an Alexa, and I ask it to play yoga & meditation music as well, which is always so soothing and helps me slow it down. Having this practice over time has helped me get more clarity, focus, calm down when I need to, and I've been a lot more patient and empathetic.
I’ve tried different approaches of journaling but have benefitted from getting the thoughts down on paper. The idea is to really get it out of your swirling head and onto something where you can release it. There’s also something called Morning Pages, which originated from the Artist’s Way, that encourages you to write free flow for 3 pages - back and front. And, after you get all of the noise out of your head and onto the paper, you might actually channel something of a more spiritual nature. Julia Cameron, the founder of the Arist’s Way, said that she would have spirit guides share their wisdom with her, which she captured on the page. Whatever approach you want for journaling, the main idea is to just write something … and see what happens because of it!
TIPS: - You might like our new Live Grounded journal - great high-quality, nice band, embossed with our LiveGrounded™ mantra, pure white and offers inspiration, at least to me!
EXERCISE with Emphasis on WEIGHT LIFTING
Have I just lost you? Bear with me here.
We all know that cardio is great for burning calories, increasing energy and stamina, as well as just great for feeling healthy and vibrant. However, I really didn’t understand how much I needed weight lifting until I started needing physical therapy for certain issues - my hip, lower back, shoulder, in particular. The issue became clear that my muscles weren’t strong enough and were causing things to get tweaked and become painful for me. The doctor recommended that I start doing physical therapy, but I soon realized that I really just needed to build up my muscles.
Eventually I ended up working out with a physical trainer Mark Gates, and even though I might have started out somewhat ‘weak,’ it didn’t matter. I committed myself to consistency, and he reminded me that I’d get stronger and stronger week after week if I would just ‘show up’ and give it what I’ve got. And, I have. As a result, I’ve been building muscle, increasing my metabolism, getting toned, and feeling stronger and more fit. I can do more things in my daily life as well, it’s a really great feeling!
TIP: If you don’t have a gym, you can at least start with dumbbells and your own physical body’s weight. Yoga is a great alternative, and some like pilates, so the idea is do anything that will build up your muscles. Personally, so far I am really liking weight training to build and strengthen.
TIP: Left on my own, I wasn’t pushing myself to the degree that I needed to – even though I thought I was, so having a trainer has made all of the difference. I have been working with Mark E. Gates out of Anytime Fitness in ATLANTA, who has a gentle but motivational approach. For example, when I say I can’t do that, he’ll say ‘maybe other people can’t, but you’re not other people.’ And, I end up doing it. We all need someone like that pushing us!
If you can start doing one or more of these things – whether it’s a rotation between them, you’ll undoubtedly start to feel clear and strong – mind body and spirit, and that’s all part of leading your most healthy, vibrant life. Please comment below and lmk what other tips you like, and what I should consider as well. I’m happy to try new and more things!