Caring for Others — Caring for SELF
Working in the Energy Medicine field can be taxing on our mind and body. We are often working with others' energies while trying to keep our own in balance, which is no easy feat. We can be overrun with obligations, focused on many different things throughout the day, and stressing over whether or not our paycheck will pay all of the bills that month. It's a field where taking care of others seems to be in the forefront of our minds, but at the end of the day, we also have to remember to take care of ourselves.
Taking care of yourself can be as simple as doing an activity that you enjoy once per day or taking time to yourself for some peace and quiet. It's important to not get lost in the motions of the day and to remember that you, as an individual, need attention and care yourself.
Here are a few ways to make sure that self-care is incorporated into your daily schedule:
1. Get Out and Enjoy the Scenery
Connecting with nature is an excellent way to ground yourself and to take yourself out of an office and into a place full of beauty and vibrant life. Being pent up in an office all day is no way to live; you need to get out in nature to remember what exists beyond the four walls of your business. A simple 5-10 minute walk can reconnect you with the earth and allow your mind to take a break and enjoy the scenery around you.
You can also remove your shoes and practice "earthing" by allowing the soles of your feet to come into direct contact with the earth's surface — thereby opening yourself up to the earth's energy and its ability to restore, stabilize, harmonize, and heal your body. This practice can boost self-healing mechanisms, improve sleep, and enhance calmness.1 A perfect time to do this would be between meetings or appointments, or after a long day when you get home. It's something you can do right in your own backyard!
2. Practicing Mindfulness
A lot of time stress and anxiety can come from being too focused on what comes next instead of being focused on the present moment. By focusing on the present, you are not worried about the future. You are not worried about anything. As things are added to your schedule throughout the day or you worry about getting everything done on time, try using a mindfulness meditation to slow it all down a bit.
In order to do this, take yourself to a quiet place where you can be free of distraction for a few moments. Then do the following:Sit straight up on a chair or sit on the floor with your legs crossed.
Focus on your breathing and notice the air flowing into and out of your body — tune into your senses.
The point of this is to train your mind to stay in the present if you start getting caught up in the worries of what happens later. We can worry ourselves to death, and it can impact our work and productivity if we worry too much (not to mention our sanity and peace of mind). Staying in the present moment means only focusing on what you are doing in the here and now. Mindfulness is something you can practice all day long as you work.
We all have anxiety to an extent. Things inevitably come up and invade our mind space, which can prove to be quite the distraction when you are trying to focus on your work. When stress gets heavy, we can find our heart rates rising, our bodies sweating, and our minds having trouble focusing. A great way to reduce this tension and anxiety is by allowing ourselves to breathe deeply.
Deep Breath Exercise 2
Sit comfortably and try to keep your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and put your other on your stomach.
Breathe in through your nose from the abdomen. The hand you placed on your stomach should rise and the hand on your chest should move very little. The point of this is to make sure that your breaths are coming from your belly and not your chest, as you can inhale more fresh air through the abdomen.
Exhale through your mouth and push out as much air as possible while you contract your abdominal muscles — again, the hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
Continue breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Make sure you inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls and count slowly as you exhale. If you don't want to do this sitting up, you can also try it lying down.
We often take our breathing for granted and this is a powerful tool in calming oneself throughout the day. Slowing your breath = slowing your stress, and maybe stopping it completely! Give this exercise a try the next time you are feeling overwhelmed and see if it helps out.
4. Take a Break and Do Something You Enjoy
All work and no play can make for very long, tiring days. Yes, work is important — but so are you, and so is your happiness. It is important to take some time each day to do something that brings you joy that maybe isn't related to work. A lot of people enjoy coloring and connecting to their inner child. Energy Magazine provides a Mandala Meditation coloring guide which you can download here. Watch your worries float away as you create and entertain your mind in a new, fun way.
If coloring isn't your thing, figure out what is. Maybe calling your friend and catching up will spark some happiness in your day. Maybe you could take a lunch break at a spot you've never been to. Maybe you can sign up for a class that you've always wanted to take, or do a quick work out in between your sessions or meetings. The important part is not what you do, but just that you do something for YOU.
You can also focus on you once you get home. Take a nice, hot bath. Grab a book. Watch your favorite show. Cook your favorite meal. Do things to thank yourself for putting so much work and effort into your day.
The next time you are having a long or trying day at work, give these methods a go and see if they help you relax and get through it easier!
Care for yourself IS care for others!
- Sinatra, Stephen. (2017, May 30). What is earthing or grounding? HeartMD Institute. Retrieved November 11, 2017, from https://heartmdinstitute.com/alternative-medicine/what-is-earthing-or-grounding/.
- Robinson, L., Segal, R., Segal, J., & Smith, M. (n.d.). Relaxation techniques. HelpGuide.Org. Retrieved November 11, 2017, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/relaxation-techniques-for-stress-relief.htm.