For me, the word mindfulness conjures up the same kinds of images that I get when I hear the word, exercise. In other words, I think “oh, no!” The truth is, when I exercise in any way, shape, or form, I feel good while I’m doing it and afterwards. It’s the same thing when I actually engage in mindfulness practices. So – I definitely need an attitude adjustment!
Mindfulness is a state of being in the present moment. It’s focus, calmness, etc. It’s definitely not self-put-downs or self-recriminations. Yoga and other mindfulness practices such as meditation, taking a bubble bath, being in nature, etc., are great ways to get into that calm, in-the-present mode of being. That’s where you’re at your best.
Self-care is not being self-indulgent. It’s not something that could be negative either. It means you take care of yourself to help promote better health. It’s something that helps you stay balanced. In fact, according to Google Trends, the number of searches for self-care has more than doubled in the past five years or so.
I think we all do self-care to a certain extent (and yoga and mindfulness definitely belong in this category), but are we really doing enough? For all of you helping people, you wonderful, loving people who would rather help others than yourselves, this can turn into a nightmare if you don’t learn how to do a balancing act between taking care of yourself and others.
Do you let others drain you? Do you put your perception of their needs in front of your own? If so, you can benefit from many of our course offerings on our Health and Wellness Online Teachable, whether you are a professional seeking continuing education credits or a parent or just a person who wants to be better informed.
Did I say yoga? Of course, I did – it is one of the best researched, and most effective ways to achieve mindfulness and healing, both in the mental/emotional realm and in the physical body. Remember that old mind-body connection…it’s real and succinct.
Here are just some tangible benefits of practicing yoga:
Since self-care is an umbrella term of sorts – it includes everything, we need to get and stay healthy – this includes our nutrition, cleanliness, getting medical care, taking supplements, practicing mental health care, etc. It can even mean making our spiritual life healthy…after all, we are hard-wired genetically for spirituality! It’s all that we need to do to keep our balance in this chaotic world. It helps us manage stressors from a healthy vantage point, not from an unhealthy one.
Yoga is one of the best researched modes of self-care, and it combines strength building, awareness, and harmony or balance in the mind and the body. In fact, if someone thinks they can have optimal health in one but not the other, I will respectfully beg to differ! One helps promote the other. Together, mind and body, we are stronger in all ways.
There are probably over 100 different types of schools of yoga, but most include breathing exercises, meditation, and posturing or striking poses which help flex different muscle groups. Haven’t you experienced muscles and other types of fasciae getting knotted up? Or when you’re stressed out, how does your back and neck feel?!
It’s important to find the ways that work well for you personally, as an individual, as well as in your tight schedules, to be able to relax and unwind. I know the same to be true of exercise – I like walking but love to dance! So, try a few things and find out what seems to be most beneficial to you. Then practice it a few minutes a day.
And as always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!
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