Six Ways To Find Stillness And Support Self Care
Posted on October 26 2016
Mara Branscombe has the kind of radiance that glows from the inside out. We connected with her on how true self care starts with getting quiet, reflecting on our innermost desires, and allowing time to rest. She believes (and so do we) that living your best life starts with listening to your body and your mind.
Her recommendation for the this time of year? Choose ourselves first and set the stage for growth by supporting and prioritizing our own health:
Creating space for new perspectives, listening to the intuitive call to action, and leaning into what nourishes you will help you flourish in every season.
Sounds easy, right? According to Mara, it can be, when you consciously invite stillness into your daily routines. She shared with us some ways to cultivate the health of your mind, body and soul this season by shifting habits and placing value on your well being.
Read on for Mara’s suggestions on how to find stillness to help you foster self care.
REST TO GROW
By creating space for rest and stillness in your day, even for a few minutes, your inner self can begin to express the emotional patterns and stressors that are negatively affecting you. Developing a calm awareness of your thoughts is the key to staying steady and on the mindful path towards your best self.
1. PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY
No really, put your phone away -- and do it at least an hour before bed. Imagine the effects on your mind when you beam light and information directly into your eyes when you’re trying to wind down. If it seems counterproductive, that’s because it is. Ask yourself: what am I getting from an extra dose of social media before I turn out the lights? Would I be better served by reading a book?
2. RELAX YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
Now that you have an hour of screen-free time, choose an activity that will further support a calm and relaxed entry into dreamland. Try reading a book, journaling, or a short series of restorative yoga poses to give your body and mind gentle cues that it’s time to chill.
Poses shown, from left to right:
1. Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana): Relieve lower back pain and facilitate positive digestion.
2. Sphinx Pose (Ardha Bhudjangasana): Relieve low back pain and menstrual bloating, opens the lungs, chest and shoulders.
3. Child’s Pose (Balasana): Release tension in the low back and hips and calm the nervous system.
3. START AND END YOUR DAY WITH MEDITATION
Instead of hitting the snooze button in the morning, hit pause with a 10-minute meditation. This will set your day off on a focused, supported foot, and push aside the frantic energy so many of us are used to in our mornings.
At night, access the same reflective state by repeating the same meditation. (Remember all that phone-free time you have now?) Calming your thoughts at the beginning and end of your waking hours will help maintain an inner peace all day long.
4. UNCOVER NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
Sometimes uncovering your negative beliefs about yourself is as simple as writing them down. The trick is to start shifting your mindset to the positive by reframing the negative.
CREATE SPACE FOR POTENTIAL
Just like pulling weeds from the garden allows our food and flowers to grow to their full potential, we can pull out the thoughts in our minds that are limiting us.
Try this exercise:
- Draw a line down the center of a page. On the left side, write down your top three negative thoughts about yourself. (This could be anything from “I am always tired” to “I am not worthy of love”: anything that makes you feel-less than-awesome.
- On the right side, rewrite your negative belief into a positive statement. (If you’re always tired, try “I can grow with more sleep”. If you believe you are not worthy of love, rewrite to something like “I love myself unconditionally”.
- Start with a new page and write down your top three positive qualities. Be generous with yourself: what do you love about yourself?