Life can get really busy and extremely stressful and the less time we make for ourselves the busier it seems to get. As we allow everything around us to consume our attention and we take on more, we can begin to feel stressed and out of control and finding time for our own well-being gets put aside.
We do have a choice, keep spinning until we are so overwhelmed that we become sick and are forced to slow down or something happens that forces us to stop, OR we can decide to start making room for balance and finding a sense of peace and ease.
Creating a daily practice can be greatly empowering. You can start small with one simple practice and slowly begin to add or change things that will serve you in achieving a sense of ease in life.
Cultivating personal practices can be powerful for remaining connected to your inner self and cultivating your sense of purpose. These practices are an honouring of your self, acknowledging that you are as important as anyone or anything in your life, they ensure that you are able to show up without resentment and are able to hold space and have energy to share with others.
A daily practice helps to cultivate an inner strength and knowing. Setting dedicated time for one or a few of these practices gives you permission to create space in your life for you and creates important boundaries of respect for yourself and others.
Here are 8 examples of nurturing personal practices.
Write a daily gratitude journal
Acknowledging what you are genuinely grateful for each day cultivates a sense of joy and opens your life up for more of what makes you feel grateful. Focusing on the positive reshapes your life from a more open hearted and peaceful place and moves your perspective away from negativity and stress.
Take 25 minutes to calm and clear your mind with meditation.
Each day we are inundated with information, our mind is like a chalkboard being scribbled on all day until it is messy, confusing and unclear. When we take the time to focus on our breath and sit in stillness we provide our mind with the opportunity to clear so that we can process the necessary information with clarity and from a place of calmness. Since our minds are trained to shift activities every 15 to 20 minutes it’s a good idea to overcome this habit by setting a timer that allows us to sit for at least 25 minutes and allowing us to become familiar with shifting into a meditative state.
Go to a yoga class where you are encouraged to connect with your breath and being internally present.
Finding a yoga class that you can connect with may take some looking around. There are many types of yoga and many types of teachers, but there is definitely something for everyone. You might prefer a faster paced yang style class like ashtanga or vinyasa flow, or a more yin style class like yin yoga or restorative yoga.
Take time to write a few pages each day of streaming uncensored thoughts.
If you find your mind gets stuck on the same thoughts, you need an outlet for expression or are just looking to process life, situations or feelings, writing a few pages each morning of your first thoughts even if it seems like gibberish can be a great way to get flow back into your life. The Artist Way by Julia Cameron is a great book to help you start in this process.
Go for a daily walk in a park.
There is nothing like nature to bring a sense of peace into your heart, fresh air into your lungs and a lightening of perspective into your life. A walk can shift your state of mind, bring on fresh thoughts and ideas and bring a sense of connection you might be missing.
Take the time to enjoy creating a healthy meal.
With our lives being so busy and meals often being rushed, setting time aside to enjoy the process of creating a nutritious meal can be a nurturing gift for the soul and the body. Put on some nice music, admire the vegetables and their wonderful colours and shapes as you prepare them, smell the spices and tasting the flavours can be such an abundant and nurturing gift to yourself.
Set an intention each morning of how you would like to move through the day.
Gifting yourself with an intention each day can transform your entire experience. Perhaps its to meet each person with kindness, be it a stranger, salesperson, partner, kids, or lover, this will transform all your interactions. Or maybe its to say hello to people who you are walking pass, cultivating a sense of confidence and connection. Maybe its to notice the sky and the trees and the gardens as you move about it the city, allowing nature to become prominent in the mist of a concrete jungle. Intentions have the power to shift perspectives and therefore your overall experience.
Gift yourself a shiatsu every week or two.
Zen Shiatsu is great for balancing, reducing stress and reconnecting with your center. Zen shiatsu is extremely gentle and results in a very, deep state of relaxation that enables the body’s own healing powers to circulate.