What restores, energises you?
I know my focus for the new year needs to be on incorporating more rest and gentle ways of caring for myself. I’ve had a terrible year at work and am really feeling the effects. Can you give me some ideas about ways I can get more rest while still getting things done that I’m responsible for? Thanks so much. Leyla
Hi Leyla, firstly, good on you for recognising that your physical and emotional health would be better supported through more rest and gentle ways. Many people would benefit from this. The first thing I’d suggest you explore is what restores and energises you. This can be different for all of us. However, regularly finding space so that you can rest is one of the best health investments you can make. In today’s world being ‘‘busy’’ is often worn like a badge of honour; many people see rest as failure. So if you’re seeking permission to rest, here it is! Here are some ideas to help you incorporate more rest and restoration in your life.
WAKE 30 MINUTES EARLIER THAN YOUR HOUSEHOLD
While not technically resting, creating space in the morning can create an unparalleled sense of calm throughout your day. Rise early to make the most of the peacefulness morning brings. Boil the kettle and make yourself a cup of your favourite hot drink – find a comfortable spot where you can sit and ease gently into the morning. This is a beautiful way to set your intentions for the day and allows you time to wake without the interruptions and the hustle and bustle of early morning in your household. Do this for a week and notice how much calmer and more centred you feel before you start your day.
A 15-MINUTE MEDITATION BEFORE BEDTIME
Many of us have little to no transition into rest. We simply put our head on the pillow and expect to switch off. A simple meditation focusing on your breath is a way to ease into rest. Lie flat on the floor, yoga mat or on the bed, or sit supported in a chair, whatever you prefer. Bring your focus to your breath moving in and out of your nostrils. If you need additional help there are many wonderful guided meditation videos/audios available online. Use these as a guide to help you find what works for you.
PREPARE YOURSELF A NOURISHING MEAL
You can either see preparing your evening meal as a source of stress in your life, another task that needs to be completed or an opportunity to nourish yourself/ your family. Preparing a beautiful soup, casserole or slow cook can be meditative if you perceive it that way. Or pre-prepare meals or snacks on a Sunday when you have space to cook with calm. It is amazing how different preparing a meal feels when you consider it a vital part of your nourishment.
From the more introverted among us there is often nothing more replenishing than a good read. Fact or fiction it doesn’t matter – this time spent by yourself can be incredibly restorative. In the age where everything is available digitally you can’t beat picking up a physical book, having a break from screens and introverting for a while. Reading before bed is another wonderful way to help transition the nervous system into rest.
NOTICE THE NIGHT SKY
When you take the rubbish out at night, you might like to also spend some time outdoors and soak it up. Notice the moon and the stars or the cloud patterns as this can be so nourishing for your soul.
Support your health through the festive season by trying Bio Blends by Dr Libby, her new range of food-based nutritional supplements at bioblends.co.nz