Article from guest writer Brad Krause.
Practicing self-care can mean many different things, depending on your lifestyle and where you live. For some, it means getting rid of bad habits or removing toxic energy from their lives. For others, it’s simply a way to take care of physical, emotional, and mental health in the best ways possible, such as engaging in a relaxing pastime or learning a new fitness routine. And still others incorporate all of those things, ensuring that their mind and body are in perfect harmony.
The way you practice self-care is up to you, but it should have positive effects on the way you feel. You might consider learning to say “no” when someone is asking for too much of your time. You may decide that getting more sleep and eating a more balanced diet is the way to go. Evaluate your lifestyle to figure out what changes you can make that will benefit you the most, and go from there.
Here are some tips on getting started and why self-care is so important.
Sometimes seemingly small actions can have big, positive consequences. Getting a couple more hours of sleep per night and introducing more water and veggies into your diet can improve the way you feel and help boost your daily productivity. Make it a point to go to bed a little earlier at night and eat a more balanced diet, and see how much better you feel.
Make home a place of serenity
Making your home a place of serenity and calm is especially important for those with stressful lives. It will help you leave the burdens of your day behind so you can take a deep breath. You can do this by making a pact with yourself about not doing work once you walk through your front door—not even answering emails—and creating a space just for you that allows for your comfort and happiness. Paint the walls a calming blue, light a few candles, take a hot shower, and forget about the stresses of work. Decluttering is also a great way to make your home work for you.
Learn to say “no”
Those of us with stressful jobs or home lives know that being taken advantage of is one of the worst feelings, in part because it just adds to daily stress. It’s important to learn how to say “no” when someone asks for more time than you can give. Taking on too many responsibilities at once can be a huge factor in your stress level. If it’s happening at work, ask a coworker to shoulder the responsibility if possible, or have a talk with your boss about your workload.
Your diet and exercise routine can have a big impact on how you feel both physically and mentally, so it’s important to find a workout you can stick to as well as a diet plan that boosts your energy. Talk to your doctor about the right diet for you, especially if you’ve had health issues in the past, and think about the best ways to keep your workouts fun. This will keep you motivated. Swimming, gardening, and playing your favorite sport are all great examples.
Reducing stress and finding ways to boost your self-confidence are two great examples of practicing self-care; the details are up to you. Tailor your daily goals to meet your specific needs and talk to your friends, family, and doctor about how they can help.
Brad Krause graduated from college in 2010 and went straight to the corporate world at the headquarters of a popular retail company. But what started as a dream job soured quickly. After four years of working 15-hour days and neglecting his health, he decided enough was enough. Through aiding a friend during a tough time, Brad discovered his real calling-helping people implement self-care practices that improve their overall wellbeing. He created SelfCaring.info to share his own knowledge and the many great resources he finds on his self-care journey.
The Beauty of Naturopathy
Article written by Georgia Hartmann
Naturopathy falls under the umbrella term of Complementary Medicine - a broad domain of healing resources other than that provided by the current dominant health system. Complementary medicine encompasses practices including Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Chiropractor, Massage, Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine - the list goes on. The idea is that the minds behind these practices work alongside those behind conventional practices, including doctors and nurses, to allow for a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.
Naturopathic medicine combines herbal medicine, nutrition and dietary planning, lifestyle modifications, and other modalities including flower essences, iridology, tissue salts and celloids that prevent and treat illness. It is the art and science of medicine that uses traditional forms of healing combined with modern scientific knowledge.
As a traditional form of healing, the practice of Naturopathy is based upon 6 principles, including the healing power of nature, identifying the cause, treating the whole person, doing no harm, education, and prevention.
1. The Healing Power of Nature
Nature is both perfectly balanced and organized intelligently to create, maintain, repair and destroy matter. The body also has its own intuitive and sophisticated mechanism of healing. Naturopaths use the healing agents provided by nature (air, earth, water and sun), in combination with a clean diet, exercise, adequate sleep, relaxation, meditation, and an optimistic outlook, to promote and support the body’s innate ability to heal.
2. Identify and Treat the Cause
Underpinning this principle is the basic understanding that all illness must have a cause. For health to be restored and optimised, the cause or causes of the disease state must be identified and removed. This is an important principle in Naturopathy. Instead of merely placing a ‘bandaid’ on symptoms to achieve a ‘quick fix’, it is the role of the Naturopath to dig deep and treat the cause of illness.
3. Treat the Whole Person
Health and disease result from an intricate interplay of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, familial and occupational factors. Failure to address all aspects of health fundamentally ignores the complexity of the human being. As you may be aware, Naturopathy consults are often much longer than those of conventional medicine. This is because Naturopaths take a detailed case history that encompasses all aspects of an individual’s life in order to obtain a holistic understanding of all factors that impact our health.
4. First Do No Harm
As it is the Naturopath’s role to facilitate the body’s natural ability to heal, doing so in a harmless manner is an important principle. Naturopathic practice that respects the principle of harm-free treatment is traditionally noninvasive, and avoids the suppression of symptoms and the prescription of harmful doses of medicine.
5. Naturopath as Teacher
The word doctor has a Latin origin, meaning ‘teacher’. The power to eliminate disease and optimise health lies within the body. In this sense, the Naturopath assumes the role of teacher so as to educate, inspire, motivate, and encourage self-empowerment to the client. In doing so, the client regains power over their health.
Naturopathy is employed to prevent both the sequel of disease states and the development of new states. In a time where medicine is reactive rather than proactive, it is the Naturopath’s role to facilitate disease prevention. After all, prevention is better than cure!
With a holistic approach to health and disease, Naturopathy plays a vital role in modern medicine. By acknowledging and influencing each aspect of an individual’s life, a state of harmony within the body can be achieved; a state that is free of dis-ease.
I’m Georgia – You’ll find me by the sea in Sydney, Australia.
My love for Naturopathy began when my sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis – a condition of the female reproductive system. After numerous surgeries, the only relief she found was attributed to Naturopathic medicine. Amazing, right! I thought so. I now have a strong love for helping women overcome their reproductive issues.
Article by freelance writer Sally Writes
With the pressures of today’s society, it is very easy to fall out of touch with who we truly are. What with the difficulties of balancing work and personal commitments and harmful messages from the media that make you feel like you are never ‘enough,’ it is easy to lose track of your true feelings in the struggle to keep up. Luckily there are many ways to reconnect with your inner self. Here are a few to consider.
Mindfulness can reduce stress and help you be aware of your own thoughts, emotions and the sensations around you, thus allowing you to connect with your inner-self. Mindfulness is the mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. You can cultivate mindfulness through methods such as mindful eating where you really focus on every sensation of the food rather than wolfing it down while scrolling through Facebook. There are many books on mindfulness as well as free resources on mindfulness practice on the internet. If you feel you need some personal help, search for a mindfulness coach in your local area.
The world is finally learning the power of meditation. Across multiple studies meditation has been shown to improve anxiety and depression. Even mentally healthy people can benefit from using meditation to handle stress and promote well being. A less talked about but equally important benefit is using meditation to reconnect with yourself. By turning off the physical and psychological noise around you, meditation allows you to tune into thoughts that you usually miss and maybe tap into abilities you didn’t know you had.
Whilst these hacks aren’t as effective as a long term change, they can really give you a boost when you are finding it hard to hear your inner voice. Two of the most effective are taking a solo day trip to spend time in nature and turning off your phone to take a social media and communications hiatus for a weekend. Both of these activities are great when you are feeling overwhelmed because they forcibly quiet the background noise and give you breathing space while you recenter yourself.
Self-love is treating yourself with the same kindness you would a dear friend. Recognise and accept your inner needs. Understand you are human and make mistakes. For many people, getting to know and love your inner self is the final piece of the puzzle.
This life can be hard and keeping in touch with your inner self can be a challenge. However, it is work well worth doing. Moreover, these methods are enjoyable and add to your quality of life. Give them a try, you deserve it.
Article By Sally Writes
If you have just returned from a retreat, chances are, you feel more inspired than ever to make yoga a part of your daily life. Practicing yoga in the company of like minded people, under the guiding hand of a qualified teacher hones your technique, introduces you to the powerful benefits of mindfulness, and enables body, mind, and spirit, to awaken to the beauty and power of nature. Yoga is so much more than a pastime, however; it is a lifestyle, one that can bring so many positive effects to your life – including calm, greater strength and flexibility, and an enhanced ability to fight off anxiety. To take the magic of yoga to your own sanctuary at home, follow these handy tips:
Choosing the Right Space for Yoga
Not all spaces are alike when it comes to yoga, but ideally, all should be located in a quiet part of your home and have a nice flat surface, to enhance stability during the performance of asanas.
If possible, your space should enjoy a view to a natural landscape: a garden, water feature, or view of the seaside or mountains. A spot with natural light will also be handy when it comes to performing sun salutations, or for practicing yoga at the end of the day with the beautiful orange sun setting in the background.
Little Details that Create Ambience
There are many small, affordable details that can create the right ambience. These include a Buddha statue, an essential oil diffuser, and candles (which make a magnificent point of focus when practising mindfulness meditation). When selecting these items, try to stick to natural, healthy varieties. To reap the greatest benefits possible from essential oils, for instance, make sure they are therapeutic grade, and select the right oils (citrus for energising, lavender for calming, etc.).
As for candles, rethink those fragrant paraffin varieties that line shop shelves, and opt for 100% natural soy candles instead. Paraffin candles are known to release toxins when they burn, which can interfere with your and your family’s respiratory health. Soy candles are renewable and biodegradable and by purchasing them, you can help support soybean farmers. These natural candles have positive effects on health: they ensure that the air quality in your home is optimal, yet are as fragrant as commercial candles. Top scents for yoga include oakmoss, earth, and blue pine.
Stocking up on the Essentials
Ensure your space is big enough for a little altar (to set the mood), your yoga mat, and a booster pillow, which will help you with some asanas and exercises. If you plan on using this space for entertaining or being with family after your daily practice, invest in a piece of storage furniture that fits in with the rest of the room in term of design. If possible, use wood for flooring and furniture and by all means, fill your room with plants.
You can build a very exciting private yoga space with a tiny budget. Have fun shopping for wind chimes, essential oils, and any statues for your little altar. Remember that your room does not have to be perfect from the word go. Rather, you can slowly turn your small space into the ideal yoga sanctuary, where you can escape from stress and reconnect with your rich inner world.
By Guest blogger Sally Writes
Going on a spiritual vacation is one of the best ways to clear the mind, get in touch with one’s inner self, and achieve enlightenment. Every year, thousands of people go on a spiritual or yoga retreat to refresh their minds, with many travelling all the way to New South Wales to learn meditation techniques and reconnect with nature for a better quality of life.
With most people living a fast-paced lifestyle, it seems that the proliferation of mindfulness retreats seem to be timely as more individuals are seeking positive ways to reduce the stress of everyday life. Visiting spiritualist destinations around the world provides many benefits for those in need of spiritual, mental, and physical healing. Moreover, taking a trip to these vacation destinations can contribute to a person’s overall health and happiness as they learn to go on an inner journey and discover deep truths about themselves. Here are all the reasons why you need to go on a spiritual or yoga retreat.
You get ample time for self-care
Most people eschew self-care as they take on the demands of work and family, but taking some time to care for yourself is crucial to avoid burnout and restore your energy. Just having the time to meditate, pray, read, walk, or do nothing at all can do wonders to help you unwind and reflect on what’s truly important.
The Awaken Meditation Retreat in Byron Bay is a fantastic example of a spiritual destination that promotes mindfulness and self-care. The serene vacation spot holds mindfulness and meditation workshops as well as daily yoga lessons to help you quiet your mind, reduce stress, and have inner peace.
You become more mindful
Going on a spiritual or yoga retreat helps you become more aware of how your actions impact the environment and the people around you. As you grow mindful, you focus on the people around you and you find ways to improve yourself every day.
You’ll make healthy choices
Some yoga or spiritual vacation destinations provide healthful food during your stay, so your body becomes well-nourished as you feast on fresh food every day. Most retreats also prohibit unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking, and some even require you to go on a technology detox to get the full benefits of the retreat. By going on this type of vacation, your body and mind get a break from all the pollutants and toxins that you get from your daily environment and lifestyle.
You’ll look and feel better than you ever did before
Doing yoga, meditation, and eating healthy food will make you feel physically and emotionally better. You may find that your muscles don’t ache as they used to, and even your skin glows as your appearance reflects all the tender care that you’re giving your mind and body during your stay.
These are all the reasons why you should opt to go on a spiritual or yoga retreat for your next holiday. You’ll find that taking some time to reflect and care for yourself will give you the priceless gift of peace of mind, health, and happiness.
Next retreat in Byron Bay from the 18th to 23rd of February 2018.