The word “sustainable” means- able to be upheld or maintained. How many diets and exercise programs have you started and stopped over the years? Be honest with yourself. I know I’ve tried a bunch back when.
Regular self care that is upheld and maintained over a period of time is like a bank account that grows with small deposits. You feel good about each deposit and the accumulated affect is always positive!
In the same way, daily practices that include body, mind and spirit become integrated in your health over a period of time. I’m 60 now, I’ve lived this! Hurray, I learned, and now can share this wisdom with you!
It is very true that fad diets, harsh exercise programs, and even austere spiritual practices will ultimately go by the wayside after a short period of time. There is no doubt about that. They become temporary fantasies of the mind for a “quick fix” solution or band aid to a problem or struggle.
Just for this week… I invite you to choose one practice from each of the categories below (that you would enjoy), as a way to create a “sustainable” lifestyle.
Most of the practices come from the Ayurvedic wisdom of healing, which has known for thousands of years that regularity, living with the seasons, and living in balance with who you are enriches the true meaning of sustainable. Of course, if you’d like to choose more than three feel free! Let it be enjoyable and focused.
Sustainable Self Care for the Body
Choose to walk 30 minutes either daily or 4-5 times this week outside in nature.
Consciously chew your food until it is mushy before swallowing. Allow your mind to focus on the tastes, textures and sensations in your mouth and allow your sight to enjoy the colourful plate you have created.
Consciously give yourself a massage with oil before you shower in the morning, or before you go to bed at night. Free free to add one of your favorite essential oils.
Sustainable Self Care for the Mind
Prepare a space in your home or apartment (if you haven’t already), to sit quietly and meditate and/or practice deep belly breathing. It can be 3- 5 minutes to start.Choose your special chair, candle, essential oil, shawl and personal journal for this space. There are plenty of guided meditation apps out there.
Spend five minutes every day doing nothing! No phones, no computers. You might listen to the birds, stare at your garden or look up at the sky ; daydream and breathe!
Plan something fun– either a day trip weekend or getaway to look forward to.
Sustainable Self Care for the Spirit
Put on your earphones and favorite music and dance in your bedroom for ten minutes with the door closed. (I love this)
Start a creative project– some examples: making collages of old pictures you’ve stored, cut out magazine pictures for a collage (no art experience necessary just scissors , glue and a canvas or board.) Take pictures of flowers or things that inspire you. Repaint a room or visit one of your favorite stores just for fun.
Do something consciously kind for someone else. Cook a meal, send a gift or reach out and say something complimentary and positive to someone (especially if they are someone you may not think you like).
As you create a sustainable lifestyle for yourself you will affect those around you; your daughters, your sons, husband, neighbours and even your extended community. When people start asking you “what have you been doing?” you can feel empowered knowing you have a simple answer that has truth and meaning. rather than a fad that will blow away like the wind.
It’s almost like the “apple a day” approach. And by all means, pass this blog forward as we as women are all healers!
I hope you begin to enjoy the sacred beauty of sustainable self care!