Spring is in the air. New beginnings, new life, a chance for change and the merest promise of better things to come. I love this time of year!
Spring has a different energy, a gentle hint of excitement and a move to come out of winter hibernation. With it comes fresh ideas and maybe picking up on ideas that have been shelved.
With all this renewed energy we can feel a little left behind, not quite with it and a bit apprehensive. When these feelings strike, a great thing to focus on is how to look after ourselves.
I have been focusing on this for many years and I talk to lots of clients about the importance of putting our needs as a priority. There are many reason why this does not happen; we are conditioned as children not to make a fuss, we are often not encouraged to voice our opinions in a healthy way, or have experiences when this did not go as planned and so we learn to keep quiet. It is sometimes because we worry about what people will think of us and so we fall into the habit of attempting to please people so they will like us, be nicer to us, and want us around. There are many ways in which we can find ourselves, and consequently our own needs right at the bottom of the pile.
Once this is recognised through discussion and exploration it can begin to be addressed. This may involve starting to think about what we actually like and enjoy doing, what our own opinions are on certain topics, what we crave to do with our time, what motivates us and what inevitably will help us assert our needs.
Some useful tips are:
1. Spend 5 minutes each day deciding how you want to feel generally in life. Setting the standard for the day and giving your brain something positive to focus on. As our subconscious mind likes to find evidence of what we think, it will continuously throughout the day, present you with opportunities to prove yourself right.
2. Drink a glass of water before you do anything else. Hydration is very important not only to keep our bodies functioning well, flushing out toxins but also our brains are kept healthy – after all, the brain is 73% water.
3. Identify things that make you feel unsafe and work towards removing them. Admittedly, sometimes this can be a tricky one. It’s not easy in the first place to be so honest that we can name the things that cause us frustration and grief, especially if it involves people. Removing things can feel drastic but often it’s more like avoiding where possible, delegating tasks and working on our assertiveness.
4. Educate yourself on a topic i.e. the history of your town, or the place you were born. Learning something new, doing a spot of researching can be absorbing and so a good form of stress relief. It can also give us something else to talk about and spin off into other interests such as local history or your family tree.
5. Have a ‘no tech’ zone – bedroom or dining room maybe? This is so important on many levels. If you have teenagers in the house or if your yourself find it difficult to put your phone down, then setting this ‘house rule’ may be the way to go. It will encourage conversations at the table over food and give much needed down time at the end of the day. Scientists believe that the ‘blue light’ emitted form our tech devices messes up our Circadian rhythms so causing sleep problems.
6. Work on saying yes to yourself and no to others. This can be a biggie! How many times have you been asked to do something, go somewhere or put yourself out in someway and although on the inside you are practically screaming “NO!!” you amazingly find the words, “Yes, of course, no problem” coming out of your mouth. It is habit forming. It will lead to resentment and anger, apathy and maybe even depression. One way to help is to role play with yourself or someone you trust. Ask a question, watch yourself in the mirror as you form an appropriate response. This could be something along the lines of “Thank you so much for thinking of me however I am unable to do that for you/with you”. Watch your facial expressions, the way your mouth moves, see what the other person will see. You look quite reasonable, don’t you? Practice will help it come more easily in a real situation. It also gives your subconscious mind that ‘dress rehearsal’, knowing that it was ok and so will not bring in all the worry and anxiety normally associated with saying no.
I hope that you have found something of use here, if not, please feel free to contact me for a free, no obligation chat and see how I may be able to help you put that spring back in your step!