6 Self-Care Tips

Rituals of self-nourishment are the invisible binds that hold our lives together, without them we begin to unravel and fall apart.

Self-care isn’t selfish – it is essential. 

In taking care of ourselves, we are better able to care for others. I like to think of self-care as filling our glass. When our glass is replenished our hearts become full. This loving kindness then over-spills towards others. When our glass is empty, we have little left to give.

Self-care teaches us to fill our own glass first so we can give others the best of us, rather than the rest of us.

6 self-nurturing tips you can begin to use today to fill your glass:

1. Set healthy boundaries for yourself and others 

I struggled with this concept for a long time. I was your classic ‘people-pleaser’ and found myself agreeing to things I didn’t want to do. I also allowed people to consistently disrespect my values, and forgave and forgave and forgave. But knowing when to say ‘Yes’ and when to say ‘No’ can be the difference between feeling aligned or feeling off balance.

Healthy boundaries are an essential part of self-care. When you respect yourself, your time and your health you teach others to do the same. You can still be generous and kind without becoming a continuous ‘go to’ or doormat for others.

Before you agree or disagree to something, sit with your feelings. Choose ‘alignment before action’ so that your response is authentic and true to your wishes. Be clear about your thoughts and feelings. Others will appreciate your honesty, and if they don’t – well they may not be the best company to keep anyway. Which leads me to my next tip…

2. Surround yourself with good company

I used to be too polite and scared of rocking the boat. Even if someone offended me, I’d still find it hard to say ‘no’ and give up my time for that person. Today, I am much more selective with who I choose to spend my time with.

It takes practice to navigate relationships. Each person we meet teaches us more about ourselves, our boundaries and our core values. At times, those boundaries will be tested. Release anyone who continuously disrespects your values, wish them well, and move on.

In time, you will learn to forgive and release any relationships no longer nourish you. This will leave you with more time and energy to cherish those that do.

If you stay true to yourself and maintain healthy relationships through open, honest communication, you will naturally surround yourself with like-minded people who emanate the true vibe of your tribe. Be the type of person you wish to meet.

3. Make health a priority

Health is wealth. We rarely realise how important our health is until we lose it. Many claim they lack the time or money to be healthy, yet squander precious time and resources engaging in activities that aren’t nourishing; fast foods, reality television, gossiping, retail therapy, working longer hours than necessary – these are just a few of the ways we ‘zone out’.

We are all guilty of indulging from time to time. Hey – who can resist an episode of The Kardashians? The idea is that we maintain balance and don’t allow unhealthy habits to consume too much of our lives.

Vow today to take better care of yourself. Eat well and nourish your body – hydrate it, exercise it, stretch it, move it and relax it. Your body is your sacred home – treat it well.

4. Trust your intuition and honour yourself

One of the ways we can honour ourselves is by trusting in our intuition. Our inner wisdom connects and guides us to our higher self. If we neglect to listen to our truth, we become unsettled, confused and anxious.

Honour yourself by listening to your hearts whispers. In doing so, you will begin to navigate life with more grace and ease.

To differentiate between your intuition and your ego, feel for the answer in your heart rather than in your head. You can tune into yourself more by engaging in peaceful activities such as walking, spending time in nature, yoga, meditation and by simply being with yourself.

5. Be gentle on yourself

We are often our own worst critics. For a long time, I’d beat myself up for not getting things perfect. Today, I much prefer to remember that it’s about ‘progress, not perfection.’ Life is rarely ever perfect, and mistakes will happen.

Promise to treat yourself as you would a small child. Accept that you will make errors and forgive yourself for any flaws. Speak to yourself in tones that reassure and uplift, rather than berate and chastise.

We are all here to learn and navigate life together. It becomes much easier when we practise unconditional love and compassion for all, including ourselves. So be gentle on yourself and others.

6. Laugh and play

Let us not forget that life is for living, so make it a priority to live, laugh and love a little more each day.

Life is full of diverse people and rich experiences. Most of life’s true treasures are free; embrace someone you love, sip on a warm cup of tea, dance like no-one is watching, crank up your favourite tune, walk bare foot on the grass, and belly laugh with loved ones!

You can nourish your soul by carving out time each day for laughter and play. Nobody ever on their death bed said: ‘I wish I’d worked more…’

Be kind towards yourself, and remember not to take life too seriously!

In love & light,

Hayley xx

What are your favourite ways to ‘fill your cup?’ I’d love to hear your comments below!

 

 

 


Love Is The Great Miracle Cure

 

Yesterday I wrote in my journal; “Tomorrow is the first day of Spring here in Melbourne. A time for new beginnings. Self-care and self-love is the focus for September…”

I spent this morning taking care of myself. I have learnt the importance of self-care from many great teachers, but mostly from the incredible work of Louise L. Hay. So off I went on my morning walk, stopping to take photos of flowers and to pet some dogs along the way. When I arrived home, I spent half an hour stretching my body and going deeper with my yoga and meditation practice, then I wrote my morning pages… I don’t always get to spend my mornings this way, but when I do, I feel so much better. I have more energy to give others the best of me, instead of the rest of me.

As I hopped online to beginning blogging, it was then that I learned the news. Louise L. Hay, one of my greatest inspirations, had transitioned this morning, aged 90.

Many will know Louise as the pioneer for self-love and the founder of Hay House publishers. Her book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ takes pride on my bookshelf, and is my go to book whenever I’m in need of a reminder of the power of our thoughts. Louise’s book has sold over 50 million copies worldwide and continues to bless the homes of many.

Today, as we remember Louise’s great work and the incredible healing she has contributed to our world, may we join together in love and harmony, and give thanks for her many beautiful blessings and teachings. Peace be with you.

“In the infinity of life where I am,
All is perfect, whole and complete,
I no longer choose to believe in old limitations and lack, I now choose to begin to see myself
As the Universe sees me — perfect, whole, and complete.”
― Louise L. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life

In love & light,

Hayley xx

 


Top Tips To Get Through The Holiday Blues

In the wake of the Christmas mayhem, we may find ourselves feeling run down and depleted. A combination of rich foods and beverages, seasonal stress and holiday overwhelm can all begin to take their toll on our wellbeing.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, so I wanted to share some of my top tips for surviving the post holiday blues.

1. Be Extra Kind to Yourself

Post holiday blues can leave us feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge. To avoid appearing like a complete misery-bags, we dawn a false smile in hope that no-one will notice. After all, it’s Christmas, we’re supposed to feel happy right? But it would be naive of us to think that just because it’s Christmas, all of our worries and frustrations will simply melt away. Granted, there’s no need to take our feelings out on others, but we can be extra kind to ourselves during the holidays. If you need some time out, go for a walk, take a bath, or nestle down with your favourite book. Allow yourself the time to do nothing. The holidays are as much about connecting with yourself as they are about connecting with your loved ones. Your family will much prefer you happy and rested over frantic and crazy! So relax, and go easy on yourself.

2. Stay Nourished

Many of us forget that the shops are only closed for one day over Christmas. We fill our cupboards with enough food to feed a football team for a week, and then end up gorging on left overs in the days that follow. It’s ok to loosen the reigns (and trouser buttons) a little over the holiday period, but as soon as possible, try to get back into a normal eating routine. Rich foods and beverages are devoid of nutrients, and contrary to what many believe, alcohol is a depressant. Too much is likely to prolong our holiday blues and leave us feeling despondent. So remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. If you really don’t want to waste all of that food, try freezing some. Or consider making up some food parcels to gift to those in need. You’ll feel much lighter in body (and spirit) for doing so!

3. Set Healthy Boundaries

We can often find ourselves overcommitting during the holidays. Before we know it our schedules are jam packed with outings, visits and gatherings galore. This can leave us feeling stressed, overwhelmed and cranky. It’s important to set healthy boundaries, especially with your time. If you want a day to do simply nothing, say so. Self-care isn’t selfish, it is essential. You needn’t explain your reasons, nor do you need to make up excuses. Be firm. You can communicate your wishes with love without feeling guilty about it. And you’ll also be reminding others that it’s ok to rest during the holiday too!

4. Spend Some Time In Nature

Nature is therapy. One of the quickest, fastest, surest ways to feel replenished again is to spend some time outdoors. Whether it’s a short stroll around the block, resting on a park bench, breathing in the salty sea air or hiking in the hills – there’s something about Mother Nature’s healing vibes that revive and uplift. Often the holiday blues has us cooped up inside, especially if we live in the Northern Hemisphere. But whatever the weather, spend some time in nature today and feel those holiday blues melting away.

5. Be Thankful

For some of us, the Christmas season can leave us feeling blue, especially if we’re remembering loved ones passed, or attempting to relive our childhood memories of Christmas. But just as surely as the seasons change, so do our experiences of Christmases past and present. We should try to release our expectations of what a good Christmas should be like, and instead focus on the things that we are grateful for. You might even want to write your gratitude list in a journal and read over it whenever you’re feeling wishy washy. Maybe you can  invite others to share one thing they are each grateful for over dinner? Focusing on the things that make us feel joyful and happy is a great way to shift our perspective and feel better about life.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in feeling this way. The holiday blues are a normal part of adjusting to the changes in our routine as well as the seasons. So be kind to yourself and others. As much as possible try to count your blessings and look for the small things to be grateful for. If you really can’t shake your blues, be sure to reach out to someone you can trust and let that person know how you feel.

I’d love to hear your tips on how to feel better about the post holiday blues!

In love and light,

Hayley xx

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Five Reasons To Love Yoga

I wanted to dedicate a post to the wonderful practice of Yoga. I have been venturing in and out of my yoga practice for almost 6 years now – sometimes engaging consistently each morning, at other times using yoga to cool down after an intense workout. However, it is only in the last three months that I have fully come to appreciate and understand the immense benefits of this incredible lifestyle.

Thanks to meeting a very inspiring yoga teacher who trained in India, I now know that yoga isn’t just a range of movements designed to aid with stress, relaxation, breathing and stretching (although yoga certainly does achieve all of these!) – in short, Yoga is a way of life.

Originating in India, the Sanskrit meaning of Yoga is ‘union’. It is through the union of mind, body and soul that we connect to divine consciousness (Brahman). Yogis believe that this connected experience moves us closer to liberation and enlightenment. (If the spiritual concept of yoga overwhelms you at this moment in time, do not feel discouraged!) For regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs, yoga is sure to leave you feeling happier, less stressed, more in tune with your body and your personal needs, as well as the needs of others. Here’s why:

  1. Yoga is a journey to the self. When we connect our mind, body and spirit through our practice (with the aid of the breath), we move closer to our true, authentic nature. By letting go of the demands and stresses of our every day life, we are given the opportunity to regain some clarity and perspective over things. Through this connection to our deeper selves, we begin to see improvements in many areas of our lives, from improved relationships with others, as well as the relationship we have with our self.Yoga-spiritual-journey
  2. Yoga improves our overall sense of happiness and well being. As we learn to disconnect from our busy lives – our moods are lightened, our ability to remain composed under pressure increases and we leave our mats feeling a greater sense of peace and calm. Not to mention the fact that your body will feel stronger, leaner and more balanced. Nothing feels better than the feeling you get from being in complete alignment with your self and your body. Yoga helps us to achieve this.i-really-regret-that-yoga-class-today-said-no-one-ever-811e8
  3. Yoga helps us to remain present. Much of our time is spent fretting over the past or worrying about the future. Yoga reminds us to breathe, to let go of the burdens of the past and the uncertainty of the future so that we can embrace the present moment. When we truly connect with our yoga practice, every thing else just seems to melt away. That feeling of being present can stay with us long after we have left the mat and can remain for hours, even days afterwards.yoga-present-moment
  4. Yoga teaches us about ourselves and the way we respond to life. Much of yoga is about learning how we react and cope with every day circumstances. How do we behave when we can’t hold a pose? Do we become frustrated? Do we shut down and give up? Are we critical of ourselves? Yoga is about becoming aware of our physical and emotional reactions and teaches us to work through them. In short, yoga can be a little bit like therapy. Stuff comes up that we didn’t even know was there – and when we leave our yoga practice, we can come away feeling much lighter having recognised and released some of the habits and blockages that have been holding us back.yoga-touching-toes-learn-way-down3
  5. Yoga is a great way to connect. Whether you prefer to practice on your own at home or to seek out a great class to attend – yoga connects us. Discovering a shared love of yoga with others is a wonderful way to meet like-minded people. Taking your yoga outside is a great way to connect with nature. Even when practicing alone, we are connecting with the divine. Yoga is just that – a union; of body, mind and soul, as well as a connection to the greater collective whole.

Namaste

Hayley xx

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