“You cannot cook without rice!” A wise friend made this comment during a discussion recently on trying to work without resources, or the required tools. So true, I thought to myself. Unless the ingredients are present there will be no meal!
And then the importance of self-care came to mind. Have you ever tried to push yourself on and on into the night writing a paper for work or school, prepping for taxes, or any other urgent task with a tight deadline? It can seem so hard. Pushing, pushing, pushing yourself can be so depleting. Without an occasional break the work seems to get harder. An analogy may be labor during childbirth; you must breathe in-between pushing to sustain enough energy to bring new life into the world. By breathing or self-care, our energy stores are increased and the task at hand becomes lighter.
How do you replenish yourself?
Here are some of my favorite ways to bring calm and recharge:
- Close your eyes and call to mind a pleasant memory that includes fragrance, color, texture, taste, or sound. For me this would be recalling the smell of my grandmother’s sugar cookies fresh from the oven, the softness of my kitties fur, envisioning the melodic movement of waves, or the peaceful cooing sound of doves. Relish the memory for a few minutes.
-Engage with a pet. Goldy is probably feeling ignored about now anyway and both of you will feel better after a few ears are scratched or sticks are thrown and fetched. Studies have shown that interacting with pets can have a positive impact on blood pressure too.
- A walk in nature really can breathe life back into me. And if that is not possible, looking at nature scenes while taking slow deep breaths, or listening to my favorite music seems to free the tension and feed my energy stores.
- Sometimes nurturing yourself might mean asking for help instead of struggling alone with a problem. And being asked for help can really be uplifting to others too.
What might your “rice” look like?