mindful march : take care of your spirit
Wellness is not limited to physical and mental wellbeing. Somewhere at the end of satisfying workouts, meals that bring us nourishment and joy, and dedicating time every day to journal out our thoughts, there's a tiny bit more at the end of the rope that can help us tie everything together. That tiny bit is our spiritual wellness.
When we take time to care for our spirit, we take time to realign with our highest selves and our inner truth. Sometimes this can look like setting boundaries, sometimes it can look like meditation, sometimes it can look like practicing our religious faith (if we identify with one). At times it can feel like the most beautiful connection and at others it can stir up pain from our past that wants to be healed. Either way, spiritual wellness is what elevates us and brings us closer to becoming who God/Universe/Spirit/Allah/whatever-name-you-use-for-that-higher-power designed us to be.
The Internet has a lot to say about how to practice spiritual wellness and can range from going to church to going on a vacation. Yes, these are definitely forms it can take, but here are smaller ways that we can all incorporate it into our daily lives (that don't require a plane ticket).
SET YOUR BOUNDARIES
One of the strongest ways to get back into alignment with the highest version of yourself is to set boundaries with others. Set them in relationships, in your time, in your attention, in your work and in your home. It's learning how to say no to something instead of overextending yourself. It's honoring and prioritizing yourself instead of giving yourself away to everyone else. Boundaries communicate how we want to be treated/loved and they are a way to show up in our worth, because when we learn how to lovingly say "no" to others when saying "yes" does not serve us, it is in those moments that we show up for ourselves.
Especially now that Mother Nature allowed the arctic blast to dissipate, we cannot emphasize this enough - get outside. If you're feeling uninspired or unmotivated, get outside. If you're feeling tired and foggy, get outside. If your anxiety is kicking in and your mind is racing, get outside. If you've been inside sitting at your desk all day, get the heck outside. And in case we haven't said it enough, get outside. If you have the space for it, walk in the grass barefoot and practice grounding. Take a walk by yourself and do some breath work in the fresh air. Put your headphones in and listen to a podcast while you sit in the sunshine and rid yourself of your SAD (seasonal affective disorder). While we're not trained therapists, one fact remains true (in our experience): nature can solve a lot of problems and it's pretty freaking good at untangling a twisted up ball of thoughts.
MEDITATE FOR PETE'S SAKE
Mental health and spiritual health overlap on many fronts, and meditation is one of many. Like a lot of our bodies, our mind is a muscle. It must be exercised to remain strong and disciplined, and this is where meditation comes into play. This is how we learn to quiet our minds, to observe our minds instead of taking every thought seriously. In our experience, unpleasant thoughts tend to come from our ego - aka our human brain - who tries to keep us safe from the scary unknown. Its intention isn't to hurt our feelings or make us feel bad, but that's inevitably what ends up happening. Meditation is our favorite tool to use when it's time to move past the go, not take it so seriously, and tap into what our soul is telling us. Try starting with 5 minutes a day and see how it feels from there.
TELL YOUR INNER CHILD YOU LOVE HIM/HER/THEM
It is every single one of our responsibilities to work with our inner child and to move through any shadows/wounds we picked up in our upbringing. Our personal favorite way to work with our inner children is through a process of journaling and meditation with a healthy serving of visualization on the side. This one is mightily uncomfortable to do during the process, but oh my the peace it brings when you finally move through those narratives? You cannot put a price tag on that. Not only does it help us navigate our relationships with others more easily, but it also strengthens our relationship with ourselves. Over time, we become less reactionary, less triggered, less shameful, and more empowered and peaceful. When you feel ready to love on that little version of yourself, we highly encourage you take it at a pace that feels manageable for you because it can stir up a lot of heavy feelings you didn't know were still there. If you find that happening, do your best to breathe and journal through it and trust there is peace on the other side, for there is no way out but through.
What signs do you look for that tell you it's time to care for your spirit? Do you have special ways to nurture your soul? We encourage you to share them in the comments. As always, we're here to support you and love you in your journey of self discovery, reflection, and healing. We're all in this together.