There tends to be a lot of clichés and different schools of thoughts, when it comes to talking about self-care, health and spirituality. For me and from my experience thus far it is pretty much straight forward.
I have always been a spiritual person, I have faith in a higher being. In the past two years I’ve taken responsibility for my health therefore I exercise and I try to eat a healthy balance diet, with a few cheats time to time of which is advisable. And recently I have discovered and have been practicing the art of ‘Self-care’.
Self-care: taking time to care for yourself rather than others. This could be taking an afternoon nap on a weekend, going to the Spa, reading that book that you’ve always wanted to but never had the time to do so. Self-care is about making sure that your Mind, Body and Soul are in sync.
BODY, MIND & SOUL, for me these three connect to each other; one cannot be without the other. And this is how I have come to understand them from my own experiences. Each person will have different experiences.
For one to have self-care and stay emotionally clean, one needs to feed the mind with healthy thoughts. It is important for one to nourish the mind with positivity ‘positive thinking’. As simple as it might sound, like most people I have struggled with thinking positively. I’ve come to realised once you think positive everything else will align it self and take its shape and course.
Doing something or an activity that you love is very nourishing to your mind and soul. Taking a walk at the beach, watching the sun set or taking a swim can be very calming to the mind and soul as well as the body. I do different things that are inexpensive to keep my mind active and positive. Painting and writing fulfills my soul and mind. When I paint or write my mind is transported to a place of tranquility. So make time to do something you love.
Just like the mind, our body needs to be fed with healthy foods that are rich in nutrients. Like I said, I have taken responsibility for my health, and I do watch what I eat, because I’ve come to learn, in my thirties I can no longer eat whatever I want and when I do eat whatever I want, I do so in moderation. I learnt the hard way that what you put or don’t put in your body, will ultimately affect your mind and soul be it positively or negatively, therefore paying attention to nourishing your body is key.
I’ve always exercised therefore it has never been an issue for me. I have recently taken up Yoga and I was so angry at myself at how long it took me to take up Yoga, I have fallen in love. Taking up Yoga has also taught me breathing exercises and the art of stillness. I try three times a week to shut myself in a room and sit in silence. I put on background soothing music and I sit in complete silence. I think about the things I have to be grateful for, as I take deep breaths, which help me, calm and focus on de-stressing and relax. Try it, I promise you will not regret it!
Through my experience nourishing the soul is about having faith in what you believe in, (religious or spiritual) and it can be anything as long as you have faith in and it brings you peace. For many feeding the soul is practicing religious rituals such as reading scriptures or participating in prayer, whatever it is, having peace with yourself gives you balance.
To be at peace with your mind, body and soul, you need to say goodbye to self-judgment and self-shame. Learn to love and appreciate your flaws as they tell your story. I’ve come to learn and firmly believe that everyone has a story to tell, don’t be afraid or ashamed to tell yours, it might just inspire or even save someone.
Be you, live authentically and in the words of my very good friend Jonelle du Pont