I have just come back from a long walk in the forest. I feel lighter than I have in weeks. I feel calmer than I have in days. I feel more emotionally balanced than in forever.
This last month has been hard. Hard staying mindful of and balanced with my healthy habits. A lot happened: a family get together abroad, a yoga retreat, friends visiting for a long weekend, a yoga workshop, my day job and maintaining momentum to keep working on building myself my own career as a health coach and yoga teacher. Hardest was my mindset throughout it all: last month brought out a lot of tiredness, doubt, fear, guilt, resentment, anger, frustration and negative self-talk. Conscious of it all, I was very intentional about self-care, yet often I ended up doing self-care actions with the intent to just tick it off from my what appeared to be a never-ending to do list.
I even came back from the yoga retreat feeling completely non-fulfilled and depleted despite the fact that the retreat itself was fantastic. Our yoga teacher was super fantastic and gave me lots of inspiration for my own practice, the food was amazing and I am hoping to share with you a few ideas I walked away with once I have regained my energy a bit, the location could not have been better on an old farm in Portugal in the middle of nowhere surrounded by pine and eucalyptus trees. It was heavenly!
Yet I had put so much pressure on myself to relax and chill out and make use of that time that I achieved completely the opposite. Seeing that the rest of the month was choc-a-bloc full with other commitments, I just did not manage to let go at all even though I spent time doing things that usually would fulfil me. My food choices suffered a lot in those last few weeks and did not help my sinking energy levels at all. One evening last week I even ordered take away pizza because I knew that I had to prioritize time with myself over nourishing myself with food correctly. That’s ok: I am over feeling guilty in such situations as I know that nourishment does not just come from what is on my plate, but also what else is going on in life. Yet, it felt like it was never enough!
Why was it not enough? Because I neglected one important bit: time with myself. Quiet time. Peace. Solace. Minimum sensory input. As friendly and outgoing as I appear I am actually more of an introvert and spending time with people can cost me a lot of energy, particularly if I don’t know the people around me at any given time well. Mr A Vibrant Life is away at the moment so I have dedicated this weekend to myself. And as I slow down, I am connecting more to myself again. Really connecting. Really listening to what my mind-body needs right now. This morning I had a very clear message to get up, have some wholesome breakfast and head into the forest. I started this day with a whole load of restless energy, feeling tired but wired. But then things changed.
My walk this morning showed me that I am slowly breaking through it all. I am breathing deeper. My thoughts are calmer. I have much less tension in my shoulders and jaws. It feels good! I will keep work to a minimum for the rest of the day, just spend time at home with myself, a hot water bottle, lots of tea, a bit of Netflix, a slow, energizing yoga practice later on and the preparation of some wholesome food for the rest of the day and a couple of lunches for next week.
Sometimes it’s difficult to slow down because there are so many things that need our attention. However, we cannot pour from an empty cup. Have you ever considered that you not looking after your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing actually holds you back from living your life from a place of truth and authenticity? I was reminded of this again this month and will use this long weekend here in Belgium to nourish myself more again.
So,over to you: what is it that you need to be doing right now so that your needs are fulfilled without your healthy habits becoming just another chore at the end of a long weekend?