Becoming Your Own Best Friend

Part 1 of a 3-Part Series

To mother is to nurture, to give freely of love and support with the only reward sought that of seeing your loved ones standing straight and tall and always facing the sun. The interesting thing about mothering, is that it does not require giving birth. Mothering can be done by either sex, whether married or single, childless or having several children. 

Even more intriguing, it is possible to mother ourselves. So, what does that look like? Well, the first step is to observe ourselves and become aware of how we treat ourselves. Listen to how we talk to ourselves. Become aware of our train of thought.

Thoughts have energy, thoughts become actions. Negative thoughts create illness, both in our own bodies and in the world. Negative thoughts destroy self-worth and prevent us from achieving our true potential. We need to notice the influences around us and consider whether there are negative or positive influences in our lives.

Like thoughts resonate with like thoughts.  We actually become the company we keep because we share energy with those around us. When we become aware of our own thoughts and energies, we also become attuned to the energies of those around us. We begin to recognize positive and negative influences and make choices accordingly.

It is a fact that anything the human mind can imagine can become reality. Look at all the wonderous things we have invented and accomplished.  Everything began as a thought, an idea. What thoughts are affecting our lives?  If we find we are surrounded by negativity, it might be time to seek a more positive and supportive environment to help change our own thoughts.  

Next, look closely at how we behave toward ourselves, how we treat our bodies. Are we treating our bodies with respect? Do we engage in activities that are known to cause harm, illness, and even death? This does not imply that we must just sit in a corner and never taste life. We can all benefit from adventure and daring activities in our lives, but they can be done safely, without undo risk to ourselves or others. 

Respecting our bodies also means balancing work with relaxation, getting enough sleep to refuel and rebuild the cells of our body and our brains. It means finding time to be still so we can find inspiration.

What about what we take into our bodies? Smoking, alcohol to excess, street drugs, overuse of prescription drugs, and diets of fast food, sugary drinks, candy, fatty foods, and junk food are all things scientifically proven to be harmful. Nicotine and sugar are highly addictive substances. They go right to the pleasure centers of the brain, in fact sugar has been found to be is as addictive as heroin. Sugar has no place in a healthy diet.

Overcoming addiction is not a self-help activity. It requires intense intervention, a support system, participation in a program to provide guidance and encouragement, and a deep commitment to become free. Although difficult and requiring lifelong commitment, escaping the chains of additiction can become one of the greatest triumphs of your life.

Check back in two weeks, when we will publish part two of this three-part series.


Health in the New Year

This time of year brings about a flurry of extra activities, many of which we are unwilling or unable to say, “No” to. Last year (well, actually last month), we discussed the ways various people celebrate during this time of year. Today, we wanted to offer helpful advice about how to stay healthy in 2019 and beyond. To read part 1, click here.

The additional pull on our (likely already) overscheduled lives, leads to additional stress, generally compounded by lack of sleep. Stress can sap our natural resources, leaving us susceptible to illness. University of Birmingham researcher, Dr. Anna Phillips, warns that:

“A breakdown in usual routines, less sleep, more alcohol and immense pressure to be the perfect host can combine to create a very real risk of Christmas making people ill.” 

Illness

This time of year brings about a flurry of extra activities, many of which we are unwilling or unable to say, “No” to. The additional pull on our (likely already) over-scheduled lives, leads to additional stress, generally compounded by lack of sleep. Stress can sap our natural resources, leaving us susceptible to illness.

It’s a good idea to sit down and make a list of activities you really don’t want to miss, and those which you are alright eliminating from your schedule this season. This ensures that the activities you do participate in are ones that you really enjoy, and, by not overscheduling yourself, you are better able to fully experience them – stress-free!

Unhealthy Diet

Unless you are the picture of restraint, everybody indulges a bit more during the Christmas and holiday season. Each event we attend has platters heaped with scrumptious treats, and most of us attend a ton of events during this season. 

University of Birmingham researcher, Dr. Anna Phillips, warns that, “A breakdown in usual routines, less sleep, more alcohol and immense pressure to be the perfect host can combine to create a very real risk of Christmas making people ill.” 

Additionally, the added load on our schedules, leaves less time than usual for fitness.

This disruption to our fitness routine, combined with our loosened diets, can do real damage to our bodies. As I stated in my last blog post, the average person puts on between 1 and 4 lbs. each holiday season, and most do not go on to lose the extra weight afterward.

Mindfulness and preplanning go a long way toward helping you successfully navigate the holiday treats. Moderation really can be the key to helping you enjoy the seasonal treats, without the extra weight. 

When you are doing your Christmas shopping, park as far away from the entrance as possible, forcing you to get some extra walking in, and freeing you from competing for the “prime” spots.

Poor Mental Health

The winter holidays and Christmas are a joyous, warm, wonderful time of the year, but for many, they are also filled with painful reminders of dreams, and loved ones we’ve lost. While the message of Christmas and the other holidays around the winter season is one of hope and joy, the heart wrenching emptiness felt at the loss of a loved one, can make it difficult to feel that hope, let alone celebrate it.

Guard Your Mental Health with Mindfulness

It may be helpful to participate in charity events during this season; sometimes putting the focus on others (and their needs) can distract us from our own pain. For some, continuing with favorite traditions is a soothing comfort.

Whatever gatherings, ceremonies, celebrations, and traditions in which you participate, I want to wish you a healthy and joyous holiday season. And, if you need a little restart, feel free to contact me for assistance with your wellness journey.