Waking up to snow falling swiftly outside my window a few years ago, I rolled over to check my phone in hopes that I would be greeted by a text revealing that I did not have to trek through the winter wonderland outside my window and venture to work that day. To my surprise, my wish was granted – and I sighed in relief as I sunk back down into my bed, finally being permitted to take a day to rest. . .
It was the first day I was able to rest in months and I could barely move. Working two jobs that I was whole-heartedly devoted to left me with little time to care for or connect to me. In my state of exhaustion, I realized that I had been neglecting the most important relationship in my life – the one I hadn’t created with myself. I was in a state of doing and never took the time to slow down, soften and just be. In that moment I made a commitment to me; the person I often had the hardest time keeping a commitment to. My resolution was to reclaim my energy – to create time and space to care for and honor myself.
On my quest to reignite my energy and light I decided to go inward – to reconnect with my needs; strengthening my mind, spirit and body.
Here are seven ways that I reignited internal energy reserves:
1. Meditation – Engage in a daily meditation practice. Meditation allows me to let go of my roles and responsibilities and creates space to just “be” with me. Its through meditation that we become more in tune with our inner process. If you’re more of a “do-er” start meditating at night as a way to wind down and complete the day. If you need a little more inspiration to get your day moving, meditation can help set your mind at ease and gain focus for the day ahead.
2. Exercise– Daily movement is essential for well-being. Ask yourself if you are honoring your body’s need to move on a daily basis. Yoga helped me reconnect my mind body, breath and spirit. Most importantly it taught me how to breathe and to honor my body (my oldest friend) by moving with my breath every day.
3. Diet– Start looking at food as fuel. Ask yourself – what can I put in my body that is going to make me feel the best and give me the best results? Engage in mindful eating. I chose veganism because eating fresh, leafy greens, fruits and vegetables fill me with energy and light. I no longer crave foods that don’t support my physical well-being
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4. Relationships– Tighten up your circle of friends. Are you spending time with people who energize you or those who drain your emotional reserves? I made a conscious effort to spend time with friends who are uplifting, make me laugh until I cry and adhere to my desire to uphold wellness; mind, body and spirit.
5. Spirituality- Connect to a higher power, whatever that may be for you. Connection with something greater increased my capacity for faith and hope in all that I do.
6. Nature- Get outside. Spend time with mother nature every day. Whether it be a walk on your lunch break or a hike in the woods. Human beings are animals after all, and we require time to feel in tune with Earth. I feel most alive when I am breathing fresh, clean air surrounded by the beauty of our planet.
7. Reboot- Find something that you love to do. Do you love to draw, read, write, cook, sing opera, play an instrument? Make time each week to do something that makes you, you. I found that when I became curious about my interests, I found more of them and making space for them made me happier as I was getting to know myself.
In reclaiming my energy, I stumbled on a journey to cultivate self-love. I found pieces of myself that I had neglected for far too long. I found fuel to drive me. I now recognize the sense of wholeness that comes from linking mind, body and spirit. In 2018, let love go inward first – then we can be an expression of glowing energy and inspire those around us to do the same.
Author: Chelsea A. Hoagland, MSW, LSW – Footprints to Recovery – Substance Abuse Counselor