The world is a challenging place right now; it is especially important to be gentle with ourselves, make space to rest, and do the things that make us happy. Self-care involves aligning the body, mind, and soul. The 5 pillars of wellness are keys to maintaining a balanced and healthy life.
Physical health helps our bodies stay strong and fit. Having a well-functioning body could allow us to have adequate energy to complete what we set our minds to do. Having a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding unhealthy habits, getting adequate exercise and adequate sleep; setting goals to nurture your body is well worth the effort.
Mental health is tightly intertwined with our physical health and is vital for us to enjoy life fully. While Life always throws us curves balls, we cannot control a lot of what is going on around us. Instead of feeling hopeless, we could focus on tuning inwards within ourselves.
Refrain Our Mindset
One way is to reframe our mindset to think in empowering ways. Focus on what we can learn from the experiences and in the present moment. Be conscious of our thoughts but try not to judge them. Recognize our worth and our effort. Always keep a grateful heart. All these will help us build the mental strength to keep going.
Breathwork and Meditation
Different breathing techniques and the practice of meditation could also be useful to help us stay focused and calm the chatter within our minds.
One of the breathing techniques is alternate nostril breathing that can be done anytime at any place to release stress and rejuvenate the nervous system.
To practice alternate nostril breathing:
- Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine.
- Bring your right hand directly in front of your face and relax your left palm into your lap.
- Bring your pointer and middle fingers to rest between your brows with your right hand, lightly utilizing them as an anchor.
- Close your eyes and inhale and exhale deeply through your nose.
- With your right thumb, close your right nostril. Slowly and steadily inhale via the left nostril.
- Close the left nostril with your ring finger so that both nostrils are closed; hold your breath for a brief pause at the top of the inhale.
- Open your right nostril and softly exhale through the right side; hold briefly at the bottom of the exhale.
- Slowly inhale from the right side.
- Keep both nostrils shut (with ring finger and thumb).
- Breath in slowly through the left nostril and out slowly through the right; Hold it briefly at the bottom.
- This is one cycle. Continue for up to 5 minutes.
When did you last sit with your own thoughts and emotions? It's crucial to be aware, understand and accept our emotions. We are only human and it is okay to not feel okay. Do you experience constant stress, anxiety, and depression? Do you struggle with self-esteem issues? Do you find yourself unable to handle stressful situations? Untreated emotional issues could lead to economic struggles, adversely affecting work and family life. If you feel like your thoughts and emotions are getting the best of you after doing all the self-care practices, consider working with a therapist or mental health professional.
Spiritual wellbeing helps us find meaning and purpose, connect us to ourselves and something greater, as well as adopt a set of values, principles, morals, and beliefs. Spiritual practices make you feel alive and expanded, help you cope with stress, and feel more grateful and compassionate. Thus, it can improve relationships and lead to greater happiness. It can look different to different people. What does spiritual health and wellness look like to you?
The pandemic disrupted our regular social lives and rituals, we are suffering from isolation and disconnection. Feeling lonely can cause anxiety, stress, and affect our general health. While we might be physically confined, we could still reach out to loved ones via phone, on social media, or on a zoom call. Taking online workout classes or other classes of your interest where you get to meet different faces is also a good idea. It may just take a click to feel a sense of belonging to the community again.
It is an immensely difficult period for us all, we want you to know that we are in this together and we are capable of difficult things. Thank you for taking care of yourself. This too shall pass.