There’s a system of healing that I’ve used for the past few years. It’s called Ayurveda. It’s a healing science that is a sister to yoga – and it’s characterized by a wholistic approach to wellness for the mind, the body and the spirit.
Oil is considered sacred in Ayurveda — it’s applied externally and internally to the body to create health and wellness. There’s a saying in Ayurveda; “Oil is to the body as love is to the soul.” Both love and oil are essential for wellness in this system.
What’s my point? Well… when it comes to the health of your business, planning is like oil (and love) and it begins with you. Planning is to business as love is to the soul. It is essential.
Oftentimes, we become hyper-focused on building and maintaining our business that we easily forget to take care of ourselves — work-life balance and integration of self-care requires planning. Schedule it on your calendar. That’s how you plan for it. Otherwise, it’s not likely to happen. Think of it as making an appointment with yourself that you can’t cancel, no matter what.
As leaders and visionaries of our business, it’s easy to neglect ourselves as we build our company. That’s why on this special day of tenderness and affection, I encourage you to hit the pause button. Breathe, be still, go inward and lather up some love for yourself, from yourself.
Here are 7 ways to love yourself:
1. Take A Forest Bath
What I mean by that is take yourself on a gentle walk in nature. The Japanese call this forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku) and they take it very seriously. Check out this beautiful short video on forest bathing. Here’s a great wikipedia article on forest bathing explaining the health benefits of communing with nature.
2. Foot Massage
Okay, I am bit biased here because I recently experienced a foot treatment at VitalLiving Ayurveda Massage & Wellness, and it launched me into the blissful zone of the ethers. I was walking on clouds for days afterwards. Seriously, there should be a monthly budget for this. Move funds around if you have to. Getting nurtured and balanced by receiving a massage or treatment is a must-do.
3. Relax With A Book…
…and detox from tech while you’re at it.
Get off technology and read a tangible book. I have to remind myself of this one often because I work with technology on a daily basis. Bonus points if you can read near a fireplace, in a warm bath, or under a tree.
I’ve had this book, Finding Your Own North Star for about 15 years and never got around to reading it until now. Yes, I am a self-empowerment junkie. I love reading on the topic of all things related to human potential and peak performance.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to me — that is, buying a book and not reading it until many years later. But what’s fascinating to me is that Finding Your Own North Star called to me while I’m doing a home detox and dietary cleanse.
If you’ve never tried a cleanse or a detox, I highly recommend it. John Douillard of Life Spa has some great online cleanses as does my good friend, Barry Friedman, for anyone wanting to detox from sugar.
While on my detox, I came across this passage in the book:
“Anything from high-grade heroin to mild uppers and downers, like caffeine or alcohol, can make it difficult for you to get in touch with your authentic feelings and desires. The whole point of these substances is that they fool your body into believing you’re moving toward your North Star when you actually aren’t. The essential self’s physical signals go haywire in these situations, so if you want to find out what the ‘compass’ of your body has to tell you, detoxify first.”
Pretty cool, huh? Nothing like the Universe to reinforce your efforts, right?
4. Write In Your Journal
Writing in a journal is cathartic. It allows you to express your emotions. I have piles and piles of journals I’ve kept since I was a teenager and it is mind blowing to go back and read my evolution and path of self-discovery. If you haven’t started a journal yet, I highly encourage you to start one now. I promise it will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of professional and retail therapy.
5. Take A Yoga Class
Much has been written about the healing and balancing benefits of yoga. I started my yoga practice in 2007. Before then, I had only attended a few yoga classes here and there as a fair-weather student.
What inspired me to go deeper with my yoga practice was attending a yoga retreat with my husband in Mexico at Maya Tulum. We went there to celebrate our anniversary. As soon as I arrived home, I transformed one of our rooms into my personal space where I practiced yoga, meditated, and spent time alone reading.
I still consider myself a novice yogini, but that doesn’t ever stop me from practicing. Perhaps I will see you at Wanderlust in Tahoe this Summer for four days of yoga and music.
6. Warm Bath & Hot Springs
Epsom salt, essential oils, beeswax candles, (because the petroleum based ones are toxic) and Pandora tuned to Spa radio are the keys to a relaxing bath time. Need I say more? Bonus points if you can persuade your partner to give you a massage. Better yet, if you live near mineral baths or hot springs. Go there now! Your body will melt with gratitude. Warning: Hot springs and pools are addictive.
7. Spend Time Alone
Admittedly this one has always been a bit hard for me because I am wired for lots of social engagement, but what I’ve noticed is that the more grounded I become, the more time I yearn to be alone.
I’ve found that spending time alone opens up space for creative thinking and understanding yourself better – both are vitally important for success in business and life.
There you have it! Seven ways to lather yourself with love. It’s not going to happen unless you PLAN for it. So spend some time carving out some “me time.” Go make it happen and share what you did with me. I’d really love to hear from you.
Did I leave anything out? Are there any “Self-Care” experts out there? I would love to hear how you care for yourself. Please share in the comments below.