“Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” – Tia Walker
Are you spending more time taking care of others or yourself?
Know that either extreme is making you lose your power to build and sustain a happy life.
If you lose yourself in caring for others, you might end up merely existing and not living. Plus, those people you care for, become dependent and get lost in life as well. If you get too much self-involved and self-centred, you end up alone.
6 Soul & Mind Nourishing Activities
Therefore, find your balance between giving and taking; between offering your time and energy to others and yourself; between caring for other and caring for yourself.
Because most people tend to lose themselves in satisfying, mainly other people’s needs and wants, here are 6 things to nourish your mind and soul:
1. Time For Yourself
If you are the carer (as a parent, a spouse, an employer, for example), which un-avertable you are no matter what you do for a living, looking after people by choice or occupation, you might be one of those people that feel guilty and selfish to take time for yourself.
Listen, it is admirable what you are doing, and I bow to you; yet, at the same time, I want to ask you: for how long do you think you can keep it up if you don’t take care of yourself as well? If you don’t take some time for yourself too?
An overworked, tired and unhappy carer has an adverse impact on those for which is caring. Is it not? A child can’t be happy and grow harmoniously raised by an unhappy parent. An employee can’t be productive led by a stressed and overwhelmed boss.
Therefore, occasionally be selfish and take time for yourself. Put your fear and anxieties aside and let the Earth spin around without your help and attention. Remember that, in that circumstance being selfish is an act of self-preservation and, ultimately altruism.
When you care for others, you are like a machine that needs maintenance, oiling, and rest, to work properly.
Concern yourself less about what people may say about you and stay focused on the result you want: offering valuable, meaningful, and sustainable care, service, leadership, help, and whatever else you have to give.
2. The Courage to Say NO
As a child, I’ve struggled because not my parents, nor the other adults around knew how to be assertive, how to put their foot down and then help me to move forward.
I had to, consistently, second guess my behavior, lose valuable time in finding by myself what is expected from me and what are the rules of living in the society.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining, I’m just saying that there are better ways to grow, improve and learn, other than the hard way.
Pay attention, being assertive is not just a way to let people know what you want, but is a duty as well. Overcome your fear of saying No!
Overcome your negative preconceptions (if you have) about being an assertive person and put your foot down, say “no” when you need to and say “yes” only when is the right thing to do.
3. Listen to Your Inner Voice
Life has this habit of going on with you or without you. Don’t let it slip away without having any say about it. Listen to your inner voice and allow yourself guided by your wisdom.
If you are one of these people, always on the run, always doing something important, always using your time to build something concrete, tangible, most likely you know what I’m referring to when I say;
“Life has this habit of going on with you or without you.”
You know that you’re going through motions without listening to your inner voice for days on end or even months and years.
Note that your inner voice is not the same thing with self-talk. Your inner voice is telling you what you need (mind, soul, and body), what make you sad, what is hurting you, what is helpful, how to protect yourself; It comes from your deeper self, the wisest part of you.
On the other hand, self-talk (internal dialogue) is the way you represent how you see the world and yourself and it comes from learning, experience, and beliefs.
Listen to your inner voice; it has many things to tell you if you are willing to hear it out.
How much thought and attention do you put into the words you’re saying to others? I guess, a lot! Do you have the same consideration towards yourself?
Self-respect starts with valuing who you are and it is manifested, the most, by the way, you talk to yourself and about yourself. And, then, it is what you do with and what you put into your perfect vehicle: your body!
And, the last one, but as important as the other two, self-respect is how you speak to and about people because what you say about others is more a reflection of who you are and less who they are. Is it not?
In a society that you are encouraged more and more to strive and focus mainly on achievement, career and success, how many of us feel content and satisfied with who they are, how they look, how much they accomplish?
The standards are so high and still going up and up that almost no human can keep up. No wonder so many people have low self-esteem and confidence issues.
How about setting your own standards? How about taking, periodically, breaks to recharge and refresh? Moments to re-evaluate the validity of what is expected of you? Yet, even better! what if you add to those moments and breaks, a bit of self-compassion?
Self-compassion is food for your mind and soul. It allows you to understand that whatever you do when you’re doing it, you believe to be the best action.
Judging your former self with the knowledge you have today is unfair. Is it not? Aren’t you more knowledgeable, wiser, more skilled, more aware of things than ten years ago? You, definitely, are! You are much better even compared to yesterday.
Give yourself compassion and believe that you are doing the best you know how in each moment of your life. If that is not enough for the society and your environment, that what could be, if any?
Success and accomplishment is a sad place to be in if you have no one to share them with. A big mansion means nothing for your level of happiness and contentment if you spend your days alone in it.
Aren’t being happy and healthy, feeling safe and free, what you want the most in life?
Being alone in the big mansion is a self-made prison; eating by yourself is a health hazard; walking alone through the vicissitudes of life can become a safety issue quickly.
These are just a few examples of how your biggest desires in life can get lost and dissipate behind smoking mirrors when you have no meaningful connection to other people.
Next time when you see people that prefer to stay in unhealthy and unhappy relationships, don’t ask yourself why are they doing it because loneliness is a bigger load to bear than hardship alongside to others.
That being said, choose this better option: gather around you people that you enjoy spending time with; people that love, appreciate, value, and accept you as you are.
Stay connected, reach out, build long-lasting and meaningful relationships and feel happy, healthy, safe and free no matter if you live in a mansion or a shack.