We all know we need to engage in self-care to keep our energetic bank balance happy, but what do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed or fatigued? The key is a broad and well-articulated self-care toolkit from which to draw, so that we have options that lift our energy without requiring any! This will serve you best when that toolkit is written down because when we are low on energy we are also least resourceful and creative to come up with a course of action. Write out some self-care activities, look at your list when you’re feeling frazzled and be reminded of something effective and accessible to you in the moment. This is how we keep self-care on the radar even when we are feeling at a low ebb.
When we’re tired mentally, emotionally or physically, we need a soothing toolkit of practices to turn to – a feeling of receiving rather than having to strive to add another thing to our ‘to do’ list. Healing modalities like massage or acupuncture can be a beautiful way to revive without any effort on your behalf. It is worth writing down on your self-care toolkit some forms of bodywork and make an appointment like an MOT – even if it is only every six months. I appreciate that this does incur some cost but at what cost do we not tend to our health?
There are also lots of other ways that we can receive energy without the expense of paying for a treatment. A meditative shower, soak in the bath, massaging in some body oil, a good stretch out on your yoga mat or just a simple lying down twist on the floor before you hop into bed for the night. Listen to a TED talk, a podcast or an audio book on a subject you find uplifting. Mindfully choose your visual diet and amount of screen time because we can be depleted by what we watch. Instead of watching the evening news or the movie that you find viscerally stimulating, choose something that soothes your nervous system instead, maybe a documentary or something that makes you laugh.
Being in Nature is another potent way to re-energise and connect with what is most important to you – and this doesn’t cost a penny. My favourite way to reboot when I’m feeling overwhelmed is to ‘earth my brow’ – it is a hard wired way to soften and soothe. Either sit at a table and rest your head on your hands or take to the floor for a child’s pose – I hope you find this instantly calming too. Use the mantra ‘I soften into this moment’ whenever you want to access this state of equanimity.
When we are feeling low, the priority in our self-care needs to be soothing activities that promote the functioning of our parasympathetic nervous system – the rest and digest part of the nervous system. Sleep, rest, relaxation, time in Nature, gentle and supported movement like swimming or restorative yoga poses, meditation and feeling the sensation of your breathing will all help restore balance and top up your energy bank.