Nurturing Your Mind, Body and Spirit: The One Hour Rule
When I was twenty-five, I began to see my life heading in a direction that I did not want. College was over, yet my partying and drinking habits continued.
I was not taking care of myself physically, emotionally or mentally. I had developed a daily habit of drinking that became a serious problem.
I was not exercising, which led to feelings of laziness and insecurity, eating poorly and not getting enough sleep. I stopped listening to music, reading and doing the things that I had once loved.
I began to see my energy and zest for life decrease as my drinking increased. I wondered how I could stop this dark spiral of feeling drained and spiritless.
I was surrounding myself with negative people, places and things because I lacked the self-respect and self-care. I was ashamed that I had let my life get so out of control.
My mind was fogged by the embarrassment, disappointment and denial that I was living in, yet I longed to have a fulfilling life with health and positivity.
My family stepped in and asked me if I wanted help. They had noticed that I had shifted from a joyous, creative and thoughtful person to this stagnant version of myself. I accepted their offer and began an inward journey of getting to know my authentic self.
I began to see a therapist, read inspirational books, attended lectures on well being and surrounded myself with positive people who added happiness and support to my life.
I stopped drinking, began slowly cutting out the negative relationships that were draining my energy. I began to feel better day-by-day.
When I became an Addiction Counselor and Therapist, I also began to help clients increase their own self-care and bring balance to their lives by treating the Mind, Body and Spirit.
We all have been known from time to time to overlook our own well-being whether it is physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Maybe we procrastinate a doctors or dentist appointment or we say we will work out or eat better tomorrow.
We will get a better night's rest when the weekend comes. We will leave a relationship that is going nowhere, some day. We will change careers or jobs that are not working for us when it's convenient. Many mothers and fathers look after their children and forget about their well-being.
How do we really begin to take the first steps to change and begin to take care of ourselves better?
I believe that we should commit to one hour a day for ourselves. Whether it be a walk or workout, a bath, a hobby, an appointment we have put off, time to research new interests or jobs, or the time to make a proper meal, take one hour for yourself each day and enjoy that time for you.
Take a bath, put on music you like, light candles, cook a good meal, read a book and tell yourself one positive thing you did that day for yourself or another.
This will change the energy that you hold towards yourself, how you view yourself and, in turn, how you relate to the world.
Act lovingly, even if you don’t feel like it or feel deserving of it yet...do something nice for yourself anyway. We should all be capable of setting aside one hour to indulge in things that enhance our lives while strengthening our inner health.
So ask yourself this: how can I begin to improve my self-care, my dignity, attention to my health, live with integrity and allow myself time each day to give myself love?
One way to do this is to show up for your self. This is such an empowering statement. No matter what happens in life, you have to be there for yourself and walk through the fire, the laziness, the procrastination, challenges and through the joy.
It took me a while to fully swallow and get my mind around the concept of showing up for oneself. I just could not believe it was that simple. I always thought I had to please people and put others needs first. Not so, I learned.
By putting yourself first and giving your self-love then can you love others, and begin to live a fulfilled and happy life. If you are not in a good place then it affects everyone around you.
So you must take care of your own emotional, physical and mental health first.
Show up for yourself daily by committing to physical exercise, eating healthy, sleeping enough, reading, learning, meditation of some sort, positive self talk and healthy boundaries.
When we do not practice self-care, we create imbalances in many shapes and forms in our lives. This imbalance and disharmony can lead to the Dis-Ease of the mind, body and spirit.
So begin today to take care of your self in one small way, for one hour. Every day, wake up and be mindful of how you will nurture yourself and do something positive for yourself that day.
Over time this daily practice of self-care and compassion will change your life for the better.
How are you going to spend your one hour today?
Erica Spiegelman is an Addiction Therapist, Counselor, Consultant and Writer who has made an indelible mark in the field of addiction recovery by treating individuals from a 360-degree perspective: Mind, Body and Spirit. Ms. Spiegelman works at a treatment center in Los Angeles, has a private practice, is a contributor to online health outlets, and writes her own blog at: www.freeaddictionfreeliving.com.