#bloglovefest

Free DIY Printable Poster // Keep Going, You've Got This

Emma Kate and I are ending this month's #bloglovefest movement with one final, moving message:

Keep going, you've got this.

I recently participated in an event at General Assembly where my friend and fellow blogger Christina Butcher, mentioned a phrase that sums up perfectly our journey as bloggers and business owners.  When asked about success she reminded the audience that this adventure is ‘a marathon not a sprint’ and I couldn't help but think the same goes for self-care.

It’s simply not enough to go for a walk, get a massage or take a yoga class and be done with iet. This ritual of self-care, this awareness about our health, needs to be a continued and ongoing conversation. It should become part of our daily routine rather than the rare exception to the rule. I feel confident moving forward that I’ve got this – will I always find the perfect balance? Of course not, but I’ve felt the repercussions of not taking care of myself and don’t want to go back in that direction. For me personally I know the areas that need help – from delegating tasks and asking for business help when needed, to allowing myself that time to go for a run and allow that stress to wash away. These habits I need to make a priority, to remind myself each day I’ve got this (both business wise and health wise).  In the beginning it may not be easy, it’s time to have  a tough love conversation with yourself about the excuses you’ve told or the stories you use to fall back on time and time again (I’m too busy, tired, etc) but in the end listen, always, to that voice whispering in the back of your head saying, keeping going, you've got this

Visiting Blog Society for the first time? Well a big hello to you - and here's hoping you have a kick-ass, self-care April! If you're interested in more fun content, free advice and a beautiful community of global creatives, then join our tribe here.

Self-Care For The Pregnant Blogger

Self-Care

By Loveday Why

Self care has at last, beautifully and naturally, come into my life during these last months of my pregnancy. I had a reasonably precarious start to this wonderful and surprise baby journey and, at one stage, was put ‘on rest’ for two months. Got to say, not even that slowed me down fully. 

I’m a naturally high energy person. The positive side is the get-it-done attitude and the creativity high; the not so helpful stuff can be the random afternoons spent feeling strung out or wiped out and, more seriously, on the brink of burn out. But today and yesterday have been self care days. Straight up. Ritual usually assists me, but these past couple of days I haven’t done anything in 

particular. A little light stretching, meditation, some relaxation tracks designed for hypnobirthing, spending time cuddling and connecting with my inside baby, writing a little, napping a little, getting outside into the sun a little, filling my body with hydrating smoothies and watching a trashy TV series. The union of zen and modern life with, at its core, carelessness. 

Because sometimes I think (for someone like me) even ‘self care’ can feel like a bit of a standard I need to live up to. If I note the warning signs and think: ‘Lovers, slow down. Go do the self care thing’ I can feel quite pressured about maximizing that time and really making it count. Whereas if I simply roll a rug out in the garden and gather some books and notebooks around me, often I’ll not open a single one. 

I’ll just stare at the sky, watch the leaves lifting, listen to the comforting chatter of the chickens, let a bee alight on me. These moments of total unstructured daydreaming stillness are the most pure form of self care for me. And I feel the relaxation pour through my body like a soothing drink for my soul. My grandfather used to say: ‘it is very important to just do nothing.’ After the war, he would sit staring out of the window for whole afternoons sometimes. Who knew what he was seeing? 

I expect if we had asked him though, he would have simply said: ‘I am seeing what is there.’ Because self care is private and it is exactly what you want and need it to be at the time. I have come to follow the moon in my self care, especially now baby is here. Full moon and new moon are intense periods of growth for this small bean, so these are naturally my slower times. I don’t rush now because there is someone else whom I simply cannot rush. Someone else who is doing more important work than I am. Someone who is co-creating their body with mine. To connect to the earth rhythms and the moon cycles is to see clearly that all things require periods of dormancy in which to regenerate. 

To have my baby guiding me already to a path of greater stillness, flexibility and pure carelessness or surrender, which to my mind is true self care, is a wonderful gift. 

Three top tips: 

  • Throw out the self-care guide book. Trust that your body will guide you into a state of complete surrender. If that means a day of absolutely nothing, so be it. Your self care doesn’t need an end game. 
  • Spend time outside in nature, walking slowly along a Winter beach while the waves roll in and out, or lying in a sunny garden while the clouds drift by. To change your perspective on life is key and nature is the best place to feel loved and wanted, yet wonderfully small. 
  • Relaxation meditation tracks on YouTube will help kick-start your self care and will wonderfully rapidly slow your mind, release adrenalin and allow for full body regeneration. 

Loveday is a writer, cook, dancer and coach, offering nutritional and spiritual wellness services from Dunedin, New Zealand. Specialising in helping those challenged by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, on her blog she shares healthy recipes and simple shifts into vibrant, heart-led living. Always on the move, always with an eye on the ocean, she is currently nesting in anticipation of her first baby coming into the world. You an find her blogging here, on Facebook or Instagram.

Image: Unsplash

 

Free DIY Printable Poster // Slow Down

Truth be told, I have trouble slowing down.

As much as I try to sit still, meditate, be present, watch the world go by and every other thing I know I should be doing, my busy brain betrays me. Fast is in my nature. I’m a fast talker, fast walker. My brain is always thinking, creating and brainstorming ideas. I like writing endless lists and dreaming up new projects. I like to be on the go, seeing, exploring, doing. But I’ve realised lately that this is a pattern I’ve created, a habit I feed on a daily basis and a disservice to the hard work that I’ve done.

There is time to be quick and productive but only if there are times to be slow and contemplate to balance it all out. So this week I am focusing on balance, I’m stepping into the slow lane and taking things down a notch. I’ve noticed that by removing the digital distractions and moving my body, only then does my mind begin to be still. I’m exploring new techniques to master the art of slowing down and while the struggle may always be there, I am well aware of this necessity to slow down. Not only for my sake but for those around me. How often do we overlook our loved ones around us that support, guide and listen to our questions, concerns, business problems and occasion breakdowns?

Sleep, rest, replenish. Move  your body, nourish.  Let go – of your disappointments, fear, self-doubt and the opinions or judgement of others. I love this article by friend, Jess Lively who honestly talks about this very subject, reminding me yet again that as bloggers we need to come together to support one another in the quest to slow down. 

Visiting Blog Society for the first time? Well a big hello to you - and here's hoping you have a kick-ass, self-care April! If you're interested in more fun content, free advice and a beautiful community of global creatives, then join our tribe here.

How To Avoid Blogger Burnout

Chinese Medicine

By Keri Krieger

When discussing self care, burn out and how to know when your pushing too hard in your work or life, I would have to say it all boils down to your heart. Now this isn’t an ubiquitous invitation to ‘listen to your heart’ but to truly hear and nourish that most important ruler of the fire element in our bodies. Because when we hit burn out I can guarantee you its the lack of care and respect in this case of yourself. Fire can burn when its out of control or leave you in cold if not lovingly tended to.  

In Chinese Medicine I work with the five elements. Earth, Air Fire Water and Wood. Pulses on the wrist are taken and these correlate to each of the organs and the elements they correspond with. These pulses give us feedback on the Qi or energy in each organ; the state of your fuel tank so to speak. This is just one of the diagnostic tools we use. In eastern philosophy there is also a soul or spirit that is associated with each organ and its this spirit that I work most with in my practice.  Sure, I  still talk about food, lifestyle practices and fitness, but in the chronically stressed, burnt out, and emotionally exhausted people (usually women but not exclusively) I treat its this soul that we really need to be nourishing. 

You can be eating all the superfoods in the world and leaping small buildings in your lunch hour but this too can actually be counter productive. If we are not listening to our individual bodies needs and not taking soulful care of our emotional wellbeing all the superfoods in the world will be no help. 

The spirit of the Heart is the Shen, its the soul most like what we in the west would call the soul. In a happy thriving person we can see this soul through the sparkle in someones eyes. The light of the Shen is so essential to our feeling loved that its this spirit that is shared in heartfelt gaze between lovers and from a Mamma to her new born. “.....from a Taoist mythological perspective, the light of the shen or spirit comes to us directly from the stars, from the divine, and resides, during our lives, in the empty space at the center of the heart”   Lorie Eve Dechar

How beautiful is that! When it comes to burn out,  exhaustion and the new prevalence of adrenal fatigue we also need to talk about the Kidneys and the water element. The kidneys are the home of the Zhi.  It often gets translated as willpower or drive and determination. The fight or flight mechanism needs to be mentioned here too. The adrenals whilst technically not part of the Kidneys are for the ease of this conversation popped in the same basket. They’re like the yang super chargers for when we need to get out of trouble fast. It makes sense then that the emotion of the kidney is fear, this is an appropriate and useful experience of fear, until it becomes over used as a means of pushing through every. single. day. (you know what I’m talking about)

Now before this conversation gets overly technical, its this alchemical relationship between the heart and the kidneys, the water and the fire elements, the will power and the passionate soul that teach how just how far is far enough. One of the reasons I think we as a culture have become so out of balance is that for generations we have glorified busy, and we put will power and drive up on a pedestal and while doing so we dismissed the song of our hearts as frivolous and unnecessary. There has been many culturally understandable reasons for this. But in this new found generation of entrepreneurs and self employed creatives its time for this balance to be addressed if we are to survive and thrive and share our much needed gifts with the world. Phew! Ok so that technical pre-amble out of the way what does that mean for the average person other than going and getting some acupuncture to nourish their Kidney Qi and keep the Heart fires burning. The answer is LOTS!

Nourishing the Shen 

  • When the Shen in out of balance we can experience anxiety, insomnia, restlessness that leads to fatigue and a ‘whats the point’ attitude. We literally want to invite this spirit lovingly back into our bodies. In doing so we will feel calm and anchored
  • Spend time in nature. 
  • Cultivate a practice that puts you in touch with your inner voice. Meditation, Journalling. Limit exposure to the constant streaming of media. 
  • Choose caffeine free 
  • Have massages 

Exercise gently in a way that your breath is encouraged into your belly or dan tien. In acute cases of shock, bach flowers and nurturing loving touch is essential.

Nourishing the Zhi 

  • Regular gentle exercise, in this case its the regularity and commitment that is essential. 
  • Spend time near water,
  • Stay hydrated
  • Have some unstructured time in your week 
  • Avoid over working
  • Foot massage as the kidney channel starts on the feet.
  • Nourishing food that includes the salty flavour 

And one last thing. 
Coeur is the French word for the heart, its where we get the word courage from. When the spirit of the Kidneys and the Heart are in balance we are able to be courageous. Courageous enough to create that business, that relationship or that meaningful experience. It’s this heartfelt courage that we can act upon to achieve our most daring and meaningful feats. 

It’s in the melting pot of our hearts (the Chinese pictogram for the heart literally means empty vessel) that will power can be catalysed with love to create the courage you need to be and do all that is your souls purpose in this world. When we come from this place our energy is renewable and virtually inexhaustible. 

Burn out be gone! 

Keri is an acupuncturist life-coach and passionate advocate of women creating the life of their dreams without hitting burnout! Translating the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine into modern language Keri coaches women through big transitions in life and mentors other health practitioners on how to create a thriving practice. With almost 20 years in the wellness industry Keri can be found contributing regularly to health mags traveling the east coast of Australia with her Rockupuncture™ modality and treating at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat. In her down time she’ll be hanging at the beach with her Westie Ruben. You can find her at kerikrieger.com.

Avoid Blogger Burnout

Free DIY Printable Poster // Live Well

Welcome to week #2 of our April collective celebration of self-care. This week Emma Kate Co and I are focusing on living well...

I don’t tend to believe in coincidences. I believe that our experiences, the people that come into and out of our lives and the path we following are part of a bigger plan. When Emma and I first started to talk about our plans for what our April #bloglovefest theme was going to be, it amazed me the signs that began to spring up everywhere, again cementing in my mind the need to spread the message of self-care far and wide.

Everywhere I looked, articles began to pop up or conversations were steered in the direction of energy, self-love, the glorification of busyness, the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves and others and the need to slow down in order to recharge and refuel.  The idea of living well is not about incorporating meditation into your daily ritual or only eating organic, it’s about creating your own definition of wellness. It’s living a life each day that matters and brings happiness to you and those around you. It’s about running that successful business but watching your energy supplies, having that extra glass of wine without guilt, watching a movie without stressing about doing the dishes, taking a walk to enjoy the sunshine. Live well, by your own definition, without guilt.

 We are only giving so many hours in a day and your energy is a precious commodity, one that as women we give freely and frequently. When it comes to focusing some of that energy on yourself, feelings of guilt, indulgence and selfishness begin to surface. Do you agree? We’re in this together and the pay off is less stress, anxiety, restfulness and the ability to give more of yourself. Get involved and share this week's 'Live Well' poster or these special images via social media using our #bloglovefest hashtag. Simply right click images below to save or click on the link below to download your 'Live Well' printable in our April #bloglovefest series:

DOWNLOAD Today LIVE WELL Poster

Live Well Instagram
Live Well Instagram

Visiting Blog Society for the first time? Well a big hello to you - and here's hoping you have a kick-ass, self-care April! If you're interested in more fun content, free advice and a beautiful community of global creatives, then join our tribe here.