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Thought of the Month- April

Self Care

Spring!!   Finally nicer weather is arriving.  We all know that spring is a time of regrowth, rebirth, and hope.  Personally it is more significant to me in terms of new opportunities and resolutions than New Years.   Spring is a very good time to rethink taking care of yourself.  It is lovely to go to the spa, but self-care is something that should be daily and does not have to cost us money.  Taking care of ourselves increases our sense of self-worth.   Here are a few spring tips for self-care:
  1. Walk walk walk.  Walk the dog, walk with music, walk in the morning, walk in the evening.  Take the dog, take an iPod.  Walking in the fresh spring air feels good physically, emotionally and spiritually. We know that exercise is good for mood lifting.  The oxygen to the brain allows for clarity of thinking, and a calm and reflective outlook.  Walking has been known to increase self-esteem and self-confidence as well as reduce stress, reduce anxiety and improve sleep. It has been reported to lift depression, and improve one's mood. Overall, walking contributes to a person's general sense of well-being.
  2. Gardening. I love to garden and find it very calming and healing to wander through my garden and see the progress of my hard work.  Gardening involves thinking and problem solving and allows us to nurture nature.  The appreciation for nature and sense of the bigger scheme of life.  I find my garden gives me hope and the beauty of the plants and flowers is uplifting, and I connect with nature.
  3. Declutter. I always feel the need to declutter my life in spring.  I need to feel lighter and decluttering helps. I also find in the spring, with the mood lifting weather, I am better able to let go of items I keep unnecessarily.   Decluttering  is a great stress reducer, however tackling it can be overwhelming.  Start with one space at a time.  Usually our home is considered a sanctuary and the state our home is in is a reflection of our state of mind. If your home is cluttered there's a good chance that you feel overwhelmed and maybe even depressed. Taking control of your environment can have a powerful effect over your mental state.
  4. Read. Not only does your soul need nurturing but so does your brain. Give your brain new information.  Walk to the library and get some books that interest you, calm you or take you away to new places.  Find some quiet time to read a book, magazine, or item of choice and enjoy.  I often have a few books on the go depending on my mood.  I have information books to improve my knowledge base, books of interest and then of course a good mystery or novel.  I am about to start readingThe Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I am already deep into The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by  Stieg Larrson.
  5. Eat Healthy. Eating seasonal and fresh fruits and vegetables will make you feel better inside and out.  I love to go to the fresh markets not only for the outing but to see what is fresh and healthy.  Eating fresh food and eating well nurtures our bodies and lifts our immune systems. 
  6. Music. I find music that is upbeat and positive to be mood lifting.  When I am angry I like to listen to music about empowerment to make me feel strong.  Music universally makes people happy.  I do not have a good voice but I love to sing along, and often I find I move better and faster.
  7. Visit a Café. One of my favourite and inexpensive ways to treat myself is to sit in a café or on the patio and have a tea.  I feel self-indulgent to spend the time, either with a friend chatting or alone with a book, newspaper or magazine.   I love this time and it takes less time than a lunch, is inexpensive and relaxing.  I have a favourite place I like to go.  With the nice weather it makes sense for me to walk there once a week.



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