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The importance of self-care

home made sugar scrubAs a business owner who has the freedom to set my own working hours but also the responsibility to find and keep enough clients I often find myself in very unbalanced cycles of living. It’s either plenty of time for relaxation, sports and self-care or too many projects and too long work hours, being overwhelmed & stressed. Though I’m sure that the negative cycle is a problem to most people in our current culture that praises busyness, not only women entrepreneurs. When we live in a culture where masculine values are the only ones considered valuable it’s so easy to slip in into masculine mode of being – constantly moving forward, achieving, pushing things into reality and neglecting the feminine inside us and its needs. When was the last time you were praised for achieving a milestone in your career? And when was the last time you were praised for taking a good care of yourself and creating enough time for play & relaxation?
As much as I love a relaxed & balanced life sometimes you just have to deal with those too busy periods in your life. What is essential to survive this? In my mind, a well established self-care routine can be that bridge that keeps you achieving but still nurturing your feminine side. I’m not saying that after creating your self-care routine you won’t get overwhelmed and stressed out ever again. To be honest, you will. What it WILL make is that you will have clear actions steps how to survive through more difficult periods without going crazy and getting completely exhausted. It will also ensure that you will easily get back to your normal happy self once the intense period in your life or work has finished.home made sugar scrubDesigning your self-care routine

To get started you will need a journal/notebook and about 10 minutes. First, make yourself a cup of your favorite tea (or drink of  your choice) and sit still with your eyes closed, following your breath for a couple of minutes and getting relaxed and present. Imagine, what your life would look like if you would REALLY love and nurture yourself. How would that look and how would that FEEL? What activities would you prioritize? While you’re still connected to that feeling make a list of things & activities that make you (your body, mind, soul) happy, nourished, relaxed, inspired and just feeling like your best self. For example here are few of mine:

* Running & listening to audio books;
* Drinking two liters of pure water daily;
* Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts, essential oils, candles and relaxing music;
* Short dancing or squats/push-ups sessions in between work;
* Yoga or short stretching;
* Chat with a girlfriend- supporting, inspiring each other or simply deep listening;
* Meditation;
* Getting a massage;
* Going to sauna;
* Making a huge batch of fresh juices for drinking them daily or buying fresh juices if I don’t have time to make them;
* Going for a walk/bike ride in nature;
* Wearing (not synthetic) perfume and dressing nice even if I work from home that day;
* Using EFT, Matrix Re-imprinting or getting an Energy Editing session;
* Opening a window/balcony and taking few deep breaths;
* Making a cup of my favorite tea and reading few chapters of inspiring book;
* Creating time for play & creative experimentation;

* Having fresh flowers, burning candle and essential oils nearby when I’m working

Now, when you have a list of all those possibilities choose those which of them are your non-negotiables (keep the whole list in your notebook and look at it every once in a while- and do something nice for yourself :-) ). If you are really feeling overwhelmed start small- add one-two daily things that don’t take too much time but make a difference. I like to work in a frame of one month– so some of the non-negotiables will be daily and some will be for few times a month. For example, my current non-negotiables are:

* Meditate for 10 minutes- daily;
* Have green smoothie for breakfast- daily;
* Do oil pulling– daily;
* Go to the gym for hands and abs workout- 3 times a month;
* Run a certain amount of km in one month- amount varies depending on season and my other plans;

* Do yoga a certain amount of times in one month- amount varies depending on season and my other plans;
* Do at least one manifesting exercise- daily;
* Connect with one of my girlfriends- minimum once a week;
* Go to nature for a longer period of time- minimum once a week;
* Take a hot bath with Epsom salts, essential oils, candles and relaxing music- minimum 1 a month;

* Go for a short walk outdoors- daily (this is something really important but there are days when I struggle with this)

In the beginning of each month, I write a goal list for that month and one of the sections is self-care: I set how many times I plan to do certain activities and go through that list each morning and write “+1” next to the activity if I have done it. This keeps me focused on what I want and using a monthly frame instead of daily removes the pressure to get it done perfectly every day. As women, we live differently according to the time of our period and it is unrealistic to expect to be able to do the same things each day- there is a point in your period when you will want to just stay at home calmly and there will be a time when you could exercise daily so always pay attention to your body needs. Now, when you have your list I encourage you to sit each morning before you start your day with a cup of tea/juice/smoothie/coffee and go through your list. Cross off or write “+1” next to the things you did last day. In this way, you will keep yourself focused on feeling well and the act of marking once you have done something will motivate you to continue to build good habits.

Lastly, I want to share with you a simple way to make an easy but indulgent treat for your self-care routine or a small gift to one of the precious ladies in your life- DIY sugar scrub.

What you will need:

  • Brown sugar
  • Cold pressed oil- cooling olive oil works well for warm climates and seasons and warming sesame oil works well for cold season or climates. Coconut oil could work well in warmer climates, too but if you keep it in colder temperature it will be in a solid form and unconvenient to use for a scrub.
  • Natural essential oils- you can choose intuitively according to their scents or read about their properties and decide what you need in this way. I love using feminine energy increasing scents and mix together vanilla, lavender & “Tonify Yin” essential oils mixture from Aromata Mirabilia (my favorite Lithuanian brand selling amazing aromatherapy products) made from palmarose, vetiver, Indian sandalwood, pelargonium, lavender and ylan ylang. Put something to cover the table you will be working on to avoid getting it oily and in a big bowl combine the ingredients. I tend to make it intuitively without any precise measurements. You want to use not too much of the oil- mixture should be still crumbly and not flooded in oil. If you put too much oil- simply blend in more sugar. The amount of the essential oils depends on how strong do you want the scent to be. Put it in a glass container and gift it or keep it in your bathroom and use while showering :-)

home made sugar scrubhome made sugar scrubhome made sugar scrubhome made sugar scrub

When you take a good care of yourself you are happier, healthier and able to deal better with all the other aspects of your life. And you’re simply worth it :-)

I would like to hear from you- do you have a self-care routine? If yes, what are your favorite things to do? If no, what keeps you from having it? I believe quite often it’s not only the busyness and stress but the emotional blocks (like feeling not worthy or good enough to receive) that keep us from nurturing ourselves and I think it’s time to change that.

With love & inspiration,
Lina

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