Have you ever said,
“I’ve got a life jacket around my neck.”
“I feel like I’m drowning.”
“I feel like I’m just hanging on in survival mode.”
We’ve all had those days when we feel like the storms of life are pounding down on us, right? For some of us, the storm can seem like a heavy afternoon shower. The lighter storms that go day after day may seem as overwhelming as the aftermath of a category 5 Hurricane that others may experience. Whatever the worst kind of storm is in your part of the world, do you know how YOU can sustain your Vitality, even during it?
Currently, I’m in the middle of a Cat 5 storm! This sudden storm has put a halt to sending out regular blogs, launching my new website, my group coaching program, and so much more! It’s hard, it’s soul-stretching, and it’s demanding the best of the tools that I’ve learned for years. Yet, I’m sustaining my vitality, and, on some days, I experience calm confidence and know, “I’ve got this!”.
This series of articles is to support you with some tips so you, too, can sustain Vitality through your toughest storms.
Tip#1 – Create a healthy evening routine
We, as women, as moms, as caretakers who often are balancing the care of generations on either side of us, often feel that self-care is NOT an option. Our culture often reinforces sacrifice and service to the point of sacrificing self. If this is your normal routine, then when the storms do come, and you know they inevitably will, you may be thrown overboard and feel like you’re drowning.
This much I know for sure, a lack of self-care and running on empty has left me feeling upset, unwell, and off-balance and left me with little access to being my best self!!
In my 30s I had a habit of serving to the brink of exhaustion and driving my body for outrageous long hours. I was NOT thriving and like compound interest had to pay the price!! Male bodies were genetically designed to do that. Testosterone can fuel a man for many long hours- think of our ancestors out hunting wild game until they could finally catch it. Men have approximately 16x the Testosterone that women have, thus are able to produce these kinds of results and go, go, go for hours before they tax their adrenal glands. Female bodies, on the other hand, are NOT designed to do that! Women start producing the stress hormone Cortisol much earlier than men. As I’ve shared in my webinar, this is known as Progesterone Steal and can then create a higher risk for hormone-related cancers. While we need daily doses of self-care to replenish and sustain ourselves, self-care is also a long-term investment for better health!
In fact, the certification course I took with Brooke Snow last year was, in part motivated by my wanting to take my personal self-care to a new level. In that course, we were encouraged to create very detailed morning and evening routines. I think of myself as a choreographer, choreographing a lovely ritual so that I can access my best self.
The best morning routines actually start with a good evening routine. There’s plenty of science out there now to show that optimal sleep begins by slowing down a bit earlier. Ah, I remember going until the very last moment and then dropping into bed!! Can you relate?
In our world today, we are bombarded with digital devices, with endless news, chats, Marco Polo’s, updates, etc., that can keep us scrolling for hours. Yet, the blue light alone wreaks havoc with Melatonin and interrupts our sleep cycle. Thus, turning off my devices and wearing blue-blocking glasses are part of my ritual.
Now before you read my evening routine below, I want you to know that this has taken practice. And I often remember and repeat one of my very favorite quotes from Shero -Chieko Okasaki- “In Principles have Clarity, in Practice have Charity.”
I prepare for sleep with this ritual
This has made ALL the difference in my sleep!!
What would you add to your evening routine?
A luxurious bath?
Get creative. Think outside of the box and dream about what a nourishing nightly routine might include. Even IF you can’t fit your ideal in, perhaps you can do a 1-minute version!
If you can’t fit in the 15 minutes of meditation, what if you did just 1 minute of deep breathing? Even if you’re lying-in bed exhausted, this 1 minute is honoring yourself. If you add a loving mantra, like “I love and accept you _______,” it can be life-changing. I know because it has been for me!
What if you just wrote down 3 bullet points of your daily wins or daily gratitude? I promise that requires less than 1 minute. For me, this has created a profound habit that is now richly blessing me!! The 3 bullets have turned into sometimes 15 bullet points, with a paragraph. Mind you, I personally use the Day One Journaling app, so I can easily dictate. Even amid my Cat 5 storm, I find myself starting my gratitude journal in the am now. My goodness, this has fueled me to have a happier outlook, blessed me with calm confidence, peace, reduced anxiety, and supported my sleep!!
Ideally, I love to write in my creation journal in the evening; however, on occasion, if I’m too wiped out, I have grace and acceptance and leave it on my bedstand to do 1st thing in the morning.
This routine has supported me immensely, especially during this stormy season. I’m grateful that I started this 18 months ago and have refined these habits and this loving routine, so now, its’ automatic.
If you have not created a loving, supportive ritual and you are in the middle of a storm – start with ONE minute of loving self-care. Pick anything that will honor you and start there. Remember, others may not show us love until we do NOT love ourselves first.
This week, begin visualizing, even creating your own lovely, loving evening ritual, and see how this supports your vitality, mood, outlook, and love of self.
Next week, I’ll discuss the am routine!