Last week I felt fabulously nourished and complete. What had changed? I attended a fascinating book group discussion, participated in a women’s support circle, had a long delicious dinner with a beloved friend and took a meandering soulful walk with my partner where we shared deeply. All of this “belly time” (face-to-face connection) and heart-nurturing left me feeling buoyant and deeply content.
Emotional self-care (ex: heart-felt communication with friends who let us show up “warts and all,” asking for support from a minister/therapist/coach when needed, journaling and self-reflection) is key to resiliency, lowering stress levels and it has an enormous impact on our overall well-being. Did you know that women release oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, when they gather with other women and have conversations that matter (join me Dec. 19th for Sovereignty to experience this)?
The care and feeding of our hearts is just as important as physical self-care and it’s essential to feeling whole and alive. But so often we forget this or push aside time with friends in order to stay slaves to our to-do lists.
What are you doing on a daily basis to nurture your inner landscape and emotional well-being? Numerous studies report one of the biggest factors that affects our quality of life as we age is how deep and consistent our social interactions are with our friend circle (read about the importance of connection). Alternately, when we’re disconnected from ourselves and others, this can lead to depression, anxiety and worse.
We need each other fully and completely: hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Not just through rapid fire texts, emojis or Facebook likes. This week I challenge you to find ways to connect more deeply and authentically. Try picking up the phone to call a friend you haven’t spoken to in months, setting up a girl’s or guy’s night out or (gasp!) dropping by a friend’s home unexpectedly just for a hug and to say hi. Your heart will thank you for it.
YOUR HOMEWORK: One of my favorite exercises for emotional self-care is my Quickie Journaling Exercise (from my book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Find Peace & Harmony in Everyday Life). Take 5 minutes to answer these three simple questions and record your answers in a notebook. It often helps to write stream of consciousness–let whatever wants to emerge–and place your hand over the center of your chest while reflecting on each question. How do I feel? What do I need (at this moment, at this life stage)? What do I want (what is my heart’s greatest desire)? Try this exercise every morning for one week. Often, in just five minutes, you are able to unearth a whole world you didn’t even know was present.
Enjoy my blog? Every Tuesday for more than 20 years I’ve been blogging about how to come into balance through the art and science of self-care. Grab your favorite beverage, curl up in a chair and peruse my popular past posts. And share this resource with someone you care about!
HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR TEAM IN FINDING BALANCE & RESILIENCY? HERE ARE THREE OPPORTUNITIES:
- Wild Souls Nature Adventures (based in Western NC where I live) offers magical, nature-based programs and practices to help you feel more grounded, alive and resilient. Read more and sign up to get notices!
- **NEW 2021-2022 Retreats**~ learn more. I just announced THREE new Awakening Your Wild Soul: A Women’s Self-Renewal 2022 retreats. Join me at 1440 Multiversity (CA), Art of Living Retreat Center (NC), Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (MA) and I’ll be doing a very special Dec. 19th one-day Winter Solstice Sovereignty retreat. Save your spot now; we fully anticipate these will sell out.
- Help your team/employees find balance in 2022! Schedule me to create a balanced living workshop, keynote or personal retreat to help your team, organization or employees feel less stressed and more resilient, creative and focused. For 20+ years I’ve been working with companies/organizations such as Women in Conservation, the Council on Family Violence, Merrill Lynch, the Center for Women in Law, the Hewlett Foundation and more. Email me, I’d love to discuss how I can support your team or organization. Learn more here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/speaker and self-care author Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups for women based on her pioneering work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. Renee lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where she just launched Wild Souls Nature Adventures. Originally from Austin, TX, she and her husband are enjoying a new empty nest. More on Renee here.