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Do you practise Extreme Self Care? If not, why?

Do you practise Extreme Self Care? If not, why and what actually is it?

The words, ‘self care’ have been bandied about in newspapers and on social media. They are the new buzz words. Take care of yourself, put yourself first, be more gentle with yourself, eat more healthily, exercise more, do more meditation.

I’m not undermining the importance of these actions. Any form of self care is beneficial. However it needs to be more than the occasional outing for a massage or reflexology treatment. It needs to be more than the ‘walk around the block’ or the odd smoothie.

Self care needs to be a concerted effort to put yourself first. All the time. This is where extreme self care comes in. It means loving yourself enough so that the actions you take and the decisions you make on a daily basis reflect this self love.

It means having strong boundaries and only saying ‘Yes’ to what you really want and need. It means listening to your body and what he/she is telling you. It means not trying to push through when all your body wants is rest.

You may think it is selfish to put yourself first all the time. This is what we were taught as children. We need to give to others first, put other’s needs before our own. We need to give, give and give until you have no more to give, then give some more. We give out of obligation and we give out of guilt. We give because we feel it is expected of us.

How many of us end up burnt out, exhausted, defeated and resentful? We are perpetuating a myth. Trying to live up to an impossible image of perfection. This was my story too. So much of my self worth was based on my achievements, helping others, being the ‘good girl’, aiming for perfectionism. As author, Cheryl Richardson says, “So many of us, especially women, have taken on this ‘noble’ role. What we don’t realise, until it’s too late, is the high price for being ‘generous.”

Ending up exhausted and always fatigued, made me realise that my life had to change. Extreme self care was warranted.

Do you practise Extreme Self Care or is this your story too? If so, how can you start implementing more extreme measures? How can you start putting yourself first? By learning to love and accept yourself. All of you. Your perfections and imperfections. We all have them and it’s time to accept ourselves as we are. No more comparing ourselves with others. We are all different. We all have gifts and talents that are unique to us. Embrace them.

Accept where you are at. We all start this journey at different points. Sometimes it is easy to make changes and sometimes it is really hard, but make a start. It may feel uncomfortable putting yourself first. You may fear the judgement and criticism of others. You may feel guilty. But do it anyway. It will get easier.

Know too, that the more you do for yourself, the more energy you will have to give to others. The more you start to care for yourself, the greater your ability to make choices from a place of love and compassion. The more you demonstrate extreme self care, the more you will inspire others to do the same.

So start small so that it feels doable. Start with some simple self care. Drink more water, every day. Go to bed earlier. Start adding more vegetables to your meals. Look after your health, so go for those overdue dental check ups or eye checks. See your GP when needed. Don’t put your health in the “do later” basket.

Start asking for help. It may not be done the way you would do it, but that’s okay. You don’t have to do it all! If you are invited out socially or asked to help out, don’t say ‘Yes’ straight away. Say you will get back to them. Then think about it and decide whether it is something you really want to do or have the energy for.

Begin saying Yes to more fun, more creativity, more ‘me’ time, on a daily basis. Book in your regular reflexology or self care practices. Set limits on your availability. The more you respect your time, the more you allow others to do the same. Spend time in nature, even if it’s just sitting in the sun every day or going for a walk.

Do more of what lights you up. Give more to yourself. Do things that fill your soul. As you start to finally listen to your own needs you will begin to feel more fulfilled and happier in your life. You will then be able to give to others from a space of true giving. No guilt. No obligation. Just a place of appreciation and connection with those around you.

Do you practise Extreme Self Care? If not, perhaps it’s time to start. It’s never too late.

With warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: The Art of Extreme Self-Care By Cheryl Richardson, Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

May you all find Happiness this Christmas.

May you all find Happiness this Christmas, whatever the day may hold for you.

It has certainly been another very challenging year and the future seems uncertain. Yet as this very special time of year, I believe that it’s important to pause and reflect on the year gone by. Not everyone celebrates Christmas and I know that for many, it can be a sad and lonely time. Families get together and tensions may arise. However it’s important to remember that happiness can be found, whatever the circumstances.

I have been fortunate to have very fond memories of Christmas. It was always a magical time for me as a child. It began early with the feast of St Nicholas celebrated on December 6th. My sisters and I would leave our shoes outside our bedroom door, in the hope that they would be filled with small gifts by the morning. If we had been good (we were always told this as an incentive), we would find some nuts, fruit and chocolates waiting for us. Apparently St Nicholas loved children and these tokens were a reminder of the simple things and allowing ourselves to receive. The rest of the month was then spent excitedly waiting for Christmas to arrive.

As I reflect on the past twelve months, despite the difficulties of trying to run a business during the constant lockdowns, there has been a lot to be grateful for. As a family, we have had a lot of time together. This can be stressful at times, but there have been so many laughs and fun times together. We have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries in ways we haven’t before. Although we could not go out for these occasions, we still dressed up and had a lovely meal to make the most of the day.

Often opportunities present when you least expect them to and I have had time to write a book, as well as some poetry. I have also joined a group of creatives, that have supported my endeavours in the artistic field. I have returned to photography and am playing around with painting. No masterpieces yet but it has been fun.

Whatever happens in life, be it illness, loss or some other stress, there is always been some joy to be found. Nature keeps giving to us repeatedly, and it’s so rewarding to spend some time walking in the local area or spending time in the garden. What have you done to bring joy and wonder into your life? It is always there, even if sometimes, you have to look a bit harder.

Give yourself the gift of slowing down, of finding time just for you. It can be hard, as life gets very busy leading up to Christmas, but take an hour or even a few minutes every day. Remember to breathe, give thanks for all that your have and sit in the moment. A new year is around the corner and with that comes the magic of possibility.

May you all find Happiness this Christmas and may it be a peaceful and joyous occasion for you. Thank you so much for your support of Reflexology, all your care and for reading these newsletters. It is all greatly appreciated.

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

References: Photo by  Max Beck on Unsplash

When the World is changing, can Reflexology help?

Peace, stress free, reflexology, wellness, balance.

When the world is rapidly changing and life feels uncertain, can having a Reflexology treatment help? Can it actually make any difference?

I believe so.

Having regular Reflexology treatments won’t change world events, but it can change how you react to them. This year has seen unprecedented circumstances that have affected all of our lives. Australia experienced horrendous bushfires, then the Coronavirus struck around the world and now racial injustice is in the headlines. The old world order has gone, things are changing and life may never be as it was before.

Change is needed but it can bring up worry and anxiety.

Change can also lead to stress, as the unknown often brings up fear. As we all know, chronic stress contributes to so many diseases. Every time we feel anxious, or think a fearful thought or a negative emotion, we stimulate our hormonal and nervous system. Any emotion or thought that causes stress, no matter how small, results in the release of stress hormones. This is an energetic response of the body to cope with the stress. Not all stress is bad but a constant stimulation of our stress hormones, depletes our energy.

Long term stress can also lead to elevated blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, anxiety and worry and impact our immune, digestive and cardiovascular systems. At a time when most of us want to remain really healthy, this is not ideal.

Reflexology can make a significant difference. It deeply calms the body and mind and helps in the release of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. These so called, ‘feel-good’ hormones affect our mood, memory, motor function, sleep, learning ability and digestion as well as relieving pain.

Reflexology boosts the immune system, increases circulation and blood supply, hence bringing more oxygenation and nutrition to all of our cells. It also improves the nerve supply to the whole body and helps reduce our sympathetic response so that we don’t stay in that ‘fight or flight’ mode. As mentioned before, it also has a powerful effect on the Hormonal system.

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that our bodies hold trauma and unless we deal with the emotions involved, be it sadness, anger, anxiety or worry, a disease process begins. Facial reflexology looks at the areas in your body where this disease process started, that is, where you first started to hold this emotion or stress. It then works to relieve this and reduce the impact it is having on your body.

This year has brought up many challenges and fears. We may feel powerless to make a change, though we do have our voice and can let our voices be heard. We can also acknowledge how we are feeling and do something about it. When the world is changing, we still have the power in our hands and Reflexology is a very powerful weapon.

Why not use it!

Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx

Please note that the clinic has reopened with strict Infection Control policies in place. To book in for a Reflexology treatment, current clients can use this link https://solevitalitybooking.as.me/reflexology

New clients please contact me here https://solevitality.com.au/news/

References: https://www.healthline.com/health/happy-hormone#sunlight

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

What Lessons can you Learn?

Calm, rest, time out, balance

What lessons can you learn from the past two months? As our lives have been turned upside down and we have had to change the way we work, live, socialise and go out, what lessons have you learned?

Have you found that working from home is less stressful or that you miss the company of your colleagues? Have you found that home schooling is enjoyable or maybe you have found it to be a nightmare? Have you found that you are lonely and feeling isolated or are you enjoying the peace and quiet?

Every one of us has been affected in some way. The past few months have changed the whole world. There has been a lot of fear, anxiety, the loss of routines and livelihoods and the passing of many lives. It is something that we have never experienced before and the unknown has brought up many challenges.

It has made many of us question the way we are living and ask ourselves if the past was really that great. Are there changes that we have implemented that have benefited our lives? What lessons can you learn?

I know myself, that things have slowed down a lot. I had to close my clinic in late March and have been starting online work. The days feel longer stretching endlessly and I’m enjoying all the space in my life. I’m going on more walks, cooking more exciting meals with my son and doing online classes that I have been wanting to do. I miss my family and my friends but we chat a lot on the phone or on Zoom. We are blessed to have the technology to connect. I miss my clients and Reflexology and some of the old routines. I miss eating out, concerts, the theatre and seeing family and friends in person.

However I have grown during this time. I have realised that the old ways of doing things no longer work for me. I crave creativity and quiet time and time to do things that light me up. I miss my in-person clients and look forward to seeing them again but I have also enjoyed consulting with clients online. I hope to continue both moving forwards. I am enjoying the flexibility of my life, the ability to go for walks when I want to, rest when my body feels like it and the availability of learning so much online. I am finding balance and I know that I will keep doing these things once restrictions are lifted and more freedom of choice returns.

How have you found this period of time? Have you realised that there are certain things that you will continue doing and take forward with you? Have you learnt that there are certain things that you no longer want in your life? Have you realised the importance of connection and hugs and real physical contact?

What lessons can you learn from the past few months?

It’s worth reflecting on this time as hopefully, we will never experience it again. Despite all the chaos, fear and uncertainty, it may bring about positive change. I hope it has do done so for you!

Warmest Wishes,

Judy xxxx

If you are interested in Strengthening your Immune system during this time, you can work with me here: https://solevitalitybooking.as.me/?appointmentType=13733764