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Why You Need to Start Self-Nurturing and Self-Care During Stressful Times

I’ve said this many times but HSPs are prone to not only stress but staying in the stress response longer than the average person.

Stress as I’ve mentioned can impact our bodies in numerous ways.

In order to be able to take care of ourselves and our bodies, I believe that it takes three key parts.

Outside Expectations & Society

In our society, there is more of an appreciation for keeping busy, achieving big results and having “success.” Our values are to have more and be more. This can be dangerous because our personal value and the value that other place on us comes from how much we make and how much we can achieve rather than who we are as a person or living our truth.

There are so many expectations out there to do better and be better. Which can be not only overwhelming but also sometimes unachieveable. This is amplified by social media because all we see are the “good times” or what people want us to see.

Have you ever felt alone? Like you’re the only one struggling with your health or relationships or feeling alone?

From the outside it may seem like the people in our lives have it all and that they don’t have struggles. When the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

This can cause a dissociation from reality and we start to think that we are the only ones who struggle or get stressed. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

We all have things that we struggle with — we all go through tough times — no one is exempt from this.

We need to recognize that life will have ups and downs and that the world isn’t out to get us and also that we aren’t alone in the world.

Building Self-Awareness

The second part of this is building self-awareness and recognizing when we’re feeling stressed. So often we ignore the signals that our body is sending us and we continue to push ourselves despite feeling tired, emotional, or when we’re having sleep issues.

All which are signals from our body that are telling us that we need to slow down — to feel what’s going on. Instead our instinct may be to push it down and keep moving forward so that we can achieve our goals and “get shit done.”

When we start to recognize the little signs that our body sends us then we can start to make changes that support our health.

Becoming Self-Nurturing

Often how we were raised and how our parents or adult figures interacted with us is how we self-nurture. So if our parents were critical or had high expectations for us we may eventually reflect those same traits towards ourselves.  

This isn’t about blaming our families or parents as they were simply doing what they were taught as children and did the best they could with what they had.

However, it can help you to recognize how you talk to yourself and how you treat yourself.

As HSPs we have a strong urge to care for and take care of others and this can often come before taking care of our own needs. But if we do this for too long eventually it WILL have an impact on our health.

One of the things that has really helped me is to try to talk to myself and treat myself the way that I would a loved one. I would never talk harshly or critically to someone that I love when they are struggling, instead I would be understanding and show compassion. It also means that I try to take care of my health the way that I would take care of my loved ones. To encourage rest and self-care.

So when I catch myself being critical with myself — I’ll try to show myself compassion and understand that I was doing the best that I could in that situation.

When I catch myself working too hard and avoiding self-care — I stop and feel what my body needs. I slow down and focus on the necessary tasks in my life and stop everything else with a focus on my health and rest.

Are you looking to take the next steps in your health but don’t know where to start?

 

Are you ready to have more energy and kick the sugar & caffeine habit but are feeling stuck?

Are you tired of being tired and are ready to increase your energy naturally?

If so let’s get on a call to discuss how I can help.

Book your FREE 30 Minute Energy & Nutritional Consult below!

 

 

Well until next time my friends,

 

Remember …. It’s about loving yourself where you are so that you can get to where you want to go…one step at a time, one change at a time.

 

Gratitude & Hugs

Jenn Berkelmans

Jenn Berkelmans

Body Awareness & Wellness Coach

I help women with sensitive souls who struggle with overwhelm & emotional fatigue. I help them to reconnect to their inner wisdom and find the stillness within that will allow them to thrive in this chaotic and loud world while helping them to create their own map to health and wellness.

Top 3 Myths About Meditation and How You Can Start a Daily Practice

 

These are the top myths about meditation which hold people back from starting a daily practice. 

 

Myth #1 That in order to do meditation “right” that you have to empty your mind –Or That you need to wait until you’re “ready” to meditate

 

Truth: While the goal of meditation is to quiet the mind, having a meditation practice is simply how we try to get there. There will be days where the mind will be more busy and distracted and some days where it is more quiet. The idea is when you notice that you’ve started thinking about other things to simply redirect the mind back to your focus (your breath, mantra etc)

The key is to keep practicing. Like anything other craft the art is in the regular practice.

As with anything we won’t begin to have the benefits of something until we simply start. This means that starting where you are right now and go with that. Can you only do 10 or 5 mins to start? Start with that and see how that feels.

 

Myth #2: That you need to be religious or spiritual to meditate

 

Truth: While meditation is used in some religions and can be spiritual in nature it can simply be a tool for stress management, quieting the mind, and gaining more focus.

Meditation can help you tune into your deeper self (my definition of spirituality) but that doesn’t have to be your main goal.

Your goal may be to get a better sleep or to feel more calm

 

Myth #3: That you need fancy equipment in order to practice

 

Truth: I won’t lie that I’ve been eyeing up a beautiful meditation chair but it will have to wait for now. Meditation can be done sitting in a chair or on the couch, lying in bed or sitting on the floor on a yoga mat. You don’t need any special equipment or fancy tools. Just a comfortable quiet spot to sit and yourself.

 

5 Tips on How to Start a Practice

  1. There are a variety of techniques that can be used for meditation
    • Popular ways to focus attention are using a mantra, focus point for the eyes, focusing on breathing or focusing on what’s going on in the body.
  2. The key is to find something that you are comfortable with and starting with that
  3. There are many great resources out there to help
    • Apps:
    • Insight timer — free with music, sounds and guided meditations
    • Headspace — great for beginners and it allows you to do some beginning meditations for free
    • YouTube
  4. Create a comfy meditation space if you can — one that you can use on a regular basis (mine is beside my bed)
  5. Try to meditate daily for whatever timeframe that you are comfortable
    • Come with an open mind — curiosity and no judgement — be open to the experience
      • Don’t do anything that you’re not comfortable with but let yourself explore
    • Try for the same time of day to make it a habit (it’s the first thing that I do in the day)
    • Experiment and find what works for you

That’s it! It really is that simple. So don’t let your idea of getting things perfect or “just right” hold you back from the benefits of meditation. All you need to do is simply start.

Are you looking to take the next steps in your health but don’t know where to start?

 

Are you ready to have more energy and kick the sugar & caffeine habit but are feeling stuck?

Are you tired of being tired and are ready to increase your energy naturally?

If so let’s get on a call to discuss how I can help.

Book your FREE 30 Minute Energy & Nutritional Consult below!

 

 

Well until next time my friends,

 

Remember …. It’s about loving yourself where you are so that you can get to where you want to go…one step at a time, one change at a time.

 

Gratitude & Hugs

Jenn Berkelmans

Jenn Berkelmans

Body Awareness & Wellness Coach

I help women with sensitive souls who struggle with overwhelm & emotional fatigue. I help them to reconnect to their inner wisdom and find the stillness within that will allow them to thrive in this chaotic and loud world while helping them to create their own map to health and wellness.

Emotions Are Your Paint: Embrace All The Colors

Emotions Are Your Paint: Embrace All The Colors

“It is a grave injustice to a child or adult to insist that they stop crying. One can comfort a person who is crying which enables him to relax and makes further crying unnecessary; but to humiliate a crying child is to increase his pain, and augment his rigidity. We stop other people from crying because we cannot stand the sounds and movements of their bodies. It threatens our own rigidity. It induces similar feelings in ourselves which we dare not express and it evokes a resonance in our own bodies which we resist.”                           ― Alexander Lowen

The Struggle

Well if you’re anything like me then you have or continue to struggle with your emotions (most people do). Women are brought up to believe that it isn’t proper to feel or express anger or frustration. While men are told that to cry is to show weakness. We are taught that the normal thing to do is to repress those emotions.

You would think that would be the end of it right? That if you ignore those uncomfortable feelings, plaster on a smile and continue on your merry way that everything will be just fine. But that’s not how it works. We repress them but the emotions don’t stay buried, they have a way of working their way to the surface. Then they wreak havoc in our lives. They cause us to reach for the cookie dough ice cream when we’re not really hungry, they make us lash out at our partner for minor things, they cause us to sleep with someone that we don’t even like in order to feel something else. 

My Experience

I know the perils of repressed emotion all too well. I spent years believing that showing too much emotion was a weakness. I have always had a deep love and compassion for animals often being told that I just had a “way” with animals. Unfortunately, while growing up I was often mocked for that special love and empathy. My feelings were often shrugged off as being “oversensitive” or an “overreaction”  and so I grew up believing that my feelings weren’t important.

This was the start of experiences which lead me to believe that “feeling too much” was not normal and also painful. So I cut the connection to my inner self, to my intuition, and my empathy. I learned to bury my emotions deep down inside of me, if I felt any anger, resentment or any “negative” emotion really it would get pushed down so far that it would never see the light of day again. 

(pin it for later)

To Feel Again

I spent years keeping those emotions buried deep within me. They caused me to lash out, to overeat, to emotional eat, to drink too much, and to do other things that caused harm to my body and my spirit. They held me back from making progress, from living my truth. They made me feel ugly and broken.

I remember coming home from work one day and having what had now become a typical evening glass of wine, which turned into two and then three and thinking “this can’t be all there is to life.” It was then that I knew I had to make some changes. I needed to break everything apart, clean out all the pieces and then figure out how to put it all back together again. So that’s exactly what I did. 

Lessons

Over the next few years I worked to change my life, to respect my body, respect my mind, and reformed a connection with my spirit. I didn’t realize how fractured I had become until I really looked at all the little pieces one by one. Nutrition led me to fitness, which led me to mindset, which led me to my spirit. Each part of the journey was important, integral to the whole. 

I learned that:

No one is perfect, including myself so I needed to stop expecting it of myself

That the person I needed love from the most was myself. 

That if I don’t make myself a priority that no one else will. 

That emotions are neither good nor bad, they are simply part of the human experience. 

That without sadness I cannot feel joy.

That without anger I cannot feel peace.

That without apathy I cannot feel passion. 

Emotions Are Art

As I’ve started to work through past experiences and emotions I have realized that our emotions are our own form of art

Our life is the canvas, the paint brush is our actions, and our emotions are the paint. As the painters of our lives we have the ability to use our paint whatever way we want to. We can choose to stick to only the light and bright colors, apprehensive to add other hues to our canvas in fear it may darken our painting.

Yet, it is the dark which accentuates and makes the light stand out even more. It helps strengthen the beauty of the painting, making it more vibrant and extraordinary. 

My advice is to accept the dark (sadness, pain, fear) and let it accentuate the light that is inside of you. Because you have a masterpiece just waiting to be made. 

 


   

Be brave, be true, and most important be unapologetically you,