Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about my
resolutions,wishes,intentions for 2014.
Last night I found myself unable to sleep as I went over the list of things I need to be doing, activities I want to do this year and goals I have for the coming months. I kept thinking of how I was going to work my schedule to fit in workouts, when I needed to update my class syllabus, how I was going to squeeze in time with friends. It became very chaotic very quickly. Eventually, I practiced my breathing and made it to sleep.
And then I woke up this morning.
I was then able to do what I should have done last night at 1:30 am. (or several days ago). I pulled out my journal and started writing down all of the concerns I was having. I listed the wishes I have for this year, the actions I need to be taking and all of the worries that seemed so insurmountable last night. Suddenly, they appeared reasonable and there was not as many as had taunted me as I laid in bed.
I have been a personal journal writer for most of my life and the activity of listing down the worries and concerns is one of my favorite for decreasing anxiety. When we keep a running list of thoughts in our head, it is easier to morph it into a huge unending list (much like I did last night). When you place things out on paper, you gain a different perspective and you are able to see that the steps you need to accomplish them are typically smaller and not as complicated. Studies have shown that when individuals consistently write down issues which they are struggling, there is a release of pressure in tension and changes have been seen in the immune system’s functioning.
For me, writing in my personal journal is a necessary form of self care. I have discussed the importance of self care from my first posts. This year, I am going to follow along with Rachel from Tossing the Script in her series Cultivating Self Love. Throughout my own posts, my intentions will be to share ways in which I practice self compassion and my continued work on self love toward myself. Over the past year, if I had not continued to practice a small portion of the activities, I am certain I would not have kept my head above water.
It is important to know which activities are beneficial to you and if you haven’t already, I hope you will begin to create a list.
After my journal session, I was fortunate enough to have already scheduled a massage with my friend Paula at Ageless Spirit Massage.
This massage session was very needed as I had not had a massage since late summer. I had been feeling the effects of tight muscles and fatigue for several months but had not called to schedule an appointment. I am so thankful that I finally took the step and called Paula.
Paula and I met as coworkers at Hospice almost 10 years ago. It is her over 20 years of nursing experience, understanding of the effects of stress and grief on the body and her ability to be present with her client which make her one of the best massage therapists I have ever gone to. She firmly believes in caring for the whole body and that an issue in one location of the body will create problems somewhere else. As I have life long neck problems, Paula worked on my neck and shoulders extensively and worked through a variety of stretches with my arms. In all of my years of massages, she is only the second therapist to work as extensively. We discussed the significance of different stretches and that it takes little time for a muscles to become knotted or atrophy if they are not used properly.
I am more than happy to highlight Paula and Ageless Spirit Massage today. If you live in the Central Kentucky area, I encourage you to visit her website and consider scheduling your own appointment. She offers a variety of massages and because she is one who listens to the client’s body and needs, she is able to make adjustments during the session. If you are someone dealing with medical issues, her background allows her to create a plan specific to the medical condition. She is located in a beautiful and quiet office building and you feel relaxed the moment you walk in the door.
January 2nd was a day of getting ready for the New Year and I know that taking the time to do so will only benefit me. That endless list for 2014 feels more manageable after taking a few hours for myself.
Here’s hoping you have been able to show yourself some self-love today.