Hey guys, I apologize for the lack of posts recently. My work and personal life have gotten a little overwhelming lately, which brings me to my topic for today: how we can reconnect with ourselves when our lives get busy and hectic and all-over-the-place. When we reconnect with ourselves, we can refocus our attentions on what is truly important to us and let everything else fade away. We can find calm and joy.
I’m going to share some of my top tips that I turn to when I am feeling out of sorts and like I need to reconnect with who I am, find some balance, and relieve some stress. Let’s get to it!
1) Legs up the wall.
I have heard time and time again how great legs up the wall pose is for relieving stress, but not until recently had I actually introduced it into my own life. It is a very restorative pose that gets blood flowing in the opposite direction and is extremely soothing to the nervous system, as well as giving you a nice lower body stretch. I highly recommend doing this for about 10 minutes when you’ve had a really stressful day, or you’re feeling out of balance. This pose has been great for me since I spend most of my day on my feet and my job can be mentally and physically stressful. I simply move the pillows aside and sit at the top of my bed, scoot my bum up against the wall and lie flat on my back with my legs up against the wall, and put a pillow under my head for comfort. You can also do this on the floor–really any place in your house that has a spare wall. Focus on deep belly breaths while you’re in the posture in order to reap the full calming benefits. You may also notice that your legs feel a little tingly since blood is flowing the opposite direction — if it gets too uncomfortable you can bend your legs or take a “cobblers” pose variation, with your feet together and knees pointing outward.
I’m sure you saw this one coming! You guys already know that I am a huge fan of yoga, but I find myself turning to it even more when I need to reconnect with myself. If I’m feeling stressed out, anxious, angry, irritable, tired — pretty much any undesirable emotion — I know it’s time to roll out the mat and work through it. I usually choose to follow along to a Yoga with Adriene video, but you can freestyle it or go to a class if you prefer. Yoga is simply the best tool for connecting with yourself because it’s just you and your mat. You take the time to tune inward, focus on your breath, notice anything physically or mentally that is going on in your body. Yoga helps you to address whatever is happening and work through it. Of course if you’re not an experienced yogi, your teacher will help guide you in noticing and working through these things, but soon you will be able to tune inward and know what you need to do all on your own.
3) Deep breathing.
This definitely goes along with both tips 1 and 2, but can be used on its own as well. Breathing is your best pathway in communicating with your nervous system. Deep diaphragmatic breathing (breaths that move your belly in and out) communicates to your nervous system to calm down and switch from sympathetic (fight or flight mode) to parasympathetic (rest and digest mode). Some days at work I can literally feel that my nervous system is on overdrive, so these are the times that you really need to stop and take a few deep breaths. Slowly inhale through the nose filling up the lungs and the belly, hold the breath at the top for a second, and exhale slowly. Even just a few deep breaths can make a difference in how stressed out you feel, so this is something I turn to time and time again.
4) Spend time with loved ones.
Reconnect with yourself by reconnecting with the people that you love. When life gets busy, it’s easy to feel out of balance because we are not making time to go on dates with our significant other, or call our mom, or have coffee with our best friend. When you start to feel this disconnect with yourself and the people in your life, prioritize making time for these people that you love. Spending time around loved ones has a way of bringing you back to your center and reminding you of what is important in your life, which can be really helpful in letting unnecessary stresses fall away.
5) Take time for personal grooming.
This may seem frivolous when you have a mile-long to-do list, but a great way to reconnect with yourself and find balance is to take the time for a little self-care. For me, this involves things like giving myself a manicure, putting on a face mask, taking a little extra time to fix my hair in the morning, grooming my eyebrows… those little things that make a big difference in how you feel. Taking time for personal care helps you reconnect with yourself by reminding you that you are worth the extra effort, and it just makes you feel better as you go about the rest of your busy day or week.
6) Tidy up.
Maybe this is just me, but a clean and organized living space totally calms me down. I notice that I start to feel yucky if I haven’t tidied up my bedroom in a few days — like there’s some stagnant energy that needs to be moved around or released. I like to open up the windows to get some fresh air moving in, and then do little tasks like make the bed, do laundry, put things away, etc. Of course this applies to the whole house, but the bedroom is especially important for me because I find that I can’t wind down and relax at the end of my day if my room isn’t clean and calm. I make it more enjoyable by turning on Netflix or listening to a podcast and maybe lighting a pretty candle while I tidy.
7) Do something that brings you joy.
A big part of reconnecting with yourself is remembering what is important to you — although it doesn’t have to be “important” in the usual sense of the word. Yes, of course, your family and your job and your home are things that are important to you, but maybe you also value fashion and feeling beautiful in your clothes every day. Maybe having time to cook or bake treats for your loved ones is important to you. Maybe keeping your home looking beautiful is valuable to you, so you buy yourself a bouquet of flowers to cheer up your kitchen. Maybe getting outside and feeling the sun on your skin is what energizes you. Maybe your favorite thing to do at the end of the day is to curl up with a book and lose yourself in another world. The point here is to reconnect with whatever it is that brings joy to your life. No matter how frivolous or small it seems, if it brings you joy, then it is of utmost importance.
I hope today’s post provided you with a few tools for finding balance and reconnecting with yourself when life is pulling you in many different directions. Staying connected with what we want in life and what is important to us is essential in not letting stresses drag us down or wasting our precious time and efforts on things that are unnecessary. Refocus your energy on the things that matter most to you. Have a lovely week!