* *Guest blog post by Laura Seabloom, who is teaching Real, Redefined, and Radiant You (workshop) this Saturday and Sunday**
I recently purchased a new bag (which I absolutely love) for a trip out east. Keep in mind, I was not shopping for this bag at the time, but had been in the market for one for a while. As I was checking out, there it was right in front of me. It was catching my eye - it had all the right compartments, was multipurpose, and simply beautiful. However, I was resistant to buying it because of the color. It was a shade of light gray/cream and I didn't think it was the most practical choice as I was about to be traveling and couldn't imagine it staying clean through the trip. Not to mention, I am a mom to two young (amazing) boys who make me prone to stains, applesauce and schmutz appearing out of the blue. So, with that being said, after a lot of indecisiveness I decided to check out and be on my way. I left the store and with in a second walked right back in and purchased the bag. Practicality aside, I couldn't resist it.
Now, being hyper focused on learning how to keep it clean I examined it thoroughly and was guided right to the care instructions. They read like this:
"Our nylon is specially crafted to be stain resistant. Life happens, though, so if something does get on your bag":
Mix up some soapy water, using a mild neutral soap
To clean, apply the solution with a clean soft white cloth and rub in gentle circular motions
Rinse the area with clean water. Wipe down the entire nylon outside to avoid leaving a water spot.
For advice on general maintenance and care…
As I was reading this, it hit me. There was so much irony in these words and parallels to my own life. Most of my bags and clothes or things in general, come with “care instructions” and when followed properly they stay true to their best form and last longer.
Isn’t this true with us too?
We all have general care instructions for our own lives and areas that make up our overall wellbeing (physically, mentally, and spirituality). For me these areas include: nutrition, movement, spirituality, support, connection, relationships, career, finances, health, environment, self-talk, self-presentation, sleep, relaxation, play, and creativity. When these areas are balanced and cared for, there seems to be a natural flow to life.
Though, life does happen and we all get “stains” from time to time. We can experience setbacks, get off track, become over stressed and out of balance. Things can get full, or hard, or busy. When this happens, self-care is typically the first thing to go and ironically it is also the thing that can bring us back to balance. Self-care is the thread to overall wellbeing.
I am as human as they come and recently experienced a huge “stain.” A stain so deep that I would relate it to having red wine spilled on a white couch. Physically my body was sending me loud messages that something was off and my mind was anxious and filled with panic and worry. I was depleted, burned out and needed help.
For this particular stain, my care instructions or self-care instructions, as I like to call them read something like this:
First and foremost realize that this is just a temporary set back. Slow down, breathe and go-with in. Tune in to my needs and take appropriate actions to heal and get back into balance.
Look at the messages I am receiving through these “stains” and see which areas of wellbeing need my attention most right now. Simplify and step back.
Rely on my self-care go-to’s (the practices I use when I need a reset). Start somewhere. Go to Yoga, walk outside and breath in the fresh air, get to the gym and listen to inspirational books or songs while exercising, put good food into my body, journal, go to bed early, get a massage or pedicure, talk to someone from my support team (the people who are always there for me through the good and bad), let go of my to-do list and spend quality time with my family, simplify my schedule.
Create a plan - refocus my goals and priorities, clear and align my environments, embody the feelings of where I want to be.
Get additional support and ask for help – find the right doctors, professionals, and healers.
Take it day-by-day, moment-by-moment, and put one foot in front of the other. You can do this.
Many times the “stains” in our lives are beautiful wake up calls. They are messages that we could use a reset or need to be more mindful and present. They allow us to get off of autopilot and pay attention to what is in front of us. We all have different self-care practices that work for us and they can even change as we evolve, but adding more self-care into our lives is something we can all benefit from.
When “stains” occur in your life (big or small) what are your self-care instructions? How can you bring yourself back to balance and make YOU a priority?
Laura Seabloom is a Life Coach and Yogi. Save your spot for her Real, Redefined, and Radiant You weekend workshop this Saturday-Sunday from our workshop page.