The Most Important Thing You Can Do: Devote to Yourself
There are many ways in which people take time for themselves and work on themselves. Some will find inner harmony, pleasure and happiness in physical exercise in the form of yoga, fitness, dance, spending time in nature or learning new skills, while others will meditate or devote to their faith, and some will go to the spa for some relaxation or beauty treatments. Whatever you choose, it is important to take at least some time for yourself, on a daily basis, because happy “me” means happy “we”.
How to devote to yourself
Feed your body and mind. Consider food and drinks as fuels that can supply your body in a delicious way and make easier for your body to do and achieve all the things you wish for. Food makes us happy, it should be tasty and it brings back wonderful moments spent with our loved ones, in our favourite places. For example, start your day with a large glass of water with a bit of squeezed lemon. This potion will give your body the water it craves for after a good night’s sleep, and initiate detoxifying processes. Let the sound of water and every sip remind you of that first, refreshing jump into the sea. The bright yellow lemon should remind us of the sun that warms us and gives us life. Indulge yourself and listen to all that peace and quiet of the morning, that new daily beginning.
Free yourself. While preparing a delicious and nutritious breakfast, enjoy the smell of the food you are preparing, far away from your business emails, daily news… There is plenty of time for that, and you are living in the moment and indulging in it, with your entire body and mind. You are enthralled by the aroma of your coffee, it brings back memories of your relaxing holiday at the beautiful Adriatic and wonderful mornings overlooking the sea. Listen to the music you love, which can be a sound of birds singing, whatever makes you happy. Your little rituals are like the finest spices, giving depth and beauty to the life itself.
Breathe. We all breathe subconsciously. That is happening as we speak, while we are writing this, and while you are reading this. The moment we become aware of the way we breathe, we are already engaged in the most basic form of meditation. Control of breathing is one of the most basic ways of meditation that relaxes, invigorates, supplies the body with oxygen and restores focus. Even a minute or two a day can help, let alone fifteen minutes of meditation a day. Outside, at home, on your favourite armchair or couch, in bed, wherever you like to spend time and wherever you feel comfortable enough. Feel free to fall asleep. In fact, that means that you are completely relaxed. Just close your eyes, let the moment take you to your favourite place and just think about breathing. Try it, it feels great!
Exercise, alone or in a group. Find your holy grail of recreation that will make you happy. Dance, Pilates, yoga, fitness or weightlifting, walking in nature, hiking, swimming… Whatever it is, it is important to keep moving because movement, just like breathing which is also a movement, means life and pleasure. Set aside at least 30 minutes a day for recreation. Stimulate your circulation and happy hormones such as endorphin and serotonin, experience the vibrancy and strength of your own body. It is sometimes hard for all of us to get moving, but very quickly we become happy and aware of the beauty and freedom of movement. By the way, during exercise, you simultaneously strengthen both physical and mental aspects of your body.
Discover and learn through the things that interest you. Our brain adores the familiar, and longs for the new. Learn a new language or how to prepare a new dish, read a book, build cubes with your children, watch interesting TV series or a film. Whatever you choose, make sure you give that sort of “food” and stimulants to your brain. Just like you love reading, playing cards or board games on the beach, in the sun or in a deep shade, now you can do all that at home or better yet, somewhere outdoors, surrounded by nature.
Create or nurture your own beauty rituals, in a Mediterranean spa way. In addition to your daily body care and hygiene, spend a little more time two to three times a week on beauty and relaxation rituals. Regenerate, nourish and protect your face and body skin with scrubs, masks, baths, lotions and creams with natural organic ingredients such as sea salt, aromatic base and essential oils of the Mediterranean herbs, and give your body serenity and comfort for all senses. Our climate has organic ingredients of the highest quality that will beautify your skin, and make it more radiant. Practice breathing while applying mask on your face, or hum your favourite song while massaging scrub on your body. Our bodies are perfect in all their forms, they are temples that deserve the best possible care and appreciation. This is your time.
Be grateful. Create your own daily mantra, for mornings or evenings. Speak out loud or to yourself everything you are generally grateful for in life, but also on that specific day. You can be grateful for people, moments, little and big things, all the good and the bad that you have experienced in life, everything that makes you the person you are right now. Smile and feel the warmth that fills you. Life is beautiful.
Good morning exercise:
It is morning. You have just opened your eyes and you are lying in bed. Stretch first, like you did when you were a child. Now relax, put your legs together and bend them, pulling them towards your torso. Gently, with both hands, hug your lower legs and gently bring them closer to your chest in a pulsing way. Wrap your legs with your hands and now gently swing from left to right, back and forth. Feel your spine stretching. Concentrate on your breathing and slowly count to five with each inhalation/exhalation, inhale through nose, exhale through mouth. Now, lower your legs slowly and stretch them completely, stretch your whole body and sit down on the bed. Stand up slowly and stand barefoot on the floor, placing your legs shoulder width apart. Breathe in, raise your arms, on the side, above your head, and stretch well.
Good morning. ☺