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Nurturing your "self"

Taking the time to nurture your "self" is as important as breathing. As I have said before, you cannot give that which you do not possess, and your energy is no exception. While a massage or new hairstyle can put pep in your step, there are times when something deeper needs to be recharged and chances are it will take more than 30 minutes a day at first because you have run yourself down to empty.

If you have ever found yourself at this point, or perhaps you are currently at this point, I would like to share with you some of the things which have helped me.

1. I put on a favorite CD or create a play list on my computer. Then, I light some candles, put my phone on silent, lock my door, turn off all the lights, lie down and just listen. I do not think about whatever else is going on in my life at the moment. I simply lie there, breathing and listening.

2. I take a quick shower and shave so that all my skin is silky smooth. Then, I prepare a hot bubble bath, which includes candles, incense, and classical music. I put a deep conditioner in my hair and pin it up (occasionally I’ll apply a face mask). Then, I climb into the tub, with water so hot I can barely stand it, and focus on relaxing each of my muscles one by one. I lie there until my body feels weightless and my spirit is calm.

3. I give myself a manicure and pedicure. I usually buy a new color of fingernail polish and nail decals for the occasion. I start by trimming up all my nails. Then, I soak my hands and feet in warm water with scented oil. After about 10 minutes of soaking, I use a sugar scrub to exfoliate and smooth roughened skin. Next, I apply a thick lotion for hydration, and finally I paint my nails and apply the decals to my big toenails.

4. I watch one of my favorite movies. I have a varied taste in cinema, so my mood very much decides what I’ll be watching. Then, I make some popcorn, snuggle under my fleece blanket, and enjoy a beverage, the kind of which is also determined by my mood. For the next couple of hours I let the movie carry me away.

5. I go for a walk at sunset. I spend this time watching the changing colors of the clouds as the sun fights to hold on to every last minute. It is a remarkable thing to witness dusk’s arrival. It takes my breath away and reminds me just how small I am. It’s nice to put things into perspective sometimes.

6. I lie in the sun. There is something innately comforting to me about the gradual warming of my skin by the sun's rays. I can feel my body taking in the sun’s heat and I seem to curl myself around this warmth. It feels as though my body comes alive through the sunshine.

7. I journal. This is something I generally do after I have done #1 on the list. I find that after I give myself time to just be, a lot of things going on in my mind can be worked out. I do not force myself to write, though, and I do not bother journaling if I’m not ready to work things out. Occasionally I find myself doing this more than any of the other things; sometimes I don’t do it for weeks, or even months.

Now, I do not promise that what works for me will work for you. These things work for me because they bring me joy and allow me to take a step back and focus on something that demands nothing from me. I encourage you to figure out exactly what it is that brings you joy and immerse yourself in it. It is in this immersion that your battery will charge itself once again.

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