One of the trickiest parts of a healing journey can be the final phase: the weeks, months (or years) where the symptoms begin to fade into the background, a new rhythm begins to take hold, and slowly but surely you start to feel like ‘yourself again’.
In this blog, Sophie has gathered seven keys to help you go easy and avoid burnout in this critical phase of healing.
In the last couple of years of my journey with chronic digestive pain and debilitating IBS, my main challenge was learning how to not burn out.
Even today, if I push it, my symptoms re-lapse. It’s like my digestive system has become a barometer of my capacity for self-care in each moment.
Over the past few years I’ve become a self-care tip magpie; selecting nuggets poems, all mixed together well as little gems of wisdom from pretty much every woman I meet, here are my eight favorites Self Care Keys:
- Eat What Your Body Wants
These amazing animal bodies of ours know health. They are wired for balance. One of the painfully beautiful things about chronic health problems is that the body is often super clear about the foods that bring balance, and those that disrupt. Commit to choosing the health-bringing ones.
I love eating like an Italian but my digestive system is decidedly Japanese. For years I battled against that. She doesn’t like cheese and pasta. She adores rice noodles, vegetables and green juices. Once I made friends with that fact, bought a juicer and became obsessed with inventive vegetable soups, my body started to thrive.(Resource: The Anti-Inflammatory Diet works wonders for all kinds of conditions)
- Twenty-Five / Five
The brain can only concentrate fully for around 25 minutes. By taking scheduled joy-filled five minute breaks during your work day, you can stay nourished and inspire throughout the day, and maintain work/life balance.This little deceptiviely simple tip has revolutionized my work life… my whole life. I don’t ‘run on fumes’ anymore. I take five minute yoga breaks, tea breaks, dancing breaks, sun break.(Resource: Check out “The Pomodoro Technique” to learn the brain science and research that proves this is the healthiest way to work.)
A gorgeous, grounding meditation to anchors you in your body and the natural world, which knows the rhythm of health like the back of its hand, this practice is super simple: As you breathe out an imagine roots travelling down into the earth beneath you, as you breathe in, imagine yourself being filled with the grounding energy of the earth.Whenever I start to feel myself getting buzzy, tired, I take a break and do a few rounds of this meditation. Then I’m back in sanity – back in connection with the 4.5 billion year old wisdom of the earth.(Resource: Be guided in this practice here. Warning: I am very chilled is this video, since I just practiced the meditation for half an hour!)
- Develop Sisterhood
At least once a month, find a way to be in circle with women who get you and mirror your beauty and strength.At the beginning of my illness I moved country and started a new life with my American hubby. I didn’t know anyone and I was pretty much housebound with my symptoms. Once I found Awakening Women Institute and started to gather, online and in-person with sisters, my health improved in leaps and bounds.(Resources: Check out Awakening Women Institute‘s online programmes)
- Chart Your Menstrual Cycle
Women’s bodies have seasons and cycles, which can act as a compass, gently, consistently pointing you towards balance and ease. There are times that are naturally geared towards action and extroversion, and others that are more for nesting and resting. If you aren’t menstruating at the moment, or are past menopause, you can follow the cycles of the moon in a similar way.I used to throw my hands up in the air at my shifts in mood and energy throughout the month. Since studying the menstrual cycle and learning some of its keys, I’ve been tracking my cycle and every month I learn a bit more about how to follow my body’s prompts and cues.
- Be In Your Animal Body
Take time with the simplicity of tree branches blowing in the wind. Let grasses blowing entrance you into restfullness. Watch running water and remember your own flow and natural rhythms. Follow the seasons and watch how they help you to hear, track and befriend your animal body. Mary says it like no one else…You do not have to be good.
You just have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
(Resource: TreeSisters’ free Full Moon calls are a beautiful way to weave yourself into nature’s rhythms)
- Take Yourself on a Date each Week
Take time to remember what you love, reconnect with the heartbeat of your own life, to be your own wise coach and fill your well of inspiration.Whether it’s a bubble bath with my favourite music, a long walk in the park, a lunch date in my favourite restaurant, I need this time like I need oxygen. I can always tell when I haven’t been doing it, because my moods fray and life feels dull. It’s such a simple way to infuse life with meaning and joy.
I’d love to hear your favourite self-care tips sisters – please respond to this post, or share on our Facebook page.
For more self care tips, sign up for or Free Mini Course:
An Embodied Feminine Approach to Healing.
Credit where it is whole-heartedly due: My teacher Chameli Ardagh calls this kind of self care research, ‘building your feminine base-camp’ and my mentor Edveeje would call it crafting your ‘soul-centric life’. I’ve borrowed tips from both of these radiant feminine leaders to add the delicious flavor of their precious wisdom into this self-love soup.
Join The Women’s Wellness Circle – an online community of big-hearted, courageous women ready to support you to fully recover your health and give your gifts to the world.
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Do you know any big, hearted, courageous women who are healing from chronic health challenges? Share this blog with them and spread the love ~ they’ll thank you for it.