Taking Time for You: Make Your Well Being a Priority

My yoga teacher said: “Thank yourself for making your mind, body and spirit a priority in your life today.” And I did. I knew the rest of my day would be better for having spent 90 minutes stretching, perspiring, and caring for my health.

I don’t do 90 minutes of yoga every day, although I know many who do. But I do something that builds mind, body, or spirit — and usually all three. You, too, can thank yourself for making your mind, body and spirit a priority, if you find time each day for some of these healthy activities.

Sit quietly and do nothing

Meditate, pray, breathe, sit. Just be. Start with two minutes and work your way into twenty. Give yourself a centering practice at the beginning of the day so that you can return to it more easily as the chaos ramps up. Gradually and with time, you will find your sense of calm, confidence, and well-being increasing and lasting longer.

Exercise – mind, body and spirit

Walk, run, play tennis, take up yoga, aikido, or golf. Take pleasure in feeling fit, and make time every day to do something that adds to your fitness.

Read for pleasure and learning. Listen to music that brings you peace, raises your spirits, or makes you dance.

Learn a new language. Memorize Shakespeare. Write a poem. Sing. Talk to people who inspire you. What you don’t use, you will lose. Cultivate your garden, and become a life-long lover of adventure, fun, and wisdom.

Eat well

Eat what you love, and love what you eat. Don’t worry so much. Enjoy your food and be grateful for its presence in your life. In the words of Scottish poet, Robert Burns:

Some hae meat and cannae eat

Some would eat that want it

But we hae meat and we can eat

Sae let the Lord be thank it.

Sleep well

… the innocent sleep,

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care,

The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,

Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,

Chief nourisher in life’s feast. -Shakespeare

Sleep helps our body recover from daily stress, wear and tear, and prepares us for the new dawn. Put away technology a good hour before bedtime. Create a ritual that makes you sleepy and tells your body it’s time for quiet.

· Milk and cookies?

· Wave sounds?

· Quiet music?

A few minutes of deep breathing before bed usually helps. In general, learn about and pay attention to sleep hygiene. Find what works for you.

Love well

Learn to “love what is,” as author Byron Katie says. Find joy in the simple things; cultivate gratitude for people, events, and moments you normally take for granted; foster inner awareness; learn to understand yourself and your thinking. Give before you receive. Practice random acts of kindness. Wake up to life and learn to love more each day.

The above are just a few ways to make your well-being a priority in your life, and to probably improve the well-being of the planet as well. You do so much for others. Pick one of the above and carve out the few minutes it might take to make you a priority today.