To a lot of us, the idea of living well and spending time working on ourselves seems too hard, almost impossible. We are always at the bottom of the 'to-do list' or feel too guilty to take time out. Looking after yourself does require mind over matter and organisation, but once it becomes a savoured ritual, you’ll never look back – the results are just too good: Peace. Clarity. Energy = Happiness!Here are three simple ways I like to cleanse and centre my body and soul to feel a sense of calm and to reenergise:
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1. Style Your Space – Create a serene place for living.Your home or at least several rooms should be considered a refuge from the outside world where new technology, frenetic schedules and the cult of consumerism can leave you feeling anxious and unfilled.
- To regain a sense of spirituality, use simple natural aesthetics such as pebbles, sand and stones as home decor, to help calm your senses, inspire creativity and induce clarity of thought.
- Have your own personal quiet space where you can find peace and reconnect with your spiritual self, for about 15 minutes a day.
- Arrange a cluster of small everyday items, such as candles or old jam jars with fresh herbs from your kitchen garden to create a harmonious energy, as their impact is wrought by their intrinsic beauty of †˜found’ objects, rather than a contrived artificial display. Often it is the personal association – a piece of driftwood picked up from a windswept beach on holiday – that has a significance that goes beyond the material value.
- Candles and natural light are essential in the creation of a peaceful living environment. A soulful experience has a strong dependence on the purity of light to generate energy, amplify space and nurture the soul.
- Opt for creamy, pale, neutral shades of fabric to turn your sanctuary into a place of softness and warmth. Pale shades reflect natural light making your space seem bigger and brighter – the ultimate in spiritual chic.
- Or step outside and create a small lush green and/or fragrant place where you can pop a chair or sit on an up turned log. In the evening add a citronella candle and rest peacefully. It's also a lovely time of day to water your garden or taking a herbal tea.
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2. Immerse your body in rituals.
- Showers are your standing spa appointments. They are that special time you can rely on daily to be alone in your thoughts and can place attention to yourself. Treat shower time in the morning as the threshold of your day, and step out invigorated and ready for exciting challenges ahead. At night, use it to unwind and drift fresh and peaceful between the sheets for extra sweet dreams. (& lock your door if you have kids!)
- Baths are a deeper form of devotion to you. As much as they are about treating your body and enjoying some time alone, they can also be blissfully comforting and weightless, allowing you to be enveloped in warmth, with feelings of stress evaporating quickly.
- Pamper your hands. As we age, the skin on the back of our hands wrinkles and loses elasticity, just as the face does. Pamper your hardworking hands with salt sand and vitamin rich nut oils to make your hands silky soft. Keep your fingernails and cuticles healthy, and pamper yourself with an overnight hand treatment.
- Your feet need to be nurtured as they carry the weight of your body and mind. Cold and hot foot baths stimulate circulation, while hot stone therapy (soothing stones) help stimulate your senses and reconnects you back to the earth. Have foot massages to stimulate and balance the body’s vital organs.
3. Nurture your soul.
- Rediscover yourself with contemplation. Comforting yourself to be strong enough enables you to expand your loving kindness towards others. Use music and light to help you appreciate the moments, and to bring a sense of calm, inner peace and awareness.
- Do Yoga or Meditate by taking it slow. Focus your attention on something in the present moment and improve your mental clarity and peace of mind.