[Self-Care Sunday Series: wellness experts worldwide are sharing their self-care expertise, practices, routines and personal stories. Today our guest post is by yoga therapist, teacher and health advocate for chronic illness, Kayla Kurin]
Life is often chaotic when living with a chronic illness. But am I the only one who feels the world is on the brink of collapse right now?
On top of our day to day stressors and energy drains, we’ve now got some extra frustrations looming over our heads. Some of our friends in the US and in the UK may be facing a loss of health coverage, and some may be facing discrimination circulating in our communities and online.
A lot of people are rallying together to protest, tweet, blog, and fight for the things they believe in. This is all great stuff, but I think now more than ever, taking care of yourself has to be your number 1 priority. After all, you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.
So how can we practice compassion to ourselves and others at a time like this?
How can we take a break from the snark and anxiety and fear and take care of ourselves?
Start with 10 minutes.
Take 10 minutes a day to breathe.
To do your yoga practice.
Allow yourself to block out the world and take care of yourself. Because when all seems lost in the world, we need to take more time to remember what is good. What is calming and leaves us feeling whole.
Start with 10 minutes a day:
Put it in your planner.
Set an alarm on your phone.
Tell your parents or your partner or your roommates that you’re not to be disturbed. Find a short yoga practice and shut yourself off from the world, just for a little bit.
Find a short yoga practice and give yourself a break from the world’s pain, just for a little bit.
And then take 5 more minutes:
Practice a loving-kindness meditation. Extend that self-compassion to others. Even to those you disagree with. Even to those threatening you, to those who may be infringing on your rights and your communities and your support systems.
Can you extend that self-compassion to others. Even to those you disagree with. Even to those threatening you, to those who may be infringing on your rights and your communities and your support systems, if that feels safe or useful for you.
Allow the time for each of these practices to slowly expand each week until you’re up to 30 minutes (or whatever amount of time feels right for you to dedicate to your self-care practice). That’s the time of one TV show to practice compassion and care for yourself and others. Most of us watch several TV programs a day, I’m sure you can cut back on one to allow yourself to relax and turn inwards.
When you’ve cultivated a self-care practice that feels right for you, then go back in the world and do what you need to do.
Go to doctor’s appointments, take care of your family, work or study, fight for what you believe in.
But when you practice self-care, whether it’s with yoga and meditation, or another activity of your choosing, you’ll go back into the world with more calmness, more energy, and more compassion for yourself and those around you.
As your fighting for your health, your rights, and your values, remember to please, take care of yourself.
Want to try it out now? Download a free 20 minute video from Aroga Yoga here today.
By Kayla Kurin is a yoga therapist, teacher and health advocate, find her at ArogaYoga.com
How do you practice self-care in crisis? Let me know in the comments!
P.P.S If taking self-care time from these challenging issues is proving very difficult right now, or isn’t enough, if you need support, please be safe.
If you need to talk, call:
(UK & ROI) Samaritans – 116 123 (their new freephone number)
(USA) Suicide Prevention Life Line – 1-800-273-8255
(Australia) LifeLine – 13 11 14