Hi and Happy August. Where is the summer going? I'm not really sure, but I know that it is flying by at lightning speed. Many of us live our lives at such a pace that we seemingly catch ourselves coming and going at the door and we don't take the opportunity to think about what is good for us. What ever happened to the "lazy days" of summer? (Did they ever really exist?) Which brings me to my topic of Eco-Stepping from the inside out. Many of my posts are about saving energy, money, and doing good things for the environment around us. This time I am focusing more on slowing down and taking time to reflect upon the environment within us.
Of course, there are many ways to slow down, unwind, take stock, renew, recharge and refresh ourselves. I will mention a few here. And again, the idea is to take small "eco-steps" to getting yourself happy and healthy from the inside out.
Meditation: According to Wikipedia, the operational definition of meditation refers to any of a family of practices in which the practitioner trains his or her mind or self-induces a mode of consciousness in order to realize some benefit. In fact, there may be up to 100 benefits of meditating, says one site. These include the obvious like increased relaxation, decreased heart rate, increased productivity, just to name a few. The following are some other sites to check out regarding the how-to's and benefits of meditiation:
Breathing Exercises: Can help reduce stress, anxiety, tension and anger, and can bring about a sense of calm and well-being. Here are some sites for some easy-to-do breathing exercises:
Visualization Techniques: There is a school of thought that everything that we create, do, and accomplish begins in the mind. Visualization techniques can help to focus thoughts and channel creative energy and expand imagination. It can also be great fun! Below is a video (one of a series) on visualization that I thought was interesting:
Wellness / Support Groups: These can run the gamut and can be as minimalistic or all-consuming depending on your preference. Any Internet search for wellness or support groups in your area will most likely yield many results. Two examples where you can go for wellness coaching / mentoring are listed below.
The Shared Journey: A resource for life and gentle encouragement / coaching for parents (and non-parents too!)
Atlanta Mind Body: A resource where you can reconnect with your inner healing wisdom.
Doing Something Enjoyable: Sometimes the simplest things are the best, yet least obvious. Read a book, take an art class, exercise, see a movie. It doesn't much matter, so long as it is something for YOU to renew your spirit and recharge your internal batteries.
Now that you have some ideas to eco-step to a better you from the inside out, I encourage you to check out the sites I've posted above. I also invite you to offer additional suggestions for relaxing, regrouping and recharging in the comments section.