ASHLEIGH GUTHRIE. IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY

ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PIECES OF ADVICE FOR CREATIVE PRODUCTIVITY IS, “IF YOUR MIND IS EMPTY READ, IF YOUR MIND IS FULL WRITE.” 

KNOWING WHEN TO REST AND WHEN TO ACT THROUGHOUT THE DIFFERENT CYCLES OF THE MONTH AND SEASONS HAS CREATED MORE JOY AND CONNECTION WITHIN MYSELF, MY RELATIONSHIPS AND BUSINESS.

HERE ARE FOUR WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR SELF AWARENESS AND TRANSFORM YOUR HABITS OF STRESS INTO A STRONG SELF-CARE PRACTICE

Mentally

Ever felt like your brain to mouth co-ordination has disappeared? Then you know what it’s like to need mental rest, especially leading up to your time of the month or before launching a big work project.

You may realise you’ve been distracting yourself more by scrolling or sending a barely comprehensible voice note. Perhaps you notice your thoughts starting to turn negative, judging everything you do, or sabotaging and procrastination kicks in.  

The next time you need a mental break, turn off your screens and take a few moments to ground yourself outside, get your feet on the earth and take some deep breaths. I’ve found that creating a 10-30minute morning practice of meditation, gentle movement and writing down 5 things I’m grateful for really helps to set me up for the day.

Physically 

Physical burnout and overwhelm can feel like walking through quicksand. When we ignore the warning signs of overwhelm, the body and nervous system can become overly sensitive to loud noises and all you want is your bed, not the greatest when you have a business to run and little ones needing your attention.

The most healing form of physical rest is sleep and I love bedtime rituals, consider going to bed 30 minutes earlier, or taking a hot bath with lavender and magnesium salts. 

Catching up on physical rest can also mean stepping away from your desk regularly and taking deep breaths during the workday, eating a balanced died or perhaps booking in a restorative yoga class to give your body some time to stretch. Knowing what your body needs during the different hormonal stages of the month may help you to feel more refreshed and energised, for those family gatherings and work projects.

Spiritually

Sometimes it can feel like we are doing things alone. So, for me, spiritual rest & reset can look like finding people who are in my tribe — I enjoy attending women’s circles, safe spaces where I know I will be held, looked after and nourished at a soul level.

For you, social rest might mean catching up with a friend who knows you inside and out. Or perhaps it’s just taking a night off from socialising and reconnecting with yourself in a way that feels good.

At times we just need to remember the things that brought us joy as a child, like painting, riding horses, smelling a flower, eating a strawberry. Come back to the things that feel like home.

Emotionally

Think of how you feel after a you’ve over given and put everyone else’s needs before your own — after a while you may begin to feel resentful, exhausted, and confused as to why you have less patience to engage with family and more easily frustrated. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the signals from your emotional body and have awareness of when you tank is almost full.

A favourite tool of mine when I find myself spiralling is to put a timer on and tip out how you’re feeling. This can look like journaling or speaking to someone who is available and capable of validating and listening to your needs.

That could mean scheduling regular therapy sessions or finding people with whom you can be authentically yourself with and perhaps offer you a hug.

If you enjoyed reading this post, then do join me for a FREE monthly Ask Ashleigh New Moon Ceremony in which I share more self awareness techniques and spiritual insight. Link can be found on my Instagram bio.

You might also like to join my wonderful Facebook community at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/612248250194973

Written by Ashleigh Guthrie

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