I am reading the book, “Care for the Soul” by Thomas Moore. This has been timely word for the New Year.
There are so many things that rob and drain the soul. Last year I became a victim of burn out and not just with career but with most areas of my life. This led to depression and just a deep pit that was no fun finding myself there and trying to dig my way out. I ended up getting some help medically that helped me work through it. During this process, I have began some practices that one could call, “Care for the Soul.”
1.) Setting Boundaries with people, work and life- this is not a one time job, it takes maintenance. I call this mending the fences. Just like a rancher, you have to periodically check your fences to make sure your boundaries are still in tack.
2.) Not allowing the negativity, chaos and problems of others to become mine. I am the type of person, that likes to help others and will sometimes adopt the crisis of others and sometimes find myself working harder on the problems of others, than they do. I can be an emotional sponge and I am learning to step back, gain perspective and not allow this unhealthy habit to continue.
3.) Reconnect with friends and family- Nothing is better for the soul, than real relationships. Laughter, playing and just enjoying the company of others works miracles for our souls. In a time of social networking and distracting entertainment, we can forget or neglect the realness of true connection.
4.) Reading and listening to inspiring material. I have become picky in what I give my eyes and ears to. 24 hours news, reality shows and negative, gossip is not good for the soul. I choose inspirational book, art and sacred writings to feed my otherwise starving soul. I have also committed to make my social networking a place of inspiration and positivity. Which is challenging in the present political season, but I am committed.
5.) Spend time outside and with nature. I have started taking walks and doing things that recharge my souls batteries.
6.) Cleaning out my closets and clutter- this can really be a spiritual practice and make your soul actually feel lighter.
7.) Choose foods for how they make me feel and the energy they give me, instead to simply answer a craving that does not deliver.
8.) Purposely choose to live in the moment, and enjoy who or what each moment brings.
9.) Choosing to spend time away from my devices and social networking. This is a modern addiction. Although these can be a great tool, they are terrible counterfeits of real connection. They should only enhance our real connections, not replace them. A phone call, letter or a chat over coffee or lunch are still the best tools o connect.
10.) Spend time exercising every day, it will destress you and make you feel alive.
11.) Spend time everyday, doing something for someone else, that is beyond what you have to do.
12.) Spend time with a pet. Give them your attention and allow them to love you unconditionally.
13.) Meditate and connect with the sacred.
14.) Listen to music that uplifts. I pay attention to words and how music makes me feel.
15.) Allow yourself to feel and process your feelings, good and bad. Validate and love yourself.
These are just a few things I am doing to care for my soul and so far, I am enjoying the results. I hope these can help you as well.