Pathway to Wellness

The path to wellness begins with slowing down and taking notice of your self-care routine.

Are you getting proper nutrition? Enough sleep?

Simple shifts in behavior can have an impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Take some time today to consider ways you nourish mind, body, and spirit. Meanwhile, I will delve into how these simple shifts have improved my wellbeing.

I have been dealing with chronic complex migraines and neuropathy. This means I live with chronic pain and fatigue. Dwelling on symptoms can lead to depression and anxiety, only exacerbating my pain. So instead, I use mindfulness techniques to extricate myself from the dis-ease.

Again, this takes practice. My meditation practice began almost 20 years ago, and although sporadic at times, it laid the groundwork for my current situation. Already I have a method to retreat to in times of overwhelm. I have slowly been able to extricate myself from victim thinking to allow for acceptance.

Now please do not think I do not get pissed or aggravated about the pain and other symptoms. I definitely do. The difference however, is that I no long dwell on my condition or limitations it presents.

I get frustrated. I vent. I move on.

In other words, I am allowing for the release of energy, clearing the emotional aspects of the pain. I allow the sensation of annoyance to flow through my body, feeling the emotion in my chest and solar plexus as well as my hands.

Usually, some slight movement or voicing my thoughts is all of the venting I need to reestablish my ground of being. From there, I gather myself back into the normal flow of my life, knowing it will happen again, and it’s ok.

We shouldn’t be looking to remove our emotions, or stop feeling because it hurts. Everyone’s life is rife with pain and pleasure. Our task is to find balance moment to moment.

So what does my selfcare routine look like?

It’s super simple! I learned to say “No” and set boundaries. I cannot pour from an empty cup and neither can you. Set boundaries.

I adjusted my sleep schedule and routine to make the best attempt at getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Most weeknights I only get 5-6 hours, but I make sure not to overdo it during the day. I found balance.

Daily movement. I walk approximately 5 miles each day. Not all at once. I break it up into smaller chunks and add stairs when I feel up to it. Adding a Hatha yoga class on Saturday mornings allows to reconnect, stretch and strengthen my mind-body connection.

And I take time to decompress and explore creativity refreshing my spirit and relaxing my mind.

It doesn’t necessarily take a fancy retreat or food to recover one’s “suchness.” It only takes mindful action and awareness to shift from dis-ease to flow.

Again, it is the practice of meditation which has allowed for the most growth and improvement. It gives me a way to free my mind from the pain. My vipassana practice enables me to be present with the pain but realize I am not “in pain.” The sensation of pain arises due to other contributing factors- such as misfiring nerves; I am better able to visualize the pathways and origins of the pain. This grants me some insight and, ultimately, peace in my suffering.

Where can you find space in your life for peace?

New to meditation? Try a free guided meditation to bring some peace and flow to your day. Listen Now

If you are experiencing anxiety or have other medical concerns, please speak with your doctor.


Author: Kristen Simonds

Host of the Dandelion Doorways Podcast: focusing on mindful living, exploring practices such as meditation and Reiki, and how simple shifts in perspective can allow us to experience a deeper connection and more blissful life.

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