We go to the hairdresser to tame our hair, the dentist to whiten our teeth and the gym to tackle our muffin top. But where do we go when we need to give our soul a workout?
Each day, we have the choice to indulge in activities, thoughts and behaviours that either nourish our soul or strain it.
We choose whether we go for a walk at lunchtime to reconnect with the earth, or if we stay indoors and work through our break. We choose whether to think positively about a situation or to pander to negative thinking.
Every single day we choose, both intentionally and unintentionally, whether or not we will feed our soul or fuel our anxiety.
So, ask yourself now: lately, have you been feeding your soul or fuelling your anxiety?
If you’ve answered this question with ‘fuelling your anxiety’, don’t feel too bad. Sure, it’s not the ideal way to react, but nor is it unusual.
Because if you’re like most people, taking care of your soul has probably been one of the last things on your to-do list recently.
A typical 9 to 5 working day or 9 to 3 school day doesn’t really cater for soul nourishment and in fact, can even encourage us to feel anxious and indulge in soul depleting activities.
Add on homework, long days, presentations, making dinner, social commitments, housework and everything else that pops up each day and it may feel like taking care of your soul is your very last priority.
And let’s face it, with all of the other stuff taking up time in your day (and in your mind), who has the energy, patience and forethought to consider soothing their soul?
Well… While you might not have time, you definitely have the need.
Okay, so I’m not suggesting you ditch your responsibilities (all the time), but I do think that taking care of your soul is vital for healthy and happy living.
There’s this old saying that encourages ‘sharpening your saw’, with the premise that you can hardly cut a tree down with a blunt saw, so you’re better off taking the time to sharpen your tools before you start work.
In life, our ‘saw’ is our soul. It helps us tackle difficult projects with clarity, focus and energy.
Our soul allows us to interact with others on a deep and meaningful level. It assists us in stress management and in handling those bad days. And at the very basic level, it is our essence: our life source.
When you don’t take care of your soul, you’re essentially hacking at a tree with a blunt saw.
And while it might seem like taking time out to soothe your soul is a luxury rather than a necessary part of your day, the truth is that if you feed your soul everything else will become easier – just like a sharp saw slices through wood effortlessly.
Now onto the fun bit, and I promise you it will be fun because taking care of your soul always is. Because you see, nourishing your soul and retooling is all about doing things you enjoy.
Things that make you happy, energetic and joyful. The things that you look forward to but often put off because you don’t have time or feel that there’s something else more important to do.
The fun stuff.
So to get you started and help you think about what you really enjoy doing, here are some of my top ways to soothe your soul:
When we are involved in activities like drawing, painting and creating we get into a state of being referred to as ‘flow’.
This is the state responsible for focus and what some experts believe to be a true state of happiness.
We release all of our anxiety (and even transfer it onto our art) and allow ourselves to be in the moment. It’s like kale for the soul.
It’s also super exciting to see something you’re physically creating emerge at the end!
During an average day, there’s bound to be things that annoy you, aggravate you and make you feel crappy. And usually, these things all impact your mood so at the end of the day you’re irritable and stressed.
But what if you could release all of those negative emotions?
This is essentially what journaling allows you to do. By writing down your thoughts, feelings and musings you are transferring your negative energy onto the page.
You’re releasing your bad feelings and working through your anxieties. And you’re also fuelling your soul, allowing it to break free from the prison it’s been kept in all day.
There’s something about being outdoors that makes your soul sing. And this is coming from someone who is attacked by nature more often than not. And it still makes me feel good!
I don’t know what it is, perhaps a combination of the fresh air, scenery and wild life, but a jaunt outside always helps me shake off a bad mood and refocus on the positives.
If you want extra soul points, turn your adventure outside into a walking meditation. You can do so by switching off all your technology that you usually bring with you and walking with intention.
Pay attention to your breath and focus on things that are directly in front of you. Make an effort to be in the moment and notice all of the sights, sounds and smells that surround you.
If there’s one thing you soul loves doing, it’s laughing. Laughter is pure joy. Bottled, it would be worth a fortune. In fact, I’m pretty sure Monsters Inc. had the same thought, didn’t they?
Anyway, if your soul’s energy is feeling a little low, one of the best ways to top it up is to feed it some laughter.
You can watch a funny movie, go to a comedy show or even call your best friend for a good old giggle session. Whatever makes you laugh and tickles your giggle pickle!
While giving money to charity always makes us feel good about ourselves, an awesome way to feed our soul is by giving our time. Having hands-on involvement in a project that offers you no extra benefits feels absolutely amazing.
You might choose to donate your time by taking the dogs at your local pound for a walk. Or you might help out your local community with a charity event.
You can also spend time at a children’s hospital making them laugh (and helping feed their souls), at a soup kitchen or at your local school.
We all have different interests and different talents that we can offer the world, so choose something that truly makes your soul sparkle.
Want extra soul points? Bring a friend who is having a hard time. You’ll both walk away from the experience feeling both humbled and inspired.
When was the last time you sat quietly without doing anything at all? That means no checking your Facebook, no scrolling through your Twitter feed and no talking.
Hmm? I’m guessing it was before the Internet was invented.
Seriously though, it’s so vital for our soul that we spend time each day being quiet and peaceful.
Even if for you this means lying on your back watching the clouds rather than a full-blown meditation, this is still an awesome way to feed your soul.
If you want extra health benefits though, I really, really, really recommend trying out meditation. Just 20-minutes a day has been scientifically proven to help your health and wellbeing so much it’s practically magical.
You’ll also work through some of those annoying issues that keep popping up in the back of your mind and help ease your stress.
Really, there’s no downside of meditating besides the fact that as a beginner, and I fear I will always be a beginner, I can sometimes get quite agitated when my ‘crazy monkey mind’ doesn’t settle down.
But I’ve been told that with my time and practice this too will disappear. And for now, just the benefits of meditating and the way I feel after a session are enough to keep practicing!
And last but not least, remember that soothing your soul is all about having some ‘me time’ and taking time out to do things you enjoy.
For many of us, this means spending time indulging in our hobbies and passions. Which may vary from go-kart racing and kite-flying all the way through to bird watching and painting.
Because at the end of the day, I don’t really need to tell you how to sooth your soul, you already know. It’s ingrained in every fibre of your being and if you just take the time to listen closely, your soul will tell you what it wants.
Light and love, darlings!
While Cassandra readily admits to being a rampant cupcake aficionada (how could she not be with an almost-brother-in-law that owns not one, but three cupcake shops?) she happily works off her lust of all things sweet and sugary by slogging it out in the gym and outdoors.
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