Burning Bright or Burned Out?

September 01, 2015

At the end of August I had the chance to go to an awesome retreat that was hosted by the Good Life Project. If you haven't heard of Jonathan Fields and his organization, they're definitely worth checking out. It was quite an inspiring weekend where I had the opportunity to hear some trail blazing speakers talk on what a good life means to them, attend some information-packed workshops on how to run & sustain an authentic business and I had the chance to meet other fellow meditators, wellness and creativity enthusiasts. Best of all there was time built in for self-care through daily yoga, meditation, crafts, talking with other kindred spirits, playing and eating three fresh meals a day. [caption id="attachment_6958" align="aligncenter" width="650"]Divine-Life-Travel_72 Prints & Cards available...here.[/caption] One of my favorite keynotes was by Dr. Aviva Romm; she spoke about "Burning the Candle Without Burning Out". Her focus was on how stress interacts with our body and how a certain amount of stress is actually really good for us...but when we begin to program our bodies to always operate out of emergency mode,  we will slowly or in most cases, quickly burn out. The key, she said is about finding a good work-life balance... something I'm pretty sure we've all thought about and/ or tried to work towards :). And if I had to guess, I'd say for the majority of us, the "life" balance piece is the most challenging part because it's often easiest to move ourselves down the priority list rather than up when life gets busy and we need self-care more than ever. Most of us know ways to nourish ourselves, however I don't think we can ever hear these reminders enough. Dr. Romm's top 5 tips to help keep the balance were:
  1. PERCEPTIONS COUNTS- staying positive helps keep you flexible and more likely to adapt in stressful situations, therefore giving you greater ability to be resilient as you move through life's ups and downs.
  2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY- Unplug regularly, take a few minutes throughout the day to breath intentionally (do some pranayam) and get enough rest (min of 7 hrs is recommended).
  3. FEED YOUR BRAIN- Eat three balanced meals that include at least 4-6 portions of vegetables and fruit, 2-3 servings of protein (greek yogurt, cottage cheese, lentils, nuts, tofu) and try to eat your last meal by 7 pm so that your body has time to digest before you go to sleep. Balanced meals (fresh veggies + protein) help stabilize your blood sugar which in turn helps keep your mind more balanced. In addition, fill our diet with veggies and fruits that are high in antioxidants and have high anti-inflammatory nutrients (these are also known as adaptogens that help your adrenal glands function when stressed).
  4. EXERCISE REGULARLY- 30-45 minutes of active movement is great way to relieve stress and pump yourself up with some endorphins.
  5. TAKE TIME TO RECHARGE- Mediation, yoga, laughing, playing, relaxing...all these things help you become more parasympathetic which helps you move away from your body reacting in  fight or flight mode. Fight or flight mode is basically when you operate in emergency mode...it is something we need for when we are in situations that call for it, but we start operating in that mode regularly it taxes your heart and makes you more susceptible to cardiovascular disease. Best of all, recharging regularly helps you become more productive when you're actually working.
As we head into the fall and get back into our non-summer routines...I hope these little but mighty tips help you stay grounded and a little more balanced within yourself. with love, Kajal  

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