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balance

Improve the Relationships in Your Life

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Improve the Relationships in Your Life

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There are a lot of things in life that feed us other than what is on our plate. Healthy relationships is a big one. You can eat all the spinach and chia seeds in the world, but if you have relationships in your life that are unbalanced and create stress, or simply a lack of connecting in relationships, it can affect not only your daily life, but your health as well. There are studies that suggest a lot of health benefits to having fulfilling relationships in our life, and we all know how much they can enhance how great our lives feel. On the contrary, having relationships that are challenging and create stress can cause ill health effects in our bodies, and take away from a life that feels really good. The absence of relationships and deep connections with people can also be a downfall for our health, and our happiness.

It's important to remember that we are all wired for connection and have an essential need to give and receive love.

Relationships can be challenging. All kinds of relationships from romantic partners, to co-workers, family, & friends. They can also help us grow tremendously if we are open to the growth. I'm a firm believer that the challenges in relationships are one of our biggest teachers in life!

Part of having a life that is healthy & feels fulfilling is making sure that we are keeping balanced in all areas. It's a good thing to check in with ourselves here from time to time, even if there isn't something major drawing our attention to the topic.

Some questions to ask yourself:

How are you doing in the area of relationships?

Are you aware of what your needs and desires are in the area of relationships?

Is there a relationship that you could improve by doing some work? Some clear communicating?

Are you feeling fulfilled in the area of relationships? Where could you do some work?

What are you craving? Is something missing for you in this area?

I'm a firm believer in continual personal work. The school of life continues as long as we are in this body. If you are on a path of self growth, I invite you to focus this week on your relationships. Take some time with the above questions, and then ask yourself this:

What came up for you as you answered the above questions?

Where could you benefit from putting some focus?

What is a specific action step that you can take this week to work on improving in the area of relationships?

I use the words 'action step', because we really do need to take action to create the life we want. We can talk about things until we are blue in the face, and it's great exploratory work, but until we put things into action, we are left with little actual change in life.

Here's my challenge to you for the week: After exploring the questions above, think of at least one solid 'action step' that you can do in the next week that will help you in some way in the area of relationships. This will look different for everyone. Ask yourself what would make the biggest difference for you right now, and follow through with it! You deserve to live a full, healthy, balanced life and working on healthy relationships to support that is an important piece.

Having a hard time deciding what a great action step could be for you? I've created a list of ideas to inspire you below!

Wishing you all a beautiful week full of time with the people that fill you up!

Shelly

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Action Steps to Improve The Relationships in Your Life:

#1. View each relationship with gratitude. The relationships that feel challenging can often teach us the most about ourselves. If you are currently struggling with any relationship in your life, take a little time to write a list about what you are grateful for or appreciate in that person. Maybe it is someone that you would want to show that list to? Or perhaps that list is just for you, to shift how you feel about that person to a more loving & appreciative way.

#2. Take time to communicate in close relationships. Take a few moments to express to each other what you both appreciate about your relationship, and what you feel like is going well. Taking a little time to express this can greatly increase the closeness. Then take turns expressing one or two aspects of your relationship that you wish to improve. Practice communicating about and hearing these things without blame, and focus on solutions.

#3. Focus on sharing passions, and fun time. Whether this is your significant other, or a friend or family member that you would like to feel closer to, focusing on meaningful and fun time helps the relationships deepen, and creates more fun!

#4. Create space to spend quality time together. It's so common for us to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and feel like we don't have time to really connect. It really doesn't take much to create even a little bit of quality time with someone you love if it is intentional. A couple of hours at a coffee shop, or a walk in the evening at the end of your day in good conversation can be great quality time. Put your phone away and make it quality time.

#5. Focus on the present, and let go of past things you may be holding grudges about. We are all imperfect humans and we all mess up sometimes. When we love someone, there are times that we need to allow the space for them to be human, forgive them, let go of grudges, and move on. Holding onto grudges is damaging, not just for the relationship, but for your own health & wellbeing. Forgiving someone and letting go of it is not just an act of love towards that person & the relationship, but it's a huge act of self-love as it hurts us to carry around such things. 

#6. Don’t take relationships for granted. Openly appreciate them! Express gratitude. Tell someone how much you appreciate them and why in person, via a message, or send them a card! It feels really good for both of you!

#7. Intentionally get to know each other better. Ask new questions, explore new things. We are all such complex creatures with different life stories & different passions. It's easy to become complacent in relationships that we have had for a while, and halt the 'getting to know each other' part. There is always more to learn about someone in your life, and learning more brings you closer. This can also be applied to someone new in your life that you'd like to create a stronger friendship with. Be curious in your conversation, and they will respond. Most of us LOVE to talk about ourselves :)

#8. Offer help & support. Is someone you care about struggling with something right now? Or maybe they are moving or working on a big home project that you know has them stressed? Reach out and offer your help & support. I think we know who our friends are when people show up to help you move or offer you a ride to the airport. Offering of help & support is so important in relationships. We really do need each other sometimes, and it can end up being great quality time as well.

#9. Take responsibility. Maybe you've messed up, and haven't admitted it. Maybe there is something that you could have handled with much more grace than you did. Maybe whatever it is, is still bothering you. Reach out, take responsibility and make the apology. It's so good to 'clear the air' so to speak on these things.

#10. Reach out to someone far away that you haven't kept in good touch with. I think we all have people in our lives that live far away from us that we care about deeply. Although our intentions maybe good, we are not so good at keeping in touch. Reach out to that person that you think about often, and let them know that you think about them, miss them, and take a little time to check in and see how they are.

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Self Care For The Busy Summer Bee!

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Self Care For The Busy Summer Bee!

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Summer is busy! This seems to be a topic of conversation with whoever I talk to lately. With the beautiful weather and so much going on, we can try to pack more into the few months of summer than we do all year. Plans every weekend, trips, extra events to attend during the week, and the draw to be more active outside, on top of our regular schedules. Yes, many of the things that keep us busy in summer are fun, but still can have a tendency to lead to some feelings of burn out, drained, tiredness, and generally feeling like we are constantly buzzing around like a busy bee! Whether it's summer time, or anytime we feel caught up in the whirlwind of life, it's such a good thing to remember how important self care is. We all know the basics. Eating healthy and getting adequate sleep & exercise are important to feel good in order to keep up with life. Being a busy bee can be fun, and all the summer fun can nourish us in great ways, but are you doing things to relax? Rejuvenate? Treat yourself & your body? What things are you doing to 'fill your cup'? What kind of things are you doing that allow some down time to feed the energy you need to keep up with the busyness life?

I've been feeling a bit caught up in the whirlwind of life lately myself, and have been hearing from so many people about how they have been as well. With this in mind, I thought I'd share with you today a list of ways that you can step out of the busy whirlwind of summer, stop your buzzing around for periods of time,  and take some rejuvenating time for self care. Making the time for some of these self care practices can make a huge positive difference in how you feel. When you are doing things to keep your cup full, everything else seems much easier to manage, and your can find yourself enjoying the busy summer life more.

If you've been feeling the buzz, and know you could benefit from taking some time for self care, the 10 tips below are for you! Pick one that you feel drawn to and start there! Making a little time to take good care of yourself can help the busy buzzing around of summer feel so much more enjoyable, and less exhausting!

Wishing you wellness!

Shelly

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10 Self Care Tips For The Busy Summer Bee:

  1. Take some time to care for your body. Maybe it's a long bath or spa night at home. Maybe it's going to a spa for a treatment or relaxing afternoon. It could be a massage or acupuncture session. Choose what feels best for you. Whatever it is, create some quiet time to give your body some love, so it feels rejuvenated!
  2. Cloud watching or start gazing! Summer is a great time to throw  blanket on the ground or find a cozy hammock to nestle into and take some time to just stare at the sky. Taking a few minutes to just sit still and soak up some sun rays can be a wonderful break too.
  3. Work on being more present with your normal routines of the day like brushing your teeth, getting ready for your day, and eating your breakfast. Allowing yourself to be fully present with the normal mundane tasks of your day, rather than rushing through them while thinking about everything else you need to do with the rest of your day allows you to own that time as yours. Starting your day by doing the tasks of your morning routine being fully present helps it to feel more relaxing and could turn it into 'you time' rather than time where your brain is consumed with all the other on-goings of your day & your life.
  4. Take some time to meditate, even if only for a short while. Starting your day with even a short meditation can set the tone for your whole day mentally and emotionally. It can also start your day off with a feeling of having some of your own time before you head into a full & busy day. Taking a couple of minutes to meditate in the middle of your busy day can really help to reset you as well, and leave you feeling recharged. In the middle of your busy day, take a minute to just close your eyes, and check in with yourself on your thoughts & feelings on the day. Take a minute to check in with how your body is feeling and know if there is anything that it needs. Then just take a minute to breathe and focus on your breath. Taking these 3 minutes in the middle of the day can work wonders. Try it and see!
  5. Unplug from electronics and social media for periods of time. Depending on your usage and work, maybe this means checking out  from electronics for a certain time of the day, or creating a healthy morning routine that involves not checking in online for the first hour or two of your day. It could mean taking weekends off of social media, or an entire week off. Whatever you can make work for you. Most of us have a tendency to be too attached here, and giving yourself intentional breaks is wonderful and recharging! It's not until you give yourself a break, that you really realize how much of your time & energy these things can consume you.
  6. Take yourself on a date and do something that is very relaxing for you. Maybe it is going to a movie, sitting in the park with a good book and a great lunch, or antique store perusing....whatever you find most relaxing on your own. Make a little time to just relax and treat yourself in this way.
  7. Take some time to journal. Use this time however it will best serve you. Write out things that have been bothering you,  celebrate the things that are going great for you, journal about what you are grateful for, use it as a tool to make a decision you are having a hard time with, or simply just write about whatever comes up. Journaling can be beneficial in so many ways, and is great time to stop and be introspective.
  8. Take some time to just 'be'. Curl up on the couch with a good book. Sit on your porch and listen to the birds sing. Sit on a park bench and people watch. Bring a floating device to a lake and just float.  If you are someone who struggles with constantly moving and being busy, making just a little bit of time here can really help to recharge  and calm you. If you are a really busy bee, be patient with yourself here. It may take a little time to relax about taking time to relax!
  9. Say 'NO' more often. We don't have to say yes to everything. Recognize when you are feeling tired, busy, or overwhelmed, and have the ability to say no to things, events, favors, or whatever is being asked of you. Many of us have a hard time saying 'no'. It  can take practice to have this become an easier thing, so start practicing! Ease up on the pressure you put on yourself in this way, and know that when you say 'no' to things, you are saying 'yes' to yourself by protecting your time, your energy, and taking good care of yourself. We can't be everything for everyone, attend everything, or do everything that is presented to us, or we would end up being depleted. This is an important thing to learn, and a huge gift to yourself.
  10. Especially when you are really busy, make a point to do at least one thing a day just for you. Just one nice thing for yourself. Treat yourself to something nurturing or rejuvenating...Even if it is just a little break in the day. You may not feel like you have the time on busy days, but make the time. We make time for so many things that are important in life. We can make the time for ourselves. It's the most important thing.

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