Shape up your inner strength

We’re in the midst of winter, and with cold nights and temperatures dipping below freezing in the early mornings, it takes some effort getting out from under our warm duvets and cosy pyjamas. And with nowhere really to go while we wait out the peak of the corona virus, it’s becoming hard to find the stamina and endurance to face each day with gratitude and joy.

We’re half-way through this year and it has been a tough one so far. And the next six months will potentially be even harder. It helps me to know that we’re all here to support one another and that we can reach out for help when we need a boost.

I have been feeling ‘less-than’ resilient for the past couple of weeks and realised that I needed to check-in with myself. I feel so fortunate that I was able to attend an online course presented by Gabi Lowe and Pippa Shaper from the Resilience Factory. They teach that resilience is the “powerful ability to survive, thrive and grow in the face of stress, change and adversity,” and say that it’s about “becoming a human being, rather than a human doing.”

I love the concept of being a human, rather than just doing all the time. For me, this translates into making space for reflection and self-care. Reflection in itself is self-care, because you allow time for being quiet and checking in with what’s going on in your heart. You give yourself permission to just be, instead of do; and you give yourself the okay to slow down and be still. It’s an emotional healing process.

It’s also a challenging process. If you, like me, have been so busy doing, instead of being, it may be time to slow down. And slowing down means taking time out, it means self-nurturing and being kind to yourself.

I have always found that spending time in nature is the best tonic for fatigue and boosting my energy levels. My favourite place to go is the bush. It grounds me, and just being in the natural surroundings of the bushveld calms my mind and lets me exhale all my worries and stress. I use the time to switch of my electronic devices and take a complete break from screen-time. For now, I’ll settle for a long, candle-lit bath and managing my diary more mindfully.

Self-care builds your resilience, and we all need a good dollop of inner strength right now. I want to encourage you to build up your strength, resilience and stamina for the last six months of 2020. Care for your body and your mind, take time to nurture yourself and prioritise times of stillness and calm.

You may not be able to travel to your favourite place, but try having lunch outside, do your morning exercises on the outside patio rather than indoors, take a stroll around your neighbourhood, or simply just take in the scents, colours and shapes of nature itself. Give yourself permission to soak in a hot long bath, have an afternoon nap, or just be still and let your favourite music flow through you.

Comments (2)

  • Dear Kim,
    Thank you for a really nurturing and mindful piece you posted this week. May I use some of your talk as an opener to a Zoom session with my Al Anon group as it talks to so many of the stresses that some of the ladies are going through, particularly in the last week.? Your words are so powerful. Thank you

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