Eight Spirit Hangover Remedies

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Photo compliments of Lisa Proctor

Today is Ash Wednesday. If you’re not Catholic, your day will probably go on as planned, without interruption or ashes on your forehead. For Catholics, today marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. How is this related to health? It forces Catholics to consider simplifying their lives, and to bring sacrifice, fasting, and prayer to the top of their daily priority list.

As a Holistic Wellness Coach, I encourage clients to regularly detox, but usually don’t encourage fasting (I don’t feel that the practice should ever have a weight loss focus) or giving up one food consistently. However, no matter your spiritual beliefs, the Lenten Season can be a great time to simplify and focus on your spiritual health. (No ashes necessary.)

This post is void of ways to detox your food, drink, or any other caloric matter. Rather, let’s chat about detoxing your spirit.  I’d like to share certain actions I take to help bring me to a place of peace whenever I need to. Peace does not equal relaxed, void of stress, organized, or restful, for the record. I’m hardly any of those. I hope you’ll consider one or two of these steps as part of your spring-cleaning or Lenten season practices.

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1. Unclutter Your Life. You’ll feel a real rush of inspiration when you clear out stuff that’s no longer useful in your life. Key considerations: If you haven’t worn it in the past year or two, recycle it for others to use. Get rid of old files that take up space and are seldom, if ever, needed. (I’ll never re-read old magazines. Repeat.) Donate unused toys, tools, books, bicycles, and dishes to a charitable organization. This is less you need to insure, protect, dust, reorganize, and move, too!

2. Clear your Calendar of Unwanted and Unnecessary Activities and Obligations. Remain available for chance, magic, and serendipity. If you’re unavailable for the sporadic, you’ll never feel the inspiring nudge of your spiritual self. That’s when the cool stuff happens, folks! This was a tough lesson for me, as I once was grossly over-scheduled. I missed the magical aspects of life. It took loving family and friends to give me the swift kick in the pants I needed to alter the course of my days (and life.) Practice saying no without guilt.

3. Be Sure to Keep Your Free Time Free. If you’re like me, free time is precious and rare. Even with my best attempts to keep it balanced, I fail. If social get-togethers, fund-raising events, or society gatherings aren’t really how you want to spend your free time, then don’t. Begin declining invitations that don’t activate feelings of inspiration. I’ve learned to be unavailable for such events without apologizing, and consequently have more inspired moments freed up.

4. Take Time for Meditation and Yoga. Give yourself at least 30 minutes a day to sit quietly or practice yoga and make conscious contact with God. The rewards are so powerful: You’ll feel healthier, less stressed, and inspired by what you’ll be able to do with and for your body in a very short time.

Image6. Return to Nature. As a runner, a good ol’ distance run around my neighborhood trails (or the beach) is the best prescription for–everything! There’s nothing more awe-inspiring than nature itself. The fantasy to return to a less tumultuous life almost always involves living in the splendor of the mountains, on an island; near the ocean; or beside a lake. For me, this means a deep, long breaths among nature’s bliss. I always come back a better human being.

7. Get to Know Your Natural Self. So give yourself permission to get away to swim in a river, lake, or ocean; sit by an open fire; ride horseback through trails; or ski down a mountain slope. This doesn’t have to mean long, costly, planned vacations. Most cities have access to a park, campground, or trail that will allow you to escape with nature.

8. Put Distance between You and Your Critics. Choose to align yourself with people who are like-minded in their search for simplified inspiration. Give those who find fault or who are confrontational a silent blessing and remove yourself from their energy as quickly as possible. Your life is simplified enormously when you don’t have to defend yourself to anyone, and when you receive support rather than criticism. You never need to defend yourself or your desires to anyone.

Slow down a bit this spring and enjoy living. Be kind to yourself and to those around you. You work hard. Be sure to rest well, too.  

–Lacey

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