By Maddie Burlin
I recently sat down with RAW Beauty Talks founder, Erin Treloar. After our interview, Erin and I started chatting about tools.**
**the things we turn to when we aren’t feeling our best, when we need a lift – the things that make us feel grounded and bring us back down to earth.
For me, it has always been food. Overeating, under eating, over exercising, under exercising… and those are still tools I am trying to replace with healthier ones. I am conscious of not beating myself up for those things when I do turn to them in low moments. But I am aware that these behaviors don’t feel as good long-term and that’s a start.
Tools are what help me find solid ground in the mess of being a twenty-something.
So what are they? First – let me be really clear about something. I don’t mean the things that people tell you are good for you (there’s a lot of that to go around). You know what I mean, all those things that you are supposed to want to do and that you are told will make you feel good. I mean the things that actually make you feel good because they work for you.
Here are some examples that might serve as inspiration. Hopefully one or a few of these things will help you feel a little more connected, nourished, and nurtured.
Some of Erin’s tools that she has discovered work for her:
- Meditation – doing a body scan, going through every single body part and consciously grounding and relaxing each part of the body.
- Creating a vision board – and coming back to it when you are feeling confused, lost, or in need of some inspiration!
- Acupuncture – to release the emotion that we hold in our physical bodies.
- Exercise (in moderation of course!) – sweating can help you release endorphins (those feel good hormones that lift your mood) and it’s proven to help increase self-esteem. Double win!
- Talking to a life coach or a counselor – having someone to hold up a mirror to you, or be a sounding board. Creating relationships that you can rely on to be unbiased, and that are separate from your day-to-day life so you do not have to tailor what you say to protect feelings.
And here are some of the things I’ve learned:
- Yoga – in a way that extends beyond a workout. Beyond the physical. Where you can experience being in your body, but recognize that the body is only a vehicle for the many other parts that make up who you are. I particularly love Yin yoga… where the metaphor of staying in a position for 3-5 minutes and learning to get comfortable in the discomfort extends into the necessity of how we deal with our emotional lives (we can’t escape uncomfortable feelings forever).
- Cooking – Even though food can be an unhealthy escape for me, I find the process of cooking meditative. It makes me more aware of what I am feeding myself. The more time and care I put into a meal, the more nourished I feel.
- Opening – I close my eyes and push my shoulders back a bit and visualize opening my heart. There is a deep part of me that wants to close off, to disappear, to become small. By choosing to open, I am giving myself permission to experience anything – comfortable or uncomfortable.
- Allow the feeling – this sounds SO simple and yet it is absolutely one of the hardest things for me to do. It usually results in more of a breakdown kind of scenario, where I’ve spent anywhere from a day to an entire week running around avoiding that feeling until it grabs me by the shoulders and punches me in the gut. Save yourself some time and just feel it.
- Repeating a Mantra – I know what you might be thinking… and I felt that way too. What is repeating a bunch of sappy sayings over and over again in my head really going to do for me? But it’s amazing how much of an impact that can have. These are my favorites:
“I am well, I am loved.”
“I am enough.”
“I am love, I am light.”
“I am unafraid to embrace and be embraced.”
“I am ready for change.”
“Be the light.”
We would love to hear what your tools are, and what you have learned to turn to when you are feeling low, or you need to ground yourself again. Please share in the comments below and we can keep building a list together! Here’s to real talk.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the talented Cheryl Strayed:
“Nobody will protect you from suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”
Maddie is a Professional Communications student at Royal Roads University in Victoria. She previously studied English Literature at Acadia University, where she developed an academic writing style and pursued creative writing outlets both inside and outside of school. In creative writing, she loves getting curious about human connection, learning to love and respect ourselves, and digging deep around the things that hold us back. @madeleineburlin on Twitter