I have to admit that I give my plants less attention than they need to grow and thrive. But let me turn that into a metaphor for my life…and maybe yours.
I care for myself in the same way I care for my plants—sporadically as an afterthought. If I find myself losing physical vibrancy, going down a negative mental or emotional wormhole, or feeling spiritually disconnected, I add water and fertilizer. The rest of the time, I don’t pay much attention to my garden.
No wonder I don’t thrive and bloom. You have to carefully tend to the garden of your body, mind and soul to grow and bear fruit.
No Time for Self-Care
For the last decade, I’ve been too busy to give myself the time and attention necessary to grow and thrive physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ve not been a good caretaker of my own garden.
It makes total sense, therefore, that I gained weight and struggled with thyroid and cholesterol issues. Plus, I’ve been unhappy and disconnected in my relationships with others and Source.
I let my garden go to seed and become overrun by weeds.
Tending the Garden
For the last nine or ten months, though, I’ve been doing a better job of tending my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual garden. And my thumb is getting greener. I am consciously and more consistently taking better care of my mind, body, and soul.
How am I doing that? With a series of intentional actions.
If like me, your thumb is no longer green and your garden has begun to die, you might want to try them, too.
1. Make Time for You
I now block time twice a day…sometimes more…for myself. In the morning, I get up early to exercise, meditate, and journal or write after that. I no longer rush to get to my desk as soon as I wake up.
In the evening, I shut down my computer and do not turn it on again until the next morning. I make time to walk with my husband, and we spend the evening together relaxing.
I get into bed early so I can read and still get eight hours of sleep.
Additionally, l take time off from work. It’s super easy to spend your entire week in the office when you are an entrepreneur and work from home. These days, though, I give myself a day off or two half days off on the weekend. (My goal is to take the entire weekend off.) At this time, I can walk on the beach, read a book, or listen to or watch something inspiring.
2. Feed Your Soul
I block time on my calendar for the things that feed my soul. This includes spiritual and personal growth. I might read or attend a virtual course or even get coached. It also includes walks on the beach or just sitting on my deck and allowing myself to think or enjoy nature.
When it comes to my business, I spend more time writing, which is my superpower and a way to fulfill my purpose. I also focus on coaching clients who, like me, are writers or people ready to level up and create lives that feed their souls, too.
3. Connect with Friends and Family
I make time every week to chat with family and friends. This might be a Zoom meeting with friends or a phone call with one of my kids or sisters or my mother.
My husband and I eat dinner together and talk as well. And I reach out via text or social media to my friends as well.
If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic (as I write this), I would try to meet with a friend every week.
4. Limit Negative Input
I also keep negative input to a minimum. Especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I limit the amount of time I spend watching TV news to 30–45 minutes. I no longer check the news online during the day.
Instead, most evenings, I spend a little time watching a feel-good show with my husband, and, on the weekends, we watch a movie together.
I also avoid negative people. And, at night, I read books on topics that help me grow and learn. Additionally, I listen to positive podcasts and audiobooks whenever I can, including while I exercise.
5. Care for Your Body
I realize the importance of taking care of the temple of my soul. So I sleep…a lot. I get eight hours of sleep every single night. If I feel tired, I sleep more.
I also eat a pretty healthy diet, although, given some recent test results, I’ll be taking more care with what I eat the next year. I take supplements consistently as well.
Additionally, I exercise five or six days per week for 25–45 minutes. I alternate between weight lifting, bodyweight exercises, walking, and cycling.
Special Fertilizer Needed
Recently, I realized that I needed to add some more fertilizer to my garden. This is not the type of fertilizer you would add to your house or outside plants. And it’s not expensive, dangerous, or even bad for the environment. However, it can be rare.
The fertilizer is joy.
I realized I was not enjoying my life. I wasn’t happy.
I actually had to make a list of the things that bring me joy…to remind myself. Now that I have the list, I can add those activities to my daily self-care regimen. In other words, I can make them part of my life again.
I have to remind myself, though, that it’s okay to feel negative emotions. When you allow yourself to do so, you release them, which allows you to be happier.
Add a dose of joy to your daily experience, and you begin to thrive. You start to see your life in a more positive light, and your heart and soul get strong and grow.
The Growing Process
The process of caring for plants is a lot like caring for yourself. If you don’t do it consistently and with great love, appreciation, and intention, you wither and die—emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. But you can develop a green thumb.
Take the time to tend your garden, and you will see yourself growing and blooming. You will reap the fruits of your actions.
It’s time to turn my attention to my actual plants, which still need consistent care, but I am doing a better job caring for myself emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. And I see myself thriving and my thumb turning greener day by day.
Do you have a green thumb that helps you care for the garden of your body, mind, and soul? Tell me in a comment below, and please share this post with someone you know.
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Photo courtesy of Simy27 .