When I think about connection, I generally think of something outside of myself. Connecting with loved ones or building connections socially or professionally and reaching out rather than turning in.
While of course these connections matter and are very important to our lives, do we place as much effort and importance on the connection to ourselves?
What if we focused more on that turning-in? What if we focused more on connecting with our own needs? What if we took time to better understand what we need to do to stay grounded, healthy, and feeling our best?
My initial response to those questions is:
“Are you nuts???? Not only is that selfish, but I have 9,000 things to do!!!! The world is a mess, I have a ton of obligations and you want me to focus on caring for ME?”
What I have learned though and continue to work on (even though it’s REALLY hard) is that cultivating that connection to my needs even in the smallest of ways helps all areas of my life. I truly believe it helps us show up for our loved ones and communities in a more robust way too.
I don’t think finding these connections needs to be a huge ordeal either. Maybe it’s finding a few minutes to breathe consciously or it’s a quick movement break when we feel like we are getting sucked into our computer screen.
I’m all about practical ways to facilitate change so here are my two go to’s:
1. Box Breathing. This technique used by yogis and navy seals alike is a fanatic way to calm down the nervous system and connect back to your body. You simply inhale for 4 counts, hold your breath for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, and hold for 4 counts. Repeat a few times and enjoy a clearer mind and a more relaxed and connected body. (For my visual learners see the nifty graphic below.)
2. MOVE! Take little movement breaks throughout your day. Some cat cow at your desk or a hip flexor stretch in your chair does so much more than keep your body happy. It keeps that mind a little happier, calmer, and more focused too. Click below for special access to this quick video workout that will help you unplug and re-connect without ever leaving your desk.
Let’s all remember that caring for and connecting to ourselves is not only paramount for our own health, but for connecting to helping the people around us too.