On self-care: ease

when i said  i would discuss ease this week i was coming from a place of frustration. the truth is i know very little about ease, and what little i've known has been buried beneath all types of unease for the past few weeks. i knew i had to challenge myself, to face my problem with ease head-on in order to 1) understand its true role in my research of self-care and 2) to help me face the fears i've had that have led to this state of unease in the first place.

 

i began by asking a few people what ease meant to them to somehow try to make sense of what my own definition was. confidence is crucial, i heard; intention, and making the active choice to feel at ease is important, too. ease is about feeling content.

 

ease is the harmonious balance between mental and physical presence. we need to be strong in both aspects to truly feel at ease.

 

first on the mental side of things:

ease is inextricably tied to mental state-- awareness, confidence, acceptance of oneself, and emotional stability.

 

when we tune into our emotions and give ourselves the freedom to have an honest, open space in our own minds we can achieve proper mental awareness. what thoughts have you been avoiding? what feelings have you been holding back? we need to feel safe with ourselves. this is imperative. often i'm afraid to admit to myself what i'm really thinking or feeling, but it's the first step towards ease. this step will often feel uneasy and anxiety-ridden, but facing that discomfort will bring better mental clarity and awareness.

 

next it is important to foster confidence. confidence spurs from supporting and validating yourself. when we "root for our own team" so to speak, when we trust our own thoughts and respect our own choices, we gain that mental ability to feel confident in ourselves. confidence is, of course, tied to self-acceptance as well. spend some time being your own cheerleader and see how it feels.

 

let go of what you cannot control. accept that you are a brilliant life force and that nothing you do is inherently right or wrong. accept every corner of your brain, every thought, every piece of knowledge, everything you do not know, every quirk or tick or neurosis you have. your unique blend of thought, flaw, and tendency is what makes you who you are and there is nothing more or less that you could possibly be. relish in yourself and who you are. what haven't you accepted about yourself yet? what's stopping you?

 

learn to look at your emotions from a different perspective. step away from overwhelming situations, whether they induce sadness, jealousy, anger, romance, excitement. there is no reason to detach yourself from these emotions, but it is important to check in with yourself and not get carried away. stabilizing your emotions, and giving your mental state permission to reject or rejoice in certain emotions, frees us from becoming slave to them-- and that brings ease.

 

 

now that we've unpacked the mental side, let's take a look at the physical side:

we know what physical unease is like-- awkwardness, jitters, anxiety, sweating, shakiness. and physical ease is obviously the opposite-- stillness, comfort, warmth, fluidity. i want to instead explore the impact of physical environment on ease.

 

last saturday i went to a show with marlee and i felt very uneasy at first. i am an introvert and i feel exhausted and overstimulated by too much social contact, so walking into the venue and stopping to say hello to marlee's friends and shake a lot of hands put me off a bit. it's important to know how your level of ease will shift in physical environments. i hadn't checked in with myself before walking into that venue and i was caught off guard. but as i got used to the pace of my environment i was able to recalibrate my mental state and achieve balance. by the end of the night i was feeling at ease and having a good time. having that mental connection, and knowing that the physical and the mental are in a constant state of balancing, makes everything much easier. when was the last time your checked in with yourself and rebalanced your sense of ease? try this when you visit a new place or encounter a new situation.

 

in both the mental and physical states of ease safety is key. a safe environment and a safe mental space make such a difference in the quality of our relationships with ourselves and others. it is always worth the effort to reject places and relationships that aren't safe, just as it is always worth the effort to pursue places and relationships that are. where do you feel safest? with whom do you feel safest?

 

next week i'll be exploring community as it relates to self-care