7 Days of Cultivating Self-Care

The business of the holiday season can leave you burnt out, resentful and frazzled. It is more important than ever to take care of yourself.

We often rationalize neglecting ourselves, saying, “there’s not enough time,” or “too many people need me.” But taking care of ourselves is our most basic need. Unless you take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care of the ones you love.

To me, the goal of self-care is to create the conditions so that you can show-up wholeheartedly. Self-care is an individualized plan for you, created by you. When we nurture ourselves, we tap into the energy that’s always inside of us. From this place, we’re able to be more calm, present, during a stressful time of year. We’re in tune with our needs and how to fulfill them, which encourages us to take care of ourselves so we can show up in our lives fully.

This year I asked myself what I need to not only survive this season but to enjoy it. The answer was simple, I need to have a self-care practice. I want to create time in my day to cultivate self-loving practices that light me up and make me feel yummy, warm and cozy. I know that if I’m craving this, you are too.

So I decided to create…

7 DAYS OF CULTIVATING SELF-CARE CHALLENGE!

I’ve created this free challenge to help you make self-care a part of your life. This challenge is designed to rest your mind and body, tap into the present moment, and connect with your inner self. It’s all about creating space, time and cultivating a self-care practice in a fun and practical way.

Think of it as taking time just for you to help you deal with things more mindfully on a daily basis (like not freaking out when something goes wrong or fully being in the present moment with friends and family). If you don’t know what a self-care practice is or how to implement it into your daily life, this challenge is perfect for you.

HOW DOES THE CHALLENGE WORK?

Each morning for the next seven days, you’ll be sent an email that focuses on a different aspect of self-care. Inside each email, you’ll find a lesson and a prompt to encourage you to adopt throughout the day.

HOW DO I JOIN THE CHALLENGE?

All you have to do is sign up with your email address! It’s totally free to join. Click on the button below to sign up.

Lets Do This!

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

  • a week of prompts focusing on the different aspects of self-care
  • encouragement and insight to help you on your self-care journey
  • a cozy, safe space for conversations about self-care

WHO IS THIS CHALLENGE FOR?

This challenge is for anyone who’s looking to add a little more calm into their life. If you feel like you need some encouragement to add more self-care in your life, this challenge is for you. Plus, you don’t need to know anything about self-care to take this challenge!

HOW DO I CHECK-IN DURING THE CHALLENGE?

You can share your reflections throughout the challenge by using the hashtag #7DaysofCultivatingSelfCare and tagging @jencsajko on an Instagram post or in an Instagram story.

SEE YOU THERE!

I can’t wait for you to get started with the challenge. Comment below if you’ve signed up, and make sure to share this challenge with your friends who might be interested!

 

Lets Do This!

 

xo Jen

How To Move Through Fear

Fear.

What’s stopping you from finding a deeply connected relationship. What’s stopping you from leaving your job to do what you love. What’s stopping you from living into your full potential.

Fear is just a limiting belief. It’s your ego naming all of the reasons why you’re not good enough to have the relationship or the job or the happiness. It thinks it’s helping you by keeping you protected and safe. But it’s not the truth. It’s time to stop listening to the fear and to start listening to love.

Trying to spiritually bypass fear will never work. Just thinking positively won’t create long-lasting change. We have to really get in there and feel the fear. We have to build our house on rocks. We have to own a foundation.

In order to create that firm foundation, we need tools. I learned this tool from Gabby Bernstein’s Masterclass and it has helped me exponentially to transform my fears. The beauty and the miracles that happen is when you get present in the fear.

Whenever you feel the fear come up, you give yourself breathing into the fear for 90 seconds. Ninety seconds of being in the experience of the fear. In those 90 seconds use the tool “Recognize, Record, Release.”

Witness that the fear has come up. Write it down in some way or just record it in your mind.

You can write down or say something like, “I witness that my fear is telling me I’m not good enough. I witness that my fear is back and it’s in my chest and it really hurts and I feel like I’m alone.” Write it down, record it, and release it.

You release it through breathing into it for 90 seconds. On the exhale, release it.

As you release it say, “Inner guide I surrender this fear to you. Thank you for helping me re-organize this limiting belief and restore it back to love.

After you’re done with that it’s time to create a freedom statement. Fill in this blank “Releasing fear gives me the freedom to ___________.” Write this down in a journal or on a post-it and review it daily.

Now I want to hear from you. What freedom statement did you come up with? How does it feel to release the fear?

 

xo Jen

 

How Your Weight Is Actually Serving You

 

You’ve tried everything to lose the weight. You eat healthy, you exercise, you’re in good health and yet you just can’t lose the weight. I know exactly how that feels and I’ve been in a constant battle with my body for the last 10 years.

For many of us warriors putting on weight and not being able to get it off can sometimes be an unfortunate side effect of trauma. *I am in no way a therapist, I am only speaking from my own experiences.* I noticed that I started putting on weight right after my sexual assault. I had always been thin growing up. I always ate whatever I wanted and never worried about exercise. I was still fitting into a size 14 children’s jeans when I left for freshman year of college.

When I first started putting on weight I assumed it was your typical freshman 15. But this pattern continued and is still something I’m working to heal today. I would put on 5-10 lbs and then lose it. Then I would put on 10-15 lbs and lose it. Then 15-20 and lose it. Now I’ve put on 30 and have tried everything to lose it. I have been in a constant cycle of my weight yo-yo-ing up and down. I have tried everything I can think of to get the weight to come off but it just won’t budge.

So why can’t I lose the weight and keep it off for good?

It was a question I had been banging my head against the wall trying to find the answer to. It’s also a topic I’ve been exploring in depth in with my therapist. And I’ve had so many revelations around my feelings about shame, feeling powerless, my mom’s issues with her body and weight and my unwillingness to allow myself to feel pleasure, but the real aha moment came for me a couple of weeks ago while listening to one of Christine Hassler’s podcasts. You can listen to it here.

In her podcast, Christine spoke with a young woman who had been dealing an eating disorder since she was a child. She felt like she had been taking all the right steps in healing her disorder but for some reason, the weight still wasn’t coming off. Christine asked her how she thought her weight was serving her. What was its purpose? The girl was obviously stumped (as was I) and Christine went on to explain that when you have been through a trauma, in this case, the woman was abused by an uncle, the subconscious mind tells the body that it’s unsafe. The body then puts on weight as a form of protection, like a shield. The body feels like if it has a shield around itself it will become less visible.

It’s not your body’s fault, it’s only trying to protect you and keep you safe.

For me, this was incredibly life-changing. My body doesn’t hate me. It’s not working against me. It’s actually trying to protect me the only way it knows how.  So take a moment to thank your body for keeping you safe.

Now it’s time to let your body know it’s safe so you can easily and effortlessly lose those extra pounds and keep them off for good.  Treating your body holistically, mentally, physically and emotionally is the best way to ensure that your body knows it is safe and to begin to trust again.

  1. Mental- Get out your journal and every day write down 5 ways you felt safe and were able to trust. For example…”Today I felt really safe when I spoke with my best friend. I opened up to her and told her how I was feeling and she made me feel really loved and supported. I know that I can be vulnerable around her and tell her how I feel and it is safe to trust her”. This is giving your subconscious mind a clear message that it is safe to trust.
  2. Emotional- This one might seem a little bit silly, but trust me it works. You can do this in one of 2 ways. Christine recommends getting a picture of yourself as a child. Keep that picture with you wherever you go. Whenever you start to feel unsafe or feelings from your past start to come up look at your picture and remind your younger self that it is safe, that you can trust, and that you are deeply loved. I also like to imagine my inner child in a really cozy room. One that just feels warm and inviting with lots of fuzzy things and people who I really love. Whenever I feel unsafe I just imagine my inner child in that room. Instantly the feeling of unsafe dissipates and I can get right back to what I’m doing.
  3. Physical- There is something that’s so raw and primal in feeling like you can protect yourself if you ever needed to. Taking a self-defense or any kind of martial arts class is a great way to learn how to actually physically protect yourself. It sends a signal straight to your brain that you safe and can protect yourself.  Try Krav Maga, kickboxing/ boxing, Jiu Jitsu or Tae Kwon Do.

 

 

xo Jen

How To Begin Healing Your Grief And Pain

 

A lot of us bury the pain of our past and go on for years carrying it around deep inside. Once in a while maybe we allow ourselves to have a good cry, but for the most part, we lock away our grief.  Burying the pain and putting up a giant wall around it was serving you and protecting you at the time from feeling any sort of negative emotions.  But looking at your pain honestly, allows you to experience the deepest possible connections with people in your life. It’s so much easier to sweep things under the rug, but in order to create the life that you want you have to go down and feel the feelings.  It’s time to grieve differently and to feel the things that are buried away.

If you’re like me then you’re on the path of a warrior. Something traumatic or really hard happened in your past that you feel like you can never get over. You believe that this thing defines you. You put pressure on yourself to reach some sort of closure, but what I’ve learned is closure is an illusion. You don’t have to put pressure on yourself, it adds an element to grief that we don’t need. It makes us feel like we have to be in a certain place in our grief by a certain time or we’re failing.  There’s nothing in our lives that we endure that we can’t figure out a way to integrate and move forward in a productive way.

I look at my trauma and there are still moments where something might provoke me to go into deep grief but mostly I’m functioning well and I’m not thinking about it every day. You don’t have to totally be over the trauma.  I think we have this mentality of “Oh yea I’m not affected by this anymore, I’m totally over it”. But when I look back to hard things in my life am I totally over it? No!  There’s always going to be a place inside of me that feels it, but it’s not an excuse for me to not have what I want in life. Do I wake up sad about it every day?  No! Do I think about it all the time? No, but it was a significant event that shaped me and I think part of being human and having a heart is we have these difficult moments, we have losses, we have grief, and we learn how to relate to them differently.

You could use this as the scapegoat for why you’re broke, why you don’t have what you want, why you don’t have the relationship, why you can’t have the career, or you can choose to get the tools you need to process these significant life events. There are some wonderful tools out there that have been the most useful to me in the grieving process and will help you change the way you relate to the pain and the way it lives inside of you.

  1. Writing

This is a great tool for healing and growth. This is your time to vomit out the rage and sadness. The reason it’s so important to write it all down is it opens you up to expressing your feelings and processing yourself in a different way.  It opens you up to understandings that you may not get to if you’re just trying to work it out in your head.

  1. Connection

So often when we’re in the depths of our despair and we’re really miserable with whatever it is we’re going through, that we have a tendency to isolate.  This is the exact last thing we need to be doing for ourselves. Depression thrives on isolation. Reach out and connect with friends, family, support groups, online, any sort of connection is so helpful to help you move through whatever you’re going through. It’s especially helpful to connect with others who have gone through something similar because we’re reminded that we aren’t alone. When we’re going through grief, trauma, or heartache we feel the most alone and we feel like no one understands what we’re going through, but the truth is a lot of people can. You don’t have to experience my trauma to understand what pain, anger, and sadness feels like. You can connect to each other through that grief. That connection is so important. You’re not alone. We’re all struggling and trying to make sense of this crazy ride called life.

  1. Reflect on other challenging moments

Look at other moments in your life where you felt those same emotions and remind yourself of how you moved on from it. We have a tendency to think we can’t survive things.  Also, remind yourself that you weren’t the same person you were 10/20 years ago. Who I am right now is a completely different person then I was 10 years ago so all of the challenges that life throws at me I have so much more resilience built up in me to survive whatever I’m forced to survive.

  1. Allow yourself to grieve and fully feel your emotions

Cry, rage, scream, allow yourself to do whatever you need to do.  Instead of numbing like reaching for the ice cream, a cigarette, the remote or a glass of wine, allow yourself to really grieve and feel your emotions for the first time.  Let yourself get it all out and when you’re finished remember to connect to the idea that love is the guiding force in your life.  If you can make love your mission and show up in your life with love, your life will blossom in ways you couldn’t even imagine.

 

Remember: If you’re out there struggling and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel let me remind you this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever, not even darkness.

 

xo Jen