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7 Ways to Honour Our Humanity

Honouring our humanity is all about reconnecting to our natural selves, and honouring our needs at the most primal level.

Workplace Wellbeing Consultant Perth - Alexis

In this latest season of my life, as I spend my days mostly at home nurturing my newborn and toddler, I’m reminded of what it is to be human: a mammal, an animal. Babies are wired for survival and are very good at communicating what they need, from the moment they are born. The relationship between caregiver and baby is largely instinctual, and the more attuned we are with our baby, the better we are at responding to their cues and meeting their needs for food, warmth, closeness and safety.



As adults, most of us have lost touch with our needs altogether.


We get caught up in the busyness and our own wellbeing drops further down the to-do list. While we may be excellent caregivers, most of the people I work with will tell me that they are “hopeless” at caring for themselves and meeting their own needs. We need to remember that we are absolutely worthy of the same care we give to others. We need to remember our innate worth as human beings. Here are seven ways we can remind ourselves of this and truly honour our humanity.

1. HONOUR OUR RHYTHMS AND CYCLES

Our circadian rhythms are the physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle and regulate our state of alertness and sleepiness. Re-setting our body clock to align with the Earth’s natural rhythms is hugely beneficial for our physical and mental health, especially when recovering from burnout. Sleeping when the sun goes down and waking when the sun comes up is a great start.


2. SPEND TIME IN NATURE

It’s easy to forget, but we are part of nature. We simply weren’t designed to sit staring at screens all day long! The natural environment is key to our physical and psychological wellbeing. There are so many ways to reconnect to our innate wildness, like eating seasonally, walking barefoot outdoors and camping in the bush.


3. HONOUR OUR INSTINCTS

One of our basic human instincts is seeking, which drives us to explore our environment in order to meet our needs. Things like going on adventures and having new experiences are great for neuroplasticity (forming new connections in the brain). Play and creativity are also natural instincts, and can boost our immune system, reduce dementia, and increase happiness and fulfilment in life.


4. HONOUR OUR INTUITION

Our intuition is the ability to understand or know something without conscious reasoning. It is formed using all of the information our body has collected over the years. This somatic intelligence can be an incredibly valuable tool for self-knowledge and can be used as an internal compass to help direct us in life. Instead of looking outwards for validation from others or societal norms, we can turn inwards and be guided by our inner wisdom. Meditation is a great way to deepen our intuition and receive guidance beyond the conscious mind.


5. MOVE THE BODY

The body is most joyous when it’s moving! As with other animals, the most effective way to release stress as humans is through physical exercise. The higher the level of stress, the more vigorous activity required.



6. SEEK OUT DEEPER CONNECTIONS

Humans have evolved to depend on each other, and this is true today despite the hyper-individualised Western culture we live in. Connection and belonging are vital to our wellbeing, and key determinants of a thriving life.



7. PRACTICE KINDNESS

Giving ourselves permission to be human means ditching perfectionism and learning to be kind and gentle towards ourselves. We are not machines, and we cannot thrive if we continue to treat ourselves like them. Tending to our needs and caring for ourselves like we would care for a young child is a beautiful way to truly honour our humanity.



On a personal note…

Once upon a time, I thought I was that machine. Living and working mindlessly – holding off on going to the loo until I’d finished an email, forgetting to drink enough water, skipping lunch and staying back late to “get it all done”. I was tired, wired and deeply unhappy.


I hit burnout in 2017, and around the same time I became drawn to yoga. In my yoga teacher training I became fascinated with Ayurveda, which is a system of traditional medicine native to India. Ayurvedic medicine honours our daily, yearly, lunar and seasonal cycles, and promotes living in balance with our body and our natural environment. During my recovery from burnout, these teachings helped me reconnect to my innate humanness and to begin living in alignment with the natural world. I learned to slow down, tune in, and begin honouring my own humanity. This knowledge of yoga philosophy continues to guide me every day as a mother, partner, business owner, and most importantly – as a human being.


Know a friend who could benefit from this read? Feel free to share the love and forward this on to them! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out.

Take care,
Alexis

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Image by Jeremy Bishop
Burnout Coach Perth - Alexis.jpg

BLOG AUTHOR

Alexis Postans

WELLBEING CONSULTANT

Alexis Postans is a highly experienced therapist, yoga and meditation teacher, and the founder of Total Life Wellbeing. 

 

She is currently undertaking her third degree in Psychology and has worked in a variety of settings including mental health policy, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, youth residential care, child protection, youth justice, adventure therapy and delivering wellbeing programs in schools.

 

Alexis is a skilled and experienced group facilitator and is passionate about improving the wellbeing of individuals, workplaces and society.

 

Aside from study and business, she can be found playing with her two young kids or enjoying a glorious WA sunset over the beach!

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