As the temperature drops in our environment, it is natural for our bodies and souls to needed a lil’ extra TLC. There is no denying that we are stepping into winter 2020 with already stressed out nervous systems. I feel it is safe to say that between the pandemic, fires and a crazy election lies a hint of insanity for us all! That being said I wanted to create a post to encourage you to push pause and check in with how your body is feeling. Perhaps exhausted, perhaps tense, perhaps out of balance – wherever you find yourself there is always space for some self care. Here are a few ideas ♡
STRENGTHEN YOUR CONNECTIONS
Think about the “3 C’s”: Connect with yourself; Connect with others; Connect with your community
HOW TO CONNECT WITH YOURSELF: CHECK IN! How am I doing today? How do I feel? What is bothering me? Where do I need to spend less energy, where do I need to spend more? A powerful tool I use daily is to free speak into a voice recording and then play it back to myself. Listening to my free thoughts allows me to wade through the crud in my mind and get to the crux of what I need to do to take better care of myself. I can then in turn be a better mother, partner, friend and practitioner. Once you are clear on what needs to happen, write it down! Put a due date on the item and stick to it. You and your loved ones are worth it.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS: Figure out who really means a lot to you in your life and make it a priority to speak to them in the next week. There are many ways to connect – phone, live, via a letter/email – you name it. I’d encourage you to take time to get quiet and realize how easy it is to throw our energy all over the map. That may not be a bad thing, however the more I live out these days the more I realize true satiety comes from depth rather than grazing the surface. Honor your heart’s knowing of who are your true connections and spend your time strengthening those.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH YOUR COMMUNITY: Explore, venture out and find out! There are so many ways to engage in our communities. There are social groups, volunteer opportunities and physical activities to get involved in. Commit to trying something new before the year lets out.
2. DELIGHT YOUR SENSES
I love reminding myself of the smell-brain connection as I soak in the scents of my new essential oil diffuser. When our olfactory receptors are stimulated, they transmit impulses to our brain. This pathway is directly connected to our limbic system, the part of our brain that deals with emotions. Essential oils can be used to harness those emotions of ours that tend to run wild… My go to for quality and affordability are Rocky Mountain Oils. https://www.rockymountainoils.com/. If you do not already have a basic essential oil kit and diffuser you may consider getting one!
3. EASE THE MIND TENSION THROUGH MEDITATION
Deep breathing. Sit or lie down comfortably. Rest your hands on your stomach. Slowly count to four while inhaling through your nose. Feel your stomach rise. Hold your breath for a second. Slowly count to four while you exhale, preferably through pursed lips to control the breath. Your stomach will fall slowly. Repeat a few times.
Mindfulness Meditation. Focus on your breath. Notice anything that passes through your awareness without judgment. If your mind starts to tackle your to-do list, just return to focusing on your breath.
Visualization. Close your eyes, relax and imagine a peaceful place, like a forest. Engage all your senses: Hear the crunching leaves, smell the damp soil, feel the breeze.
Repeating a mantra. Sit quietly and pick any meaningful or soothing word, phrase, or sound. You can repeat the mantra aloud or silently. Experts say the repetition creates a physical relaxation response.
Participate in a meditative form of exercise. Try tai chi or qi gong, which use soothing, flowing motions.
4. GET YOUR LAUGH ON
Laughter really is medicine. Not only does it boost our mood by stimulating the brain to release endorphins, but it also bolsters our immune systems and raises our pain tolerance. Go ahead – watch that comedy flick, funny youtube video or read that joke. Here is one to get you started!
A priest, a minister, and a rabbi want to see who’s best at his job. So they each go into the woods, find a bear, and attempt to convert it. Later they get together. The priest begins: “When I found the bear, I read to him from the Catechism and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his First Communion.”
“I found a bear by the stream,” says the minister, “and preached God’s holy word. The bear was so mesmerized that he let me baptize him.”
They both look down at the rabbi, who is lying on a gurney in a body cast. “Looking back,” he says, “maybe I shouldn’t have started with the circumcision.”