Self-care: Part 1

I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul. ~Rumi

I believe that healing occurs on a very deep level when we commit to taking care of ourselves on a daily basis. I recently started sharing self-care practices on Facebook that I use daily, weekly or monthly. They are relatively simple and easy to implement. This post is a compiled version of what I’ve posted so far. Enjoy!

1. Start the day with a glass of hot water, optional to add lemon or drink an herbal tea blend instead. This is a great way to boost the digestive system first thing in the morning.

2. Take time for conscious relaxation for 5-10 minutes daily (longer if you can). This can take the form of a restorative yoga pose or simply sitting or lying on the floor. Set the intention to stay awake yet relaxed and maybe set a timer if you’re concerned about drifting off. This simple practice can boost energy, bring clarity to your thoughts and help calm the nervous system. Remember that we always have the option to ask the body to relax!

3. Doing a self oil massage daily or weekly nourishes your skin, calms the nervous system and promotes healthy circulation. This is known as abhyanga in Ayurveda. Using sesame oil (or coconut oil if it’s Summer time and you tend to be on the warm side), work from head to toe with long strokes over the limbs and more circular motion around joints and on the abdomen. If possible, sit comfortably for 15-20 minutes before showering. Also, try to avoid using a harsh soap, as some of the oil should remain on the skin. This is a really grounding and nourishing practice. Enjoy!

4. Staying connected to the emotional self is a huge part of taking care of our overall health. Chinese Medicine links the root cause of many diseases back to long standing emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, lack of joy, etc. There are many ways to tap into the emotional self but I recommend looking into this article by Saraswati J. and paying special attention to the 3 level check in.

5. Find a way to incorporate ghee {clarified butter} into your diet! In Ayurveda, it’s known for it’s nourishing nature. It is good for all constitutions. You can use it to cook at any temperature, similar to how you would use coconut oil. If you like butter, I can assure you that you will like ghee! Find an easy to follow recipe here.

6. Minimize caffeine. If getting rid of coffee seems impossible, start small. Replace coffee with tea once and week, then twice and so on. If you’re looking for a coffee replacement, I have tried both Teeccino and Dandy Blend. Teeccino is great if you are looking for an option that still allows you the ritualistic aspect of making coffee {using a percolator, press or filter}. Dandy Blend offers an instant and delicious version. As far as taste goes, both are great, but I think Teeccino’s Dandelion Dark Roast comes closest to tasting like coffee. These alternatives are made from herbs: mostly dandelion root, chicory and roasted barley. So you get the added benefits of those herbs, which your adrenals and liver will thank you for!

7. Take time to retreat. The beauty of retreat is that it can take many forms and yet have a powerful impact all the same. I was just blessed to spend 10 days in Ojai at a yoga training / retreat. This gave me an amazing opportunity to learn, recharge and dedicate a large portion of each day to spiritual practices and living in community. We may not be able to do longer retreats very often, but perhaps instead we could commit to one day away from the internet, an afternoon in nature, a day without television, a weekend camping, a day of silence. Find what works for you.

I will continue to post more self-care tips on Facebook Page. Be well!

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