Veronica Tugwood, Integrated Energy Therapist, Shares Self-care Inspiration!
Summer is upon us and things can get hectic and overwhelming with the change in schedules, kids home for the summer and holiday plans often asking us to work harder to get some time off. This is a time when we need to be sure we take extra care of ourselves. More importantly that to ensure we plan that self-care. It is too easy to forget just how important your own care is in the hustle and bustle of life. Here are a few quick and easy self-care ideas to support you.
Take time each day to breathe. I know we all breathe…but I mean really breathe. Engaging the diaphragm and giving our bodies an opportunity to reset. One of the most common problems with our breathing is that is remains shallow, and this ensures that we stay stressed and almost driven by panic. Shallow breathing keeps our limbic system active and in turn reduces both our intelligence and response possibilities. Diaphragmatic breathing is simple, however requires thought and practice. To do this we focus only on the exhale, long slow exhale pushing our breath out and activating the diaphragm to squeeze our lungs, to empty them completely. The tension created here cannot stay, and this encourages a full and complete inhale. This process begins to create good hormones in our bodies, which counteract the harmful ones produced with stress. A few deep diaphragmatic breaths can gently reset our body and open up possibilities for our mind to move through any stress or overwhelm.
Grounding is also very valuable. We all spend a lot of time ‘in our heads”, and grounding helps us to get back into our body. The simple process of tuning into our bodies, checking in on how it feels, and then breathing into spaces that are feeling tight or tense can shift how we feel immensely.Taking a few minutes each day to visualize ourselves connecting with this planet, or even better to commit to a little “earthing” each day. “Earthing” is the concept of having our bodies actually connect with the planet. A few minutes walking barefoot, or sitting with our back to a tree and letting these energetic masters help us to revive our energy by connecting with the planet. Getting into nature is another very easy way to “earth” ourselves into a state of relaxation, and support our bodies to fill up and rejuvenate.
A simple dip in some salt water is also a very useful way to help our bodies to reset. This can be a wonderful dip in an ocean, if your plans allow for it, or just finding some salt-water options. Some pools and hot tubs have made the transition. However, the most reliable is a salt-water bath. This helps to relieve the body of lactic acid and sooths soreness. Even better is it helps the body to detoxify and reset. Adding a couple of drops of pure essential oil, soothing music and a locked door (every parent of young children knows how precious that can be) can quickly and easily create a reset for your body.
The most beautiful thing about each of these ideas is that we can actually spend some time to teach our children to do this as well. Helping them learn to breathe, especially when they have gotten stressed or anxious. Spending a few minutes outdoors or in nature, maybe even getting a little dirty and playing in the earth is wonderful for them. Adding a little salt to their bath time and a drop of lavender can help them both reset, and support them in a restful sleep. However, the most important way to support our children is to model self-care. They are quick to notice the things that we do, and copy them. Learning how to bring calm to yourself, will show them exactly how to do it for themselves.
Here’s to the best summer of your life so far!