The time in this pause will be filled – and it feels important to be intentional in the filling. I do quite a bit of self care in my regular life but I have been taking more time and intention with these practices now – I feel like I am savoring these practices, so grateful to have more time for them. I am beginning to find new rhythms in this pause and I’m enjoying the new pace.
Sure, not being able to earn a living right now and do what I love to do invokes a lot of fear. Money is not coming in to pay rent on my space and ongoing expenses haven’t gone away. I can get swept up in that river of fear pretty quickly but that won’t help me solve the problem. I feel like what will help me most right now is taking time to tend to myself, to listen to the answers coming from deep within. When I am able to get out of my scared reptile brain and move into the center of me, things flow much easier. It feels important to feel the fear and not run away from it but at the same time, not get lost in it.
With each of my self care practices, I try to enlist as many of my senses as possible in a very conscious way. The more the better! When I connect to my senses, I connect to my body and bring myself into the present moment – I come into a truly felt sense of being here now. For me, these practices are resources that are life-enhancing and replenishing. They are ways for me to connect to my vitality and joy – ways for me to feel at home in my body, to feel embodied, over and over. What truly nourishes and nurtures you?
Some things I am doing every day to care for myself and appreciate the here and now (not in any ranking order other than the first) :
- Finding beauty within and around myself – this is the core of my self care practice and something I come back to again and again. It is woven into all of my other practices – the glue that holds it all together, really. Cultivating beauty, recognizing beauty, feeling beauty – good stuff!
- Ritual bathing – I’m a bath-a-night kind of gal but these days my baths are longer and I’ve been able to add an amazing seaweed and salt bath to my water. Some days I’ve even had two baths. Ahhhh! Bathing with intention, no rush, playing with temperatures, soaking in gifts of the sea, I feel all that goodness soaking through my skin – the most pleasant transdermal nutrition.
- At-home facials – I’m a regular at-home facial person and this practice is a huge resource for me. My skin reminds me when it is time if I’ve gone a bit too long between facials. What I notice for days after my at-home facials is glowing and balanced skin. My skin feels soft and supple, puffiness is decreased and radiance is revealed. If you want help making a plan for your at-home facials, get in touch.
- Dry brushing – this is one of the first things I do every day. It accelerates the removal of metabolic waste material and allows for the re-nourishment of skin and tissue. It feels like a wonderful way to wake my body up.
- Meditation, Yoga Nidra & Conscious Breathing – finding quiet and stillness within myself to connect to the here now. I am able to relax in my body and take stock of what is happening from moment to moment. These practices calm my nervous system and clear my thinking.
- Writing and reading poetry – gives me the warm fuzzies. Reading poetry inspires me and helps me connect with humanity. Writing allows me to get closer to myself and clarify my thoughts. I am able to dive into fragments of thought that I’d like to explore more and maybe choose to let go of some things, lightening my load.
- Play – over the winter I relearned how to play Backgammon and I’m always up for a good card game. I played my first game of HORSE (and did pretty well) in many years and one of my sons painted a 4 square court on our concrete patio. My sons also taught me how to play Spike Ball. I really never felt backyard games could be a resource but I realize I’ve been missing out there!
- Moving my body – and sweating. I started doing some online workouts over the winter so I had a pretty good system in place when all this went down. Now I’ve been able to add an occasional run into the mix. I like to take little exercise snacks throughout the day so that I’ve got breaks in my day – even a five-minute movement break is really helpful to get my brain fired up again.
Getting outside – every day, even if it is to simply sit on my steps or in my backyard; it feels so good to get fresh air and hear the birds close up. Tree hugging is still safe and I’m grateful for that.
- Cooking and eating (well) with my family – now that the rush of getting to school and work and home again has slowed down we have been taking more time to cook together. It is nice to slow this down and savor this time. We’ve been getting into the groove of family lunchtime and it’s so nice to catch up midday as well now that distance learning is in session. I’ve learned that food can be another coping mechanism for me in times of stress. Either not eating enough, eating too much, or eating foods that I know won’t make me feel the best. I am focusing on mindful eating these days and really enjoying my food, connecting with it and taking in the goodness of it all.
- Getting time alone – I know many people are very isolated right now and not looking for ways to get alone time. For me, living in very close proximity to 3 people, I find it essential to carve out space for myself to be quiet with myself multiple times a day. Part of this is also respecting the space the people in my family have carved out for themselves.
- Getting plenty of sleep – I’m being very regular with my sleep schedule during this time. It feels so good to get a solid eight hours of sleep and there is no substitute for it. No hacking this one – it is an essential self care routine for me to carve out at least eight hours to be in bed every night.
- Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude! – Things are harder in some ways right now – what a perfect time to check in again and again with all that I am thankful for. It’s easy to find a handful of goodness in any given moment and feel the sensations of gratitude in my body.