Taking care of yourself is your number 1 job!! Making sure you are getting enough exercise, sleep, and proper nutrition are all things that you have to do to keep your mind and body healthy. You get one shot at this so you get to… No you HAVE TO be selfish when it comes to making sure you are the healthiest person you can be. Remember how the instructional video on a plane insists you put your own oxygen mask on before you help others? This works in everyday life too; you can only give your best self to the people around you when you are your best self. Caring for yourself is not selfish, it’s necessary. Really!
When you start to clean up your emotional life all of the other parts of you become more apparent.
As we look deeper into our emotional lives, we have the ability to look at all the things that go into our overall well-being.
Supporting you in your quest to lead a fuller life is something that is very important to me. I want you to feel good as you get everything you want. Here are 5 things that I do (or want to try to do) that help me to stay my healthiest most present self.
I swear by this ancient Chinese practice. I see an acupuncturist for just about everything. If I am struggling with everything from fatigue, allergies, or muscle pain to all things emotional, my acupuncturist is part of the solution. Why? Acupuncture helps to keep you balanced and present. I treasure that 20 minutes of quiet when you are lying on the table and the needles are “cooking”; there is nothing more relaxing (to me). Also, ask your acupuncturist if he/she gives acupuncture facials, totally worth it.
Handson bodywork should be a regular part of every active person’s life. Really it should be part of everyone’s life. Being touched is so important to your emotional life. Massage relaxes you, helps relieve stress, helps reduce muscle ache and more. Taking an hour or so out of your month is not a lot to ask. This time on the table will help you to regenerate and make you more available to the people you care for and who count on you.
I was Reiki 1 attuned when I taught yoga. This Japanese practice of moving energy by laying your hands on people helped me to stay healthy while adjusting people. I was able to use the Reiki method to keep my energy separate from the student I was working on in the moment. The receiver of Reiki will be able to feel the very subtle energy shift that happens when the Reiki Master lays their hands on them. Done most often on a massage table, this subtle work can yield deep and profound results. It can also be done from a distance through concentration and focus
I am now and have always been a napper and I am proud to say so! I love a good nap. Every weekend I get in at least a 30 minute nap and sometimes I am even lucky enough to get a nap or two in during the week. I can’t say enough about the importance of sleep. Go to bed! Curl up in your bed, spoon with your partner and get some sleep. We all need different amounts of sleep. Personally, I am a 7 hour a day girl. If you can’t fall asleep or have trouble staying asleep try changing the time you go to bed, the time you workout and talk to your therapist about the thoughts that are keeping you awake. Just make sure you get some sleep.
The yoga teacher in me cannot help but recommend this one. Understanding your Dosha is a great way to see where you are out of balance. The three doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—are derived from the five elements. Also known as mind-body types, the doshas express unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics. In Ayurveda, health is defined as the dynamic state of balance between mind, body, and environment. You can achieve and maintain a vibrant and joyful state of health by identifying your mind-body type and creating a lifestyle that supports your unique nature (www.chopra.com).
My personal Dosha is Pitta-Kapha. Pitta runs hot and Kapha can slow you down. The summer months are my favorite but I tend to overheat. I find pitta friendly foods, yoga poses and sleep times that help me stay in balance and I take lots of naps (see sleep)!
Fun Fact: When you understand your dosha you can also pinpoint what times of day you are the most alert and work around that to get things done. It was a trick I used in graduate school to make sure I was utilizing my energy in the most productive way possible. It totally worked!!! I am the most productive between 6 and 10am. I tested it and it’s true.
Here is a link to a quick quiz to find out what your Dosha is. Take it;its fun!
These are just a few ways that you can start to find holistic, more alternative ways to take care of yourself. Finding alternatives from our traditional western practices helps you to stay more balanced and to be in a preventative position. It keeps you ahead of the game for emotional and physical health. There may be a threshold of a feeling of selfishness that you will have to overcome to allow yourself to indulge in some of these tips but in the end the better you feel the better the people around you feel!!