Jessie Kates Self Care TipsJan 11, 2021 08:21PM ● By Jessie Kates, Founder of Shift Yoga studio
1. Restore your connection with nature: We all know there is something powerful about being outside in nature. Maybe we know it because we spend time there regularly, taking walks, being in the woods. Maybe we know this from reading all the time that being in nature is good for us, but have yet to explore for ourselves how it can nourish us. So no matter your current
relationship to nature, now is a better time than ever to invite her energy in to nourish you more deeply. Especially in this time when we are more isolated from one another than ever before.
Consider this: Outside in nature we are breathing the same air into our lungs that has blown across the tallest mountain tops, touched the tops of the tallest trees, passed the great oceans. When we are outside this air pours into us, all of us and can truly deepen our connection to the Earth, to our own soul, to one another. Try this, go stand out of your front door. Close your eyes, tip your head up ever so slightly to the sky and take 5 of the deepest fullest breaths in and out you have taken in a while. Feel the air pour into you, the same air that pours into all of us.
2. Unplug, for the love of god, please please please unplug: Let us remember that we are all different. Don’t let people on your news feed make you feel bad that they are taking the entire weekend off of their phone and you can’t be apart from yours for more than 20 minutes. We all need to start somewhere and find a healthier relationship with our phones.
Consider this: If you are someone who has it glued in your hand all day, try keeping it out of your bedroom at night while you sleep. If you are someone who uses it throughout the day and it isn’t attached at your hip, yet you find yourself mindlessly scrolling for an hour, try picking a time at night that you are going to put it down. You might even be able to get the rest of your housemates to commit to an "unplug hour” with you. You might fill the phone free time with games, conversation, taking a walk or enjoying an online yoga class together. If you are someone with a little more control, pick a day each week and fully unplug, put your phone in a drawer for 24 hours. Remember it doesn’t matter which category you are in with your phone use, just pay attention to the way you feel in the time you spend away from it. You will no doubt feel lighter and more tuned in to the present moment, and over time you may find that you pick it up and scroll less and less.
3. Laugh: Oh sweet laughter, it lifts the spirits, deepens connection to one another and brings more energy to the surface in our body, mind and heart. Not to mention it triggers the release of endorphins which is our “good vibes” hormone.
Consider this: Having a healthy dose of laughter each day can decrease stress levels and increase immune cells. This will leave us feeling an overall sense of more wellbeing. Laughter is like a fountain of youth and during these challenging times, needed so deeply. So however you can, find ways to connect to your laughter again. Watch a comedy special every week, download a free joke app and then call and share the jokes with loved ones every day, delight in the laughter together. Connect, laugh and be well.
4. Meditate: What kind of mindfulness expert would I be if I didn’t include meditation in my self care tips? I think by now we have heard that meditation is good for us. There are so many more articles, journals, Youtube videos, ted talks, you name it, about the deeply rewarding effects of meditation. Meditation is paying attention to the moment on purpose in a loving way. Often it is using something to help anchor your attention in the moment, like paying attention to your breathing or sounds or a phrase repeated in the mind over and over.
Consider this: You can use a podcast of guided meditations, attend a meditation class, or simply sit with nothing to do, close your eyes and set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes. This is an important tip because we want our self care to nourish not only our physical body, but our emotional and spiritual well being, our energetic balance, and mental health. Meditation is a self care tip that does it all body, mind, spirit and energy. Remember you don’t need to stop your mind from thinking or make a bad mood go away. You just need to take a break from the hustle of your day to tune in, breathe and witness how you are feeling with love. You’d be surprised what a difference that makes.
5. Ritual: I have found it deeply nourishing over the years to establish rituals that become non negotiable to ensure I remember to take care of myself. No matter how hectic a week can get find ways to nurture your mind, body, and soul.
Consider this: Find a sacred something that really fills your cup. I have found success when this ritual is scheduled. As an example, every Sunday night, take a long hot bath, with all the fixings, candles, bath salts, music. Or every Wednesday night at a set time, curl up in your favorite chair with a special warm herbal tea and read 3 chapters of a book or write in a journal. Maybe there is a hobby you could develop a ritual around. We are all different. A bath might not resonate with you, but hopefully you can see some place in your weekly life where you can establish a ritual that fills you up, decompresses you from the week, and brings you into the present moment. By giving it a set day and time you will find it doesn’t feel like a chore and that you look forward to it each week. Soon those in your household will begin to respect your ritual. Who knows, it might even rub off on them.