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Do You Treat Your Body with Love?

5 Ways to Give Thanks to Your Body this Month

How often do you take time for self-care?  Really – be honest! 

Make a list – what have you done this past week to take care of you?  Have you done something for you that feeds your soul? 

If not, it’s time to stop and smell the roses – and celebrate with gratitude the wonderfulness of you! 

Child's Pose Melinda VanKirk
Self-care

As we approach our many celebrations this time of year, it is all to easy to over-do it on everything – shopping, cooking, eating, and running around like crazy to get all your tasks done. Maybe you are traveling, maybe family will be coming over – but it tends to be a bit of chaos!

So I am inviting you to STOP, pause, and carve out time for YOU.  I know – you have too many things to do, right? – and certainly not enough time to do it all. As a culture, our schedules are packed and we are over-extended.  You have a seemlingly endless to-do list, causing burn-out, fatigue, and you feel totally WIPED OUT.  Sound familiar?  I know this is my pattern.

And what do you get from this endless list and constant pushing?  Usually a nice kick-in-the-butt wake-up call from the Universe to tell you to SLOW DOWN – often in the form of illness and complete body and mind fatigue.

So here are my 5 best tips for focusing on you first (yes I said YOU first!) as we enter this busy season.

Why you first? Because you must take care of yourself first in order to take care of others.

5 Tips for Self-Care for the Holiday Season

 

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is the most important thing to repairing our cells and feeling good in our bodies.  Go to bed early (10 pm or earlier is ideal), and try to get your 8 hours in before getting up the next day. If you are one of those that has a racing mind, try some calming tea before bed, read a book, or do some relaxing yoga (I even do this in the middle of the night sometimes when I can’t sleep!).  Find ways that help you to sleep best, and let go of the to-do list.  It helps to write everything down for the next day before you go to bed.  Keep a list by your bed in case you wake-up with that terrible feeling of “I forgot!” so you can jot it down and deal with it properly the next day, allowing your mind to settle back into rest.

2. Wind-down early

Schedule an hour or more before bed with no TV, no screens, no social media of any kind.  Perhaps take a bath, give yourself a hand a foot massage and an at-home facial, and do a guided meditation or a bit of Yoga Nidra.  Here is a 20-minute Guided Yoga Nidra from Rod Stryker.  If you have never experienced Yoga Nidra I cannot recommend it enough!  It is great any time of day, except if you are very tired or right after a meal. (The goal is to enjoy the experience and not fall asleep).  The point is to take this hour before sleep to prepare your body and mind for sleep, so maybe that means something different to you.  Find what works and feels good!

3. Rise early

As the saying goes, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”  Getting up early in the morning allows for personal and quiet time.  Rising before everyone else in the house and doing my morning routine is one of my favorite times of day.  It is so beautiful and peaceful – a perfect time for meditation and yoga practice.  Of course avoiding electronics during this time is key for a relaxing and calming morning.

Again start your day right with time for you – before the kids wake, before the TV goes on, and make it enjoyable!

5 Tips for Self-Care

4. Find your Daily Gratitude 

Reconnecting with feelings of gratitude is the easiest and most effective way of getting out of your head.  Whenever you feel stressed out, stop what you are doing, breathe deeply (take cleansing breaths in through the nose, and exhale out the mouth), and think of something you are grateful for in the moment.  Find something that makes you smile or laugh – nothing releases stress and anxiety like a little humor.  Perhaps it is giving thanks for your dog who sits on your face when she wants you to get up in the morning (yes my Yorkie, Weezie, loves to do that!).  Finding gratitude and joy calms the nervous system and helps you approach your next task with a little more ease.

5. Eat healthy and nourishing foods

“You are what you eat” is an old saying, but still holds true.  If you eat junk, you feel like junk.  If you eat home-cooked, healthy foods, you feel nourished and supported.  Who doesn’t want home-made soup or a casserole when they are sick or feeling down?  We nourish our bodies and our souls through what we take-in (physically and mentally).  Healthier food and less junk for both the body and mind will increase your immunity and  nourish you. In Ayurveda that which is not digested (mentally and physcially) is called ama.  The ultimate goal is rid the body of ama – and the best way to do that is to eat healthy and let go of our mental blocks.

Can’t find the time to cook?  Think about making 1 meal for the day like a crock of soup and having it for lunch and dinner.  Throw your broth, veggies, and spices in a crockpot the night before, and have a wonderful meal ready for the next day.  Breakfast can be simple and light like a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts cooked in a little ghee (yum!). How easy can you make it on yourself to make simple and delicious food?

Still don’t have time for cooking?  Make healthy choices when eating out, stop the snacking, and indulge in some detoxifying tea when you feel midday hunger (a simple ginger root tea is so easy to make and one of my favorites before or after a meal).  Read about the many benefits of ginger tea from the Chopra Center.

Simple Ginger Tea: 

Cut up a ½ – 1” piece of fresh ginger root.  Wash the ginger, but no need to peel it if it’s organic.  I like to cut mine into matchsticks.  Put in a pot of boiling water (about 1 quart), boil for 15 minutes, strain and serve!  This is great to put in a thermos to have throughout your day.

Living Inspiration Tribe

How do you nourish yourself?

Let go of the old mindset – it is time to prioritize your health and wellbeing, and recognize that you are a unique and creative being that deserves nourishment and self-love.

I would love to hear from you – how are you nourishing yourself this week?  Post it in our forum!

Want to learn about how I can help you nourish yourself and feed your soul?  Join me in the Living Inspiration Tribe, or for our upcoming Detox Cocktail Party.

Read other articles by Melinda

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