"Cure yourself with the light of the sun and the rays of the moon.
With the sound of the river and the waterfall.
With the swaying of the sea and the fluttering of birds.
Heal yourself with the mint and mint leaves, with the neem and eucalyptus.
Sweeten yourself with lavender, rosemary and chamomile.
Hug yourself with the cocoa bean and a touch of cinnamon.
Put love in tea instead of sugar and take it while looking at the stars.
Heal yourself with the kisses that the wind gives you and the hugs
from the rain.
Get strong with bare feet on the ground and with everything
that is born from it.
Get smarter every day by listening to your intuition,
looking at the world with the eye of your forehead.
Jump, dance, sing, so you live happier.
Heal yourself with beautiful love, and always remember...
You are the medicine!"
- Poem by Maria Sabina, a Mexican healer and poet
What is your number one method for self-care? I hope when I ask this question, an answer immediately pops into your mind.
Self-care is an expression of love. It's time to pause from your busy life without guilt or shame. Taking a break from your family, work, and daily commitments is not selfish...it's SELFUL.
Self-care is about giving your mind, body, and soul time to reset, recharge and renew so you can manage the inevitable challenges of life from a place of purpose instead of burnout.
Let’s clear up one common misconception...Self-care is not synonymous with self-indulgence or being selfish. The reason I say that is because it took me years to grasp the difference. As I was growing up, I was never taught about self-care. I was never told it's okay to spend time doing things I liked. I was always busy making sure everyone else was happy and healthy...until the day I knew there was a better way. When we fill ourselves up, we can share and pour that love out to others.
Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.
Self-care is part of the answer to how we can all better cope with daily stressors, It’s the stress of trying to keep up with the pace of daily life, which technology has hastened more than ever. Where in the history have we as humans been accessible to anyone 24/7? Thank you technology.
I have several practices that I bring into my life for my self-care routine. I would say meditation is one of my self-care habits, along with journaling, and then some type of movement. That could be yoga, walking, or some form of exercise. The other self-care habit that I love to have part of my routine is spending time in nature. I know how healing being outside is for me...feeling close and connected to Mother Earth.
Did you know that for approximately 99.9% of human history, human beings have evolved and lived in natural environments. Only recently have we started spending most of our time in urban and cities areas. This has taken an impact on our health and well-being. Researchers have explored the health benefits of nature and, particularly, the relationship between spending time in nature and mental health.
Let me share a practice with you called forest bathing? This is something that I am trained in and share with client/guests. It is a game changer. I have seen all types of people come to the practice, and when we complete our 60-75 minutes together...we are all feeling connected, grounded and at peace!
Forest bathing, called Shinrin-yoku in Japanese, is a traditional practice created in 1982 by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It is a therapeutic technique in which you immerse yourself in a nature while focusing on the experience through the five senses (i.e., vision, smell, taste, hearing, and touch).
Forest bathing is a type of nature therapy. Nature therapy can be done in various settings, such as in the mountains, at the beach, in a park, or any forest environment. Studies have shown that forest bathing has several mental health benefits, as well as improving your mood, your emotional well-being and yes…you guessed it, reduces cortisol levels.
There are so many benefits for us when we engage with nature. Studies show the positive effects on humans can include:
Decreasing hormones involved in the stress response (e.g., adrenaline, cortisol)
Reduced inflammation in the body
Enhancing the emotional state (e.g., attitude, feelings, psychological recovery)
Improving cardiovascular markers (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate)
Increasing antioxidant activity
Increasing relaxation in the body and brain (e.g., alpha brain waves, beta brain waves)
All these wonderful perks we experience just by connecting with nature!
So, if you aren't clear now on your go-to self-care practice, spend some time thinking about it, and then create the space to do it! It will make you happy and in turn all those around you!