No matter which way you slice it, more often than not we as adults struggle with self-care. Ironically enough, many of us in the healing field commonly have issues in this area. I think the reason for this is we are constantly looking to help everyone else, and women, specifically mom’s, give a whole new meaning to “martyr”.….BUT you know what they say on an airplane about putting on your own mask first, right? It is time to fill our cups first!
We may have weeks where we do really well with showing ourselves the extra love and attention we deserve, and others where it seems we can sometimes be nicer to a stranger than we our to ourselves…exaggerating, of course…or am I? I fell into a non-existent self-care routine recently. There were many reasons for this, but were they actually excuses? (And maybe this sounds familiar to you) Banish those excuses!
Self-care can mean many things to many people, but my definition would definitely be doing things for me and only me, and nothing to do with technology. So watching a movie does not count in my rulebook, nor does spending quality time with my boys. Now, quality time is equally important to me but does not qualify as self-care…hence the “self”.
So, today I just want to give you three ideas, in case you are feeling a bit lost in this area. (More blogs to follow)
“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside”. –Wayne Dyer
Take a Breath on the Go
Sometimes, the car is the ideal place for me to bring myself back to center as I am somewhat held hostage away from all the should’s at home: laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc etc. Practicing mindful breathing can be done with your eyes open, very successfully at that.
Before you run out of the house, grab a cotton ball or cotton round and place 2 drops of the essential oil that brings you to a calmer place. Get in your car and push it inside your air vent. Here are a few ideas, but you very likely may already know exactly what you will use:
Bergamot Citrus bergamia
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia
Mandarin Red Citrus reticulata
Orange Sweet Citrus sinensis
Sandalwood Santalum spicatum
Vetiver Vetiveria zizanoides
This 4-7-8 breathing technique was created by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. (See his video here: https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath/) (1)
The basis of this 4-7-8 breath is truly to create awareness of conscious breathing. It works wonders, and the car is a great place to practice it. If you embrace it, the 4-7-8 breath will become a habit in no time! For those of you saying, I breathe every second of every day…so not the same. Practice it and you will be sure to notice the difference immediately.
According to Dr. Maxwell Maltz, “It takes 21 days to form a new habit”, but other research states it takes a bit longer, on average two months (2). We can all do something for two months to make a fresh new habit that fosters wellness, right!?!
“Breath is the link between mind and body”. –Dan Brule
The Lovely Bath Time Routine
Do you love to take a bath as much as I do? First things first, even though my boys are now 9 and 11, the second I hit the bathroom is still the second that they need to tell me something, are looking for something, or need something. So I work to get them involved in something first, then I head to my sanctuary.
Essential oils are a treat for me. I do not use them every day, but bath time is a must! I typically add crème as a luxury item too. Heck if throwing in some rose petals makes you feel like the goddess that you are, then definitely do that!
Here is one of my favorites:
Vanilla Rose Goddess Bath Time Blend
Rose Absolute Rosa x Damascena 3 drops
Vanilla Vanilla Planifolia Oleoresin 2 drops
Epsom salt 1 cup
Unscented fragrance free shampoo 1 tbsp
Full fat crème ½-1 cup
Mix and add to bath after water has run.
I like to light candles, and have a glass of red wine. It is up to us to totally pamper ourselves, no one else. So go all out!
Transport Yourself to a Happy Place
Are you familiar with guided imagery? This is my go to when meditation fails me. I have been meditating for over 10 years, and sometimes I still fail….we all do. Dust yourself off and move on to something else that might work. Over the years my self-care routine evolves. What used to work like a charm may not so much anymore. So when I try to sit in meditation and the monkey mind does not stop knocking, guided imagery it is.
I typically do not recommend making purchases in my blogs, but this time I am making an exception because I feel it is THAT GOOD. I am not an affiliate or getting paid to make this recommendation, I just feel it is a tool that I use, my kids use, and many of my clients use….and I have yet to hear anyone say they do not LOVE it.
The website is called Meditainment. (see link below) There are 20 audio recordings in all, complete with a beautiful voice, sounds effects, and stories with a purpose. You will be able to transport yourself to a beach, an ocean, a garden, even the moon. Well worth the investment in your health.
This is typically a time that I diffuse essential oils. For example, if I listen to the recording marked “Island Paradise”, for rapid relaxation, I will diffuse what to me says beach, tropical, and relaxation. What that is for me, may be different for you, but here is a diffuser blend to try:
Diffuser Blend (Drops appropriate for a 400ml water reservoir)
Orange Sweet Citrus sinensis 5 drops
Sandalwood Santalum spicatum 3 drops
Vanilla Vanilla Planifolia Oleoresin OR CO2 1 drop
Jasmine Absolute Jasminum sambac 1 drop
Be sure to practice safe diffusion times.
Want to know more about what the health benefits of guided imagery are? Cleveland Clinic touches on it here. (3)
“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere”. –Carl Sagan
With the high levels of stress that most of us are under, and the turmoil in the world, self-care is crucial. What are you doing for yourself today?
(1) Weil, A. Video: Breathing Exercises: 4-7-8 Breath Retrieved from https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath/
(2) Clear, J. How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science) Retrieved from http://jamesclear.com/new-habit
(3) Guided Imagery Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/wellness/integrative/treatments-services/guided-imagery
Like so many practices in life, I encourage you to become educated on the proper use of essential oils. When using them, please do so cautiously, understanding that there is often misinformation on the internet. You can be assured that I support only educated and proven resources. While essential oils should not be feared they should be respected and used properly to ensure the safety of the individuals using them.
Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.