I grew up on a healthy diet. My mom denied me sugary cereals (then it felt like major deprivation), would rather be caught dead than have pop in the house, and had no idea what Kraft dinner was (although dinner was her craft). I was also always active. I began dancing when I was 5 and lived and breathed it until I found yoga at 24 (which I then lived and breathed). So for the average person I was a picture of health as I had the biggies of diet and exercise down pat.
However, I relied on coffee to get me going in the morning and a glass of wine or more to wind me down at the end of the day. I was addicted to sugar and struggled with low energy, anxiety, stress, overwhelm and intermittent depression.
So when I began to delve deeper into yoga I had a sense that it might be the path to a healthy mind and a happy heart to match my relatively healthy body. And while I would leave a yoga class blissed out and feeling calm and centered, it wasn't long before the self-defeating thoughts and behaviors found their way back to the forefront and my mind would slip back into patterns of discontent and not-enoughness. When I had kids I dove even deeper into my practice to seek solace when my life became 100 times more difficult.
While yoga gave me innumerable tools for dealing, and provided temporary relief from the dissatisfaction I was experiencing, I still felt something was missing.
Now if you’ve been on the path of yoga for a while you’ve most likely stumbled upon Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga. And eventually my path led me to my Ayurvedic teacher. Initially my interest in Ayurveda came from a desire to empower myself with holistic remedies for colds and other common ailments to take better care of myself and my family, and to learn more about kitchen medicine and using food to heal. But what I didn’t expect was the power that simple habits would have on becoming more established in a state of ease. I never thought knew how amazingly effective my daily routine would be in making me more patient, more calm, more content, more balanced and more grounded. I respect my body more and care for my mind in a way that never occurred to me before.
Until recently I was repelled by the phrase “self-care” as it seemed new-agey, hippy-dippy and only fitting for crunchy granola types. But the more I actually practice self-love in the form of taking deep care of my body/mind/heart, the more I whole-heartedly embrace the concept of self-care as a way to appreciate and honor this precious gift of life. The simple daily habits I’ve outlined below have created a strong foundation to allow me to weather the storms of life, the challenges of parenthood and the obstacles that never cease with a sense of grace, love and acceptance.
- I wake up around 5:15-5:30 without an alarm. I set a positive intention for the day and count my blessings
- I check out my tongue and scrape it clean and wash my eyes to start the day with a clear perspective
- I drink a quart of warm lemon water to flush my system and evacuate my bowels
- I do my daily yoga and meditation practice
- I give myself a nurturing oil-massage and then shower
- I make a green smoothie to fuel myself with plant power
- I spend the rest of my day taking care of my kids, teaching yoga, health coaching, preparing meals, running errands and tending to my business
- At the end of my “work” (I hardly consider it work!) day I eat a light, plant-centric dinner around 6pm
- I play with my kids (lately jumping on the trampoline) and get them ready for bed
- Once the kids are in bed it’s my time again. I end the day with a hot tub followed by a second oil massage, a foot massage in bed and a good book, or if it’s been a particularly full day, some yoga nidra (conscious relaxation) or meditation and then go to sleep by 9:30
“The key to becoming world-class in your endeavors is to build your performance around world-class routines. It can be difficult, even futile, to predict or control what will show up in the middle of your workday. But you can almost always control how your day starts and ends. I have routines for both.” ~ Darren Hardy from The Compound Effect
Inquiry practice: What about you? Are you making time for self-care? What do you need to do to take better care for yourself? Do you have daily rituals that seat yourself in positivity and provide balance to the demands of your life?
I coach students into these healthy body/mind/heart habits. I would love to talk to you about how you can bring them into your life. If you're ready to upgrade your lifestyle and your daily routines I would love to help. Set up a time to talk to me here and let’s chat about your current challenges with self-care and get you on track to creating a lifestyle you love and living into your full health potential. Don't wait if you're serious about changing the trajectory of your health – I'm only opening up my schedule for free strategy sessions for the next 10 days, then school is out for summer and I’ll be outside tending my garden and playing at the beach! I can't wait to talk to you so you can start feeling your absolute best : )