What do I mean by self-care? It means doing things that help keep you centered at all levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
They are small but powerful actions or thoughts that help you reaffirm your personal strength, purpose, and divinity. Individually they are effective, but collectively they are really powerful.
Here are a few of the things I like to do to help me destress especially during the demanding holiday season. However, these tips are good for any day of the year!
Drink a detox smoothie. Starting your day with a delicious detox smoothie can help eliminate some of the harmful substances from your body and the damaging effects of stress. Here’s an easy recipe to try.
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup blueberries
Handful of shelled pumpkin seeds or hemp nuts
1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
1 tsp matcha green tea powder
Combine all ingredients in a blender, pulse until smooth, and enjoy. Add more coconut or almond if necessary, for desired consistency.
Choose calming foods. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday season and eat foods that you typically would not choose, such as cakes, cookies, candies, and highly processed foods. That’s why I strongly recommend selecting calming foods, such as salads made with fresh spinach, red leaf lettuce, asparagus, and sprinkled with walnuts or almonds. Blueberries and other berries are also soothing and can be enjoyed alone, in smoothies, and with other fruits. Make a salad part of your daily diet. Sardines and salmon are excellent sources of protein and omega-3 fats, which are good for your mood.
Exercise. The secret to exercise is to view it as a gift to yourself, not as a chore. Regular exercise, especially when you are stressed, is like a mini vacation for your body, mind, and spirit. Enjoyable physical activity such as yoga, jogging, swimming, walking, or tai chi can enhance digestion, boost your immune system, help you stay flexible, avoid weight gain, and improve your mood.
Drink tea. There are so many delicious, healing teas from which to choose! For a calming effect, chamomile is one of my favorites, while green and hibiscus teas are also outstanding choices. Chamomile before bedtime is highly recommended, but you are also encouraged to take 10 to 15 minutes during the day to stop, savor a cup of hot tea, and calmly review how your day is going.
Meditate. I realize meditation isn’t something you learn overnight; it does take practice. Personally I do it regularly and find that it greatly improves my perspective of the day.
But the holiday season is certainly a time when meditation can be especially helpful. If you have meditated before, by all means take 10 to 20 minutes a day to connect with your divinity. If it is new to you, there are many great meditations you can choose online that can help you get started.
If you don’t feel you have time for a meditation every day, then I suggest doing the heart to womb blessing. This is a very personal experience that can regenerate your connection with your inner essence.
To do this meditation, sit quietly with your eyes closed and imagine a physical connection between your womb and your heart. This can be a road, a pathway, a shining ray of light—whatever works for you. Picture a pathway that circles back on itself to make a complete circle of life, love, and energy. Concentrate on that image for several moments, and repeat this meditation at least twice a day if possible.
Prepare for sleep. Adequate sleep is critical for your body to repair and replenish your cells, help with memory storage, lower blood pressure, manage stress better, and support your immune system. Do you have trouble falling asleep even when you are exhausted? Do you wake up during the night and can’t go back to sleep?
Take time to have a cup of chamomile tea, darken your room, remove all electronic devices (no cell phone, TV, laptop, tablet), and take a melatonin supplement. I try to retire the same time every night to get the 8 hours my body and mind need to function optimally the next day.
Lavender essential oil has the power to relax the nervous system and restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit. Before you retire, dab a few drops of the oil on your wrist or on a cotton ball and inhale it slowly. You might also add a few drops to a diffuser and allow the aroma to surround you in your room.
As an alternative, you can soak in a warm bath and add ½ cup Epsom salt, ½ cup baking soda, and 5 to 10 drops of lavender essential oil. We like the essential oils at doTERRA because of its purity.
Yes, it is the end of another year, but rather than dwell on resolutions for the new year, give thanks for all you accomplished during the past 12 months. In addition, take a few moments before you fall asleep at night to recount all that you’re grateful for that day. It may be as simple as your interaction with a pleasant clerk in a store, seeing an old friend unexpectedly, getting a compliment from someone, or watching children playing in the park.
Focusing on the good things in life, the little pleasantries, can help us feel truly grateful for our lives.
Far too often we target negative things or people, but they have a tendency to overshadow all the kindnesses and good things that occur. Burst through that shadow and express gratitude every day.
That’s my gift to you: practice self-care and gratitude this holiday season. I can almost guarantee you will feel less tension and stress and reap more value from your experiences. Blessings to you all, my dear sisters!
Here are 13 affirmations to rehearse as this year ends and another one begins so you can remind yourself of the Greatness you are!
I am thankful for every person who touches my life, because I am enriched by the experience.
My body is an instrument of love, respect, and peace and deserves to be nourished as such.
Every day when I wake up, I am blessed with life, and I thank my body for allowing me to experience it.
I know that I am Divine because Nature does not make mistakes.
When I am kind to my body, I have the power to change the world.
I choose the happiness of this moment instead of the pain of the past.
I put aside my old habits and willingly and lovingly adopt new ones.
I am worthy of being loved and doing things that bring me joy.
I am allowing myself to be happy, loved, and respected.
Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes and is the work of Nature. I am a work of Nature and I am beautiful.
Amazing opportunities exist for me in every area of my life.
I choose to feel good and grateful for my life.
Happiness and love flow through me and around me.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday filled with love and health!
From my heart to yours,