This post was written by Kristen Stuart, certified yoga instructor and facilitator of the Back to Nature retreat.
SELF CARE - a phrase that has its own hashtag and is attached to a day of the week in the form of self-care Sundays. It is the topic of so many blog posts and shoutouts during a time when seeking, coaching and self-help literature is highly sought after. There's no denying self-care is important in walking this life path as a human being.
To embody self-care is to give yourself permission to be a priority in your own life and to take the steps towards greater presence, balance and contentment. To take time out daily to commit to a self-care routine and plan mini getaways to restore and rejuvenate mind, body and spirit is necessary in this accelerating time of increased productivity, technology and to-do lists. Your energy is your greatest resource and your health is beyond value.
My five most influential self-care practices are:
1. Morning lemon water
Upon waking from Ayurvedic practices, a morning lemon water is a great addition to your morning. The citrus scent is uplifting and fresh, while the lemon water alkalizes your body (moving it from one of acidity where dis-ease can thrive. Stress is one of the leading causes of acidity in the body) and gets your digestive system working to flush toxins from your body. *Drink good quality water – live spring water or filtered and re-mineralized water.
2. Daily Meditation
Create a sacred space in your home filled with things that uplift you (fresh flowers, crystals, rocks, pictures, readings) and let this be where you practice. I recommend a minimum practice of five minutes.
3. Work with a Daily Mantra & Gratitude Practice
Choose three words to place after the words "I AM" (Peace, Power, Love, Connected, Enough…). This can be repeated as part of your meditation practice or separately to set the tone for your day and again in the evening prior to sleep. Take time to reflect on what you (and your family) are most grateful for on a daily basis.
4. Spend Time Moving Your Body in Nature
Go for a run, walk, hike or practice yoga (even 10 minutes of sun salutations) to get prana flowing. Exercise will enable your body to feel strong and allow you to connect to it in a healthy, positive way. If energy is low go outside for a brief walk or choose a few restorative poses to unwind and ground your energy.
5. Enjoy a Himalayan Salt Bath With Your Favourite Essential Oils
Geranium, Clary Sage, Grapefruit and Lavender are some of my favourites. The minerals in the Himalayan salts are so good for your body for detoxification and to restore your adrenal glands. Add candlelight, music and relax as you love yourself up, Goddess Warrior.
Bonus tip: Take time to journal - Think about what you did well today, what you learned, what your three dominant feelings are and what beauty you witnessed today. Place your hand on your heart, plug your feet into the earth, look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and say I LOVE YOU. I AM AWESOME. This may be followed by a spontaneous dance party!