In this month of tenderness one of the important lessons we can learn, is how to take care of ourselves. So often we put others first, and there are times when this is not an option, though if this becomes a habit, the results can be taxing. In order to be good caregivers, and attentive partners/friends/co-workers/siblings, we must consider how to fill our own reserves. The investment in our own mental, physical and spiritual health leads to our own resilience.
The beautiful thing about self-care and about tenderness, is that, much like yoga, there is NO one-sized fits all method. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) gives us some guidelines to structure our self-care plan:
- Engage in Physical Health:
- Exercise Daily: Consider yoga, walking, hiking (whatever fits your mold)
- Eat Well: consider mindful eating (or maybe an Ayurvedic perspective)
- Sleep: Get enough
- Practice Relaxation Exercises: may we suggest meditation, yoga nidra, a calming pranayama practice of your choosing. Even a few breaths of anumloma viloma or bee breath can be helpful to invite relaxation into your world.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs: Those these depressants can feel like relaxation, at times of stress they can often add to the feeling of overwhelm.
- Recharge Yourself! So often in our classes we thank ourselves, or the universe, for our participation in this space. Taking time for renewal, for self, can cause guilt and judgement. Allowing ourselves tiny, or grand indulgences is an important part of our own well-being and our own ability to move forward in a safe and healthy way.
- Practice Good Mental Habits. In yoga, and especially at Verapose, we strive to cultivate a space of Mindfulness, a place that returns us to the present moment, to a place that is both grounding and limitless. Deciding how we will support our own mental well-being is important!
- Notice the Positive. As reference in Buddha’s Brain and many other studies on the brain, the tendency to slide into the negative is hard-wired into how we behave. We can train ourselves to lean towards the positive. We can integrate the mindful noticing of our thought patterns and develop a pattern of kindness… I promise you other people will notice (you may even get a Yoda nickname 😉
How can you be tender to yourself in the next week? I am currently reading Girl, Wash Your Face and one thing that has stuck with me is a segment where Rachel talks about making promises to ourselves. Can you promise yourself 3 moments or acts of self-care before next Friday?
For accountability: I promise to: sit and read for 1 hour total! Run three times (I got myself a treadmill for Christmas… GO SELF-CARE. Lol. And do my essential oil face mask I have been staring at for months… And GO.