Given the current situation (let’s not dwell), I have been thinking quite a bit about self care this week.
I think that being forced to stop can be daunting, worrying and lonely for a large proportion of people. However, this is a time to rediscover you.
I have found that in the last few weeks my stress levels have slowly decreased, and have been the lowest they have in years. I think when we are forced to stop, it is an opportunity to take a step back and rediscover ourselves.
You are worth the quiet moment. You are worth the deeper breath. You are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still and rest.Morgan Harper Nichols
At Home Self Care Kit
I’ve put together the things that I do to provide myself with time to unplug, relax and take stock.
It can be hard, at times, to focus on yourself. Some feel, like me, they are being selfish, or self indulgent by having sixty, thirty or ten minutes to totally focus in on yourself. This is not, however, selfish, it is self-survival.
Time to quiet the mind, zone in on who you are and what your body needs. I also have found whilst writing this, that these lessons we learn in this time, are ones we can take with us when things do get too much and we lose focus on ourselves.
Since lockdown, I have found the healing properties of yoga. I have been trying to keep up with ‘At Home With Adriene’. I find that being lead through thirty minutes of controlled breathing, tuning into your body with simple movements is so refreshing and soothing.
You can take this tool anywhere. If you’re in the car, waiting in a queue or in a bath. Concentrating on your breath is one of the most powerful relaxing tools to have.
- Take a long deep breath in through your nose for the count of three.
- At the ‘top’ of the breath, hold for three.
- Then slowly release the breath for the count of three.
- Repeat up to 10 times.
My husband, Joss, bought me one of these three years ago, and I still use mine every evening, I have mine set up next to our sofa and allow the fresh vapour to envelope me during the evening.
Find a clean ceramic dish or bowl.
Fill with boiling water. Be careful, this will be hot!
Place a few sprinkles of your favourite essential oil, or a few sprigs of herbs from the garden.
Allow the steam to enter your nose and breathe!
My go to essential oil is ‘Calming’ by Natural by Nature. I picked it up in T K Maxx, where they tend to have a great selection of various essential oils every time I pop in.
This oil is lovely, it has mixes of cedarwood, mandarin and geranium. It calms and relaxes the mind, and uplifts at the same time.
I use the oil in my bath, or in my diffuser.
Go out into the garden, or for a walk around the neighbourhood and see if you can find sprigs of rosemary or lavender. Always ask permission to take if it’s from a neighbour!
Place the herbs in a mason jar or an unused jam jar.
Fill up with either witch hazel and water, or grape oil.
Leave to infuse for 24-48 hours.
Take out the herbs and the remaining liquid will smell like the garden!
I am a huge coffee drinker, so during the day , my caffeine levels are usually sky- high. Caffeine can double the amount of adrenaline and cortisol in the body, increase blood pressure, and generally prepare the body for fight or flight. Therefore, when trying to wind down, try to avoid caffeine.
My favourite is ‘ Woman’s Tea’ from Yogi teas, (Joss likes it too, so its not just for the ladies!) It’s really warming and soothing to sit and enjoy. And you can reuse the teabag!
Fresh ginger root, chopped
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch of powdered cayenne pepper (optional)
Place either in a tea strainer or empty out a regular teabag, place a thread through the top and pop in a cup and enjoy.