Updated February 18, 2019
I know it feels like there isn’t time to brush your teeth so how can you fit time for self-care practices into your life? A daily practice of calming the central nervous system and regrouping can have tremendous impact.
Just a few deep and cleansing breaths can begin to calm your central nervous system. Count to discover the duration of your natural inbreath and outbreath. Gently guide your breath to lengthen. Can you encourage your inbreath to last for 6 seconds? Your outbreath? If you feel like you’re struggling, stop and let go of any goals. Go back to just noticing.
2. Self Massage.
Start your day by giving your ankles, feet and toes a massage with essential oil. Lavender is calming. Peppermint or tangerine/ orange can help you feel more awake and rejuvenated if you feel you’re a little depleted from a less than restful night. Ask an aromatherapist about a blend for your needs. There are many acupressure points on the feet that will bring balance to your whole body. No rules, just massage and push into the points that feel tender. Breathe into those spaces and slow down to notice how you feel. Stretch and pull and make space around your toes.
3. Yoga for Living!
Find it hard to get to your yoga class? Lack confidence to build your own practice? Can’t imagine taking an hour on the mat today? Here’s a simple 10 minute morning practice.
4. Set an intention.
As a new parent, it can sometimes feel like you don’t have a focus to your day or perhaps that you are always in reaction mode. It might be very different than your ‘pre-baby’ life when you made plans. An intention isn’t a goal or a to-do list, but just a thought to align your day. Maybe your intention is to cultivate peace and trust. As you go about your day, notice if what you are doing is aligning with that. Are you about to do a google search about infant sleep that is likely to derail your confidence? Are you calling a friend? Does that friend help you to feel peaceful and centered? Have that intention be the place you return to as you become more mindful of your thoughts and experiences.
5. Eat mindfully.
Set a spot at the table for yourself. Clear away the clutter. Choose something nourishing, perhaps a sweet, fragrant plum, and slow down. Notice each bite. Welcome the nourishment and think about the energy that went into that plum. Consider the roots of the tree, the soil that it is grounded in. The nutrients that are collected in that soil and drawn up into the tree with the moisture from the rain and water underground. The sunlight that bathes the tree and the synthesizing of energy that happens in each and every leaf on the tree. The blossom that was pollinated (and the bee who did the pollinating) and that, once fertile, swelled to create the beginnings of the plum. Consider the farmer who tends that tree, who planted it and cultivated the soil to nourish it. The hands that picked that fruit, that brought it to gather with others that would make its way to the market. All that energy nourishing you. Just like you nourish your baby, there is much that is nourishing you. Take it in fully.