Hopefully we all know, even if we have not implemented it yet, the importance of self-care. As women, sometimes it is hard for us to make the time to do this on a regular basis (or at all). We think there are so many things that need to be done before we make time to care for ourselves! Giving yourself a foot massage is something that will take you five minutes and can have a great return in the well-being department. I find it especially helpful to quiet a busy mind and produce a peaceful night's sleep (also works well for the kids). Here are some guidelines for giving yourself a foot massage (or self-abhyanga). You can use whatever oil you have handy, and if you want to add a drop of lavender essential oil to your carrier oil, even better. If you choose to get more specific you can select an oil that is best suited to your type or dosha. So tonight when you get ready for bed remember: five minutes to care for yourself is not a whole lot to ask. I know you would do it for someone you loved, why not for yourself?
During each season our bodies require different kinds of foods to stay balanced. Eating warm, grounding and well cooked food during the fall and winter is the best choice to support our physical and mental well-being. Our goal for optimal wellness is to balance the cold and dry aspects of these seasons with warm and moist foods (and other choices such as daily self massage with oil).
Baked oatmeal is one of my favorite fall and winter breakfasts. Especially on weekends when I have a little more time to prepare something. Baked oatmeal will keep for a few days in the fridge so you can pull it out on a busy morning and heat it up for a warm breakfast. You can use any fruit you want (dried or fresh) and also add a handful of chopped nuts if you like. I eat mine with a dollop of yogurt on the side (Cabot's greek style lowfat vanilla bean is my favorite).
2 cups uncooked oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup dried fruit (prunes, raisins, cranberries)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk or coconut milk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 large egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well. Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Serve warm or refrigerate for later snacking. Enjoy!
I went on a nature walk with my husband and son last week. (Funny, I typed nurture instead of nature first. Significant - I think so.) My family and I used to take walks on trails nearby our house about once a week for a few hours. We have gotten out of the habit and I really miss it. It is one of the best ways I have found to keep myself grounded. Grounded meaning sane, fairly relaxed and generally well balanced. I think it does the same for my kids (even if they don't want to admit it, and they usually complain about going). Something about being outside in the woods, breathing in the fresh air and quiet with my feet touching the ground, makes me feel well. And happy. And at peace. The other things that do this for me are massage (of course), yoga and exercise, spending time with my family and friends, listening to music and using essential oils. OK, and also sometimes a great dessert, especially something warm and chocolaty.
What things make you feel grounded? Do you take time to do these activities? Or see these people? We need to. This is how we keep ourselves healthy, happy and sane. It is good self-care; make it a priority.
Here is a great article on how you can use Ayurvedic guidelines to detox for fall. The fall detox is a wonderful way to help you find optimal health and well being for the winter. There is a link in the article for a quiz to determine your dosha (constitution), and sign up for specific detoxifying and nurturing recipes and routines. Even if you are able to follow one or two of the suggestions, you will be off to a significant start! Visit http://www.yogajournal.com/health/2617 for more details and let me know what you think.
I recently read a very interesting book. It was Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer by Rosita Arvigo. It is the story of how Rosita learned the Mayan art of natural healing from Don Elijio Panti, a well-respected healer in the rainforest of Brazil.
Why did I end up reading this book? I am interested in The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® which is taught by Rosita and the Arvigo® Institute. I am taking a self-care class offered by them in a few weeks and I am very excited about it. Mayan abdominal massage can help with symptoms such as painful or irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation, bladder or yeast infections, peri menopause, menopausal symptoms, infertility, PMS/Depression with menstruation, and can enhance pregnancy and aid in labor and birthing. The techniques work to restore the body to its natural balance by correcting the position of organs that have shifted and restrict the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi energy.
I read the book hoping to find out more about The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the actual story of Rosita’s time with Don Elijiio. I think you might find it interesting too.
For more information about The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® visit https://www.arvigotherapy.com.
I used to think aromatherapy was something simple and fun, nothing that would really affect my health or well-being. Just some body lotion or a candle that smelled yummy. Um... I think I have changed my mind.
It started a few years ago when I began to use essential oils at home; a few drops of lavender here, a sprinkle of tea tree oil there. The oils seemed to be quite effective, and they smelled great too - bonus! Lately I have begun to use essential oils more and more - every day in fact. I use them not only for myself, but for my friends and family as well. I bought them intending to use them in large part for my clients. As it turns out, I am using them in my own household even more. Lavender for a burn, eucalyptus in the shower and in a chest rub for congestion, and ylang ylang and sweet orange in my ghee for my evening abhyanga (aka foot rub- I’ll cover that in another post). I love using these incredibly lovely, effective, versatile and therapeutic oils. I feel like I have my very own healing garden and chemistry set all rolled into one.
Essential oils can be used in room sprays, cleaning solutions, bath salts, massage oils, lotions, and salves. They can be inhaled, put in the bath, and rubbed on the body (when diluted in carrier oil). They can help with all kinds of common issues including muscle pain, hormonal balance, PMS, depression and anxiety, colds, cradle cap, insomnia, and fatigue. How terrific is that? Also, as a brilliant side effect, everyone comments on how great you smell.
If you are interested in learning more about essential oils I can recommend several good books. My collection is growing by the day.
Blessings and be well,