End of Summer Self-Care
With the end of summer fast approaching, I’m seeing an increase in the anxiety and stress of my clients, friends, family members and myself. We’ve been mostly homebound for almost 6 months. We’ve been isolated from family, friends and colleagues. Children are going back to school, and whether virtual, in-person or hybrid, it’s a stressful time for parents and children alike. The pandemic concerns continue, and we are heading into what will undoubtedly be a volatile election season. These are challenging times.
Personally, I am reaching for self-care strategies to combat the additional stress and to manage the monotony. Meditation, exercising, and sleep/relaxation are my favorite go-tos for self-care, but I’ve noticed they aren’t working quite as well, and I need what my meditation teacher, davidji, calls a “pattern interrupt”. Here’s what I’m doing to switch up my self-care routine:
In addition to my daily morning practice, I added a second meditation on my calendar, scheduling it like a meeting at the end of my workday. I’m also doing live online meditations with unplug meditation. It’s wonderful to “meet” the teachers whose meditations I’ve listened to countless times. I’m taking davidji’s 5 week meditation class and will start another 5 week program soon!
To vary my workouts, I purchased a few new pieces of home equipment, including exercise bands, hand weights, and a thicker yoga mat. I’ve also tried some different workouts and instructors in addition to my regular workouts to keep things fresh. Attending online workouts with friends also motivates me.
Sleep & Relaxation
Sleep continues to be elusive to me, but I’m trying new things to sleep better. A cooler, darker room, natural sleep supplements, and allowing myself to sleep in a bit after being awake for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night.
For deeper relaxation, I’m trying Yoga Nidra, which is a style of meditation that produces amongst the deepest kind of relaxation. It teaches us to recognize and welcome body sensations as signals of what’s going on inside us––and ways to deal with them. Practicing Yoga Nidra brings a calm that transcends into daily life. My mom has been practicing Yoga Nidra for almost 6 months with great benefits. Her favorite Yoga Nidra teacher, Juli Greenwald, offers online classes and a few free Yoga Nidra meditations on her website. Join me for Juli’s upcoming 3-week Yoga Nidra for stress and anxiety workshop beginning September 13th!
If you’re also needing a reset, I encourage you to find new self-care practices or consider a different angle on your go-to self-care strategies. By having a few self-care tools in your toolbox, you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way, no matter how stressful. You’ll have more energy for the people and things you love, and for your work. As I have said to my clients, “If you’re needed but depleted, you’re no good to anyone!”