"Self-Care is not selfish - it's essential!"
- Like Chocolate for Women
by Kim Morrison and Fleur Whelligan.
The art and practice of true self-care can be so difficult for so many of us to put into place. My own journey with self-care has also been fraught, but once I really took the time to look deep within and stop allowing the world and all of its endless distractions to be my excuse, I found a place of deep healing and self-love. But, before that could happen I had to acknowledge the belief that I wasn't worthy or important enough for self-care and the time that it required, because instead everyone else came first. Now I know that if I take the time that I need to care for myself and my needs, I'm better. So. Much. Better. And better in every way. Not only do I have more to give, more patience, more compassion and attention but now comes from a place of fullness, rather than a place of cranky, overtired, resentful emptiness. So I invite you to take some time over the next month to practice self-care and see what it brings to your life. And please remember this a practice.... and as such takes time to foster.
So please be kind and gentle with yourself always xx
Beautiful Ways to Self-Care
Take a bath
Take time at the end of a busy day, or the end of a stressful week to run a bath just for you. Make the process into a gentle self-care ritual by adding some beautiful essential oils, a few handfuls of Epsom salts, a small handful of fresh flowers or herbs from your garden and then scatter some tealight candles around the bathroom. It really can be that simple. Then all that is left to do is to put on some relaxing music, close the door and soak in the bath for as long as you please. Please let me know what beautiful combinations you come up with!
Read a book
It only has to be a few minutes a day, but take the time to create a park bench moment. Make yourself a cup of herbal tea, find a quiet spot in your home, or head out to a shady spot in the garden or local park, and just take some time out to do something small and pleasurable for yourself so allowing yourself a little break from the pressures and demands of work and life. Once that cuppa is done, you can head back into responsible adult world again and feel so much happier for it.
Laugh.... and often! In this busy world that we live in we often forget to just have fun and laugh. Not that there needs to be research to back up how much better we feel when we laugh often, but there are other deeper physiological effects that have been found as well. According to a study done in 2014 in healthy, older adults the effect of laughter showed a significant improvement in learning ability and short term memory recall as well as a marked reduction in stress levels, as reflected by reduced cortisol levels of the participants. Laughter really is good medicine!
Take the time to eat remember to eat regularly and nurture your body with healthy wholefoods. One of the easiest ways to eat well and not feel deprived of those occasional yummy treats is to follow the 80/20 rule. The idea behind 80/20 eating is to eat wholefoods 80% of the time and which then allows you the scope and freedom to eat outside of the square 20% of the time. The best rule of thumb is to allow the 20% to be reserved for weekends, birthdays and those other special times in our lives when letting go is good for us.
Eat real food, food that looks like it has just come in from your grandmother's veggie patch, the local farmer's market or picked off a tree. And grow herbs on your kitchen windowsill or in your garden. It's so easy and rewarding especially when that fresh rosemary can go into the baking tray under some chicken for a delicious baked dinner and the parsley or mint can make their way into your green salad. The phytonutrients present in these foods add valuable antioxidants and trace elements to our diets and help to reduce cholesterol levels, improve memory, eyesight and brain function, boost immunity, improve digestive function and prevent cancer.
Find Your Local Red Tent
Consider spending time with other supportive, nurturing women at your local Red Tent and grow deeper into your journey as a woman. Red Tent Australia welcomes all women, girls and anyone who identifies as female and aims to provide a safe, empowering environment in which every woman can feel a sense of belonging and sisterhood. If you would like to know more, please feel free to get in touch with me or head over to Red Tent Australia here.
See Your Naturopath
If it's been a while since your last visit then maybe it's time to to schedule in some self-care. I would love to see you and know how you have been travelling over the last few months. Alternatively make an appointment with your massage therapist, chiropractor or acupuncturist or find a local yoga studio and find a class that you can go to regularly. Remember that complementary and alternative healthcare modalites are preventative medicine, which not only allows them to be perfect as part of your long term self-care practice, but they also step into their fullness and depth with regular application of whichever modality suits your mind, body and spirit best.
There is so much happening and so much to be excited about. I have been invited to present a workshop at the Red Tent Australia Strengthening the Connection Gathering in May on Valuable Herbal Medicines for Menstrual Health. This will be the first time that I will be stepping into doing something like this, so not only do I feel incredibly honoured but also slightly apprehensive! I'll be sure to keep you all in the loop and include some pictures of the event in my next newsletter.
For those who are interested, and I know that a few of you have been asking about this for some time now, I will be opening Hornsby Red Tent in September. My vision, and that shared with my by my co-facilitators, is that Hornsby Red Tent will be a nurturing place of support, acceptance and collaboration for all women. I will also be doing The Moon Woman's Facilitators Rites of Passage in April so that I can also offer these valuable rites of passage for each stage of womanhood to all the women and girls who choose to make Red Tent part of their lives. It is an incredible blessing to have the support and encouragement of my Red Tent Australia sisters behind me, they really have made this dream possible and have taught me the the value and strength of collaboration.
With love and blessings