This was first posted in November 2011. Still rings true today, so I thought I’d share it all over again .
It’s raining again in Massachusetts.
For some reason, the rain always reminds me that I need to take care of myself. Maybe it’s my comforting memories of curling up on the couch with a mug of hot apple cider and watching Cool Runnings on VHS. Maybe it’s because the rain puts a damper on my outdoor plans and forces me to think of things I can do inside.
Rain is insulating.
Rainy days remind me to look inward and to see what needs taking care of in there.
I eat a healthy balanced diet. I exercise regularly– I have the “outer” piece of me pretty well taken care of. I sometimes, however, forget to take care of that inner piece.
Have you ever noticed that you forget to take care of the inner you when the outer you is thriving?
Here are 5 things that you can do today to take care of your inner you, whether it’s raining outside or not.
1. Take some deep breaths. When I’m stressed or preoccupied, I sometimes find myself holding my breath. Deep breathing can relax and heal–just ask Dr. Andrew Weil. Try my favorite breathing exercise of his the 4-7-8 or Relaxing Breath Exercise: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 and then breathe out slowly for 8 second. I promise that 2 or 3 rounds of this will relax you. For more info read this article.
2. Sip a relaxing tea. Herbs can also do wonders for the inner you. Calming herbs like lemon balm, Avena sativa (fresh oat) and chamomile are especially great for releasing tension and soothing your nerves. I find that tea is best sipped on the couch while watching Lifetime…but that’s just me. For some really delicious and medicinal herbal teas, visit Love & Tea Company. Jen, the master herbalist, concocts every tea with love. She’s pretty great.
3. Chew your food better. When we’re stressed or busy, the first thing that gets forgotten are our meals. We tear through them like an obligation. Taking time to chew your food not only helps your digestion, but it also pulls the focus back to your meal. Use your meals as a time to focus on taking care of yourself by eating mindfully. Experiment with chewing your food 10, 20 or 50 times–what sensations do you notice?
4. Do some centering yoga. Yoga, in my opinion, is the perfect way to pull the inner and outer yous together in a way that’s soothing and tranquil. Stretching your body while stretching your mind by delving into your brain to find a deeper connection. I like to do yoga in my living room via YogaDownload.com
5. Curl up on the couch. Sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is to STOP doing. Just stop. Sit down in your favorite chair and tuck your feet under you. Wrap up in that fleecy blanket you have, and watch a variation of The Kardashians. Do nothing and feel no guilt about it. It seems as though we’re always on the go–always rushing from one place to another. Sometimes, all you need to really nurture yourself is just to stop.
How will you nurture your inner you today?