Self Care Ideas: 10 Easy De-Stressors from a Holistic Health Practitioner

Self Care Ideas: 10 Easy De-Stressors from a Holistic Health Practitioner

Being holistic is easy- it all the senses and not just the physical part of your well being. These ten simple ideas can be tailored to your needs and preferences.

Ten Holistic Self Care Ideas

  • Cook a food healing meal with those warm fuzzies
    • Comfort foods on an occasion is a good thing! Invoke those warm memories and warm fuzzies
    • You ARE in a relationship with food. Give thanks!!
    • Eat outside to nourish body and mind
    • Herbs and spices are underestimated food healers. Spice it up!
Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com
  • Nature and Cardio
    • Cardio increases circulation of oxygen and nutrients through the blood
    • Cardio stimulates the gut for better health
    • Nature feeds the soul and improves mental health
  • Virtual Coffee Date
    • Have a coffee or tea with conversations with a loved one or dear friend. Make it a group date!
  • Savor a piece of dark chocolate
    • The bitter taste and antioxidants in dark chocolate benefit all areas of
Photo by Vicky Tran on Pexels.com
  • Herbal teas
    • Peppermint helps with digestive issues
    • Elderberry is an immune booster (do not drink during a virus)
    • Orange or citrus teas are mood lifting
    • Chamomile and Lavender are calming
    • Dandelion cleanses the liver and improve immune system
    • All properly made herbal teas help with organ function
    • Add raw honey for antibiotic benefit
    • Cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric add incredible health benefits to teas
  • Gentle stretches
    • Gentle stretches like yoga or tai chi massage joints and facia surrounding your muscle. Try chair yoga or yin yoga.
  • Get smelly
    • Candles, incense, essential oils, and diffusers with specific scents trigger a chemical domino from nose to brain to the rest of your body.
    • Find pleasant scents or ones related to a memory
    • Chamomile and Lavender calm
    • Orange or citrus ease anxiety and uplift
  • Donate for the heart
    • Giving with joy and generously is energy that will return to you
    • Find a food bank
    • Donate Blood
    • Donate clothing
    • Give to disaster relief
Photo by Huy Phan on Pexels.com
  • Get creative
    • Color!
    • Craft kits and projects
    • Legos
    • Sewing or knitting
    • Play dough or clay
    • Read
    • Gardening
  • Wear bright and creative
    • Have theme days
    • Mix patterns
    • Light colors

JRiley

Holistic Health Practitioner

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The Art of Letting Go

There is always something to let go. 

Frustration has a range from long lines, traffic, or a thoughtless action to catastrophic level life events. When we do not let go, anywhere on the scale, it builds up. It infects our mental health and manifests itself in our physical health. Stomach ache, fatigue, headaches, indigestion may all be emotionally driven. For your peace of mind and peace in body, you need to discover release. Creating the masterpiece of letting go is a process that can be completed with ease.

This process begins with one central rule: never suppress the emotion or issue. Always acknowledge what emotion is rising to the surface. Yet, take caution when putting to word to an emotion and allowing it in your space. Acknowledgment and dwelling are two different actions. Noticing is as an objective description by you. Dwelling is nose dive into the emotion with fingers pointed, often in many directions. Step back to see the emotion rising without blame for you or another person. It does not remove the responsibility one or you may have. This acknowledgement of emotion starts the process. From here, write or talk with a trusted person about what triggered it’s presence. Run through the what happened, who is involved, and how it affect you. Going through this process pulls all that comes with that emotion to the surface. Once you can see this bundle of emotion with actions and memories, it eases creating release. Have it all in hand and ready to let go? There are a few mediums or ways to create your art of letting go.

Pick what jumps out at you. This is what you need at this moment.

  • Make it a ceremony.  Most happy moments in life are marked ceremoniously; by party, pictures, commemorative dates, etc.  Letting go can be one of those moments of joy for you to make space and unburden yourself.
    • Make a bonfire, I am all for setting – environmentally safe- things ablaze.  You can use an object or write what you want to release on a paper then throw it in the pyre.
    •  Light a candle. Its is a bit less dramatic; however, it is effective in marking this moment of letting go.  Repeating the statement in step two, reciting a mantra, saying a prayer are ways to enhancing your candle ceremony.
  • Write it out.  Write a letter to your younger self, future self if the letting go centralizes on you.  Journal or write a letter to a person to unload.  If you have letting go of a person or something between you and them, write to them.
  • Make literal art.  Coloring pages may help.  Create an abstract of what you feel.  Use your favorite medium and symbolism in an artwork.  Or create art that has nothing to do with it at all.  The act of creating aids in processing emotions and thoughts.
  • Confront.  You may need to confront a person and know you are ready to respectfully and firmly do so.  Do so.  You are not responsible for their actions but are in control of appropriately expressing yourself.  You might want to write it out first.
  • Cord cutting. Visualize cutting a cord while stating what or whom you are cutting away from. It can be a literal act with a rope or ribbon or cord. Find one and cut it while making your statements.
  • Meditation and prayer.  Clearing the junk in your head and heart are essential.  In one or several sessions, meditation and prayer give you the opportunity to process, organize, and offer your burden to the heavens.  My favorite is under moonlight. It is one of the closest settings I feel to my creator.  Put yourself in that literal space and head space to let go.

In everything in your art of letting go find grace and love for yourself.  It’s important to know that you are in control of your release.  You are worthy to be respected and other people are worthy to be respected.  When you meet at this intersection of kindness for yourself and others, it makes creating your masterpiece of release easier.  Inhale your comfort and exhale your complication, worry, irritation, etc.  Take up your brush and design your letting go.

Namaste

Juls

Next week may be what you need in your food life.  I and #thecalmRiley certainly did.  Say “YES” to leveling out the pH in your food relationship with new recipes and quick tips.

Easily Get Your Space Together

Easily Get Your Space Together

Daily living with six humans, one dog, and some bonus loves can pile in every corner of our home. Stacks on stacks of stuff. Cleaning once caused serious anxiety; largely due to “where do I start” and “when does this end?!” The collection piles look immense, if not impossible and heavy breathing commences. Are you in that same boat with me? Over the years, working through mental space and room space, I’ve come to find a deep connection.

How our minds function and how our physical home space functions are attached to each other. The question became, how do I create that outer and inner peace at the same time without loosing my mind? What does that look like? From mess, I swung to an OCD like habit. From scattered unhealthy to over controlled unhealthy.

Exhausted and frustrated, I had a “Get It Together” moment. Lots of breathing exercises and a brainstorm later, a system was created. It’s not set in stone as life flows in so many directions. Yet, it allows for beautiful messes to be created and organization, clean to come with ease. You can have both! With sanity in tact. Bonus! To the person standing in the collections of “what do I do with this?”- this is for you. It’s time to Get-It-Together and tackle this check list below. Go step by step. It truly helps to only look at one check on the list at a time. One step focus means focusing on that one step instead of many. Then check it off to go on to the next. The beauty of marking a list is telling your brain and (YES!) your soul that you have an accomplishment. It doesn’t need to be done in a day. Spring cleaning in this house took two weeks. Two or three rooms a week to maintain that balanced flow of renew and being present on everything esle. Print and find living space harmony for you.

It’s important to keep in mind that less is more. However, it doesn’t mean you need to give away everything. It means storing specific items to make your space more manageable. Switch out seasonal clothes and shoes. Switch out toys, books, or certain decorative items through out the year. The every day space that has less is easier to manage and creates a better head space. Clean and organization does not mean total absence of clutter like areas. In front of my current writing and study space is a cork board clutter with joyful images. It holds ideas, memories, family artwork, and inspiration quotes. It is a marked space of inspiration while other spaces are clean.

Throw everything in drawer and inspiration spaces

Sterile is not the essence of clean. Organization can be vibrant. Even a little messy looking. The goal is to remove what is no longer needed, clean up what is needed, and express your unique style. This goes for kids too and they have the ability to do something, if not everything, to clean their spaces. Share the clean tasks with everyone.

Print and let them go. The kids got this.

Finding a method in tight spaces may be difficult. It takes creativity but not necessarily a lot of mind work. Check me out on Pinterest with my Inspired Home Space and Zen Den board. There are lots of other ideas out there. Walk through a store storage/organization section to see what sparks ideas. As shared in the Get-It-Together check list, go vertical when you can and keep what you need day to day the most accessible. Every thing can be stored away.

https://www.pinterest.com/nutjusthealthnuts/holistic-alt-health/inspired-home-space-and-zen-dens/

Being organized can be a challenge for some. Especially when you have inexperience, focus issues, and life (the dog) in the way. Simply having visuals like lists and pins help to organize our thoughts. Breaking apart the whole home clean up to room by room tasks simplify the process. Then letting go of stark white environment images allows the ease of your individual expression. If most simple works for you. Do it. Like clusters of color? do it. Remember, the goal is to clear away the out of date to make room for new. All while loving what you to need with clean care. Make the most of your space to inspire your head space.

The highest in me for you,

Juls

Being Selfish to be Selfless

Being Selfish to be Selfless

There is problematic self. The burnt out one. The drained soul with a giving famine. Being generous has a boomerang of its own rewards. However, when we don’t invest in self care or set boundaries, we can risk becoming run down. Suddenly we find our ability to give stunted. We need in-pour time to make the most of our out-pour-giving opportunities.

Boundaries & The Power of Nope

From a parent perspective- I have one HUGE NOPE- I am not a maid. Everyone pitches in and if you made the mess, you clean it up. Parental boundaries. Sometimes I pick up their slack and sometimes they pick up mine. All the same, the message it clear. Mom is not your maid boundary. What boundaries do you need to set? Don’t want to attend that event? As long as it’s not essential for your life or career, then give a simple no thank you. It’s more than okay to say no, no thank you, nope with love for self and the invitee. Need some space? Communicate that and when you can reconnect again. Can’t volunteer for everything? Yeah, me too. Additionally, stop saying sorry. It’s such a verbal reflex!! A no and boundaries are nothing to apologize for. When we say sorry, we signal to ourselves guilt for setting the boundary. Having that guilt leads to troubles in setting boundaries. Guilt is for true mistakes to direct us to correct a wrong, not drawing appropriate lines to protect our space. Being able to give simple nope and setting your boundary lines is a powerful skill you must have.

Self Care

Self Care is the physical, mental, and soulful effort to boost your out-pour flow. Physically, this looks like clean body, clean clothes, optimal nutrition, and your preferred exercise. It’s not a particular image. This is caring with hygiene for more of you. It’s your daily, if not hourly, investment to your body. A simple walk, easy protein/veggie dinner, and a shower does wonders. All of this may not always attainable, especially as a care giver. Tick as many boxes as you can. Mind and soul health is crucial to anyone’s daily routine. You need individual time to breathe. Journal, draw, pray/meditation, or just breathe- de junk your brain. This practice of “sitting and quiet self” cannot be understated- even a few minutes has a voluminous impact. We pick up so much in our living and it needs to be let go. Refresh and reset.

Hug Yourself From the Inside Out

Delegate & Exchange

Independence is amazing; especially when your kids dress and perform hygiene task on their own. Beyond freaking awesome. Yet, being too independent or being isolated from help can hinder your generosity ability. If you have too many “hats on” or “plates going” it can lead anxiety, sleeplessness, or overwhelm. When this happens, it’s time to let go or hand over. Even better, hand it over sooner before you hit that panic point. Knowing your lines is immensely powerful. Prioritize, find that line, then anything under that line needs an eviction notice. It may be beneficial to exchange obligations or duties. A task, event, or responsibility could be troublesome right now but not later. Connect to find help and exchange that help. More than likely, you both win a release at some point. Build your all hands on deck community.

Finding a defined time is a necessary for you. The part I love best in self investment is that it doesn’t take much time and truly allows for more to give later. The hardest part, for me, is boundaries. It’s attainable and worth the effort in making these skills. Make the most of your incredible self.

Follow me on Instagram to see my boundary testers and points of relief. Then check me out on Pinterest for lots of ideas on “you investments” on my Holistic Health board and word inspirations on my Affirmations and Truths board. I love sharing and will follow back!

Namaste in you to make most of you

Juls

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Seeking Warm Fuzzies Part Two

Certain senses will have more of an impact on your body and mind than others when in sensory seeking endeavors. For me it’s all about smell and food.  Naturally.

Smell it

My sense of smell is insane. When something is pleasant, it’s amazing. If it smell bad, it’s everything I have not to vomit.  Smell is powerful.  I’m ever grateful my children are potty trained.

Make use of the oil popularity.  A couple of days ago I was walking in a store and noticed a section dedicated to essential oils.  It’s not for parties anymore.  What you buy is important and needs to be a pure form.  However, the more readily available essential oils make scent seeking easier.  Rarely is an essential oil on it’s own safe.  For safety sake, mix oils and blends (more than one oil) in a carrier oil.  Grapeseed oil is my favorite choice but fractioned coconut, almond, jojoba oils all work too.  Putting these oils in a diffuser or a few drops in running water for a bath are excellent ways to disperse the scent quickly.  In a bath it will absorb in your skin for more potent results.  A few oils I blend with oil in a dark glass roller bottle.  A 10 mL bottle 80-85 % filled with carrier oil and few drops of each essential oil will do.  When needed, I roll the blend on the palms of my hands then rub hands together.  Then I cup my hands over my mouth and nose then breathe.  From hand to brain, it does the job.  Take this quick guide to a few essential oil options and make the most of your smell sense.

essential oils and benefits

Before we leave the sense of smell there are a few incredibly simple ways to find the warm fuzzies.  It’s as simple as a memory.  Find your comforting scents from the fall arena to floral,  woodsy, coffee, or clean.  Whatever it is that promotes a positive moment past or now, have it on hand.

From Mouth to Brain

Food! Yay!   There is so much my mouth can do other than a sarcastic or off color comment.  From taste bud to texture to temperature, our oral senses can be an amazing way to find those fuzzies.

Like your sense of smell, your taste buds have memories too.  Feeling down or any similar emotion, comfort foods are not called comfort foods for nothing.  It’s okay to indulge in indulging every once and awhile.  Bring those memories to the plate, bowl, or cup to trigger happy moments.  I would encourage you to create new moments and invited friends and family in those culinary endeavors.  Your taste buds will associate with that gathering time for a powerful multi-sensory punch you can draw upon later.  Don’t let those comfort foods sabotage you.  If your comfort food involves high fats, over processed, too much sodium, and not enough nutrition- eating it more than a day within a week or two  it will back fire.  They impact your brain and emotions along with nervous system in dreadful ways.  Then your comfort food becomes your enemy.

When feeling heavy emotionally go for lighter meals.  Less or barely cooked.  Reduce your fats.  Your fats should primarily focus on monosaturated fat, polysaturated fat, and omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis.  In food forms this is coconut oil, avocados, eggs, fish, nuts, nut butters to name a few.  These fats help you but take in just what you need.  Cool foods and drinks help wake up the brain.  So does caffeine, but too much can over work the nerves.  Careful, please.  Bitter and spicy tastes aid in uplifting and stimulating your nervous system and brain as well as crunchy foods.  An nut has great brain fats, crunchy plus with a spicy seasoning, it will be an alarm system to your senses.  A warm fuzzy of the jolting variety.

When finding it difficult to calm, anxiety, or an unsettling condition go the opposite direction.  Padded in a couple extra servings of the good fats.  Avocado, egg, and a high protein cheese is my breakfast.  I have difficulty waking up but quickly switch to jitter mode.  I need my nourishment to help out.  Warm foods and drinks soothe and give literal warm fuzzies.  Sweet in its appropriate forms lend a hand too.

Days and moments are vary so should finding those warm fuzzies when using your senses.  Mix it up.

Namaste in your sensory seeking endeavors.

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Health Foodie Seeking the Warm Fuzzies

I am a sensory nut. I need to see, smell, taste, and touch. Then, I birthed two sensory seeking, sensory repulsed people. When we love a taste, it’s on until we absolutely hate it. Except tacos. Never touch our blankets. Tag are out. If it’s too loud, forget it. What is that smell??!!! May I touch that? I probably should’ve asked before touching it. We are seekers of a sensory buzz.

Finding the warm fuzzies is a fairly universal desire for us human beings. Most often we do it unconsciously, being categorized as preference or like.  Some of us are more aware of sensory issues by living with exceptional needs. We are looking for the balance of avoidance versus those warm sensory fuzzies. But what if your awareness in positive sensory behavior could enhance your daily wellness? From mental acuity to de-stress plus possible weight help, social bonding, and more- our sensory endeavors have potential benefits for everyone.

Before we submerge our senses we need to precede with caution. If therapy or medical care is a part of your life or someone in your care, then these may help as “in addition too.” However, ask your professional first.

For your eyes seek bright or soft colors, which one depends on what you need

Most of us have a favorite color and there may be reasons as to why, it’s color psychology.   Companies use the study colors to know how to entice your consumer brain.  For the purpose here, it’s a tool that may help engage your brain and mental well being.   In the general sense, bright/warm colors stimulate your brain.  If you feel sluggish, pick one bright color you like and wear it.  If you love it, paint a room with it.  Or, less commitment option is to paint a piece of furniture.  On the other end, if your are stressed, over stimulated, etc then aim for wearing, obtaining, painting with cool/soft/pastel colors.  Even a light pink can soothe and brighten.   Work towards an array in your closet and mix them up in your living space, different days or hours call for different colors.

Seek soft, weighted, warm, or cool to touch

Feeling sore or stressed? Find warmth  in a blanket; in my case, multiple blankets. Texture is important so go with that “gut feeling.”   If you tend to heat easily then go light and soft.  Personally, it’s fleece.   Light compression can be calming.  A heavier, but not necessarily warmer blanket may be of benefit.  A quilt can have some weight or as I discovered recently in a Yin Yoga class, that a tightly woven blanket (“Mexican Blanket,” “Yoga Blanket”) has a fair amount of weight.  There are weighted blankets that can be pricey and a professional would be the one to tell you what weight ratio you need.  A quilt or woven blanket have some weight but not enough to require a consultation for most people.  Another inexpensive option to calm is simply taking a bath.  Water is therapeutic.  Hot water with the door locked and kids on the other side is life altering.  On the other end, being active in cool water can help workout those nerves and add to positive stimulation.   It’s a great option for joint problems and children with lots of energy.

When you need to hear it

If your auditory sense is seeking those chills there are a few simple options.  To calm the nerves, slower (classical, jazz, etc), sound of nature, white noise are ear massage options.  Listening to a guided meditation can be an option too.  If heavy or dull is the feeling then go upbeat.  Then add dancing or something similar too it.  Movement and music are a powerful combo.  Another way to uplift is finding or recording affirmations that are meaningful to you.  It repeats to become a memory.  You may replay that “track” later when it’s not available but needed.  

From a “pick me up” to chill out, sensory seeking can go a long way to help.  Look for part two in the near future.   Subscribe for your convenience.  We still need to address our olfactory sense and of course, food! Check that out in Seeking the Warm Fuzzies Part Two

Namaste in your warm fuzzy endeavors 

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#Internationalselfcare day for the Caregiver

I had it all set. Gut healing ideas with delicious recipes.  Something was holding me back, what was it I truly needed to say? Those recipes are meant for next week.  It started in my A.M. routine with a celebration of #internationalselfcareday and it hit the hardest after leaving #ghostchild weekly speech therapy appointment as #redreignofterror was screaming over a perceived wrong of seating in the car.  Lots of deep breathing as I parent and process our new information.  We will not be able to complete therapy in the short term with the addition of further testing and, hopefully, the additional of occupational therapy.  Being a parent or caregiver is serious work.  Being one with people with disabilities, disorders, syndromes, etc is over whelming.  Finding balance between extraordinary needs, family dynamics, and just life is over whelming.

I have to put my mask on first.

Self care is crucial to my survival and my family’s gears moving.

For us and for those we care for. You need to make a commitment for yourself so you can make the most of you and your caregiver self.   It takes intention, creativity, and setting priorities.  It’s not impossible.

Care for your body.  The physical toll affects more than the physical self. Sleep is priority one. Best case is sleeping a good eight hours or more as needed.  If that doesn’t happen, naps. They are not just for preschoolers. Sleep deprivation infiltrates EVERYTHING- from how your body functions to brain functions.  EVERYTHING.  You need as much sleep as you can get.  It may mean no’s to extra activity, committing to a set routine, back ground noises, and more.

What you eat is priority. Low fat and sugar, high protein and veggies. Unhealthy fats and unhealthy sugars negatively impact your ability to function- body and mind.  There are good fats that are imperative like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, etc. Those in appropriate amount give your body and brain the boost it needs.  You need the right sugar from complex grains. Quick energy. A small cup of coffee is life changing. Add that too.  Sleep and good nutrition is better for your overall health and will be a major contributor to your success as a caregiver.

…Your mind. Sanity may be in short supply or non existent some days. Or all days.  We need to be intentional in care for our minds as equally as we are with our bodies.  In pouring to your physical body enhances your mental health.   It affects our decision making, emotions, and stamina. Your mind is immensely powerful. When not cared for, it can be your enemy. Your pact to your mind is to declutter it. Meditation, prayer, coloring, journaling, support group or friend. You need at least one of these things. I use all of them! We need some where to exhale our love, frustration, exhaustion, victories, and so forth. We need a safe place to inhale grace, comfort, strength, and pebbles of sanity. Release and renew your brain. Part of this pact is acknowledging and setting limitations. We are humans. Super humans, yet very human. We have limitations. A rubber band can only go so far. It does snap. Ask my family when my rubber band snapped. And who did it. Know and advocate your limitations.

Honor your spirit or soul. Whichever you choose. We are designed to be connected and caregiving has a way to isolate us. We must be intentional to connect for our health and caregiving. Seek and accept help then take opportunities outside of your caregiving space to connect with community(ies). Share the burden. When you are isolated your head has a way of getting stuck. It takes effort and strength to get out and connect. Gives you perspective.   It is possible to do something. Especially if you are accepting help. We must connect ourselves to other selves. The more you connect, the more support you find and discover value in your unique purpose.

Set a self care intention.  A few minutes a day on prayer and meditation is often what I have and I take it.  Grooming is efficient but a necessary part of my morning to tell my brain and body I matter.  I choose my food carefully most days.  I am active within my limitations.  In all my self care, I am working on grace the most.  That’s the hardest.  When things like today hit, I feel so small and never enough.  Am I giving enough? What could I do better? Feel me?  Inhale. Exhale.  I need to allow grace and affirm I am doing everything within my means.

Acknowledge your fear.  Find grace.  Affirm yourself.

Namaste and celebrate self care everyday