Friday, June 21, 2013

Extreme Self-Care for the Busy Birth Professional

Usually, my blog posts are more evidence-based and researchy.  Today, I want to share with you 10 quick extreme self-care ideas.  

Not stressed?  Don't need self-care?  Sorry, I don't believe you.

Each of us has too much on our plates: family stresses, children, financial considerations, clients,
births, classes, marketing, success.....the list is endless.  And if we first don't recognize this stress, then we will become victims of the very stress hormones that we help our clients to guard against.  Stress puts stress on our bodies and lowers our immune system. Extreme stress begins to put strain on organ systems.  It can affect your hair, skin, digestive system, urinary tract, muscles and so much more.  Headaches, muscle aches and grumpy outlooks may all become part of the over-stressed menu.

Here are my top 10 go-to stress busters.  In the event of extreme stress, you may need to do ALL of these in one day!

In no particular order: 

1) First and foremost, meditate.  This is more than just sitting silently thinking or praying.  For some, it involves being in a relaxing locations or listening to relaxing meditative music.  Add a soothing scent (such as incense or lavender essential oil) for even more impact.

2) Get a massage.

3) Go sit by a body of water (lake, river, ocean).  Enjoy the sunshine and solitude of nature. Listen with intention to all of the sounds - going so far as to closing your eyes and trying to identify sounds.

4) Find a cuddly old quilt and lay on the ground and watch the clouds.

5) Have an appliance-free day - this means no TV, radio, computers, cell phone or tablet for 24 hours.

6) Do some Zentangling.

7) Relax!  Relaxing is not is an active form of stress release.  You may do Yoga positions to facilitate relaxation or practice what you preach in your business - progressive muscle relaxation visualization, breathing or even Tai Chi.

8) Cuddle with your partner....and if that leads to sex, then you both can benefit from the oxytocin rush!

9) Get an ice cream or coffee, preferably use a drive thru, and pay $5 towards the bill of the car behind you.

10) Take a walk through an arboretum.

Taking time for yourself fills your heart with so much positive energy!  Be ware of the temptation to short change yourself, with mental messages such as "I have too much to do - don't have time for pleasure now." or "This stuff won't work."  You must make time for you and yes this stuff does indeed work - there are plenty of evidence-based research articles that show the benefits.

Now...ready, set...RELAX!

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