I took this picture back in the summer, as like most of the people visiting this spot, I was astounded by the power of the ginormous roots system above the soil of this beautiful tree in Farnham. It raised a few questions for me like, "If that's what's going on above the surface, I wonder what's going on underneath?!" It also is a wonderful visual and tangible image of stability, stoicism and balance. Something we could all do with right now!
'Caring for myself is not self-indulgence it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.' - Audre Lorde
If 2020 hasn't already churned us all up with world events, then November seems to have turned the dial up another impossible level. I'm English and today seems a bit fever-pitch. Tomorrow we are about to go into a second period of tight social distancing restrictions, and as I type, America is deciding its fate and there rest of the world along with it.
How do we navigate through these times with grace? Self-care is vital and non-negotiable. Here are 10 ways that you can support yourself:
1. Firstly, accepting that this is the situation in front of us is a good place to start. There are times where things are just too overwhelming and we must allow these feelings to move through us. It is important to sit with the dark and not surpress these feelings - we are not robots. However, we do what we can not get stuck there.
2. A way through this is to be clear with what is in our control and what isn't. Perhaps list this out for yourself. I find writing things down helps shift it from the Magic Roundabout in my brain to a piece of paper where I can really look that thought in the eye and see what is true and what isn't.
3. Limit your news intake. This is a great piece of advice all the people I look up to practice. It is so easy to get sucked in to the toxic negativity of the news, awaiting for it to tell us what's happening next, when frankly it is a small percentage fact and a big percentage opinion. I like to just check in once a day, if that, or (like now) with a a big piece of news like the presidency, wait until the outcome. That comes from looking at what I can and can't control. Sadly, I'm not an American so voting is not an option!
4. Keep your phone out of your bedroom. Sleep is immensely important to me. Nothing was a bigger shock to the system than the sleep deprivation experience parenthood brings. I have left my phone down in the kitchen to charge for years now, as the blue light, and the temptation to check the internet can mess up your sleep pattern.
5. Ground yourself. There are a number of ways that this can be done to get us out of our heads. Walking barefoot on grass might be a bit chilly now here in the UK, but move the soles of your feet across the texture of the floor and notice the sensations. Using a grounding blend like doTERRA's Balance on the soles of your feet once you have taken your morning shower, will enable the oil to be absorbed into your system within 20 minutes. This allows the fantastic, volatile compounds to support each and every cell to enhance your health. I also diffuse this blend when at the computer as it helps me to feel more 'together' and less 'fractured.'
6. Walk in nature. This one we can do in the UK for the most part, unless you are in the inner-City. If you can't get into the countryside or wooded area then try a tree-based oil like Douglas fir, Siberian Fir or Copiaba to emulate a similar experience.
7. Move. A top one for me - particularly to endorphin raising tunes. As a dancer, I take online classes, which although different from the IRL experience, are a big boost. Inspired by Goldie Hawn jumping about to Dua Lipa, I am just about to receive a rebounder (or mini-trampoline) to get some fun cardio in the mix over the next four weeks. I will report back on this one...
8. Eat Well. We are into carb craving season, and with the chaos the need to comfort eat is even greater. Whilst I am doing what I can to monitor this, I am also trying to practice acceptance, and not 'fix everything' in one go as it is unrealistic. What we can try is adding fruit and vegetables to our diet as oppose to taking things out. Looking at what supplements you can take such as doTERRA's Lifelong Vitality Pack is a great way to support your system. This pack contains a natural blend of vitamins, minerals, Omega's and essential oils as well as other key ingredients to enhance your bodies natural ability to repair and renew itself. Adding a green smoothie to the day will give us necessary vitamins and minerals to support our system.
9. Bathe or shower with oils. Epsom salts with doTERRA Serenity blend or Lavender is hugely relaxing and calming. If you don't own a bath, put 2-3 drops of oil in your shower tray as the warm water will help the molecules vaporise so you can enjoy the benefits through the steam and water.
10. Most important of all - connect with your friends and family. Make sure that you surround yourself energetically with people who uplift you. Is there a course or an activity that you can take part in together over this time, or a watch party? I have collaborated with fellow doTERRA advocates to create Wellbeing Support Week: Soothing Anxiety & Stress, 9 - 15 November which you might like to try. With a range of elf-care practices including yoga and meditation alongside the opportunity to experience carefully selected doTERRA essential oils. Or you may simply just want to talk on the phone. If you are with people or animals in your house enjoy the cuddles. If you are alone, why not give yourself a leg, shoulder or hand massage with one of your favourite essential oils to keep your sensory perception stimulated.
I saw a lovely post from Elena Brower recently with a quote from Audre Lorde, 'Caring for myself is not self-indulgence it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.'
Take care this month xo