Need a Break from Life? Self-Care Practices and Why They're Important

For those of you who feel like life is a never-ending constant hustle, this one is for you!  Those of you who know me know that I lead a pretty busy life.  Most of the time I’m working non-stop or practicing yoga/meditation so I can be the best teacher I can be.  During the school year is an especially busy time for me, while in the summer months I usually offer less programs and do some traveling.  Last weekend I realized that I had a few consecutive days with nothing planned!  I was like, “wow! Amazing!”  Should I have a stay-cation?  Go somewhere?  Catch-up on some stuff?  

The rustic cabin I rented at Lake Maria State Park.  Backpack in about 1 mile!

The rustic cabin I rented at Lake Maria State Park.  Backpack in about 1 mile!

I decided to rent a cabin for 1 night at Lake Maria State Park.  It was interesting to notice my mind going back and forth on this—debating if it would be worth it to spend $63 on relaxation, when that could go towards savings or a nice meal out. 

The lake right outside the cabin.

The lake right outside the cabin.

I brought my yoga mat, one book, and my journal.  There was no internet.  No phone service.  It was incredible.  I felt my mind decompress.  Probably the best thing about the cabin was that there really wasn’t anything to do.  I know this may sound silly, but it forced me to be in the moment.  It forced me to be present with nature and to appreciate what was already there.  It sounds simple—maybe even boring—but it was divine.  There was no schedule.  No need to know the time.  Nothing really to do.  It was a meditative experience without the cushion.

I think experiences like this are becoming increasingly important as the pace of life becomes faster.

I realized from this experience that I need to take more time for myself.  Time to relax. Time to not do anything.  Time away from busyness. 

 If you’re thinking—"how can I bring self-care into my own life?" here are some tips:

-Self-care doesn’t need to cost a lot of money.  It doesn’t need to be a spa weekend or massage (though if it fits your budget….)

-Think about how you want to feel.  Do you want to feel relaxed, adventurous, nourished, rejuvenated?  What activities and practices would make you feel the way you want to feel on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?  

-Be honest with yourself about what you need/want.  My boyfriend wanted to come with me on my adventure, but really what I needed was time alone to reflect and relax.  Not that hanging out with him is bad—it would be a different experience.

-If you want to feel different, you’ve got to make different choices.

My favorite home self-care practices:

-Herb bath.  Using about 1/4 cup of loose dry herbs (lavender, lemon balm and rose petals are great!) using a french press and pour liquid tea into bathtub

-Castor Oil Pack.  Messy, but good

-Yoni Steam for women

-Laying on the Earth (we go over this practice in-depth in the Memorial Weekend Retreat and School of Earth Medicine)

-Restorative or yin yoga

-Just sitting (aka chillaxing)

Try one of these and let me know in the comments below how it goes!