A lot of us think of self-care as splurges—that massage you have been waiting for or a big night out with friends. But for the most part, the way we treat ourselves on a moment-to-moment basis has the power to affect our state of being.
Our daily rituals have the potential to nurture a sense of ease that renews us in a life of adventure and challenges. The more moments we take to honor ourselves with love and kindness, the more we can give to our passions and loved ones every day. Here are six acts of self-care that require little commitment and almost no money. They will leave you feeling rested and ready to take on the world.
In my youth, I had terrible experiences with my shoulders separating and dislocating at various times during sports. I had my first reconstructive surgery at 18 years old on my right shoulder. This was the result of a year’s worth of extreme snowboarding accidents. Three years later, I was back on the operating table — this time for my left shoulder. After the second surgery, my upper body was extremely tight. Over the years, I had developed major issues with larger muscle groups in my upper body trying to overcompensate for the smaller, weaker muscles surrounding both of my shoulder joints. Even after months of physical therapy, I was worried I might have complications with my shoulders for the rest of my life.
I am proud to say that I recently had my first colonoscopy. Although I’m 43 – and thus, seven years away from the age when colonoscopies are first recommended – there is a history of rogue colon cells in my family. And, my college roommate was recently diagnosed and underwent treatment for stage-2 colon cancer. I felt like I had gotten enough hints from the universe that it was time for me to follow the advice of my mother’s doctors and come in to get a baseline for colon health.
Going VERY deep into Uttanasana, a.k.a. Standing Forward Bend
Have you ever wondered what your yoga teacher means when she instructs you to “go deeper into the pose?” What exactly does this cue mean? Let’s say you’ve been holding the pose for a while, and are already shaking and trembling. Then instead of calling out a new pose, your teacher calls out “drop deeper into the pose!” You summon the courage to try it … but you aren’t exactly sure how, or what component of the pose needs further deepening.
As a teacher and a teacher trainer with more than 25 years of experience, I have seen my fair share of confused yoga students interpreting this cue in myriad ways:
It’s the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent disease, yet you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s the secret to preventing aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease. There are more than 89,000 medical articles about it — but your doctor doesn’t know how to address the epidemic deficiency of this critical life-giving molecule.
Admit it… you’ve nuked a dish of food and eaten it even if it’s still cold in the middle because you’re too hungry to give it another minute or two in the microwave. And you’ve been known to let the remains of dinner sit out on the counter for hours before packing it up in the refrigerator.