This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to include yourself when you’re giving out love.
If you take the time to give yourself love, not only will you feel better about yourself, but you will be better equipped to spread the love to others.
Most people think that self-care involves a glass of wine and putting your feet up in front of the telly. You’ll also be told you ‘deserve’ it. And, I’m not knocking either thing – each has its place. But, this concept is not something that is nourishing and restorative. And, it is not self-care.
We ALL deserve to take care of ourselves. We all deserve to feel good in and about ourselves for as much of the time as we can. Alcohol and zoning out don’t do that.
Self-care in my mind is something which helps to restore your core, your well of contentment, your get up and go, your resilience and your facility for dealing with the daily grind. And, life in Lockdown has had a LOT of grind (and some unexpected silver linings too).
Self care comes in many guises. Maybe it’s about putting a well-balanced meal on the table at most mealtimes. Maybe it’s about ensuring your sleep is the best it can be. Maybe it’s about drinking herbal teas to keep calm. Maybe, it’s meditation, yoga and other forms of exercise.
What do I do?
I found the idea of self-care so very hard to contemplate. Something essentially completely alien and whilst the notion was OK, it just slipped down the ‘To Do’ list every day, never happening until it never appeared on the list because it became something else to berate myself for not doing. I just couldn’t summon up the feeling that I could do it. Like so many, I just didn’t know how to prioritise it, how to feel that it was OK to do it. It felt really hard to fit in with so many other pressures demanding my time. I wanted the re-create the pure escapist uplift of that first glass of fizz but found the repercussions for my mood the following day too hard to handle – not to mention it has the potential to create a vicious cycle. I sought out junk foods but the highs and lows of that did nothing for my overall sense of wellbeing either.
In fact, it has only recently become something which feels as though it has any priority in my life. As I got more in tune with my body and how it actually felt each day, I found I needed to choose something healthful. Something restorative in a true sense. I still want to zone out in front of the telly, and have the odd glass of wine now and then but mostly, I am now seeking ways to truly nourish myself.
So, how did I change my perspective? Many, many things helped
Working with others
Seeking help can be a really important first step. Being guided by someone with skills and knowledge has profound benefits.
The first step along my road was getting help from my beautiful Italian friend, Laura Cattaneo. Her deeply restorative Shiatsu energy work massages combined with her words of wisdom enabled me to shift a lot of blocks and obstacles to living a fuller, more contented life. Laura brings a deep wisdom to her work as shiatsu practitioner and spiritual counsellor.
I had been intereted in EFT/Tapping for a while and I began working with an EFT/Tapping practitioner, Tamara Donn. Her sessions have helped me to clear other obstacles in my emotional life which were getting in the way. I am still on this journey and find that regular sessions enable me to manage lockdown and its challenges as well as working on my wider issues.
Catching the Tapping bug Fancy giving it a try? You’re welcome to join one of my fortnightly “Catching The Tapping Bug” group sessions via Zoom. First session is free! Email me at HertsHerbalist@hotmail.com for further information.
Working on myself
So, it’s all very well spending time and money consulting other people but what about what you can do for youself?
I have a few routines:
- Daily reiki on myself
- Regular tapping
- Herbal tea blend
- Herbal Footbaths
- Bach Flower Remedies
- Donna Eden’s Daily Energy Routine
In this list, there are a few which require very little training to master and the benefits can be felt immediately.
Tapping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wG2FA4vfLQ this is the founder Gary Craig demonstrating the simplicity of the routine and how you can use it. It’s a ‘no frills’ video which is only 8 mins long.
Daily Energy Routine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di5Ua44iuXc&list=PLFF7D_uZ4FmSa9e4_eB5KHYSmysIl0DYn&index=2&t=15s Donna Eden is positively throbbing with her vital energy in this demonstration of her easy-to-do routine. I LOVE the way I feel when I do this regularly.
Herbal tea: As a herbalist, I have a heap of herbs at my beck and call. The primary herb for anyone wishing to begin a journey of herbal exploration is Chamomile. Its readily available and inexpensive.
Let’s get medicinal: To get truly medicinal results from any herbal tea, I suggest trying 2 bags per cup, brewing it with a lid on for at least 20 minutes and drinking three times per day! (This is for a generally healthy adult). I recommend this with chamomile and although it is a bit bitter (that’s good medicine) and may take a little getting used to (I describe its taste as being yellow) it’s worth it. It’s calming to the digestion and nervous system, aiding sleep and reducing anxiety amongst many other benefits.
Loving Calm tea If you want to dig a little deeper, I make a beautiful tea blend which combines herbs which deeply nourish the nervous system with herbs to warm the cockles of your heart. I call it my LOVING CALM TEA and you can have it delivered to your door by getting in touch: HertsHerbalist@hotmail.com
Let me know how you get on – I’d love to hear your experiences of trying out these things.
Disclaimer: If you are planning to self-medicate with herbs, it is always wise to check this out with a professional. Herbalists can tell you whether the herbs you wish to work with are contraindicated with your prescribed medications.
Anything for which we need medicinal help requires caution. So, whilst chamomile is gentle and suitable from birth to death for most people, some people will not find it helpful. In cases of reflux, it can be irritating and a few people find it more stimulating than relaxing! The golden rule: if it feels bad, don’t do it – even if it ought to feel good.