One night during my third year of college, some friends knocked on my dorm room door proclaiming, "We're going country line dancing! Let's go!" In which reality would you see a Jamaican going country line dancing in the middle of Connecticut? Apparently, in the one where your friends offer to pay for everything.
For 2 hours straight, I sat at our table at this huge dance club refusing to help my friends make a mess of the formation of people on the dance floor. They had no clue what they were doing but were having tons of fun. I, on the other hand, didn't want to embarrass myself.
Just when I became bored, I noticed there was a mechanical bull at the back of the dance floor. Eager to harness my inner John Travolta in "Urban Cowboy", I ran over to the mechanical bull, paid the operator, and held on for dear life. While riding the bull, the operator increased the speed every 8 seconds. About 30 seconds in, people started cheering me on. I lasted just over a minute before I fell off the mechanical bull to a flourish of applause. The operator then told me most people don't usually last as long on the mechanical bull as I did.
Not only did I have fun; I also felt a sense of achievement! I was as happy as can be and that glee finally took me to the dance floor to join my friends. I ended up also enjoying country line dancing so much that my friends had to wait on me to end the night.
Five years later, I knew all the popular country line dances; got to the second-highest speed allowed in clubs on the mechanical bull; and proudly owned 3 cowboy hats, 2 belt buckles, cowboy boots, cowboy boot shoes, and a bolo tie. A couple of my friends even nicknamed me the Jamaican Hillbilly!
To think that if I never went out with my friends that night back in 2002, I would never have discovered the joy of country line dancing. It goes to show you can find joy where you least expect it.
#selfcare #selflove #minfulliving #joy #lifelessons #authenticself #havingfun #trysomethingnew
Human beings are social by nature. There isn't a person on Earth whose thoughts, emotions, actions, and beliefs are not impacted in one way or another by people. Faced with that reality, one of the best forms of self-care is creating for yourself a network of people who make us feel loved, safe, and supported at all times: your tribe.
Your tribe members are honest with you and allow you to be honest with them. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, your tribe accepts you for exactly who you are and encourages you to live authentically always. Your tribe feeds your soul with compassion and helps you navigate life lessons at every turn.
The members of your tribe can include family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, teachers, and counselors. They fill the roles of nurturer, problem-solver, protector, playmate, and motivator. Each member can be either available at all times for every situation or have strict boundaries for how and when they show up for you; but, what is important is that they show up in times of need.
It's perfectly fine for your tribe to change over time just as your needs do, so long as it honors and serves your highest good always. And your needs will always be met so long as you honor and love your tribe.
With our fast-paced, mind-cluttering existence, stress, anxiety, and lack of restful sleep are very common among adults. One tool for helping ease these issues is the weighted blanket.
Originally created in the 1990's to provide calming effects on those with mental health conditions, weighted blankets apply "deep touch pressure" to the body, providing a feedback to our nervous system that reduces anxiety and makes it easier to fall asleep, similar to swaddling a baby.
Weighted blankets come in various sizes and weights, and the recommended weight for sleeping is ~10% of your body weight (if that feels too heavy, it's fine to go even lighter). Some are puffy like a comforter for warmth, and others are thin to provide breathability for people who have night sweats. For those who need help managing stress and anxiety during the day, lap blankets and throws are great to use while seated at a desk, traveling, or lounging on the couch.
Weighted blankets are available for both adults and children who weigh at least 50 pounds and can be easily purchased online or in department stores. So, curl up with one for more calm, a better night's sleep, and cozy 'hug' on demand.
We get our energy from the food we eat, and we need energy to get through the day. But, how does that energy flow throughout the body?
Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that just as blood flows through blood vessels, life energy flows throughout the body via meridians. Meridians are a network of channels connecting all parts of the body, distributing energy to where it's needed.
Meridians can become blocked, which creates pain, muscles spasms, inflammation, joint stiffness, fatigue, and other physical discomfort. These energy blocks can be caused by poor physical care, unfavorable environmental conditions, and persistent mental/emotional stress.
To help remove blocks from the meridians and keep energy flowing throughout the body, many have turned to:
• Acupuncture, acupressure, or reflexology: inserting needles into or applying pressure to points on the body to break up energy blocks.
• Qigong or Tai chi: using physical movements to help move energy throughout the body.
• Reiki: channeling and delivering life energy to the body to restore energy levels and proper energy flow.
With these techniques at your disposal, don't suffer unnecessarily with discomfort and sluggishness. Treat your mind and body by boosting your energy flow.
If you've been ignored, dismissed, berated, taken advantage of, belittled, or underestimated, you may have felt like a waste of space, subhuman, unloved, or like a doormat. But, if you were to remove your culturally-created self, the part of you that identifies with everything you've been told you are by your parents, relatives, coworkers, the entertainment industry, government, religion, news media, what would you be left with?
You would be left with your authentic self, the part of you that is kind, smart, brave, loving, dependable, powerful, protective, loyal, adventurous, and open-minded. The part of you that was manifested on Earth as beautifully as the trees, mountains, butterflies, and dolphins. The natural not-messed-around-with you is pure and lovely. You know it's true.
So, commit to forgive those who try to create doubt in you about your worth. Because most likely, they are doing it to offset the same doubts they have about themselves.
Many say that the most powerful word amongst all the languages of the world is Love. But not enough energy, education, and appreciation has been given to its first runner-up, NO.
NO packs quite a punch. It can break hearts, deplete self-esteem, and start all-out war. However, when used for good with grace and without fear, NO is one of the most powerful tools in self-care. It is a shield against the people who will suck you dry. You know who they are.
Sometimes, we're motivated to power through situations to meet a deadline, to prove a point, or because you're "in the zone". But, what about when you're tired, sick, or overwhelmed?
Despite our better judgment, we often still push through these circumstances and become burnt out, of no use to ourselves or others. Why do we do that to ourselves and repeatedly? Is it because taking a break is a sign of weakness, laziness, indifference, or ineptitude?
When things don't go according to plan or become uncomfortable, it's easy to get caught up in anger, fear, worry, sadness, or feeling defeated. However, if we take a breath, pause for a moment, and observe things neutrally, we can find a lesson in every situation.
You had a performance review with your boss. You did not meet expectations, and you spent an hour going over what improvements are needed. You may feel sad; ashamed; or angry at yourself, the boss, or the job. You could also see it as a chance to learn how to grow in your job role.
Whether it's at the end of a hard day on the job, after a workout at the gym, or just because, a hot bath is a great way to give your mind and body a little extra love & attention. It doesn't need to be piping hot; just warm enough to give you 20-40 minutes of ahhh...
How many other self-care techniques do you know that elevate your mood, improve sleep, relax sore or tight muscles, reduce blood pressure, ease cold & flu symptoms, and improve your skin all-in-one.
You can add Epsom salts to reduce joint inflammation, Dead Sea salt to detoxify & soothe irritated skin, and/or essential oils to either energize or calm your being. Or you can go with just water to give you the comfort and ease you deserve. Regardless, it's time for a hot bath.
For tips on getting out of a bathtub safely, visit https://mdhealth.com.au/how-to-get-out-of-the-bath-safely-and-effectively/
Are you afraid to live the life you dream of? Does it feel daunting to try something new that calls to your soul? Are you fearful of people judging the authentic you? Do you worry about failing to reach new heights if you try? There is no need.
Trust that because you've had ideas, epiphanies, ah-hah moments, dreams, and imaginations become reality, it will happen again.
Trust that because you overcame challenges before, you will do it again.
Trust that because you've had family, friends, coworkers, mentors, neighbors, and strangers support your goals in the past, they will do it again.
Trust that because you've previously found tools, materials, supplies, and other resources to bring your visions into reality, you will find them again.
You've done it before. So, there's nothing to fear. Do it again.
Kelly Nembhard is a certified health coach, Reiki therapist, and aromatherapist with experience as a clinical research professional and developmental biologist. She currently lives in Durham, NC.
Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.