By: Gabriela Piedrahita
“The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself” - Wallace D. Wattles
For some reason we have been programed to think being busy, exhausted, and sleep deprived equals being successful, so self-care becomes secondary. Some people consider it to be selfish or thoughtless to take time for oneself but really how exactly are we to perform our best if we aren’t our best? As to say, how are we to do if we can’t even be? Self-care takes another level when we realize it is NEEDED in order to be healthy and successful.
So, what is self-care? According to psychotherapist Emily Roberts, self-care is the practice of treating yourself with enough respect that you honor and fulfill your own needs. How many of you often make excuses to not do the things that you know are good for you because you don't have the time or money? Why is it most of us fall into the logic that putting others and their needs first is more important? Don't get me wrong, it’s beautiful doing things for others, but the reality is we cannot pour from an empty cup.
How long do you think your body will run on coffee, red bull, fat burning pills or junk food because you’re too busy to exercise, cook real food or even sleep? How is it you have time for everything and everyone but yourself? What makes other people and situations more important than you?
Helping others is always going to give us peace and joy, as long as we are helping ourselves first because if not, in the long run the psychological impact is not going to be positive. You see, when we always put others first, in some level we are telling ourselves that we are less important, that we are less deserving of our time, energy, attention and resources. Is that how you feel? Do you feel you’re less important? Think about that, self-care goes pretty hand in hand with self-love and therefore is fundamental in order to build and maintain a healthy relationship with ourselves and others.
You may argue “but I don't have time”, well we make time and PRIORITIZE what’s important, and let me tell you, you are important. Some of you may wake up with the best intentions to meditate or exercise even for a few minutes but then start writing an email and get to another until you realize morning’s up, and you have to get to work. So maybe, just maybe you’re not considering your self-care as a priority.
Here are some tips to start loving yourself more with little acts of self-kindness:
By Katrina (Kat) Farber, LMT, BCMT
It is an undeniable truth that certain smells bring back some of our most treasured memories, and often make us feel more at peace and relaxed. We often enter a room or a space that brings us into an immediate state of tranquility due to scents in the air. We also attempt to recreate this peacefulness in our own living spaces for everyday life. We all know this feeling; we seek it out, sometimes with more success than others.
By Michelle Peralta
It’s a new year and a new you! Many people make the mistake of having big goals without the proper stepping stones to reach them. Sometimes we do not know where to start or who to ask. Other times we can be so overwhelmed with the vast number of options available to us. Here is a list of phone apps tested by our team and friends that can provide you support as you live a healthier 2017 and beyond.
By Kalpana Shere-Wolfe, MD
This is a time of year where regardless of our cultural and spiritual backgrounds, we celebrate love, family, peace and hope. It can be easy to get swept away or overwhelmed with preparations, holiday meals, parties, and gift giving. As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season approaches, staying grounded and centered can be more important than ever. Meditation is a wonderful way to achieve this but as the yogis clearly understood stilling the mind is easier said than done. Sound is a wonderful tool for facilitating meditation – it can soothe, tame and center even the most chaotic and busy minds. Whether you are a novice or a long time meditator, sacred sound can keep peace, joy and light at the forefront of the holidays.
Sound is universal and timeless. Peoples from all beliefs, backgrounds and times – ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Shamans, American Indians, Aborigines and more - have used sound for healing and transformation. There are many examples of sound being referenced as a primordial force in our existence. In Vedic tradition, sound is considered a means to link with the Divine or Universal Force – “tasya vacakah pranavah”. The American Indians reference a Spider-Woman who created all forms of life and breathed life by singing Creation song. In the Christian tradition, the Bible states “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
By Kat Farber, LMT, BCMT
It was once thought that massage therapy was contraindicated for people with cancer, across the board. Until recent years, massage students were taught it was one of the big “no-no's” in massage, without exception; and many doctors avoided the treatment because they didn't have a full understanding of how it could interact. But increased research over the last 20 years is showing that in most cases massage therapy is not only safe for cancer care, it's actually very beneficial. The concern once was that massage therapy may spread cancer cells based on its involvement with the circulatory system, but these concerns are unfounded. With advancements in our understanding, we now know there are more factors necessary for metastasis to occur, none of which are related to massage therapy.
By: Michelle Pearce, PhD
We all experience times of pain and suffering in life. These difficult life events affect our bodies, minds, and spirits, not to mention our relationships, jobs, and priorities. Some people seem to be able to not only move through the suffering, but also to experience growth and strengthening that gives purpose to their pain. How do they do it? And, better yet, how can you do it? One effective way is through writing.
By Michelle Peralta, BS, RYT-200
Earth Month provides us the opportunity to be “more green” and gives us sustainable opportunities with our time here on earth taking care of mother nature. However, our yoga practice can help us feel more rooted to the earth through the soles of our feet and provides us the opportunity to take care of ourselves. The first chakra, our Muladhara, is related to stability, grounding ourselves, and ability to feel safe and trust others. Some issues that are related to not feeling well-grounded include lack of trust, suspiciousness or keeping our guard up, indecisiveness, being easily overwhelmed, going from one crisis to the next, or becoming overly dependent on others. It is good to ground ourselves to the earth for stabilization in our own lives. Here are some quick poses to connect to our Root Chakra when we start to feel out of control, insecure or stressed about the future.
Let’s begin our practice and set our intention to feel grounded within the body, connected to the earth, and give ourselves the opportunity to feel safety and security. In a sitting position, begin with lifting the shoulders up to the ears and letting them slide down the back. If your mind is already racing with thoughts, it might be a good idea to face the palms down resting on the knees. However, if you tend to feel sleepy mid-day, face the palms up to the sky.
Videos were recorded at the University of Maryland URecFIt in Baltimore, MD.
Music is Sunset by Kai Engel.
By Michelle Peralta, BS, RYT-200
Holidays can be stressful for everyone. Whether you are hosting the party or travelling some distance to enjoy the time with family and friends, we all seem to have additional stress around the holidays. In this article you will find a few poses that will help alleviate any pain and mental stress you might be experiencing.
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From the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School: