by Jen Cherewaty RAc, RTCMP
~Acupuncturist & Homeschool Mom who is taking more time for self-care
1.Nourishment for the Mind~Meditation
Starting January 1st 2016, many, many months ago now, I decided I was finally going to give meditation a serious effort. I downloaded some tracks and every morning I would get up 20 minutes before I needed to and plug in my earphones and just sit and listen. I became more and more comfortable with these sittings and eventually came to look forward to them. As time went on, I began to feel more and more calmness come to my mind and being. Now, 15 months later I can honestly say that it’s the meditation that is changing the way I react or not react to so many things now. I have more focus, I am kinder to myself & my child. When I wake in the night and mind starts spinning, I am able to let the thoughts go and go back to sleep, most days. I feel more content.
Meditation is a gift to you. While many of my clients think the whole goal is not to think. I feel the real goal is to give yourself time to practice noticing where your mind is drifting. When you notice this, you pause, acknowledge that you are drifting and compassionately come back to your breath, a mantra, a poem. Coming back to this perfect moment.
Give yourself a set time each to just sit and breathe. It is key to cultivating mindful presence. Start with 5 minutes and build to 20 minutes. In the western world, our minds are so busy having some tracks to listen to can help you begin to just focus. Here are some links to tracks that I find useful;
2. My Morning Elixir
Every morning, after my meditation, I go to the kitchen and boil water. I take a mason jar, place a pinch of sea salt in the bottom of the jar and then ½ fill it with hot water. The top ½ I fill with room temperature water. I take a lemon, cut it in half and squeeze the juice into the water….my morning elixir. Now the task is to drink this by 2pm and then refill it and repeat by 8pm. When I am at home in my kitchen I find drinking easy. Sometimes I set a timer on my phone to ding every hour to remind me to drink.
Try filling a water bottle and setting a lovely sound on your device to remind you to drink.
3. Protein on Waking~My Morning Smoothie
I like to eat something with protein within 30 minutes of waking. Here is my favorite morning smoothie recipe that I make in a 1L mason jar;
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- pour 1 cup boiling water over berries (to bring to room temp…the digestion loves warm or room temperature foods especially in morning)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 TBSP hemp hearts
- 1/2 tsp spirulina (to boost my blood)
- 2 TBSP ground flax seeds
- handful of spinach or mixed greens
- 1 scoop of THORNE Vegalite Protein Powder (pea & rice protein)
Can you give yourself the gift of breakfast with protein within 30 minutes of waking? Try an egg, smoothie, turkey breakfast patties, yogurt, almond butter.
I have a dear friend and colleague who I see 1X/month for acupuncture. If I have a cold or flu or my hormones are strongly unbalanced, I see her more. When I maintain this lovely time to rest, allow my stress hormone cortisol to stop pumping and my sympathetic nervous system to settle, my parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and I flow better, I think better, I sleep better.
Acupuncture has clinical efficacy on various autonomic nerve-related disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases, epilepsy, anxiety and nervousness, circadian rhythm disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and subfertility.
Emerging evidence indicates that acupuncture treatment not only activates distinct brain regions in different kinds of diseases caused by imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic activities, but also modulates adaptive neurotransmitter in related brain regions to alleviate autonomic response.
Look at your calendar for the month ahead. Schedule at least one acupuncture treatment with your favorite practitioner. There is nothing like acupuncture to allow you to calm and reset.
5. Warmth on My Belly at Bedtime
I absolutely love the end of the day when I can just crawl into bed with hot water bottle or my Thermafore heating pad on my low belly. I try for bed between 10-11 and most nights I make it cause I just feel so much better when my 8 year old son alarm clock calls me on waking at 7-7:30aam every morning.
•Stop using computers, TV or phones by 8-9pm.
•Get to bed between 10-11pm at night.
•Take a hot water bottle and place on your chest, abdomen or feet to draw blood away from head and into your heart & sole/soul.