The Autumn 2019 Self-Care Roundup
Some inspiration from the Self-Care Saturdays theme over at our public Facebook Page
“Resilience—the capacity to bend with the wind, go with the flow, bounce back from adversity—has been pondered, studied, and taught in tribes and societies, in philosophical and spiritual traditions, and through literature for eons. It is essential to the survival and thriving of human beings and human societies.“We now also know that resilience is one behavioral outcome of a mature, well-functioning prefrontal cortex in the brain. Importantly, whether we’re facing a series of small annoyances or an utter disaster, resilience is teachable, learnable, and recoverable. It takes practice, and it takes awareness, but that power always lies within us."
- The Blue Zones community certification is taking the basic tenets of what makes a healthy environment and community more accessible. Learn about how they are implementing this work in "Good Health is a Community Effort".
- “Huge Study Confirms Purpose and Meaning Add Years to Life” from BlueZones
- Blue Zones published books are available at your local library or on Amazon. If you follow the link on this post to Amazon and buy with a few hours, a few pennies of your purchase go toward the HH Project.
- And, you can support your local library by checking out a physical item at your local branch. Or use your library card to access Overdrive and the Libby app for e-books and audiobook versions on your phone or other portable e-device.
- More about Blue Zones in our “Practicing Philanthropy: Positives for You and Your Community”
- The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner
- The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100, available for pre-order, is due to publish 12.03.2019.
- The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons From the World’s Happiest People by Dan Buettner
- The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner
Review on "What is Self-care?"Taking time for self-care in your day and week, from a few minutes here to 30 minutes to several hours at a time, are drops of water into your resilience bucket. A full resilience bucket makes it easier to weather the storms of life and work. A half-full or empty bucket provides little defense or support when the storms hit and make it easy to get swept away or feel like you are drowning. Fill your bucket, minutes or seconds at a time. Make regular drops or cups of self-care into your bucket part of your daily and weekly routine (habits) to keep it closer to full. Consider the following categories of self-care when you are filling your bucket:
- Movement: any movement from walking, hiking, dancing, tai chi, bicycling, swimming, or other forms of active movement and exercise
- Mindset/inspiration and reflective reading: any activity that encourages you to slow down and self-reflect. Forms this may take include journaling, qi gong/nei gong (inner-work qi gong), several types of mindfulness practice, reading poetry, some forms of prayer.
- Spending time outdoors in nature: going outside into fresh air and "green space" whether it is your backyard lawn, working in the garden, the local town park, pond, or creek, time at the beach, the botanic garden/arboretum/conservatory, doing chores at your friend's farm, or a trip to a state park or national park/federal lands.
- Breathwork: practice basic diaphragmatic breathing. It can be a simple breathing exercise, like the one below. Or maybe your breathwork self-care practice takes the form of any of the following: yoga, mindfulness meditation, qi gong, or tai chi
- Nutrition/Food as fuel: everything in moderation. talk with your health care provider before making any major changes to your food intake (diet), especially if you have a chronic health care condition.
- Time "having fun", socializing, connecting to your community.
- Breathwork is the conscious control of your breath. "Belly breathing" is practicing diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing induces the "rest and digest" phases of our nervous system, the parasympathetic response. This is an important practice because, in our modern world, we are often going about our day rushing, in a full or partial sympathetic (fight or flight) state.
- Practice (self-care):
- Take a few moments to check in our breathing. One hand over your heart, one over your belly. Practice belly breathing (where your belly hand moves more with each breath than your heart hand does).
- Breathe in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 7. Repeat 20 times.
- If you want, you can watch one of these videos while you practice:
- PNW garden in light rain. 1 minute.
- Or, the rocky creek water of a green Pacific Northwest stream on its way to the ocean, 1 minute:
- For an autumn storm feeling, here's a video of the North Shore of Lake Superior before an Autumn storm (1 minute)
- and a version of the same video, but with music.
May you have some peace in your day. Remember you can come back to this breath-centering practice at any time.
Related blog posts
- Self Care: The Outdoors...Happy Earth Day and National Parks Week (April)
- Self Care: Focus on Self-Reflection (March)
- February Self-Care Saturdays summary
- January self-care Saturdays summary
- December Self-care Saturdays: inspiration for your home self-care practice
- November Self-care Saturdays Roundup
- Reflective Reads
- Gift ideas page
- For resources on mindfulness, go to our "Are You in the Present Moment?" post.
- For more on practicing mindfulness with kids, the "Health and Wellness Learning with Family" post.