come as you are
start small: simple body movements, ideas and ways to help you feel better on the regular
I was interested to see yesterday’s NPR article "The Millennial Obsession With Self-Care." I’m in the health & wellness field after all. The term self-care has become a trendy term, yet there is a reason for it - it is an important piece of every day life that we often ignore until we're whipped out and exhausted. According to the article, the new generation is focusing a lot of their time and resources on self-care.
Millennials aren’t the only generation to do self-care, though this article suggests they’re making it more of a priority than past generations. In fact, most of my massage clients are Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers. All the while, many of my yoga students are Millennials. Millennials approach self-care (as the article mentions) in a bit of a different way than generations past - it’s more phone and internet induced. While there are cool apps and internet self-care techniques that I know very little about, I still think I’m a bit old school in my self-care approach. It could be the Gen X’er in me but rather I think it is because of what I do. I teach yoga and give therapeutic massages for a living. Both of which are phone-free (with the exception of the music coming out of my phone during those sessions).
“In 2015, according to the Pew Research Center, more millennials reported making personal improvement commitments than any generation before them. They spend twice as much as boomers on self-care essentials such as workout regimens, diet plans, life coaching, therapy and apps to improve their personal well-being. They've even created self-care Twitter bots.”
Taking time out for yourself is super important now more than ever. Our phones, social media, the internet, the news, our President/gov’t are huge stressors these days. You don’t want to burn out from social activism, your job, relationships, or even from your friend’s constant social media updates. A break from these things can help energize and re-focus on yourself. My suggestion is to go beyond a break. Be active in your self-care. Do something specific, thoughtful and intentional for you and your wellbeing.
Self-care looks different to different people. I wrote about one of my favorite self-care techniques (under the guise of mindfulness) last year here. My favorite well-being plan is a free one too! I bike to a park, take a walk and read a book, or set up a picnic with friends. There is no wrong way to do self-care. But what I will say before you suggest to yourself 2 bottles of wine while binge watching a TV show alone for 8 hours (I've done it many a time) as your self-care technique, make sure you’ll feel good about your idea/plan in the long run.
So, how do you find out what kind of self-care idea will work for you? Ask yourself a few questions before you decide what wellbeing activity might be the best:
Will I feel:
For the past 6 or so years, I've chosen jobs where most of my day is spent on my feet and moving around. I wouldn't want it any other way. Being on my feet all day I feel it. At the end of a long day my feet and hips are not happy.
Feet are often the forgotten souls (pun intended) of our body. The ones who do the most work, with the least amount of credit. Until...they're screaming at you.
You don't need plantar fasciitis or a broken toe as the only opportunity to start taking time to support your feet. Whether you're on your feet all day for work, or walking in heals, or long-distance running, providing self-care to your feet is just as important as any other part of you...if not more.
When do the same thing over and over again (this goes for anything), our body gets used to it. With this muscle memory, imbalances start to form from the feet all the way up the body (knees, hips, lower back, etc. - you get it.) In addition, your feet start to stiffen up after being in the same position for long periods, offering very little flexibility and becoming achy (or painful).
Do you have any feet exercises, stretching, strengthening or self massage moves you'd like to share? Post in the comments - I'd love to learn more!
La Liz Blogs Again! Hint: This Time It’s Not About Lobster Rolls but Simple Movements to Help You Feel Good on the Regular
I’m blogging! Again. The last time I had a blog it was about my two favorite things to eat. The blog was entitled “La Liz Eats Lobster Rolls and Mac n Cheese.” It had a nice ring to it, amiright? It was filled with posts about different lobster rolls in Boston, as well as mac and cheese bake-off’s I hosted at my place back in the day. Much to the dismay of my “fans,” I deleted the sad debunked site a few years ago. Though I’m still often asked by my Boston friends to recommend “the best lobster roll” in and around New Englad. I’ll take it!
While this new blog won’t be focused on mac n cheese,(that lactose gets me every time!) it will focus on another passion of mine: movement and working inward to feel better. This is my style of self care. Everyone's is different. For me, it includes a variety of things: biking outside, doing yoga, taking walks without a specific spot to land, performing on stage, and meditation. For this blog, I’m breaking it down more specifically. I’ll offer simple & supportive body movements to help alleviate pain, destress and focus internally to perhaps help you feel more comfortable. This isn’t about fancy yoga poses, or expensive yoga clothing. I aim to provide short & sweet tactics and a variety of options to do on the regular, using pictures and guidelines. This is meant for every body and every ability.
So why is it called “Come As You Are”? Not only is it one of my favorite Nirvana songs, but it is a saying my close friend Molly and I often say to each other when we’re not in the mood to do something or go somewhere. Long story, short, it means even if you’re not feeling “on” or 100% your best, just come (wherever that may be) and be yourself, as you are in that very moment. Whether that’s showing up to work, at a yoga class, dinner with a friend, or lazying around with your significant other, every day and moment feels different in your body, as do your emotions and mentality. So just come as you are…and work with that moment to show up fully.
Ok, that about sums it up for now. This will be the longest blog post of the bunch. The rest will be simple and less wordy (brevity is a challenge I’m working on). Take ‘em or leave ‘em. But hopefully in the midst of a few of my posts, you’ll find something that works for you in your body and soul. If it doesn’t, feel free to ask me a question and we can work together to figure out what might work.