I’m not making resolutions for 2017 but I am setting goals and evaluating what’s going on here on the ole’ blog. While things seem to have gotten more introspective as of late, I want to keep an element of light heartedness. That’s why I’ll continue to update what is happening on Recipe Archaeology each week and I’ll also add this new weekly feature: Friday Favorites.
My girlfriends are always asking each other for recommendations…best leggings, best yoga class, book suggestions, favorite pet groomer, what do I do with my wrinkles now that I’m 40. You know, the regular stuff that makes up everyday life. It’s fun to share favorite things with friends so I thought I would share some of my favorite things each week with blog readers who may be interested.
Since it’s a brand new year and everyone is gung-ho about getting their life in order (you know, the usual suspects; getting in shape, feeling better and finding their word) the best place to start Friday Favorites is with Self Care.
5 Favorite Tips for Self Care In The New Year
1) Self Care with High-Density Round Foam Roller
Do you ever feel like you wish a giant could pick you up by the head and give you just a little shake to stretch your spine out? Or do you feel like if you could just pull your shoulders back far enough, everything would line up and you could actually stand up straight? Maybe the giant picking me up by my hair is just me but I often have a feeling of needing to stretch my back out.
This simple device does just that. It’s like a giant rolling pin for your back. You can use it multiple ways. Lay on it length-wise with your butt off the ground and roll it up and down your spine. Or lay across it with your butt on the ground and stretch your back over it. Or lay on it the long way so your head is at one end and your butt at the other end and let gravity pull your arms and shoulders down.
I love hearing the snap, crackle and pop noises my back makes when I roll on this thing.
2) Self Care With Essential Oils
About a year ago a friend of mine finally talked me into trying essential oils. The more I learned about them I became both more curious and more cautious. Some folks are pretty crazy about them and feel like they can cure every ailment from planters warts to cancer. While I won’t treat myself with oil if I ever develop cancer, I have discovered several great uses.
You can diffuse the oil into the air using an Oil Diffuser. My favorite blends are Joy and Purification. Joy brings a spicy, citrus smell to your home that really does make you feel a little more light on your feet. Purification will eliminate any foul odor from your home. Trust me, I cook a lot of brussels sprouts.
My absolute must have, can’t travel without it, always available is DiGize. Rub two drops on your tummy and it gets rid of indigestion or any sort of digestive or tummy trouble. A few years ago I suffered from some pretty serious indigestion. I saw a GI doc, I had my gallbladder checked out, I tried all sorts of OTC medication to no avail. When the pain started, nothing would stop it. The pain would radiate through my upper abdomen through my back and would keep me up all night. I would even make myself throw up just to distract myself from the pain. (Too much info? Sorry) I tried DiGize as it claimed to help all sorts of gut troubles and BAM! The pain was gone. Anytime I feel the tell tail signs of pain coming on, I rub it on my stomach and across my diaphragm and am good to go.
There are essential oils you can ingest. The one I take most regularly is Thieves. One drop with a spoonful of local honey and squeeze of lemon will keep colds at bay. I will also drink in in a tea to ease colds and sore throats. Two drops in hot water, lemon and a splash of apple cider vinegar will help your cold move along or help keep you healthy while everyone else in the family is dropping like flies. A word of warning…both of these methods of taking Thieves tastes disgusting. Dear Husband doesn’t mind the Thieves/honey/lemon mixture but I find it almost intolerable. But because it will help keep me healthy, I’ll do it.
Where do you get essential oils, you ask? I guarantee you have friends who are nuts about them and either are distributors or get regular monthly orders. Hop on over to Facebook right now and type “Who here can hook me up with Young Living essential oils?” I promise you that no fewer than five people will respond and will be at your door with a starter kit faster than you can say snake oil.
There are several different essential oil companies but the one I’ve come to trust is called Young Living. They sell a diffuser but it’s pretty pricey. Amazon has several that should do the same thing and are much cheaper. These are all under $25. Check it out:
3) Self Care With Gratitude
My friend Lisa is a psychologist and all around wonderful person. She is starting the year out with a gratitude challenge by intentionally seeking the things in your life to be grateful for. This is what she has to say on the subject of gratitude and how it affects your well-being:
Regular gratitude workouts are proven to build immunity, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, and increase other health habits like exercise and good eating. Psychologically speaking, consistent gratitude habits increase positive emotions, energize alertness, and enhance joy and overall happiness.
Lisa has three different methods depending on your lifestyle and schedule. Monthly, weekly or daily.
I like the daily challenge. Recognizing something you are grateful for, writing it down and making a point to be specific. It’s easy to say I’m grateful for my husband or my kids but it’s more meaningful to think about specifically what or why I’m grateful for them.
Hop on over to Lisa’s blog to find out more about gratitude.
4) Self Care With Barre
Before I wrote this post I was brainstorming with Dear Husband about ways to take care of yourself and what are my favorites. His automatic answer was exercise but then he said…but you don’t like to exercise.
It’s true. The most exercise I get is taking the dog for a walk. I used to exercise in college and enjoyed yoga when we were first married. But as life went on and more responsibilities piled up, taking time and money to exercise felt selfish, time-consuming and extravagant.
Then I turned 40. I keep thinking to myself that I should do more. Not because I want to gain muscle or lose weight but because I know that keeping my body fit will make me healthier for my family, keep me around longer and probably improve my energy and mood.
With the encouragement of friends, I’m going back to a workout that I enjoy. Barre.
I’m not a Zumba or Spin gal. I’m too uncoordinated for Zumba and Spin just seems awful. Barre is low impact but still kicks my butt…in a sophisticated way.
5) Self Care With Finding Sacred In Ordinary
I’m a big fan of planners and anything that keeps the days organized in a pretty way. Currently, I’m pretty happy with my homemade planner but right before Christmas I discovered a site that helps Christians follow the and understand the lectionary calendar who haven’t really been taught what the lectionary is all about.
The Sacred Ordinary Days planner walks you through the lectionary year, the biblical readings that the lectionary follows, teaches you about the practice of examen and how to reflect and reset your days. It can be as involved as you want it to be and is a great spiritual practice if you’re looking for a way to dig deeper into the bible and how it can reflect into your daily life. As a bonus, it can be used as a weekly calendar or planner. Right now I’m using as a weekly reflection and reboot for the week ahead as well as my gratitude journal.
Find out more about the liturgical calendar, how it can be incorporated into everyday life and how to order your own planner if this appeals to you at Sacred Ordinary Days.
What are your favorites for self-care the new year?
Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”