I’m back from 2 weeks in Cape Town (for work, then play) with another installment of cure-ated care & contemplation – my weekly round-up of self-care and contemplative resources.
Self Care: The most relaxing songs ever & the book that will make you self-compassionate.
A group of sound therapists collaborated with the group Marconi Union to create this song, which neuroscientists say calm the listener through slowing their heart rate, reducing high blood pressure and lowering their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Listen to the top 10 most relaxing songs here when you need to chill out or are tucking in for dreamland.
We’re taught to be kind to others from the moment we are out of the womb. So, why is the concept of being kind to ourselves so foreign and revolutionary? Dr. Kristen Neff teaches that self compassion is a skill that can be acquired and holds the power to improve our well-being, creating ripple effects to change the world (aka she’s basically my shero). I already plugged her forthcoming workbook, and now I’m finally reading the book that started it all! My cousin recommended Self-Compassion to me years ago, and I finally picked it up for a 23-hour long flight to Cape Town. It put me in such a calm, relaxed mood for a work trip and truly helped me settle into my 2 weeks of solo travel (for which befriending myself was 1000% necessary). I love the way she weaves in Buddhist principles in such a non-threatening way for anyone not yet comfortable with the “B” word, and makes the concept of non-identification so accessible. She provides an evidence-based approach for looking at our suffering and applying compassion as a healing salve. For truly, if we cannot have compassion for ourselves, how will we ever have compassion for others?
Contemplation: Mindfulness, healing, positive psychology.
Depression is so powerful it can create a lockdown out of your brain, body, your very life. Shannon Paige shares her journey of overcoming cancer and then depression with the help of mindfulness. “I believe at the very core of my being that the body can change the mind.” Check out this powerful talk on how yoga transformed her mind and body to be receptive to healing.
Sign up with Positive Psychology to access their free instant download 20-page tool here. Full disclosure: I have only started to work my way through this, but I am excited for what I’m learning! Positive psychology, in case you haven’t heard of this flavor of brain study, doesn’t focus on the negative narratives of the past that so many therapists dwell on. It might not be for everyone, but I must admit – the idea of approaching a client from the perspective that they are not broken and don’t need fixing – seems to me a healthy and refreshing viewpoint. More to come on this as I complete the tools!
That’s it for this week, Leaners! Until next time, be well & take gentle self care.