Namaste & welcome to another installment of cure-ated care & contemplation – my weekly round-up of self-care and contemplative resources.. this time on Tuesday.
Self Care: Commutescape, Push-Pinch Away Your Discomfort, & a Check-List
Turn your dreary morning commute into your solo self-care escape.
Chances are, unless you work from home, you have a commute. I commute 50-minutes each way to work, every day on the DC metro. At first I was frustrated to give up my daily 10-minute walk to work through beautiful Georgetown. But I quickly came to see the value in this dedicated solo time. Maybe you’re struggling to get pumped for the day of work ahead, or have trouble winding down after a difficult day? Find guilty-pleasure podcasts and playlists that fill your heart with joy. For a while, I felt pressured to only listen to the news (I love The Daily) and spiritual podcasts that were going to help me develop my intellect (On Being is my fav). Then I burned out! I recently added two guilty pleasure (i.e. they don’t serve a particular purpose) podcasts to my repertoire – How I Built This (the journeys of entrepreneurs to create highly successful companies) and Gastropod (the podcast that looks at food through the lens of science & history) – that I highly recommend. We are constantly consuming content, and sometimes we just need that content to be a bit more fluffy! Cut yourself some slack, let your hair down and listen to what you want. It can help relax your mind and settle in for some self-care commute time. Take time to curate your commute playlists on Spotify – save different playlists for different moods. I have one for energy filled with new disco, one for peace, with artists like Trevor Hall, & ones for gentle mornings like Your Favorite Coffeehouse. You can start looking forward to your solo commute time, whether you metro, bike (1 earbud only), walk or drive. Use it as an opportunity to learn, grow, prepare for and unwind from your day through self-care.
Following up on my jin shin jyutsu self-care tip from two weeks ago, let’s push a little deeper (ha!) into acupressure, the grandmother practice to Chinese acupuncture. This ancient practice activates your body’s energy meridians, and as long as you have a free hand, you can practice this anywhere! This article catalogs points you can push on right now to cure a long list of maladies, from kitchen burns to motion-sickness:
You can press a spot on your hand to diminish arthritis pain anywhere…use a tennis ball to relax painful neck muscles…avert an asthma attack by pressing a place on your arms…pinch a certain spot to quell a queasy tummy…calm stress by grabbing your ankle…tap away an unhealthy food craving….and much more.
The recent surge in self-care talk out there can lead to a lot of confusion about what it actually is. I like the way this writer handles her crummy feelings by checking off a simple list to feel better or determine if something more serious could be wrong:
- Drink water
- Eat something
- Work out
- Go outside
- Take a shower
I’m going to give it a try! I will definitely add Meditate high up on the list, though, as it’s a sure-fire way for me to drop into my inner experience, take a look around, and remind myself that my higher self cares about my own well-being.
Contemplation: Can we use depression as a portal to spiritual awakening?
I talk about her a lot. Tara Brach is a world-renowned evolutionary Buddhist psychologist, and has influenced me more than any other person when it comes to my spiritual evolution. I am incredibly blessed to live where I can attend her dharma talk and meditation class every Wednesday night! In this 2-part talk, she has been discussing the role of meditation in healing depression. She teaches that, while other treatments are necessary and meditation cannot be the only solution, it is necessary if we want to transform our suffering for the highest good. Check out part 1 here and part 2 here, and carve out 20 minutes to try this meditation.
That’s it for this week, Leaners! Until next time, be well & take gentle self care.