By Sheyna Haisman-Holmes
Whether we have a romantic partner or not, this time of year can be a great reminder to check in on how well we are caring for ourselves. Hopefully we celebrate, honor and cherish the love that we have in our lives more than once a year and can use this Valentines Day as an expression of our self-care and care for our loved ones. As it shall be with any holiday, there is no pressure to do anything except revisit these themes that come around each year. This holiday suggests that each day is an opportunity to take care of our bodies, spiritual and mental wellbeing, and our friends and family.
We all have different needs when it comes to self-care and there are so many ways that we can love and take care of ourselves. It is important for each one of us to fill our own cups before taking care of others, which can be hard for many of us. It is a beautiful gift to people in our lives if we can take care of ourselves. This is both for us and for the people around us. We can better take care of one another when we are centered, resourced and have a strong sense of self.
Here are some suggestions to visit that may contribute to our wellbeing:
~Oleation: Self-Abhyanga, Oiling the feet before bed, oiling the hair
~Herbal Teas: tulsi, passionflower, lemon balm, skullcap
~8 hours of sleep
~Sunshine & time outside
~Food: Nourishing, fresh, seasonal, warm, freshly cooked
~Movement, stretching & exercise
~Uplifting and/or calming music
~Meditation and writing/journaling
~Free time to be spontaneous
~Quality time with friends and community
How much of the above do we tend to daily? These daily practices nourish our nervous systems, physical body and mental health- our whole wellbeing. Slowing down and tending to our health is a beautiful way to cherish our lives and the amazing bodies that carry us through this human experience. Then we are available to others to show up to love and appreciate them, therefore spreading care & loving-kindness throughout the world! We can appreciate each other through mindful hugging (see post on Hugging Meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh), cooking a meal for or with someone and spending quality time together. We can take a hike together and work on crafts and projects with one another’s help. We can be good listeners and show up for people by holding a safe and calm space. We can ask ourselves how present we have been with our friends and family and recalibrate our presence to be full and grounded. This is where deep connection lives! Stronger connections lead to more understanding and understanding translates to love.
May we take care of ourselves so we can show up in a good way to take care of our loved ones and community, and may be feel loved and supported by all our relations :)