December can seem like such a sprint; many of us are worn down by both the festive demands of the holidays, as well the intensity of emotions that can emerge this time of year. Add to that the extra strain of holiday spending, an endless to-do list, and potentially intense family dynamics, and life can get pretty stressful, pretty quickly.
Probably the last thing you are thinking about is taking care of yourself. But with the new year right around the corner, now is a great time to set intentions and plan for ways to integrate good self-care practices into your daily life in 2016. Remember that self care isn’t selfish; to the contrary, it is the foundation that allows you to be truly healthy, present, and able to care for those around you.
As with other healthy habits, it takes practice to develop a consistent self-care routine. Think of it this way: you don’t wait to brush your teeth until you have a toothache; you take regular preventative steps to ensure that your teeth get attention every day. If you find it difficult to get started on your own, consider setting up an external accountability structure to keep you on track. Sign up for a class, or team up with a friend, and use this support system to help integrate practices until they become a habit you can sustain on your own.
For this blog post, part one of two, we asked some of our staff at TRE Los Angeles to tell us about their self-care habits, and how they developed these into daily practices. Consider this inspiration; In January, we will be back with more concrete tips on how you, like our staffers, can build regularity and consistency with both TRE and other self-care routines.
Tell us some of the things you do to practice good self care in your own life. What is your routine, if you have one?
- “Making sure to sleep at least 7 hours every single night! Good hydration and targeted supplements. Lots of TRE—at least 15-20 minutes daily and one weekly group. The weekly TRE group is the anchor to my week and really lets me unburden deeply held tension, so I am ready for what life asks.”—Nkem Ndefo, RN, Certification Trainer and founder of TRE Los Angeles
- “I meditate every morning for at least half an hour, and then have breakfast in bed and set my intention and schedule for the day. When my schedule allows, I work out (yoga or running) right away and make sure to take an Epsom salt soak twice a week. I get 8 hours of sleep when I can, and I try to balance my life with hard work and relaxation. I try to eat healthy, drink ample amounts of water, and usually make apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and Manuka honey a part of my diet.”—Mary Shriver, TRE Provider and Licensed Massage Therapist
- “I wake up and do standing TRE for 5-10 minutes, drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, oil pull, and take supplements. At mid-afternoon I hang over at the waist and do a breathe-and-release for 5 minutes. In the evening before bed, I do 10 minutes of TRE lying flat on the floor. I also do Sunday-night community TRE. My goal is to add to my personal TRE times, making sure to include longer sessions. I have just finished making a calendar to note when all supplements are taken. This will allow me to visually see that they have been done and, if skipped, for how many days.”—Karen Colasuonno, TRE Provider
- “When I wake up every morning, the first thing I say out loud is “thank you.” Then I spend some time reflecting on the day to come, I do some writing in my journal, and I read. I take my supplements and make myself a smoothie. I also pray and ask God/the universe to help me to be the best person I can be on that day and for me to be a vessel for positive change and peace in the world. Then I go to the gym or pool. After I work out, I do TRE for 10 minutes. At night I enjoy reading either a book or a favorite blog. I also do TRE at night, when I’m in bed reading.”—Amber Rickert, MSW, TRE Provider
How do you integrate TRE as part of your self-care practice?
- “Truth telling: I often do TRE while checking social media in bed or on the couch. Once my upper body starts vibrating, I set my phone down and let my full body release. I also do a quick 2-3 minute session in my office during most workdays. It really boosts my efficiency.”—Nkem
- “I shake daily, sometime multiple times a day. I shake as needed now (especially when stressed or after a workout), and I also try to do at least three longer sessions a week (watching a movie or with rollers or both or just shaking with a focus on a subject that may be “charged”). I have noticed that de-stressing is totally different than physical tension release and I make sure to do both as needed.”—Mary
- “It had to be practical; with 2 kids at home, I got creative trying different things. My family also does TRE, so this was very helpful. By doing TRE in a standing position, I don’t have to pull anything out and clean up a yoga mat or other items. Often I also will do it while we are relaxing together in the family room. I am going to make a better effort to find more time to do TRE by myself, without any distractions, so I can focus on deeper things that may be weighing on me (especially when there are huge community disasters happening around us).”—Karen
- “I know that doing TRE on a regular basis helps keep me balanced and energized. I usually do it in the morning after I work out. If I swim, I make sure to do it before I go to the pool. I also have been doing it more at night, because I realize that, with the amount of responsibility I have, I need to be doing more TRE. I need to probably do it five times a day intermittently! If something really stressful happens during the day, I will do TRE in my office so as to shake off the incident.”—Amber