Tip #5 of our #40DaysOfSelfCare is: Rejuvenate!
How many of you rejuvenate with caffeine or sugar? No judgments here at the self-care confessional, as back in my early 20’s as a corporate banker, my go-to afternoon pick-me-up was a Coke and bag of M&M’s.
Years later at my Adirondack cabin, a little toad taught me the value of rejuvenation. After a long day of teaching a morning yoga class, driving a 60-mile round-trip for groceries, and stacking a cord of firewood, I was exhausted, yet had it in my mind to take a 3 mile kayak paddle before dinner. Walking down to my dock, I paused to say hi to a little brown toad under a pine tree. This little fella always chilled in his pine forest fort every afternoon.
Mr. Toad quietly sat in his pine needle nest, eyes open, and breathing slow and deep. His calm and peaceful demeanor caught my attention. Mr. Toad didn’t move when I sat down next to him. I picked up a few pine needles and started scratching his back. Immediately his body arched at the place I massaged him. I laughed at how much he was enjoying some R&R. As I watched Mr. Toad in his cozy nest (I swear he was smiling), it dawned on me how much I was enjoying sitting still and resting. And this little poem popped into my head:
I realized I had an unhealthy habit of forcing myself to keep going even when my body’s intelligence signaled me to take a break. That was July 2004, the beginning of my journey to do my best to mindfully rejuvenate my body and mind every day. Meaning, instead of hitting the push or fast forward button, I now choose pause.
Take it from me and Mr. Toad, “Soft surrender is as important as hard work.” This mantra helps me function as a yoga teacher, Ayurveda lifestyle coach, and writer with optimal vitality, ease, and creativity. It also makes a great guiding principle for achieving dreams and goals.
Recently, lululemon asked me to write an article about the power of a pause during the day. It’s #2 on their most popular post list! Click here to read and receive more self-care tips, and to download a handy dandy meditation card.
Enjoy your R&R adventure today!
Today’s Self-Care Adventure: Here are some of my favorite ways to pause and rejuvenate during the day:
1. Power naps. 40 winks in bed, doze in a tree hammock, or short snooze at the beach. Nature rejuvenates the body and mind.
2. Spritz the face, neck and wrists. Make DIY spritz blends with refreshing oils like lavender, rose, and mint. Or “Breathe Deeply” by Happy Spritz is a wonderful revitalizing remedy. And, portions of their profits help dog rescues!
3. Unroll your mat. Remember naptime in kindergarten? The teacher had us roll out our mats for a short rest. It prevented meltdowns. Same holds true for adults. Unroll the yoga mat for a 5-10 minutes yoga stretch. My favorite rejuvenative poses are: triangle, warrior I, low runners lunge, seated twist, seated straddle fold, supported bridge, and legs up the wall.
p.s. #40DaysOfSelfCare is also happening on my Instagram (@kellenbrugman) feed, so wander over there to stay connected about upcoming cool product giveaways from folks like Aveda, Life Equals and lululemon. For those of you just joining us, self-care tips from Days 1-4 are on my blog, for easy accessibility and reference.