It's Day 9 of our #40DaysOfSelfCare adventure. Let’s explore the self-care tip: NOURISH.
First off, today’s newsletter is arriving a wee bit later than the others. Due to a big surprise this weekend from old Nashville friends, my weekend included concerts, parties, and visits with two of my favorite songwriters/artists. So yesterday, I needed to nourish myself with a powernap and early bedtime.
I knew a long, sound sleep would refill my creative tank, and I’d be better off writing the newsletter at the crack of dawn, rather than the stroke of midnight.
So first tip about NOURISH. Don’t allow yourself to get to a place of depletion.
You know that feeling of driving on an almost empty gas tank. So empty you turn off the AC and radio, hoping you make all the lights and get to the station before running out of gas? That small surge of adrenaline is nothing compared to when we allow ourselves to run low on nourishing rest and sleep.
Stress in the form of working til over-exertion and skimping on sleep is the nervous system’s worst enemy.
The best friend’s of the nervous system are: rest, sleep, and Abhyanga.
I might add, quoting the great songwriter Nick Lowe, "peace, love, and understanding" as well.
Abhyanga (Ah-bee-ahn-ga), the second self-care tip, is a most potent and totally enjoyable way to calm and nourish the mind and nervous system.
Abhyanga, or Abhy, is a Sanskrit word for warm oil massage. For thousands of years, people in India have used abhyanga to maintain health, benefit sleep patterns, support toned and luxurious skin, and increase longevity by reducing tension in the nervous system.
According to Dr. Claudia Welch, MSOM and one of my primary Ayurvedic teachers, “There is no medicine – except pranayama – that affects the nervous system quite as rapidly as the regular practice of abhyanga.”
The practice of Abhyanga is simple and easily weaves into one’s morning (or evening) routine. While one can receive it at an Ayurvedic center or spa, I am referring to Abhy as “self-massage” as part of one’s shower routine.
Abhyanga provides healing benefits to the body and mind. It improves circulation, tones and moisturizes skin, awakens lymph system, and calms the mind and nervous system.
I do abhyanga 3-4 times a week. Right before I shower, I massage warm oil on my body. I use organic herbal oils, in order to receive the healing benefits from the herbs. Although one can also keep it super simple and use coconut oil. Another reason I use herbal oils, is the shower steam combining with the oil creates a soothing aromatherapy spa experience in my bathroom. Truly a lovely way to awaken the senses in the morning!
On my website, there are specific instructions on how to do Abhyanga, as well as what oils to use. Click here to download. Email me if you have any questions.
Today’s Self-Care Adventure: Enjoy an Abhyanga oil massage at least once this week.
p.s. #40DaysOfSelfCare is also happening on my Instagram (@kellenbrugman) should you want to connect with me there.