"Little Anchors" To Improve Your Quality of Life
A simple 10 minutes am/pm
Self-Care Daily Routine to
Support the quality of your life
Offering yourself some nourishment, value & compassion is a great way to support the quality of your life. This simple practice of building a relationship with yourself with a daily routine of self-care can go a long way to enhance your feeling of well-being – don’t wait until you feel unwell – do these practices daily to improve the quality of your well-being and build in this self-nurturing habit to enhance your inner resources.
On waking: 3 Morning Anchors to start your Day
A Moment of Gratitude: no matter how good/bad you feel, you acknowledge that and then offer gratitude. This practice of coming towards a more positive way of being and adding something more life affirming, helps change the neural pathways in the brain. Develop this Attitude of Gratitude. Tip: Some people like to write in their journal 5 things they are grateful of, or if writing is not for you, a simple heart felt intention/affirmation will also do the job.
Connect with Nature: when you get up, wrap up if necessary, and go outside into nature to start your day, (or maybe just looking at your garden, or the weather), breathe in fresh air, take shoes off and stand on the earth, feel its connection, now you are part of the life on this planet and are connected to everyone and everything. Tip: this is a wonderful grounding practice, try to take shoes off at any opportunity, walking on the grass, on the beach etc.
Self-Oiling Massage: Ayurvedic Abhayanga – Start by warming up a small amount of sesame oil or your favourite aromatherapy oil (use a small glass bottle and place in sink or container of hot water).
As that warms up, using a dry skin brush or a dry wash cloth – stroke long on the long bones and round on the round bones to help stimulate the skin/lymph to encourage the process of a gentle detoxification – work towards the heart.
When the warm oil is ready, the warmth will help the oil enter the skin to nourish it, also has a calming on the nerves, again long strokes over long bones and round strokes over the round bones.It’s a very nourishing, kind and compassionate thing to do for yourself.
If you are not used to doing this sort of thing for yourself, look out for your emotional response; you may feel a bit apprehensive or emotional when you start, when we come to recognise we can offer our-self this self-care, it can touch a soft spot. Wait about 20 minutes, then shower off. Tip: keep a towel specifically to sit on while you self-massage, you can also massage the scalp, but go easy on the oil and only when you can wash your hair afterwards!
Night time: 3 Evening Anchors to help you Sleep
Nasal Oiling: Nasya; you can use organic sesame oil (not cooking oil), or buy a specific ayurvedic nose oil; a simple way to administer is to drop a couple of drops in your palm, then rub little finger in it, then place finger into one nostril, sniff it in, do same for other nostril. Tip: Specific nasal oils are available usually in a dropper bottle – use organic – available online.
Good Night Drink: ½ cup milk, warm it, pinch of cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg, add cardamom if you like, a spoon of ghee (clarified butter); soft boil it for 3 minutes, maybe add a spoon of honey to sweeten. Inhale the warm comforting aroma, gently sip and savour it. Nutmeg has a natural sleep sedative that calms the mind and nervous system which helps induce sleep. Tip: as I am dairy-free, I use coconut milk with a spoon of coconut oil instead of cow’s milk/butter – seems to work well.
Breathing Sleep Pattern: turn awareness inwards and upwards and make connection with mind at Brown Centre;
lying on your back, take 6 full & deep inhalations/exhalations through the nose; keep if soft and gentle;
then turn onto Right side and do same pattern of breathing;
then roll over onto Left side and do same breathing inh/exh through nose;
then finally come onto back for last round.
This threads the body & mind together, including the pranic body, helps to turn awareness inwards and calm the nervous system to help induce sleep. Tip: its a must to keep both nostrils clear at all times, if they are blocked, you can try the ancient yogic practice of Jala Neti, using a neti pot and a mild salt solution to irrigate the nasal passages).
* Note: times not to massage: in times of excess Kapha = active colds, cough, runny nose, sinusitis, bronchitis, water retention; indigestion or loose bowel movements; fever or infections