January has been a wild ride for me. Between being (quickly) ushered in as a new lecturer at UH Maui College, pulling off a near-flawless, sold-out TEDxMaui show production at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and managing an event-markting social media effort to support land conservation in Hawai‘i, I have barely had a moment to sleep, let alone care for myself. So much so, that a few days ago, I found myself clobbered by the flu.
Donʻt take this the wrong way, I feel extremely blessed to have such an active, rewarding life, where I’m able to make meaningful contributions to the community around me. But Iʻm also known to put my own health (mental, physical, spiritual) on the “back burner” while Iʻm wrapped up in big projects. I havenʻt been taking really great care of myself, and Iʻve suffered because of it.
Today, I move in a new direction. I begin a transformative cleanse with Mauiʻs Doctor of Chinese Medicine Malik Cotter, one that will rid my body of harmful toxins, balance everything out and – most-importantly – force me to really look at my intentions, face my demons, and hopefully come out a better, stronger, more vibrant person.
Why bother? Because no one else will!
Iʻve learned this one the hard way, but its true. Aside from a few really excellent people who might take a moment to confront you and tell you to take better care of yourself, youʻre pretty much on your own when it comes to self-care.
Here are 5 ideas to get you started on a new path – today:
1. Start your day centered.
How you start your day is a bigger deal than you probably think. If at all possible, try to start the day with a meditation – before you pick up your smart phone, turn on the computer, or tend to anyone else in the house. Just sit – for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, whatever it takes to find a totally centered and clear mind, free of distraction. Just sit there, and breathe.
2. Try a cleanse.
There are so many cleanses out there with brand-names, special gimmicks, etc…but the best ones to try (in my opinion, and I’m no doctor) are the ones that remove potential irritants and toxins from your diet. Definitely consider taking a break from: alcohol, nicotine, all refined and processed sugars, caffeine, white foods (rice, breads, pastas), and (if you usually consume a lot of it) red meat. Give your system a break from the things that stress it out, and I bet you’ll start feeling better pretty quicky.
3. Take a walk.
This one is really, really easy. Just put on your walking shoes, and go outside! Give yourself a treat of at least 15 minutes a day to just walk, take in your surroundings, and see the neighborhood on foot. We often watch the world go by from our cars, the subway, the train, the taxicab, and rarely take the time to smell the flowers. Believe me, you *do* have the time.
This one requires a pool or a body of water, but it is SO worth the effort once you’ve found the right spot. Swimming takes the pressure off of your joints, makes you feel weightless, and allows you an experience that really soothes the body and soul. Even though I’m not the greatest swimmer in the world, swimming is by far my favorite exercise.
5. Hit the salon.
This is an area that I neglect the most: beauty. I let myself get pretty raggedy before I’ll “splurge” on a salon service. So…with that said, you’ll never guess what happened right around the time I needed it most! I won a “spa day” at my local salon. I was able to pick and choose the services I wanted and it was so important to take the time for some “radical self-care”. Mani, pedi, facial, hair…you name it, I did it. And I feel like a million bucks.