March 17, 2014

5 Ways to Take Care of Ourselves. ~ Janne Robinson

woman at sunset

Warning: naughty language ahead. 

I had a shitty day today.

One of those days where you mumble loathsome words at the sunshine, curl in a ball and hide from the day in an abyss of sadness and covers. I’ve learned over the years how to mask these moments momentarily and distract myself vs. taking care of myself and shifting myself entirely from the space I am in.

The main things we turn to when we are in the emotional dumps are TV (turns our brains off—escapism), eating, shopping (instahappy), booze and drugs and sex (endorphins). All of these things distract our sadness, but eventually wear off and we are left facing the same instigator of our gloom that we were avoiding in the first place. I want to share with you my self-care and five things I do when I am in a funk to shake that shit out.

1. Force my ass out of bed and into the sunshine and fresh air

Even if that means slouching, squinting resentfully at how happy the birds sound right outside the door of my house while cradling a mug of coffee—nature calms me down and brings clarity.

2. Shower or go for a swim

Water has the incredible healing ability to rinse our souls clean. There is an unavoidable truth in this—imagine the negative energy leaving your body and spiraling down the drain. And wrap yourself in your comfiest, snuggliest towel after, like you used to do when you were a kid and didn’t have to flail to jobs and do grown up things.

3. Exercise

Go for a run, hike a mountain, walk, stretch, go to yoga. Use your body to release the energy inside. It will release endorphins and inevitably make you feel better after—I promise. Yoga is my go to self-care as it balances me mentally and can alleviate emotions I store in my body. Emotions that we may be completely unaware even exist, repressed deep within us on a subconscious level. Opens hips and hearts and takes energy down to our roots.

4. Seek connection and hugs

Oxytocin, a mammalian neurohypophysial hormone also known as the “love hormone,” is secreted when people touch. It has been known to heal physical wounds.

I take myself someplace saturated with people and interact with as many as I can. Human connection does the soul so, so good. If I know people where I am, I go there and I hug them as many times as I can before it gets weird. If I’m at a coffee shop, I’ll make a point to open the door for someone, ask the barista how her day’s going, let someone go in front of me in line, and make conversations with the person sitting next to me. Isolating ourselves when we are feeling crappy does zilch. It simply allows us to become stagnant.

5. Make a cup of tea

I remember three years ago when I was searching for my dad I hit a wall. I found a very close friend to my father from a village close by who said they hadn’t seen him in 23 years and hoped he was traveling and alive. For a moment I thought he may have passed away and felt utterly defeated. I called my grandma in tears and the first thing she said in her English accent was, “Fix yourself a cup of tea—tea goes with tears.” Something about a cup of Earl Grey soothes my soul. It calms me down to my toes and grounds me.


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Editorial Assistant: Celeste Shea/Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Enzo Minchella/Pixoto

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