How I Change It Up ~ Summer to Autumn Selfcare

Helping Body, Mind and Spirit transition selfcare through the seasons  takes some thought and planning, but you can make it easier.

Autumn Selfcare Massage with Teresa Graham RMT in Calgary

Where I currently live Autumn comes roaring in with sudden colder temperatures and often some snow. Yet this season is still a favourite with the gorgeous colours of reds, oranges and yellows, and the crisp, fresh scents that permeate the air. My self-care routines do shift quite a lot for the Fall though, as I find myself spiraling inwards in both body and mind. 

Falling into Self-Care Activities

Self Care Activity for AutumnOutdoors is my go-to through most of the year if I’m not at work. While I still get out as much as I can the  chilling winds drive me indoors for many Autumn days.  That’s when hiking and nature walks shift to Belly Dance. The music goes on, the hip scarves come out and I shimmy all over the house. It lifts my mood as much as a hike does.  The yoga mat moves from the grass to the carpet and I stretch in and out of myself after a good dance workout.

This isn’t to say that I don’t go outside. I consciously switch up my daily routines to experience as much exposure to daylight as I possibly can. The light on the forehead stimulates the pituitary gland which is important for increasing serotonin (mood stabilizer) production. That’s to say nothing of the benefits from sunshine doses of Vitamin D and also, just how good it feels to be out in the fresh air.

But I do admit that the biting cold wind drives me indoors as the season progresses.

Self Massaging Autumns Dryness Away

Massage is good for moisturizing Autumn dried skin with Teresa Graham, RMT Calgary

This year the dry weather seems to have arrived a little earlier and my skin regime has already needed to change. Increased dry brushing to get rid of dead skin cells and LOTS of moisturizing. I make moisturizing a self-massage ritual. Usually coconut oil, blended with favourite essential oils and massaged into muscles, joints and skin. This increased and focused touch is a great way to improve body awareness plus skin that just feels good to live in.

For my scalp and hair I use warmed coconut or sesame oil to nourish and nurture. Wrapped up in a towel for a few hours my upper being absorbs all the goodness.

Lots and lots of Massage Therapy

Teresa Graham RMT in Calgary
Fall and winter are busy times for Massage Therapists and the need for my own muscle maintenance increases as my work load does. There are other reasons that I go more often for these essential, healthy sessions. With more clients coming in I ensure I am doing all that I can to keep my Immune system strong and healthy, and Massage Therapy helps with that. It also encourages me to relax and de-stress so that my sleep improves…all great immune boosting stuff!

With the shift in my activities I use my muscles in different ways and so those shimmying hips and dance leg muscles require some extra attention in staying loose and flexible.


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Seasonal Eating Selfcare

Take care of you, naturally.Do you also prefer warm foods in your tummy when the weather is colder outside? There is nothing quiet like a steaming bowl of soup to warm you from the inside out. Or starting the day with a bowl of oatmeal and warmed fruit.

Preferring to buy local and fresh my self care nourishment includes lots of squash, kale, beets, carrots, apples and pears blended into stews, soups, oatmeal and other deliciousness. The addition of warming spices such as cinnamon, clove, curry, nutmeg speak to my soul this time of year.

Cozying up to Self Care

Cozy times for Autumn self careMy cat is the main instigator of this self care change. As the weather becomes colder she loves to cuddle up and I have to admit that the rhythm of her purr is comforting and somewhat meditative. So in preparation some extra blankets are on the couch, scented candles and incense are nearby, along with some good books and spicy herbal teas. 

Cozy times also include more bath time than during the summer. There is nothing quite like allowing that hot and healing moist heat to fully embrace my skin, muscles and bones. Comforting scents of essential oils and herbal tea round out this sanctuary for me.

While  my garden is hibernating my creative interests also move indoors and kitty often likes to sit and watch as I craft, sew, make candles,lotions, etc. and she purrs in approval of quieter times.

How do your self care rituals change through the seasons?

When you have to stay indoors rather than be outside, what do you do for self care?

Empowerment & Bliss…powerful words!

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Tribal Bliss…not just a belly dance workshop that I took on-line over a 4 week period. With the themes of “Bliss” “Empowerment” “Soothe” & “Wish” (links for this course are at the bottom), I came away from this experience a little surprised by the realization at how these themes crossed over into so many aspects of both my professional and personal lives. As a Natural Health Practitioner and Dance Instructor they are key words in the ‘essence’ of what I would like clients and students to take away from classes and sessions.

Part of the process was to journal about what words like “Bliss” and “Empowerment” meant to me and when I really contemplated upon that I discovered that they are so much a part of my life on a daily basis. When I lose myself in dance (which can happen often and I will find that 3 hours have passed in what feels like 1) is when I find myself in that state of total Bliss, Joy and Oneness. No sense of time, space or awareness of anything other than the movement, the music and the rhythm. It’s that feeling that I wish for my clients…that they just allow themselves to receive and in that relaxed state they open up to allowing their body and mind to heal.

~ Relaxing after a session ~

~ Relaxing after a session ~

Bliss is really an easy experience…if we’re paying attention.

Some kids live next door to me and are often out in the back yard. The little boy has a laugh that rings through the neighbourhood, that seems to vibrate through his whole being. I can’t help but smile every time I hear him and in his state of laughing bliss he unknowingly draws me into that same state. This time of year is a truly blissful experience with the smells of the different flowers that are beginning to bloom, the birds singing, people are smiling more and the grass, as you walk upon it, is warming up. You really don’t ‘have to “do” anything to ease into that vibration of Bliss, just be aware.

Xmas 2012 210Empowerment…I love that word! It flows through my vocabulary so much easier than the word “power”.  For myself, it is being in that space in my life where what I do for “work” is not really a job but a purpose and that it is exactly what I’m meant to be doing. The sense of being in the right space, right now, flows through most areas of my life and yes, that feels empowering! It is a feeling that I see reflected in the eyes of students who take my dance classes. They say that they feel more deeply connected with self and feel good about who they are because of the freedom and empowerment that dance gives them…I completely agree. One of the meditations that was a part of the workshops was about Empowerment, and instructor Paulette Rees-Denis sums up the “feeling” of the word perfectly at the end, with the statement “you are beautiful”.

A hovering Rufous Hummingbird on Saltspring Island

It is my intention to be more aware and focussed on the experiences of Bliss and Empowerment. They say that what you pay attention to is what will flow more powerfully through your life. I don’t know how much bliss one life can experience but I intend to find out!

To experience Paulette’s workshop visit http://paulettereesdenis.com

What do the words “Bliss” and “Empowerment” mean to you?

Are you aware of the areas of your life where you experience them? Do you cultivate those experiences?

Self Celebration

Celebrate You- Celebrate Life!

Do you take the time to really celebrate YOU?

So often when I hear others speak of their birthdays there are comments about it being “just another day” or “I’d rather forget it” or “birthdays are for kids”… and I have to say that I completely disagree.

YOU are a unique individual that came into this world on a certain day and since that day have had an amazing impact on the people and the world around you, regardless of how old you are. If you’re not sure of what effect you’ve had upon the lives of others ask them, ask your friends and your family what it means to them to have YOU be a part of their life. I am guessing that you will learn a lot about how others see you and in a good way.

But much more important than how others see you or celebrate your existence, is how you see yourself and how you acknowledge and celebrate the person that you are. I found the following quote on Facebook and I think that it says so much about each of YOU (I would love to give credit to the author, however it wasn’t with the quote…if you know, please share)

You may not think the world needs you,
But it does….
For you are unique
Like no one that has ever been before
Or will come after
No one can speak with your voice
Say your peace
Smile your Smile
Or shine your light
No one can take your place
For it is yours alone to fill
If you are not there to shine your light
Who knows how many strangers
Will lose their way
As they try to pass by your empty space
In the darkness

And while birthdays are a wonderful way to celebrate the day you came to this world I think celebrating YOU each and every day is more empowering.

Ways to celebrate YOU … how do you do it? or how would you like to do it? Come over to my Facebook page and join the discussion or post your ideas here!