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.


BOOK YOUR MASSAGE APPOINTMENT


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?

Holistic and Joyful ~ Let’s Celebrate

Probably the most holistic activity I do for myself is to belly dance! Sounds strange perhaps, but let me explain a little.

This September it will be 17 years since I took my first belly dance class and 12 years since teaching my first. I signed up because I thought it would be a fun way to fitness…it has certainly been that, but that has only been a side benefit in comparison to the amazing holistically healthy other mind, body and soul benefits.

Think about these questions for a moment and what your answers would be…

When was the last time that you actually PLAYED?
How old were you when you played dress up?
Have you ever just allowed a tune, rhythm or phrase of music to enter through your ears and move your entire body?
Do you participate in any activities that make your heart soar with joy, your lips smile with delight and at the same time bring a calmness to your spirit? Was it recently?
What activities do you actively participate in to increase your self-confidence and self-esteem?
Do you have a social life with others where you can laugh freely from the depth of your being?

Did you notice I didn’t ask you any questions about your physical fitness? That’s because, with belly dance, you can be at any fitness level and make the “work out” from a class whatever you want it to be…it’s that individualized.

Perhaps it’s time to step out and see what this is about and so I invite you to


Join me for a BELL~ Y~TEA
Thursday, September 4th 7 to 9pm at the Abbotsford Ballet Studio
FOR
* A Dance Jam
* Free Refreshments & Party Favours
* A Celebratory word & drum Circle
* Bazaar
(Spanish Imports & Helen’s skirts)
* A special Organics Gift Basket prize draw that you can enter when you come with a friend who would like to experience a belly dance evening.
The more friends you bring the more entries you receive.

It doesn’t matter whether your friends have danced before or not…the first 15 minutes of the Dance Jam will be an introduction to basic steps.
You will need to bring a full skirt & hip scarf (extras available) & drum or zils if you have them
Please RSVP to JingleWhenYouWalk@gmail.com by Sept. 1st
More information about Abbotsford Belly Dance Classes & Workshops can be found at http://www.abbotsfordbellydance.com

Positive 2014 !

Happy New YearLike most years, the past 12 months have certainly been ones of change, struggle and blessing for all, with many people saying that the world and it’s changes seem to be pushing us along at a breakneck speed….I certainly did find that to be true this year!

There were 2 big events in my life last year that pushed me to grow, change and love more! I met the beautiful woman whom my son has chosen to share his life with and fell in love with her quickly. The sparkle in her eyes, the warmth in her smile and the joy I see in my son’s face…  what more could a mum want?
The 2nd being the opening of my new clinic space in Abbotsford, which isn’t as big an event as were the changes it forced me to make from within.

I’ve found this past year that in allowing myself to go with the flow of events and opportunities that life presented me with, (which by no means is an easy task) and giving up the need to know all details in advance, that’s right….just trust …life and its many gifts have flowed more easily and effortlessly. That’s not to say that it isn’t a struggle to just let go and move with the flow, it really is, but I’m finding it easier and easier as I see results coming quickly and in much better ways than I even imagined. Sounds like something out of a self-help manual, I know…I’ve read so many of them and have finally, after many years, come to the experience of just allowing the flow of good and allowing myself to be surprised by results.

In that allowing I’ve also experienced drawing new and different people into my life. People who match more closely that new path that my life appears to be flowing along. It’s been fascinating to share with and learn from them and to have made some amazing new friends.

Things surfaced this past year that forced me to look at what was working in my life and equally, what was holding me back. What was I struggling to “make” work, what experiences were sucking away at my energy…and what I had to take the difficult steps to just let go of. I’m not sure. but I think that letting go of things/people/problems/events is harder than trusting the flow, to trust that if it is meant to be then it will stay or flow back into your life and if not…well, the white flag of surrender goes up.

This past week I’ve seen quite a few articles, pictures and conversations happening around New Years Resolutions and promises…I don’t tend to make them and after the year I’ve just had I think life brings you greater blessings when you resolve to be the wonderful person that you currently are and grow from there, when you trust that things will get better and then allow life to lead you down that path of wonder (even though it may not be the path you had chosen), when you trust, when you let go, when you open yourself to receive.

Wishing you a wonderful and healthy 2014 filled with energy, peace, joy, surprises, openings and blessings!

At a soon to be announced upcoming Open House, many will have the opportunity to see what wonderful holistically healthy life choices are going to be coming available at the Abbotsford clinic!