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?

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Muscles ~ the Emotional Scream

My muscles have been talking lately and loudly!

Scheme of muscles of neck, with the stylohyoid...

Sounds strange perhaps, but let me explain.

This past Fall I took extra special care of me and ensured that I experienced regular self-care. I booked massage appointments in advance and also took a weekly Yoga class.

Not for the first time, but with a new awareness, I experienced the emotional scream of my muscles. The massage therapist worked deeply on tightly held and restricted muscles. The Yoga classes were heart-centred experiences where the stretches were slower moving and deep….opening all the muscles that I use, not just day to day as a health practitioner, but also as a dance instructor.

During these sessions the emotions came out. Have you tried holding a deep stretch for 2 to 5 minutes? Have you noticed when you’ve held a deep stretch, that the muscles warm slowly and allow you to stretch a little more? As I would breathe into these stretches all sorts of emotions came to the surface, those that the muscles had been holding and storing. All of them! The anger, sadness, fear, joy, frustration, peace and laughter. The Yoga instructors calm reassuring reminders to breathe nudged me to breath through and release both the tension in the muscles and the emotions that surfaced.

I experienced the same with each massage. It felt great to have someone work deeply into my muscles and to enjoy sessions where I could 23completely relax and de-stress. My physical body works hard during the week, my emotional body probably harder. As I relaxed and the muscles began to warm and stretch beneath the therapists hands, once again emotions came bubbling up. As a therapist I realize that they are only coming up to the surface so that my body can finally release them…it’s a good thing. I’m blessed in finding a therapist that uses and is guided by her intuition, allowing my body the space to open and release both the physical and emotional tension that I’ve stored within.

These experiences resonated with what I feel beneath my hands every day, as I work with clients. As they talk and/or as they relax, their muscles begin to speak beneath my hands. The bands of stress and constriction begin to open slowly and let me in further…so that what may have started out as a physical therapy becomes a holistic one. The “whole” client is realizing benefits!

fbprofileFor my self, I leave each class or session feeling lighter, pounds lighter! My physical body feels wonderful but more importantly my emotional self is more peaceful!

Book your intuitive massage or reflexology session and experience your muscles emotional scream….it really is a good thing! handtohealth@gmail.com

Fabulous heart-centred Yoga classes with Kim Pechet begin again at Wisteria Acres in January. Click here for more info

 

Are you listening to your muscles? Really listening?