This summer has flown by at record speed and I can not believe we are only three weeks away from September. Looking back, my summer has consisted of what I like to call “Mom-otony”, which is the oftentimes tedious routine many mothers with small children face: early morning wake-ups, meal preparation, playtime, endless cleaning, errands, naps, laundry, more meal preparation, bath, teeth-brushing, bedtime. In the meantime, I’m launching a business, practicing and teaching yoga, and blogging. So, with a full plate, it’s not surprising that I’m feeling a little nostalgic for the summers’ of my past… lying on the beach, eating fried clams with tarter sauce, swimming in the ocean, sipping a cold ice tea in the humidity (can you tell I’m from New England?). So, this got me thinking. What are some self-soothers we can do to find that sense of peace, ease, relaxation that we associate with the summer months?
Here are my top five:
1. China Gel, a natural topical pain reliever that is AMAZING. I discovered it in a yoga class when the instructor rubbed it on my shoulders and neck during Savasana (corpse pose) and I was hooked. It is made up of 7 herbal ingredients, but basically it smells like yummy eucalyptus and creates a tingly sensation that leaves skin smooth and dry, not sticky and filmy.
2. IngenuiTEA by adagio teas is a tea infuser that makes the most INCREDIBLE cup of tea you will ever taste. There is a huge difference between a regular old tea bag and loose tea that is brewed inside the IngenuiTEA. Plus the ingenuiTEA is mess free. It’s a great way to start your day (English Breakfast) and end your day (Camomile or Peppermint).
3. Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair, is a cookbook that was recommended to me by my Naturopathic MD when I admitted my struggle with preparing whole foods for my family. Before I had kids, making nutritious meals was relatively easy. I had all the time in the world to find interesting recipes, browse farmers markets and Whole Foods, and prepare meals. Now I have a 13-month old who can really only eat soft foods, a 3-year-old who would preferably subsist on bread alone, and a working husband who would rather hang out with the kids than cook during the week. The recipes in this cookbook are quick, easy (not too many ingredients), delicious, and spell out options to toddler-fy each recipe. YUM.
4. Viparita Karani or “Legs up the Wall”, a yoga pose that a teacher of mine once called the Martini for yoga teachers. Find a wall, sit down and scoot your hip right up against the wall, come onto your back and walk your legs up hip width apart. It’s impossible to gracefully get into this pose, so just do your best to get your butt and legs up on the wall, feet in the air. And then just lie there. Some of the benefits of this pose are: relieves tired or cramped legs and feet, stretches the hamstrings, relieves an achy back, and most importantly, it calms the mind. Try it, it works!
5. Lavender– an herb– is known to reduce stress and anxiety. I keep a vial of lavender oil in my bag, so that every time I get my wallet out, a gentle waft of lavender seeps into my nose and suddenly something subtly shifts in my nervous system, and any anxiety I may feel dissipates. And it’s nice to think that the lady behind the cash register feels a little bit more relaxed too!
And if none of these work for you, try spending an hour in front of The Bachelor Pad. Just kidding!