With the beginning of the school year and routines falling into place, I get that old back-to-school excitement and at the same time, a little anxiety sets in amid the hectic rush of school and work and homework and sports and lunches. Especially this year! Thanks to two surgeries in the beginning of 2017, come June I found myself just getting through my days, but without the joy and vitality I rely on to share with patients and my family. I decided to take the radical move of taking off a month from patient care to recharge my batteries and get back to vibrant health. I missed my patients over the summer, but it worked! I have energy and vitality that spills over to family and patients. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can perpetuate this feeling of well-being even in the midst of busy working mom life.
Join me for my upcoming 21 Day Reset starting in September and take yourself on a journey of deep nourishment and unconditional self-love!
Perpetuating that Summer Glow!
STOP TIME: One of the fun things about traveling or even unscheduled summer days is when we lose track of what day it is. Of course, schedules fill up. But how do we give ourselves a feeling of spaciousness even in the midst of life? I’ve got two ideas for you. One, maybe find a day where you can sleep in and stay in your jammies till noon. If that’s impossible, try viparita karani, aka legs-up-the-wall yoga pose. Lie on your back as close as possible to the wall. Put your legs straight up resting on the wall. I like to use a yoga strap, tie or bathrobe belt to tie my upper thighs together so I can close my eyes, spread my arms at my sides and fully relax. This is a balm for the adrenal system, which can help sleep, anxiety and even hormonal issues such as painful periods and menopausal symptoms.
NOURISH: Fresh foods are so abundant in summer that we find ourselves eating the rainbow. Our bodies love this! Remember that summer feeling all year long by trying to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. I like to do a spring and fall reset. I take 21-days to cut out alcohol, sugar, fried foods (ah those French fries of summer), dairy and gluten and focus on gut health, probiotics and cleaning up my habits. Registration for the next one ends this week, so jump on board if you are interested!
PLAY: Another favorite thing about summer is that we are active in many ways besides formal exercising. Paddleball at the beach, taking a bike ride, going for a walk with friends and family are all activities that are not sitting down. When you engage in an active lifestyle in addition to regular exercise habits, your body stays energized.
TONIFY: Since I devoted my summer to rehabbing a brand new knee and restoring depleted energy, I’ve been disciplined about taking tonic herbs. It is such a great feeling to be supported by plant energy. I feel like I have a solid foundation from which to grow.
LOVE: I’ve taken time this summer to connect with my parents, my kids and close friends. Sometimes, in the business of private practice, teaching, being in a doctoral program and raising middle-schoolers, I let connecting with loved ones fall by the wayside. Summertime is a reminder for me that staying connected is important.
Ok, Rachel, you say . . .this all looks well and good, but if you don’t have the time, you don’t have the time. How am I supposed to keep the summer glow when I’m on the hamster wheel of life??? I’ve given this a lot of thought and for myself being able to say YES to the things nourish me means saying NO to the time-wasters and energy-suckers. For me, this means being disciplined around:
- social media time
- Netflix binging
- fiction reading (not giving it up, just need to regulate it sometimes)
- unnecessary committee meetings
- saying yes to too many work projects and teaching opportunities
- staying up too late doing any of these things
Truthfully, after just a first half-week of school, I was already starting to feel the doors of early mornings and hectic evenings closing in. Yesterday, I took advantage of an unscheduled Saturday to go biking in Big Sur with the kids and a friend. We STOPPED TIME by coasting on ebikes all afternoon with very little agenda, NOURISHED by having a nutritious picnic in the woods, PLAYED by staying outside hiking and biking all day, TONIFIED by taking my herbs in the morning and LOVED by spending the day with loved ones. As we drove back to town at sunset, I happily sighed that it felt like we kept that summer feeling alive for one more day.