With spring and summer, comes inevitable busy-ness. Longer hours of daylight mean more time to savor and enjoy these joyous seasons, and we are usually living life to the fullest. Extra activities like gardening, family vacations and regular backyard BBQs take up much of our free time and we are often left with lingering to-do lists and an abundance of work to catch up on. During these busy seasons, time seems to speed up and the practice of personal time isn’t high on our lists. Living in a world that demands every ounce of your energy and attention requires radical self-care.
Self-care not only builds our reserves and keeps our systems healthy and well, but it also de-clutters our mind and allows for more positive thinking to take place.
We asked some of our favorite women in the botanical world to share some of their most radical self care rituals for some summer inspiration.
1. Jovial King
Founder, CEO & Creative Director of Urban Moonshine
I have a monthly New Moon circle with a wonderful group of woman and it’s the cornerstone of my self care ritual. We sit together in circle, listen to each other and share deeply about what’s happening in our lives. It’s self-care for the soul and deeply healing. We do breast massage and yoni steams as a way to love and care for our bodies. It’s powerful being with a group of women who come together to take deeper care of not only their bodies but their spirits, hopes and dreams.
Spoiler alert: there’s no single silver-bullet to manage your stress. Because there’s probably not one single thing that’s stressing you out. That’s normal – you’re busy, and busyness and stress often go hand-in-hand.
And that’s ok. In fact, some stress is actually good for you.
But most of us (me included) could do with less stress. And that’s when stress management techniques become helpful.
Here are five simple ideas to try when the going gets tough.
- Deep breathing
Stress response can include difficulty breathing. When we take shallow, rapid breaths, it signals to our brain that things are not ok.
One simple technique is to concentrate on breathing deeply. You can try roll breathing for daily maintenance, and 4-4-4 breathing throughout the day as-needed. Simply inhale slowly for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and exhale slowly for 4 seconds.
Seems easy right? That’s because it is! But don’t let the simplicity fool you: this exercise can have a profound effect on stress by quieting your mind and slowing your heartbeat.
Sometimes the best response to stress is to think about something else until you are in a place to calmly (and productively) address whatever is stressing you out. But that can be difficult in the moment. A trick that works for me is to move my body.
Go for a short walk. Do some stretches. Do a handstand (safely). Jump […]
Growing herbs is easy! After all, these plants are wild by nature and have adapted to tolerate pests, diseases and even the neglect of their two-legged caretakers who cultivate them for our health and pleasure. But as we walk through our wild and cultivated gardens, the thought of how to capture and store as much of our plants healing and nourishing potential as possible can seem overwhelming. Fortunately it’s not as hard as one might imagine but before we get into herb preservation, let’s briefly discuss when and how to harvest.
Herbs, whether culinary, medicinal (or both as many are) should be harvested at the peak of potency for maximum benefit. For most leaf crops such as those in the mint family (i.e lemon balm, nettles, basils, etc.) harvest at the early stages of flowering during dry weather using pruning shears, field knives or by stripping leaves off with bare hands. Blossoms such as calendula, chamomile and arnica should be harvested during dry sunny weather when flowers are fully open using your hands or a device such as a chamomile rake. Roots are best harvested when the plants are dormant (late fall through early spring) and the energy of the plant has gone from above ground growth back to its roots. Spading forks are best for digging roots as they don’t tend to cut lateral roots off as shovels can do.
To clean freshly harvested herbs, shake or lightly brush them to remove debris clinging to leaves. Washing leaves and blossom is […]