Today, in this week’s installment of my series dedicated to sharing some things I’ve found that help me to feel a little more comfortable when I’m having a Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad, No Good Day, I am very excited to be hosting Amy Goetz of the barefoot phoenix, who is here to give us all permission to pamper.
In today’s world we are not often encourage to take care of ourselves. In fact we are often encouraged to push harder, do more, and work through the pain. This has to stop. So many beautiful people turn up on my doorstep exhausted, depleted, and depressed because they just couldn’t do or give enough.
I’d like to offer up some permission to start to choose yourself first and some easy-peasy ways to make that happen. Because me first= o.O [look of confusion and maybe some horror]
First I’d like to reassure you that it will not be easy to choose yourself first. It will be very uncomfortable in fact. Especially if you are a parent or care-giver. We are taught that others come first, that it is selfish to crave or desire time to ourselves or god-forbid pampering-haha! We can have pampering if we treat someone else or if we were given it as a gift.
But what if I told you that you could actually give more, and do more if you took care of yourself first.
I know… but I’m going to plant the seed and hope that it grows into a great big flower of stolen moments of renewal and retreat and indulgence.
I’m also going to leave a permission slip here at the end so you can print it out and hand it over. Let the paper ask for you, then it’s not really you asking. I’m kinda sneaky like that!
So to start us on a adventure in self-care here are some tiny ways you can start to recharge your batteries and take better care of yourself. As a practitioner of reflexology I have come to learn how amazing our feet are. Here is an opportunity to get to know your soles and discover how deep relaxation can go when we release the tension held in the feet.
Reflexology is built on the belief that there is a map of the entire body reflected in the feet, hands and ears. Each side of the body is reflected in the foot, hand or ear of the same side. Reflexology works by clearing nerve pathways and helping re-establish and soothe the communication systems of the body so everything can work better. Knowing this, you can play with finding body discomfort and where it might be reflected on a reflexology map.
Because reflexology works so closely with the nervous system, a lot of pressure is not necessary. Nerve pathways are triggered upon contact. Remember this when working on yourself, don’t over do it; pressing hard enough to bruise does not make reflexology work faster. In fact it slows everything down. Also, be sure and take good care of yourself by not over working your thumbs, or by working in awkward positions.
To unwind from your day, one of the simplest things you can do is add a tiny bit of stretching to your life. Move your body and it will reward you with fewer aches and pains and greater ability to adapt, process and release the stresses of everyday life.
The most important ways to move your feet are:
Ankle Circles: slowly rotate the ankle in both directions 10-15 times. Ankle circles stretch and strengthen all the major muscles that move your foot and will release tension from overuse, standing, exercise, and lack of use (sitting).
Point and Flex: slowly point your foot as much as you can, gently hold this extreme position for 2 seconds, and then release. Flex your foot as much as you can, again hold it at this extreme for 2 seconds and repeat 10-15 times per foot. If you find yourself starting to cramp, gently ease off and reverse movement and with the next repetition do not go to such an extreme.
Inversion and Eversion: slowly rotate the arch of the foot towards your head and hold this movement for 2 seconds. Then reverse motion so the arch faces away. I like to call this one “conducting the orchestra” as the movement in the foot resembles arm movements used in conducting. Again repeat this exercise 10-15 times and if your foot starts to cramp gently ease off and reverse the movement.
These things can easily be done while watching television, before you get out of bed in the morning and under the desk or the dining room table. [see how I am helping you multi-task here-I know you are busy]
Cramping: If you experience cramping during any or all of these stretches, this is an indication that the muscles in your feet are weak and need exercise. Please reduce the number of repetitions for each exercise and instead take 2 minutes 4-6 times a day, spending 30 seconds doing each one 3-5 times.
Take a foot roller to work and keep it in a desk drawer, while sitting at your desk throw it on the floor and roll your feet. A foot roller can be a fancy one you by with ridges and poky bits or it can simply be a tennis or golf ball. You can also roll the ball between your hands, oh those hard working hands would love you so. Find the ouchy spots or the yummy spots and hang out here for 10 seconds to a full minute.
Soak your feet. You have over 7,000 nerve ending in each foot all yammering away about this and that. The quickest way to calm them down, and your whole body is to submerge them in water. Use a big bowl, fill it with hot water and if you want to get fancy some salts or essential oils.
I have so many more suggestions for I am on a mission. But I don’t want to take up all of your time, I’d rather you got to soaking or stretching. You can join me every Monday through the end of the year in a conversation about teeny tiny ways you can take 5 minutes just for you every day. Please join in, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Each week features a different setting or style of mission in permission. Here is week one.
amy! the barefoot phoenix is on a mission to help people see they are allowed to choose self-care first. she wears stripy socks, talks to faeries, reads tarot cards and does reflexology. when she is not with clients, you can find her sipping tea with her cat chaos on her lap trying to write interesting and brilliant things, her latest endeavore is the permission to pamper ebook.
You can play with amy! on facebook https://www.facebook.com/bfphoenix?ref=ts or twitter @AmyCreatesStuff
You can find more about reflexology on her website :: barefootphoenix.com/reflexology/about-reflexology/
use the permission slip up until it is so worn you have to print a new one!