Yesterday morning, I was hanging out with some of my friends and our kids at a playground like I often do, when I received a text from my husband Nathan.
The details of the text aren’t super important, but it basically indicated that there was a chance that the air force might send us to a different city than we’d expected.
My body and brain immediately went into red alert.
I don’t handle change well. I love new adventures and going to new places and trying new things, but I need time to adjust to the idea.
We’ve been making plans for awhile now, expecting to move to a certain city.
Oh, and we’d already found a house and are supposed to close May 31st. Which is tomorrow.
At the playground, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I felt nauseous. I could feel my blood pressure rise. My mind was spinning with about 1000 thoughts per minute.
In Ayurveda, we’d call this a vata overload.
Old Naomi would have kept spinning, letting the stress wind me up until I was an anxious, frantic mess.
Instead, I decided to head home from the playground early.
I knew I wouldn’t get much work done so I decided to take care of myself instead.
I put my son down for a nap.
I sat down with my daughter to eat our lunch together, telling her stories once I’d finished (because let’s face it: kids eat so slowly that watching paint dry would take less time).
I stopped every few moments to close my eyes and exhale.
I sat outside and put my feet firmly on the ground.
Then, I planted my hands on the earth and went upside down a few times, too.
I drank lots of water and healthy nourishing food (old Naomi would have gone straight for the chocolate and handfuls of nuts and probably a bottle of wine, too).
I sat outside and bathed in the moonlight (probably the most woowoo thing I’ve said in a long time)
And instead of staying up and finishing the work I didn’t get to earlier, I soaked my feet in my kids leftover warm bathwater and then went to bed early.
To quote the great Joey Lawrence, “whoa.”
I woke up today more clear and calm.
My mind is still spinning through all of the scenarios that could possibly happen, but I feel more grounded and less anxious thanks to the simple self-care that I did yesterday.
Knowing that my vata was spinning out of control, I chose some kapha-friendly actions to bring my vata back down to earth, helping me feel steady and secure in my body and mind again.
Ayurveda isn’t just about avoiding hot peppers if you’re more of a pitta or eating more greens if you’re more of a kapha. Ayurveda is a whole system approach to wellness.
Knowing what my tendencies are and what practices might bring me back to balance (or sanity, depending on the circumstance) help me take better care of myself so that when the shit hits the fan, it doesn’t completely derail me.
Smart self-care is knowing when to indulge your tendencies to help you recharge (comfort) and when to counteract your tendencies to recharge (balance). It’s also knowing which practices provide comfort in a helpful way and which practices will give you the necessary kick in the pants when you need it.
This is the brilliance of Ayurveda. It basically gives you personalized instructions for you need to take really good care of yourself. Self-care is not one size fits all. Not every person benefits from the same type of care or actions. Not every situation requires the same self-care protocol. It’s taken me a long time to learn that. I spent way too long trying to replicate the types of self-care that other people enjoyed without experiencing any of the same benefits. Or even worse, feeling more stressed out than rejuvenated.
If you’re curious about how you can create your own self-care toolkit that is specifically designed for your needs, I’ll be leading a mini-course this summer called “Summer of Self-Care” that will incorporate the wisdom of Ayurveda with practical applications of self-care that you can use in any situation you might need it in. This course will begin in July and if you want to be among the first to receive info about it, plus some really juicy bonuses, let me know by clicking this link right here. There’s absolutely no obligation once you click on the link. You’ll just receive email notice about the program when I launch it in a few weeks, plus a special offer that you’ll only receive if you let me know you’re interested now.
In the meantime, enjoy this photo of my daughter, who at age 5, already knows what makes her feel good and takes her self-care seriously.