The Self Care Series — Movement
written by Caitlin Smit — Nutritionsprout
I frequently hear women expressing guilt over doing something for themselves. I see it in woman that are close to me and I often think of mothers who are inspirational in their selflessness, however they often do not take enough time for themselves. It’s a familiar feeling for all of us I’m sure, as I find it creeping into my subconscious at times as well. We think, ‘I don’t have time to do that’ or ‘I feel bad for retreating to my room for an hour’. However, I believe now more than ever that our ability to take care of ourselves is not a selfish thing but rather a necessity, be it man or woman. This goes for all aspects of ourselves, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. It’s like that quote goes ‘ you cannot pour from an empty cup’.
If we do not take care, we will not be able to give of ourselves entirely- in our relationships, work, goals and passions. We simply are unable to’ show up’ in our own lives. So what does self care mean and why are we seeing more focus being placed on this area of health, even by highly qualified functional practitioners ?
This is a topic that is too large to condense into one sitting and one that I believe also requires further expert voices as well (watch this space), but what I will say is that the amount of women who are experiencing overwhelm, hormonal imbalance, anxiety and autoimmunity is not a coincidence. It cannot be ignored any longer, doctors are even beginning to write entire books dedicated to women facing ‘overwhelm’ and adrenal burnout. These symptoms are not arising out of nothing, they are a direct product of many physical, lifestyle and environmental stressors and a big contributor is neglecting the need to slow down and take care of ourselves from a place of real intention.
We as women are in an exciting time in the world, where we are making more opportunities for ourselves as well as trying to be the caregiver, mother, wife, friend and businesswomen. It’s fantastic but often unrealistic, something's got to give if we are not taking the time to replenish and that’s the simple truth.
Self care has become a trendy catch phrase but I feel like we need to reclaim some of the true character of these words. Looking at the word Care, taken from the Cambridge dictionary means - the process of protecting someone or something and providing what that person or thing needs. Protecting and providing, these are necessities and if we can once again look at self care from a place of necessity then surely we will find it not only easier but essential to make this part of our daily lives.
We’ve chosen to share these simple rituals as a way of reminding women that self care does not always have to cost an expensive trip to the spa or a retreat, although those are wonderful in themselves. We wanted to remind you that self care can also happen in the quiet of your own space. These small acts of kindness toward yourself can really change your space into something sacred and all you need is a few minutes out of your busy day.
We’ve broken these rituals into separate stand alone words as way of inspiring you to follow along and try them over the next few months :
Without giving too much else away, today we are going to be focusing on
Movement is representative of dry brushing. We aren’t claiming any grand health claims instead we’d simply like to highlight this as a meditative means of giving your body a gentle exfoliation and stimulating your lymphatic system. When done with intention it is also a great time to spend getting quiet before a shower or bath.
What you’ll need is —
a dry brush with firm bristles or a mitt. Either of these will do the job; it’s all about personal preference. Upon brushing, begin at the toes and work your way upwards, always making sure to keep your brush strokes in an upward motion towards the heart. You can dry brush for 3-5 minutes, and you can make this part of your daily routine or merely once a week. It's important to remember that this is an acquired ritual, so if you are new to dry brushing go gently at first and get your body use to the sensation. Over time you’ll find the right pressure suited for your personal preference. Once you've completed your dry brushing, rinse off in the shower and treat yourself to some rich body cream or oil, applied liberally to the body. It’s an invigorating practise and one that we believe you’ll grow to love.
Should you wish to purchase yourself a dry brush or mitt, we'd recommend rather investing in a quality product that will last you a good few months to a year.
Some suppliers of dry brushing tools are
Caitlin is a qualified INHC health coach with the New York school of Integrative Nutrition and co-founder of Glow alongside Marize Albertyn. Her passion lies in women's wellness and helping women make positive and sustainable changes to their lives in order to 'come home to themselves and their cycle'.
Social Media — @nutritionsprout