Practicing self care daily is essential and vital to the helping professional.
Busy days, stressful conversations, high needs clients, lack of resources, ruminating thoughts and unforeseen events leave us feeling cloudy, unsure, stressed out, tight and grumpy. In turn these feelings are often manifested in our physical bodies and we start to notice tight shoulders, indigestion, headaches or sugar cravings.
Perhaps the kindest thing we can do for ourselves in moments like these is to stop and take care of ourselves. It'll only take 5-10 minutes to sit yourself on the floor to re-ground.
Floor poses serve to root us back into our natural calm and perfect states. They help us come back to the present moment, gain strength in our abilities and become clearer in our minds.
Before you get in these poses, practice your breath: Allow your belly to expand on your inhale and contract on your exhale. Breathe so deeply that your whole mid body fills up 360 degrees around your backside. Make each breath in and out last at least 7 seconds.
Grounding : Child’s Pose
How To // Kneel on your mat and splay your knees out wider than the width of your torso. Bring your big toes to touch. Sit your hips back to your heels and bring your belly between your legs. Stretch your arms out long trying to grow 2 inches in your back body. Roll your shoulders away from your ears. Bring your forehead to touch the floor.
Benefits // Lower back and hamstring stretch. This pose offers grounding as your forehead – the place between your eyebrows – is activated; it is linked to your intuition and intellect. If you are feeling indecisive, unsure, cautious or afraid, kneel down into child’s pose; your truth will come.
True Relaxation : Reclining Bound Angle Pose
How To // Lay flat on your back. Bring the soles of your feet together at a generous distance from your pelvis. Let your knees splay out to the sides. Your arms lay to your sides with your palms facing up.
Benefits // Stretching hip flexors and activating digestion, lowering heart rate and relaxing muscles. This pose cultivates calmness and contentment. Your parasympathetic system is activated and your body is triggered to just relax. No more, no less.
Mood Shifter : Legs Up the Wall Pose
How To // Lie on your back and bring your legs up 90 degrees. Stay here or scoot your bum towards a wall so that the backs of your legs are rested on the wall. You can splay your legs open or leave them straight.
Benefits // Regulates blood flow, improves digestion, help with headaches, blood pressure and insomnia. This pose is also known to have miracle effects on changing your mood: Regardless of the mood (grumpy, hyper, tired) – nuzzle up on the wall for 5-15 minutes and you will feel the opposite (content, calm, energized). I use this pose when I need an extra lift in my day or I am feeling really overwhelmed and anxious.
Taking time to sit in one of these poses throughout your day will gift you the experience of wholeness, bliss and self-gratitude. When we create experiences that leave us feeling happy and centered, our creativity and productivity actually increases and we are better able to manage client’s needs. (This is a fact – The Happiness Advantage).This guest post is written by Jessica Poor, LMSW. Jessica is a medical social worker with Nurses Unlimited and works in the mental health field as well. Her passion for health stems from her understanding that increasing one’s awareness about the relationship between the mind and body directly affects the way one experiences the world. She believes that the foundation to healthy living is taking the time to focus on oneself; turning judgments into observations, insecurities into action items, and negative core beliefs into positive affirmations. Jessica finds great purpose in her life in through educating, healing, creating, traveling and paying attention to the small perfect moments.