Wednesday Missive: Do You Struggle During Transitions? This is the Self-Care For You!

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Hello Dear!

First thing: my Memorial Day Weekend Self-Care + Yoga Retreat is filling up!  Come practice yoga, walk in the woods, and make new friends.  Early bird pricing until May 1st!

Now...

Oh, I feel it!  Spring is creeping around the corner again!  At least in DC, she’s been an elusive one this season.  We get a sweet little taste of her and then are left to pine for her during a stretch of cold, gray days.  

This seasonal back-and-forth can be taxing on your body and mind.  If you’re feeling off-kilter, come back to your self-care basics like going to bed early, hydrating often, and finding a healthy way to vent your feelings (journaling is a great one for me!).

Within all this change, I’ve been thinking of the importance of reevaluating your self-care before, after or while you are transitioning into a new stage of life.  This is because changing your life almost always means changing your habits. The more conscious we are during transitions, the more we can use this habit-change to our self-care advantage.

As humans, we are creatures of habits.  We get used to doing certain things in a certain order.  Because sameness makes us feel safe - and it’s linked to our instinct to survive - we usually don’t voluntarily mix it up too much.

For example, you used to go to yoga a few evenings a week.  You practiced that routine for a couple of years. Then, you got the exciting new promotion and all the extra responsibility means you stay an hour later each day.  You notice that your yoga practice is falling off. You think you can go on weekends, but that doesn’t seem to happen because you want to sleep in or meet your friends for brunch.

Or, you used to have a great meal-planning, nourishing food routine.  But then your uncle got sick and you spent a lot of time visiting him in the hospital.  Out of convenience, you began to subsist on Thai food or big, yummy burritos. After he passed away, you realize you’re still eating a lot of Pad Thai and burritos.

It’s normal for your habits to shift after a big life change.  From a very logical perspective, you’ve just trained yourself to do something new (stay later at work, eat the burritos, etc), and displaced the practiced routines that made the other habits easy.

From psychological perspective, you’ve shifted something important in your life and this has almost certainly changed your identity, or how you see yourself.  If you don’t take time to consciously understand that you’re a different person now, you may feel disoriented, stuck or like you are just spinning your wheels.

Creating, or even just redirecting, habits and routines takes a fair bit of energy.  Moving through big life transitions takes a bunch of energy as well. Keeping up with a shifting identity within all the change is challenging at best.

What are we to do?  I believe the best way to handle all of this complexity is to: 1) recognize that you’re going through a transition and 2) take an organized, conscious look at how your self-care has changed as a result.

You can ask yourself:  what used to work, but isn’t working now?  Why might this be? How can I strategically build in those habits again (or let them go if they weren’t really working)?  How have I changed my identity? What habits does this new iteration of me want to keep, cultivate or let go?

It’s important to take a self-care inventory after:

  • You start or end a romantic relationship

  • You get a pet or one passes away

  • You move to a new apartment

  • You begin a new job or get promoted

  • Someone close to you gets sick or passes away

  • You travel for an extended period of time

  • You get a health diagnosis or cleared of a diagnosis

  • You have a baby or adopt a child or have a miscarriage

(Or, as in my case, you do three of those things in one year!)

These moments of transition are great times to get extra support.  Transitions are inherently shaky periods that stir us to our core and bring everything to the surface.  Having someone or something to hold us together during these vulnerable moments of growth can mean the difference between feeling stuck for years or consciously healing, growing and moving forward.

As I move in and out of some of the deepest transitions of my life, I’ve recently doubled-down on my self-care. I feel the positive effects of these choices and investments in every layer of my being.  Never have I been so sure that self-care is the easiest, most joyful and most authentic way to grow as a human being. Seeing it happen with over 200 of my clients has also reinforced this belief!

So, if you need a little extra support, consider Self Care 101, my step-by-step, create-a-sustainable-lifestyle-of-self-care group coaching experience.  It’s the last time ever that I will offer this powerful work in this format and I sense it’s a great fit for a few of you out there. I have a few spaces left and we start this Sunday.  Is one of them yours? Hit “reply” to this message and let me know!

With that, I am stepping back into this tender moment of emergent spring.  I have a cup of tea to warm me and something yummy in mind to make for dinner.  Although there are so many hard parts and unknowns in this crazy experience of life, in this moment my self-care reminds me I am going to be okay.

With care,
Gracy

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Self-Care Inspiration

Who wants to practice yoga to support congressional candidate Laura Moser?  I’m co-teaching a benefit vinyasa flow + restorative yoga class at Hot Yoga Capitol Hill on Sunday, May 6 from 2-3:30pm. After taking Self Care 101, Laura sprung into action and has redefined what it means to be a caring politician. I’m beyond inspired and want to support her!  I hope you can make it (or at least donate to her campaign).

My partner, Micah and I recorded a podcast together! It’s a bit awkward and a bit sweet.  We tell the story of beginning to date and becoming parents (all within three months!), and test out the awesome new sound system that Micah engineered for the podcast.

This is the yummy dinner I have in mind for tonight.  Spring is a great time to eat corn and cornmeal.  According to Ayurveda, it has a drying, scraping quality that helps get all the gunk out of your system.

Anyone out there with Imposters Syndrome? (Yeah, me too sometimes). There’s help for us all!  I was featured as part of this inspiring compilation of leaders sharing their ideas for How To Find And Use Your Unique Strengths At Work for the Conscious Company magazine.

I really liked this article on the capitalization of the word “empowerment.” It’s furthered my resolve to make this self-care work as accessible as possible, and to always remind people that authentic self-care is an internal experience, not something you need to buy.