Are you as exhausted as we are? As everyone we know is? Why is it so dang hard to take care of ourselves in December??
- Solitude=only lonely instead of rejuvenating, for some reason
- Holiday prep=more stress than fest
- “Treats”= toxic
And there’s one more…um…oh RIGHT. The weather + everyone else’s germs = disaster.
One way to care for ourselves is to pay attention to what’s building up. If we can avoid accumulating, we can enjoy less detoxing/purging later. May we suggest a twenty-day challenge with the three suggestions below? We would love to know how it goes for you: at any point, email us to let us know which of these you like, which worked, and so forth.
I: Get a shower or bath before bed
Even if you have to bathe in the morning, for the next twenty days, start doing it at night, too. It will help pull the gunk, including alcohol, out of your system. (I have no scientific backing for this–maybe it’s the hydration, maybe it’s the sweating, maybe it’s magic. I can tell you that Japanese culture relies on this ritual, and I swear it works.) For prime effect, scrub with just water (if you need scent, open a bottle of lavender oil and leave it on the edge of the tub for a steamy treat) and a washcloth or loofah thingy. Use gentle pressure to scrub down and out: from shoulder to fingertips, from hip crease to knee to ankles to toes, from armpit to hipbone.
Even if you have no gunk (haha yeah right), it will warm your body which will help you get to sleep, and it will relax your muscles. Especially if you sing in the shower. (See #3 below.)
For advanced practice in self-love, book a Sacred Soul Ritual Bath with healer and wise-one Angela Smith.
II: Detox your laundry regimen
I know, you don’t need even more to fear, and, yep, carcinogens are everywhere. That doesn’t mean you need to buy them and rub them all over your body.
Here’s why the danger of dryer sheets (and common laundry products in general) is relevant to your December mood: in addition to known carcinogens, mainstream brands include endocrine disruptors. Your endocrine system manages your hormones, which means all your biological functions, including your metabolism. When you mess with your metabolism, junk literally gets stuck. We’re talking stuck like no amount of meditation or visualization is going to help. (Though acupuncture certainly will. Of course, it’ll work much, much better if you aren’t ingesting a bunch of poison through your skin.)
The quickest fix for dryer sheet disorder is to invest in a set of fantastic wool balls. In addition to being free of endocrine disruptors and carcinogens, they are super cost-effective: you buy them once and never again. If you want to check your detergent’s endocrine-safety, Environmental Working Group‘s guide is pretty comprehensive.
A note: many of the toxins in laundry detergents etc. are related to scents. In your gift shopping this month and every month, keep this in mind. Instead of mainstream scented candles, look for essential oil-based products. Instead of Bath and Body Works, look at Outpost or Beans and Barley for endocrine-healthy (and even Wisconsin-made) body products. Be mindful of what goes on your own skin, too.
III: Sing, scream, and/or cry every day
(The car and the shower are great places to do this if you’re short on privacy.)
No matter how in-tune you are with your emotions, this month inevitably brings up stuff: memories, expectations, loneliness, pressure. Singing helps with the release. The breathing you do to belt it out stimulates your vagus nerve, which means switching off the fight/flight/freeze response, which means less panic and less shutting down. Have you ever noticed that, without warning, while singing (or even humming) you start to tear up? The very healthy breathing that singing requires sort of thins the line between your soul and your daily performance of “appropriate” behavior. It’s a good thing.
For the next twenty days, at least, spend five to ten (or more!) minutes singing to something you like. It can be nostalgic, irreverent, reverent, and/or wholly age-inappropriate. Sing like it will cure you. It kind of will.
If, in the midst of your singing, the tears come, let em come. When you feel tapped from crying, sing something else: something comforting and somewhat upbeat. *It’ll help you re-regulate and put on your “appropriate” behavior hat.*
If, in the midst of your singing, your jaw feels tight and you feel like you are singing just to avoid screaming, SCREAM. Just scream. You can scream the words to the song or just aaaaalahhhhaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrreeeeeeeggaaaaaaaaah. When you feel tapped from the screaming (and the crying, which might come with it), sing again. Just one song. Or even just the refrain of one song. See above asterisk.*
We would love to hear how these twenty days go for you. Reply to this email to let us know how these sound/work/don’t work for you. We’d also love it if you forwarded this to someone who has some December stress (aka someone who lives in this world).
In peace and comfort,
Ellice and Kellen