Browsing articles in "self-care"

Cleaning house

Oct 25, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, self-care  //  No Comments

my baking cupboard

Over the last few weeks, I have been working to clean up and organize things in many aspects of my life. I’ve been making the apartment neat and tidy, I cleaned out the kitchen cupboards, even did some laundry, cleaned out my closet (making a pretty good size donation to goodwill), and found some of the winter clothes I didn’t even know I had. I find that cleaning like this is like cleansing the soul. I let go of the things that I didn’t need to hold onto, allowed some things to resurface that needed to be brought into the light, and put things away that didn’t need to be left out.

I go through this process at least once a year, although (and maybe I shouldn’t admit it), it generally focuses on cleaning out the closet. Venturing into other rooms is kind of a new thing for me. When I cleaned out my pantry, I purged items that were anywhere from 6 months to three years past their expiration dates. It was like getting rid a great weight. I felt so much better when I looked into the cabinet when I was done. I made space for new things. I’ve always found it amazing how the act of cleaning things out or sometimes just cleaning things up can bring on such a sense of release. What did I exactly let go of? Was it really more than just stuff? Did letting go of “things” actually open the door for letting go of stored up emotional-aches?

room for baking

It’s hard to say exactly what you let go of when you embark on the adventure of cleaning house. But whatever it is, cleaning house has a psychological effect that I wouldn’t trade and sometimes I crave. It creates space for new stuff; and this time that space was a pantry of fresh baking ingredients that allows me to make pumpkin spice muffins and hopefully soon, other fabulous baked goods.

When was the last time you cleaned house? What did you exactly get rid of?

did you make your bed today?

Aug 25, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, self-care  //  No Comments

My bed... made at 6:25 AM this morning.

“Did you make your bed today?” For as long as I can remember, that’s what my mother would ask me every morning before  school. And up until about 5 months ago, I actually didn’t understand what was so important about making my bed. And moreover, how important making my bed was to me. Growing up, the bed was made every day, because my mother made me. In college and for many years post college, I used to only make my bed when I was having people over. I didn’t really see a point, when I would be out all day and crawl back in at night. But when you have guest, having a made bed makes the apartment feel homier and more so, gives a tidier appearance. It’s funny though, the daily bed making routine didn’t actually start until I had a cleaning service come to my apartment.

I got a great deal through LivingSocial for Green MaidWorks, who happens to charge extra to change the bed linens and make the bed, so I wanted to make sure that I did those chores myself before they arrived. My apartment was spotless when the service left that day (and I’m starting regular monthly service in September). I felt so relaxed as I looked around the apartment. My apartment looked cleaner than it did the day I moved in (and on move in day, it had looked spotless).

So what’s the significance of making the bed for me? It provides me with some order in an otherwise chaotic environment. It’s very grounding and rather refreshing when you come home to a made bed. The bed is generally the second thing I see after I walk into my apartment. Having it made makes me feel grounded and relaxed. On a subconscious level, I think I’ve been feeling a sense of accomplishment from it. Thinking that at least, I’ve done that, if I haven’t done anything else around the apartment. It’s also a feeling of being back “at home”.

Cleaning and laundry are not and have never been my favorite things to do, laundry generally waits until it has to be done and cleaning, well, cleaning is done when I absolutely have to. I will “clean” for the cleaning service, by tidying up my belongings and making it easy for them to get to surfaces and the floor. I wash my dishes when I’ve cooked and try to keep the kitchen and bath looking nice, but I don’t just clean to clean. And when I do clean, it’s generally because the dust has built up and it’s really more of a necessity, it’s a chore. Growing up, Saturday morning cleaning of mine and my sister’s bedrooms was on my chore-list. Making the bed was not only on the weekend chore-list, but it was a daily chore. And so for many years, I had a mental block, rebelling against the requirement, but something changed.

Making the bed is a reminder of growing up and essentially, a reminder of home. And that makes it very grounding. In a time in my life where things are constantly changing, where I’m beginning new adventures, and starting new journeys, a strong foundation is extremely important. Coming back to feelings of home and of growing up helps to restore the grounding, rebuilding the foundation in my energy system. It’s reconnecting me with my roots and bringing a feeling of stability. In a world that is extremely chaotic, a little bit of stability and a strong foundation are a very good thing. The two minutes that it takes to make the bed every morning is well worth the stability and foundation that comes from it.

So, did you make your bed today? Do you ever make your bed? Have you ever thought about why you do or you don’t? It might be worth a little exploration and who knows, maybe you too will start making your bed every day (if you don’t already).

it’s like christmas in august

Aug 24, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, self-care, Yoga  //  9 Comments

I had a grand plan this evening to update everyone on the status of my 30-day challenge that became 21 days, and then I came home to a package from my mom full of tons of my scrapbooking turned art journaling supplies. It feels like christmas in August. Given that my birthday was last week, today’s package was not the only one I received this month. The birthday treats that I got were awesome (and delicious). I shared the little chocolate bundt birthday cake (not pictured below) with my colleagues on my birthday.

my birthday surprise from my sister, brother-in-law, & nephews by Cheryl's

some of what was inside my birthday surprise

And then today, all of my art journaling supplies arrived. I had almost as much fun taking pictures of them, as I did opening the box and seeing what was inside.

art journaling supplies: scrap packs, ribbons, mounting squares, whole punch

art journaling supplies: cards & envelopes, stencils

art journaling supplies: multi-colored cardstock, cards & envelopes, stencils

These will be put to good use when I meet up with Valerie from CityLifeEats over Labor Day weekend for an afternoon of art journaling fun. It always feels like christmas when you get fun packages in the mail; maybe since it’s still august, I should really feel like my birthday has been extended a bit.

Have you gotten any surprises lately that have made it feel like an extended birthday or christmas in august? What have you done with those surprises?

*****

And for those of you interested, my challenge update: in the last 15 days, I’ve taken 9 yoga classes, I’ve taught a bunch of yoga classes, I spent time with friends and family, I rested and took care of myself. I haven’t come to my mat for a physical yoga practice every day for the last 15 days, but that’s because I’ve made choices. I chose to spend time with my friends and family and to rest when I was rundown. And these choices were probably more aligned with practicing yoga and being true to myself than had I come to my mat everyday. A fuller challenge update coming later this week. Thanks for all of the support… 7 days to go!

Today’s earthquake… my opportunity for self-care

Aug 23, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, self-care, Yoga  //  No Comments

DC was hit by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake today and I decided to turn it into an opportunity to take care of myself. It was kind of crazy. I was sitting at my computer at work, typing away, when all of a sudden everything started to shake. After a few minutes of shaking and trembling, the department leader was walking around saying, that we were all evacuating the building. And our department, the rest of the building, and what seemed like every building in downtown DC had been evacuated. After about 40 minutes outside, an announcement was made that the building was closed and we could re-enter to collect personal belongings. A quick stop inside to grab my vibrams and change into my yoga clothes (quite appropriate for my walk home) was followed by a 5ish mile walk home. Metro was running extreme delays and had more than over-crowded platforms at 3 PM, so walking seemed like the best thing to do on this beautiful DC day.

The walk home was incredible and seemed to be exactly what I needed today. The time outside helped me to clear my head and to relax, and my headache and any lingering body-aches seemed to disappear. The hills along the way resulted in some slightly tight calves, but they were well worth all the time I got to spend outside today. The walk has become part of a some much needed self-care. We tend to spend so much time taking care of everyone and everything else, that we forget that it’s equally important to take care of ourselves.

While I have discovered that coming to my mat is a great form of self-care, it isn’t always what I need. Today, I needed relaxation in a different form. The long walk was a great opportunity to be outside in the fresh air. And after settling in at home for a bit, I decided to use this as an opportunity to take care of myself further. I got a manicure and pedicure. A mani/pedi does for me what a massage does for others, it relaxes me and helps me to let go of tension, with an added perk of pretty finger and toe nails when it’s all done. After an awesome weekend of advanced teacher training and a day home in bed with a migraine yesterday, a little bit of self-care seemed to be exactly what I needed to help make me feel more like myself again.

We live such incredibly busy lives and there seems to be little to no opportunity for downtime (which has been more than true for me these last few months). We seem to always take care of everyone and everything else before we look to take care of ourselves. Finding or making the time to take care of ourselves opens the door for us to be better for everyone and everything else. By not running ourselves into the ground and making this time, we regain our vibrancy and positive energy. Lately, I’ve been finding it hard to find/make the time to take care of myself. Making myself a priority these last couple days (staying home yesterday; mani/pedi and walk home today) has definitely helped me to regain some of my positive energy. It’s too bad that it took an earthquake to help me make the time.

What’s your self-care regimen? When was the last time you made yourself a priority? If it wasn’t recently, I hope that you’ll be able to find/make the time for self-care soon and that, unlike me, you don’t need an earthquake, hurricane, or snowstorm to find/make it.

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About Lisa

Auntie to two adorable little boys and a beautiful little girl. Sister. Friend. Yogini. Yoga teacher. Accountant. Knitter. Amateur photographer. Very amateur golfer.

Where to Find Lisa

Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m.
Yoga 1 (1 hour)*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. Yoga On-the-Go*
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. Yoga 1*
Tranquil Space Arlington

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Tranquil Space Arlington and Dupont

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