After having a couple of dizzy spells and near fainting incidents over the last weekend I have been advised to slow down and take a couple of days off from teaching. So over the next couple of days I am focusing on self-care and spending time seeking out life's simple pleasures that keep me calm and happy. 

We spend so much of our lives running around chasing dreams, goals, the next workout, projects at work & social events with friends that self-care is often kicked off the to do list.

When was the last time you took time out and did something for yourself?

Read a book that wasn't work related? 

Made a ritual out of shower/bath time? 

Took 10 or 20 minutes to sit still and do nothing, just be?  

Fully disconnected? 

 

I know for me personally I can easily get caught up in the daily noise and not dedicate time to self-care and it usually isn't until I get a warning sign from my body (like this weekend) that I stop and give myself a much needed break. 

Now in my 3rd Trimester and the final months before the baby arrives, time for self-care is more important than ever. I know that once the baby arrives the idea of reading a book for pleasure, or taking a soak in the bath will be a distant memory. So I am carving out time to do the simple things. The things that don't go on our to do lists, but probably should to keep us all balanced.

 

P R E G N A N C Y    S E L F - C A R E    L I S T : 

{ 1 } Read For Pleasure - I have collected so many pregnancy related books over the past few months. But what I really need right now is to read for pleasure. My newest non-baby related book is 'The Zookeepers Wife' which I am thoroughly enjoying. 

{ 2 } Make Bathing A Ritual - I actually tend to lean more towards showers especially as I seem to overheat in baths now I'm pregnant. Bust just because it is a shower doesn't mean it can't become a relaxing ritual. I have been treating myself to some safe,  non-toxic body polish and body oil products which leave me feeling like I have just stepped out of a spa. I love the Herbivore Botanicals body range especially their Coco Rose Body Polish made with Coconut Oil and their Jasmine infused Body Oil. Massaging body oil into your bump and surrounding areas helps to keep the skin hydrated which can help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. 

{ 3 } Make Time For Tea - Back home in the UK we like to say 'a cup of tea solves all problems'. A cup of tea might not change the world but it definitely has a soothing, calming power. Peppermint and Camomile teas have been my go to's recently which help to settle my tummy and calm me down before bed. 

{ 4 } Get Out Into Nature - Stepping out into the great outdoors can do wonders for our personal wellbeing. Grounding yourself with the earth and exposing yourself to the natural elements is one of the best remedies for stress. Even if you live in a city stepping outside and strolling to a local park in your own urban playground can cause a shift in how you are feeling. In San Francisco we are fortunate enough to have lots of coastal hikes within the city. I love nothing more than taking a stroll down by the ocean. 

{ 5 } Meditate - We take time to train our hearts & bodies but we often don't dedicate time to training our most powerful tool, our brains. Meditation is something I have been practicing on and off for a couple of years now. I love the Headspace app which is simple to use and helps you to build up your meditation practice from 10 minutes in length and up. 

{ 6 } Make Contact - Monthly deep tissue massages have been one of the best self-care treats I have given to myself over the last year. I used to hold off on booking a massage feeling like I couldn't justify the cost, that it was a luxury and selfish to do regularly. But my body needs regular massages to help alleviate a build up of muscular tension I get from teaching classes. I would much rather forego something else to be able to have a massage, as I know I am truly rewarding my body. I have continued with my regular massages through pregnancy with a couple adjustments, shorter sessions and side lying. Pre-natal massage has many benefits for mom to be and baby. Not only does the massage help to improve circulation which can become sluggish during pregnancy. It can also help alleviate joint and lower back pain and even helps to stimulate the baby. My favorite place to go to for massage is Zazen in SF. 

{ 7 } Unplug For An Hour (or 2) - This one is surprisingly challenging for me and I am trying to make a daily conscious effort to disconnect from social media and my phone and spend my evenings truly connecting with my husband. Recently more research has come out about how our smartphones can affect our stress levels. We live in a world where the expectations are higher than ever to be available at all times - to call, chat and email. This leaves us in a constant state of hyper-vigilance where we feel we constantly need to check our phones. This cycle as a result keeps our adrenals constantly activated and our cortisol levels elevated which can, over time lead to adrenal fatigue. 

{ 8 } Self-Care Is Not Selfish Its Self-Respect - Do at least one thing today that makes you happy.