| Code Crew
While some cities roll back their stay-at-home orders, others are extending them. In LA county, we’re looking at another few months of isolation, which means it’s time for us to put our focus on the things we CAN control. We may not be able to change our present circumstances, but we can take responsibility for our response!
Before we dive in to some of our favorite nurturing practices for self-care and positivity, let’s all remind ourselves which things are in our control and which things are not. (Trust us — We’re making this list for us as much as we are for our readers!)
Print this out and put it by your bed, desk, or wherever you spend the most time. If you find yourself stressed, refer to these lists and try to transform your thought process.
Once we are able to distinguish between what's in our control and what isn't, we can shift our energy to improving the things we have actually power over.
This brings us to some of our favorite rituals to increase positivity, hopefulness, and gratitude. Implement some of the following practices into your day-to-day and watch your mindset transform!
5 Practices to Elevate Your Mood and Boost Positivity
If you thought body massages were a couples activity, think again!
Self-massage, known as Abhyanga, is a popular practice in Ayurveda. This powerful ritual is known to decrease stress and anxiety, calm frazzled nerves, promote healthy circulation, and encourage lymphatic drainage.
Here’s how Abhyanga works its magic:
The heaviness of the oil on the skin promotes a feeling of groundedness and balance. It’s also believed to provide a protective barrier on the skin that defends against outside pathogens.
Ayurveda recommends choosing your oil based on your dominant dosha. (Not sure which dosha you are? Click here to find out!)
- For dry skin (vata): Opt for a warm oil with a heavier consistency. Sesame, almond, and avocado oil are all great options that are easy to find.
- For sensitive skin (pitta): You’ll be best off with a cooling, neutral oil such as olive, sunflower, or coconut. You may also consider using ghee.
- For oily skin (kapha): Try a stimulating oil like mustard oil or keep it light with flaxseed, canola, or safflower.
HOW TO: Warm 1/4-1/2 cup of oil and add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil. (Essential oils are optional but will create a more relaxing, aromatic experience!)
Starting with your legs, rub the oil into the skin just like lotion. Use long strokes on your legs and arms and circular movements on your joints. Move all the way up your body toward the direction of your heart. Take your time and focus on tight knots, extra dry spots, and commonly overlooked body parts like the bottom of your feet and ears.
Once you’ve applied the oil, wrap your body in an old towel or bathrobe and let it soak into your skin for at least 20 minutes. (Pro Tip: This is a great time to roll out your mat and settle into a yoga nidra or guided meditation.) When the 20 minutes are up, hop in the shower and rinse off!
- Get Moving.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s super important so listen up! Exercise not only plays a key role in stress reduction, it also boosts immune function.
If you’re missing your group exercise class routine, it’s possible to still get a hint of that community vibe by taking live classes online. We know, we know — It’s not the same… but if you team up with a group of friends and take class at the same time, it might help.
It’s easy to find free online workout classes online, but consider supporting a local business in your area that’s been affected by COVID. Spend a little time looking up your favorite instructors and neighborhood studios to see if they’re offering livestream classes!
- Soak Up Some Sun.
In addition to being great for our mood, did you know that vitamin D also has the power to boost your immunity?
Fortunately for those of us living in sunny California, we can get our fill of vitamin D simply by walking out our front doors... But don't forget that the weather doesn’t have to include summer temperatures and perfectly clear skies for you to soak in some sun. The UV rays that offer doses of vitamin D can even make their way through clouds!
So whether it’s sundress weather or you need to bundle up, do your best to get outside. Go for a hike, bike to the grocery store, walk around your neighborhood, or read in the park. Just be sure to follow your local regulations and maintain the proper distance from others!
- Give Yourself Permission to Rest.
This one is easier said than done, but there was never a more opportune time to just chill. out.
When was the last time you had a clear social calendar and you could sleep in, stay in your comfiest clothes all day, and just do whatever felt truest to you in that moment? For many of us, it’s been a hot minute.
Here’s our challenge to you:
Choose a day this weekend to turn off your alarm, table your to-do list, and let yourself be fully present in your home. Tune inward to what you need in each moment, do only the activities that are calling you, and revel in this opportunity to practice self-love and follow your own desire above everything else.
- Get Creative in the Kitchen.
We’re not even going to tell what you should be cooking, but rather how you should be cooking. Now is the perfect opportunity to dedicate more time and energy to preparing your meals!
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Buy produce, spices, and other ingredients you’ve never used in your cooking before.
Try making a recipe that intimidates you. (Psst — We have some delicious ones in our eBook!)
Meal prep for the week to make sure you stay properly nourished.
FaceTime a friend while you make the same meal.
Try your hand at fermentation, dehydration, or other techniques you’ve never learned.
Above all, pour your love into everything you make and always lead with the question, “Will this nourish me?” If the answer is yes, you’re always on the right track.
Thank you for protecting yourselves and others during this unprecedented time. And, as always, thank you for inviting us to walk alongside you on your wellness journey. It’s our honor to support you!
In health and healing,
The OWL Fam