5 useful questions to craft awesome self-care

August 7, 2017

Not sure where to begin with self-care? These 5 simple questions will help you create awesome self-care. Plus grab your seat for a free self-care course inside! >> www.christytending.com

 

The Tiny Little Self-Care Class

Warren-wong-275573

A free course for people who feel seriously burnt out—and need immediate relief.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

After bringing myself back from intense burnout ten years ago, I discovered that, unlike the myths I’d been sold, self-care is not a destination. It’s a journey. It’s an iterative process that we keep evolving. And it keeps evolving us in return.

While bubble baths and yoga are lovely, they alone do not create self-care.

(Ahem.)

I’ve actually found that my most powerful and important self-care tool and practice is one that’s not only totally free, but doesn’t require me to buy a thing. It’s one that I can employ any time, in any place, no matter what I’m doing or where I am in the world.

It never fails, and it grows with me.

What’s my self-care magic wand? Curiosity.

Getting into a headspace of receptivity, softness, and genuine curiosity is always the best way to create self-care on a moment-to-moment basis.

Why? Because self-care isn’t static. It’s never one thing. Different states require different care. Curiosity allows us to explore what we truly need, instead of becoming the dictators of our self-care. If you’re looking to create more self-care, I highly recommend developing this sense of playful experimentation.

Allow curiosity to be your guide. Allow the answers to come organically. You might be surprised. You might just learn something.

What is currently on your plate?

Developing awareness is the first step to creating more meaningful self-care. Noticing what’s on your plate can help point you toward what kind of self-care you need to create balance.

This information will also help to guide you in what’s possible in terms of self-care right now. It may also offer insight into what needs to shift in order for self-care or healing to be a greater part of your life.

What feels good?

Notice what takes your breath away. Become aware of moments where you experience wonder, pleasure, and relief. Those can point you in the direction of what self-care might look like for you.

Self-care doesn’t need to be a struggle or something that’s just good for you. It can be decadent or silly or feel-good sometimes. It’s okay to let loose and embrace what makes you feel awesome.

What do you want more of?

Is there anything missing right now? Pay attention to what you find yourself longing for or missing. People, experiences, places – all of this information can be a guide for what could support you well, if you were able to weave more of it into your life.

Begin to add more of these things in baby steps.  Offer yourself small tastes of self-care success, rather than heaping all of it onto your plate at once (and probably burning out on self-care, too). Experiment with little bites to make sure that this “more” is serving you well.

What do you want less of?

Where are the “shoulds” in your life? Are there places where more is actually too much? Be honest about what isn’t resonating, even if it once did. Even if you think it should feel rewarding and meaningful. Self-care is as much about creating boundaries and not-doing as it is about doing.

Sometimes, it’s not about adding pedicures, but about subtracting draining people or activities.

How do you want your everyday to feel?

In a perfect world, how would you feel moving through your life? What tone or quality would you embody? What’s needed to support that tone? Who supports you in feeling that way. When we begin to create this evolving self-care balance (a little more of this, a little less of that), it can be helpful to know the direction in which we’re pointing ourselves, ultimately.

What does that ideal everyday look and feel like? It may never actually become perfect, but aiming ourselves in that direction will certainly help us get closer.

 

The Tiny Little Self-Care Class

Warren-wong-275573

A free course for people who feel seriously burnt out—and need immediate relief.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Organized under Real Self-Care. No comments.

The Tiny Little Self-Care Class

July 17, 2017

 

Announcing: The Tiny Little Self-Care Class

A free course for people who feel seriously burned out—and need immediate relief.

[START THE CLASS]

 

The Tiny Little Self-Care Class- a free course for people who feel seriously burnt out and need immediate relief. Sign up for free here! >> www.christytending.com

“I feel so overwhelmed.”

That’s a phrase that I hear from nearly all of my clients—along with, “I’m completely exhausted,” “Once I put out one fire, there’s always another one to deal with,” “I’m barely holding it together,” “I’m so depleted,” and “I just don’t feel good.”

That’s why I created The Tiny Little Self-Care Class: a free course for people who feel seriously burned out—and need immediate relief.

In this class, you’ll find simple, realistic ideas on how to reduce stress and anxiety, reclaim time for the commitments that matter to you, feel calmer and stronger, and just… have a better day.

Busy parents, creative entrepreneurs, nurses, teachers, community organizers, activists, and world-changers… People who give, give, give, and do, do, do… this class is my gift for you.

 

[START THE CLASS]

 

— How to take the class —

Sign up here for the Tiny Little Self-Care Class and you’ll receive a series of 7 emails: 1 welcome note, 5 self-care ideas, and 1 farewell note with a few more ideas and resources.

Each email is comforting and uplifting, and includes an audio recording if you’d prefer to listen rather than read.

 

— No time pressure —

Once you sign up you’ll receive 7 emails over the course of 7 days. But you don’t have to read everything right away. You can keep these emails in your inbox and peek at them whenever you want. There’s no rush.

 

 

[START THE CLASS]

 

— About the creator of this class —

Hi, I’m Christy! I’m the creator of this website, and I’m thrilled to be your guide from burnout, numbness and overwhelm to effective, joyful, impactful change-making.
I became a social justice activist when I was still in high school. By the time I reached my mid-20s, I’d logged thousands of hours of organizing work across North and South America: rallies, fundraisers, marches, protests, and non-violence trainings (and yes, I’ve been arrested once or twice.)

It took a full-on physical/emotional breakdown at 24 to realize, “Oh. Right. I’m a human being with a human body, not a machine. I have to learn how to refill my own well… or I won’t be able to continue doing the work that matters to me.”

Today, I’m still a passionate climate justice and Indigenous rights activist—but I’m equally passionate about self-care. I write articles on self-care for places like Tiny Buddha, Elephant Journal, MindBodyGreen, and Annapurna Living, I speak on podcasts, I facilitate self-care trainings for non-profit groups and conferences, and I create classes to help people heal from burn-out, find their Sacred Focus, and feel vibrant and strong.

I hope that my newest class—The Tiny Little Self-Care Class—helps you to smile, exhale, and feel a bit lighter as you move about your day. Sign up here, and I’ll meet you in your inbox! Love, support, and relief is on the way…

Christy

 

The Tiny Little Self-Care Class

Warren-wong-275573

A free course for people who feel seriously burnt out—and need immediate relief.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Organized under Featured, Self-Care. none

The Power of Journaling – plus 10 prompts to get you started

July 10, 2017

Journaling is an incredibly powerful tool for self-care and self-knowledge. I haven’t always kept a journal. And often my “journaling” takes other forms than something that begins, “Dear Diary.” But it is an essential part of my self-care, my creative process, even my business. It’s how I begin every year and every new project. Journaling is part of how I connect with myself and my intuition.

Journaling is Powerful. Plus plus 10 journaling prompts to help you tap into your intuition and get you started! Find all 10 here! >> www.christytending.com

Journaling helps me tap into what’s going on right here, right now.

Journaling, for me, is first and foremost a mindfulness tool. It helps me connect with the present moment and be in the now, unapologetically. It helps me to know what’s going on with me in this moment here.

Even at my most frazzled or anxiety-filled, I’m able to connect with my inner state, once I start to put pen to paper. Instead of projecting into the past or future, I am able to see the present clearly. Journaling slows me down so that this can happen. Otherwise, sometimes I can wind up simply racing to the next moment without that check-in.

Journaling clears the cobwebs.

If I’m feeling stuck, unsure of what to say or what to do next, or if I’m unable to focus, journaling clears the cobwebs. Once I start that check-in I mentioned above, the brain fog seems to dissipate. It clears out the mental and emotional cobwebs. It leaves me feeling fresh and awake.

Much like taking some deep breaths, journaling gets the blood flowing and once I’ve begun, the rest seems to flow easily.

Journaling dissolves the overwhelm.

Journaling helps me to focus on one thing at a time. When I’m in that space, I can only do that one thing. It helps me to single-task and bring myself fully into the process.

Once I’m there, things feel solvable. In fact, I can chew over the same problem for days – and when I start to journal about it? The solution presents itself easily. If I’m overwhelmed with too many projects, tasks or thoughts, journaling helps to sort them out.

I actually use to-do lists as a form of journaling. Instead of trying to remember everything in my head, and stressing myself out, journaling gives me a place to put everything that’s on my mind. That way I don’t have to carry those thoughts around with me. They’re right there in my journal.

Journaling helps me to remember – my own wisdom, my most heartfelt beliefs, and what is most important.

Journaling is ultimately a way for me to engage with my highest self and my truest inner voice. It’s a way for me to be in touch with my intuition – and to remember the big picture. I’m able to clear the cobwebs and overwhelm of minutiae and to find myself again. Journaling isn’t about self-indulgence.

It’s an act of self-knowledge and self-care. Tending to the parts of myself that I might otherwise ignore or forget. Journaling is an act of remembrance again and again. No matter how long I’ve forgotten, journaling helps me to remember my inner wisdom.

Journaling is part of how I engage with self-care, beginning with a good check-in.

In order to bring my whole self more fully into my self-care, it helps to know where I stand. If I’m out of sorts, if I’m high energy, if I’m longing to create. Journaling helps to give me that information and insight on myself.

My journal is also a neutral and safe place to put my thoughts: to vent, to question, to dream. No pressure, no expectations. There’s no need to “fix” anything. It doesn’t get wrapped up in a neat bow. It’s just my way of knowing what the weather looks like in my own atmosphere.

10 self-care journal prompts to tap into your intuition. Get more free self-care resources right here! >> www.christytending.comWant to get started with journaling? Here are 10 prompts to get you started:

What do I know to be true in this moment?

Start with “I” statements and felt experiences.

What is happening in my body, right now?

Notice the sensations, experiences, memories, or patterns that are arising.

What will tomorrow look like?

In a perfect world, how would it go? Write it all in the affirmative and in the past tense – as though it has already happened.

What do I want more of in my life?

And what am I ready to let go of?

Who and what am I grateful for – and *why*?

What do I most want to say to someone?

Write that person a letter. It could be about them, or it could just be your way of connecting and sharing your heart with them. No need to send it, naturally.

What’s my high and low?

Your best moment and your toughest moment from today, this week, this year. Get in touch with and really feel both of those moments. Honor yourself in both your good and difficult times.

What questions am I facing right now?

Write out any decisions you have to make, anything you’re unsure of, and any questions you’re grappling with at the moment. You don’t need to answer them, just get them all out on paper and acknowledge the uncertainty with tenderness.

What does my intuition say?

About those big questions – or about any area of your life, really. What does that little voice inside say about it?

Organized under Intuition, Self-Care. none

Resilience Practice: Strength for a Stressful World

July 7, 2017

I believe, more than ever, that the world needs people who are deeply committed to building a more compassionate world.

But what do we do when the world breaks our hearts? When it all feels like too much? We practice not just healing, but resilience.

Resilience practice gives us the strength to face a stressful, uncertain world. Learn how to cultivate it and watch the video workshop here! >> www.christytending.com

Whether you’re facing that desire to create transformation and compassion on a global, macro level or on an individual, micro level, the answer is the same. In order to survive a world that sometimes breaks our hearts, the antidote is resilience.

To bend, rather than break. To weather the storm by planting our roots deep.

It is possible to face uncertainty, fear, and grief with full-heartedness.

Resilience practice helps us to do just that.

Burnout is borne of the individual and collective trauma of being told that we are not enough. It is ingrained from us early, and informs the way we approach every type of change-making and healing work.

I’ve felt burned out too many times to count.

Each time, it was because I was following those fear narratives, rather than the nourishment I knew I needed. Looking back, I can see the places where I ignored my heart and intuition in favor of striving to prove those narratives of not-worthy-enough wrong.

What I know now is that the world needs us at our very best. And that we are more creative, effective, and wholehearted in our missions when we are combining skillful action with wholeheartedness.

Cultivating resilience is not only how we model a more compassionate world, but how we build it.

Resilience Practice is a lush, immersive revolt against narratives of not-enough-ness.

You aren’t alone. And you can build a vibrant self-care practice to see you through the darkest moments.

 

Resilience Practice is now one of my Signature Workshops!

About Resilience Practice:

Inside the workshop, we’ll:

  • Uncover narratives that keep us afraid of our power, and how to flip the script.
  • Cultivate practices to support all dimensions of ourselves and our self-care.
  • Hone our intuition in order to take skillful, wholehearted action.

Included in your workshop tuition:

  • Link to the video workshop
  • Forever-access to the workshop recording (as both audio and video).
  • PDF copy of my workshop slides
  • Workbook to fill in during our workshop

Join me for Resilience Practice.

Investment: $10

Watch the workshop!

Organized under Activism, Featured. none

Sometimes Quitting is the Best Self-Care

July 6, 2017

Sometimes quitting is the best self-care. You don't have to stay in a rotten situation to make an impact. Learn how >> www.christytending.com

You know that old story about the guy who was hitting himself with a hammer:

“Why are you hitting yourself with a hammer?,” asks his friend.

“Because it feels so good when I stop.”

Good lord.

That’s a brutal story, but it cuts to the heart of what I think we do so often, as people who want to make a difference, want to make the world a better place, want to heal. We make ourselves small, hurt, less-than, all for the cause.

This is something that took me forever to learn, but I know to be incredibly true:

Sometimes Quitting is the Best Self-Care.

I’m not talking about flaking here. Quitting well has a nobility that ghosting lacks. When offered with integrity, quitting can be freedom, and it can be self-care, in its purest definition. It can lead to healing, sacred action, and deeper impact.

But all the same, I want you to know that sticking it out indefinitely, in a bad situation, is not what your life was meant to be.

I have two stories that prove this point.

  1. I got a job that I thought was my dream job. It actually was my dream job. But the specifics of being in the day-to-day reality of the job made it a not-great fit. I was crushed. I felt like I was doing good work and I was learning a lot. The work itself was varied, challenging and impactful.But being in the job itself, with its very specific constellation of characters, was… not good. I started having anxiety attacks, dreading going to work, and booking myself into windowless conference rooms to escape the reality of being at the office. It was a bad scene.

    The worst part? I knew I wasn’t being as effective as I could be, because I was going through the motions with a hearty mix of stress and indifference.

  2. I had a relationship with someone I cared for deeply. Except he didn’t care about me at all. AT ALL.It was this strange pendulum swing of “I love you/go away” that I held onto for more than two years.

    I really have nothing more to add to that than: YIKES.

 

Quitting isn’t easy.

In both of these situations, I resisted quitting. I wondered who I would be without the piece of my identity attached to each of these: job, relationship. I wondered if I would be just as miserable out on my own. It’s in my molecular makeup to stick it out, try to make it work, and muscle my way through to a solution that works.

But in both cases, quitting (with grace, with kindness, and with clear communication) was the healthiest, best thing I could have given myself. Often in work that’s geared toward healing and making change, we trick ourselves (or others trick us) into thinking that if we really cared, we’d put up with anything.

We’re bamboozled into thinking that making a difference needs to be hard. We think that if we quit one job, one project, one relationship, that we just don’t care enough. But I think it’s the opposite:

 

Quitting lets us devote ourselves to what truly matters to us.

It lets us find our real dream job. Our actual right-fit relationship. We find the place where we can truly dig in and make the positive impact we were meant to.

This is what my signature program, Sacred Focus, is all about. Saying no so that we can bring more of our phenomenal, precious attention to what truly matters. In that place, we amplify our impact and love our lives more.

 

Want to connect? Follow me on Insta!

Load More
Something is wrong. Response takes too long or there is JS error. Press Ctrl+Shift+J or Cmd+Shift+J on a Mac.

Organized under Sacred Focus, Self-Care. none

New self-care tips you may not have tried

June 26, 2017

Maternity leave has left me with a lot of time to think about self-care: what it means, what it looks like, and how it shifts over time. I am lucky, because I’m going into motherhood with a strong self-care foundation that I can draw on, even as my identity shifts dramatically, and as I’m going through a deep healing process. These self-care tips may offer you some of the insight I wish I’d had when I entered this process.

This is what I’ve been musing during long periods of rest and slow walks in the sun with my babe.

Behold: some new self-care tips (and lessons) you may not have tried before.

Brand-new self-care tips you may not have tried already. Fun self-care ideas to make your practice meaningful and healing. Plus explore the free self-care resource library! -- www.christytending.com

If self-love or self-care aren’t possible, try self-respect.

A few weeks ago, I wrote to my email list:

“In moments of overwhelm, we’re being clobbered with the message that we need to do it all – including offer ourselves aspirational self-care in every moment. The message goes something like: “We need to be doing it all, and anything less than that is not enough.”

This (surprise!) doesn’t actually reduce our overwhelm. In fact, it can make the self-care that we’re “supposed” to be giving ourselves feel far away.

This narrative was tough to shake when my self-care practice shifted to accommodate a new baby.

If I really cared, wouldn’t I be doing all the things?

As it turned out, no.

In this new season of my life, I’m discovering something else. This new companion is there when self-care can’t be. It is there in moments of not feeling like enough.

These days, I am practicing self-respect.

On a daily basis, I offer myself deep respect: for what I do, for what I have done, for what I give. Even on days when it feels like I didn’t do anything, I try to respect myself for what I did manage.

In your moments of overwhelm, I would like to invite you into a space of deep reverence for yourself. It’s decidedly less sexy than a manicure, and way less fun than a massage. It is tough, but important work.

It is also not easy to acknowledge our amazingness in a society that tells us we aren’t enough. But this act of sincere, reverent witnessing is powerful.

Self-respect honors all that you do, even when it doesn’t feel like enough. It is a permission slip to take up space. It is a reminder of our sincere efforts to make the world around us a little more kind – even when we don’t see results right away.

Today, I want to invite you to take just a moment to honor yourself and your efforts. It is not easy to show up in this world as a person who cares. I appreciate you for being willing to do that.”

Break it into the smallest pieces

Self-care doesn’t need to be time-consuming. It can be simple and brief, just so long as it’s intentional. Even just a few deep breaths might support you through your day. Taking baby steps is the key to awesome self-care.

In fact, I recommend against diving into a time-consuming complicated self-care practice when you’re first starting out. Go slow. Break it down into bite-sized pieces.

This will keep you out of a state of overwhelm, which will only discourage you from further self-care. And you’ll experience real success. Let this success build on itself slowly.

The fact is, self-care is a life-long practice. You can’t do it all in one day. So, proceed with gentleness and don’t add more to your plate than you can hand.

Three tips for making it a little more manageable:

  • Don’t try to do it all – and definitely don’t try to do it all at once

  • Claim the smallest “wins.”

  • Do those small things with great love and sincere attention.

     


Looking for more effective, doable self-care tips? Explore the Free Self-Care Resource Garden, and receive my weekly e-letter, full of resources, inspiration, and exclusive self-care tips and lessons from me.

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Joy – and self-care – are acts of insurrection.

Embracing our joy can be an act of outright defiance and resistance.

Those who would seek to oppress others want to create suffering. Yes, suffering is a natural part of life. But we do not need to succumb, necessarily. We can dance and sing and be unapologetically ourselves. In the face of a government that would seek to make those selves “less than” – to hold ourselves up in our beauty and our joy is a wildly optimistic, rebellious act.

“Joy doesn’t betray but sustains activism. And when you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated and isolated, joy is a fine initial act of insurrection.” – Rebecca Solnit

In Sacred Focus, I talk a lot about creating more of what you want, and less of what you don’t. Little by little, taking baby steps in the direction of what feels sacred to us. Joy does this on a subliminal level. It lights the way for us to create a new world.

Joy imagines the world in which we want to live.

Instead of only focusing on what we don’t want (which is important, too, but not the point of this post), we can take a more proactive approach. We can start building the world we want to live in by following where joy points us. It is a pre-figurative tool to create new models and a new world in which all people and beings are honored for who they are.

Intention orients us – and reorients us – toward our true north.

To make self-care meaningful, it needs to have intention behind it. Otherwise, we’re just going through the motions, adding more to our plates and following others’ “shoulds.” All of these defeat the purpose of self-care. Plus, when we’re in that place of “shoulds” or detachment, our self-care lacks resonance.

When we bring intention to our self-care – when we claim how we want to show up, even if only for a brief time – we create care that nourishes us. It heals us and brings us back to our true selves. Making self-care just another crappy thing on your to-do list? That takes you farther from yourself.

By aiming ourselves toward our highest intention, day after day or moment after moment, we keep ourselves aligned with what is meaningful, resonant, and true for us. When we’re in that spot, self-care is something we will be drawn back to, again and again.

Intention isn’t a goal. It’s about the tone and energy you want to embody. It’s how you show up and inhabit yourself and your life. Start there.


Looking for more effective, doable self-care tips? Explore the Free Self-Care Resource Garden, and receive my weekly e-letter, full of resources, inspiration, and exclusive self-care tips and lessons from me.

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Your intuition is magic.

You are incredibly wise. To a great extent, you already know what to do. Don’t be afraid to check in with yourself and your intention on a regular basis.

This self-knowledge is not only self-care in and of itself, but it may pave the way for your self-care to be truly your own. The times when I’ve felt regret have been when I didn’t follow my gut/heart/intuition – rarely to never do I feel that way when I listen to my inner voice.

Learning to trust and believe in the magic of your intuition is a beautiful way to experience self-care. It is, ultimately, compassion for and faith in yourself.

Try this:

Close your eyes right now, take some deep breaths and ask yourself this question: “What would feel good right now?” Listen to the answer, then try to offer yourself some of that.

The answer you receive may surprise you. You may learn something new about what your body, mind, and spirit are craving. But this inner voice is to believed and trusted. This is what it means to be an expert in yourself.

Which leads me to…

Figure out what is essential for you.

A shower every day is essential… For me.
For you, it might be something else. But whatever it is, find your non-negotiable self-care practice and make it happen.
It might sound obvious, but self-care should be incredibly personal. It should be customized to suit your needs. Self-care doesn’t need to impress anyone else. But it should fill your well. Which means that it’s different for everyone.
Part of what I teach in Sacred Focus is figuring out what’s essential, necessary, and sacred for you – so that you can do more of it. When you know what nourishes you, heals you, and brings you joy, you can act accordingly. But first, you need to know yourself well enough to say what that is.
It may not be what everyone else is doing, but I guarantee that it will make your self-care so much more effective.

Looking for more effective, doable self-care tips? Explore the Free Self-Care Resource Garden, and receive my weekly e-letter, full of resources, inspiration, and exclusive self-care tips and lessons from me.
Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Organized under Intuition, Real Self-Care, Self-Care. none

Even more amazing self-care books

June 19, 2017

One of my all-time most popular posts is my reading list of essential self-care books. You can find that post here. But since I devour books, I have a bunch more to add. Thus, even more amazing self-care books! This is what I’ve been loving lately – and I hope these inspire you too.

 

Even more amazing self-care books (part two in a series). Plus download the free self-care planner! >> www.christytending.com

 

 

 

Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice

Gorgeous, sumptuous, flavorful and classic recipes for every phase of the moon, the year, and your life. I loved the fat-making moon chapter, as well as the egg moon. This book is so lovely and has so many incredibly useful and nourishing recipes to form the backbone of your nutrition and well-being.

Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman

The second cookbook from my very favorite food blog. At the moment this blog goes live, this book is only available for pre-order. But trust me, if it’s half as amazing as her first cookbook, Deb has a real treat in store for us. Run, don’t walk.

Body of Work by Pamela Slim

I loved this book. As someone who is navigating multiple passions in a single life, I really appreciated this book’s approach to viewing one’s very life as a body of work. I also got a lot out of examining the through-lines of my work and purpose.

What are the things that tie it all together? What has each phase of my life had in common with the others? How can I incorporate all of my life’s experience to create something that is uniquely of me?

If you’re looking to make an impact, this book offers deep insight into how you can make a big impact in your own unique way.

The Woman’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden

A total classic, and one that I hadn’t read from cover to cover until last year. Loads of incredibly actionable and doable self-care practices, as well as good advice on how to incorporate self-care into your life. This was one of the books that jumpstarted the conversation about self-care for women, and it continues to shine a bright light.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

One of the very best books on trauma out there, and a bedrock of many trauma-informed programs these days. A good primer for understanding how trauma lives in us, not just on the emotional or mental level, but on the physical level as well.

 

Poetry:

In my first post on self-care books, I listed a number of poets I love. Those folks are modern classics, as far as I’m concerned. But poetry in the last couple of years has become even more interesting than ever, as far as I’m concerned. A number of new poets, many young women of color, have exploded in popularity, thanks, in part, to Instagram of all places.

Here’s what I’m reading right now:

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire

bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward

salt. by nayyirah waheed

 

Self-Care Books For New Moms:

The First 40 Days by by Heng Ou and Amely Greeven

My absolute favorite book on the postpartum period. The recipes are amazing (though I vegetarianized a number of them, in order to make them applicable for me). But the real heart of this book is it’s message: go slow in this tender, incredibly precious time in your and your baby’s life.

Let this be a time of turning inward. This is not just about birthing your baby, but yourself as a mother. Let this time be sweet and healing, as much as possible. Stay close to home and nurture yourself and your new little one.

Natural Health After Birth by Aviva Romm

More comprehensive than above, this book is full of super-practical advice on every dimension of the postpartum experience. I found this book particularly helpful on the subject of physical changes right after birth, as well as the section on postpartum mood. The chapter on the first year is also a necessary piece left out of most books on postpartum experience. The book does a lovely job of approaching every dimension of care and healing during this time: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, existential.

 

Organized under Sacred Circle, Summertime Series. none

How to create nourishing evening self-care rituals

June 5, 2017

Confession: I’m a worrier. I’m prone to anxiety and overthinking things. Like, a lot. So sleep hasn’t always been the easiest thing for me.  But I’ve developed some useful evening rituals that help me get more (and better) sleep.

Want to get better, more restful sleep. Start practicing these nourishing evening self-care rituals. I'll show you how. Plus, download your free self-care planner inside! >> www.christytending.com

Before we dive into my evening rituals, there are four principles I follow when it comes to getting deep rest and restorative sleep. I learned these during my restorative yoga teacher training, and apply them in my everyday life. These four qualities soothe our nervous systems so that we can begin powering down (and staying out of “high alert” status).

 

Still

Slow yourself down.

Practice gentler movement or even do a little seated meditation to begin winding down.

Practice rituals that are slow and steady.

Single-task, rather than multi-tasking.

Quiet

Turn down any music and make sure that sounds are soothing and soft.

Let conversations be hushed or quieter.

Turn off any phone notifications.

 

Dark

Turn down the lights.

Turn off any devices with glowing screens, or at least set them aside.

Draw the shades.

Light candles or otherwise embrace softer light.

While sleeping, get blackout curtains, if necessary, to create a dark environment.

Warm

Make sure that you’re nice and toasty.

Have a cup of tea.

Use a hot water bottle by your feet.

 

On an average night, here are some of my evening rituals:

  • By 8:30pm, I’m usually starting to wind down my day: tidying the house, feeding the cats and any other evening chores. The overhead lights are off and the shades are drawn at this point.
  • Turn off my screens, usually by 9pm. Phone goes on airplane mode and is tucked away. I close my computer for the evening.
  • I do a little bit of gentle yoga, often in bed or standing to the side of the bed.
  • I drink a cup of tea and get a hot water bottle settled by my feet (9 months out of the year).
  • While I’m drinking my tea, I usually read. Favorite bedtime reading is poetry, books on meditation or dharma, or New Yorker articles my sweetie has saved for me. I stay away from anything stressful at this point.
  • Right before sleep, I usually give myself a hand or foot massage with a little cream or body oil.
  • At a certain point, we say our goodnights and turn out the light. Once I’m settled in with the lights out, I usually do a little breathing practice to ease myself into sleep.

 

My evening rituals are incredibly important to my self-care

How I end my day is just as important to me as how I begin it.

By creating ritual and supporting my nervous system to transition out of the day (and my thinking mind) and into a restful state, I get better quality sleep and feel more vibrant as a result.

It’s not always perfect, but this kind of attentive ritual is the aim. Above, you’ll notice that there’s something for each of my senses, and that I’m bringing the principles of still, quiet, dark and warm in whenever possible.

Rest isn’t lazy. It’s an incredibly powerful time for self-healing.

While we rest, our bodies are repairing themselves on a cellular level. Our immune, lymph, digestive, and respiratory systems all enjoy a boost. Our minds are able to integrate all of the input we offer during the day.

In a literal sense, we are healing ourselves as we sleep.

Supporting our nervous systems to get the best rest possible is key to supporting ourselves with self-care.

Evening rituals are for pulling inward and soothing anything that ruffled me during the day.

 

Related:

Morning Rituals to Spark Self-Care

Self-Care for Highly-Sensitive People

18 Simple Meditation Tips

Organized under Real Self-Care, Sleep. none

On generosity (aka: *all* the free self-care resources)

May 23, 2017

I wrote a while back about what dana (generosity in the Pali language) means to me.

For me, it’s an essential ingredient to the work that I do. It’s an intrinsic part of how I do business, conduct my relationships, and offer service in the world. Without the spirit of generosity, our burnout is assured.

When we move from a place of giving wholeheartedly, we can offer ourselves in a way that is well-boundaried, yet completely enthusiastic.

On generosity (aka: *all* the free self-care resources). Explore the Free Resource Garden, a treasure trove of workbooks, audio practices, video workshops, and other goodies to empower you and help you feel more embodied in your self-care. >> www.christytending.com

 

That’s where the magic happens – and part of how we avoid burnout.

Today, I want to take a little time to walk you through my Free Resource Garden, a totally-free collection of self-care resources designed to empower, inspire and nourish you.

 

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

 

In case you haven’t strolled through the garden recently, here’s what’s there,
to help you bloom:

Planners and checklists

The Retreat Planner & Checklist shows you, step-by-step, how to create your own self-care retreat.

The Real Self-Care Planner has been downloaded 2,000+ times and used by people all over the world. Inside, create a practice from scratch, no matter how busy you are.

Workbooks

My workbooks, Crafting Your Life, Care for Every Moment, and Setting Intention, are all designed to help you make your self-care truly custom.

Listen

Enjoy mp3s to feel more embodied and empowered through breath and meditation.

There’s also a Spotify playlist, with some of my favorite music – my go-to playlist for unwinding at the end of the day or while I’m making dinner.

Read

The Liberatory Self-Care Manifesto was my first articulation of what I think self-care should be: custom, intuitive, feasible. There’s also a meditation toolkit, walking you through how to get started with a practice that feels engaged and compassionate.

*New*: video workshops, on demand

Since I’m taking a break from teaching my live workshops this summer, I’ve put some of my favorites inside the garden for you to enjoy on-demand.

You’ll now find videos for Introduction to Awesome Self-Care and Meditation for Self-Care, each about an hour long, inside the garden.

Other inspiring goodies

There are community practices, desktop wallpapers, and resource guides – plus more coming soon! These resources include the actual, real-life things that I’m reading, watching, listening to, loving, and feeling inspired by in my own practice.

The Free Resource Garden beckons you.

This is how I incorporate generosity into my work: by giving away as much as possible for free. By delivering value and a clear sense of what it’s like to work with me – before you pay a dime.

This is part what justice looks like in my work. These resources are available to all.

Of course, this work is also how I support my family. But I always begin with this:

How can I give as generously as possible? What does wholehearted giving look like?

I move into the world from the answers that come. And I’ll say: it feels pretty good.

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Organized under Activism, Collective Care, Self-Care. none

Ariane Hunter: Collective Care Interview Series

May 17, 2017

Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. Most often, these folks are working at the intersection of creative, healing, and/or activist work.

I’m in love with the idea of amplifying the work (and self-care practices) of people who are building a more compassionate world. In this series, I get to chat with people who inspire me like whoa.

Today we get to meet Ariane Hunter!

Ariane Hunter on refilling her creative cup and never leaving each other behind.. Read the Collective Care interview! >> www.christytending.com

Ariane, take it away…

How are you changing the world?

(What is your change-making, healing, and/or creative work? This might be paid, unpaid or a combination.)

Wow, I’m not used to being on the receiving end of these beautiful, yet hugely thought provoking questions – haha! Well, lets see, here goes. I believe that I am changing the world by reminding women of their power, their brilliance, their ideas, their voices, of their leadership to effect positive change in the world and be the steward of their own lives. I want to see a world where women are no longer shrinking, silencing their voices, or hiding behind their greatness.

I believe my assignment in this world is to empower women through their professional lives. It is an area that for so long women have been trailing behind in due to paradigms we have been living under and through our own tendency to play small when it comes to fully embodying our own leadership. I think we need this kind of leadership in todays world, especially now when there is so much at stake. So if I can have just one conversation that is meaningful and changes the way she sees herself and the world, that is a victory in my book towards creating change.

What challenges your heart in that journey?

Sometimes the work feels really big. When you’re so committed to a big idea that you spend everyday trying to move the needle, it can make you susceptible to frustration or doubt that it’s actually working or making a difference. 

What inspires you to keep going?

Seeing women make amazing breakthroughs in their lives and work. It is really inspiring to me and reminds me of why I got into this work in the first place. It pushes me to keep raising my own bar and daring to dream big. Also, the women in my family and within my circle inspire me. I gain so much wisdom and knowledge from them that it fuels my own journey.

How do you support yourself or tend to yourself and your heart in that process?

What nourishes and replenishes you?

This year I started, taking “me-day’s” once a week to refill my creative cup. It’s my time to read a book, do a vigorous workout, wander aimlessly taking in the sights and sounds of my neighborhood, or treat myself to a massage. The point is, it’s my day to slow down, unplug and give myself permission to create and be inspired.

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

I have the best group of girlfriends around and we often get together to have deep, soul nourishing conversations where we can talk about anything from our latest project, challenges we’re facing, or even spirituality at work in our lives. No matter the topic we create a connected space to just be. I don’t know about them but I come away feeling recharged and so expansive.

What’s your best piece of advice you have for people who want to make a difference?

Know that whatever you decide to do in your life and in your work has the power and potential to make a difference. You can make a difference in how we talk to each other, by how we listen, how we do business, how we build and create things. In everything we do, we are a model or a teacher for those around us so as cliché as it sounds, we must be the change we seek in the world. It starts with you.

Paint us a picture of the more compassionate world and future you imagine.

I imagine a world where no matter how far we come and the successes we have along the way, we are always reaching back to help those who are coming up behind us. As we work to change the world, we are paving the way for those generations to come so it is part of our duty as leaders to never leave each other behind. We must find ways to support and help the next woman attain her dreams so she can also make a difference and so on and so forth.

About Ariane:

Ariane Hunter is the career whisperer for career conscious women. She charted her own unconventional career path and helps others to successfully design their own using a blend of modern advice and unconventional wisdom.

How to connect:

You can connect with her via Project She Went For Her Dreams, share her musings on Instagram or follow her on Twitter.

Related:

You can find all of the Collective Care interviews right here!

Post: What is Collective Care?

Organized under Collective Care. none