If you’ve been reading along on this journey with me for a while, I’m sure you know I’ve usually been pretty good at taking care of myself. Even when I was working full-time in a place of stability, I always had the right combination of structure and flexibility to work from home, prep healthy meals, exercise, or make space for impromptu socializing. After becoming a traveling and/or part-time yoga teacher, the self-care opportunities were even more prevalent. I’ve grown accustomed to making my own schedule and taking advantage of all those free yoga classes that you get for being a teacher. Of course, there’s a fine line to toe when your passion is also your job. Sometimes teaching three or four classes a day feels like enough yoga for you—and it often is! Sometimes there isn’t any time to prep that meal, so you’re on your own with takeout options. Sometimes you over-schedule yourself and realize that your body is a machine that needs oiling just as much as any other.
This summer, I’ve been pushing that tool to the max. I’ve wanted to work as much as I can to make sure that I can support a big move to another expensive city. Since most of my work is on my feet, I’m realizing that all the hours can take a toll on my feet, my back, and my neck and shoulders. Most nights I come home exhausted at 11:30 and take thirty minutes to wind down on my phone or with a book before I can fall asleep. Some nights I throw in some yoga stretches. Then it’s up early again to reach or work at the gym and I have only a couple hours free for lunch before going back to the restaurant. It’s been a big change from all those hours in LA spent sitting on my butt in traffic! Or when I was getting to take multiple yoga classes a day as part of my advanced teaching certification!
I’m still feeling lucky here. I get to take all the yoga and workout classes I want (and have time for), plus free adjustments from the chiropractor at the gym when he’s on duty. I can order veggies and protein from the restaurant, so it’s ok if I don’t have time to cook. And I’m living rent-free with mom. Hallelujah! Count your blessings!
But this week, as the tourist-season business dies off, I’ve finally had the opportunity to slow things down and repair my body. I left the island for the first time in weeks for a podiatrist appointment to work on a foot problem that’s been bugging me for three years. I got an impromptu massage which felt AMAZING. You know when you get a massage therapist who just intuitively knows which areas need attention and goes right for them? What a gift! Afterwards, I stopped by the natural foods store and picked up some treats I’ve never tried before and some old favorites.
On Tuesday, I got to work a little bit early and took a breezy walk around the lighthouse. I even saw a surprise pug, which is always a good omen in my book!
Over the weekend, I bought a foam surfboard from the end-of-season sale, and I’ve been pushing myself to get out and work on my “skills”. The first try on my own didn’t go so well, but I saw so many families of dolphins swimming by that it didn’t matter if I fell down in the waves. It still was a truly unbelievable morning on the water!
And I’m pretty sure that ice cream is allowed to be a part of any self-care practice. On Sunday, we slipped into the best place right before they shut their doors for the season.
What are you doing to take care of your body and soul these days? It becomes especially important to check in and set intentions for our health as we prepare ourselves for the change of seasons. I’m thankful to have the space to do so.