Being an organic farmer or gardener doesn’t automatically make you the healthiest person you know.
Nor does it mean you can skip self-care.
I know—I’ve spent years growing organic food, spending my days outside and eating well. Despite this, I’ve still dealt with loads of stress, anxiety, exhaustion, strained muscles and a hurt back.
Before I became a mom and business owner (which happened at roughly the same time), I didn’t strategize my self-care—it was built into my life. For me, taking care of myself was so much easier before I took on the responsibilities of mothering and running a business.
I’ve come to believe that the more responsibilities you have, the more important it is that you take care of yourself.
Small Changes = Big Impacts
Talking about self-care can bring up big goals to radically change your life. I’m finally going to do yoga everyday! Or: I’m actually going to give up sugar this year, starting today!
Don’t do this.
Going big can bring a lot of excitement, but sudden big shifts can also lead to overwhelm, which can lead to resistance, which can lead to giving up, which can lead to feelings of failure. Which is not good for your self-care.
Instead, make small changes.
By all means, start doing yoga or phasing out sugar if that’s what feels right to you. Just be gentle, and have compassion for yourself on days that don’t go according to plan.
3 Easy Ways to Implement Self-Care
1. Morning Quiet Time
Start your day quiet. Meditate, write, drink tea, go for a walk. Whatever your quiet is, let your phone and computer keep sleeping while you gently wake.
Let this be a way to ground yourself each morning.
To notice the small, beautiful things: birdsong, how your dog smiles and thumps her tail when you wake up, the way a moment slows down when you breathe deeply.
Whether you work outside in the field or inside at a desk, stretching can help you feel good in your body.
Start off with 5 – 10 minutes of stretching in the morning and evening. If you sit at a desk most of the day, set a timer and stand up to stretch every hour.
As a farmer, this simple practice reminds me to take care of my body and to move mindfully.
3. Weekly Baths
While showers can be calming, there’s nothing that can beat a soak in the tub.
Make your bath extra rejuvenating by adding epsom salt and essential oils. Epsom salt soothes sore muscles and relaxes the body. Essential oils add a lovely scent and carry their own healing properties, too.
My favorite bath time essential oils are lavender and frankincense, both of which promote relaxation.
Before moving into our farmhouse, we lived in a yurt for 5 years. Yurts don’t have much room for bathtubs. If you don’t have a tub (whether or not you live in a yurt) you can get the benefits of essential oils with a few drops in your shower, on a hot washcloth, or by diffusing them in the air.
At the heart of it, self-care is about tending to your body, mind, and spirit the same way you tend to your garden.
Think of yourself as a seedling. You know a plant that is cared for well will produce the most bountiful harvest. Give yourself the same benefit through a simple self-care routine, and you’ll grow bountifully, too.
There are so many ways to give yourself some care. What’s your favorite self-care method? Let me know in the comments below.