With Juneteenth now a federal holiday, people are beginning to discuss and understand that the Freedom we celebrate on the 4th of July, was not originally Freedom for everybody. I desperately want our pledge of allegiance to be true, for us to be “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Unfortunately we still have a long road ahead with a lot of work to do because our nation is deeply divided in many ways. Over the last year, we have seen a lot of demands for change and for a better nation for us all. We’ve seen calls for truth, transparency and healing. We have also seen a lot of pushback, hate and fear.
Our theme this month is Recharge because that is what so many of us truly need at this moment. Not because we are stopping, but because we need to harness our power for the work that continues and lies ahead of us. I believe that until we are all free, none of us are truly free. When I think about what it means to recharge, I think about restoring ourselves by connecting with another source of energy. While a lot of folks are gearing up to go outside, this year I will be staying in to rest and recharge. Here are some ways you can recharge this 4th of July.
Rest - This year, the 4th of July falls on a Sunday and with no need to be anywhere early, I plan on sleeping in that day. There is a lot of really great research and information on the power of good rest and I am often guilty of not getting the hours of rest we all need. There are so many good things that happen for our body and mind when we sleep. I’m a huge fan of the Nap Ministry and want to join them in “examining the liberating power of naps.”
- Take a nap, just because you deserve rest and that is reason enough.
- If sound helps soothe you, create a playlist that will help set the scene before bed. Select sounds that are calming and will help carry you into dreamland.
- Create a bedtime routine that helps you wind down. Reading, stretching, and meditating are all things you can do to wind down and help yourself get into a relaxed state of mind before you lay down to rest.
Restorative Yoga - We recently talked about trends in NYC and one of the things I took away from that was a return to restorative. As I’ve started to move a little slower through poses or linger in them longer, I’ve noticed a deepening of my practice that I really enjoy. Be kind to your body and allow yourself to linger, and hold and deepen.
- Go and Do - Find a local studio that offers a restorative class to help switch it up or find an online restorative class you can attend at home.
Gather With Friends - Some of us recharge by seeing our people and social support is a vital part of maintaining good mental health. Having a community helps prevent loneliness, increase your happiness, improve your self-confidence, and encourages you to be your best self. The people you choose to surround yourself with have a major impact on the way you view yourself and your future.
- Make a list of the friends that make you smile just thinking about them.
- Set up a friend date to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while - go for a walk, take a yoga class or meet up in the park for a chat.
- Need new friends? Sign up for a class for your favorite hobby or something new you want to learn to meet new people.
Essential Oils - Essential Oils can be used in many different ways. Each essential oil has unique properties that can benefit the mind, body and spirit. Scents have a powerful way of connecting and reminding us of different times, places and experiences. Take some time to play with different oils and blends to find the one that speaks to you the most.
- Find some different essential oils that speak to you and that will go well together.
- Mix together into a roller or spray that you can carry with you.
- Bonus - If you have some small crystals, you can add them to infuse into the mix.
Breathwork - Breathwork is a simple technique to move you from out of balance in a state of ease with more energy, awareness and joy for life. Breathwork is a great way to regulate your emotions, soothe, and calm yourself and is a great great tool to have in your toolkit.
- Square Breath: Breathe in for seven seconds. Hold for four seconds, breathe out for eight seconds, and hold for three seconds. This type of breathing will bring you back into the moment instantly while also supporting your nervous system.
- Belly Breathing: As you breathe slowly in and out, imagine your breath filling your belly. Watch it rise and fall.
- Visualization Breath: As you breathe in, imagine a bright white light expanding around your body. With each breath, imagine the light expanding and getting brighter.
Color Therapy - Color Therapy uses colors and shades to bring balance and wellbeing. Color therapy uses the energy of each shade to boost your mental and physical wellbeing. Colors can bring you into flow, boost creativity and create a state of contentment and calm. Color is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, and influence mood.
- Set aside 10 minute with you and grab your art supplies. Begin to draw whatever feels right and use only bright and uplifting colors.
- Bring colors strategically into your home. Bright, warm and uplifting colors promote a good mood and positivity.
- Buy yourself some flowers in your favorite color.