When the sun is shining so is my mood - I'm outside, drinking water, inspired, motivated, and *easier to rise (*my shop opens at 10am, it's no secret I'm not a morning person in general!). But still, come November it hits me like a ton of bricks; I'm sleepy, slow moving, less motivated; cold/wind/rain, sundown feels like it's in the middle of the day, my balanced diet is a stranger, and don't even get me started on my eating habits around the holidays!
The symptoms listed above describe a seasonal disorder called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). In short, it is depression-like symptoms that occur during a certain time or season of the year. Going through this cycle starts to build habits and acceptance, and for some professionals in the healing industry, a loss of business.
Here we are in January and Oregon, like many other locations, is still several months away from seeing those mood boosting, vitamin D wearing months. So what can we do to combat this affect to ensure our minds, bodies and businesses stay balanced and healthy? Let's start here --> In an article titled "Planting a Mental Garden" Thich Nhat Hanh provides us a foundational perspective:
"In each one of us there are flowers and there is also garbage. The garbage is the anger, fear, discrimination, and jealousy within us. If you water the garbage, you will strengthen the negative seeds. If you water the flowers of compassion, understanding, and love, you will strengthen the positive seeds. What you grow is up to you. If you don’t know how to practice selective watering in your own garden, then you won’t have enough wisdom to help water the flowers in the garden of your beloved. In cultivating your own garden well, you also help to cultivate her or his garden. Even a week of practice can make a big difference. You are more than intelligent enough to do the work. You need to take your situation in hand and not allow it to get out of control. You can do it. Every time you practice walking mindfully, investing your mind and body in every step, you are taking your situation in hand. Every time you breathe in and know you are breathing in, every time you breathe out and smile to your out-breath, you are yourself, you are your own master, and you are the gardener in your own garden."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Exactly! "What you grow is up to you", and if you are not supporting and growing your own garden, you will not have the tools to cultivate growth in others - your partner, your business, your clients. Our business as Massage Therapists is based on cultivating healing and peace for others. Your business and your clients will be grateful when you begin from within!
Cultivation in 3 parts - check it out.
01 - Invest in your body
Hydration: If drinking water is difficult for you, as it is for me, I love working in at least 1 mug of tea a day to mix things up. Ensure you have water for your clients after every treatment.
Sleep: Consider a simple 5min evening routine to prepare your mind for rest. You may also try incorporating non habit forming sleep aides like our natural essential oil spray Insomni Sleep. I love to spray this on my pillows morning and night.
Consistent Movement: Incorporate something, everyday - if I'm not seeing time for it, I put it in my workday - quick walk to the post office, 5 times around the shop as I'm taking inventory, park further from the entry point of stores.
02 - Invest in your mind
Dialog with Others: Have coffee with a friend or mentor, get to work 5min early to hold a quick conversation with your coworkers, learn a language from a simple free app like Duolingo that keeps you talking an engaged.
Space for Self Reflection: Start a gratitude journal to look back at the blessings of your day, try a journaling initiative like Julie Cameron's Morning Pages. Add in a simple meditation or yoga practice throughout your week.
New Perspectives: Check out new books, audio books and online videos from amazing folks like Brene Brown and Marie Forleo to create some mindful thoughts and inspiration. Sage Linskey, a Eugene author wrote The Happiest Choice a guide that offers traditional and alternative techniques for coping with forms of mental suffering.
03 - Walk Mindfully
Give Back: Get involved - how can you use your professional skills within your community to connect and grow?
Learn, Education & Share: Keep educating yourself on new techniques, new businesses concepts, local and national events and initiatives. Share with your friends, family, and clients these tidbits of knowledge!
Be Mindful: Mindfully create a treatment space that supports your professional vision and allows for the power of healing to take place. Be mindful about your clients needs with the treatment, maybe it's silence, maybe it's guided breathing, maybe it's a safe space to relax.
By taking your situation in hand, you will create an open door to a healthy mind, body, and business!
"... Every time you practice walking mindfully, investing your mind and body in every step, you are taking your situation in hand ..." - Thich Nhat Hanh