Happy Self Care Sunday, my lovely Lilies,
I hope you’re all doing well today. And I hope you’re following along with my Self-Care Sunday challenge!
The photo of the smiling tree is one that I treasure. I took it back in 2007 when my husband and I were looking for our first house. We’d been living in a very run-down rental property, raising our kids and saving our nickels and dimes (well, as much as you can when you raise four kids on less than $400 a week) and had finally decided it was time to buy a home.
The house wasn’t listed anywhere. I’d just been out driving and happened to see a ‘for sale’ sign near the driveway, so I turned in to see what was there. The driveway was very long and winding and mostly mud and potholes, but the property was so pretty! There was a creek meandering through the front yard and as I got closer I could see through the trees this beautiful, yellow house with white shutters and flower beds and what looked to be part of a circular drive. As I pulled in to park, this dogwood tree was looking straight at me. I mean, seriously, just look at her! She was standing there in the cold March air with this smile on her face as if to say “Welcome home, friend.” I knew then and there that this was my house.
The year we bought her, I spent a full summer, from sun up to well beyond sundown, planting flowers and arranging yard decòr. I mowed grass, used a weed eater, got on my hands and knees, and slopped concrete from a bucket, by hand (something I do NOT recommend). What I noticed wasn’t that I was just totally in love with my house but rather that I loved being outside.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been an outdoorsy kinda gal, but there was something magical happening that year that changed me in my spirit. I was much happier, not nearly as moody, and much gentler with my family and friends.
So, there’s this thing called “earthing” or “grounding”. I’d never heard of it until 2008 when I started researching why being out in my yard made me feel so good. I mean, I was working my ass off and came inside dirty and tired but still, I felt emotionally and mentally fan-freakin-tastic!
As it turns out, according to Healthline.com, the practice of earthing means:
“a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth. This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can have positive effects on your body.”
Now, I wasn’t walking around barefoot or digging my toes in the mud but I was spending a lot of time with my hands in the dirt and planting things, and I truly believe that the sensation of working in the soil helped re-ground me in a way I really cannot explain. I slept better, I didn’t smoke as much, I was energetic and really, really happy!
So what does this have to do with the hazy days of winter and the self-care challenge?
I believe that there comes a point in the winter, usually between the end of January and the middle of March – depending where on the planet you are – that our bodies just hit a brick wall of emotional ankst. We get more tired, more depressed, find ourselves drifting away from routine, maybe even isolating. And with the pandemic in full swing and social distancing a vital way of controling it, this year has been worse for me than most. I’m used to being alone as I spend the majority of my days that way, but for some reason, being alone by choice isn’t nearly as depressing as being alone due to health risks or a forced situation. We need sunshine and fresh air and a connection to something and if it can’t be people, then why not mother earth?
So, for today here is my challenge to you:
Get outside and move! Get some sunshine! Go for a walk, even if its just thirty minutes. Stand in the sunshine and let it shine down on your face. Reach down and pick up leaves or, if you’d rather, clean up a trashy area near where you live. Let your hands get dirty. Let your feet feel the ground beneath them (though wintertime isn’t the best time to be barefooted) – but in some way, find a way to reconnect with mother earth. And then, start incorporating it into your every day. How? Here are some ideas:
- Open the curtains in your house that get the most sunlight and sit in front of them
- Start a potted garden on a patio or terrace. Just getting your hands into some dirt can help so much!
- Take a pet for a walk and if you don’t have a pet, volunteer to take a neighbors
- Volunteer to help clean up a neighbor’s yard or porch or adopt-a-block through your city or town’s program
- Visit a park
However you do it, just do it. And then, come back here and let me know how you feel afterwards in the comments!
Happy Self Care Sunday, Lillies!