Category Archives: Self Care

Take A Rest, Leave Your Stress

As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, why not be kind to your body and mind, and invite a little more rest into your days?

A few weeks ago, I shared these pictures in my Instagram stories as part of a “5 days of rest” challenge, but I’ve been getting some requests to share them in post form, and so here you go! (Click on a picture to see it larger.)

Continue reading

Peace of Mind & Peace of Nose

Lately, I’ve been meeting a lot of people who have been feeling really overwhelmed lately and are looking for some balance and stress relief, and also people who are bothered by the thick blanket of pollen that has been assaulting us here in north Florida recently. Since these issues might be overlapping, I thought I’d offer some ideas/tips for both.

Image of peaceful meditating nose

Sleep: Check out these tips for getting a good night’s sleep
Move your body: take a walk around the block or get down on the floor to do a little stretching and rolling around (Bonus–if you have dogs or cats, they will love this, and both of you will perk up from all the attention!)
Take a look at your recent eating and drinking habits: try to eat more fiber and vegetables (try roasting them for extra deliciousness) and drinking a little more water, and limiting processed foods and sodas/alcohol
Breathe: Here’s a video showing the 4-7-8 technique and here’s a post on alternate nostril breathing. (However, if your sinuses are clogged up, you might want to hold off on conscious breathing until you can breathe a little easier)
Bodywork: Massage or reflexology can be a great reset, and if you feel like you don’t have much time, don’t forget about 30 minute sessions. Go ahead and get your next one scheduled, since it’s easy to put yourself last and totally forget, until suddenly your neck or back is in spasm. (Actually, while you’re scheduling your next appointment, I’ll do the same for myself!)

Sinus relief
Wet washcloth: super simple–just wet a clean washcloth (I often use cold water, but hot could also be good–you could even alternate between the two) and place gently over nose, then breathe. This was very helpful to me during winter when the heat at the office was drying out my nose. I also find this helpful when I feel stressed. With a cold cloth, it’s easy to “refresh” it by waving it around to cool it again, and then place back over nose, eyes, and forehead
A few products that I love (but receive no profit from! Also, make sure to double-check that none of these things are contraindicated for you, if you’re under a doctor’s care): Arm & Hammer’s Simply Saline spray, Olbas inhalers (I’ve found these locally at Native Sun, Whole Foods, and Earth Fare), and Ricola original cough drops–all 3 of these have been useful to me combating congestion, headaches, and dry airways.
Bodywork: Guess what? Massage and reflexology can be helpful with this too! Feel free to get in touch with me and we can work to support sinus health through facial massage and reflexology, but you can do some work on yourself as well. The pads of the fingers and toes correspond to the sinuses, so you can try rubbing those areas, and you can do some self massage of your face (which you probably do instinctively), gently pull on your ears in different directions, and rub your scalp (basically just give yourself a good scalp shampooing–wet or dry)

What are some of your favorite ways to feel balance in your life and/or sinuses? Have you been doing them? Give some of these a try, or go back to some of your old “tried and trues!”

**meditating nose picture drawn by my dad!

7 Ways to Indulge in Procrastination

Napping cat

                 It’s ok to nap sometimes

In many ways “procrastination” is a bad word. To some it implies laziness, being unmotivated, distracted, unfocused and countless other trigger words. It means that we aren’t getting the things done we’re supposed to and we are failing as contributing adults.* Maybe that’s true, or maybe it’s not. The point is we heap a bunch of responsibilities and pressure on ourselves. There is always a deadline and there is always the next thing to complete.

But where is the real procrastination?

More often than not we are procrastinating on our self-care and the things that really matter. This National Procrastination Week (March 5-11), let’s focus on the holiday that is devoted to putting things off and delaying those oh-so-important tasks.

The focus for this holiday isn’t inactivity, but in being active in getting a mental and emotional break which will lead to decreased stress and anxiety. As a massage therapist, I am all about that.

Here are a few ways you can indulge in procrastination. (Don’t worry, all that other stuff will still be there when you’re done.)


Ahhh, a good book – there’s nothing like it. No matter the genre, reading is the quickest escape route into another land. Once you pass through that portal there’s no turning back. And if business or finance books are more your speed, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes the escape is in learning something new. Grab your library card or pay your local bookstore a visit. Many great reads await you.


Is there a hobby or enjoyable activity you’ve been putting off? Now is a good time to pick it up. Bake your favorite cookies. Cook a meal that reminds you of someone special. Knit a scarf. Write in a journal. Paint a canvas, an end table, or a masterpiece. Whatever your “thing” is, lose yourself in it.


Raise your hand if you procrastinate on doing dishes and laundry. (*raises hand*) While some find household chores relaxing,**  others can’t stand them or just never seem to have the time for them. Cleaning has become a “hurry up and get it over with” activity. Slow down a little and do the dishes by hand. Even if you don’t find it relaxing, you’ll walk away with a little more gratitude for the modern-day luxuries.


In some instances, exercise has become another chore. We do it because we know we need to and it will keep us fit and healthy. Sometimes we don’t see the benefit until it’s over and working out becomes another task we must complete. Try approaching exercise in a new way. Find something you enjoy doing. Something you can look forward to. Try yoga or meditation (for those with busy minds, keep a notebook nearby to jot down fleeting thoughts) or go for a walk on a new trail or in a different neighborhood. Just get out there and move.


Coffee, tea, water…margaritas–your choice. Get dressed up for a night on the town or dress down for a night in. Fly solo or invite a friend. For some, socializing recharges their batteries while others find energy in solitude. Do what suits you and I promise you’ll feel refreshed.


Find the nearest hammock, couch or shade. Sleep is essential and we don’t get nearly enough. The benefits of sleep range from improved memory, sparked creativity, improved athletic performance and weight loss to lower anxiety and depression levels. Granted, getting a good night’s sleep won’t prevent you from all disease, but quality sleep is a key factor in a healthy lifestyle.


It’s no surprise that one of my favorite ways to indulge in procrastination is through massage. I would get one everyday if I could. The mental and physical break in a treatment room cannot be beat. And if you’re still feeling the need to be productive, multitask by scheduling a massage and nap on the table/mat!

In case you didn’t pick up on it, procrastination week is also about changing habits. It’s about incorporating enjoyable activities in our busy, stressed out lives. It’s about finding some peace while being productive and keeping things in balance. Being riddled with daily stress and anxiety serves no one. Especially you.

*I’m a vocabulary nerd, and I took Latin in high school–the word is a combination of “pro” (meaning “forward) and “cras” (meaning “tomorrow”)

**Personally, I love vacuuming, and I partook in that activity while I was putting off editing this post.

5 Tips for Neck and Shoulder Care Between Massage Appointments

People with neck and shoulder issues often have their pain return before their next massage appointment. Work, play, and children all make demands on the body. A dull ache can quickly turn into a burning pain while doing household chores, working/playing on the computer, or any of your other daily activities.

What can you do between professional massage appointments to take the edge off neck and shoulder pain? Try one or more of the following! Continue reading

A few self-care ideas

self care

The following suggestions are just meant give you some ideas on things you can do on your own to relax. If you have any medical issues, please consult your doctor first!

Have a cup of herbal tea

Chamomile is perfect for relaxing. Make sure you cover your teacup/mug while it is steeping, so the essential oils don’t escape and evaporate with the steam.

Soak your feet in a mini-Epsom salts bath

Fill a small tub with warm water and 1/2 cup Epsom salts. You can use a few drops of essential oil (in massage school, we used Olbas herbal bath), and soak for about 10-15 minutes. Epsom salts also make a great scrub for the legs and feet, so you could pour some of that 1/2 cup into your palm, add a few drops of water to make a paste, and then rub it into your skin before plunking your feet into the tub of water–just remember to do it all over the tub so the excess falls into the water!

Massage your face and scalp

Pretty self-explanatory, but a wonderful experience nonetheless. Using the pads of your fingertips, gently press and mush your facial tissue around in small circles. Don’t forget the eyebrows and around the ears and jaw. This will help release tension and increase circulation in these frequently used muscles.

Alternate nostril breathing

It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it, and like the previous tip, you always have this practice right at your fingertips (hee hee!). Block off your right nostril and breathe in through your left nostril. Next block the left nostril, release the right, and exhale through the right nostril. Inhale through the right, block the right nostril, release the left, and finally exhale through the left side. You have now completed one round. Aim to complete 5 to 10 rounds. You can learn more about the technique here.


Muscle Monday– “Wait, I have muscles there?!”

The other day, a new client asked me if I ever did scalp massage. I said “yes, in almost every session,” and that she would be receiving one at the end of her massage. It turns out that, even though she had received a few massages over the years, she hadn’t ever had her scalp worked on! I’m always surprised if it gets left out, because it’s one of my favorite parts. It’s such a crucial area–especially for headaches and stress relief. I can hear it right now, though: some of you are saying “Wait, I have muscles in my scalp?!” Continue reading

Check yourself…

…before you wreck yourself!

Hopefully, you have the day off today, but that doesn’t mean you’re not slouched at a computer or a smartphone! These little videos can help you adjust your posture while you’re on one your devices. As much as I would love to give you a great neck and shoulder massage after you’ve fallen for hours down the rabbit hole of the internet, it’s important to be aware of how you are positioned, because you can really get into a world of hurt. Make sure you also get up to walk around and stretch, and don’t forget to breathe! And while you’re at it, make sure you have a massage scheduled.

Continue reading

Do a Stress Assess

Are you overwhelmed with all the things you have to do and remember? (I know that’s how I woke up this morning)

Check out this great post from Zen Habits:

Overwhelmed & Rushed? Do a Stress Assess

Gratitude sidenote: As overwhelmed as I am with laundry, I sure am grateful to have a plentiful amount of clothes, a washing machine and dryer, and water and electricity.

It might be Wednesday, but it’s finally Muscle Monday!

Ok, folks! I hope you are having a good week. Monday and Tuesday were so busy and stressful for me…I felt a little like I was being tossed around in a big wave. I did get several things done, however. I gave a little speech about Thai Massage (which I have been assured was not as bad as I thought), changed my insurance plan (to make it less expensive and include my husband finally), and went to a networking meeting. Today I have a little rest, which means I will make a big pot of soup, and also finally give you the next installment of Muscle Monday, just a few days late! Today, the sternocleidomastoid! Continue reading