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Self-care, I dare!

Dear Fellow Humans,

Is it really New Year's Day? In some ways it still feels like March. It’s hard to fathom the time that has passed given how much grief and trauma we've experienced as a collective in the last 10-11 months. To say these have been strange and uncertain times is an understatement.

Many of us have felt the pressure to have a "productive pandemic", and I want to remind you that we don't have to have a productive pandemic and that quarantine is not a contest--we just have to SURVIVE. I am proud of you for doing just that, especially when it felt like taking deep breaths from moment to moment was the only way through. If you don't feel like counting your blessings today or learning any lessons from 2020, be gentle with yourself. It's OKAY, sweetheart. It's OKAY. If you are feeling joy, allow it, too, without the guilt. Actually, I want to go a step further and say THIS: 

YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO BE WHEREVER YOU ARE IN ANY GIVEN MOMENT IN TIME.

Sometimes we need permission, so here it is: I give you permission to be wherever you ARE at any given moment in time without judgment. This is an invitation to be more mindful. When we are mindful, we are paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment. That last part is KEY. Giving ourselves grace is a form of SELF-CARE.  

We often don't practice enough self-care. When our world becomes more pressured, self-care often takes second place (or third, or fourth) on our “to do” list, EVEN if we are at home more often. EVEN if we know it will help us. 

Over the last 2-years, I have been working on a BOOK that provides us with a self-care plan. In it, I layout:

1. A research-based definition of mindfulness
2. Outline how mindfulness practice can help us short-circuit stress, decrease our pain, increase our immune system functioning, and more!
3. Offer 30 actionable practices to be done in just 5-minutes a day
4. Present a conceptualization of practices as divided into formal practice, informal practice, and mindful-living, to give you variety and remind you that meditation is MUCH more than sitting on a cushion (though it can be, too!)

Quick Calm is my ode to our brain, which has the incredible, adaptable ability to rewire itself for wellness from the routine of a five-minutes-a-day mindful practice, as we cue our brain’s innate ability to go beyond survival, and even find joy. 

Why FIVE minutes? Well, literally that is all we need every single day. I acknowledge the time constraints many of us feel, we are stretched and strained as it is, we feel like we should always be moving and doing and achieving. Now, more than ever, have I felt the call to help us heal from the stress that bears down on us.

Five minutes a day of self-care, EVERY day, can be more beneficial to your health than engaging once a week for two hours. Our brain loves it some routine! 


My ultimate hope is that you allow yourselves the gift of gentleness as you step into your true intrinsic deservedness of taking five minutes for YOU. It turns out, when we show up for ourselves, we are better able to show up for others (see book excerpt below!)

Thank you all for being with me since the very beginning of my writing journey. I could not have done this without your love and support. May this book be OF SERVICE.

Here is the book excerpt I was talking about! Hope it inspires you to take time for YOU. 

Many of us tell or have heard the false story that “Self-care is selfish.” We may have the unhelpful perception that either one cares for oneself or one is selfish! But through continued practice, you, like me, will see the amazing pay-it-forward effect of mindfulness, specifically, and self-care more generally. When we actually do the work of taking the time to tune ourselves, as if we were a precious instrument within a robust orchestra, everyone benefits.
 
The moral of this metaphor is that self-care actually benefits everyone around us. When we take the time to tune ourselves, to listen to our bodies and minds when they need to rest, refuel, and regroup, we have more capacity to be there for others in our lives. We have room and reserves to show up for those who need us. I challenge you to reframe your own story of what self-care is or isn’t, to see for yourself how taking care of yourself creates dividends for those you show up for.

Excerpt from Quick Calm
Chapter 1: Just Give Yourself Five
!
I hope that Quick Calm becomes part of your self-care tool-box! I will be with you along the way during your dive into mindfulness practice. PLEASE reach out with any questions about the book. I'm here with you on this journey. 

Always, XO, Dr. Jen
P.S. Join me on Instagram for more mindful inspirations & Quick Calm practice previews
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Jennifer Wolkin, PhD · 7 West 30th Street · 11th Floor, Room 14 · New York, NY 10001 · USA