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Self Care Week

Posted on 13th November 2017 by The Brunswick Centre

Daily Tips from our Well Being Co-Ordinator

Day 1 - To ease an upset stomach

Lie on the floor on your front. Fold your arms at the elbows so that you can rest your head on your hands. Walk your feet and legs out as wide as they will comfortably go, allowing the heels to fall inwards and the toes to point outwards. Rest here, focussing on breathing in to your abdomen, so that you can feel your abdomen expand as you inhale, and as you exhale the abdomen relaxes. Excellent for relieving a griping tummy or soothing IBS.

Day 2 - Full of cold?

Try a steam inhalation, great for clearing the sinus passages and cold germs don’t like the heat. Fill the sink with hot water, hot enough to be creating some steam (you can use water from the kettle but make sure that you wait for it to cool down enough so that it is comfortable). Place a towel over your head as you rest your head about 30cm away from the sink so that you are forming a tent over the sink. Keep your eyes closed, breathing deeply through your nose if you can for a couple of minutes. If it starts to get too much, lift your head and the towel and let the fresh air in. Stop if it feels in any way uncomfortable.

Day 3  Get a good night's sleep

If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, struggling to get back to sleep again because your mind is full of chatter, then this very simple breathing technique might just help. You can either sit up or lie on your back. Gently close off your right nostril with your thumb and breathe in through your left nostril. Now release the thumb, opening the right nostril again, and close the left nostril with your ring finger. Breathe out through the right nostril. Repeat 10x if this feels comfortable to do – inhale through the left nostril, exhale through the right nostril. It’s that simple! If you can’t breathe through your nose then just visualise the breath moving through the nostrils, it will still help.

Day 4 - Ease Back Pain

The majority of back ache is caused by poor posture and lack of movement, and doing some simple stretches and working on strengthening the core muscles will go a long way to easing back pain. Here’s a great movement to get you started. Start in an all 4’s position, knees in line with hips, hands in line with shoulders. Back in a neutral position. Gently draw the flesh of your low abdomen, pelvis region and low back in towards your spine, away from your pants. Hold this steady position, without moving your back and breathing naturally all the time. Try to maintain this abdominal control as you move into and through the Cat posture - on an out breath round your back by tucking your tailbone under, pulling your navel in towards your spine and tucking your chin in. As you breathe in, start to put a gentle hollow in the back, extending the spine, tailbone now pointing towards the back wall, opening the chest and allowing the chin to extend forwards slightly. Alternate between these 2 movements, easing your back through the movements, being careful not to exaggerate the hollowing in the low back.

Day 5 - Control Anxiety

A quick simple way to manage anxiety is to stand up, feet hip width apart, with big toes pointing the way forwards. Relax your knees and shoulders, gently draw the low abdomen towards the spine, lengthening your spine and back of your neck. If you feel comfortable to do so, let your eyes close. Feel the connection your feet make with the earth. Allow yourself to rock your weight back into your heels without lifting your toes, now rock forwards so the weight is in the front of your foot without lifting the heels. Repeat this slowly a couple more times. Now, allow your weight to shift around the outer edges of the feet so that you are moving from the ankles in a circular motion, as if on the inside of a giant ice cream cone. Keep the feet connected to the earth, don’t let the toes lift. Circle a couple of times clockwise, then a couple of times anti clockwise. When you’ve completed just let yourself be still and focus firstly on the connection your feet make with the earth and then on the natural flow of your breath, allowing it to expand your abdomen as you inhale.