Negotiations with my Acupuncturist and Resources for Rest
By Kristine Kaoverii Weber
A few weeks ago I was feeling really run down, so I called my acupuncturist and set up a virtual herbal consultation appointment.
“I can certainly give you some herbs,” she said. “But adrenal fatigue is real,” she gave me a close-up “tsk-tsk” face on Zoom. “You really need to rest.” When I told her I also need to work she said, “Okay, well, while we are all social isolating, you can use this time to work 25 percent of the time and rest 75 percent.”
I laughed. “I’ll tell you what, I’ll work 75 percent of the time and rest 25,” I tried to negotiate.
“No,” she was intent on driving that bargain hard. “Fifty-fifty and that’s my last offer,” now she’s smiling – but not joking.
I reluctantly conceded.
Since childhood, my M.O. has been speedy accomplishment. Which I realize is not great for my rather sensitive constitution. In fact, my unhealthy need for speed it is what compelled me to make a career out of slowing down – so I’d remember to do it! I love slow, mindful yoga, meditation, long, slow walks, time in nature, etc. BUT, I can easily get wound up and out of whack with overworking so my acupuncturist’s 50-50 pact was very helpful. And I have to say that I’m proud of myself – I’ve recently made heroic efforts to rest.
Yes, one way is by vegging out in front of Netflix (I watched Unorthodox recently… very interesting). But, as I like to remind others (we all teach what we need to learn after all!), Netflix and wine (or even herbal tea) is not the same thing as actively training your nervous system to rest.
Personally, I need a little of each.
So, beyond Netflix bingeing, here are some of the things I’ve been doing lately to take better care of myself. Not everything every day of course (I’m the kind of person who can even overdo self-care LOL!)
But all of these have been helpful for me in the past few weeks. I’m sharing with the hope that you may give yourself a gift of a little more rest too.
1. I’m Resting More Often During the Day
I cajole (or wrestle) myself into relaxing for at least 30 minutes every day after lunch – sometimes it feels like Ulysses and the Sirens (only my Sirens largely sing on Facebook, and the result is drowning in an ocean of busy-ness).
So, I stop everything.
I go and lie on my bed, or on the couch, or on yoga mats and blankets on the floor (which seems to be my cat’s cue to plop himself down on my left cheek bone) and listen to long, spacey YouTube music-scapes. I know, I know, they’re a little cheesy, but they actually really do help me relax.
2. I’m Practicing Slow Yoga
I love slow, mindful practice and if I can stay away from my computer long enough, 30 minutes every morning is an amazingly restful habit for me. And I also like longer practices too. Here’s a class I recorded last week – sorry that the video is not great but it will give you a taste of how I love to rest.
3. I’m Taking Vitamin D Sun Baths
One window in my study faces east, so usually by 7 or 7:30 am (if the sun is shining) I’m sitting for morning meditation with my face to the rising sun. I like to sit for an hour if possible, but sometimes it isn’t, it just depends on the day and my (ahem…halved work day) schedule. Having my face directly in the early morning sunlight feels incredibly healing to me and so I make this a priority. Kitty of course often joins, although sometimes he has other obligations at that time, like sleeping on my husband’s head.
4. I’m Rolling Around on the Floor More
When I’m really wiped out I love taking Feldenkrais classes. There’s nothing better for my nervous system than rolling around the floor in a bath of interoception. Here’s one I took the other day on YouTube.
My teacher here in Asheville, Lavinia Plonka, has a lot of classes on her website as well.
5. I’m Practicing Qi Gong
I started studying Qi Gong in 1989 and immediately loved it. I have learned a few different forms and it informs how I practices asanas. I love to practice Qi Gong in the forest near my house, or next to a creek. Here’s a great class I took last week.
6. I’m Forest Bathing
Several times a week I get out and take a restful walk in the woods. I saw two Woodpeckers on Monday (I didn’t take this pic, but I did enjoy watching them hammer away!). The forest flowers and blooming trees have helped me feel much more rested.
During this stressful time, rest is imperative. I’m working on it – some days I’m more successful than others. Actively resting is a gift, it reminds me of my intrinsic value and worth – that has absolutely nothing to do with what I accomplish. I’m a human being after all, not a human doing.
What are your favorite strategies for active rest? Please leave a comment!