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Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom allowed time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim.—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Tissues. Sudafed. Cough drops. Advil. EmergenC packets. Rest. Repeat. This has been my experience over the past couple weeks. I got through most of the virus in time to host last weekend’s Writing in the Woods retreat and have been sleeping 12 hours a night since Sunday.

Although my head still feels fuzzy and energy remains low, I see health on the horizon and will be so grateful to be “normal” again.

Before teaching last weekend, I started the mornings with yoga (above photo) and a soak in the tub. It set my day in motion with a slow, sacred start.

The practice of self-care can often be viewed as selfish, yet I find it to be essential to show up with a full cup (or pitcher as Lindbergh notes in the above quote).

When I asked readers about their favorite chapters from Hip Tranquil Chick in a recent survey, “Self-Nurturing Survival” and “Signature Style” received the most love. This (and my recent cold) reinforced the need to emphasize self-care in daily life.

Since we’re down to the last two months of 2016 and will soon be moving into holiday season, this reminder couldn’t be more timely.

Here are a few ways to practice self-care:

1. Go to bed early.
2. Adopt a pet.
3. Have tea with a friend.
4. Get out during your lunch hour for a brisk walk.
5. Pack your lunch.
6. Tote your water bottle and stay hydrated.
7. Move—yoga, hiking, biking, dance.
8. Move your spine. Video.
9. Write in your journal. Muse.
10. Meditate.
11. Release expectations.
12. Create a morning and evening ritual.
13. Observe your self-talk and replace negative comments with positive affirmations.
14. Nibble on dark chocolate, roasted thyme and tamari nuts, or roasted pumpkin seeds.
15. Nap.
16. Say no.
17. Reward your efforts before moving on to the next thing.
18. Get out in nature.
19. Practice self-compassion.
20. Feed your body plant-based love.
21. Soak in the tub.
22. Keep fresh flowers on your desk or mantel.

What would it take to fill your pitcher to the brim? Consider balancing input with output. Insert pauses into your day to exhale. Remember, we’re human beings, not human doings. And sometimes, we simply need a nap. Bisous. x