This video just crossed my path and it is absolutely AMAZING! I have been known to encourage people to name their anxiety- i.e. “Hi Gloria, I have no time for you today” sort of naming, but this takes takes it to a whole new level.
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It’s July. It’s officially officially summer (yes, I know the equinox passed us already). There is something about July in NYC that is….. Let’s say, distinct. Kids are out of school, but the hoards of people haven’t fully left the city yet (like in August). It’s hot, humid, and the streets smell of warm trash (not fun). There are constant fireworks going off in most Brooklyn neighborhoods (as well as the occasional gun shot). Quick thunderstorms roll through, sometimes cancelling your favorite outdoor event (be it a movie screening, concert, or yoga in the park). Not the best time to be in Brooklyn if you’re a dog who’s scared of those things (which I have). And sometimes can be a hard time if you’re just a regular ole human.
So, how best to manage it all….. And, dare I say, enjoy the summer in the city! As a therapist in Brooklyn (and having lived here for 17 years in August)…. I have finely tuned some of my summer survival skills.
Self care can encompass lots of different things, depending on who you talk to. Some poo-poo it as spending money on yourself. This can be true, but does not have to be the case. Let’s start with the foundational basics, that are all basically FREE & go from there….
1) HYDRATION- Please drink a glass of water every morning when you wake up, and try your best to continue drinking a hydrating beverage throughout the day. Rosé or your favorite summer craft brew don’t count. But given the heat index, and the propensity for summer social drinking events…. make an effort to get in the habit of hydrating throughout the day, your body will thank you.
2) SLEEP- Depending on your air conditioning situation, and being able to sleep through the summer night noises of Brooklyn (fireworks, gun shots, etc).... Sleeping in the summer can be a challenge. If you have AC, use it when you need it! It can also act as a white noise to help drown out the street noises. White noise machines (or apps) can also be helpful. If you don’t have AC- maybe try taking a cool shower before you go to bed, or putting an ice pack on your neck (or anywhere comfortable on your body) as you fall asleep (a cool or frozen washcloth can also do the trick).
3) EAT LOCAL & FRESH- Summer is my favorite time to eat in NYC. We may live in a giant-ass city, but we are surrounded by farms ( Sign up for your local CSA, swing by one of the many the farmer’s markets, or now you can even buy a one-off CSA box from Fresh Direct-so you don’t have to commit to a full season, if that’s too much). Enjoy all the local and delicious fresh fruits & veggies.
4) TAKE OFF SOME DAYS OFF- What I hear over and over from people (and experience in my own life too) is that the summer weekends are already booked up with activities and events from now through Labor day. Us NYers are busy in the summer. It can be hard to avoid it. There are so many things to do, and FOMO is a real thing. But please please please take a day off every now and then. And not a day off that is then re-filled with house chores & laundry (tho that has to get done at some point). But a true day off to recharge & rest. If a full day is too much, start with a part of the day: a lazy morning or evening at home, or (GASP) a day that has nothing planned and see where the day takes you. You might end up lounging in Prospect Park for hours or going to a movie (I love going to the movies in the summer, and will probably write a whole separate blog post for that- but basically it’s a lovely deeply air conditioned escape). If you prefer not to shell out the $17+ for a movie ticket, maybe you end up at one of the many free outdoor movie screenings (not as air conditioned, but just as fun).
5) TRY SOMETHING NEW- NewYorkers are creatures of habit. We take the same trains to the same neighborhoods, often going to our same favorite spots with our same favorite people. Having favorites is great- I love that about NY. But the summer is also prime time to try something new, and there is scientific evidence that trying something new can be helpful for improving your mood. Just sayin’. It also does not have to cost money to try something new (though, of course it easily can). Try a free fitness class, aforementioned free movie screenings, free concerts, free theater, go to Governor’s Island (first ferry is free) and escape the city, go for a hike in the trails/wooded areas of Central or Prospect Park. The list can go on and on, and there are many places on the interwebs to find such lists. And if you need guidance, reach out & I’m happy to point you towards some fun, free options that you might like to try. The specifics don’t matter that much...The point is to mix up your routine a bit, and you might even find a new “favorite” thing to do.
As I tell a lot of my clients- don’t try to make all the changes at once. Try just one small step or action, and try to make it sustainable. Reach out if you have any questions, need any ideas, or have your own favorite free NYC selfcare items to add in :)
Happy July, y’all.
ps- I’m not southern, I just really like using y’all. And it basically has been a part of my vocabulary after spending time in Baton Rouge in 2004.
(I took this cover photo at this year’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park)
Hey Brooklyn Runners! I just picked up by number & shirt from the rainy Brooklyn waterfront, and am getting ready for the race Saturday. I wanted to share with you a FREE (and hopefully helpful) planner to get ready in the next few days! Do you love to-do lists? I do! I have done far too many races where I have forgotten some key ingredients come race morning. Items like: headphones, fuel, dry change of clothes, layers, metrocard to get home, etc. *Also, my go-to must have on a rainy race day is a trash bag. I sometimes look strange, as I am often the only one wearing a trash bag in the morning... but am DRY & happy. And would HIGHYL recommend! Hehe*
As you may know, I am also a big fan of self-care... especially leading up to (and immediately after) a big race. So this planner will help you set some intentional self-care plans. Some good (and highly recommended) options: SLEEP, massage (self, partner or professional!), some healthy and delicious carbs (do cookies count? i hope so), treating yourself to that way overpriced (but hydrating & good for you) juice or smoothie.
Feel free to add in the comments any other self caring you like to do before/after a race, and any other reminders of things not to forget on race day!
Most of all, enjoy Saturday! The Brooklyn Half is by far the most fun race I have had the privilege of running. And honestly, the rain will very likely be much more enjoyable than the years it has been sunny (and so hot on Ocean Parkway!). Just prepare & pack accordingly.
See you out there!
Holy cow, it's February! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Where exactly did January go? Anyone else feel like it just sort of magically disappeared. I mean, I remember the weeks-long stretch of really, really cold days.... but overall, it does feel like it flew by. Perhaps it was because I have been sick and/or dealing with miscellaneous mini-injuries all month. I did not get to start 2018 in the focused, goal-oriented, resolution-energized way I maybe would have liked. I woke up New Years day with the beginning signs of a cold. And, that cold (or a combination of other ones I caught along the way), is still kicking it's way around. An entire month of cold-symptoms, ugh! Aside from this never-ending cold... I minorly hurt my neck (skiing), and randomly did something upsetting to my subscapularis/shoulder muscle. These mini-injuries added to my list of (mostly valid) excuses for taking it easy. Semi-hibernating. My January definitely did not start off the way I had hoped.
January wasn't a complete waste- I completed a meditation teacher training, got 4 days of skiing in, registered for the Brooklyn Half, and signed up for a yearlong bootcamp membership.
So, now it's February. And, while still coughing and blowing my nose, I am ready to start tackling some of my 2018 goals! First up, is getting back in shape- post 2017 NYC marathon (and basically almost 3 months of taking it easy).... they say fit-ness runs on 3 week intervals. Meaning, my body won't feel the benefits/effects of working out for about 3 weeks. So, while getting back into things, I'm looking at 3 weeks of feeling out of shape and speeds/exercises that used to feel easy (at top-marathon training), will undoubtedly be quite challenging. The good news is that February is a short month, and I should be caught up by the end of these 28 days.... and ready to start up Brooklyn Half training in March.
(**and just because I got a slow start this 2018, doesn't mean you have to. Spots still available in the Winter Wellness Intensive)
10 days til #tcsnycmarathon = 10 days of self care!
November 5th is almost here (insert: panic & excitement! AHHH). For those running, I’m sure you are going through lots of different emotions right now- I know I am. After spending 5 months focusing on one thing, one goal, one day... the realization of all of that’s about to happen is starting to sink in. Marathon blues, are definitely a thing. I used to think they’d just pop up post-marathon, but I have been feeling them this week. Tapering is different for everyone, but I spent the first part of this week feeling highly unmotivated- not getting out of bed in time to get the miles on my training plan in, and then beating myself up about it. I realized Tuesday of this week that I was being a bit silly. I’ve followed my training plan (for the most part, very closely), had a great 20 mile run & even felt really good about running the last 10 miles of the course on Sunday. However, for some reason Monday-Wednesday this week felt like I had lost all focus & motivation.
So, with 10 days left to go, I’ve decided I’m going to focus (even more than usual) on SELF CARE. I’m a big believer in self care & also know that most of us do not do it enough. Living in this city is hard enough. It’s been an incredibly hard year in the world. People have jobs & family & responsibilities & so many stressors... all.the.time! Throw the insane idea of training for & running a marathon on top of that. It’s a bit crazy. So, yes, self care- it’s important & necessary! And, trust me, it doesn’t just happen naturally (unless you’re some sort of magical human with lots & lots of resources). But for most of us, it’s extra time... extra money.... extra focus.... and all of that can be hard to come by most days.
So, for the next 10 days leading up to the TCS NYC Marathon, I’m going to focus on one thing (self care-related) each day. And I encourage you to do the same!! I’ll be posting on Instagram & Facebook. I love the running community & think it’s a great place to get support and connect with others! So, if you’re down for the self care challenge please post along the way and add the tags:
I hope with using the hashtags, people will be able to get new ideas of self care! Either to do in the next 10 days, or even better- to turn into a sustainable self care practice. (Remember: nothing new on race day!!)
I’m not a runner but want to join in....
I’m a runner, but not running the NYC Marathon this year...
I’ve never focused on self care before & this is scary and weird....
I have no time/money/energy to do something self care related each day....
PLEASE JOIN US!
...start small (5 minutes/day counts!), support others, try something new... and, best of all, take care of yourself!!!
And for the 50,000 rockstars doing the marathon next week... enjoy the next 10 days! Enjoy every moment (and every delicious carb) that will get us to the Verrazano bridge.
If 10 days of self care seems like a lot... know that you've already come this far, you are capable and strong and determined, and fully deserve to treat yourself to some TLC!
Happy tapering, folks! I look forward to sharing (and learning) new self care tips & ideas in the next 10 days!