Life can be crazy busy when you’re a working mama. From shuffling to meetings to picking up the kiddos, there’s so much going on in our lives where ‘chilling out’ often gets pushed to the side. However, a tired, worn-out mama is no good to anyone (including herself!). To help us slow down and find a relaxation ritual that works for the modern mama, we enlisted the help of Deborah Hanekamp, aka Mama Medicine, who suffered from a burnout and slowly recovered, following specific relaxation rituals. Read on to learn more about some of her relaxation tips, including insight from several visionaries in the wellness community…
I opened the first brick and mortar extension of my business ten years ago. I poured my love, heart and soul into this business, often working 12 hour days, six days a week. This included wearing all of the different hats that were required to build the structure of the business. After five years of this grueling schedule, I had a complete burnout. This left me with adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism and an inability to form clear thoughts. It was agonizing. After some time I was able to relax, refocus and heal using very specific rituals.
The humbling (and slightly embarrassing) part about this is that my industry is that wellness and my work, Medicine Readings, is all about opening doors for my clients to create balance in their lives through what is revealed to me in their Auric field. While yes, I have a gift of being able to see a lot about a person when I first meet them, I’m still a regular woman balancing the laws of time, space and making a living for myself all in the restless metropolis of NYC. I have spent the last 17 years seeking balance through different ancient techniques like yoga, meditation, shamanism, crystal healing, sound healing and Reiki but I feel I am just at the beginning of this quest.
1. Rehabilitate and refocus.
After birthing my daughter, I tuned in and listened to my body. This enabled me to heal from my burnout. Then my work started thriving again. I became so busy with Medicine Readings that it made more sense for me to have my own brick and mortar space again, rather than rent from different locations around the city. And, frankly, I was more than a little resistant to this truth based on my previous experience and to add to my hesitation this time around I’m also a Mama!
2. Get organized and solicit the help that you need.
I worked on ways to help myself relax as I became more and more busy. The first thing I acknowledged was that even if it made less money starting out, I would hire the team I needed and delegate the tasks that need to be completed in a given day. Even with this team, I decided I would set specific daily work hours. Even if I don’t get all the work done that day that I need to, I offer myself patience and trust that I will get it done when I can.
3. Dedicate time to rest.
The idea of carving out time to relax felt counterproductive because it made me stressed thinking about how to do that. I decided to bookend my day with sacredness beginning with an extended morning meditation ritual and ending with a simple cleansing and release of my day. In addition, I would suggest to run a ritual bath where you then allow yourself to drift off to sleep focusing on what you are grateful. Try to practice this once a week.
4. Ditch the sweets.
I’ve noticed that as we become more and more open to self-care we are more and more open to the idea of relaxation rituals. In the spirit of curiosity I began asking some of my clients and colleagues what they do at night to wind down and relax. The answers I got were wine or sweets, social media or TV. Not to say that there is anything wrong with going with the wine and TV combo but is there a way to transition into something that feels authentically relaxing? Sugar at night will lead to unrestful disturbed sleeping patterns, looking at a screen before bed is a lot of information for your nervous system to take in and can even put you into flight or fight mode rather than rest and digest mode which can make it hard for your body to give your mind permission to fall asleep.
I also looked to some experts in the wellness industry to see what their rituals of relaxation were and these were some of their relaxation hacks. Check out more of their tips:
5. Bring awareness to what you eat.
Nicole Centeno, the Founder of Splendid Spoon noted, “Bringing awareness to your food experience is one of the simplest ways to invite peace and respite into your day. When we allow our bodies to relax into the act of eating the digestive system works smoothly, the mind slows down, and we can be more childlike in our appreciation of food – it tastes good! It feels good! In this way, our mealtimes become everyday gifts.”
6. Indulge in all your beauty must-haves during your evening beauty routine.
Britta Plug, the Founder of Britta Beauty, says “Indulge in your evening beauty routine, take your time and connect with the natural scent and texture of each product. You should really massage the skin with each step, feel the warmth of the water and washcloth. This is is a step that helps me “clean the day off” and transition into a more feminine, relaxed state of being.”
Anit Hora, the Founder of Mullein & Sparrow added, “Every evening I do a light massage with lavender oil to ready for bed and then spray my face with rose water and organic squalane oil.”
7. Find your own unplugging hack.
Sophia Ruan Gushée, founder of Practical Non Toxic Living, shared an interesting hack to unplugging. “A nightly ritual that has really helped my sleep is a technology shutdown. Before I go to bed, I make sure that my Wi-Fi is turned off on all of my wireless devices. I also shut down my Wi-Fi routers, which are connected to a timer. They automatically shut down at a certain time, and automatically turn back on in the morning. I also manually shut them down whenever I don’t need them on. When I don’t get this break from the electromagnetic fields from these devices, my sleep quality is not nearly as restorative.”