When there is a lot of movement going on in our external environment or within our anxious minds, one simple thing we can do is to be still. This may sound a bit drastic especially for lifestyles that are over-committed, but it is worth exploring. If we can't be absolutely still, then slowing down enough to listen to what our mind-body is telling us is a good start. It can be as simple as deciding not to go outside on a windy day. This stirs up the elements of air and space within us and is very aggravating to the nerves and drying to the skin.
Another way to listen to what we need is to perhaps shorten the “to do” list without feeling guilty. It is a way to take care of ourselves and look deeply at the the driving pace we function at everyday. This may not be serving us, at least not in a balanced way.
One loving thing that absolutely works to nourish our nervous system is to take time to oil our body BEFORE taking a shower. This will go a long way in providing stability, a calm emotional mind-body, better digestion, and equilibrium. My teachers have told me that each minute we leave oil on our skin, it penetrates down to the next level of tissue, and eventually hits the neuropeptide level. This oiling can become a daily routine (takes only 15 minutes) or a once a week treat. It is a great way to set the tone for a great day!
Just have an electric tea pot in your room, a set of old P.J's and towel that can be donated to this cause, and make sure the temperature in the room is warm. (Fall/Winter body constitutions are challenged by the cold!) Pour the hot water into a crock pot and then place a plastic bottle or a pyrex container filled with a 1/4 cup of oil (sesame, coconut, sunflower, or grape seed oil) into the hot water. Just let it warm up for a few minutes while you are getting breakfast ready or doing yoga postures (Do we even take time to do this?). Now enjoy the luxurious feeling of warm oil all over your body in long downward strokes along your limbs – and circling motions over your joints. That’s a great way to start a winter’s day!
Maybe now that your nervous system is feeling calmer, you may consider being still for just a moment. Sit up tall and place your hands on your belly. Now breathe fully and feel your abdomen expand on inhalation. As you exhale, allow all the stale air to leave your body. Do this deep breathing for 30 seconds. When finished, allow yourself to note any difference you feel with this increased level of oxygen to your brain. Relish the calmness and let it feed your nervous system.