CBD for self-care
Self-care is on the rise and here to stay. Last year, internet searches for self-care ideas and tips increased by over 600% as people look for new ideas to tend to their own wellbeing. But what is self-care? And how do you go about integrating CBD into your self-care routine?
The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” It is a broad definition which includes so much more than merely seeing a doctor when we feel unwell. Self-care is a proactive approach to wellness where we take responsibility for our health and wellbeing.
Self-care is a proactive approach to health and wellbeing
Self-care can be just about anything that promotes our overall health. From the food choices we make, to the types of exercise we do, to the quality of sleep we get and more. Self-care can be as expansive as we want it to be…including integrating CBD into our daily routine.
CBD, CBG, and CBN—along with other cannabinoids—can be powerful resources in your self-care practice. Daygold CBD oils take the healing potential even further by blending terpenes (powerful aromatic compounds) to enhance the effectiveness of the cannabinoids.
This blending of aromatic compounds with cannabinoids is referred to as the entourage effect. Individually, these compounds can have a positive effect on our wellbeing. For example, recent studies have indicated that lavender helps to calm the nervous system and reduce stress. When lavender is combined with the right cannabinoids, both the effects of the lavender and the CBD, CBG, CBN or other compounds are amplified.
Create your own self-care practice with CBD
Daygold CBD tinctures are potent and effective. We’ve received rave reviews that highlight a wide range of benefits people feel, from hot flashes being minimized, to restorative sleep, to finding greater calm and clarity and more. Because everyone’s endocannabinoid system is unique, there are often subtle benefits alongside the intended purpose, with no side effects or intoxication.
Taking our CBD oil once or twice a day alone can produce profound feelings of wellbeing and relaxation. And when our nervous system is relaxed and at ease, other physiological systems can work more effectively. Our digestion and elimination improves, we’re better able to concentrate and focus, the amount and quality of our sleep improves.
Daygold’s formulas take advantage of the entourage effect (meaning the benefits of each ingredient are enhanced when combined) and the same principle of the entourage effect can be applied to our entire self-care regime for greater results. Taking CBD oils as a part of a holistic, comprehensive self-care regimen is bound to help us feel better and live more brightly.
Self-care requires presence
It is challenging to be human. And in our ever-changing, always-on world, life can feel overwhelming. With so many things demanding our attention, it can be difficult to tune in to ourselves—to discern what we need and how we feel—and respond thoughtfully, rather than reactively. Having rituals to help us get grounded into the present moment are essential for our wellbeing.
Here are a few of our favorite practices to help instill ease and reduce stress.
1. Breathing techniques for stress reduction
Another way to cultivate wellbeing is through conscious breathing. (Bonus tip: practicing breathing techniques and being present go hand-in-hand because when we connect with our bodies, we also connect with present moment awareness). There are countless different ways to practice deep, conscious breathing. Our favorite is what’s known as “box breathing” or “square breathing”.
This particular method helps to improve lung function while reducing stress and anxiety. It’s so effective that US Navy Seals use this technique to increase performance and mental focus while improving sleep quality in stressful situations. To practice box breathing, simply do the following:
—Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting on your thighs. Sitting up straight enables the diaphragm to take deep breaths.
—Exhale through your mouth until your lungs are empty.
—Inhale through your nose, counting slowly to four.
—At the top of the inhale, hold your breath to a count of four.
—Exhale through the mouth for counting to four, again.
—At the end of the exhalation, hold your breath for a count of four.
That’s one round of box breathing.
—If you feel like the count is too long or short for you, feel free to adjust it. Find the duration of breath that works best for you, where there’s no tension at all at any phase of the breathing.
—If you’re new to this type of breathwork, it may be helpful to dim the lights and eliminate or reduce sensory input so you can focus on the sound of your breathing.
—When you’re holding your breath, relax your shoulders, chest and back muscles. Think of this phase of the practice more like a pause rather than gripping the breath to hold it in or hardening your body to hold the exhale.
—If you find yourself feeling more anxious when you practice box breathing, stop the practice and allow your breathing to return to normal. Begin again when you feel ready, without forcing yourself.
During especially stressful or challenging times, you may want to repeat at regular intervals throughout the day.
—We like the symmetry of doing four rounds of this four-part breathing practice, but you may wish to do more than that.
—It only takes about one minute to complete four cycles of box breathing (on average). Think of all the opportunities throughout the day that you can take one minute of restorative mindfulness while oxygenating your body for energy and focus!
Once you learn the box breathing technique, you can start to employ it when you’re standing in line at the grocery store, preparing for a presentation, or just laying in bed, preparing for sleep. In fact, if you find yourself routinely waking in the middle of the night, you might try a round or two of box breathing to help calm your mind. (And don’t be surprised if you fall asleep before you get to the second round!)
2. Reduce anxiety by coming to your senses
If you’re feeling edgy, unfocused, notice your mind racing, or find yourself so busy that you can’t even think straight, it’s time to come to your senses! Often when we find ourselves overwhelmed—either by external stimuli or by our own internal thoughts and feelings—being present goes out the window, along with our blood pressure.
Here’s a simple formula to get you out of your head and centered in your body. It’s called the 3-3-3 method.
—LOOK Take a look around. Name three things you can see. Red rug. Brown chair. Sleeping cat.
—LISTEN Name three sounds you can hear. Bus driving by. Refrigerator humming. Cat snoring.
—MOVE Move three parts of your body. Wiggle fingers. Roll shoulders. Loosen and release jaw.
That’s it! Easy peasy. Still feeling stressed? Do it again and try to slow down or combine with deep breathing for greater benefit.
Or start or end your practice by opening your bottle of Calm Mind and breathe in the delightful aroma through your nose, drawing in all the beneficial terpenes that aromatherapists have been using for centuries. Give yourself over completely to the complex, lush aromas. How many can you detect?
Even just focusing all your senses on a single input can disrupt troubled thinking and instill a sense of calm.
3. Take a walk, literally
Just about any form of exercise can help to reduce stress and encourage a sense of ease in both body and mind. Yoga is now practiced by millions of people all over the world for its therapeutic effects (and we at Daygold are big fans of it). But perhaps the most overlooked and underrated form of exercise that can be incredibly restorative and healing is walking.
Yep. Just taking a stroll through the neighborhood can help to boost mood and reduce stress. Seeing familiar—or different—sights while walking literally “clears the mind”. Fitness experts recommend 30 minutes a day, but many health experts now say even 15 to 20 minutes a day is beneficial at balancing our nervous systems which, in turn, improves our overall health.
If you don’t have time for a 15 minute walk, just stepping outside for a moment to stretch and take a deep breath can do wonders to help you feel more grounded and positive.
If you do have time for a walk, taking it in a neighborhood park or forest with a variety of plants and trees can provide evn an extra potent benefit. The fresh air, a canopy of trees overhead, and the soft crunch of dirt underfoot can be soothing in a very primal sort of way.
4. Hydration as self-care
It goes without saying that getting adequate hydration affects our health. Our bodies are nearly 60% water. When we allow ourselves to become dehydrated, we set ourselves up for physical and cognitive impairments. Feeling thirsty lets us know we need more water, but often we don’t feel thirsty until we’re already dehydrated. How best can we prevent this?
Drinking water at regular intervals throughout the day is the best way to prevent dehydration. It’s just not a regular practice for many of us. We weren’t taught to do this when we were young, or we mistakenly believe other liquids—coffee, soda, juice, etc—are hydrating and we can skip the water.
The best way to stay hydrated is by setting a timer to remind us to drink a glass of water at regular intervals. Whether it’s on your airpods, smartphone, or a good old fashioned alarm clock, that regular reminder is usually all we need to start adjusting our water intake for optimal health.
5. Quality sleep: the ultimate in self-care?
There’s no doubt that getting enough high-quality sleep is critical for both mental and physical wellbeing. How much sleep is enough? According to the Mayo Clinic, most adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep. Infants, children, teens and the elderly all need more than that in order to enjoy optimal health.
Sleep is one of these areas—like hydration—that can easily be taken for granted and overlooked. But just as setting an alarm can remind us to drink water, establishing good protocols—called sleep hygiene—can help us sleep longer and rest better.
Here are our tips for improving quality of sleep:
—Be consistent. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Establishing a rhythm prepares our nervous system and improves the quality of our rest.
—Create a dark, quiet, calm environment. The pineal gland in our brains is influenced by changes in light. Bright lights tend to be invigorating while dark rooms set the stage for a more restful sleep.
—Avoid screen time before bedtime. It can be tempting to scroll social media before bed, but it’s rarely restful. Our brains are sponges, and we tend to take that stimulation with us as we drift off—if we can drift off. Blue lights also tend to keep us awake. If you need a little ritual to help you fall asleep, try some box breathing (as listed above) to help settle your mind, listen to a soothing meditation recording, or read a few pages of a book.
—Even better, remove electronics from your bedroom. Ditch the late night TV-watching in bed and charge up your digital devices in another room to remove temptation.
—Avoid caffeine after 2pm. Those late afternoon/evening coffees can still interfere with sleep hours later.
—Don’t eat within 3 hours of bedtime. The same goes for alcohol. Both of these things can interfere with deep sleep.
—Get some exercise during the day. If that isn’t possible or you’re very active all day long, try some simple low-key stretches before bed. Avoid strenuous exercise, however, before bedtime as it can be stimulating and make it harder to fall asleep. Yin yoga is a great calming practice you could do right before bedtime.
—Include Daygold as part of your nightly ritual. Daygold (and CBD in general) will not “knock you out”, leaving you groggy in the morning. Rather, it will gently address the underlying conditions that lead to disrupted sleep (a racing mind, tension in the body, etc). When you incorporate Daygold into your nightly routine, note how you feel in the morning. Even if your sleep was disrupted do you feel refreshed and rested?
Custom build your self-care practice
These are just some of our favorite self-care tools, but truly, a self-care practice is anything and everything you do to fully attend to your needs. Communicating with others with vulnerability and presence is self-care. Positively resolving conflict is self-care. Setting boundaries is self-care.
Prioritizing your own wellbeing over others is self-care and paradoxically, it often leads to better interactions with others. This is not the same as being selfish or self-centered.
Practicing self-care allows us to relax into the truth of who we are so that we can be more present with the people and situations around us. When we are at ease in ourselves, we will be more likely to be able to respond to whatever life throws at us with greater resourcefulness and grace.
As we embrace caring for ourselves, we see our interconnection with others and with nature. We recognize we are a part of nature. Finally, our own self-care practices will help us to extend that same caring toward others in the form of increased empathy and compassion.