Photo by Linda Shantz

Ah, to unwind and let go. It sounds so nice, doesn’t it? And yet, often, so much easier said than done. Even here on the farm, one can get caught up in everything that’s happening and everything that needs doing. The head becomes overwhelmed and the nights become restless. And as much as our Tranquili-Tea helps, it can only battle the mighty brain so much!

You hear it again and again, to take time for yourself, to breathe, to be mindful, to be “in the moment”, but it’s something you may not realize the value of until well after you’ve done it. Last night, for example, I practiced some yoga. I’m not very good at it. I follow an instructor on youtube, and I love her, and I love the privacy of practicing in my own apartment – I’m so inflexible that I get really self conscious in a group of people.

Photo by Linda Shantz

Last night was the last day in this youtube instructor’s 30 day program – which, of course, had taken me well over 2 months to complete. This final session was half an hour long, where the instructor actually took off her microphone and practiced wordlessly. You were welcome to follow along, or do whatever felt right or good. It was my first time practising without verbal instruction, and there were for sure a few awkward “oh, yeah!” moments, but for the most part I really did have that half hour to feel what I was feeling, do what felt good, to challenge myself, and to truly listen to my body.

After the half hour, and covered with a nice sheen, I was pretty proud of myself – I’d only looked up a few times, and felt *mostly comfortable doing my own thing. Shortly afterwards, I went to bed. Now, on a good night, I wake up once to go to the bathroom. Ever since I can remember, getting up in the middle of the night has been the norm. Over my entire life, I would imagine there are less than 100 times I’ve slept the entire night through. Although undiagnosed, I’ve also suffered from mild to moderate anxiety that, as a child and youth, often manifested as waking up at 4:30am and vomiting for a couple hours. So last night, despite the busy spring it’s been and waking up multiple times other nights feeling very nauseous, I slept through the entire night.

Nothing beats a summer night’s sunset on the farm

What a silly thing to get excited about, sleeping the entire night, but if you also have issues getting a good night’s sleep, you know what I’m talking about. Life’s stressors can manifest in so many ways. Some people lose hair, some people lose sleep, some people lose or gain weight, some are irritable and some are just plain emotional. One can only imagine the immeasurable number of remedies out there to conquer stress – I know I’ve researched many, and a there have been a couple that I believe have helped me.

As someone with a Life Coach for a Dad, and parents who regularly went away on yoga and silent retreats, I’ve known for a while now that things like journaling, meditation, practicing gratitude and basically taking time for yourself to be mindful are all keys to unlocking your own wellbeing. However, being in my 20’s I just didn’t care that much. I didn’t want to do the work. I wanted the ease of popping a pill – who has time to write in a journal, or do yoga every day? But slowly, I’ve come to see how helpful these things can be in slowing down my hamster wheel brain. That’s not to say medications don’t have their place, because they absolutely do. But, personally, they seem a heck of a lot more effective if you’re also doing other work to change how your brain functions.

Looks pretty calming, right?

We’ve been talking about hosting meditation walks, yoga classes, and other such wellness-based class on the farm. As much as I said I don’t personally like the idea of yoga in a group, I love the idea of a group of people unwinding, folding into their minds, and attempting to be the best version of themselves. This particular youtube instructor says to acknowledge how you feel that day, accept it, embrace it, and move on. In fact, I just read a particularly in depth article that said even just naming the negative feeling you’re having, makes you feel it less. As an example, saying you feel sad, rather than you just feel crumby, will help you feel less sad.

Anyway, I’m getting off topic here, but as we on the farm continue on our journey to be the best version of ourselves, we hope that you will join us this summer in doing so. Stay tuned for meditation walks and yoga classes in the herb and flower field, and maybe even a simplified life coaching session. Are these things that would interest you? Let us know in the comments!