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Handler Self-Care Part One: Your Oxygen Mask

We all know the drill: you put on your own oxygen mask first, THEN you help others. But this doesn't just hold true in emergencies, we need to make this a practice in every day life! I've noticed that when I let myself get super stressed and run down, I'm not a very good caretaker to my animals. I end up walking around like a zombie and don't have energy to give them the time, attention, and exercise they deserve. So let's do something about that! Taking time for yourself should be a daily practice. Today I took time for myself BEFORE I took care of my dogs. And guess what, I was happy and relaxed and went out of my way to spend extra time walking them in the woods. I'm sure they appreciated that! 

I'm going to suggest some tools for you to use in your self-care practice, and most of these are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Otherwise, I have not been paid to promote these products. 

 

First things first: get some restful sleep. When I'm feeling tight, tense or anxious around bedtime, I lay on my Nayoya mat

 

Be advised, some people HATE laying on this thing, but others love it. Personally, I fall asleep on mine. I actually use it most when I wake up in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning and can't get back to sleep. This mat has little plastic spikes that feel spiky at first, and you would think it would be terrible, but it's actually amazing and puts me straight into a deep sleep.

 

Another part of my bedtime routine involves using an eye pillow, and preferably one filled with lavender:

 

 

Before I go to bed, I take a magnesium drink. This can change the way you sleep! It is a whole food supplement without nasty side effects! This is the brand I take, except I use the "original formula" which is unflavored and without stevia. For the flavored, fizzy version (which does contain stevia):

 

 

So now that we've got the sleep routine covered, I will leave you with that (for now). The beginning steps to being a healthy human: eat well, sleep well, and breathe well! In the next post I will go over some eating habits, breathing habits, and some healthy exercises to balance the nervous system. Stay tuned, and take care of yourself in the meantime! Your dog will thank you. (Woof!)


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