Self-care can be defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being, in particular during periods of stress. As we navigate the time of coronavirus, many of us are experiencing an unprecedented amount of anxiety, overwhelm and unpredictability. Neither our partners, our parents, our doctors nor any experts on TV know for certain the scope and severity of this pandemic.
If you have been diligent about self-care practices and positive habits that support you in managing your day with calm, focused energy, then you have a much better chance of putting your best foot forward now. However, if you have been in a daily, weekly or monthly habit of skipping the practices and activities that make you feel grounded and at peace, the ones that build your energy and feed your soul, then this is going to sting.
When we are running on a low or empty tank and we get hit with something as stressful as coronavirus, we can quickly come unglued. It’s hard to hold it together when we lack a foundation of self-care and resilience.
It may sound hopeless, but it is absolutely not. Even those on their A-game are being challenged like never before. I hope you can see this time as a call to action, this is an opportunity to turn around the I’ll-get-to-that-when-I-have-more-time train we all have been riding at one time or another. Necessity is the mother of invention and sometimes the circumstances in our life have to hit hard for us to get the wake-up call. So here it is.
Let’s finally, once and for all, prioritize our well-being. Let’s put ourselves at the top of the list and forever accept that we cannot pour from an empty cup. Let’s stop putting off those simple practices that make us feel strong, powerful and connected to our best selves. Not because we now have all this extra time and money on our hands - which most of us do not - but because it is essential. Let’s get going, get working and get what we can control under control so we can be steady and grounded in ourselves. This, and only this, is how we can be a light and resource for others.
Self-care will always be a radical concept. Committing to live in a way that values our own well-being and peace over the many other enticing options that come our way daily happens for one reason: We get sick and tired of being sick and tired. We decide to step off the hamster wheel, take a breath and face our life, our family, our friends, our boss and our calendar and say, “THIS, this right here (pointing at yourself), this is important!”
The opposite of self-care is burnout - and burnout is real. It can show up as health issues that are challenging to manage. Chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia, hormonal imbalances, auto-immune conditions, the list goes on. If you have something like this, you know it is easily exacerbated when you bump your health to the bottom of the list. We can all recall times we had to burn the candle at both ends, when the go-go-go did not let up for weeks, months, sometimes years on end. Many of us come out of this with health concerns we can no longer ignore. If you are in this camp, struggling with difficult to manage symptoms, anxiety, low energy, whatever burnout looks like for you, then you know that prioritizing self-care practices at this stage in the game will, absolutely will, have an impact on how you feel.
Self-care seems very simple on the surface. Just take care of yourself already! But it is never that easy. Self-care is tricky for two reasons. One, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What I choose to do to fill my cup and nourish my soul will be different from what you do. Self-care is nuanced and what may work for you at one phase in your life may not make sense in the next. It takes some digging. We need to be open to trying different practices and routines and then consciously note their effect on our health and our lives. Secondly, and perhaps most frustrating for some of us is the fact that self-care requires a certain level of consistency to truly be a game (life) changer. This is not a one and done deal. It doesn’t mean you have to do the same routine day in and day out, but you do have to return to prioritizing your well-being regularly. My meditation teacher once described daily meditation as making deposits into a bank account you don’t collect dividends from for years. Self-care is similar. Often you will feel an immediate effect, but what you can really bank on is that there is a cumulative sense of well-being when taking care of yourself is a way of life rather than the occasional one-off.
If this sounds overwhelming, I invite you to see this not as a demand on your time, but instead an opportunity to playfully explore what feels good. Throw it all into the mix and see what sticks. Try on an evening gratitude practice where a few times a week you write about something that surprised you during the day that you appreciated. Invest in some gorgeous tarot cards and take five minutes in the morning to pull a daily card to give you insight and direction. Learn a few breathwork techniques that are proven to elicit your relaxation response and help you navigate stressful triggers. Commit to walking in nature or spending time in a park once a week and try forest bathing where you mindfully take it all in. Go out of your way to connect with a friend, knowing that even just a heartfelt text can lift your mood.
Need more direction? Take one weekend morning, light a candle, grab a journal, ask yourself these questions and then jot down what comes your way.
What would make my body feel strong, supple and energized?
What would make my mind feel centered, calm and able to respond skillfully to what comes my way?
What can I do to feel aligned with something bigger? When do I feel connected and at home in the world?
These are your cues, this is your direction. Take it, run with it, enjoy it and know that a life where you feel strong, connected and at ease is a radical life worth fighting for.
COVID UPDATE - APRIL 6TH, 2020
We are opening our doors again Tuesday, April 7th. According to the state of Washington, we are considered an essential business as alternative health providers and we believe we are able to safely provide patient care during this time. We are following guidelines provided by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and local health authorities. See our list of services available below and the additional guidelines we are following.
SAFETY GUIDELINES at RIPPLE WELLNESS
We are currently pre-screening ALL patients for any one of the following symptoms for the last 14 days for them or anyone in their household: cough, sore throat, fever, difficulty breathing or patients who have been exposed to anyone with confirmed COVID in the last 14 days. TeleHealth visits are available for any of these patients.
We have taken extra precautions at Ripple such as screening our own staff, spacing out chairs in the lobby for 6’ distancing, removing tea and water service and disinfecting treatment rooms between each patients.
NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE: Dr. Cocks is offering in-person and TeleHealth visits for all patients. Due to needing to provide a physical exam for new patients, Dr. Cocks is only seeing established patients for TeleHealth visits.
ACUPUNCTURE: Jeff Olson, L.Ac. is available for in-person acupuncture visits. He is also available for TeleHealth herbal consults and prescriptions for immunity, insomnia, anxiety and other symptoms.
NUTRITION COUNSELING: Marketa Simal, FNTP, RWP is available for TeleHealth nutrition consulting.
YOGA THERAPY: Emily Olson, PTA, E-RYT is available for video yoga consults for yoga, breathwork, meditation and stress relief practices.
UPCOMING COMMUNITY CLASSES
LIVE ONLINE CHAIR YOGA CLASS
Join Emily to stretch, move and breathe deep with a gentle, but challenging chair yoga sequence. Appropriate for all levels, there will be something for everyone!
We'll cover strength, balance, spinal mobility and overall flexibility.
Make sure you have a yoga mat and a sturdy chair.
Follow the Zoom link below and we'll see you Wednesday!
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 650 729 850
We are available by phone Monday-Thursday, call us with any questions!
We held our Radical Self-Care class online on Sunday. Here is a brief recap of resources we offered. If you were there, thanks for joining! If you missed it, we will have another wellness class coming up soon, stay tuned by joining our mailing list.
Breathing Exercises by Emily Olson:
These practices are to facilitate a longer exhale which helps activate the relaxation response and decrease anxiety.
Keep your breathing comfortable for both these practices. Avoid over straining and error on the side of less effort.
Pursed Lip Breathing aka Smell the Rose, Blow out the Candle
Inhale through your nose
Exhale through pursed lips like your blowing through a straw or blowing out one birthday candle
Make your exhale slightly longer than your inhale
Inhale softly through your nose
Pause at the top of your inhale briefly
Exhale softly through your nose
Pause at the bottom of your exhale briefly
Visualize a wave. Lengthen your exhale so it is slightly longer than your inhale, imagine that part of the wave being longer.
Contacts for the facilitators of the group:
Emily Olson: Yoga Instructor and owner of Ripple Wellness
Emily offers private yoga sessions online.
Jennifer Delliquadri: Certified Life Coach and Yoga Instructor
Jennifer's YouTube channel with yoga and meditation videos.
Jennifer offers life coaching sessions online.
Tina Eifert is a non-toxic home and skincare advocate and reps Beauty Counter.
Her cell is (360) 600-2334
Resources for managing anxiety:
Breathing: Relax Lite Breathing App
Yoga: Home Yoga App
Meditation: Insight Timer App
Resource from Tina for Testing Your Own Non-Toxic Products
Skin Deep App
Thanks everyone, hang in there this week. Try and stay positive and calm and take care of yourself!
Dear Ripple Community,
We want to stay in touch and let you know how things are looking at Ripple this week in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are here to assure you that we continue to take stringent precautions to keep our patients and staff safe and we are open for business offering acupuncture, massage, naturopathic medicine, nutrition counseling and yoga sessions.
Our Mission Stands
From day one at Ripple our mission has been to be a hub for health and wellness in our community. Now more than ever we are called to action. We want to inspire you to stay with us on the path of well-being and self-care during this uncertainty. Spread the calm is our vision, we believe we can help spread the calm amongst ourselves as a wellness team and our patients. Not only is this a heartening approach to this pandemic, it is a legitimate way to boost immunity.
Each of us has the power to make healthy choices and manage our stress and anxiety - even amid the uncertainty. It’s a tall order, but one that we should not shy away from.
Our Offerings Remain
We are here for you with telehealth options with our Naturopathic physician, video sessions with our functional nutritionist, video yoga sessions with myself, Emily Olson, monthly online wellness classes and plenty of resources shared through social media to help you stay strong, healthy and sane during this troubling time.
We hope you will join us in taking back what can often get lost during turbulent times - our well-being, our trust in our own power and our inspiration to stay healthy and strong.
Our Gift To You
If you need an assist to stay calm and grounded this week, check out this wonderful 15-minute guided meditationfrom our friend, Barbara Robitaille. Barbara facilitated our Mindfulness & Meditation group in March and this meditation is a calming antidote to the stress and anxiety out there.
What to expect in person and online from Ripple Wellness.....
The Ripple Team
Guest speaker, Barbara Robitaille, came down from Seattle to facilitate our March group.
She spoke about how to release fear, lessen anxiety, and live with heart-centered focus in times fraught with uncertainty and stress. Barbara promotes what she has termed “vigilant presence” -- essentially awakening to the present moment through being responsive as opposed to being reactive. She recommends techniques including creating a meditation practice that brings you to a safe place in your mind that you can access any time, of listening to music that shifts your energy, creating a life that you love ~ that you don’t need to escape from, and viewing every action as a prayer.
Her talk was a treat and as promised, spoke right to the heart.
Here is a link to Barb's closing meditation from the talk.
Our Mindfulness & Meditation group meets the first Sunday of every month from 4:00-5:15pm at Body Bliss Yoga Studio in downtown Camas.
We host rotating teachers from different spiritual traditions.
Join us next month on Sunday, April 5th with August Jensen of Gorge Counseling and Psychotherapy.
To register, go to the Class Page on Body Bliss Yoga Studio website and find the Monthly Meditation group on April 5th.
Hope to see you!
Nutrition at Ripple....
When we opened our doors back in 2017, we started with a massage therapist, an acupuncturist and a nutritionist. We believe nutrition is the foundation of health and wellness and we loved working with Emily Penn, a holistic nutritionist. Since then Emily moved out of state and our next nutritionist, Alycia O'Leary left Ripple to be at home with her baby. For a while there we thought we could refer out for nutrition and not offer it at Ripple, but our community asked for us to bring it back! We have gotten phone calls, emails and requests from current patients to offer nutrition counseling.
We are thrilled to have found Marketa and believe her expertise and the services she offers will be a unique and valuable contribution to Ripple. Check her out and let us know what you think!
What is Functional Nutrition Therapy and what services will you be offering at Ripple?
Functional nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all approach. We are all unique, with our own genetic make-up, health history, lifestyle and emotional profile, therefore, we each require a customized strategy to achieve and sustain optimal health.
Functional nutrition aims at addressing the imbalances in the body by restoring function through nutrient dense food, lifestyle and high quality supplement interventions. Functional nutritionists do not diagnose or treat disease, rather they transform dysfunctioning bodily systems into optimal, functional health.
I will be providing nutritional consultations at Ripple. Nutritional consultations will include a complete evaluation such as a detailed nutritional assessment, dietary and health history overview and targeted testing to gather in-depth understanding of client’s biochemistry and current health status. Based on the gathered information, I will create a customized nutritional program and recommend a healing protocol when needed. I will use dietary and lifestyle interventions and supplemental protocols to bring the body back to balance. I will support and guide my clients throughout the healing journey as much as I can.
What kind of clients do you typically see?
I typically see clients who are struggling with digestive problems, weight gain, autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, skin problems but also depression, anxiety and insomnia. I also work with clients who just want to make sure that they are giving their bodies the right nutrients and also with clients who need more help and guidance with making easy and quick meals.
What is your favorite part about nutrition?
My favorite part about nutrition is seeing the transformations in my clients. Food can truly be the best medicine. I must also add that I love building relationships with my clients as it plays a big role in strengthening the motivation, building resiliency and make dietary and lifestyle changes that stick.
When can I see you?
I start this week! I will be seeing clients Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays. You cal always schedule a 15-minute FREE consult if you would like to meet me and see if nutrition therapy is a good fit for you.
Do you take insurance?
Nutrition Therapy is not covered under insurance. However. many Health Savings Account (HSA) plans and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans will cover these services.
What are your rates?
15-minute consultation - FREE!
90-Minute Initial Intake $130
60-Minute Follow Up $100
We do LOTS of packages with and without additional labs, call for information!
Click here to learn more about Functional Nutrition Therapy at Ripple!
Our second Mindfulness & Meditation group at Body Bliss Yoga Studio was a sweet discussion on Loving Kindness, the strategies for keeping kindness in our hearts and the obstacles that get in the way. We sat together in a guided loving kindness meditation followed by a breath awareness meditation.
Our next group meets Sunday, March 1st. Guest speaker, Barbara Robitaille will be coming down from Seattle to be with us. She is going to be speaking to living a life committed to compassion and kindness over fear and hate. Barbara has spoken at our clinic in the past and is a sincere, inspired, accessible teacher. Don't miss this one!
Register online for our March group here - hope to see you!
Here are some resources we talked about today.
I talked about this short excerpt of an interview with Susan Sarandon and Eckhart Tolle on the role of presence in acting.
I referenced this charming Sharon Salzberg video with animation called, Where Does Compassion Really Come From?
I also mentioned Pema Chodron and her video on explaining loving kindness.
UPCOMING DAY-LONG RETREAT
Mount Adams Zen Center Metta Day Retreat
March 14th 9:00am-3:00pm
Trout Lake, WA
LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION
May I be well
May I be happy
May I know love
May I know peace
May you be well
May you be happy
May you know love
May you know peace
May all beings be well
May all beings happy
May all beings know love
May all beings know peace
Insight Timer - free and paid meditation classes and recordings
Headspace - subscription meditation app with a free trial
LOCAL MEDITATION GROUPS
Camas Public Library weekly class - check out the events calendar of details.
Camas Meditation Group - meets Sundays at 7:00pm at Breathe Yoga in Vancouver
Hope to see you all at the March group! Feel free to comment and let us know what you would like to see in the future!
Have you been thinking about starting an exercise program? Do you want to meet new people and help others as well as yourself on the road to better health? Do you need motivation and accountability? If so, this your group! Join me, Dr. Cesilie Cocks for a weekly walking group at Washougal Waterfront Park.
Walking in a group is a great way to start walking, make new friends and stay motivated. There’s nothing like a walk with friends — you can catch up, decrease stress and get the exercise you need at the same time. Recent research shows you may be more likely to stick with a walking group compared to a solo walking routine. Additionally, walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. Even a 10-minute daily walk boasts health benefits and counts towards your recommended of 150 minutes of exercise weekly.
1. Increases social connections: Joining a walking group helps you connect with others and make friends. According to a study in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy group walkers attribute a boost in their well-being to the social support they get from their walking buddies.
2. Improves mood: A brisk walk encourages the release of mood-boosting endorphins, and in the long term, it may also lower your risk of depression.
3. Boosts heart health: Walking can improve your cardiovascular fitness, lower your blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol levels, help balance blood sugar and, in turn, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
4. Keeps you motivated: Working out with others consistently means you’ll have like-minded friends to motivate you when you don’t feel like exercising, and they’ll keep you challenged.
5. It's safe: There’s safety in numbers, so with your walking group you’ll feel comfortable exploring new parts of your town or walking when it' s dark out.
LOCATION: Washougal Waterfront Park Trail
TIME: Every Wednesday 5:30pm starting February 5th, 2020
RAIN OR SHINE!
Any levels of fitness welcomed! We will accommodate the needs of all our walkers. Bring your friends or family members too!
HOW TO MAKE WALKING A HABIT
Think of ways to include walking in your daily routine by adding it to your daily routine. As examples, adding it to your journey to work, walking to the shops, using stairs instead of elevators, walking the kids to school, going for a stroll with the family after dinner.
We had a full house for our first Mindfulness & Meditation group! As we have quickly outgrown our Ripple space, our next group will be at Body Bliss Yoga Studio in downtown Camas on Sunday, February 2nd, 4:00-5:15pm.
Body Bliss has plenty of bolsters and blankets for sitting, if you prefer to sit in a chair, please bring one as we only have a handful.
Register online here - hope to see you!
Here are some resources we talked about in our January group.
On Being Interview with Krista Tippett and Jon Kabat-Zinn
Insight Timer - free and paid meditation classes and recordings
Headspace - subscription meditation app with a free trial
LOCAL MEDITATION GROUPS
Camas Public Library weekly class - Wednesdays 10:00am-1:00pm
Camas Meditation Group - meets Sundays at 7:00pm at Breathe Yoga in Vancouver
Hope to see you all at the February group! Feel free to comment and let us know what you would like to see at these groups.
We are thrilled to introduce our Mindfulness and Meditation Group at Ripple. As a community clinic, we are committed to sharing what we know on health and wellness topics of all kinds and in this age of consistent stress and overwhelm, we want to offer a monthly check-in and place to share mindfulness skills and sit in a guided meditation together.
Each month will have a theme like gratitude, cultivating stillness and mindful communication where we learn about these topics, share what we know and close with a group, guided meditation.
NEW TO MEDITATION? This is a great place to start. Sitting with other people is a wonderful way to begin to meditate, you will learn different techniques and be lead with cues from the teacher while experiencing firsthand the benefits of sitting with a group.
We will be hosting guest speakers throughout the year for inspiration. Thay Kozen from Mount Adams Zen Center (link) will be joining us in the spring. If you know anyone you would like to see host our group, please send them our way!
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as the act of paying attention, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and without judgement. It seems simple, but to get there consistently takes practice. If you have not already delved into mindfulness techniques, you will be amazed at how powerful simply paying attention in the moment can be.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation is choosing an object of concentration and focusing on it for some time. It can be your breath moving in and out, mentally repeating a phrase or scanning your own body sensations, there are many techniques we can explore. Meditation is not about “quieting the mind”, although that can happen, it is about harnessing the mind to focus and experiencing sitting quietly with ourselves.
WHY A GROUP?
Mindfulness and meditation practices are very close to my heart, but I know I can’t go at it alone. We need to find people who share our desire to learn and grow with daily self awareness because the road is not always easy. Although it is a deeply personal practice, meditation is not a lone wolf enterprise. I hope this group connects you to people who can share in your journey and inspire you to take a breath, be in the moment and enjoy your life right here and right now.
Hope you’ll join us! Comment here and let us know what you would like you see on the monthly line-up of topics.
Our January group filled up so fast, we have moved the location of this group to a larger space at Body Bliss Yoga Studio in downtown Camas.
First Sunday of every month - 4:00-5:15pm
$5 - $10 suggested donation for the teacher
Space is limited - register online here.
Emily Olson, E-RYT, PTA is a health educator, yoga therapist & teacher and Physical Therapist Assistant. In 2016, she opened Ripple Wellness with her husband, Jeff. A multi-disciplinary natural health clinic, Ripple offers acupuncture, massage, naturopathic medicine, nutrition and yoga with a unique commitment to community outreach and education. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @ripplewellness