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Sustainable Self-Care Practices

Sustainable Self-Care Practices

By: Kristin Dahl 

The relationship we have with ourselves is truly the most important relationship of all. Taking time to care for ourselves is crucial to living from a vibrant and vital place. When we honor the call for self-care, we nurture ourselves deeply and allow our bodies to reset and restore.

When we give ourselves time to unplug, nap, daydream, and just be, we allow our nervous system to move from a fight or flight state to a state of deep relaxation. In this state, our bodies renew and repair themselves more effectively. Our metabolism regulates, our hormones rebalance, and our skin begins to radiate. Giving ourselves this gift of downtime creates space for healing to occur.

Our culture demands almost a constant outflow of energy. It’s often when we are busiest that the most essential elements of taking care of ourselves somehow fall away.  We try to keep up with the quickening pace, pushing past the max of what our bodies are capable of; this results in low immunity, constant fatigue, brain fog, and unconscious stress. And, eventually, dis-ease in the mind or body.

So how do we take time for self-care when the demands are so high?

The most direct way is to simplify and prioritize the needs of your body over everything else. It often means saying no when you are already overcommitted and taking the time to be present with the basic needs of your body. Perhaps it’s reading, sipping tea or taking a bath, spending time in nature, or booking a massage. Maybe it’s a day at home in your jammies with nothing planned at all to just sink in or taking a “sick day” off of work before you really can’t make it in.

Self-care begins when we reconnect with ourselves. Take a peek through this guide for a few simple ways you can care for yourself a little more each day.

 

1. TAKE BREATH BREAKS

The fastest way that we can connect to our body is through our breath. This offers us a profound awareness and mindfulness of what we need to fully nurture ourselves.

Deep breathing for even just five minutes at a time throughout the day can offer your body and mind so much relief.  This could mean simple five minute breath breaks at the office or between clients or taking yourself for a walk around your neighborhood or office building and drawing in the fresh air.

 

2. UNPLUG

Unplugging is absolutely essential for our happiness and well-being. Take time away from technology as often as possible. Capture every moment with your heart and mind and allow yourself to sink into the moments. Spend more time with others over texting and chatting online. This unplugged time may be one of the best ways to reset our nervous system.

 

3. SPEAK WORDS OF KINDNESS TO YOURSELF

You are a beautiful being. Remind yourself that every day with gentle, loving internal and external dialogue. Always make an effort to be kind to yourself, just as you are to others.

 

4. ADAPT TO THE SEASONS

Tailor your diet, exercise routine, sleep schedule, and lifestyle to match the rhythms of nature and you’ll find yourself in better health and alignment. Especially in the winter time, honoring the gentle and internal energies of the season means slowing down, resting, and making time for grounding rituals.

 

5. EAT REGULAR MEALS AT REGULAR TIMES

Nourishing yourself regularly throughout the day with balanced meals helps keep your metabolism fueled, blood sugar stable, and moods stable.

 

6. DRINK WATER

Every cell, tissue, and organ in the body needs water to work efficiently. Without enough water poor health is quickly on the horizon. There are a number of functions that water performs for the body: regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients and electrical signals to cells, lubricating the joints, and flushing out toxins and wastes. A mere 5% drop in the body’s water levels can cause a 30% loss of energy.

 

7. GET MOVING

Engage in regular activity to keep the lymph and qi in your body flowing. The helps maintain a healthy metabolism & hormones, regulates body temperature, and pacifies emotional imbalance.

 

8. GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Every bit of our being benefits from regular, restorative sleep. Setting a routine that includes 7-8 hours of sleep before midnight is key for restoring harmony.

 

The daily practice of tuning in, getting intimate with ourselves, and creating boundaries with those around us creates a life of more happiness and helps us navigate life with more ease. When we deeply honor, nourish & care for ourselves, we have so much more to offer. Do this for yourself as often as possible. You are worth this radical self-love and self-care.

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BODY POSITIVE YOGI we love

BODY POSITIVE YOGI we love

Yoga is inherently both challenging and healing, and the people who are brave enough to make yoga part of their lives are inspiring, to be sure.

One of the best things about yoga is that everyone can do it. There are varying types and levels, and the whole point is that it’s an ever-evolving journey.

@MYNAMEISJESSAMYN

 

 

 

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A GUIDE TO TRUE EMBODIMENT

A GUIDE TO TRUE EMBODIMENT

By: Kristin Dahl

As women we are often obsessed with our bodies and experience a great deal of pain as our bodies change (monthly, yearly, after kids, with health conditions, etc.) This fixation is generally driven by a body-obsessed culture in which everywhere we turn there is a reinforcing image or message that our bodies must be “perfect.” Many of us don’t feel at home in our bodies or have a really difficult time inhabiting them. Generally, this dissatisfaction with ourselves leads us further and further away from our inner riches, and we look to “fill up” on material things or experiences that offer a fleeting sense of satisfaction but bring us no closer to the depth and connection we are craving.

True embodiment is being grounded in the body with the heart, mind and spirit joining as a cohesive whole. It’s when mind and body become one. When we align our intellect with the innate inclinations of the body.

How you feel about your body and the messages you send yourself everyday can truly impact your health in both a mental and physical sense. When we are constantly at war with ourselves, we not only risk the isolation it creates, we also risk the long-term effects it can have on our well-being. The tendency to block out hard feelings is our primal and mammalian response to protect ourselves. However, the body stores unfelt feelings and “fight or flight” patterning in our limbic system. Over time, this stresses the nervous system which influences every organ system and function in the body, adversely affecting our health.

When we honor our feelings, however painful they may be, we move through challenging emotions and begin healing. In order to become embodied, we must allow ourselves to engage in the present moment, listen to the impulses of our bodies and honor our feelings. When we come into a clear conversation with our bodies, we receive messages about how we can best support ourselves. What foods are working, what exercises feel best, when we need rest, and so on. We begin to live in tune with the rhythms of our body and breath, and our life reflects this fluidity.

Let us begin to honor this sacred connection to ourselves and not just our external appearance. Give yourself time each day to fully get in touch with yourself. Become aware of what body parts need attention. Practice self-massage to create more flow in the body. Let your body rest when you are run-down. Walk in nature and move slowly with engaged awareness. Just begin to respect your body more & all that it does for you – automatically. The more we nurture and nourish our bodies, the more vital and balanced our bodies become, and the less susceptible we are to dis-ease.

Below are 5 tools to help initiate a deeper connection with yourself:

 

1. ALLOW YOURSELF AN HOUR TO EASE INTO THE DAY

 

Ground yourself before offering all of your energy to the world (your phone). Give your life space away from technology often so you can sink into yourself more, and you’ll have more to offer those around you. Take “tech breaks” throughout the day, week, or month.

 

2.  GROUND YOURSELF WITH BREATH

 

Take brief “breath breaks” throughout the day. Simply inhale deeply for the count of 7, then hold for 2, then exhale slowly to the count of 7. Connecting to our breath is a powerful way to get back into our bodies and feel ourselves again. Take several moments throughout the day to ground yourself through your breath. Begin your day with 5-10 minutes of deep breathing & end your day the same way.

 

3. PRACTICE ABHYANGA

 

Abhyanga (self-massage) is a practice in ayurvedic medicine to restore whole body health. Put in simple terms, abhyanga is the practice of massaging or anointing your body with oils from head to toe; a warm bath or shower usually follows the process. By massaging these oils, usually infused with herbs, into your skin, you help them sink deeper, creating more benefits than just placing oil on the skin. This practice creates a deeper connection with the body & decreases the effects of aging on the skin. It increases muscle tone, lubricates joints, increases circulation, moves lymph through the body, increases detoxification, increases bowel regularity, calms nerves, decreases stress levels, improves quality of sleep, balances the doshas, and increases feelings of self love and self worth.

 

4. HONOR YOUR FEELINGS

 

Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and anger are emotions we all experience throughout our day-to-day lives. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. Find ways to nurture, comfort, and resolve your issues without using food. Sure, food may offer a fleeting comfort, maybe distract you from the pain or even numb you into a food coma, but food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating emotionally will make you feel more disconnected. It’s important to honor your feelings, whatever they may be, and reach out to loved ones when you need support. This will help you get clear and connect you to your heart space once more so you can make conscious decisions.

 

5. BE MINDFUL WITH YOUR MEALS

 

Tune into your body’s true needs, regardless of the messages you are receiving from the outside. Practice non-attachment to diet plans or protocols. Our bodies are always changing and what may have worked before might not be the best choice now. Be present with meals & focus on what is giving you energy and what makes you feel sluggish.. Try not to eat in a rush. Eat & chew slowly. This will support proper digestion and relaxation during meals, which helps to support the bodies natural rhythms.

Follow these amazing ladies wellness journey

@cheryljacksonradio @cheryljacksonent @theekymlee @theonlyurs @zuralovespinknvsg

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