Dear Soft Hearted Loves,
Human suffering is nothing new and 2020/2021 are no exception. I hope all supports are on deck to help people with traumas from this pandemic. One of the supportive things we can get on deck is our bodies and that includes things like incorporating the parasympathetic nervous system and hormones like serotonin. We’ve discussed the importance of the parasympathetic nervous system and what we can do for our nervous systems in previous articles. Now I’d like us to focus on serotonin because we know that serotonin can help with sadness and nervousness. The serotonin kit can’t replace therapy or medication, but below are a few suggestions on how to build a serotonin kit just for you! Take what you like from the kit and add or remove what you need. You can even share favorite ways you help yourself access more serotonin in the comment section below if you’d like.
People hear from doctors, famous psychologists, and people everywhere throughout time how important movement is for our body and spirit. While this is true, it is also important to move in alignment with what we need for that day. What are ways your body needs movement? Do your hips or calves need movement or perhaps your back or wrists? This is coming from someone who use to plow through half marathons despite the pain it caused. This is coming from someone who subscribed to diet mentality with abandonment of the body. I embrace new ways to move my body as someone who is releasing from image driven, colonialist ways of measuring worth through athletic performance and image. You can connect with movement in ways your body needs today. Perhaps it is a few minutes of dancing rather than training for a marathon. Or perhaps you want to feel the crunch of leaves on a walk outside. Maybe it is trying a physical activity you haven’t tried before or a long-lost activity that you crave. You can consult with your team (medical and or other healing professionals) about ways in which you can move safely. Maybe even consult with your inner loving team on what your inner world needs to express themselves and move today.
Have you ever felt a renewed sense of gratitude, grounding or joy when sitting in the sun? Serotonin may be boosted through more exposure to light via the sun or a therapeutic light such as happy lights. Sometimes sunlight or a happy light can feel activating so it is best not to engage before bedtime. I know you’ll know how to care for your skin to make sure the sun doesn’t hurt you, but other than sunscreen there’s not much to be said about this part of the serotonin kit. This is simply a reminder of what cultures all across the globe have known and practiced throughout time. The sun or a therapeutic light is healing and can help boost one’s serotonin.
Certain foods can also help us access more serotonin. Since I’m a Psychologist and not a Nutritionist or Coach I won’t delve into this suggestion much, but I will say you can ask one of the experts about how to boost serotonin in the gut.
Whatever you do, listening to and loving on you as you heal from the devastations of this pandemic is a win. I’m proud of you for trying to develop a kit just for you in whatever that looks like for you.