When was the last time you practiced some self-care? In the cyclone crisis mode we’ve been in, self-care has likely not been a high priority. But if you’re noticing the effects of the stress and disruption that we are all continuing to navigate, now is probably the right time to start to call upon some self-care habits!
Local health coach Becs Erickson calls upon the oxygen mask principle to explain - you’ve got to put your own mask on first before you can face the crisis and assist others. “You have to take good care of you first, and then overflow to others.” Instead of the mindset of ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I don’t deserve it,' Becs would love to see self-care treated as a non-negotiable, “then everything becomes more doable.”
Self-care means something different to everyone. The kind that Becs is encouraging is about small, positive incremental lifestyle changes that ultimately lead to big impacts on overall health. She coaches these in her course 'Good Change', which takes women on a journey of seasonal alignment and self-care, to help them find an easeful way of integrating daily self-care habits.
Certified in Ayurveda and Yoga, Becs’ coaching is grounded in the holistic teachings of Ayurveda, a healing system developed thousands of years ago in India. Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit words ayur meaning life and veda meaning knowledge or science, and it empowers individuals to achieve and maintain balance in body, mind, and spirit through the different stages and seasons of their lives.
Ayurveda guides her approach, however Becs also weaves in modern teachings of Mindset and Behavioral Science. A lifetime learner, she’s a sponge for knowledge. Becs also understands the information can’t just stay up in our heads. “Many of us know all this stuff, but it can become top heavy. When I created Good Change I wanted it to be embodied learning, a hands-on or ‘felt’ experience in your body of how it feels when you do these practices. So that your body remembers.”
The full Good Change programme runs all year, spread over 3 seasons of 12 weeks each. You can join for the year or a season, and the Winter intake is now open (each 12-week season aligns with an Ayurvedic season). The heart of the programme is a weekly online meeting, and it also includes one-on-one coaching and invitations for deeper self-inquiry through reflective practices.
As a busy working mum herself, Becs isn’t trying to add to anyone’s to-do list. The inspiration for Good Change comes from the Japanese word kaizen, or small, incremental change. The habits you learn in the course don’t take a whole lot of effort. They’re more like 1% shifts that ideally become automatic. “Once upon a time brushing your teeth wasn’t automatic, but now the thought of not brushing your teeth is ick.” The goal is to get self-care habits to feel just as unquestionable.
The course teaches 10 habits like going to bed earlier and shifting back when you eat your evening meal. But these seemingly small tweaks can be really impactful on sleep, digestion, mental state and energy levels. “You may not notice much along the way, but we always do a reflection 6 or 12 weeks down the track, and then you see that really a lot has shifted.” Sometimes positive effects are immediately apparent within the first week, but Becs thinks of it more like planting seeds that you will watch grow later on. “These are self-care habits that last a lifetime, so that we can age well and maintain our health as long as possible.”
And because Good Change operates in community, there’s a support network. “It’s easier to try on a new way of doing things when you know others are doing the same thing.” Becs meets each client where she is; some start the course looking to heal, some come in looking for direction or purpose, and some just want to meet and connect with other like minded women.
For all women, there’s an opportunity to seek more balance. “It’s like an old school radio. When we’re balanced we get a nice clear signal, and when we’re out of balance, we get static.” When we are more in tune with our bodies, we notice when the static starts, and have the tools to guide ourselves back to a clear signal.
As Becs knows well, often we’re too busy and distracted to notice the static, and we let ourselves slip into greater imbalance or dis-ease. Her own journey on the Ayurvedic path started in 2014, when her body was breaking down, a culmination of a lot of things over many years. “My wish is that people don’t have to get to where I got to in order to rebuild.” Her goal is for self-care to be seen as essential, so we stay aware and able to calibrate ourselves toward that clear radio signal of ‘balance’, where we feel grounded, centered and steady.
To help make self-care even more inviting, Becs has teamed up with friend Sanne to launch Soma, an Ayurvedic range of natural wellness products like digestive teas and massage oils. The hope is that if people have products they truly enjoy using in their self-care rituals, they’re motivated to keep up their routines, especially when life throws a curveball. “Our nervous systems need extra support in this world we’re living in - we’re all being called to evolve. It’s not a matter of if something like the cyclone happens again, it’s when. And so we have to shift the focus to what we can control.”
It’s all a practice, and the more we do it, the easier it becomes. And for Becs there is a real connection between self-care and resilience, which we need more than ever. “Everything is doable, you can handle anything, when you’ve got that resilience.” Your chance to join Good Change is coming right up! The winter intake starts 30 May, and Early Bird pricing closes on 2 April. If you feel called to learn more, reach out to Becs for a free 30-min health chat and find out if the programme is a good fit for you. Spaces are limited.