Sometimes we have a lot of time to prepare for a cleanse, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we have extra money to dedicate to a weekend at the spa, or to buy supplements for a cleanse…and sometimes we don’t.
Today we are going to take stock of what you already have at your disposal to support your cleanse this weekend – no special trips to the grocery store, no fancy spas. Just you, with your amazing resources, caring deeply for yourself right now.
#1: Pen and paper
No, we’re not subsisting on ink and paper pulp this weekend (!!). This is the first, and most essential tool to help you get the most out of your cleanse. There are two exercises that use paper and pen, and don’t require a fancy journal, brilliant writing skills, or a lot of time.
- Daily brain dump: Think of this exercise like a daily cleansing for your thinking. The best way to start is to sit down first thing in the morning, with your glass of warm water with 1 Tablespoon of Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar and 1/2 Tablespoon of honey, and while you are sipping on this fabulously cleansing tonic, pick up the pen and start writing. There is no wrong way to do this, just set a goal to write for 1 minute (for starters), and every day increase your writing time little by little. You can write anything. Even if it’s a page full of scribbles….or the word “nothing….I don’t know….this is stupid….why am I doing this….”. If you write better with prompts, start with the last thing you remember before falling asleep last night, or a dream you had, or the first thought you had upon waking this morning.
- Daily cleansing inspiration: Now that you’ve gotten the “brain dump” out of the way, take a few deep breaths and imagine a small goal for your cleanse today, and ask yourself what it is that motivates you to follow through with your plan to meet your goal. For example, “my goal is to drink 8 glasses of warm water today because warm water is easier to digest and staying well hydrated will help me eliminate easier”. It can really be that simple. You could even turn your intention setting into a prayer:
Everyone has a breath – and our breath is fundamental to life. The quality of our breath – the fullness of the inhale, the completeness of the exhale, our posture that facilitates efficient respiration, and the quality of the air we are breathing – contributes directly to our overall health and wellbeing. It is so simple, and always with us, and easy to overlook!
Please take 5 minutes to try this cleansing breath practice that I learned many years ago from the Tibetan Yogic tradition. It is a more elaborate version of nadi shodhana, which you may have done in a yoga class. Please note it is important that each breath should be slow and full, and I recommend keeping a box of tissues nearby (since we are clearing out the nostrils).
Two things to consider about this most obvious of necessities: first, drink water as water. Coffee, tea, soda, juice, seltzer, and alcoholic beverages DO NOT COUNT toward your daily intake of water. Healthline recommends the average adult drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day. Some folks need more, some do better with less. Here’s where understanding your Ayurvedic constitution comes in handy: Kapha dosha, for example, tend to put on water weight easily, or feel “water logged.” Kapha, therefore, shouldn’t force themselves to drink more water than needed. Vata can easily be thrown off balance by too much or too little water. Pitta dosha should pay more attention to hydrating well with room temperature water throughout the day.
Too much water can also douse the digestive fire, and water with food can dilute nutrients, so many wellness traditions recommend waiting at least one hour after eating before you drink. Make sure the water is room temperature, because freezing cold water or even having to chew ice with your water creates more work for your stomach.
If you are accustomed to taking a beverage with your meals, opt for warm water with a lemon slice, and sip on it before eating. This will aid digestion and help clear the liver.
Wow….who thought there was so much to consider about water?
#4: Fresh Air
As much as possible, make a resolution to get more fresh air and sunshine during your cleanse. When you spend time outdoors, you naturally adjust your body rhythm to the rhythms of nature. The longer you stay with a cleansing protocol, the more you will notice yourself, and the world around you slowing down: your vision will become sharper, sounds are amplified, your sense of smell and taste, and even tactile awareness all become heightened.
There is no better place to notice these changes than outdoors, and if you can go for a gentle walk, even better. Walking also stimulates peristalsis, the rhythmic pulsation of the lower intestine to move its contents down and out.
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. The health benefits of 7-8 hours of restful sleep every night, according to health.gov:
- Get sick less often
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
- Reduce stress and improve your mood
- Think more clearly and do better in school and at work
- Get along better with people
- Make good decisions and avoid injuries – for example, sleepy drivers cause thousands of car accidents every year
Try to schedule in extra rest/sleep breaks during your cleanse. Oddly enough, you may feel more tired during a cleanse. This is due to the release of toxins accumulated and stored in the fat. Sleeping is like pushing the “reset” button on your body. Afternoon naps are also highly recommended!
How to get a good nights sleep, or afternoon nap?
Put down or turn off all electronics. Find a comfortable, dark room where you can lie down horizontally. For a rejuvenating 20 minute nap, try yoga nidra, a gentle guided meditation to help you release tension and relax deeply. It may even put you to sleep.
Have more ideas? Did you try one of ours? Tell us what you think in the comments below!