There is a quote attributed to Izak Dinesen that goes, "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea."
It is this sentiment that sparked today's self care suggestion, which invites you to take whichever piece you have available to you and use it in the spirit of taking care of yourself.
Do you live near the sea? Excellent!
Sea air is charged with negative ions, which increases our happy hormone, serotonin. Sea water is rich in vital elements and anti-inflammatory minerals like zinc, iron, potassium and magnesium, which regulate our nervous system and help heal and protect our skin barrier.
Stress depletes those mineral levels and we typically don’t get enough from our diet alone but we do absorb more by the seaside, whether we're breathing in sea air, eating fresh seafood or bathing in the sea.
Salt also has physical benefits, from oxygenating our blood to regulating blood sugar levels, boosting our immune systems to improving our circulation.
Do you feel like you could just cry right now? Terrific!
There are three types of tears the body produces: reflex, which clear your eye of things like dust or smoke, continuous, which are 98% water and act as a protective lubricant, and emotional, which release stress hormones and other toxins from the body.
Emotional crying is a self-soothing technique that activates your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing your body to rest and digest. Crying for a long time releases endorphins, feel-good chemicals that help ease both emotional and physical pain, and one study has even found that sobbing can improve your mood.
And while crying helps us through the grieving process, it's not just for sad emotions. Some people (like me!) cry when they experience a rage of emotion, like happiness, fear, or stress. Research indicates that this kind of crying is a way to restore emotional equilibrium, which is a balance your body is always aiming to achieve.
Neither of those apply to you? Perfect!
Creating an opportunity to break a sweat, either from exercise, hot weather, or a sauna experience, is another way to detoxify and heal your body.
Sweat glands help our skin filter toxins out of the body, which in turn boosts our immune system. Sweating also increases circulation throughout our organs, muscles, and tissue, and eliminates salt from the body which prevents kidney stones from forming.
Additionally, sweating increases our thirst (which causes us to drink more water and we already know all about the benefits of drinking water!), and opens the pores on our skin to allow for a protective barrier against pathogens to form (this means less bacteria on your skin!)
Self-Care September Day 23: Let Salt Water Heal You
Take your pick - sweat, tears, or the sea - and let yourself do a little healing today.
I love you and I'll see you soon!
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