Cucumber Sandwiches: Part of your self-care?


Many years ago (I won’t admit how many), my husband and I were in the Peace Corps, living in Apia, Samoa, in the South Pacific. I was teaching nursing at the College of Nursing, and our Principle was a woman from New Zealand.

On most days, we observed the British practice of Afternoon Tea, that is, a short break late in the afternoon, when we enjoyed a cup of tea in the faculty lounge, oftentimes accompanied by small open-faced cucumber sandwiches.

Now I don’t believe that the cucumbers themselves had any great health benefits, but the practice of taking that short break certainly did. We returned to our work refreshed and re-energized for that last hour of the work day.


SMALL–and I mean SMALL–positive self care practices, such as pausing for an afternoon cup of tea, can have tremendous health benefits.

Deborah Davis, in her book “Women’s Qigong for Health and Longevity,” states that “by incorporating simple [self-care] routines into your day, you will reclaim your vitality, as well as increase your energy reserves . . and relieve tension.” Learn more about Deborah here.

Any small positive act of self-care sends a powerful message to the brain’s limbic system that “All is well,” and facilitates the body’s self-healing capabilities.

Two of my primary “mini” self-care practices:

–Soft belly breathing. Every AM before getting out of bed, and oftentimes throughout the day, I take 5 deep belly breaths, breathing slowly and deeply into the abdomen. This sends a message through the autonomic nervous system to the entire body to relax.

–Time in nature. I plan to be outside in nature for at least 5 minutes (usually longer) 362 days/year (accounting for 2-3 missed days when it may be 20 degrees below zero or pouring rain). Most often, this also involves a walk with my furry friend!

As we return to the “new normal,” and many people are still facing much uncertainty, this is an essential time to be engaging in positive self-care practices–both big and small.

SMALL positive daily habits add up to big results.

What small self-care practice are you doing to enhance your good health? I’d love to hear about it.  Or maybe you need some expert advice to START engaging in a small self-care practice. My expertise as a Holistic Nurse practitioner and my step-by-step process will help you achieve your health goals.



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