Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: November 2023

You're a Few Minutes Away from a Great Day!

Days can be busy, hectic, and stress-inducing. Our schedules are often filled up with responsibilities like work, kids, bills, emails, and household tasks. The alarm goes off in the morning and we're off to the races. At bedtime, we think about what went wrong during the day, worry about tomorrow, and perhaps lament that we have no time for exercise or self-care.

One of the most important things we can do for our health and wellbeing is pay attention to the way we begin and end our day. The practice I'm about to introduce to you will take no more than a few minutes and will ameliorate your day and, if you keep it up, maybe even your life.

The first thing you're going to do is ... wait for it ... breathe. That's right, the moment you wake up, pause and take a few deep belly breaths. Turn your awareness inward to your breath and your body, and simply take a moment to notice how you are feeling. Approach this with curiosity and no judgment.

Then, think about or write down three things you are looking forward to that day. If you have difficulty with this, try thinking of little things like your morning cup of coffee, a hot shower, or going outside in the sun.

Next, think of or write down an intention for the day. An example is practicing kindness - throughout the day, try to find ways you can show kindness to others. Or your intention could be remaining mindful - every time you catch yourself thinking about the past or the future, gently bring your mind back to the present moment. A third example is practicing self-compassion - if you make a mistake or judge yourself harshly, understand that all humans are flawed, and respond by treating yourself with kindness and care.

Your intention should reflect how you want to show up for yourself and everyone you come into contact with that day. You can now begin your day feeling grounded, emotionally regulated, mindful, centered, and with purpose.

At bedtime, think of or write down three things you are grateful for that day. There's one rule: you cannot repeat items. This encourages you to actively seek out things you are grateful for every day. Next, get comfortable in bed and take some deep belly breaths, scanning your body once more and tuning into how you feel.

I recommend continuing to focus on your breathing until you fall asleep. If your mind is active, try counting each breath up to 10, and then start back at one. If your mind wanders and you lose track, simply begin again at one. Know that the mind will wander. That's what it does. When you catch it wandering, use patience, kindness, and self-compassion to guide it back to the breath. Do this nightly and you'll notice your sleep improve significantly. A good night's sleep makes for a good morning, and you've created a healthy cycle with positive benefits that continue to increase over time.

All it takes is a few minutes when you wake up, and a few minutes when you go to bed. Be consistent, and you will begin to notice your days looking a little brighter, with more hope, inspiration, purpose, and a whole lot to be grateful for!

Relieve Painful, Tight Shoulders with Self-Massage

Tight, achy shoulders - we all have them! Stress and anxiety, sitting for hours at a computer, fatigue, and depression are just some of the reasons for shoulder tension, discomfort, and pain. Follow along with this simple, yet dynamic, self-massage that will release shoulder tension and improve posture. You'll be surprised to find out how relaxed your shoulders will be!

What's new with me ...

My riveting psychological suspense novel, Glass Half Broken, is now available as an audiobook! Get it here and start listening today.

For Halloween this year, Sienna went as her own incredible creation, a "Japanese Witch Bunny."

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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Available now!

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