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How I discovered Me Time in Biloxi, Mississippi

Getting Me Time in Biloxi, Mississippi

I call “me time” Active Self Time

AST is Active Self Time. I created it to encourage my beautiful patients to move their bodies. It’s a twist on “Me Time”. 

From NYC to Biloxi, Mississippi

In 1995 my husband and I left New York City to move to his hometown Biloxi, Mississippi, to raise our new baby girl. I left all my family, friends, and coworkers behind. This was one of the most painful moments in my life as I drove away in the U-haul crying, looking at the side view mirror, where my crying mother, family and friends stood in the middle of the street. 

The move allowed us the freedom to live on a single income and own our own home. Biloxi was beautiful, but I was thirty-two with a new baby, extremely alone, and just watched TV.  Six months after my pregnancy, I was still indoors watching too much TV.

I remember one day I just said,  “Get out of the house and walk! Stop feeling sorry for yourself!  So I put my baby in the carriage and walked outside for forty-five minutes.  It was exhilarating! I reconnected to mySELF. Sure, everything was different. Yes, I felt alone, but I had the right to feel these emotions.  I was experiencing a severe evolutionary change. I was a mom! A new identity. A new career! A mom with no mother or friends from NY and now in the very warm South! Yet I knew, after that walk, it would be okay. I was living in the moment.  Active Self Time, or Me Time, was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. 

Bloom Where You are Planted

Later on, I went to a bookstore and saw a beautiful decorating book by Mary Engelbreit. When I opened it, the page read, “Bloom Where You Are Planted.”  It struck me like a lightning bolt! The quote comes from St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622). I knew that if I was to thrive as a new mom, I needed to be physical and connect with my body, mind, and spirit, with mySELF.  

This allowed me to accept this new beautiful town in the South.  I chose to learn more about the wonderful 300 year old French and Spanish history of Biloxi, MS, since I was going to bloom here.  I learned to live without an Autumn, walk in ninety-five degree weather, eat raw oysters, fried shrimp po-boys, and crawfish, although I’m still working on this one! How do we motivate ourselves to move? Well, AST of course! 

Importance of Active Self Time

Since then, I’ve been encouraging myself and all my patients to use the phrase, “Active Self Time.”  Write “AST” into your schedule. Sit down with your monthly calendar, and with a highlighter choose three times a week you will dedicate to moving or jumping for joy for ten to thirty minutes. If your calendar is on your phone, highlight accordingly. 

Choose one of these for AST:

  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Beginners’ Cross-fit
  • Circuit training
  • Zumba
  • Beginners’ pilates
  • Yoga
  • Jumping on a trampoline
  • Just putting on dance music and moving. Sorry, housework is not on the list! 

Active Self Time in Nature.

Nature heals you, so choosing an outdoor AST at least three times a week increases your sense of wellbeing, vitamin D intake, and improves mood. I have  patients in Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Gulfport, and many other beach towns along the Mississippi Gulf Coast (and as far away as Louisiana and Florida), who can take advantage of our beautiful natural surroundings for Active Self Time. However, if you are not near the beach, go and find your natural setting for AST. Bloom where you are planted! Let me know how you get your AST.

With love and health,

Jackie

Jackie Castro-Cooper, MPT

I hold a Masters in Physical Therapy and specialize in John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release. My passion is helping patients discover their own path to healing through integrative and holistic therapies.