Hi babies! I've been thinking alot about self care lately, not only because it is central to my own emotional/physical/spiritual health, or because I recently talked about it on the wonderful Goddess Talks podcast (see how I did that shameless plug there?), but because I'm learning how active we each have to be in this life if we want to get the most out of it.
And I don't mean active in terms of how much we can produce or get done, I mean active in behaving in a loving and caring way towards ourselves, so we can be fully in touch with all this life has to offer. This is by no means a prescription for what self care has to look like for you, but just a collection of things I've picked up along my way that help me care for myself. Many of them are free or low cost, because self care is NOT a luxurious spa day that only a few can afford (I mean it could be, but caring for yourself intentionally is for EVERYBODY). Self care is purposefully choosing how we want to live and making sure that what we take into our lives is raising our energetic vibrations. Take what you need from below, and leave the rest!
Love up on your mind:
Be intentional about what you consume.
Black Girl In Om: Hosted by Lauren Ash and Deun Ivory, this podcast talks all things wellness, self-care, and self-love for women of color.
Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations: I mean, come on, it's Oprah. She picks her favorite interviews with thought-leaders, light workers, and wellness experts.
Hey, girl.: Hosted by author Alex Elle, she interviews women who inspire her. This podcast covers topics ranging from entrepeunership, to heartbreak, to self care, to mental health, and beyond.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: this fictional story follows a young man's journey across the world as he looks for his purpose. I swear no matter what stage of life you're in, this book will speak to you in some way. A quick and easy read, but it has enough depth that it can be read again and again!
The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes: She's not only the creator of Scandal and Grey's Anatomy, but she also is an incredible author. I found myself laughing out loud while reading this book, and couldn't put it down once I started it. She tells her own story of letting go of self limiting beliefs to fully step into her power.
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hayes: Louise Hayes emphasizes the power of our words and intentions and how they help shape our life. Affirmations for every ailment you could think of are in this book, as well as great journalling prompts.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: A book filled with poetry separated into the 3 different stages of having trauma be a part of your life experience. As you read through the different sections, you can see Rupi healing from a survivor to a thriver.
Passion Planner : I've found that part of my self care is getting all my "to-do's" out of my head and onto paper. Once I can prioritize my tasks and manage my time, I can really invest the time I deserve into taking care of myself. I even write in time blocks for my self care, whether it's taking a bath, putting on a face mask, or sitting with myself and listening to my own breathing. I love this planner because it also includes inspirational quotes, spaces to include what you're grateful for, and coaches you through breaking down big goals to small action steps.
Any piece of paper, anywhere. Sometimes emotions get intense, and rather than be reactive it can help to write it out and just explore why you're feeling what you're feeling. It also is a great way to allow yourself space to process any intense ish you've been holding in or dealing with.
Love up on your body:
Yoga with Adriene: I LOVE her videos. She's down to earth, has videos for all levels (and physical abilities), and even has videos specifically to address depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Even when I'm not in the mood to practice, just by throwing on a 10 minute yoga video with Adriene I can feel my mood shift. She's the shit!
Workout routines: Bodybuilding.com has HUNDREDS of workout tips, plans, and nutrition plans FOR THE FREE. I do well with a plan and structure (Hi, I'm a Virgo), so I always get an extra boost of motivation when I start a new workout plan and it helps me not fall off of my healthy routines.
Ayurvedic healing encourages daily self massage with oils to release stress, decrease impact of aging, improve sleep, increase circulation, and lubricate your joints. Even if it's just 5-10 minutes after a long day of rubbing your own shoulders with some massage oil, or giving yourself a good foot massage, it really does make a difference.
Lavender is one of my favs, but there are several other essential oils that have great emotional and physical health benefits. Whether you put it in an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom, or rub some on your hands to practice some deep breathing with, lavender essential oil sends a signal to your parasympathetic nervous system so your brain will RELAX.
Love up on your soul:
It's all within, but sometimes we need a little help getting there.
I love using the Calm App for daily meditation reminders, quotes, and gold stars when I meditate (I love gold stars). I also recently downloaded the 72 names of god app and the meditation prompts and visuals on there are bomb; anytime I open it up I instantly feel calmer! If you aren't feeling using an app, just stop anytime throughout the day and put one hand on your heart and the other on your stomach. Count 5 in and out breaths, paying special attention to each inhale and exhale. Voila, you are an expert meditator (that's not a thing).
I'm not saying this because I'm a therapist, I swear. Ever since I found the RIGHT therapist (key word, right, because sometimes it does take a few tries), I have noticed so much personal growth. You have a neutral non judgmental person that you can air out any issues you're having, and it can help bring a different perspective on issues and give you tools to practice to handle life's many challenges.
Recently for my birthday, I made a vision board using paint and magazine clippings. I threw on some Jill Scott and just zoned out. There was something about creating something with my hands and getting lost in the moment creating that helped me feel like I was getting in touch with my highest self. Whatever it is for you, whether it's music, crocheting, writing lyrics/poetry, whatever, reflecting your own creative light outwards is a way to recharge and renew yourself especially if you're feeling drained or disconnected.
Words. Are. Powerful. Either to drain your energy or to raise your vibrations. Be intentional about what you think, speak, and write down and know that it can change your life. Post powerful phrases up in spaces that you are in the most. It sounds very "self-help"-y, but it really does change the way you feel when you repeat powerful words out loud. Here are 35 affirmations that I've found to be really helpful.
Go outside and notice what's around you. If you have access to trees, really look at them and meditate on the fact that they are your external lungs! We are always exchanging energy with our environment, and when you are close to the source of energy itself (nature), there is something so energizing and grounding about that. Even if it's just putting your feet in a patch of grass if that's all you have access to at the time, do that! Feel the earth beneath you, feel supported, and take some deep breaths.
These are just a few tools that have helped me along the way, but I'd love to hear how you have learned to take care of yourself over time. What is your favorite self care practice?
Love, light, stardust, unicorn sparkles, allat, etc.,