6 Self care Rituals to keep you feeling fresh in 2021
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug in for a few minutes - including you.”
- Anne Lamott
What feeling overcomes you when you hear the word “Ritual”? Does in evoke a feeling of nourishment, both of self and of others?
Does cultivating naturally healthy habits come to mind when that word crosses your path?
Creating moments of nourishment, no matter how small, helps us to further lean into caring for ourselves first. That it is no selfish feat to be there for yourself. Rituals can be considered minor changes to a daily routine, or complete shifts in lifestyle. Whether its setting boundaries for yourself by reducing how much you use social media, sipping a detoxifying tea before bed in the evenings, or eating mindfully without distraction, routinely doesn’t have to be a tedious nor strenuous task.
For me, being engulfed by the ocean is a ritual that helps me feel like a better person. The ocean in all of it’s beauty, power, softness and strength represent the power of the feminine. And when I am surrounded by that either on land or in the sea, I am immediately revived.
Are you often reaching for your phone before your eyes are even open in the morning? I know I’m guilty of this. The immediate rush of validation or wanting to be up to date can feel all-consuming. It is healthy to reflect on how we are distracted throughout it day, and how it may be limiting us from reaching our full potential. Setting times where we limit distraction may be one of the first steps to focusing on cultivating a healthy life, mind and habits.
A fantastic example of this is by trying an activity I like to call “calling myself out” - where I set aside “focus” times. These times don’t necessarily have to be reflective or serious. Sometimes I might use this time to study or work out life plans, other times I might feel like I just need an hour or two of quiet, restful time. Both are important. It can be fun to identify what you need in those times when distraction is put on hold.
Do me a favour. Drink a glass of water, right now. I know this may seem demanding. But you’ll thank me. Then check in on your friends. Have they had a glass of water today?
Hydrating our cells has so much more to do with self-nourishment than we may believe. I nice big glass of water will immediately help our bodies deliver nutrients to cells, keep our joints lubricated, and improve our sleep quality.
I’m no scientist, but I’ve noticed within myself the effects of staying hydrated. My skin loves me, my energy levels love me, and my cognition is alert.
Hydration as a ritual doesn’t only refer to drinking water. We can hydrate our cells from the outside by caring for our skin. Using natural oils like coconut or jojoba gives our skin the love and hydration it truly deserves.
What is your self-nourishment ritual?
Self-massage helps to bring us back to balance, whatever you’re experiencing.
“Abhyanga” is a traditional Ayurvedic practice used to improve skin health, detoxify cells, reduce stress and increase blood flow. As a result of the “always on” lifestyle so many of us have adopted, we tend to lose connection and moments intimacy with our own selves. Self massage allows us to reconnect with our physical bodies, in turn helping us to be softer on ourselves and others.
Self massage tips: To practice Abhyanga is simple. Using any natural oil of choice (Rosehip, Coconut, Jojoba or adding essential oils to the mix)
+ Apply to damp skin after showering, covering the whole body.
+ Starting from the head, massage the oil using circular motions. Focus can be placed on areas of tension, the forehead, ears, cheeks and jaw.
Massage your chest and abdomen, moving in clockwise circular strokes.
Massage in straight, long motions on the arms and legs - don’t be afraid to apply pressure to increase blood flow.
Move in circular motions on joints.
Massage your feet, including your toes and soles (They have plenty of pressure points!)
Relax for ten minutes to allow your skin to absorb the oil
Remind yourself how powerful you are!
They say salt water heals anything - through tears, sweat or the sea. This concept is a brilliant and helpful way to reflect on what our bodies and minds may need at any one time. Do we need a good cry, to perhaps move through and process any feelings of overwhelm? Are our bodies telling us they need to move? To use up any static energy in order to reignite our focus?
When we move our bodies, our bodies thank us. Having momentum throughout the day goes beyond our need to be busy. Momentum is the positive charge of movement. When we move, and continue to move, our bodies reach the momentum to achieve what we set out to achieve.
Running, allowing play, releasing stuck energy through movement is our human way. It is how we find connection to ourselves and each other. How can you find momentum?
The opposing side to momentum is when our movement stops. When our minds are set aside and we allow ourselves to truly rest.
I recently bought some new pillows. Quite pricey ones too. I splurged because I thought to myself “You can’t put a price on a comfortable sleep” - how naive i was!
These pillows turned out to be the things of nightmares. When i unpacked them, fluffed them then lay my head on them, there was something seriously wrong. It felt like what i would imagine sleeping on a wooden toy box would feel like. So much for “Bamboo infused and supportive” - they were so supportive that my head was upright when i tried to sleep.
Prioritise rest. This is one of the biggest lessons i have learned in my handful of years on this earth. When your body says “Rest me” - listen.
Don’t worry about what people may think. You will begin to grow more comfortable with saying no, and you will have to learn the hard truths when saying no means that some people may not be that into you for it. Stand tall in discovering your boundaries when it comes to rest - because you will begin to show up to your relationships and life in such a powerful way when you have been nourishing yourself through the ritual of rest.