May 18, 2020
From a society that has become so heavily focused on productivity, it’s becoming increasingly important to incorporate self care into our daily routines. For me, this means allowing space for your own thoughts and curiosities to exist without the pressure of having to rush to the next thing. What’s most important about this form of self care is that it doesn’t mean buying expensive bath bombs or face masks, all you need is to give yourself the attention that you really deserve. Below are several small rituals that can be incorporated into your pre-existing schedule to help you find moments to slow down. You’ve already come this far and you owe yourself a good rest after that long journey. Now is the time to be grateful for the body and the mind that have gotten you this far.
Okay, I know this might be a weird place to start but it’s actually what inspired me to write this whole post. I’ve kept up the habit of flossing every single night since I put it in my habit tracker. It was this little extra acknowledgment, making myself fill in a little box everyday that I flossed, that allowed me to take it seriously as an important part of my routine. It’s now become a habit that I refuse to let myself break, no matter how easy it is to just go to bed without it. It was about not giving myself any excuses to give up, since there absolutely are none. If I can take better care of myself, then I should and I will! So this one really isn’t about flossing, it’s about giving yourself no excuse to not treat yourself to the things that you know are important but you haven’t gotten to yet. This simple added attention to the details can make all the difference.
Buy yourself flowers
Small gifts to yourself that fill your space with colour and add life to your home is what this one is all about. Whether it’s getting fresh flowers, taking the time to paint something for that empty wall, or hanging up some of your favourite pictures, taking the care to surround yourself with things that make you happy will reflect in your mood. From a person that has a very decorated space, I often take time every couple months to change around my space and keep it fresh and reflecting of my mood. It’s about taking that extra time to decorate your exterior space so that your interior space can be more at ease. Especially in this season where we are spending more time in our own houses, a little extra attention goes a long way.
Follow your curiosity
In our day to day lives, through commutes, cooking, and social interactions, I find we rarely leave time to follow our own curiosities. I always tend to find this out at the end of every school year when I all of a sudden have a break from a 40 hour week of classes and work. All of a sudden I start remembering the things that excite me, I fall head first into learning about plants, gardening, sustainable living, chakras, tarot cards etc. And I wonder why I haven’t been doing so throughout the school year, until school starts again in the fall. So although this is hard to do on a consistent basis, it doesn’t mean it’s not super important.
By allowing your curiosity the space it needs to just look around and explore the world, you start to discover new things about yourself you maybe never had before. You get rid of all the rules of what you should pay attention to and allow yourself to find what your unique soul is here to learn. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t go anywhere, after all the point of your curiosity is not to be productive. Instead your curiosity’s goal is to learn, to allow you to expand your mind beyond your commute, cooking and social interactions. Your curiosity is saying that there is more out there than your everyday life, it’s asking you to look a little deeper.
Sit in silence
Especially when we spend all day on computers or connected to the internet, taking the time to unplug and just sit with yourself is a skill that is harder than it seems. This might mean meditating or going for a long walk, but it could also mean just eating your meal in silence, stretching at the end of the night in silence, or allowing yourself a commute where you just sit with yourself without the radio or podcast you usually listen to. Turning off this outside noise that is in constant demand of your attention gives your thoughts room to breathe freely. When the time is right and when you’re in the mood for it, silence opens your mind to the genius of the existence outside of ourselves. It allows me to listen to what is going on around me, and sitting with the thoughts that might have been bothering me sometimes gives me a chance to solve the problem. Through this habit, I find it easier to make the connections between problems or anxieties from different aspects of my life, and I often come to the understanding that it’s just the same problem manifesting in different ways.
In this way, we give attention to the inner voice of our spirituality that guides us towards our curiosities, our inspirations and our passions. When we are constantly surrounding ourselves with noise, we are often just drowning out this inner voice and although this may be easier sometimes, it works to our demise. When we are feeling out of motivation or uninspired, that inner voice that we have silenced for so long that is supposed to boost us up and get us going is gone. By making time in your routine to be quiet and just listen, it gets easier to tap into this voice when you need it later on.
Follow your intuition
You know what’s best for you, whether you think you know it or not. When you are in the middle of a project and start to feel unmotivated or distracted, your body is saying it’s time to take a break. If you wake up in the morning with plans to get something done and you can’t bring yourself to do that thing, maybe you are not meant to do that thing today. Now don’t get me wrong, this can’t be used every single day to get out of things that need to be done. But rather, feeling a sense of dread every single time you need to do a task is maybe a sign that that’s not for you. Your intuition, that feeling in your gut that tells you when you want to do something or not, is smarter than you think it is.
By listening to this voice that tells you when you want to do something or not, you allow yourself the space to decide what is right or wrong for you. You are honouring that you have decision making power and you aren’t just set to a certain program that you have to follow until the day you die. You and your body are intelligent and completely unaffected by any schedule, no matter how pressing it is. A schedule is just a piece of paper or text on a screen, you are a full human being with a brain and a soul and an existence that has needs that are more important than a to do list. (This reminds me of my dad explaining not to be scared of bugs since they are so small and I am so big in comparison. Your to do list is a tiny bug, you don’t have to be scared of it.) You can wake up every morning and decide what to do each day whether or not its on your schedule. Following your intuition and letting it guide you towards the things that are right for you is an important way to listen to yourself and show yourself the care that you need.
Let me know if you connect to any of these as well as any self care rituals that are important to helping you stay healthy and connected to yourself. You are worth the effort.
Take care till next time,
related readings to today’s post:
big magic by elizabeth gilbert
developing intuition by shakti gawain
the seven spiritual laws of success by deepak chopra