Hi friend! I hope you’ve been having a wonderful week! I’ve been noticing a trend in my community over the past few months and that’s the desire to create more rituals for self-care and compassion in order to truly nourish and love ourselves back to health. Today’s post dives into why we need to make space for this practice in our lives and some of my very favourite self-care rituals.
One of the most important reasons I think you need to start focusing on your self-care is because it sends a powerful message to your subconscious that you believe you are worth putting in the effort for. That you deserve to feel great. That you deserve to be pampered, cared for, and nourished on every level.
This is powerful medicine and can go a long way towards helping you achieve your health goals. By putting time into yourself and honouring your needs you will be less likely to put up with BS from those around you.
You’ll have more strength to stand in the truth of what you need and how you deserve to be treated as your self-care slowly evolves into that most beautiful of gifts: self-love.
Committing to a self-care routine isn’t always easy, but you can start by carving out even 5 minutes a day to do something that is just for you. As you get more comfortable and confident in caring for yourself, you can continue adding little things here and there until you’ve created your optimal routine.
It will likely look different from mine, from your sister’s, your mother’s, or your girlfriends’ and that’s totally cool! The beauty of self-care is that it is completely individualized based on what you need.
This may also change at different times in your life depending on many factors such as pregnancy, illness, extra work stress, break-ups, or big moves, to name a few. Don’t be afraid to shake it up occasionally by listening to what your body truly needs in the present moment.
Now, let’s take a peek at some of my favourite self-care rituals. Remember, these are just some of the ones that work for me. Your list may look completely different.
Dry Skin Brushing
This little ritual is quick and easy and takes just a couple of minutes before showering. Even though it’s a relatively small ritual, it adds a lot of benefit such as:
- Increasing blood flow to the skin.
- Moving lymph through the body to aid in detoxification.
- Exfoliating dead skin cells to boost your healthy glow.
- Help reduce the signs of cellulite.
You can pick up the dry brush I use here and the complexion brush here.
As I started typing up this section I realized I hadn’t meditated yet today! So I hopped on over to Soul Seconds and did a quick little meditation to help ground my body and focus my mind.
Honestly, I was a little scared to start a meditation practice because I had the image in my mind that I needed to be hella zen and still and perfect or I wasn’t actually meditating. Once I actually started practicing, however, I learned that this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Yes sometimes meditation is sitting on cushion, breathing deeply, and focusing on stilling your mind. But it can also be done while walking, cooking, painting, knitting, sewing, or really anything that turns off the past/future mind and gets you totally and completely immersed in the moment.
The goal of meditation isn’t to completely turn off all your thoughts. It’s to learn to recognize them, acknowledge them, and release the ones that are not serving you. And maybe you’ll find moments of complete nothingness, but even if you don’t you’re not doing it wrong!
Give yourself the space to breathe, still the mind, and calm the body and you are well on your way.
This practice has given me so much in terms of digging into who I am, what I want, and where I can best be of service in my life. It may not be for everyone, but you’ll never know if you don’t try! My advice is to try out as many studios and styles as you possibly can before you write it off.
You can check out some of my experiences with yoga below:
Confessions from a Yoga Teacher Training
40 Days Final Thoughts: Practicing Gratitude
Exercise has been something I’ve struggled with throughout my life, sometimes getting way too wrapped up in it to the point where it stopped being healing and became an obsession. Since January I have been going to Freedom Functional Fitness, a gym in Saskatoon that specializes in whole body workouts in a fun, supportive, and sometimes wicked intense environment.
I’ve finally found a way to incorporate exercise into my life in a way that helps me feel strong and capable, without falling trap to the mindset of “skinnier is better” that I used to struggle with.
Having exercise as a non-negotiable part of my week helps me get stronger, keeps my body fit and happy, and gives me a chance to bond with my workout buddies, feeding my body and soul in one fell swoop.
One of the major reasons I love Freedom so much? They have a 600 sq. ft. infrared sauna with a waterfall in it. It’s the perfect place to calm down, relax, stretch, and sweat after a butt-kicking workout. Infrared saunas in particular have been shown to help detox heavy metals from the body and as an ex-smoker of many years, this is a great practice for me to incorporate into my routine a few days a week.
I’m a huge book nerd and so I always have one fiction and one non-fiction book on the go at a time. I schedule in time several days a week to devote to continuing education by reading a work-related non-fiction book. Lately I’ve been devouring books on the microbiome such as:
- Dr. Axe’s Eat Dirt
- Justin & Erica Sonnenburg’s The Good Gut
- Alejandro Junger’s Clean Gut
- Dr. Raphael Kellman’s The Microbiome Diet
- Giulia Ender’s Gut: The Inside Story of our Body’s Most Underrated Organ
And for fun before bed I always make sure I have some sort of engaging fiction. Right now I’m reading a super epic fantasy series called Malazan: Book of the Fallen. Having both educational and imaginational books on my roster keeps me happy, balanced, and engaged.
Connecting with Nature
I can absolutely tell when I haven’t been spending enough time in nature because I get cranky, tired, and way less inspired. I try to get out for walks by the river several times a week as a way to relax, turn off my mind, and open up my brain for inspiration and creativity.
Epsom Salt Baths & Essential Oil Therapy
I am obsessed with baths. When my best friend came to visit me for a couple of weeks last September I went in to have a bath and she actually came to check on me because I’d been in there for so long she wanted to make sure I wasn’t dead.
I’ll often bring my books into the tub, fill it with lots of epsom salt, jasmine & lavender essential oils, and make a whole to-do of it. My new place has the best tub in the world and I’ve just been waiting for a cool enough day to break it in.
I also sleep with my aromatherapy diffuser on emitting delicious, relaxing scents to help stimulate the state of deep rest I’m looking for. If I’m working on a project I’ll plug it into my laptop and pour in some peppermint to give me a little energy boost.
I don’t know much about EOs, but I do know they have a marked effect on my mood, so I like to incorporate them into my daily life.
A lot of people I work with probably don’t realize that I am a major introvert. I love, love, love teaching and connecting with my community in person, but in order to balance that out I know that I need to schedule lots of quiet alone time.
Many of the above rituals I partake in (nature walks, baths, reading) give me that space, but sometimes I just need Netflix and a nap to soothe my soul 😉
Well those are some of my favourite ways to tell my body I love her and that she matters, but they are just a starting point! You can add anything in there that makes you feel happy, balanced, and inspired. Get creative!
And if you’re struggling to put yourself first and need some support, make sure you download my Stop Self-Sabotage Workbook by clicking here to get to the root of what’s holding you back.
Thank you for all your love and support!