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Entering into 2021 many of us have added new ideas of “self-care” to our resolutions list- and for good reason.
Taking care of ourselves has become more important than ever. The collective has gone through some huge shifts recently, and the growing pains have made it clear that we are all in need of some good self care.
I’ll share some of my favorite ideas for self care- spiritually, mentally, emotionally & physically.
Let’s start with some things to leave behind. Letting go of certain habits or mindsets is a great starting ground for some quality self care.
Things to leave behind + let go of for better self care
Comparing ourselves to other people is one of the most detrimental things we can do to ourselves. When we are in comparison mode we’re essentially sending the message to our subconscious that we’re not good enough. That is not self care!
There is no need to compare- we all have unique beauty, skills, gifts & magnetism that can’t be replaced or found in anyone else. Embrace your uniqueness and learn to love the things that make you different from others. Acknowledge how far you’ve come and all you have to offer.
Judging & comparing go hand in hand, but it’s worth noting the difference. When we judge another person or ourselves, we’re again sending that message that something is not good enough, or putting divisive energy out into the collective. Neither are beneficial to our self care and wellbeing, so let’s leave those behind!
Trying to be perfect or waiting until you’ve reached perfection will only leave yourself feeling small or extremely far from your goals. Neither of which will serve you as good self care! If anything it’ll just bring you down and/or make you anxious.
It’s ok to still be learning, it’s ok to be a beginner at something and it’s definitely ok to begin before you’re fully ready. Chances are you’re a lot better than you think and you’ll learn a lot along the way.
The confidence will come after taking the action!
Don’t let perfectionism hold you back from doing what your soul wants. Self care is listening to that inner call and not allowing the voice of perfection or “not good enough” get in the way. Shut it down.
No more ignoring what you need. We all have a functioning intuition, and the more we listen to it, the stronger it gets.
Even with intuition aside, it’s not hard to tell what it is that you need at this moment.
It can be so simple to nurture yourself and tend to your needs.
So when you get that feeling about needing more water, nature, time-off, or whatever- listen to it. Self-neglect and ignoring our inner voice is not self care.
You know who you are… never takes a day off, never turns off the phone, never disconnects from the work email. Let’s leave that in 2020. We have to learn how to unplug and stop this culture of grind, hustle and constant connection to working.
We’ve pushed too hard for long enough- to the point where it’s become our culture (at least in america) to be constantly producing.
It’s not healthy. Really. And America has encouraged us to adopt the mentality that this is good and what we should be doing. Nooo. We need to rest more.
We need to take breaks and we need to take care of ourselves. We need to drown out the noise so we can listen to our inner voice. It’s time for expansion and we won’t know how to expand if we can’t unplug and go inward.
So, to really embody a good self care practice, we have to learn how to just be. In silence. In nothingness. In freedom. Stop over working and learn how to be still.
6. Social Isolation
Yeah, I hear you. This one has been pretty challenging over the past year. With lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing- we’ve been forced into social isolation.
And for many of us, this hurt our mental health pretty badly. Even the introvert friends that I have have realized how much they actually do need some social interaction.
See meme below. (source:Introvert Memes)
Anyone else feel that way?!
Introvert or not, humans need a sense of community. We can’t thrive while we’re disconnected, we need to connect.
So let’s leave behind this disconnection and isolation. Even if you can only do facetime, zoom or texting- get connected with people. Get connected with like minded beings who are good for your health. Engage with others and open up. You’d be surprised at what’s reciprocated when you put out what you want to receive and try to connect with others. We gain a lot from each other and connecting to community is one of the best ways to foster growth.
7. Over indulging
I’m not shaming a little indulgence here and there but the point is- balance. Anything in excess is not good for us. Too much tv, too much social media, too much drinking or eating junk food- not going to make us feel like our best selves. Moderation and balance are phenomenal improvements to your self care routine.
Allow yourself to indulge sometimes (that is good self care too!) but just apply a practice of moderation in all things. Without moderation, indulgence can be a slippery slope into escapism.
8. Holding Tension in the body
I’m sure you’ve seen one of those social media graphics going around “relax your shoulders, relax your jaw, take a deep breath” …? I need to print that one out!
We hold so much tension and emotion in our body- a lot of the time unconsciously. Make it a habit to check in with yourself throughout the day and relax your shoulders, jaw, and body.
Check in on your breathing often and make sure you’re not holding or restricting it.
You can use visuals and affirmations to help remind you of this.
Post-its are a great way to incorporate reminders like so!
Or, if you’d like, I have some affirmation wallpapers you can download below.
9. Playing small
Guilty of this one… for most of my life actually. And I can tell you- it gets you nowhere. It doesn’t even help the people around you who you’re playing small for.
Acting like we don’t have wisdom, talents or a voice does nothing but block our throat chakra. (and eventually a few other chakras too!)
2021 doesn’t have any time for that! Speak out. Be who you are. Give yourself permission to play all out. Pump yourself up and stop waiting for someone else to do it.
Another one I need to @ myself on. Procrastination is one of my biggest challenges- and the only way to solve it is to suck it up and just do the work. May sound harsh but really- we have to face what’s blocking us and decide to muster up the energy to push past it.
Connecting with your why is a powerful practice to help break through resistance and do the work that’s going to fuel your growth. The book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a great motivator that a good friend recommended to me. It talks all about resistance and beating procrastination when it comes to following our passions.
Alright, now that we’ve been through what we could leave in 2020… let’s talk about what to replace it with in 2021.
Spiritual Ideas for Self Care
For me, spiritual self care is a daily priority. Tuning into my energy, grounding, clearing my energetic body and connecting with my higher self are what I consider to be my daily spiritual hygiene. Those are the basics- but there’s a lot more we can do to take care of our spirit regularly.
Here’s some ideas for spiritual self care that you can incorporate into your routine.
Setting good boundaries with yourself and others is a really important part of spiritual self care.
Simply saying “no” sometimes is a great way to set boundaries.
You can also set boundaries energetically by envisioning a shield of white light around you. Imagine the bubble of white light covering you and intend for it to assist you in keeping your boundaries with anything that is not for your highest good.
Maybe even say a prayer and ask for your energetic boundaries to be supported. This can help you from absorbing other people’s energy and from external influence.
You might also like: 33 Signs you are an Empath
I have a whole other article on this here. In summary, grounding is connecting to the present moment and plugging your energy into the earth. Doing so is a wonderful idea for self care because it will assure that you are mindfully present and have your energy collected and centered.
You can get on the path of having a good self-care day by simply visualizing so. This is similar to setting intentions or saying affirmations– just envision yourself practicing your favorite self care method. Maybe envision yourself drinking your water, feeling relaxed or preparing a bath after your long day.
Of course this would be a precursor to actually doing those things, but visualizing can help you to set the tone and follow through on it later.
One of my favorite and most powerful spiritual self care tools is sound healing. Listening to healing frequencies or playing with sound bowls is such an easy and subtle way to influence your energetic body in a positive way.
I usually play a long youtube by meditative mind when I sleep. They have tons of 7-9 hour videos that will play healing tones throughout the night- such a powerful (and passive) way to activate healing for yourself on a cellular level!
Note: The vibration of healing music will have positive effects regardless of if you can hear or not. (For my Deaf and HOH peeps). It’s more about absorbing the frequency than actually hearing the music.
Same applies with sound bowls- I can’t emphasize the power of them enough. I’ve had some of my deepest healings and insights while working them. You can feel it to the core.
First of all, I have to say using oracle cards is just so fun. There’s something about shuffling the deck and trusting your intuition to help choose a message for you that just entertains and excites.
I consider this a good idea for spiritual self care because it’s an intuitive practice. Over time it will help you to strengthen your intuition and help you learn how to listen to it.
This is another idea for a ritual that you can perform regularly to support your spiritual self care. You can clear your space energetically in many ways: using sound, smoke, or actual cleaning and tidying up.
One place I source my smoke cleansing materials (sage, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, etc) from is Magic Star Sage. They’re a small business that grows their own sage locally near Sacramento. You can find it in many other places too- just make sure it is ethically sourced.
Another great tool for smoke cleansing is Palo Santo. But same as with the other smoke cleansing herbs- be careful and make sure that it is ethically sourced. You don’t want to exploit any of these sacred, spiritual tools.
Crystal Rising Co is another small business that I trust. They are run out of Sacramento and the owner is an amazing healer who takes great care in sourcing the best products ethically and creating beautiful, soul-aligned items.
Working with crystals
Again- Crystal Rising Co is a great resource for these!
You can use crystals to help ground, clear, focus, uplift, comfort- anything really. They’re a beautiful tool we can use to enhance our self care practice.
You might also like: 10 Most Powerful Crystals for Grounding
Learning how to work with your chakras is essential for spiritual self care. Once you become familiar with each of your energy centers- you’ll eventually be able to sense which areas are in need of some attention.
I’ll be sharing more about this topic in the near future, but for now my downloadable quick reference chakra guide is a good resource for getting familiar with your chakra system.
Mental Self Care
Taking care of your mind is so important. Addressing thought patterns, identifying stressors and learning how to find quiet and balance mentally is an important piece of self care.
Sometimes this type of care requires the guidance of a professional- so use discernment when caring for your mental health.
The mental self care I’ll be referring to in this section mainly refers to mindset and self care. Important to mention that distinction in case you find yourself needing deeper support.
Using the tool of affirmations is a great way to get your mindset right and take care of yourself mentally. Practice positive self talk, repeat affirmations to yourself, and post inspiring messages where you will see them often. Using affirmations is a wonderful idea for mental self care.
One of the best self care tools I have is journaling. Its a great way to get stuff off your mind without having to do much else or involve anyone else. You can just “vent” and sort out your thoughts without having to worry.
You can use journaling prompts or just do a free flow “write what comes to mind” type of journal entry. Whatever you feel you need to get off your mind.
I can’t stress this one enough! Getting fresh air is so important for our self care and our mental state, especially. It really helps to get outside and plug into nature when you’re needing some self-care for your mind.
Its free, nourishing, and overall just good for your mental (spiritual & physical!) health.
Similarly to getting fresh air, going for a walk is a great self care tool to use when you need to clear your mind or gift yourself with some presence, fresh air and nature.
I feel like this one is a given but- meditating is one of the best forms of self care, especially when it comes to taking care of your mind. Connecting to your breath, observing your thoughts and learning how to sit with what comes up is such a healthy way to take care of your mind and grow spiritually.
Therapy or Coaching
Getting therapy or a good coach/mentor is soo helpful when it comes to addressing your mindset. Not only that but improving your mental self talk, thought patterns and overall helpful for finding ways to improve and take care of yourself.
It may take some searching, but finding the right therapist or coach is a life changer.
Emotional Self Care
I talk about this practice in my How to Ground Yourself post. EFT tapping is a simple yet effective method you can use to take care of yourself emotionally.
I use this method when my emotions are feeling physical (if you know, you know). Its a great way to circulate your energy and help get things back into balance or release.
How to use EFT for self care:
See all those lines pointing to spots on the body? Starting from the top, you want to tap several times (I usually do 12 quick taps) on each point. Example: quickly tap the top of your head 12x then move to eyebrows and tap quickly 12x, then repeat at side of eyes, under eyes, under nose, and so on. Repeat all the way through as many times as you feel necessary.
Connect with nature
Connecting with nature is the best way to get centered again. When considering your emotional self care and how you can attend to it, sometimes nature is the best answer. It doesn’t take much, doesn’t require learning a new method, purchasing a tool, or anything aside from being present. Powerful.
Might sound a little weird but sometimes allowing ourselves to cry is the best form of emotional self care.
Some of us are resistant to this, myself included at times, but crying truly is such a powerful release and wonderful way to take care of your emotional health.
“You have to feel it to heal it” is so true.
Again, everything in moderation- including crying. You’ll know when you need to.
Talk with a friend
Always a good idea for emotional self care! Having good friends that you can confide in and express yourself to without judgement is some of the best medicine. Just make sure you’re mindful of your friends emotional state too.
It’s good practice to always ask (before venting or talking about something personal to yourself) “do you have the space and/or energy for me to talk to you about this right now?” Asking before venting is a beautiful way to practice good boundaries. And good boundaries = good self care!
Physical Self Care
Last but not least- the physical self care. Our bodies hold and process SO much for us, most of it completely unconscious to us. For that reason, it is so important to practice good physical care.
Having good physical self care practices in place can help us on so many levels- release tension, release stored emotions, improve health & vitality, and more. It’s a ripple effect onto your entire life.
Epsom salt helps to pull toxins and tense energy out of the body. I feel brand new everytime I step out after a soak. My minimum is usually 20 minutes in the tub, but sometimes longer.
Helpful for aches and pains, relieving stress, and releasing anything that’s weighing on you or leftover from your day.
Massage is one of my monthly (I wish weekly) self care investments. I have a masseuse/healer that I adore and making time to see her for a session every month is mandatory for me. I’d go every week if I could!
If going to a professional isn’t an option for you at the moment- there are so many ways we can self massage. Using a tennis ball, massage roller, foam roller, massage gun, etc- are all also very good options for taking care of your physical body when tense or in pain.
It can be as simple as massaging your own hands and arms, sometimes just kneading through our stress can be such a relief.
Seeing a quality chiropractor to get us in alignment and keep us there has so many incredible benefits. There’s many different options and styles out there and if you’re like me, I prefer a more gentle approach to chiropractic care. You can look into chiropractors that practice the Palmer Method or Network Spinal Analysis if you feel the same.
Whatever way you have it, it’s another life changing physical self care practice that you can utilize when your body is in need of some support and healing.
Possibly one of the most powerful ways to release physical tension and restore balance in the body.
Acupuncture is an incredible treatment that can provide relief for so many ailments. That being said, when you’re feeling over worked, stressed or emotional, acupuncture can really help you to move through and release that energy.
I prefer to get my acupuncture treatments later in the day because I’m usually super calm and sleepy afterwards!
If you’ve never experienced acupuncture, no- it doesn’t hurt. Here’s a really good and thorough article about it if you want to learn more. Beginners Guide to Acupuncture
Facials or Gua Sha
Another really good way to practice physical self care is having a facial or gua sha massage.
Either visit an esthetician for a full on experience, or give yourself a facial at home.
My favorite tools for at home facials are these:
- Facial Steamer
- Gua Sha Tools & Amethyst Facial Roller
- ByAchilles Sleeping Beauty Oil (to use with Gua Sha tools)
- Facial Headband
- Honey Berry Facemask or Mermaid Mask
- Facial Cupping Set
- Stainless Steel Ice Roller
For a tutorial on facial Gua Sha, check out this youtube video.
One of the best forms of physical self care is exercise. It doesn’t matter what kind, just find something that works for you!
Maybe its weight lifting, yoga, running, walking, swimming- getting physical exercise daily is one of the most important things you can do for your physical self care.
Similar to exercising, its super important to stretch daily for good physical self care.
Stretching helps with our circulation, promotes good breathing, and relieves tension. It’s quick and easy to do, and one of the best ways to take care of your physical body throughout the day.
Some consider yoga a form of exercise, and in many ways it is, but since yoga has its roots in spirituality it goes much deeper than that. Connecting movement to breath is a powerful way to honor and care for yourself. I’ve learned so many valuable things from practicing yoga and it catapulted me onto my spiritual healing path.
Yoga With Adrienne on youtube is a wonderful place to start.
This article is a great resource if you are new to intuitive eating. To break it down, intuitive eating is basically learning how to get in touch with your intuition and listen to your body.
By listening to our bodies- we can determine which foods we need and which foods we do not.
For me, I can tell very easily which foods agree with me and which do not. I know that certain foods make me feel tired or slow, and others energize and fuel me. Start by paying attention to how you feel after each meal.
Do you feel rejuvenated, energized, and nourished? Or do you feel groggy, slow and malnourished? Once you start paying attention and tuning it, it’ll become easier to practice intuitive eating.
Staying hydrated is a must for physical self care. Actually for your total well being, including the spiritual. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help us to process and clear energy quicker- when considering hydration from a spiritual standpoint.
That being said, physically we need water to survive. So many of us suffer from chronic dehydration and don’t even know it. We’re always reaching for coffee, soda and whatever else- when all the body really wants is some water. Pay attention to that, and try to drink enough water to support your vitality on a daily basis.
A good ol’ fashioned nap usually does the trick when you need some self care. Sometimes when we get burnt out or bombarded by energy we just need to take a nap. It’s one of the most simple and easy ways to take care of ourselves physically. If you don’t like naps (I know a few people who don’t) then making sure you’re getting enough sleep every night is another great way to take care of your physical self.
I hope this article provided some good insight on what constitutes good self care, and maybe you picked up a few ideas for self care that you’d like to incorporate into your daily routine.
Do you have a favorite self care practice?