Practicing self care is one of the most important aspects of my life – I live and breathe it. I have made such a practice of it and enjoy sharing it with others so much that I made it clear with the naming of my business. Ritual Self Care is more than a name, it’s a way of life for me. I used to think of my many self care practices as habits, but some years ago I realized they had much more magnitude, intention and meaning than habits; they are rituals.
I have found that self care doesn’t need to be difficult, expensive or elaborate. In fact, my daily self care rituals are practical, simple and don’t cost me much of anything. Here are some of the things I do for myself, with intention and joy:
Wake up before my family for some quiet time. Having time for myself first thing in the morning allows me to tend to myself without interruption and move into my day with presence. This is time for me to ponder how I feel, notice what I’m grateful for, and to be in my body.
Hydrate – first thing and stay hydrated throughout the day. When we sleep our bodies are busy repairing, building and detoxifying – all of this takes a lot of water so we wake up dehydrated. Replenishing the water supply is important for all the functions inside as well as keeping the skin supple and healthy.
Dry brush – 2 – 5 minutes in the morning is a perfect wake up for my skin and whole being. It is exfoliating and stimulating to both the blood circulation and the lymphatic system. It also helps to stimulate the nerves in the skin so it’s a great way to wake up the whole body.
Meditate – taking time to quiet my busy monkey mind and tune in creates spaciousness in my life.
Stretch and breathe – staying flexible in my body helps keep me flexible in my mind too. Moving with intention helps me ground and connect with Earth as well as illuminating my inner world of gratitude and beauty.
Sweat – I have a renewed sense of vitality and well being after moving my body. I don’t always feel like exercising but after I do I’m always glad I put in the effort and time. The rewards outweigh the effort for me.
Take a walk – I intentionally found a work space that I can walk to so that I could have the opportunity and space each day before and after seeing clients to walk. Days that I don’t work I go out for some fresh air with my family. Sometimes we have city walking adventures and sometimes we get out into nature, but we always have a wonderful time connecting and moving together.
Write – whether it is random words strung together to form a stream of consciousness poem, jotting down the beauty in my life that I’m so grateful for or making a list of what I want to accomplish, writing is a long time love of mine.
Turn my phone off – it’s difficult to stay present, embodied and focused in our very busy world. I notice the distraction of my phone is one more thing to keep me off-line inside. Turning off my phone helps me to take a break every evening and hopefully one day a week from the distraction of the world in my phone and tune into the world around me.
Take a bath – this is a definite break in daytime to bedtime to my brain and body. Time to relax and notice sensations in my body. Time for me to tune into the sensory world inside and around me. Water is such a gift and I find so much pleasure in immersing myself in it.