10 Easy Self-Care Rituals for Mind, Body & Soul

These days, we live in a fast-paced world where we are bombarded by constant distractions. Our cell phones chirp with a constant choir of notifications, email inboxes are endlessly full, deadlines are on the fast track, and that's just at work. Once we leave our job for the day, we rush home from work to take our children to practice, hurry through the grocery store and, at best, whip up something that resembles a home-cooked meal.  Before we know it, the alarm clock buzzes and we do it all over again. What if mindless gazing at the television wasn't what we did to unplug and recharge?  What if instead, for a few moments throughout our day, we took as little as 10 minutes to honor our bodies with a few self-care rituals to realign our mind, body, and soul?

  1. Be Still and Breathe. Find a place outdoors, by a quiet and sunny office window, or anywhere other than your desk. Sit in a comfortable position, and allow yourself to be silent and still for two minutes. If necessary, set a timer. While here, focus on your breath, breathing deeply and pulling into the base of your spine, supplying your body with rich, oxygenated breath. Relax your shoulders. On the exhale, envision the stresses of the day and toxins in your body being released through this mindful breath.
  2. Take a Visual Rest.  Find a space; be it at your desk, outside, or at the kitchen table, and take a few moments to just close your eyes. What does this feel like? Notice how your body and mind feel when your field of vision is "turned off." What smells do you notice -- the fragrant flowers blooming outside, fresh-cut grass, a wood fire burning? What sounds become more prevalent? Perhaps you now notice the singing birds, the laughter of children playing outside, a conversation across the hall. What sensations are heightened during this time? We encounter so much visual stimulation on a daily basis... what does it feel like to let your eyes rest?

     
  3. Nourish Throughout the Seasons. What are you using to fuel your body? If our body is a temple, how are we making its foundation strong? Small changes in our daily life like drinking one more glass of water to help us stay hydrated, or eating one more serving of fruits or vegetables per day can put us on the right path. Incorporating tonic and adaptogenic herbs can help our body from the inside out, and can assist in transitioning seasonal changes with ease.
  4.  Declutter and Stress Less. Just get rid of it, shake it off, take a deep breath, and move on. These things often feel easier said than done. Clean out your inbox, delete or "mute" negative posts and people in your social media feeds, donate items in your closet that you haven't worn in over a year to a local shelter or charity, clean out and condense your pantry and spice rack. Through the act of decluttering, we immediately feel lighter, more energized, and happier. 
  5. Be Mindful, Be Happy, and Pay it Forward. You'll feel more connected to your surrounding world and to yourself. Who are some people you see on a regular basis but know very little about? Your mailman, produce clerk, the receptionist at your health care provider, or a customer service representative on the phone. Take a few minutes or even seconds to ask them how they are doing, and discover some of the things that make them tick. This may take you out of your comfort zone, but imagine how this simple, mindful act of intentional engagement can positively impact both of your lives.
  6. Spend Time Outside. This is an instance where more IS better. Find time to delight in nature. Take a walk on your lunch break, ride your bike to work, eat outside, discover a new trail, join a local outdoors club, or take an outside exercise class. Cultivate a sacred connection to the natural elements in your neighborhood. Take a few moments to spend time with a tree you pass every day, connecting to its presence and the space it holds, and listening to what makes this spot on earth special. What animals live here, what does this place smell like, what are the physical characteristics that make this spot beautiful? View this exercise of listening, touching, and smelling as a form of daily plant meditation. Try this exercise with other plants and trees in your area. Keep a journal of your experiences.

     
  7. Make you, your own best friend. You know yourself better than anyone else, but for some reason, it's easier being our own worst enemy. We are quick to proclaim our faults rather than giving ourselves a compliment.  Why do we do that? What are you really good at? What advice would you, your own best friend, give yourself right now? Take a few minutes to write this down and save it for when you need a little boost of confidence. 
  8. Indulge a Little. Go ahead, treat yourself to something that you really love and hardly ever do. Enjoy a massage, a piece of dark artisanal chocolate, spend time alone knitting, drawing, reading a book, seeing a play, or light a candle and take an herbal infused bath. Do something that is sacred to you that fills your soul and feels special. What is that one self-indulgent, self-care ritual you would do if you had 5 more minutes a day?
  9. Tune in and Turn it Up! We all have that one song, CD, or playlist that always makes us feel good. It brings a smile to our face, immediately relaxes us and uplifts our mood. So turn up those tunes and get your groove on!
  10. Rest. Rest is vital to a healthy body and mind, and is the ultimate self-care gift we can give ourselves. Most adults don't get enough sleep. Our minds are constantly racing, right up to the moment our heads hit the pillow. And even then, our minds may still be going 100 miles per hour. We may not be able to commit to a full 8-9 hours of sleep, but creating a few pre-bedtime rituals may help us get more meaningful, restful sleep. Put your electronics on airplane mode, have everything set up, packed, and ready to go in the morning. Take 10-15 minutes before you climb into bed to sit quietly and meditate. Visualize your best self, don't focus on all the changes that may be, but see yourself in your best light. Focus on your breath. Do a mini body check-in. Place your hands on various parts of your body and see if anything seems out of alignment.

Creating an intentional routine of self-care can seem overwhelming. Take it day by day. If you do one or two of these mini-rituals a week, you are well on your way to creating a balance between a busy life and a more connected, more intentional life. One that honors you and shows you in your best light. As Harry Emerson Fosdick said, "No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it."


Avena Botanicals
Avena Botanicals

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4 Responses

Pam
Pam

November 23, 2018

Deb❤️ Thank you for all these perfect reminders. Best thing about reading them is, even after all these years, being able to hear your voice and feel the kind grace of you!

Laura Jolly
Laura Jolly

March 10, 2018

much abiding love, and wisdom here, yes.

franni vit
franni vit

March 08, 2018

I will write this list out and carry it so I may learn it and share it.
Thank you.

Gail Benvenuta
Gail Benvenuta

March 08, 2018

Thanks, Deb, for the re-inspiration! Straightforward, clear, simple, accessible…wise…. Continue to appreciate you! Much Love always, Gail

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