Last updated on February 28th, 2021.
Yes, this is yet another one of those articles about ways to keep your sanity and maintain your connection to Spirit in a world that isn’t supportive of that endeavor. I find that although these particular tips are rampant nowadays, I still manage to find a new nugget of wisdom from others’ experiences and that is my hope in sharing my own practices.
It is my belief that everyone, yes that means YOU, absolutely NEEDS a set of non-negotiable self-care practices each and every day. You’re alive every day, therefore your mind and body are working every day and they absolutely need your conscious TLC to maintain a nice, happy, healthy equilibrium. Moral of the story: Practice your self care and take that good medicine each and every single day.
Our modern world is designed to thwart efforts back to wholeness. Much like the ego that rears its ugly head and keeps you stuck, unwell, and miserable, our modern, lightning-fast world works in the same manner. Instant gratification, being swept up in pageantry and taken away from the present, from your ground, from your breath leaves us overwhelmed and off center.
How to combat this? Continue doing your work. Create a daily ritual. It may evolve over time and that’s amazing. You may not satisfy each part of your ritual every day and guess what? That’s fine, too! Keep it simple, keep it nourishing. Here are my few essential, non-negotiable self-care items I aim to perform each and every day.
Bedtime isn’t just for kids
Keeping a consistent and reasonable bedtime and wake time that satisfies your unique sleep needs is essential. Keeping it consistent means no cheating on weekends and not deviating from your sleep schedule with huge shifts (an hour at most give or take, nothing more).
Waking up technology free and with a stretch and a smile
What do you do in the morning as soon as you open your eyes? Do you roll over and grab your phone immediately? Do you jump out of bed and into a frenzy? I challenge you to stay technology free for as long as possible. If you rely on an alarm from your phone, simply tap the screen to turn it off and don’t actually unlock your phone! Wiggle your fingers and toes and stretch, take a deep breath, and smile. Begin the day in gratitude and in peace. Notice the amazing shifts!
Need help in the sleep department? I’ve got you! Read this article for tips on blissful sleep.
Move your body in a way that excites, delights, and energizes you every day! No, this doesn’t have to mean running 10 miles each day. This can mean cranking the tunes while cooking dinner and dancing with your dog, lover, or child – or all of them! Walking around the neighborhood, doing yoga, rebounding on a trampoline; our bodies were designed to move and they totally love it. Keeping active in some fashion is hugely responsible for keeping stress down, keeping the machine lubricated and reducing stiffness and pain, maintaining weight, keeping you young, enriching your sex life… honestly, do you need more reasons?
Put the phone down, turn off the computer and take time to just be still and quiet. Like consistent movement, meditation has been linked to neuro-protective qualities, reducing anxiety and depression, and improving immune health. For me, it helps me stay balanced and connected to my breath and body and that which is greater than I am so I can stay present with equanimity. During my quiet time, I also practice my check-ins where I use the acronym PEMS – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. I observe how each layer of my being is doing at that particular moment and what may need my extra attention.
Time with family and my animals
I know we’re all busy people with more tasks leftover at the end of the day than when we started! However, tending to those who really matter make me feel so nourished. Being present with my family and my dogs is such a blessing. This time is way more important than any deadline, assignment, or errand – trust me.
Play is very much an attitude you choose to bring into each and every interaction and it’s definitely a practice. Do I feel playful every day? Hell no! It’s all a practice. The coolest part is that this attitude is infectious and by lightening up, you give others the ability to, as well. Spread the joy and ignite the spark!
Nourishing, whole foods
Nothing else will do for me other than whole, real foods. I feel the amazing benefits immediately and only consume what feels good to my body. Our bodies are meant to eat that which they’re made up of, not things that were made in factories. Additionally, practicing mindful eating is a way to cultivate more awareness around which foods your unique body loves, as well as being a way to learn to enjoy them even more!
Check in with yourself and notice what your body and mind are trying to tell you. Is there a particular area of your life that is being neglected or brushed over? That is a fantastic place to start. Set the intention to nurture this area and create your own set of a few non-negotiables and just start. Treat yourself like the divine incarnation that you are and know that it is not selfish, but quite the opposite. By practicing self care, we ensure we’re at our best and when we’re at our best, we can powerfully support those around us.