Self care is so important, it's part of the reason I started this project. Growing up no one ever told me to take time for myself, for reflection and healing. Being thrust into life without this knowledge makes life so much more difficult than it needs to be. Self care has become some of the favorite parts of my journey. I'm excited to share these with you. Read my full story here.
Mindfulness has changed my life. Often lost in the chaos of anxious thought or paranoid delusion, spending two seconds, when I start to feel the anxiety rise and scan my body for areas of tension, I notice my teeth clenched, my belly tight and facial muscles tense. Taking a minute to “breath into” those areas and relax them can turn an anxiety attack right around. I have horrible social anxiety and sometimes, just checking in with my body and breath and get me through even the longest of interactions.
I have been spending 10-20 minutes each day before bed meditating. They say whether or not you find your meditation “successful” or not, it is apparently still effective in changing the mapping of your brain. I find since I have been meditating, I have been more able to process information, from my body and emotions, as well as having a much calmer base line. There are many studies which I will link to that show that meditation rewires your brain.
Body Brushing + Affirmations
Body brushing makes me feel like a horse. But spending that small amount of time, brushing my skin, just helps me get back in touch with my body. As I often feel like a floating brain moving throughout life, this time is spent to remind me of my meat suit, to remind me to care for it and respect it. Body brushing is known to increase circulation. While moving blood through my body, I like to move positivity through my soul with some positive affirmations. Yes, I feel ridiculous sometimes; however, the benefit far outweighs the .1 second of embarrassment.
I am not a morning person, I repeat, I am not a morning person. I hit snooze about 20 times, roll out of bed, mostly disoriented and cannot hold a conversation until about an hour or two later. I created a morning routine of waking up, having a cup of tea, doing morning pages, pulling a tarot card, and walking my dog, and these small acts make me feel much more prepared and ready to start my day. Now I feel off balance all day when I wake up late, miss my routine, and rush out the door.
I've been doing morning pages from doing an artist's way group. (Which is a great book and I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking to renew or reassemble their relationship with their creativity.) Anyways, morning pages is made up of 3 pages of stream of consciousness, I usually run out of things to say at page 2, so I pull a tarot card and write on what it means to me. I have uncovered a lot of emotions and feeling in the morning, which has shattered my impression that I wake up like a blank emotionless zombie.
Focusing on a single thing is excruciating to me. I get stressed out the more time I spend doing something important. My anxiety rises, I start rushing through it, and eventually give up and start procrastinating. To combat my personal insanity, I have found that taking small breaks for art or reading, making tea, or doing something enjoyable, I increase my productivity and finish things much more relaxed and confident about my work. I picked up the habit of taking breaks from smoking, which I still do, however I think that inserting something such as coloring, is less harmful in the long run.
Exercising sucks, it really does. People tell me all the time it releases anxiety, whatever. I'm not sure it does, but I do it anyways because I will do anything to get rid of anxiety. To stave off the boredom of a monotonous routine, I tend to gravitate towards dance classes and other forms of movement that make my heart sing. I also bribe myself with treats after, or force other people to make me go. To be honest, I am working on making this more of a routine, because this is usually an ordeal. We're in this together.
I've recently moved to an apartment with a soaking tub, a deep tub for tall people like me, and it's heaven. I love baths, something about it just lifts off the worries of the day and leaves me feeling born anew. I usually take an epsom salt bath (salt for the heavy energies) and some lavender essential oil. I totally get super excited about essential oils and all of the amazing miracle uses, but baths are definitely my favorite ones.
Growing up in a cult like environment, I am anti-religious. I think people who find this place of judgement and self importance from a book are people I don't want to know. However, I was once asked to write down for a week, every coincidence that happened to me. It gave me this beautiful sense of wonder and amazement of all the tiny things working out in my favor. It opened the door for me to explore what my experience of this universe is. Meditation and is a huge part of my practice and I firmly believe in the power of ritual and ceremony, and with gratitude, I can proudly call myself an optimistic.
Gratitude lists have changed my life. Bringing gratitude into my life, changed my life from a series of unfortunate events, here to wreak chaos, to a magical journey with surprising learning experiences along the way. Gratitude gives me the much needed emotional distance from bad news, reminding myself I have great things in my life, It keeps me from being destroyed by every little thing that has gone wrong. Hearing other people's gratitude also helps me keep the world in perspective, to know that there are still some things right, and if someone else can find gratitude in what they have, I can too. I started a group gratitude list on here, so we can all help each other. Join in on our sidebar any time you feel gratitude.
Sitting with emotions, checking in with yourself
I have a lot of negative self talk, I repress my emotions and often let them build up to an painful amount. One of the things that has been most helpful is establishing a connection with all the parts of myself, letting them speak, acknowledging and trying to love them. Checking in with my body, my emotions, my thoughts, my inner child, inner critic and the whole shebang keeps me in manageable levels of anxiety and not overwhelmed by stress.
What are your favorite forms of self-care?