I have noticed that self-care and self-love have become an issue of neglect for us humans. I want to share all the little things that I do to nourish myself and what I experience when I lose track of things. If you have low-energy, feel lost, or stressed, it could be because you are not taking care of some aspect of yourself.
Below is what I do to take care of myself.
My Space / Environment
When my room is cluttered, it means that my mind is cluttered or it is about to be. It is important to keep my space organized and tidy at all times. This means putting away my clothes as soon as I try on another outfit (life of a girl), making sure everything is folded and in its correct spot, setting my bed every morning, taking out the trash, doing dishes immediately, and getting rid of things as soon as I realize that I do not need them (recycle, give-away).
I loved living out of my backpack while traveling because I had less items to keep track of.
I also love to light incense, sage, and use essential oils to keep the atmosphere clear and smelling good. I open the windows and prefer to have natural light.
I love to exercise my mind by researching different topics that I am interested in (health, astrology, yoga). I read poetry. I also love reading up on psychological and sociological studies on the internet. I try to give my brain information so that it does not stagnate. Learning new languages and trying new skills helps this, but it is not a daily task for me.
I also turn to meditation if I am having trouble overthinking and worrying. If this does not solve the situation, I write. I go to my journal and begin a stream of consciousness to get down to the root of my issue. I find that there are lots of things I need to get out that I did not realize were hiding inside me. If I have not written in a while or taken the time to sort out my thoughts, I will feel it as clutter in my head, rumination, confusion, and feeling lost.
Nourishing my body is fundamental to all my other self-care regimes. It is a combination of diet, exercise, and hygiene.
If I can keep what I put inside me to mostly fruits, vegetables, and anything homemade or real, my body is clear and thriving. I do my best to stay away from alcohol, smoking, and drugs, and stick to a vegan diet. Restricting food and dieting is impossible. If I want something sweet, I will have it. I like to stick to healthy sweets like raw cacao hot chocolate, but I will not be cruel with myself. If I crave it, then there is probably some part of my body that needs it. I stop eating when I feel full and eat when I feel hungry. Food can be a complicated topic, especially for women, so I try to keep things simple.
I need movement every single day. This is yoga, walking, running, biking, or swimming. I need to do some sort of yoga 5 times a week or I feel stiff, lose tone, and my posture suffers. The intention behind why I exercise is simply to create movement and get into nature, not to lose weight or change my body. I try to keep things as natural as possible.
If I am not taking showers everyday, I am getting inside some sort of body of water. I use natural soap that is safe for the environment. Ideally, I exfoliate (with a scrubber, sugar, or old coffee grounds) once a week. And I need to moisturize with oil (coconut, grape seed, or whatever is available) twice a day. My skin is super sensitive. I need to keep my face clean and moisturized and, recently, I have not been wearing make up.
I brush my teeth in the morning and at night with a bamboo tooth brush and floss, ideally, twice a week before bed. I am super sensitive to bad breath and have a weird thing with taking extra care of my teeth.
Every single person needs to have a creative outlet and, ideally, explore it once a day.
For me, my outlet is writing. Specifically, poetry. I also love dancing with my hoop and listening to music. Painting, photography, and interior design as well.
When I am not creative, life lacks magic and color. I lose perspective on things and I get too inside my head.
Nourishing my spiritual self is dependent on whether or not I am taking care of my outer layers. It is difficult for me to get in touch with my soul if my other basic needs are lacking.
I like to connect with this side of myself by doing tarot card readings on myself. I am still learning, so I do readings once per day to a few times a week.
It is also very important to me to meditate twice per day. Ideally, with some crystals. If I forget to meditate, I feel tired, stressed, and anxious. I place the crystals under my pillow, on my Chakra centers, or hold them in my hand. And I usually play some sort of gentle meditation music in the background. If it is the morning, I meditate sitting up and, if it is in the evening or I am low energy, I meditate lying down. It comforts me to do it with my healing crystals, but it is not necessary for everyone.
I also love to set intentions. Opportune times to do this are on new and full moons or during a significant astrological transition. I do this in my thoughts, meditations, and sometimes even write it down.
I also look for signs from the universe like numbers, animals, and synchronicities that only make sense in the moment. If I lose my spiritual side, I, literally, lose myself and feel very lost. If I do not follow what the universe wants, terrible, inconvenient things start happening to me.
I am one of those people who is half introvert, half extrovert. I love being around people, but they have to be the right people. They have to be my tribe: people who have the same mindset as me. For example, if I go out to a bar and am surrounded by drunk college kids, I will feel bored. I will even feel exhausted.
Even when I am around people that I love, there is a point where I have had enough. I need to go back to a quiet space and indulge in solitude. When I am with my partner, I can spend almost infinite amounts of time with him because we are so comfortable, but it is also necessary for me to separate and spend a night alone once in a while.
When I lack solitude, I become very irritable, moody, and drained. Usually, my brain needs space to process and reflect on some things.
Similarly to taking care of social needs, it is important to be part of a community. This can be your family, your co-workers, your exercise class, or any group of united people that you can relate to. We need to feel included, part of a group, and like we belong. We need our tribe.
For me, I usually find my community through the place I am currently practicing yoga. I need a place where I can be open, vulnerable, and feel safe. It is also a great place for me to meet new, like-minded people.
If I do not feel that I am part of a community, I become depressed and lonely.
There are so many aspects of ourselves that we need to keep track of. It is difficult to do all of this in a day if we are working full-time or are taking care of our family. Regardless of your responsibilities, you need to put yourself first.
If you lose track of yourself, you will lose track of everything else.
Be compassionate with your body, mind, and spirit, and give to yourself. This can be time, a 10-minute meditation, a long bath, meeting a friend for tea, or going to the gym. Take the time to find out what works for you, your sensitivities, and listen to yourself.
You deserve it.
Not only will you nourish yourself, but you will inspire the people around you to do the same.