Ring in the New Moon this weekend with these 9 Self Care Tips
I am feeling the whisper of Fall on my back these days. It was dark when I woke up this morning. A lot of us are susceptible to the inner gloom of depression and fatigue that sets in as the daylight fades. With the New Moon coming this Sunday, its a great time to set intentions to commit to new ways to care for ourselves this season.
1. Create a Beautiful Space
You can do this at home, or at work, or even in your car. Ever notice the difference you feel when you are in an office with fluorescent lights and black walls versus a well-designed, friendly looking room? I thrive in nature and have piles of collected stones, shells and flowers all over the place, even on the dash of my car. Put up pictures of your pets or loved ones, meaningful art, postcards or posters that inspire you, clear out the trash, build an alter, get a sound machine if you live in a noisy apartment, an aromatherapy diffuser if there are bothersome scents, even keeping photo of something or someone you love in your wallet becomes a reminder of something pleasant whenever you see it.
2. Drinking Tea
I know were not all tea fanatics -- I don’t consider myself one -- so it surprises me how people in my offices delight in the pleasure of a cup of tea. I found a tea kettle and a nice mug that feels really good in my hand from the thrift store for $7 and keep it at work where I can have a cup whenever I like. When I feel stuck, I force myself away from the computer and standing up, pour a cup of tea, and focus on the flavors, the steam, and the feel of it in my hands.
3. Scented Baths
Some people love those flowering bath bombs, although I prefer just plain old epsom salt from the grocery with a few drops of organic essential oils. My favorite combination right now is cedar wood and lavender. You can go all out and bring your crystals into the bath with you, the water and salt is a great way to recharge them while they recharge you.
Try 30 seconds of stretching in morning when you wake up, even while you’re lying there in bed debating whether to start moving or not, it doesn’t have to be extravagant, just listen to your body. I had a physical therapist say to me that “motion is lotion” -- that our joints need to move to lubricate themselves. If you have a foam roller it is divine for our backs to roll around in the morning or evening and stretch out all those tissues holding onto our anxiety. For a more in-depth practice, I have been enjoying learning Qi-Gong. Check out these videos to learn a few practices!
5. Walk in the Middle of the Day
This is particularly important if you have insomnia or trouble sleeping, or if you are prone to seasonal depression. If you can get outside around 1pm-ish and walk, soak up some natural light, there is a lot of research coming out that says this helps us keep our circadian rhythms on track. Its all about moving our bodies a little and getting some light. So many of us work in sterile air offices, breaking it up has a wonderful effect on our energy and mood.
6. Get Unstuck by Taking an Action Step
Do you have one of those big problems or big goals that never seems to get started? Feeling stuck? (And then beating yourself up for it?) Make a list of all the LITTLE things you need to do towards the end goal. Really break it down into the tiniest tasks, like talking to a friend about it, each thing you need to research, each item you need to buy, and then do the smallest, easiest to complete item on your list, and then cross it off and appreciate your good work. A little momentum helps us get Unstuck. And looking at large projects is easier to handle when we see them for all the complex pieces of work we do (and then get to congratulate ourselves for doing!).
7. Create Your Model Week
Pull out a blank piece of paper and draw out a week. What would your ideal normal-for-you week look like (not a vacation week, but a typical week). This doesn’t have to be based in your current reality, in fact, it shouldn’t, because it should be based on what you want for yourself. What hours would you want to work, how many social dates, activities, and down time would you like in your model week? What time would you like to sleep and wake up? A lot of times Self-Care is about allowing ourselves to day dream and get to know ourselves. Knowing how you truly want to spend your time will help you start making some of those changes.
8. Get Offline
I probably should have put this as number one. Give yourself a break to slow down, take a social media vacation, choose to close your email and notice what happens? What is it like for you pay attention to what is going on in this moment, right here and now? What is it like to notice the urges to refresh, to be available to other people’s needs, and likes, and comments.
9. Back to Basics: Sleeping, Eating, Hydration, Movement, and Social Connection
These are our 5 basic needs. Without these most people whither away. We feel it in our bodies nearly as fast as we do in our emotional states and our relationships. Which of these areas are you thriving in — meaning they come naturally, so you don’t have to think about them? Pat yourself on the back!! Which areas have you forgotten about tending to? More and more I hear loneliness as a theme in people’s lives, probably a casualty of our fast-paced, always-on, constantly-comparing internet culture. Social connection looks differently for everyone, but that real life human contact (or human-animal) contact, is crucial for our well-being.