After the arrival of Winter Solstice and all the celebrations of Christmas I often find myself in a sort of purgatory state waiting for the New Year to begin. This year however, I've decided to be more mindful with these few days of down time by practicing self care rituals each day so I am able to step into the New Year with nourished, balanced roots. As individuals, it really is so important to tend to our own needs physically, mentally, + spiritually. We are all a part of a much larger collective. If one of us is down, it really does affect the whole web of life and the entire world around us. Many of us, myself included, may often say or think that we just don't have enough time in the day to care for ourselves. Or, we think we are being selfish for taking a little time for ourselves, especially if we are parents. Perhaps a little perspective shift is in order so we may realize that being kind to ourselves is not a chore to be added to the to do list, but rather a life necessity, almost like breathing or blinking our eyes. Imagine what state our world would be in if we all showed ourselves more care, compassion, tenderness, + love.
I'd like to share a few of my favorite self care rituals that are actually pretty easy to incorporate into your daily or weekly routine.
1. Waking Up Early to Watch the Sunrise
I live in a house with all men...all sizes of men actually. Small=my almost 3 year old, Medium=my teenager, Large=my husband. Even my dog is male. I am completely surrounded by loud yang energy. My kitty Ginger and I are the only fans of calm yin energy and she hides in my closet all day. It is quite nice to wake up before everyone when it's quiet, peaceful, + dark. I usually go in my toddler's room because his window has the best view of the sunrise. (I should note that he still sleeps in our bed, so his room is up for grabs at that hour). While it's still dark + the sky is just barely lightening to a dusty blue, I breathe + stretch with my eyes closed. I often find it hard to sit still while trying to meditate, so getting into some different yoga poses helps my mind quiet down. And, since my body is aging, it's really nice to stretch out all the stiffness first thing in the morning. If I time it just right, when I open my eyes, the sky is beaming with beautiful shades of coral, pink, gold, lavender, + blue. It is glorious. There are many days where the sky only stays that way for a minute or two. It makes me feel like the sun + earth have given me a precious gift that I was so lucky to catch.
2. Sipping Warm Herbal Tea
After my sunrise session, I brew a warm cup of herbal tea. Since it is currently winter, I am drinking more nourishing herbs + adaptogens to care for my root chakra. My go to's these days are Nettles mixed with Peppermint, Chaga, Burdock Root, + I'm slowly getting re-acquainted with Reishi again. Sometimes I am able to sit in stillness while sipping my tea, which is just lovely, but usually Phoenix (my toddler) is up by then, so I sip while tending to him.
3. Grounding on the Earth.
Phoenix loves to play outside, so we are out in our back yard each and every day. This makes it quite easy for me to stick my bare feet on the grass or in my garden to get some skin on soil connection time. During these colder months, I do wear socks, but I really try to make sure I get about 10 minutes a day of feet on the earth...no shoes what-so-ever. In the warmer months, Phoenix and I pretty much never wear shoes out there! If the weather is nice, which it usually is here in Southern California, I'll even lay down on the grass for a little while to feel the solid embrace of our generous Earth beneath me. We are a part of the Earth, not separate from her...it is important that we connect directly with her. We need her energy, her minerals, + her stable support in our lives. Her body is our body and our body is her body. Being inside most of our days underneath artificial lights, wearing shoes, is really disconnecting us from our true nature. We need to absorb sunlight into our skin + into our eyes. We need the soft caress of grass or soil between our toes. This is how we were designed + made to live.
4. Soaking in a Warm Bath with Flowers + Salts.
I admit, I don't do this daily, but always dream that I should. Every time I step into a hot bath, all my worries + woes kind of melt away. Once I add in the healing salts + pretty flowers, I feel like a goddess. Perhaps one of my goals for 2019 will be to take more goddess baths!
I hope by sharing some of my cherished self care rituals you feel inspired to start your own, or just try some of these. My prayer for all of us in 2019 is to love ourselves a little more, love each other a little more, and to love our mother Earth a lot more. She is counting on us.