Self Care Rituals
What are the things you do daily to nourish your mind, body and soul ? Do you eat clean meals? Do you workout or meditate? Do you often feel burned out? How hydrated do you keep yourself ? What activities do you specifically do to cater to your personal needs?
Our modern hectic lifestyles can cause imbalances in our body and mind that show up as anxiety, digestive issues, lethargy and depression. We all have our coping mechanisms (caffeine , sugar, alcohol , nicotine) which work well as quick fixes but end up creating more stress and depleting us of our natural energy in the long run.
What Is Self Care?
The idea of self care may be foreign to many of us. We may feel like we don’t have enough time or deserve any time for ourselves. Self-care must not be confused with being selfish. It involves checking in with yourself before catering to other people and drawing healthy boundaries. Self-care is highly personal and can have different meanings for all of us. It can mean anything we do to take care of our mental, emotional, physical or spiritual wellbeing. Self care isn’t a luxury that only a few can afford, it is an essential aspect of our daily life that can help us thrive rather than just survive. We can look and feel our best by nurturing our inner and outer health through holistic self care. Holistic self-care is the process of meeting one’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs in order to achieve personal fulfilment. Our body is wise and we must pay attention to the messages it sends us. The connection between our mind and body affects our life immensely. Although they may appear to be separate parts, they are both are interconnected. If you are stressed or sad, you will experience pain or discomfort in your body. In contrast, if you are in bodily discomfort, your mind will get restless as well.
Importance Of Daily Rituals In Self-care
Nowadays, self-care is in vogue and people are trying to look for different ways to take care of their mind, body and soul.As a part of their daily self care regime, individuals create rituals to help them relax, appreciate who they are, feel empowered and recharge. Self-care practises such as yoga, breathwork, art therapy and meditation have grown increasingly popular. We may need inspiration or professional help for self-exploration in the beginning and later work on building our own custom self-care rituals.
A self-care routine energises us to do tasks that we otherwise procrastinate. It involves practices that promote self-awareness and serenity of mind. Rituals are a fun way of making self-care a habit. Rituals serve as a constant reminder that life is more than just a to-do list. It is something to be cherished and savoured to the maximum extent possible. Self care rituals are routine lifestyle activities that we indulge in daily to create a sense of wellbeing and balance.
Self-care routines can serve as a strong foundation for our path to self-actualisation. Daily rituals can help us cope with daily stresses and improve our physical, mental, and emotional health and overall well-being. They are our daily practices or routines that keep us focused and support our health goals. They serve as healthy habits that positively impact our well-being and promote a holistic lifestyle. Self care rituals can be practiced daily, monthly or annually to serve as a road map to fulfil our visions/goals. The first step is to put them on our calendar and designate time to them. You can start by making a list of all the activities that bring you joy, happiness and restore your balance. We can take baby steps by building up one practice per week and reflect on how we feel after.
Benefits of Self care
The World Health Organisation defines self-care as: “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” Research suggests that self-care positively impacts our overall health by promoting longevity that makes us more resilient and helps manage stress effectively. Longevity has been linked to various health practices such as:
- 6-8 hours of exercise per week
- Living a purposeful life
- Clean & healthy plant based diet.
- 8 hours of restful sleep everyday.
- Spending time outdoors in nature.
Sensory Self-care Rituals
The joy of experiencing all five senses surpasses all other pleasures. We must slow down and practise self-care rituals based on our five senses to experience the collision of our internal and external worlds as they become one with emotions & sensations.
The sense of smell is used to cure insomnia, depression, anxiety, etc. Aromas can benefit your body profoundly. It is scientifically proven that aromatherapy has positive benefits on our well being. Enhance your sense of smell in the following ways:
- Light some scented candles.
- Use essential oil diffuser.
- Take a spa bath or use spray mist.
- Roll on some aromatherapy oils on your pulse points.
- Notice whether a specific smell brings out any memory.
- Notice the smells of your family, pets & loved ones.
- Notice the smell of your surroundings and nature.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed or burned out, take a few moments to look around and absorb your surroundings. Pay close attention to every aspect while you’re looking at anything. Take note of the various hues and the light-dark contrast. A sight ritual views the world as a large, beautiful canvas ready to be soaked by the eyes. Enhance your sense of sight in the following ways:
- Buy some candles or crystals that are pleasing to your eyes.
- Notice the objects around you and how they make you feel.
- Step out in nature and absorb the greenery.
- Take note of what colours attracts your eyes visually.
- Step out & try gazing at the sky after long hours in front of screens.
The sense of sound plays a vital role in uplifting our mood and calming our minds. It is scientifically proven that music therapy eases anxiety and depression. Similarly, singing has been found to enhance mood and reduce stress by increasing levels of endorphins and oxytocin. Sounds stimulate the vagus nerve that helps the nervous system relax.
Enhance your sense of sound by the following ways:
- Listen to your breath while inhaling and exhaling.
- Try listening to the sounds of your surroundings with closed eyes.
- Try sound healing with binaural beats and soothing tunes.
- Step out in nature to absorb the sounds of healing sounds of nature./li>
- Listen to music of different genres to match your moods.
- Be vocal whenever you read and sing along songs.
With its many textures, tastes and temperatures, food can be a wonderful sensory experience. It delights and nourishes our lovely bodies while linking us to various cultures. Cooking and eating experiences can help us bond and bring back memories of people, places, special memories etc. Enhance your sense of taste by the following ways:
- Eat slowly while savouring all flavour of your food.
- Notice the texture and temperature of whatever you eat.
- Try out different cuisines to expand your taste buds.
- Before eating or drinking anything, bless it.
- Notice what type of food changes your mood & how it impacts your emotions
Skin is the largest organ of our body. It is always in contact with one thing or another. Experimenting with different touches can provide great sensual pleasure and positively impact our wellbeing. Getting touched or hugged by others lovingly can boost our energy and make us feel wonderful.Enhance your sense of touch by the following ways:
- While laying in bed, feel the texture of your bedsheet.
- Feel how your clothes feel on your body.
- Touch distinct textures and notice the diversity.
- Take time while applying any products to your skin.
- Hug your pets and family minimum 3 times a day
- Play with sensory tools like kinetic sand or de stressing clay.
Ayurveda Self Care
Ayurveda is the ancient wisdom and science of life. This Indian healing system dates back to 5000 years ago and lays emphasises on total wellness. This holistic philosophy looks at the mind, body and spirit as a whole. It promotes holistic health and the prevention of disease through rejuvenating lifestyle practices and cleansing herbal remedies. Humans are turning back to their roots to get a stable spiritual, mental, social and physical life. So, let us look at some basic daily rituals for self-care straight out of Ayurveda.
Morning rituals help us reconnect with our goals and set the tone for the day. Morning self care helps us stay grounded and stay focused through the day. Sleeping early to get up early the following day helps set our circadian rhythm.
- Wake up early during sunrise and express gratitude
- Acknowledge your positives and recite your affirmations.
- Drink warm water with lemon with ginger to aid peristalsis.You may also replace it by drinking 1 table spoon of natural apple cider vinegar in 1 glass of water with a metal straw.
- Do some form of exercise or movement daily.
- Eat a wholesome breakfast.
- Set your daily intentions and most important tasks in your journal.
- Practice mindfulness via meditation, guided meditation or breathwork.
- Scrape your tongue with tongue cleaner & gargle with sesame oil in water.
- Morning bath cures you by relaxing muscles and restoring moisture to tissues.
Afternoon rituals help boost energy and recharge our batteries.
- Make lunch your biggest meal and eat it peacefully in a serene surrounding.
- After eating, lie down on your left side for 5-15 minutes to aid digestion.
- Just before sunset, indulge in yoga nidra to relax and move into deep state of conscious awareness.</li>
Bedtime rituals help us unwind from a busy day and ease into a restful state. You can redirect your attention from a stressful day to a relaxing sleep chamber by practising the following rituals:
- Switch off all lights and light some sage or incense.
- Do mild stretching and express gratitude.
- Avoid using mobile phones or any screens one hour before going to bed.
- Be in bed by 10 pm, as our body starts secreting melatonin between 9pm-12am .
- Take a soothing bath with Epsom salts as it helps reset our nervous system.
- Try to read a light book before sleeping.
- Journal about how your day went and what you achieved. It will improve memory, help you manage your time and make improvements in your routine.
Ayurveda is not just about plants, herbs or natural remedies. The core essence of Ayurveda is based on taking care of our body in natural ways. Following a holistic lifestyle with a natural approach enhances our mind, body and spirit.
So, begin to look after your body and trust us when we say that your mind and soul will thank you!