We all need and usually don't get enough self-care. By the time we are able to sit down and actually take some time for ourselves, we have usually decided on watching TV, to just numb the stress of our day. Though this may seem like a hiatus from the day, it doesn't do much for us. When you get up, you usually don't feel a change in your stress levels.
So, how can we make sure we are able to get in self-care? With self-care rituals. Now, don't think of self-care rituals as your morning routine, or nightly routine that may be an hour and half long. Self-care rituals can be as long or as short as you need them to be. They are there to be turned into routines or when you know you are in need.
Below I will help you think of ways to make some rituals for your self-care. I will start with explaining the different areas of self-care, to think about when creating your rituals. Then I will discuss some areas you may want to think of, when putting together daily, weekly, and monthly rituals.
Understanding the Areas of self-care
I consider self-care to be broken up into 7 areas. Those areas are meant to cover all areas of your life: emotional, mental, financial, physical space, physical well-being, relationships, and spiritual. When you are able to gauge where your tiredness, uneasiness, stress, or dissatisfaction is coming from you can more efficiently take care of yourself.
There will always be times when all areas are in upheaval and there isn't one area to target. That is when you will need some major self-care. Try taking the self-care assessment and see where you are needing some extra self-care.
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When you are wanting to prevent overwhelm, and extra stress, then understanding these areas along with having some rituals in place will help prevent future meltdowns.
Being emotionally drained can show itself in multiple ways. If you are intune with your self you will know when you are emotionally drained and "just can't."
If you feel fatigue, insomnia, cry easily, detachment, or a lack of motivation you could be emotional bankrupt, having nothing left to give anyone, even yourself. I have experienced this before and will recall on two situations it occurred. I was going out frequently and from this I become emotionally drained. I needed time to recharge by myself. But when I didn't give that time myself it left me feeling detached, and not motivated to do much.
Another time of emotional drainage is when I worked 15 hours a day everyday. Though I love what I do, it is just too much for too long. There was no break from thinking about the same thing, all the time. This drained me and really left me hopeless and unmotivated, even though work was going really well.
When you think about your experiences, can you point out the times when you were emotionally drained? Hopefully you have even more insight to recognize when you are emotionally bankrupt and know that you are in need of some emotional self-care.
Mental: Intellectual/ Creative
When I talk about mental health, most will think I am talking about emotional health or your brain running non-stop, which will drain you. Neither of these two terms is what I mean. Mental health covers your intellectual and creative abilities and strengths.
Intellectual well-being is an area that is often neglected, because it is difficult to describe the specific sense of yearning. But, the best description I can give is the itch for something more.
You may be yearning for a change, or a large amount of growth because you feel stagnant. This could be the lose of interest at work, a job you have loved just because it now seems boring. Intellectual self-care is all about learning.
It is the continuous growth that we experience in jobs, and outside of our lives. If you are a podcast junkie, or a lover of books, you may rarely experience this. You are constantly putting new ideas, and creative visions into your head. You feel satisfied with the life you have and all of its possibilities.
When you feel that you haven't been experiencing any growth, then you will begin to feel a longing for something new or more. Intellectual self-care is what is needed. Sometimes this may mean you start looking for a new job to be able to grow and learn. Other times it is just reading more.
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The other part of this is the creative side. If you are creative for a living, then this is a skill as much as it is another body part that has to be taken care of. This is necessary to prevent those creative blocks, or the feeling that the creative well is dry.
Self-care nurtures the creativity within. When you are constantly using it you are draining that well and will see it in your work product. When your creativity juices are stalling you could need some self-care in that area.
For those that don't think they use creativity in their job, it still should be nurtured. Too often a missing element of joy and peace in life is exploring our creative side. This could be as simple as coloring, going to an art museum, painting, or creating model figurines. What it is, is not important. The potential fulfillment, satisfaction, and empowerment of living a full life is.
Your financial well-being will look different than everyone else’s. That is okay, you have different spending habits, income, and long term goals than everyone else. But, when you start to stress about money, whether having enough or what to do with it, it can really wear you down.
Implementing self-care rituals to handle the stress that comes with your finances is important. If you are the person who counts every penny, and stresses over having splurged on getting a bottle of water, then money may be too high of a priority. I say this, not as an admonishment, because I have been there as well. But, when all of our focus is on money, we might be missing the little joys of life.
The other extreme is someone who never counts there money and is always spending. But at the end of the month is in panic mode to make sure that all the bills are paid for. That is also not healthy and should not be taking place.
There should be a balance in your life of earning and spending money. When that is off, money can take a priority above everything else, or become a tool that is neglected. Self-care rituals in this area can help you have a healthier relationship with your finances.
Many people don’t realize how their surrounding effect their mental state. But, lets think about a few situations that have effects. How about when your work space is finally clean and organized. It may only last a day, but you feel amazing and finally feel like you can focus.
When was the last time you were able to use your personal space, the space you set up for meditation, creativity, or peace, and actually felt that. When it is clean, and set up the way you want it, walking into it can make you feel like a new person. Now, think about when the dirty dishes become a massive mound almost to the point of avoiding the kitchen. The space is actually causing you anxiety and stress, and you would rather avoid it than deal with it.
Or what about when there is laundry everywhere in your room. Maybe its clean or maybe its dirty, but everything gets tossed into a massive mound for later, because it just feels so overwhelming. What about coming home to find that somebody left the living room a mess and all you wanted to do was sit down and have some space and time for yourself. So instead of that, you are cleaning, and you are pissed.
Our spaces have huge effects on our moods and when we can acknowledge that, we can take care of ourselves and those spaces for better well-being.
Sometimes the back aches, bloating, and headaches are all our doing. We do it to ourselves with poor eating, no exercise and sitting all day. It all takes a toll on any body. Our bodies react with discomfort and pain to let us know that it doesn’t like what we are doing.
When people think that they will have to put in so much work to making their bodies happy, so they don’t bother, they have no idea what they are missing out on. You can take care of your body and the benefits will astound you, more energy, focus, clarity, and productivity.
So, the next time your back has shooting pain or you realize that you have been getting a headache after lunch for the past 3 day, check in yourself. Some thing may be going on that is completely fixable. Self-care rituals could be the small little way to assuage the pain till you are able to make some major life overhauls.
We often think that people are the beings that effect us the most. Other people do have their place and can cause havoc on our lives, but we also have to realize, we participate in the madness as well.
When we take responsibility for ourselves and make sure we are giving ourself enough self-love it can become a lot easier to stand up for yourself, establish strong boundaries, and exude the confidence, that says you only accept the same from other, nothing less.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself will help you manage your relationships with others. Self-care rituals can help you remember your values, your worth, and amazingness so that the small hiccups of the day are nothing.
Healthy relationships with others still require work. Whether it is with your best friend from high school or your sister, the relationship requires you to put in effort. Knowing this, and being able to see the work that is needed can help you plan and schedule your self-care rituals for your relationships more easily.
How you define the breadth of your spiritual health is for you alone to decide. But, I know my spiritual health has been neglected when I feel a sense of longing, like I am missing something from my life.
When I take care of the rest of my self-care needs and this feelings persists its because I have neglected the longing of my soul. It could be a simple prayer, or singing with others in praise that helps fill up that need.
Often this can be an aspect of our health that shifts everything else into being brighter and happier, or when it is neglected, no matter how great everything is going, its just not enough. How you nurture your soul will be different, from reading and meditation, to prayer and taking solo trips to really see what God has created.
The feelings of wanting to see greatness, experience abundance of love, and sometimes simply to be forgiven can all be the soul needing more attention. Creating rituals assuage these needs can help you enjoy all of life more freely.
What Should Go in to Each Self-Care Ritual
I have broken down the rituals into how often you may need that ritual. I give some examples and state a couple areas that would could use that type of ritual.
For each of the self-care areas I recommend a yearly ritual. This ritual may be planning, scheduling, solitude, or running a race. The yearly rituals may take a day or a week. But, I think each of those areas needs some focus, to gain clarity and perspective on where you are trying to go.
Some examples of yearly self-care rituals is taking a 3 day vacation to the beach, by yourself. During that time you not only rejuvenating your emotional well-being, but take great time and care in nurturing a healthy relationship with yourself. You can have creative and spiritual time, and set a side a couple of hours to review your financial goals.
Another ritual may be, every day before your birthday you do your financial goals for next year. So, next year when you are a year older, you can have a X amount in savings and X amount of debt paid off.
There are plenty of ways to combine your yearly rituals for each part of your self-care. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating. But, I do suggest you schedule it. Make sure you have reminders. Then do it! Feel the amount of relief, self-love, and rejuvenation from a yearly ritual!
Not every self-care area will get a weekly or daily ritual with it. But, all of them should be acknowledged each month. Take an hour each month to analyze each area of your life. See what is lacking and where some extra self-care could be needed.
The small time spent on planning for your self-care now can make the world of difference later. Schedule some appointments that are necessary and own your self-care.
A couple areas that can be challenging to fit self-care in are intellectual and creative self-care, and your own relationship with yourself. So, challenge yourself to give just 1 hour a month to each of those areas. Really love on yourself doing something only your would love to do. Take time to be creative, even if that is only one time a month it still makes you an artists, writer, or creator! It does, I assure you. Take time to listen to a podcast or read some of a book you have been meaning to get to. Really you will feel rejuvenated.
Make sure that you set some goals, schedule some time for your rituals for your physical health, spiritual health, and physical space.
After you finish and over view of your monthly needs and wants, it is easier to establish them into your weekly rituals. You may always review your finances on Sunday. Also, you may tidy your space one time a week, checking in to make sure it is sending the energy and vibes that you are wanting.
You may not have a lot of time for your creative and intellectual well-being, but setting aside a little bit of time can really make the world of difference. Your spiritual health may be maintained with a weekly ritual.
Some daily rituals that I think are important are related to your food intake, exercise, and quieting the mind. These are all things that can be planned ahead, but having a ritual of how you handle your food, respect your body, and take time for yourself will create healthy boundaries for your needs.
Some may need to have time alone one time a week for 3 hours, or every day for 20 minutes. Knowing yourself is the key to know what best rejuvenates your well-being.
Daily self-care rituals can and should be added to your morning and nightly routines. But, some will have to be rituals that you know is in your back pocket for when certain things pop up.
When You Need It
It is good to know how your react to stress, panic, or despair. Have a ritual or plan in place for when you get fired from your job and have a melt down can be the difference between getting a new job quickly or wallowing into depression for a month.
Think about what your needs are and what previous experiences have thrown you have your game. How could you have better handled yourself in order for better outcomes. It might be that you need space, and time to digest the feelings. Maybe it, it is a vacation or a night out with friends that will help you through difficult situation.
Self-care rituals should not be a chore. They should be tools that you use to help yourself maintain healthy levels of energy in all aspects fo your life. I have attached a Weekly Self-Care Layout Worksheet, to help you plan for your self-care. Let me know in the comments below what self-care rituals you have in your life.
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