How do you practice self-care?
Bringing yourself back to center might mean meditating, exercising, reading a book, drinking a latte, or enjoying some CBD. Whatever activities help fill your cup, if you haven't actually rooted yourself in their practice, you could be missing out on the full potential of their benefits. One reason people become inconsistent in their self-care practice is because they have no home for it. Sure, you can meditate anywhere you can sit down, but having a designated space to retreat to can make a world of difference in solidifying the habit.
Setting yourself up for success
Lately we've been super into refining our morning routine. Originally inspired by the SAVERS method in Hal Elrod's book, The Miracle Morning Routine, we've personalized this teaching to fit our lifestyle and daily needs, and so can you. On the days we make sure to implement it, we've found it irrefutably effective in managing our time, commitments, energy and emotions throughout the day. If the first thing you do when you wake up in the mornings is check your phone, we're here to let you know - you're doing it all wrong.
When you first get up in the morning, that mental commute from sleep to functioning you experience is called sleep inertia. Even though your body is awake and active, your brain takes longer to catch up. About an hour to be exact. So you can imagine how reaching for your phone right away can overload it with unintended stress and overwhelm, causing an adverse effect to your natural awakening process. The inundation of notification after notification - missed calls, unseen social media posts, unread texts, incoming emails and calendar reminders - all pulling at your attention with a dire sense of urgency can have you spending way more time on each action item than realistically required thanks to this bombarded approach.
To set yourself up for success, we recommend coming up with your own self-care ritual you can put in motion as soon as you wake up - and allocating the time necessary to actually do it. Meaning, you'll likely have to get into a habit of waking up a little earlier than you're used to. As dreadful as this may sound to someone who loves to sleep in, we're sure you can recall rushed mornings vs. mornings when you have a little extra wiggle room, and the difference this makes in how you arrive for your day. We promise, it's worth it. A little discipline is a small price to pay for the advantages you stand to gain from making self-care a priority by scheduling it into your day.
Finding a home for your ritual
The function of your brain is to come up with thoughts and ideas, not to store them. This is why when you make commitments, they can be fleeting unless you record them somewhere you'll be reminded of them. It can take weeks to complete tasks that could take five minutes or less. Calling your mom, scheduling that doctor's appointment, or ordering house supplies are only some examples of things that can easily escape your mind if you don't deposit them somewhere you can track on them. Likewise for the things that help you reset and recharge.
Everyone has at least one favorite pastime from their childhood (painting, drawing, reading, writing, etc.) that still brings them joy... when they remember to work it into their schedule*. Finding simple pleasures in life doesn't require a lot of effort, making space for them does. One way to ensure you don't lose sight of your self-care practice is to literally insert it into your sight. Can you think of a space in your home you can designate to the activities your ritual entails? Whether it's a corner in your bedroom, an area blocked off by a portable screen or other physical barrier, or an entire room to itself - your self-care practice needs a home.
Here's a sample of some activities your self-care practice might involve:
- Stretching, doing yoga, going for a walk
- Making a coffee, latte or cup of tea
- Journaling (daily gratitude practice, intention and affirmation setting, and/or freewriting to dump out whatever's consuming your mind)
Considering the above activities, here are some suggestions on what your self-care station might include:
- Meditation cushion, altar, candles, noise canceling headphones
- Yoga mat, exercise equipment, workout clothes, water bottle
- Coffee/latte-making equipment + supplies (tea kettle, teapot, coffee mugs, milk frother)
- Ladykind's Rise Up & Wind Down CBD tinctures, daily vitamins/supplements
- Books, pen, highlighter, reading glasses
- Paper journal or digital note-taking device (laptop, iPad)
- Feel-good or inspiration visuals (pictures of loved ones, mood/vision boards, fresh flowers, or any other memorabilia that makes you feel at home with yourself)
Now imagine rolling over in the morning and opening your eyes to this set up, prompting you to perform your self-care rituals and prime your psychological landscape for the day. Especially if you work from home, this appointed space will also serve as a reminder and opportunity for you to return to what revitalizes you throughout the day as needed.