Dear Friends. I’m so happy you are with me on this adventure of RESETTING!
A little note about the process. I am going to share thoughts/ideas/resources in blog posts. The blog posts will follow these themes…our RESET process:
- Silence the Noise
- Declare What’s Most Important
- Then Take Inspired, Imperfect, Messy Action
In the blog post I’ll have links to a worksheet. This will be a printer friendly .pdf that you can print out and mark up. (Please note: The links are showing up in a very light color in the post, do click on it, it’s there!) With this process, follow what feels good for you! That is an important first step in RESETTING. Notice what brings you joy and happiness, what lifts your energy. No pushing and striving here. Following joy and curiosity is what’s key!
What we’ve been through over the last year has been hard, and unsettling, and tiring, and disorienting. It’s left many of us feeling depleted. It’s also been a year of waking up – waking up to the big questions of “What is most important?”, “What really matters?”, “What do I want to create in this precious life I have?”
So how do we replenish ourselves, so we can restore our energy, answer these big questions, and then focus on our heart’s desires? I’ve got a few ideas. Here’s where I think we should begin. Let’s begin by taking really good care of ourselves, being really gentle with ourselves, being nurturing, loving ourselves up. Let’s practice some Self-Care Rituals. Let’s practice them all summer.
This approach I’m suggesting is a really feminine approach. There is going to be nothing about this process that is about pushing, striving, struggling, doing anything hard. It’s all going to be about self-love, self-care, sending a message to our mind, heart, and body that we love it, that we are going to take care of it, that we are going to listen to it.
So, this may be a long blog post, but I wanted to capture all sorts of ideas here on the topic of Self-Care Rituals, I wanted to prime the pump for you. Take it in, notice what catches your attention, notice what sounds good and replenishing to you. I’m sure you have lots of ideas for nurturing self-care too! The worksheet this week is about helping you get clear on a tailored Self-Care Rituals plan. (Here’s a peek if you want to get started: https://jilldianesaunders.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Self-Care-Rituals-Worksheet-2.pdf). The essence here I want for you to create and explore for yourself is loving yourself up, treating yourself well, being gentle and nurturing. Think replenish this summer! Then watch out – you will be ready to get groovy this fall, refreshed with all sorts of new ideas and inspiration.
In this blog I’m going to share ideas under 7 Categories of Self-Care, then a must practice to really love yourself up this summer. But let’s get started with a question. And here it is…How Are You Treating Yourself? When things get hard and difficult, like they were during the pandemic, you may have picked up some habits that don’t serve your highest. Maybe you are in the habit of binge watching tv shows, maybe you are addicted to more than one glass of wine a day, or maybe you’re hooked on sugar or carbs and not caring for your body, maybe you are in overwhelm, maybe you aren’t honoring yourself. Now is not the time to be hard on yourself for any habits that aren’t serving you, not at all.
The practice here is to lovingly raise your awareness, and begin an intention that with lots of self-love, with caring for you very deeply, you will find the energy and discipline, the commitment to treat yourself like you deserve. There is a question on the worksheet where you can explore, really gently, ways you are really good to yourself and where you may not be treating yourself well. This awareness is a first step towards greater self-care. (Check out my blog post here on the process we go through to make a change, awareness is where it starts.)
Now, let’s explore the 7 Categories of Self-Care. Check them out. See what resonates or catches your attention. In the worksheet you’ll craft your tailored self-care plan, your rituals. Let’s Go!
- Check Your Mindset. Let’s tackle this one first, it’s the heaviest one. I’ll get to the point. Our mindset over the last year may have shifted to one that is not supportive of us truly caring for ourself. If this sounds like you, read on. Michael Singer, in his book The Untethered Soul, shares that we each have a voice in our head that is playing a color commentary on our life. This voice could be judging us, finding fault with what we are doing, focusing on the negative. What I’d like you to do is just to pay attention, how is your mindset? Is that voice in your head playing havoc with your life? Is it impacting you and causing you to be hard on yourself? Be gentle, just take a look at it, how is that voice treating you? What does it say?
To silence that voice in your head, if it’s gotten a little noisy, raise your awareness about what it is saying to you. There is so much power in becoming a witness to what is going on in your head. It’s an act of self-love to say “Shhh…I’m not going to listen to you anymore, be quiet.” Then, after you uncover what it may be saying that isn’t serving you, you can practice planting the seeds in your mindset of what you know deep in your heart about yourself. I’ll teach you how to use affirmations as a sort of lullaby to remind yourself of your truth, and reset your mindset (more on a juicy affirmation process when I blog about Problems to Possibility). And, here’s the good news, any of the next 6 self-care categories will help to lift your energy and create joy which will help to silence that noisy voice.
2. Care for Your Body. The body is such a beautiful place to focus on self-care! If we apply this feminine approach of self-care to the body, it’s all about nurturing it, caring for it, loving it. Being really good to it. Listening to it. Not expecting perfection. Not pushing it, not being hard on it. What ways can you practice being kind and nurturing to your body? Here are some ideas:
- Don’t push your body this summer. Pay attention to what you truly feel like doing. Remember you are replenishing your body. Take hikes, go for walks, practice yoga (maybe restorative yoga or yoga nidra), be in nature, bike. Move it, exercise it, but be really good to it. If you feel like pushing hard at the gym or training for a marathon, if that cares for you, go for it! My suggestion is exercise in a way that loves your body, don’t over exert it so it can replenish and heal. Find an exercise that gives you joy. Here’s an interesting podcast from Krista Tippett on the toll the pandemic had on our nervous system and body: https://onbeing.org/programs/christine-runyan-whats-happening-in-our-nervous-systems/. What if we are extra gentle to ourselves this summer so we can heal up?
- Love it up! Is your body craving some body-work of some kind? Ok – the obvious ones, is it time to schedule a massage, a pedicure? Maybe you’d like to check out acupuncture as a way to serve your chi. I’ve been practicing a ritual of exfoliation followed by a body butter. I regularly exfoliate my skin with a mitt, then treat it with shea body butter. Or, maybe there are essential oils that could support you with stress, fatigue, or mental clarity. Don’t forget bubble baths, or baths to soak in bath salts. Just start thinking…how can you send the message to your body that you love and care for it through self-care rituals. Share your ideas in the comments!
- Nurture yourself with food. Diets can invoke thoughts of restricting your body of food. What if you loved your body up so much you nourished it with greens, vegetables, fruits, staying hydrated? I’ve been enjoying an organic-superfood drink to support me with more energy and nutrients. (Here’s one recommended by my co-op: https://www.gardenoflife.com/raw-organic-meal-shake-meal-replacement-chocolate-cacao-powder?gclid=Cj0KCQjwzYGGBhCTARIsAHdMTQyHgqphgJRP8XYGLetxE6Rc1uY10TxWn4OVmOqvRadbFzNFFsJ5uW4aAsocEALw_wcB#637=18469 ) Are farmers markets catching your attention? What does your body want you to pay attention to with your diet? Is it time to stop a sugar/carb addiction? Do you want to clear Covid brain fog? Is there a functional medicine doctor that you’d like to spend time with to work on a food plan? All out of love for yourself. Not about deprivation or being hard on yourself.
3. Replenish Your Energy. Ahhh…yes, it may be time to rest instead of push! In my circles, the word is that employees are being pushed harder than ever in these times working virtually. Take a look at that. Is pushing at work, or outside of work causing you to be weary and frazzled? Here are some ideas to replenish your energy:
- Love your sleep! Give yourself the gift of natural sleep. Maybe go to sleep a little earlier so you can wake up feeling restored. Give yourself permission to take a nap when needed. (Acupuncture is a great natural reset if you have sleep problems. Get sleep help if needed.)
- Stop pushing. Get really clear on what you can do in a day, don’t overwhelm yourself with long lists. Take it a little easier this summer. If needed, come up with a strategy to talk to your manager about workload. (Here’s a tool on asking for help at work: https://jilldianesaunders.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/asking-for-what-you-need.pdf ). Ease up on having life in perfect order. Do you need to ask for help at home too so you are not the only one responsible for lists? Try making lists that don’t run you tired.
- Connect to nature. I’ve learned how important it is to trust nature to help heal us. Spend a little time in the sun, put your toes in the grass, sit by a stream, take in sunsets, find new parks to hike in, lay in a hammock under a tree, sit by a fire, take in the stars, listen to the birds. Nature is a natural healing force. Let it support you with replenishing your energy. (Check out the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever by Clinton Obel if connecting with nature is calling you! Or, read up on the Japanese practice of forest bathing.)
- Practice letting go. What can you let go of this summer? Where can you give up on an expectation of yourself? Can you go without having a goal, and just practice being? Is it time to take a little break? Having an expectation of yourself that causes stress on your psyche can be a big energy drain.
- Bottom line here, notice where your masculine energy may have you pushing and striving, expending your energy. Can you take a break from that pattern this summer? Our neural pathways have us all wired with different patterns of performing and striving, overachieving. How can you be really conscious of what your pattern is, and start practicing a pattern of replenishing activities, create some new neural pathways?
- Practice doing nothing. Find times when you can just DO NOTHING. I heard in a whisper once, by doing nothing, you’ve actually accomplished quite a a lot! (You’ll be in good company with Einstein and Steve Jobs by practicing doing nothing: https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/steve-jobs-albert-einstein-steven-kotler-non-time.html).
4. Silence the Noise. Sigh. Our devices. The news feeds. Being connected 24×7. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about silencing the noise and distractions.
- Take a diet from your devices. Detox from social media. Put a practice in place about how much you’ll scroll on your device each day. Leave it at home if you are going on a self-care adventure, taking a vacation, or spending time with someone special. Don’t check it on the weekends. Get out from behind a screen at night if you are on it all day. Keep your phone out of your bedroom. Just think of all the time you’ll find for doing things you love by cutting back on being connected.
- Turn off the news.
- Turn off the TV and streaming. I’ve heard from so many people about how they’ve gotten hooked on TV during Covid. Turn off the TV even if it means sitting in silence, just being still. You are creating space for that idea or inspiration to find you.
- Take up an intentional breathing practice. There are many great resources out there to silence the noise, and focus on your breath. It’s a beautiful practice to create silence in your life. (Check out this little book on breathing called Breathwork by Andrew Smart.)
and…related to finding silence…
5. Nurture Your Spiritual Practice. No matter what your spiritual practice is, spending time with God everyday is a beautiful gift. Let your spiritual practice be a doorway to miracles in your life.
- Maybe you want to recommit to your prayer practice or meditation practice. Or, maybe you want to start a prayer or meditation practice.
- Is it time to reconnect at your church, or find a spiritual teacher?
- Or are you nudged to read inspiring books? Find new authors?
- Pay attention to your heart. Your heart is a source of energy and replenishment. Is it feeling closed or sad? Is there a heaviness? You can start with the simple heart meditation in this weeks worksheet to create a connection with your heart, activate a little love and gratitude, and open it up to more joy. (Check out https://www.heartmath.com/ for research on how love builds resilience.)
- Create a sacred space, a place where you can pray, meditate, journal.
- Expand what you consider a spiritual practice to be! Creativity is a way to connect with your spirit, to feel joyful and expansive. Or gardening as a spiritual practice. I’d love to hear your ideas here.
6. Celebrate Connection. We were all isolated from each other, disconnected. It was hard. If it’s your jam, be intentional about nurturing your connections.
- Reconnect with the beautiful people in your life. Spend time listening, empathizing, caring, making a heart connection. Maybe Covid has stirred your heart up to practice more vulnerability. Practice hearing others, and spend time with others who listen, see, and hear you.
- Reach out to people you may have lost touch with, let them know you care.
- Tell that tribe that got you through Covid how much you love them, they are angels. Be clear with them about how much they mean to you.
- Do you feel like celebrating with a little party or happy hour?
- Hug, and hug some more.
- Be in community with others whether it’s a book club, church, a yoga class.
- Also related to connection, is it time to set a boundary? To be clear about what you need? Are there some people you’d like to distance yourself from, people who don’t support your best?
7. Play. Replenish your self in the energy of play. Go for a bike ride, swim, catch a concert, go to a play, kayak, hike, try a new recipe, laugh…then laugh some more, try new cocktails, be curious and try new things, begin a creative hobby, don’t miss a happy hour, have a picnic, create nurturing spaces, go shopping, garden, read summer novels, lay in the hammock with someone you love, dance, dance some more, sing really loud, (Be like Trevor Bolling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj0eDOFSmKI), celebrate intimacy.
Ahhh…that’s it on the 7 categories of self-care rituals. My intent is to prime the pump with ideas that will nurture you. Pick one or two categories that make you happy, that bring you joy thinking about them! Trust that if you are feeling excited, or inspired, or open hearted about one of the categories, that is life whispering you to pay attention! Then, use the worksheet to identify a few rituals for the category, here’s the link: https://jilldianesaunders.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Self-Care-Rituals-Worksheet-2.pdf. I’m sure you have all sorts of creative ideas of self-care rituals too! Let’s share them in the blog comments so everyone can see them!
Now, I have one more secret to creating a summer of self-care that I’d like to share…
Savor Moments! This is a must practice for creating a summer of self-care, restoration, replenishment. What I want you to do here is to move through your day savoring each moment! Really fall in love with all the little ways that life is beautiful and good. Appreciate the sunshine coming in your window in the morning. Your morning ritual of coffee or tea. Having the window open and savoring the fresh air. Noticing the lush flowers and trees. Walking barefoot in the grass. Cutting vegetables for a nourishing meal. Lighting a candle when you pray. Writing in a new journal with a favorite pen. Sitting and doing nothing – absolutely nothing. Smelling fresh flowers. Being held by someone you love. Your kids laughter and energy. A favorite summer outfit. Painted toes. Sit outside and listen to the crickets. Smell the fresh cut grass. Savor it all. Love it up. Do this day after day. I think you’ll notice your heart well up with gratitude and joy and appreciation for all the beauty in your life. You’ll find that your worries and anxieties diminish, because there is so much good in your life. It takes some present moment noticing, and once you start, you’ll feel the deliciousness of it all, and won’t want it any other way.
Now, what next…check out the worksheet on identifying your Summer Self-Care Rituals. The .pdf is printer friendly so you can print it with ease and get your plan in place: https://jilldianesaunders.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Self-Care-Rituals-Worksheet-2.pdf
I loved writing this for me and you. Please do share any insights or aha’s in the comments, I’d love to hear your favorite self-care rituals! A summer of love and appreciation will ready your mind, heart, and body for all of your heart’s desires. Remember, don’t push or strive, it’s time to nurture and care – and, in time, you’ll get the clarity and insight about your dreams, aspirations, and heart’s desires, and how you want to focus moving forward.