I’ve been sharing my top tips for self-care in a series of posts because self-care is an essential, and often forgotten, part of wellness. Click here to check out part 1 and part 2 of our self-care blog series.
And one thing I know for sure is that self-care is not just downtime or time out. Sure, those things are really important. But it’s more than that….
A deeper level of self-care is crucial for anyone who wants to follow their passion in life and achieve something greater.
That’s you if you’re someone who wants to help and support others with their own health and life, including Wellness Coaches, Holistic Practitioners and aspiring ones. For you, this deeper level of self-care will make all the difference. Here’s why.
Good ol’ fashioned downtime may not be enough for you. If you’re the one supporting other people and following your passion in life or creating something new, you need turbo-boosted self-care.
Because if you’re helping others, creating, exploring and sharing your gifts with the world…or you want to be…it takes us certain level of energy and clarity.
Let’s face it, it can be draining and exhausting taking care of others, even if it’s your passion.
It requires holding the space for someone else while maintaining your own center.
It can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re practicing self-care that takes care of the whole you – your body, mind and spirit.
To nurture the whole self, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. One thing that’s helped me to stay grounded and clear is to work with rituals and principles that our ancestors used. These ancient tools are part of this deeper level of self-care that I call “Next Level Self-Care”.
Next Level Self-Care
Next Level Self-Care brings you into the present moment and connects you to elements that are grounding, basic, and have been used for centuries to promote balance. These elements create a well-needed mental break from technology, moving you away from electronics for once and transporting you to another space.
A space that is quiet, healing and rejuvenating. A space that can fill you up so you have more to give to the world.
I don’t claim to understand how it all works or why it works or even if it “works”, but what I do know is that there’s something about our ancestor’s rituals and tools that are restorative to our souls.
Here’s a few of the tools and rituals I’ve gathered from exploring what our ancestors used….
Crystals and Stones – While today we think of medicine as a prescription drug or in natural medicine, a supplement, before either existed, there were only stones, animals and plants. Native people used these earth elements to support their energy and their health. While I’m not suggesting you rely on these forms of healthcare or even believe in their healing powers (that’s up to you), I am suggesting that being in contact with these elements can feed the soul.
I’ll be honest, I used to think crystals were for the really “out there” holistic peeps (love you guys!) and I wasn’t so sure it for me. I tend to be a bit more practical. But I’ve opened up to the idea of working with these elements because I believe they help us to slow down and connect to nature while reminding us of simple truths. For example, Rose Quartz represents love and holding a rose quartz can be a meditative practice to help you connect to the greater concept of self-love in your own self-care journey. Experiment with crystals and stones and see what speaks to you.
Here’s a picture of some of my favorite crystals and stones.
Flowers and Herbs – Besides stone medicine, our ancestors also relied on plants. Flowers and herbs were healing tools. They still are used today in many ways. A simple way to incorporate them into a ritual is to use Flower Essences or Essential Oils. Flower essences are usually ingested with the concept of taking in the flower’s energy. Essential Oils are usually applied or inhaled. (check labels and instructions on all bottles for proper usage.).
Here again, contemplating the energy of the plant as it pertains to a quality you are seeking can be soul-supportive. You can dry and crush up fresh flower petals to add to a bath, use in a sachet under your pillow or create a body lotion.
Here’s a picture of my son and I grinding up some fresh flower petals (BTW, kids love this stuff!) –
Reminders or Symbols – Another way to remind yourself of your inner self and spirit is to keep reminders in places where you will see them throughout the day. You might even create a special space in your home where you place your reminder like a shelf, a small table or your desk.
Your reminders are symbols of your soul-care. It can remind you of an insight or message that you gained clarity on during a soul-care ritual. To help you remember that insight, use a symbol and place it where you will see it often. For example, I recently found a beautiful feather on a walk and it reminded me of the air of spring and bringing in that fresh air and creativity into my work. I’ve placed the feather in a vase on my desk.
Other symbols that might remind you of your soul could be affirmations written on a card, a photo of yourself doing something you love, a painting that you’ve made, an oracle card that you drew, a statue that you are fond of or a card from a loved one. Symbols are unique to you, so use what is meaningful to your soul.
Here’s a picture of my feather I recently found on a walk that reminds me of bringing fresh air and creativity into my work –
These are just a few Next-Level Self-Care tools I incorporate to stay grounded and feel clear and energized.
Steps to Getting Started with Next Level Self-Care
1. Choose one practice. If you’ve worked with any of these practices before, try something new. If these are all new to you, choose one that speaks to you.
2. Create your space. You may want to create a special, uninterrupted place in your home where you can do your soul work. It could be a chair or corner of a room or small table that isn’t cluttered. Carve out a space for you that you can return to daily.
3. Commit. Practice your self-care for 30 days and note what changes you experience.