May is a time when flowers burst open, Summer feels imminent, and the birds are singing like nobody’s listening (but everyone is listening!). Spring is full of change and excitement. But all too often with change comes anxiety and stress. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that when you’re stressed, your digestion doesn’t work properly, your sleep cycle may be compromised and your day to day life is less enjoyable.
Lately the words “Self Care” and “Self Love” have been thrown around a lot, so in this post I am going to share with you my Self Care rituals, how I fit them into my very chaotic, busy life and how you can and should do the same! With self care comes self love and self acceptance.
Scroll down for a handy graphic to help you remember my five steps for cultivating self care and self love!
1) Bath Time!
Baths aren’t just for kids! There’s nothing more relaxing for me than the sound of the water hitting the bath tub, as I sprinkle in some lavender bath salts.
Light a few candles, make a cup of tea, put on some relaxing music and bring a good book (avoid screens for pure relaxation).
2) Vitamin N!
Although not as popular as Vitamin C or A, Vitamin N, which stands for nature, is crucial to self care and mental health. Walking in nature for 20 minutes has been shown to reduce cortisol, (which is a stress hormone associated with weight gain, high blood pressure, and poor sleep) levels drastically.
3) Disconnect and Reconnect!
This step is actually two parts, but they go so well together! Step one: Disconnect. Disconnect from social media, disconnect from the news, disconnect from work. Step two: Reconnect. Reconnect with family, friends and loved ones. Reconnecting with friends and family is one of my favourite things to do when I need some self care and self love, because your loved ones always have your back, know what to say, know how to support you, and make you laugh until you cry, and what’s better than that!
4) Cultivate Gratitude!
This can take many forms and look different for every person. My two favourite ways to cultivate gratitude are either by writing it down or by saying it out loud. Create a journal in which you write down three things you’re grateful for, you can do this daily, weekly, whenever and however often you want. The second way I like to cultivate gratitude is by saying three things I’m grateful for, Topher and I do this every night before we go to bed. I find after doing this, I wake up in the morning in such a positive mindset.
These days there we have so many commitments, apps, reminders, deadlines, goals, and things to remember. I find that a key to ensuring that I have time to practice self care and self love is to simplify every process. My tip here is to find one or two apps that allow you to do as much as possible. If you can put everything into one app on your phone, that simplifies every single process in your life! I’ve been loving Google Calendar for planning out my life.
I find that one of the best ways for me to actually practice self care is by scheduling a day once a week or once every other week. Generally this day for me is Sunday, because it sets me up for a great week. Self care is so incredibly important and powerful, it allows us to take time for ourselves so that we can be the best version of ourselves for other people. Self care and self love also ignites our creative fire, it allows us to use our parasympathetic nervous system and set our nervous system to rest and digest, reducing our cortisol levels which in turn helps us with insulin resistance, weight loss and optimizing our health.