Sometimes I go through phases where self-care is a main priority. During these moments, I feel my best. I feel connected to myself and I can clearly visualize my progress in terms of my inner healing & growth. After speaking with someone close to me, I was surprised to find out that for many people, November is one of the most dreaded months in the year. The reasoning is that it is the time when we are all starting to burn out and are already starting to think about the holidays. This never really occurred to me. As a Scorpio baby, I've always looked forward to November. I must admit, however, that this year feels a bit different.
Without travel or regular social gatherings, for the most part my energy and excitement for life is currently tied to my daily routine, one that feels a bit repetitive at the moment. I get trapped into working all day and have been leaving little time for the small joys and hobbies that I seemed to have time for this summer. While I'm so grateful for the people in my life and our time together (in person or virtual), I started to think about how I spend the rest of my day when I'm alone. I reflected on why I was feeling the sudden shift in energy, I realized that for the past few weeks, my self-care game has been lacking.
It almost seems counterintuitive right now to spend time on myself, when the to-do list is pilling up. The truth is, I find that having a consistent routine where small acts of self-care are scheduled in, has a positive impact on my overall wellbeing (shocker!). It's not until I start to slowly replace the time spent on these self-care acts, with putting in extra hours on my computer, or mindlessly scrolling on apps, that I start to notice a shift in my mood. I start to feel less positive, less productive and in a state of low vibration.
I've noticed that there are 5 key acts that I need to incorporate into my daily routine, in order to feel my best.
Jacqueline's fall self-care activities to try this month
1) Spend a day off screens each week
This feels like something I hear or read often. It also feels easier said than done, especially when a large part of my day is spent on screens. Someone I know told me that from 7pm Saturday evening, to 7pm Sunday evening, they keep their phone on airplane mode and only use the offline apps if needed. They let their loved ones know and usually they are with someone who can lend them their phone for an emergency. This is something I've tried once this month. I have to admit, it was difficult to actually keep it off until 7pm. I think I lasted until 3pm the next day. I do want to try this again and start to make this a weekly habit.
A few more tips to spend less time on screens:
- Actually listen to your device when it tells you that you've spent your allowed time on social media, rather than ignoring for 15 more minutes (or the rest of the day)
- Change your phone to greyscale so that the colourful app logos do not draw you in. If it takes longer to find the app, you may be less motivated to use it. Check out this article to learn why this works!
- Decide on a time where you will put your phone away for the evening, no excuses. Decide on a time, a few hours after waking up when you'll reach for it again. Before sleeping, make a list of the top 3 things you'll do before you reach for your phone in the morning. If these things are self-care related, even better! (Think: gratitude journal, read a chapter of a book, meditate, stretch, make a latte, etc...) I got this tip from Jay Shetty's Think Like a Monk and I think it's a great way to end and start the day!
2) Cook a new healthy recipe
As winter approaches, many of us are experiencing another lockdown. While it's fun to order in and support local restaurants, it can be nice to sometimes bring the restaurant experience home by setting the mood with candles, music and a three course dinner made by you! This is a really fun way to not only learn new recipes, but to also find an excuse to dress up and spend some time with your loved ones, in a way that doesn't feel like an ordinary evening at home.
Here are some recipes I tried and loved this month that are sure to impress whoever you decided to cook for:
3) Work on inner healing
Inner healing is a lifelong journey, one which I only consciously embarked on in 2020. While researching different tools, I came across a book, The Spiritual Awakening Process by Luna & Sol, that lists three methods that they find to be the most effective and accessible.
Without getting too into it in this blog post, I think these methods are great for anyone looking to work on themselves and heal. Of course, this is a personal decision and those who are dealing with mental illness should perhaps talk to a professional before trying any of these methods or stop if it gets to be too much for them. All I can guarantee is that learning to love yourself by doing the inner healing will have a positive impact on every aspect of your life and all of your relationships. Journaling daily, is a great way to start your healing process.
4) Spend time in nature daily
As the temperature drops, it's easier for me to convince myself to skip my daily walk. It's not until I finally head out to catch the last hour of daylight that I realize how much being outside shifts my mood. It's almost as if everything that was bothering me or stressing me out no longer matters and I feel this wave of gratitude overcome me. I think that starting and ending your day in nature, whether for an hour or 20 mins, is so powerful and is something I'd like to strive for. Even for those who live in the city, finding a park or trail that you enjoy walking through could be a great way to ground yourself daily. I personally don't see my walks as exercise. I see them as a form of self-care and a time to be with myself and my thoughts, or connect with someone I care about through conversation.
5) Pamper yourself
This month, I've taken three salt baths so far. This is a lot for me. Before this, I hadn't taken a bath all year. The simple act of running a bath, adding my Sarisha Marché aux Fleurs Salt + Floral bath soak, lighting our Jardin des Plantes candle and reading a book (currently All About Love - Bell Hooks, recommended to me by a friend), felt like such a luxury. I had gotten into the habit of quick showers and forgot how soothing it can be to pamper myself. In the morning, I'll take five minutes to give myself a facial with my new Mushroom Gua Shas (back in stock soon!) and the Green Goddess Glow Oil. In the evening, I will mask every other day (hi mascne!) with either the Green Superfood or Moon Dust. I'll also give myself a massage with my dry brush and then use the LOVE U Body Oil post shower. Lately, I have been considering movement as a form of pampering. Whether it's jumping on a reformer trampoline, dancing to my favourite song of the moment (check out our Spotify) or stretches on my yoga matt, I see it as a gift to myself. These days it's so easy for me to stay plugged into working on my computer, that taking a moment to get moving for myself truly feels like such a gift.
This month, I have been trying to find ways to reconnect with myself through different forms of self-care. These are the 5 methods I've been trying to implement once again into my daily routine. What have you been doing daily that makes a big difference to your overall wellbeing? Let me know! firstname.lastname@example.org
We're collectively going through a tough period and we need to rely on each other. Please remember that admitting you need help and asking for it is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. Also- be kind, because you never know what someone is going through.
Sending lots of love!