If you start a spiritual path, chances are you will need to start practicing self-care first. Everyone needs to do it, but often empaths and people who’re hyper-aware of the spirit world need to do it a lot more and to a higher degree than most.
The number one rule is self-care before craft. Take care of yourself, and other practices will flow better and you’ll have better boundaries against any kind of attack.
Routine is also important. For one thing, following the lunar phases will enhance any effects, but even just remembering to do it on the regular is vital to your spiritual, mental and physical well-being.
To follow the lunar cycle, start at the New Moon which will allow you to set your intentions and start afresh, then during the Waxing Moon you can develop your learning and creativity. At the Full Moon, cast your protection and reap your harvest of intentions and on the waning moon complete your cleansing, open up and let go of things which do not serve your life and intentions.
Self-Care can be sorted into three main areas: Body, Mind and Spirit. How you care for those three things can often overlap. Here are a few suggestions:
There are recommendations for how many hours we need, but the important thing with sleep is to get enough in order to feel refreshed when you wake up.
Do your eyes still look blood-shot when you get up in the morning? That’s probably because the blood was still in the process of repairing your eyeballs when you so rudely interrupted it from its job by waking up.
Do you spend most of your day in front of a screen and then all of your leisure time as well? Do you take a tablet or smartphone to bed and continue to play games or watch steaming TV until late at night? You need to put away the technology and spend more time in reality. Go for a walk in the evening, read a book, talk to your family, play with your pets, maybe even get some chores done or just have a bubble-bath.
If you still do everything right in order to get to sleep, try talking it over with your doctor, or try upping the ante with things like herbal teas or aromatherapy. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea and then massaging some oil infused with lavender and valerian across your brow and down your cheek bones and jaw can help to relax before bed.
After all of that, if you’re still struggling to feel refreshed after sleep, you may need to address diet and in particular any stimulants like caffeine, alcohol or nicotine which may be causing problems.
If none of those are an issue, you need to face some emotional issues which are causing underlying stress and keeping you on edge. Counselling may help, or read on for mindfulness tips.
Getting regular gentle exercise has proven to help with depression and anxiety. Walking is a good start, especially out in nature where you can enjoy trees, flowers and wild animals. Always make sure that you’re in a safe environment, or walking with friends.
Other forms of exercise can be great for both your mind and body. Practices such as Tai Chi and Yoga are renowned for their therapeutic benefits and can also help you connect to others socially.
A good diet will keep your gut-brain happy which means it’ll stop bugging your head-brain with unnecessary complaints. Also, it will help if you can eliminate excessive stimulants such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol and refined carbohydrates.
It may be a good idea to also check if you have any intolerance to certain foods or even allergies. The doctor can help with that, or you may want to try an exclusion diet such as FODMAP for the short term and then re-introduce foods to find out if any don’t agree with you.
Focus on adding as much vegetable matter to your diet and variety to vegetables as possible. Your body needs a range of nutrients in order to function well so variety is the key to this as well as freshness of the produce. Go organic if you can.
When I say cleansing, I’m talking about having a luxurious soak in the bath tub, or visiting a day spa for a treat, or giving yourself a facial with some mud and scrubs.
Being physically clean is helpful for your mind as well as your body. It can produce a meditative state, as well as treat the body as sacred (which it is) and valuable (which it is).
Sorting out, maintaining, cutting ties or clearing the air with your relationships is vital for self-care. You need to nurture the relationships which matter to you and the ones that enrich your life. You also need to limit or cut relationships which drain you or are toxic for your state of mind.
All the people in your life should treat you with care and respect, and you should be treating them the same way. If this isn’t happening, you need to examine why and try to repair the relationship. If it cannot be repaired, or the other person won’t meet you halfway, consider cutting the relationship out of your life.
Mindfulness / Meditation
The mind and the soul need to re-connect occasionally and practicing mindfulness or meditation is the best way of making that happen.
Mindfulness can be as simple as focusing on the flight of a bird through some trees or noticing the ripples on a pond. Being present in the here and now is great for grounding yourself, especially if you tend to think about the esoteric a great deal.
Reconciling the mind, body and soul by sitting quietly and focusing on your breath will help to calm everything down. One of the nicest things is to find a peaceful spot in some sunshine and sit with your eyes closed, noticing how you rib cage expands and contracts with each breath. Once you have brought your breathing and heart rate to a synchronous level, gently open your eyes and watch the world for a few moments before getting up and moving about again.
Remember, self-care takes time and attention. Make sure to clear some space in your life for a regular practice.
All the best. Peace /|\