I think about the ways in which the experts in books and magazine articles say we should take care of ourselves. It’s recommended that we sleep for 8 hours a night, that we eat between 3 to 6 meals per day, and that we get in some sort of physical activity. Honestly, these are bare minimum functions for survival. And to think that we should accomplish it all while holding down a job, maybe taking care of children, possibly taking care of our parents, loving our partners, getting dinner on the table, getting the housecleaning done, tackling that huge pile of laundry, socializing with friends, and if we have any time left, we might possibly indulge in a hobby. Or, if we’re being honest, a nap.
There is so much doing that goes on in one day for each of us. How are we feeling in the midst of all of this doing? How is it possible to engage in this life of ours and practice presence? It is possible, I assure you. Here are a few ways I’ve learned to tune in and give myself some nourishment in the form of self care.
From the moment we wake up in the morning, we are given an opportunity to pause. How often do we use that time? In the past, I would jump out of bed to the sound of a blaring alarm. From there I would shuffle into the kitchen and clumsily set up the coffee machine. Beginning each morning like that day after day did not feel calm, it felt like a chore. I knew that I wanted the start of my day to feel soft, like the wisps of a dandelion.
I began setting the coffee maker at night so that I didn’t have to do all of the measuring and pouring with half opened eyes. These days, I wake up to a birdsong alarm on my phone. I take a few moments with eyes closed to give thanks for this day. I give thanks. I pray. I take a deep breath before I begin my day. The ritual of a morning drink is in and of itself a form of nourishment. It is another few quiet moments to myself before the day unfolds.
In the afternoon stretch before heading home from work, I find that my muscles feel cramped from the hours spent at my desk. I keep a bottle of peppermint essential oil handy to dab on my temples. The mint eases away any tension quickly while the overall scent works as an energy reviver. Just a few minutes between work tasks using essential oils can really feel like a lifesaver.
At the end of the day, if I’m having trouble unwinding before bed or if I want to get more deeply relaxed, I pop in my earbuds and listen to a guided mediation. This ritual has been so grounding, bringing me right back to center after a very long day. I spent a few minutes browsing the app store for the meditations that worked for deep relaxation as well as stress relief. While there are hundreds of topics to choose from, I find that these two work best to help prepare me for a good night’s sleep.
These are optional ways I’ve learned to nourish my mind, body, and soul throughout the day. When I’m hungry, my belly growls. It’s my body’s way of reminding me fuel it with food. My body doesn’t ask for essential oils or meditation. I found these forms of self care through a combination of listening to what my body needed and intuitively choosing what to give it to feel well. Maybe you will benefit from giving these ideas a try. You will know what variety of care is nourishing for you. Just tune in and listen.
About the Author: Bella Cirovic
Bella Cirovic is a photographer and writer who lives with her husband and daughter in the suburbs outside of NYC. She writes on the subjects of self care, body love and nourishment, crystals, essential oils, and family life. Catch up with Bella at her blog: She Told Stories
Note from Bella: Join me this summer for a month of self care through my program, The Holy Hush. I’ll share indulgent rituals, grounding meditations, and sensual journaling through writing and photography. It is a mid year pause to meet yourself deeper. Are you interested in learning more? Click here for details.