Self Care Sunday rituals we’ve adopted since the pandemic
After a few years of societal polarization, Covid variants, and emotional turmoil it’s easy to have our hearts set on Self Care Sundays for a grounded reset. Our bodies crave a little bit more than rest, our souls deserve a bottle of Veuve, and our hearts could use a million tiny kisses.
Get out your journal this Sunday morning and write out every soul-filling, heart nourishing activity you could make space for this week.
Our self care checklist
Explore daily mindful movement
Movement in any form will boost endorphins in the body regardless of pace or intensity. Knowing this, feel empowered to choose your type of movement based on your mood. On slower days, wake up, stretch, morning dance, and practice revitalizing breathing techniques. BONUS – go outside, soak in the sun and breathe in the fresh air’s healing aromatherapy.
Build your boundary-setting muscles
Take notice when your energy is drained by certain tasks, people, or settings and add it to your self care checklist. If you have anxiety leading up to those things, or you feel heavy and exhausted after them setting healthy boundaries will preserve energy throughout your day instead of draining it.
Practice letting go
Sometimes we forget that we have been carrying the weight of grudges, and negative energy around with us for longer than was necessary. When we remember that “hurt people, hurt people” it’s easier for us to forgive that someone or something from our past. Everyone is their five-year-old selves in a grown-up body. We make mistakes and sometimes let our emotions rule our actions – it helps to envision others as their five-year-old selves when we try to forgive them.
Bring ritual into your shower or bath routine
Slow down in the shower and do a body scan. Take notice of where you hold tension in your body, and where you feel disconnected. Bring aromatherapy into the shower steam like eucalyptus or lavender to help you cultivate a deeper sense of the present moment.
Declutter eye-level surfaces
It’s our human nature to empathize with the shapes, colours and patterns surrounding us at eye level. When we have clutter on surfaces, our subconscious can feel hectic and scattered. Try bringing harmony to tabletops with display trays, buy rounded vases and candles to promote softness, and free up empty space to provide your eyes with relief.
Connect with your chosen family
Hearing happiness in the voices of our close friends and family promotes overall wellbeing and combats cognitive decline. The past two years have made us all Zoom/Facetime pros! Embrace five-minute phone calls to say good morning, or dinner date calls for two in the evening.
Stop limiting your daydreams
It’s easy for our childhood daydreams to be replaced by guilt-dysphoria as adults. If we can practice positive daydreaming filled with uninhibited creativity and playful scenarios it actually helps our brains develop a number of strengths. These include richer creativity, stronger storytelling, boredom relief, and future planning.
Cultivate a new hobby
This pandemic we all rushed to buy sourdough starters or new art supplies to kill the antisocial hours. When we embrace the slowness of kneading bread, crocheting, or painting our nervous system has time to calm and ween off screen and social media addiction.
Cook yourself a romantic meal
Go out and buy yourself a bottle of wine, some new beeswax candles, and the ingredients for your favourite meal. Dress your table with a cheerful tablecloth, polish the silverware, and throw on a record. Spend all the time you need cooking the meal (that’s what your bottle of wine is for). Dance and spin in your apron and feel the delight of the moment you’re creating for yourself.
Ask for personal touch
We’ve all been deprived of touch these last few years and our bodies could use a refill of oxytocin. Ask your close friends for a hug, book a massage, snuggle your pets, or rest your head in a partner’s lap. Any form of touch with people we trust will help release dopamine and soften a scattered brain.
Find a therapist or therapy app
There are not many safe places in this world that you can be guided through unpacking your worries. Trying to self-therapize just doesn’t quite get us to fully understand our troubles and feel seen or understood in our experiences. Healing a sorrowed heart or chaotic emotions can be exponential in therapy. Try these resources if therapy isn’t quite in the budget for you.
Pick yourself flowers
Not only can a bouquet brighten the room, but it can also brighten your mood, lower blood pressure, uplift fatigue, and reduce pain and anxiety. A study also found that flowers in your workspace can improve exam preparation and cognitive performance. But more than that, you deserve to be surrounded by flowers everyday.
Occasional angry outbursts or waterworks generally stem from wounds we developed as children in emotionally neglectful environments. Reparenting ourselves means giving our adults selves the compassion our childhood selves needed. Examples include rewarding ourselves for setting healthy boundaries, encouraging recognition of incoming emotions and how we wish to express them, and letting go of shame for times we were only human.
Journal about daily gratitude
The universe finds positive energy attractive, and it tends to reward that type of energy. If we practice being grateful for one, two, three-four-five things a day we are slowly rewiring our brains to have positive things outweigh the negative things in life. And when we do this, more good will come our way.
Last but not least! Mark downtime in the calendar
We’ll always push rest, meditation, and movement to the wayside when life feels busy. We feel like we can leave it all for Self Care Sunday. But self care should be just as important as a doctor’s appointment, business meeting, or to do list. Try putting some mid day meditations or forest bathing time in your calendar so that you’ll prioritize it.
Overcoming life obstacles like nature deficit disorder, chronic stress, and post-pandemic exhaustion takes courage and community. It takes more than a face mask or massage to manage any of these. But together with ritual, self empowerment, and a self care checklist we can find the balance we need.