✨Update 3/20/2020✨Spring has Sprung and we are in the midst of one of the scariest times our generation has ever experienced. The global coronavirus pandemic is very close to home, so close to me and my family that our neighbors are self quarantining right outside our home as I write these words. My family and I are living in the epicenter of this health crisis, as the highest reported cases are in the county in which our home is in. My son’s school closed last week and I’m currently adjusting to home-schooling my special needs preschooler, while wearing the hats of multiple therapists, in order to keep his routine steady and his progress moving forward, in spite of what is going on all around us.
One day everything was normal and the word Coronavirus was just a far-away threat from another country. Then, all of a sudden, we woke up and found it sleeping right outside our doorsteps, lying dormant, awaiting to turn our entire world upside down across the globe. It’s amazing how quickly our lives can be uprooted, our perception can transform, our plans/goals diverted, and suddenly, our vision of the future has become something straight out of a horror movie.
I don’t say all of this to scare you even more… That’s not my intent at all. I say all of this to ensure you that wherever you are in the world, I understand what you’re going through and have a good idea of what fears you may be experiencing. My heart and blessings go out to all of you, each and everyone.
No matter what we wake up to, life must go on and we must find a way to find balance, even in the darkest of times, especially in the darkest of times. We can only take charge of what we have control over… We can’t control this virus, but we CAN control how much it spreads by doing our due diligence of social distancing ourselves, no matter how healthy or unhealthy we may feel right at this moment. And that means we stay home, where it’s still safe and we make the most of the time we have indoors by doing all of the things we’ve been putting off due to jam-packed schedules and neverending to-do lists.
I originally published this post to be a light-hearted guide for some Self-care Tips & tools that you can utilize in your daily life to be at your best in the world. But, even when the world turns upside down, these tools become more essential than ever before. We can’t give up, we can’t become victims to this overwhelming feeling of being taken over by something we can’t control.
We have to focus on what we CAN control and that’s what we do with the time that we have while we’re indoors, practicing social distancing, homeschooling our kiddos, & keeping our sanity while we take each day one day at a time… And send positive energy, love, & Light, out into the world for those who need it most.
We’re in this world together…. No matter how big or small, how far and wide we may be from one another. We are all one community… We can raise the vibration of the world by lifting one another up, starting with filling our own reserve, to find the strength to pull ourselves together.
So, in this hectic time… Even if you can’t purchase any of the items I mentioned, you can always improvise with what you already have. Instead of a guided journal, you can always use a plain notebook or a piece of paper and write down all your thoughts, think of what brings you joy, and what you still have to be grateful for. If you need ideas on how to improvise any of the suggestions in this post, leave a comment below and I’d be happy to help offer suggestions!
Please feel free to subscribe to my email list (form at the bottom of this post!), as I’ll be posting more Wellness tips, tips to keep your sanity, and health at its optimal level during times of stress! I’m here for you… Even if I’m far away. I’m always one message away 🙏💞✨.
Let’s get into 5 Essential Self-care Tips to Find Your Inner ZEN!
Self-care has been the epithet of January, February & the start of the New Year for me… I’ve been challenging myself to rise above my symptoms of chronic illness to move my body every day, no matter how tired I am, how depressed I feel, or how strong of a migraine I have. I’ve been averaging 5-6 books each month via audio books while I’m getting other things done around the house, which has made me feel re-connected to one of my greatest passions: love of writing and love of books! I either use the Hoopla app, which is connected to my local library (& you need a current library card to access the site), but they don’t always have the books that I want, so I also have a subscription to AUDIBLE on Amazon for the books that they don’t have and this helps keep things very affordable.
It’s my humble opinion that reconnecting to what we truly love and what sets our souls ablaze is essentially the heart of self-care at it’s core! And this is different for everyone, so a lot of what I did when I was counseling was helping my clients find what they actually LOVE and truly ENJOY doing. Not the things we do for others or because we “have to get it done”, or the things we do to disconnect (ie: bingeing on Netflix—which, hey, we all need sometimes!) but we also need MORE than this to feel alive and at peace with ourselves. If you have no idea what hobbies you love or enjoy, I recommend making a list of some ideas and giving different things a try until you find what really resonates with YOU!
Meditation & Mindfulness
I’ve challenged myself to meditate once a day, every day, to tune into my body and accept all feelings without judgment or condemnation. I find guided meditations to be the best for my personality type and for beginners, in general. I’ll either do the meditations at the end of my Kundalini Yoga workouts in DVDs, streaming, or from their AMAZING all-in-one book Life in the Vast Lane by Ravi Singh & Ana Brett or pop in their Meditation DVD, which is truly unique with Mantras, healing past trauma, & working on different aspects of the self to gain access to our higher selves.
I’ve made my skincare a mindful ritual, using my rose quartz roller to help with blood flow and circulation. It also feels really good as a mild neck massage for tight neck muscles! Add in some facial oil (my favorite oil cleanser is the one I describe down below: Best Skin Ever by Living Libations in Sandalwood) with your favorite blend of essential oils and it’s a wonderful, mindful, relaxing experience.
Mindfulness is the easiest way to incorporate meditation into your daily routine because you can literally make any act a mindful practice; even as mundane as washing dishes! Mindfulness is about focusing on the here and now using all of your five senses. When washing dishes or cleansing in the shower, hear the way the water sounds, feel the way the water is against your skin, the sound of the bubbles foaming & gliding over surfaces, the clinking of the dishes, the smell of the soap wafting in the air… I could go on and on and I will in a full post dedicated to Mindfulness! The idea is to stop worrying about the future and ruminating about the past by simply being full present in the Now. You can also purchase a Mindfulness guided journal, like the one I have above to keep you motivated. I like to do a little bit of both to keep be focused and to form a daily habit of Mindfulness in my routine.
Another Guided Journal I highly recommend and have been LOVING is the A Life of Gratitude journal, which has journal prompts with gorgeous, colorful, playful photos to give you ideas of how to access our feelings of gratitude with ideas we would have never thought of ourselves. For me personally, being told to just write five things I’m grateful for at the start of my day sounds wonderful in theory, but in actuality, I never stick to it 🤷♀️. I do much better with beautiful journals that I look forward to writing in and I feel so inspired by the ideas throughout the journal. It allows me to access parts of my brain I haven’t tapped into in a long, long time and gets those creative juices flowing! I first found this book at a little boutique shop I was in and it was SO overpriced (literally $5 over the retail price!). I’m all for supporting small businesses, but I’m not paying more for a book than the retail price. So, I ended up finding it on Amazon for cheaper than the retail price HERE!
Mindful Skincare: A Zen Ritual
I’ve paired down my skincare routine while my skin heals from a horrid bout of atopic dermatitis. My two favorite skincare essentials have been Living Libations Best Skin Ever in Sandalwood, which I use as a cleansing oil with a Konjac Sponge. It smells absolutely divine and leaves my skin smooth, moisturized, plump, & happy. I then apply a generous amount of Nap in the Meadow serum from Earthwise Beauty that I did a full blog post on HERE with before & after photos to highlight its amazing healing benefits!
Skincare derived from natural plant extracts, rooted in healing energy from the earth, are a full sensorial experience for me. Every time I’ve strayed from natural skincare back to conventional in an attempt to make my skin “happy”, I always end up missing the truly Zen experience of applying skincare that not only heals my skin on a deep, intrinsic level, it also smells like an Enchanted forest pulled straight from a fairytale! Nothing beats that experience for me in the realm of skincare and that’s why turning it into a mindful practice is so tantalizingly easy and magical, I actually look forward to doing my routine!
Ritual Bath: Setting Intentions
I took my first actual “bath” (as opposed to a shower) for the first time in years since my pregnancy, using a ritual bath salt from Dollymoo (Dollymoo.com), lit an energetically charged candle, set my intentions, aligned myself with the phases of the moon and grounded myself to the earth. I’m a daydreamer and I always have been, so sometimes it’s helpful to get grounded and re-centered so I can focus on different tasks and set my goals in motion. I find that this is the key to keeping myself motivated to take each day as it comes and to make the most of each day. All of this has led me to books, people, and items that are helping me in tremendous ways, while my intuition is stronger than ever! If you’re not local to Dollymoo to shop in person and want a more affordable option, these are my personal favorite intentional, mindful, & purposeful blends that you can get on Amazon here & here! 🙏
The Power of Now
I highly recommend reading or listening to the audio of Power of Now… After finishing the book, it enabled me to form connections to situations and events in my life that I just couldn’t let go of and it taught me how to release the pasts’ hold on me. I wanted to utilize the techniques described in the book, so after reading the audio of the original, I picked up a hard copy of The Power of Now: Teachings, techniques, meditations, & daily practices to help me implement what I learned and really make it a part of my daily routine. This book has enabled me to finally realize how to attain inner peace, contentment, and happiness, no matter what life throws my way. And it all involves inner work, inner healing, and resolving core issues, rather than seeking to fill voids through external sources (ie: people, careers, material possessions, or falling into the cycle of escapism, etc.).
Law of Attraction Planner
Lastly, my absolute favorite planner of all time came into my life called the Law of Attraction Planner, which is the most comprehensive planner I’ve ever found that is not only beautiful to look at and use, it’s also immensely helpful in prompting me to prioritize different goals each month, each week, and each day to make them achievable! It also gives me journal prompts to reflect on a positive mindset to be present in the now, make the most of each moment, and to live in a mindset of gratitude rather than constantly feeling a “lack” of something. I’ve tried dozens of planners over the years and sadly most I stop using in a few months because they lack something or other. This Law of Attraction Planner is the most affordably priced planner in comparison to other “all inclusive” planners in the same category. Plus, it’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL to look at! I chose the Rose Gold option with the pages edged in Rose Gold, but there are a lot of other colors to choose from, too.
I absolutely LOVE that this planner offers two options: one with dates for 2020, and one WITHOUT dates, so you can fill in the dates as you go along, especially if you found your way to this planner halfway through the year or find yourself using planners regularly and then stopping for short periods. Now, you won’t have to worry about “wasting” this beautiful planner: you just fill in the dates when you use it! I have never seen this before and it makes SO MUCH SENSE! it takes the “stress” out of writing in a planner. You essentially use it when you feel a calling to it and as you go along, you might just find yourself getting into a routine.
Remember, The world is a mirror: you attract what you reflect! The more negativity you feel, the more negativity comes into your life. The more positive you feel, you open new doors for positive change to occur. 🙏✨
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I hope you found these tips & tools helpful! There will be much more to come on topics related to self-care & holistic wellness, so be sure to subscribe to my email list so you won’t miss out on updates of new posts! 💞👇
Love & Light,