12 Ideas for Creating a Gentle Ritual of Self-Care

12 Ideas for Creating a Gentle Ritual of Self-Care

Could this unique era upon us offer a precious opportunity to revisit our relationships with ourselves? Why don’t you go ahead and cherish this time? Use it to take care of yourself, even if it’s only for a few moments every day.

12 Tips for Creating a Gentle Ritual of Self-Care 

1. Create a Tea Ritual

This might seem obvious, but do you actually do it? Through a few simple acts, you can return to the present moment and calm down those racing thoughts. With a mug of your favourite tea in hand, make yourself comfortable in the sun or next to your plants. Light a candle or some incense. From the moment you boil the water to your last warm sip, a cup of tea provides the perfect opportunity to practise mindfulness in action. As you stay present through every step, smell, flavour and sensation, your tea ritual will become a true refuge, a moment you give to yourself. A gift to you, from you. 

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        2. Inspirational Quotes

        Begin your day with a reading from a Buddhist quote or inspiring phrase. You can find these in a coffee-table book, a deck of cards or an online app. Reread the text three times, until it takes root inside of you. This ritual will set the tone for the rest of the day and bring you inspiration. Let the phrase return to your heart throughout the day, so it can guide your thoughts and actions.

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              3. Meditate

              (Consistency is way more important than length!)

              Any method will do! You can recite a mantra or positive phrase, or strike a Tibetan bowl again and again, and listen to the sound it makes. Take five to ten moments once a day, or whenever you feel stress building up. Use this time to recentre yourself. 

              We really love the following visualization exercise. Focussing on your breath, visualize a place, real or imaginary, where you feel perfectly healthy, safe and calm. 

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                    4. Rebalance Yourself with Sage

                    sage smudging

                    As traditionally practised at several First Nations’ ceremonies, the act of burning sage produces a purifying effect. The word sage comes from the Latin “salgere” which means “to heal.” It is said that sage has the capacity to eliminate negative energy while attracting more positive elements. It can release old memories from your living space and if burned for a long time, eliminate harmful bacteria. In Shamanic purification rituals, white sage, herbs, resins and dried flowers were all used to smudge and neutralize harmful spirits. 

                    • Open your doors and windows to let your space air out.
                    • Find a highly heat-resistance container – a shell is ideal since it symbolizes water.
                    • Light the sage leaves or stick, preferably with a match.
                    • Let it burn for a few seconds and then blow out the flame.
                    • Set your intention (ask the spirits to go towards the light and leave in peace, drive away negative spirits, or protect your home).
                    • Walk around your favourite room, or your entire home, including closets, and direct the smoke into all the little corners. 
                    • Immerse yourself in the smoke as though you were taking a shower. Do the same for the objects around you.
                    • Wait until everything burns away completely, marking the end of the purification process. You can also put out the flame with some water. 
                    • After a few minutes, you should already feel the energy shifting. Scent is the only sense that’s linked to emotion and never turns off. The smoke produces negative ions that have a positive effect on our moods. 

                    5. Stretch

                    It doesn’t matter if it’s your favourite yoga poses, Pilates exercises or natural movements. When you take the time to stretch out your body, you’ll improve your overall sense of well-being. Continue for at least ten minutes. Be mindful. Do this for you. Breathe. Enjoy

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                          6. Colouring Tibetan Malas

                          Tibetan Mandalas were originally created out of Yak butter or sand to show that nothing is eternal. The process encompasses both creation and destruction. Some mandalas are illustrated in the form of a labyrinth, signifying life’s challenges, with the center representing the place to aim for, nirvana or the point where we transcend suffering. There are exquisite mandala colouring books that offer you a highly therapeutic break. Let yourself stop, clear your head, choose colours, and unleash your creativity. So good!

                          7. Take a hot bath with essential oils

                          Sliding into a hot bath (35 to 37.5° Celsius) for 20 to 30 minutes gives you a luxurious opportunity to relax. It’s a great time to choose an essential oil to match what you need and long for. Since these oils don’t naturally dissolve in water, we recommend you mix 10-15 drops into 1 tbsp of soap that will serve as a dispersing agent (Castille soap, foam soap or mild shampoo). Don’t forget to light your organic soy candle to complete your soothing ritual. Let yourself let go and support your head with a towel or cushion. To fully benefit from the aromatic treatment, dry yourself off without rinsing.

                          • Relaxing Bath: real lavendar, sweet orange, mandarine, Roman camomille
                          • Soothing Bath: Neroli or bigarade
                          • Revitalizing Bath: juniper, medicinal rosemary or grapefruit
                          • Healing Bath (muscle aches): wintergreen or garden marjoram.

                          (Certain precautions apply to pregnant women).

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                                8. Treat Yourself to a self-massage

                                Whenever we feel pain or discomfort, we instinctively massage the place that’s bothering us. Without knowing it, we’re practicing self-massage. There are precise techniques and movements that promote overall wellness and stimulate all our body’s major functions. Why not incorporate some self-massage as a ritual to relax and bring muscle relief, even if it’s just for a few minutes. You can start with your face and eyes, and move down to include your shoulders, arms, hands, back, legs and feet. 

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                                      9. Make a Gratitude List of Five Positive Things

                                      Take a piece of paper and jot down five of life’s simple pleasures that light up your life and make you feel grateful. This is a lovely way to wrap up your day every night before your close your eyes. 

                                      10. Listen to Symphonies

                                      Take your meal breaks as you listen to one of this world’s many magnificent symphony orchestras. You can choose from free pre-recorded symphonies, or even live performances where each musician plays from the comfort of their own home.

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                                      11. Do it by hand

                                      Arts and crafts, knitting, altering and personalizing your clothes, doing a jigsaw puzzle piece by piece… Any kind of hobby you do with your hands will give you a sense of accomplishment while simultaneously helping to clear your mind. You could also try making your own candles, face scrub or lip balm. And all this is for sure a perfect time for mindfulness 😉

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                                            12. Shinrin-yoku, Take a Bath in nature

                                            Hiking in nature as often as possible has beneficial effects on your mental health. While you’re there, take the time to listen to the silence and sounds your surroundings have to offer.  Move with mindfulness and use this time to focus on the present moment. 

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                                                  Written by Ariane Arpin-Delorme for Rose Buddha

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