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3 Ingredients to Creating a Self-Care Ritual That Lasts

“So what do you do for self-care?” a beloved client asked me recently. (All my clients are beloved).

I get this question mostly from clients who struggle with taking time for themselves. Work, childcare, eldercare, pets, old habits, you name the excuse. Often, productivity is the order of the day (or pleasing, perfecting, or performing). Anything and everything can get in the way of taking even FIVE minutes to intentionally breathe. 

Five minutes a day. Too hard.

I get it.

So, I told her.

My personal recipe has been honed over many years. It’s become my alchemy for calm and connection and you can find your own personal recipe. But there are three ingredients that hold it together.

1. Commitment 

I find 15-30 minutes about four times a week. Usually in the same spot. I sit on an oversized pillow on the floor, next to a bookshelf that contains an apothecary of sorts: a spiral bound journal, a fine point pen, reading glasses, favorite books (poetry, self-help, psych, affirmation art), oracle cards, meaningful photos, a wireless speaker for my calming playlists, hand cream or essential oils, and a soft light for evenings and gray days. I sit for a few minutes in quiet contemplation.

Creating space for your own self-care ritual is essential.

2. Affirmation

I begin each journal entry as a letter to the ephemeral, mysterious universe: “Dear divine source, holy mother-father god, heart of the universe. I’m ready, willing, and worthy to co-create with you.” I learned this practice from Janet Conner’s Writing Down Your Soul and it works for me. A newer practice I’ve been dabbling with is Liz Gilbert’s prompt: “Love, what would you have me know today?” (visit Letters from Love). Sometimes a part of me wants to be heard on the page and needs some tending to. 

I also have a personal prayer and vows. This helps me keep my purpose and my values in the forefront of my attention. Sometimes I say these aloud or write them in an entry. Sometimes I go for a walk instead.

3. Variety

My practice is consistent but never quite the same. I like taking a book from the shelf and randomly opening to a page, or pulling a card from my collection of card decks. I like to believe there is a message or an attitude I can bring forward in my day. Lately, I‘ve been tapping. The more I learn and teach the simple technique of Emotional Freedom Technique, the more I’m convinced this is a direct way to change the old algorithms of “not enough” or to release residual resentment from days gone by. 

That’s it. On the days I can’t do my self-care practice, I simply acknowledge that my corner is ready and waiting. 

Your Turn

  • What kind of self-care practice can you create?
  • What simple cues can you have in your environment to remind you to take a sacred pause?
  • What time of day can you gift to yourself on a regular basis?

Have fun with it. Variety helps. Believe you can do it.

See more about tapping on my brief explanation of Emotion Freedom Technique.

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