The holidays are here and it is time for some Spiritual Self-Care!
The holiday season is in full swing which brings wonderful, cozy feelings for many, but also opportunities for stress, disillusionment, sadness, and unmet expectations. Do you find yourself wanting to connect to your spirit, align your body and mind, and connect to your higher self, but don't know how to do this when pulled in so many directions? It is time to prioritize some spiritual self-care! Here are some self-care ideas for a spiritual being.
Spiritual Self-Care Defined
Spiritual self-care are actions that nurture your spirit, allows you to engage in something bigger than yourself, and connects you to what YOU define as essential, i.e., your true self, your higher self, your spirit guides, or divine being.
Spiritual Self-Care is non-denominational, non-religious, and simply a focus on connecting and aligning all parts of yourself. You are an energetic being and your vibration needs to be regularly smoothed and nurtured.
Benefits of Spiritual Self-Care
Burning the candle at both ends, so-to- speak, comes with significant consequences, which may include but are not limited to burnout, depression, anxiety, resentment and a whole host of other negative implications says Matthew Glowiak of the master's in clinical mental health counseling at Southern New Hampshire University.
Studies have shown that engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to improve mental, physical, and spiritual health. Self-care practices can help you:
Reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, and improve energy
Reduce heart disease, stroke and cancer
Introspection, clarity, and may help realize our meaning in life
Improve relationships and connections with others
Experience more inner peace as you gain awareness on what makes you happy
Enhance feelings of oneness and universality
Diminish feelings of isolation and loneliness
Deepen relationship with self
10 Spiritual Self-Care Ideas
Here are 10 spiritual self-care ideas. Use these any time throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season. Give yourself the gift of being one with nature and connecting to your higher self.
Yoga is always a good idea. Some may think yoga is simply stretching and a physical thing to do, but it goes so much deeper. Yoga builds your core strength, flexibility, and breath in order to improve not only your physical well-being but aligns your spirit and body, and also benefits your mental health. You can find countless yoga videos and podcasts online. Try to do a little bit of yoga every day. Your body and spirit will thank you!
Meditation connects you with your thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the present moment without judgement and without being controlled by them.. The word comes from the Latin “meditatio” meaning “to think deeply”. By training your awareness, meditation helps you gain more control over your deepest thoughts and detach from your reactive self. It is also a practice that helps train your mind and build the muscle of mindfulness, to come closer to your essential, true self and nature. Meditation--even only a few minutes each day--will make a difference.
Try meditating for five minutes.
Find a quiet place that brings you peace.
As you breathe in-and-out, try to only focus on your breath.
If you struggle with thoughts flooding your mind, allow them to pass through, and then return to your breathing.
Slowly, it will get easier as you continue practicing daily. You can find great guided meditations on YouTube or enroll in the FREE Finding Ease: Meditation Made Simple, Fun, and Practical mini-course offered through SylvanWise.
There is just something special about journaling. Writing down your thoughts and emotions helps you reflect upon them, release them, and not get overwhelmed by your daily activities. And "journaling" is not just words. I'm a doodler, and I have swirls, grids, flowers, and symbols drawn all over my journal pages and margins.
Sometimes journaling is the only place someone can express themselves freely, making the act of journaling more impactful. An important part of keeping a journal is to go back and read it to learn even more about yourself! Try journaling your thoughts every day before going to bed. You will start to feel more at peace with yourself and your life. If you don't know where or how to start, I typically begin with, "I am grateful for . . . "
Being of service to others helps us to feel happy. When you focus on someone else, you naturally feel better about yourself. Find a place where you can volunteer your time or your talents. Think creatively about ways to contribute to your community which includes things to do, to teach, to fix, to host, to make, and to participate in the volunteer experience
5. Nature Walk
Being in nature is one of the best spiritual self-care activities you can do for yourself. Nature is relaxing and helps us to see the bigger picture. It shifts our focus to realize there is much more to life than the problems we face on a daily basis. Taking a walk in nature is also very grounding. When we are ground, our minds, bodies, and spirits are
connected and more at peace.
When you have clutter throughout your house, spend some time decluttering. When all you see is clutter in your home, it will become mentally challenging, making it hard to focus and easy to become overwhelmed. If you spend a couple minutes each day decluttering throughout your home, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, and in time, have a completely clean home most of the time! The mental clarity this physical act will attain helps you relax, have peace of mind, and focus on things you may have been neglecting.
Declutter your Digital life as well. I have been working on this lately and feel so much better each time I open my inbox. I've also discovered some valuable coupons and refunds that I had completely missed in the masses of emails, so my digital declutter put some money in my wallet.
7. Take a Bath
Taking a nice hot bath is a relaxing, spiritual self-care practice I love to do every now and again. Not only does it relax our spirits and mind, but it also helps to calm our bodies as well. Add some bath salts or use a fun bath bomb. Find smells that bring your peace and calm you down.
8. Positive Affirmations
Sometimes practicing self-care is a struggle, and that's okay. Use some positive affirmations to help shift your mindset so you can feel better about taking time for yourself.
Here are some affirmations to consider:
I deserve time for myself.
Practicing self-care is not selfish.
I am a better person when I take care of myself.
My spiritual health matters.
I love who I am.
I am enough.
You can always create your own or get some ideas online too. Try to have no more than 10 at a time so you can focus on each one. Hang them up around your house where you can see them and say them daily.
9. Social Media Fast
Social media can be overwhelming. When that happens, try to take a break from it. Delete the apps off your phone and replace that time you would spend scrolling for one of these self-care practices! You'll see how much time you truly have and reap some of the benefits as well.
You can choose the time frame. Some prefer taking a few days, a week, or even a month. The choice is yours. You might just find you don't want to get back on!
Find a good book and just sit in a comfortable spot to read. If you have a physical book, use it to help you feel more grounded.
I often combine my "self-care" activities by listening to an audio book while sitting in nature or while decluttering my home and social media.
Spiritual self-care doesn't have to be hard or take much time. Even if you only have a couple of minutes, try to do one of these activities because it will make a huge impact on you. As you regularly use that time for yourself, you will feel like a whole new person!