Many of us lead very busy, stressful lives. Ironically, the more stress we have, the less inclined we are to take time for ourselves. So why not turn this pattern around by investing in our health and well-being first?
You don’t have to wait for a retreat in an exotic location to relax and refresh your spirits. Invent your own mini retreat! Get up a little earlier in the morning and create a sanctuary somewhere in your house where you can be undisturbed — or go to your favorite spot in nature.
By taking just 15 minutes each day, you will notice a difference. If you miss a day, be kind to yourself and make it a priority to get back on track. A regular practice will help you stick to your routine and will soon keep you craving your self-care ritual.
Below is my 5 step sacred self-care ritual. Please feel free to change it to your own needs and preferences.
Step 1: Set the mood
Set the mood by playing your favorite music. Maybe light some candles.
Find a comfortable seat and lengthen your spine.
Gently roll your shoulders back and down. Sit up tall.
Step 2: Ignite your senses
Place a drop each of Bergamot, Rose and Sweet Orange pure essentials oils in the palms of your hands, then rub them together.
Close your eyes and place your hands close to your face (without touching).
Now deeply inhale the sweet, refreshing, loving, and invigorating fragrances.
Step 3: Focus on your breath
With your right thumb close off your right nostril, inhale through the left.
Close the left nostril with your right ring finger and exhale right. Inhale right, close off, and exhale left.
Continue for about 10 rounds of breath, then release your hand and breathe normally.
Step 4: Awaken your body
Roll out your yoga mat or towel. Place a yoga block or bolster that will go under your shoulder blades and one for your head. Gentle begin to lie back on your blocks and adjust to them to height that feels just right for you.
Then bring the soles of your feet to touch and your knees wide, or, if this is not available to you, step your feet mat width apart and drop the knees in toward each other. Spread your arms out by your sides, palms facing up, close your eyes and begin to lengthen your breath. Stay here for 10 calm, long and steady breaths.
When you feel ready, bend your knees, extend your right arm overhead and roll over to your right side. Rest here for a moment and then find your way up to seated.
Come to your knees and place them underneath your hips, wrists underneath your shoulders. Inhale and lift your chin, chest and tailbone, arch the back, on your exhale, roll the tailbone under and round your back. Move with the rhythm of your breath for about 6 rounds.
Come to a comfortable seated pose.
Step 5: Set intentions for your day
Get your favorite crystal (I suggest quartz, amethyst or rose quartz) and hold it between the palms of your hands. Think of all the blessings in your life. Thank yourself for showing up for yourself. Set an intention and then place the crystal over your heart.
When you are ready, place the crystal on your altar, a special place in your house or take it with you to remind you to be kind and loving to yourself and others.