WHY YOU NEED SELF CARE RITUALS IN YOUR LIFE
When even one part of your life is out of whack you can start to experience a domino effect as it gradually knocks more and more things out of balance, and continues to draw you down until you feel like you’re stuck waist-deep in quicksand.
For me, that one thing was chronic pain. When you experience dull, achy pain on a daily basis it can become difficult to perform even the most basic functions. You can find that it is hard to focus on anything other than the pain and as a result, your work slips. It can mean that the thought of standing in the kitchen to cook a nutritious meal is excruciating so you find yourself ordering out more and more. You might then start to feel like you don’t have the energy for your partner and as a result, your relationship suffers.
If you’ve ever suffered from any chronic condition, then you know that it doesn’t matter how much healthy food you have in your kitchen or how sexy your husband is, when those neural pathways are constantly firing up to remind you how much pain you’re in then despite your best intentions those things are going to fall by the wayside.
This isn’t something that is unique to chronic pain but is more indicative of the way our body needs to function as a well-oiled machine because one small thing being out of place can throw everything off. Whether you have depression or anxiety, diabetes, an autoimmune condition or even a motor disorder, when you’re not able to care for yourself properly the affects can keep going down the line to make you feel worse.
While the first step for all of these conditions is finding a treatment that will allow you to have relief from the symptoms that cause you the most pain, if you don’t continue to practice self-care on a regular basis then the relief will be short lived because your diet and brain have gone unnourished.
When you’re not caring for your body properly through diet and relaxation or are finding yourself buried under piles of stress, then your endocannabinoid system can break down which can exacerbate those feelings of pain and anxiety along with the symptoms of your condition.
WHAT DO I MEAN BY SELF CARE?
Despite the need for your body to function like a machine, you are definitely not a machine. You need to be nourished - mentally, physically and emotionally - if you’re wanting to live your best life. This means you need to eat a proper diet that delivers all the vital nutrients that your body is craving, even if that means visiting a doctor or nutritionist to understand the ways you’re not currently doing that.
You need to find time for yourself. Time to relax. Time to unplug from your devices. Time to learn and to grow as a person. But you also need to find time for your relationships, including playing with your children, and connecting with your partner physically and emotionally.
I know what you’re thinking. “But I am just one woman, with only 24 hours in a day. When am I meant to find the time for all of this and still sleep at night?”
Well, the good news is that if you are regularly practicing self-care then you don’t need to try to cram all of this into one day. Little acts of self-care can have lasting, residual effects on your life. Blocking out an hour every day to meditate might be tricky, but perhaps you can do it once a week? Even setting aside 5 minutes a day to clear your mind, focus on your breathing and relax can help to ease your stress levels.
Similarly physical contact with your partner on a daily basis to reestablish that connection doesn’t mean you have to constantly be having sex like you’re on your honeymoon (although please promise me that you’re still going to do that occasionally!), but holding hands, cuddling or even just maintaining eye contact instead of looking at the screen of your phone while they talk can have a huge impact.
Self-care rituals are the things that you do on a regular basis - whether daily, weekly or monthly - to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself, but by establishing it as a regular ritual rather than an ad hoc activity you’re creating the mindset that this is a necessary, healing activity that can’t be cast aside.
HOW MY OWN SELF CARE RITUALS HAVE CHANGED
One of the really obvious ways that you can see your self-care rituals change is when you have children. Suddenly the amount of “me” time in your day is significantly reduced as this incredible being that demands care and attention takes your focus. Have you ever found yourself living entirely off the scraps of your child’s meals because you don’t have the time and energy to cook for yourself? There goes one self-care ritual in a flash.
Having kids isn’t a bad thing - in fact, it’s one of the most wonderful experiences in the world where you get a front seat to another human’s growth and development. But you can’t give your child the attention that they deserve if you’re not looking after yourself first. I know that when I'm burnt out the last thing I want to do is get down on the floor and play with LEGOS!
Think of life as the safety advice you get on a plane: take care of yourself before your child, after all, you’re no use to them if you’re unconscious.
Want to have the energy to play and run around with your kids? You need to eat a good meal. Don’t want to snap at your family angrily for no reason? You need to be able to relax. Want to feel confident in your professional and personal relationships? Then you can’t forget to do the things that make you feel good about yourself.
I was definitely feeling the strain in all aspects of my life when my chronic pain was at its worst. I was cranky and unmotivated and honestly considered throwing in the towel in pretty much every aspect of my life so I could commit to being a hermit who just stayed in bed all day in a dark room wallowing in my pain.
Luckily, I found some relief from my chronic pain in the form of hemp oil. After trying pretty much every pain treatment on the market I was finally turned onto the positive effects of cannabinoids on pain receptors in connection with the body’s endocannabinoid system and saw my own pain reduced from severe to mild in a very short time.
The active ingredient in hemp oil is known as cannabidiol and it not only blocks the psychoactive effects of THC (meaning regular hemp oil with less than 0.3% THC isn’t going to get you high and turn you into a haze-headed stoner), but it also helps the body to regulate feelings of pain, hunger, and even your mood. It can help to ease stress and anxiety, regulate disordered eating habits and hemp has been used to treat epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and cancer.
Since I started adding a dose of hemp to my daily self-care rituals I have noticed a considerable change in my day-to-day life. Not only has it reduced my pain substantially, but it has also helped to elevate and regulate my moods and keep me focused throughout the day.
SELF CARE AND WELLNESS UNPLUGGED
Creating self-care rituals was a huge focus at my recent Wellness Unplugged event. This included finding ways to get a good night’s sleep, learning how to correct hormonal imbalances and even beginning to connect with our inner guidance system to give our lives a greater sense of clarity. All of these things can be grouped in and built upon through regular self-care rituals.
Since I am currently a little bit obsessed with the positive effects that hemp has had on my life (and as you might have noticed, when I find something that works this well I can’t help from singing its praises from every rooftop I can find!) I also shared some of this knowledge and the product with attendees at my Wellness Unplugged event and much like me most of the women noted that it felt like their body ‘woke up’.
If you’re considering trying hemp oil then you might experience a euphoric feeling and this is thanks to the fact that hemp directly affects the Anandamide cannabinoids, which was named after the Sanskrit word Ananda which means ‘bliss’. This cannabinoid is naturally occurring in the body, but is also found in chocolate (YUM, now you know why you love it... ) and is produced when you exercise, which may contribute to the ‘runner’s high’ feeling that some people experience.
Adding hemp oil to my daily self-care rituals means that I’m not only able to effectively treat my chronic pain, but am finding that it has also helped to calm my mind and reduce anxiety, which contributes to my ability to live the best possible life I can.
9 SELF CARE RITUALS TO ADD TO YOUR LIFE
If you’re not sure how you can start incorporating self-care into your daily, weekly or monthly routine then here are 9 of my favorite ways to look after yourself.DAILY - Eat a good meal
Make sure you’re eating at least one delicious, nutritious meal a day. Don’t just cram it down either, make sure you eat mindfully and listen to how your body reacts to this vital nourishment. Grab The Upgraded Recipe Guide and Meal Plan.
DAILY - Take hemp oil
This has been the most important change to my self-care rituals since the birth of my son. Combine it with something that you do every day - such as your morning cup of tea - to increase the ritualistic feeling, then say AHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhh. :)
DAILY - Meditate
Meditation is something I am very passionate about, but it doesn’t need to be so hardcore that you’re chanting every time. At the very least you should be able to put aside a couple of minutes every day to shut down, clear your mind and breathe. Trust me, the effects will be astounding. Not a fan of meditating or know where to start? Read this post.
WEEKLY - Get a manicure
Self-care definitely extends to the physical - as long as it is something that makes you feel good. A regular manicure not only sets aside time where you’re sitting with little else to do (hey! There’s a good time to meditate!) but helps you to feel more confident in your daily life.
WEEKLY - Unplug from technology
Sometimes it can feel like our phones have become an extra limb and to be separated would be painful, but take some time every week to step away from the screens. Read a book, practice a hobby, catch up with friends. Your brain and your eyesight will both thank you!
WEEKLY- Get outdoors
We are often chained to our desks, only stepping outside during the short walk to our cars. Get outside and experience the fresh air of nature. Feel grass between your toes or take your kids to the park. Connecting with the natural world helps us to feel grounded and supported.
MONTHLY - Go on a road trip
Try to get out of your regular world at least once a month. Head down the coast, visit relatives who you never get to see or just get exploring. Nobody ever regretted a little adventure.
MONTHLY - Get a massage
Our body hates sitting at desks all day. It needs to be nourished just like our brain does. Give yourself a little pampering while also helping to heal your aching muscles with a regular massage.
MONTHLY - Start journaling
If you’re not in the habit of journaling on a daily basis then incorporating it into your monthly routine can be a great start. It is an opportunity to clear your mind and helps you to be grateful for all the little things that make up your life.
Now go do it. Take care of you life, and your soul, you deserve my friend!