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THE IMPORTANCE OF 'SELF CARE' RITUALS

CELEBRATING THE EVERYDAY -’SELF CARE’ RITUALS

ISSUE 2 | WELLBEING

“We lose ourselves in

the things we love, we
find ourselves there too.”

– Kristin Mantz

WORDS BY:

KYLIE BARTLETT

PHOTOGRAPHY BY:

INSIGHT CREATIVE

I am not sure if I am more aware of it, or whether there is actually an increase in the number of people ‘simply existing’ these days. I’m sure you have all heard it, perhaps even been guilty of letting words like… ‘If I can just make it to this date, or that month, or the end of the week things will be ok,’ slip out.

I know that at crazy busy times, even I am guilty of joining all of those busy people on the roundabout. But as I dive deeper into my own paradigm shift to live more consciously – when I hear others start to talk like this, something inside stops, all time slows and I have to try really hard to not start lecturing on the importance of having ‘self care’ rituals.

Whenever I meet someone for the first time or am catching up with dear friends I want to know more about what they dream of, what they are passionate about and how they celebrate the everyday and sustain the hectic whir of the 21st century with their own self care rituals.

Often I am greeted with an awkward moment of silence as for some it is the very first time they have been asked what they do to feed their own soul.

So instead of providing a patriarchal sanctimonious lecture, I thought it would be more inspiring to share some of my own self care rituals.

Everyday before I get out of bed, I think about the best version of myself that I want to project – what kind of person I want to be… usually drawing on a particular virtue to practice. A big part of enacting that ideal throughout the day is avoiding any tape loops that pop into my head. We all have tape loops floating up there, from how we may have been parented as a child, to famous lines from teachers in school and even employers, colleagues and role models.

When I feel the loop creeping in, I quietly utter to myself, “not today my friend, not today.” Some may see this as verging on an element of crazy but it really does allow me to think consciously about what I should say – with the best version of myself in mind.

“…it really does allow me to think consciously about what I should say – with the best version of myself in mind.”

For me, education is powerful… and learning new things either from a creative, technological, business or parenting perspective often refreshes and provides a new set of glasses to see the world.

Recently, I took up the David Suzuki 30×30 Nature Challenge – which sees people commit to getting outside for 30 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days. Whilst this might be achievable for those who work outside or get their fitness fix outdoors, I really wanted the 30 minute challenge to be more about having 30 minutes among nature to slow down and take it all in. The challenge resulted in just being in the park – just sitting on the sand at the beach – just barefooted in the garden without any gardening to do – and just exploring the trails and mountain tracks without any sense of purpose. The impact was truly remarkable, I found myself at the end of the challenge losing a good two or three hours of just being in nature; and the feeling was better than any prescribed drug or vintage find, dare I say it!

Yoga and meditation is also an important element to my ‘self care’ ritual- whether it be instructed yoga class twice a week or most recently just a few quick fold over stretches in the shower (busy mums will all know how having a few minutes in the shower in solitude is a self care ritual in itself) to remind me that I am human and my mind, body and soul are interconnected – especially when I notice I am actually breathing!

Journaling is a ‘self care’ ritual I have practiced long before I knew the true meaning of it. I have always captured my everyday – be it sketches of found objects and landscapes, collected quotes, travel recounts or to the more recent gratitude journals inspired by Sarah Ban Breathnach’s phenomenal best seller – Simple Abundance, a day by day journaling companion full of ways to bring creative dreams into reality.

At the start of the year I purchased an annual supply of journals so I could avoid any excuse to practice this all-important ritual. I love reading back over old journals and realising just how many ideas have come to fruition just by having them written down.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit I was a social creature and one of the all time important ‘self care’ rituals is catching up with some of my most inspiring friends – recently we started meeting each month to host raw food events. Perhaps our first mistake was making it chocolate themed – but it was a hoot – nothing soothes the soul like a catch up that starts at morning tea and ends in the late afternoon.

I guess ‘self care’ is high on my hierarchy of needs and celebrating the self starts every day with a cup of tea in my best china and the thought that “some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet” (Dawn French).