5 practices for more self kindness

It feels that 2021 is already off to a wild start. In between processing 2020 and beginning this new year, it’s a lot to take on. Being a human in this moment in time has not proven to be easy. More than ever self love, compassion, and gratitude seem so important. 

But self care can be tricky. It often seems obvious, yet so hard... a bit glorified, and difficult to get that balance right. I wanted to share a couple of activities that I’ve been working into my daily life. They are simple, soothing, and can be easily integrated into pre-existing routines.

The idea is to take care, enjoy being you, and to treat yourself with a bit more love as we ride through these ups and downs.

1. Start and end your day with a cup of tea. Before I jump straight into cups of coffee, I’ve been working on easing into my morning with a cup of tea. Green tea is my favorite. It is a clean and refreshing way to begin the day, giving my body something light and hydrating. And I always close my evening with a cup of herbal tea, no matter what else I’ve been sipping on. It’s soothing and feels good to have a simple routine for myself that I enjoy and know is good for me. 

2. Write yourself an uplifting note, and pin it up around your space so you can stumble upon a loving reminder in stressful or low moments. It could be a few words of kindness that is hard to remember during a heavy day. In my bathroom close to my mirror I have pinned up a little message: “note to self: be kind.” It’s a soft nudge to be a bit more loving and less self critical. And we all know how hard that can be in front of a mirror. Sometimes such a reminder can break those thought patterns when they start to arise. 

3. Let yourself indulge in a big, healthy and nutritious meal. Food and cooking can be a lovely comfort in the winter season, especially at a time when the world feels chaotic and anxious. Yet indulgence often comes with guilt. Curb that feeling by cooking up something healthy yet equally tasty (the combo does exist!). Tuck into your creations feeling satisfied, and nourished, knowing that what you’re eating is good for you. Need some recipe recs? Try out this tasty sweet potato saladflavorful vegan curry, or get creative with these spaghetti squash bowls (also vegan wooo!).

4. Tend to your body. Wash your face and moisturize your skin. In quarantine I’ve made a routine of washing my face and moisturizing two times a day - first thing in the morning and and then in the evening. Even if I sleep at a friend’s place (part of my support bubble), I’ll throw my face wash and moisturizer in my bag. Although it’s simple, it feels good to take care of my skin, and have standards for it! Implementing a skin care routine is a nice way to remind yourself that you have value. 

5. Be intuitive with your desires and feelings.  If time allows, when you feel like walking, take a walk. Or if you feel in need of a snooze, let yourself nap and rest. Lay on the couch and gaze at the sky; taking time to soak in the scenery. When the craving hits for chocolate, satisfy that craving. Suppressing our intuitions can lead to excess later on, or a sense of imbalance or exhaustion. Feelings will come back if you don’t tend to them. Listening to your body can be powerful, let it guide you and tell you what it needs. 

I hope these little mantras can guide and inspire, giving you the care and kindness you deserve.

Hang in there,

xx Isabel

January 12, 2021 — Isabel Owen

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