• Kandice Cole

Getting Out of a Self Care Rut with Ease

Finding yourself in a rut with daily routines is completely normal. During this pandemic, things have felt particularly mundane with so many experiences, like travel and seeing friends regularly, being put on hold. The feeling of being on autopilot can happen with anything and your self care rituals are definitely not excluded from that. The very practices that used to make you feel relaxed and recharged may not have the intended effect anymore. This can be deflating and it completely sucks. This realization might leave you wanting to abandon your self care practices altogether, which will ultimately leave you feeling more drained. There has got to be a better way, right?

Sometimes, a shift is needed to your self care practices so that they align with what you need most in this moment. Hip hop group Black Sheep, in the now classic refrain, says: “You can get with this or You can get with that.” While they probably were not talking about self care, the lesson still applies. When “this” is not working, you can move on to “that” a.k.a. something new. This is about giving yourself permission to reinvent and reimagine your self care practices. Being creative is not just reserved for certain projects or activities. That creative energy can breathe new life into the practices in your life that matter the most.

Here are a few simple ways to start making those shifts with ease and infuse your self care rituals with new energy.

First things first, remember that self care isn’t a monolith. You are a multi-dimensional person, and it is important not to neglect certain aspects of yourself that require attention and care. The term self care has been overused and turned into a shallow trend that is more about capitalism than wellness. It is all too easy to feel like you are not doing self care right if it doesn’t look a certain way. Self care isn’t just bubble baths, candles, mediation, or the next thing to buy. It is more expansive than that. These are practices and rituals that bring you back to feeling like your best self. Rituals that energize you and make you feel good. With intention, so many things can be a part of your self care practice. As you review your self care practices, remember that you might be in need of a specific kind of self care. Self care falls across a spectrum and includes, but is not limited to :

  • creative self care: activities that allow you to cultivate your creative energy. This might look like singing, drawing, or dancing. It could also look like doing something fun and spontaneous.

  • social self care: this self care is all about being in community and relationship with others who support us and allow us to be our most authentic selves.. This might look like calling a friend or going on an outing with your favorite people. It might also look like game night on Zoom.

  • spiritual self care: connecting to spiritual practices and communities more intentionally. This might look like attending a place of worship or reading sacred texts. It might also look like exploring spiritual practices that are different than what you are familiar with in your life.

  • physical self care: This is all about taking care of your physical body. This might look like taking a walk or taking a nap. It might also look like going to the doctor or .

Explore all the parts of yourself and make sure your self care practices are reflective of that exploration. Ultimately, this is about noticing yourself deeply, which brings us to trust.

You have got to trust yourself. Trust that you know what you need. Go with that flow even if it is something new. Right now ask yourself, What am I craving most right now? What am I needing most at this moment? The answers might surprise you and that is ok. It might take a minute for an answer to emerge. That is ok, too. Listen to what your intuition is telling you and move towards practices that support that. The world we live in is so loud with information coming at us from all angles. Make sure to turn that noise down and listen to yourself. When I asked myself these questions, the answer that came up was that I need more time to daydream and that I should start birdwatching. It wasn’t at all what I thought might come up but turns out that is just what I needed.

The last thing is to have fun. Adulting can have us taking things seriously all of the time. Are you having fun with your self care rituals? Or is it feeling like yet another thing on your to do list? Tap into things that bring you joy and have some fun. Think about what you loved to do as a child. Can you do any of those things now as a part of your self care practice? A few of my favorite playful practices include swinging at the park; reading children’s books, and coloring. It might feel silly at first, but sometimes silly is just what we need. Give yourself a break and have some fun!

Your self care is worth making time for because you are worthy of it. Self care is a constant practice. Give yourself grace to get into a rhythm with. Allow it to change as you change. Stay curious about what you desire and honor what you really need. Invite ease as you find new ways of being and doing self care in this new year.

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