Hey Monday! Last week I shared a post about some of the things I do to take care of myself. Today I want to piggy back onto the previous week’s post, Monday Morning Self Care Recap, and dive with more detail into only a few of the personal practices I have been utilizing to handle the challenges that I am currently working with.
Self study is one of the most important aspects of my survival. Through paying attention to my energy patterns I can plan better, setting myself up for success. I know how many hours I can work on my feet before I am mentally and physically exhausted, and whether or not I can sign up for extracurricular activities based on my responsibilities at any given time. Since January I have coupled my natural inclination to self study with keeping what I call my “Moon books”. I have one notebook that is labelled “New Moon-Full Moon” and another labelled “Full Moon-New Moon”. I switch my books out depending on the cycle of the moon and I record my energy patterns, my general mood and notes on my health and well being in these. I no longer have a menstrual cycle so I can’t count on that to clue me in on what my body might need. I have learned that I am a bit heavier in spirit during the last Quarter Moon, and get really introspective leading up to the New Moon. My physical energy often feels very wiped out and depleted during that time. The Moon books have been super helpful and I imagine that I will deepen that practice even more moving into the New Year, when I am rearranging my regular familiar schedule to work smarter and spend more time writing.
The biggest challenge I am facing in my life right now is my energy level being L-O-W. I think it happens this time of year because the cooler weather and longer nights feed my lone wolf nature to want to stay inside and hibernate, yet there are so many holiday parties and gatherings to attend, and so many clients to take care of before the holiday. I adore this time of year because it means to work hard and bring so much joy and beauty to others lives, and also commune so joyously with friends and family, all the while thinking about and working towards that light at the end of the tunnel of that delicious break I’ll get between Christmas and New Years, when the city is more quiet, the salon is empty, and I can just read books and make art and listen to music and go to the movies at will, for about 5 straight days. At the beginning of this month I told myself that self care would be very important and that I would need to keep a close eye on things in order for me to not burn out. That has looked like staying home from certain parties even though I wanted to go, and going to some parties but choosing not to stay as long, or putting a cap at one glass of wine, or not drinking alcohol at all, in a culture that really values its booze at holiday parties. Other things that have helped is keeping up a regular meditation practice, and taking a lot of salt baths.
This week I’ll dive into more detail about my sleep rituals specifically, since sleep is the key to staying healthy and on top of my responsibilities always, especially during this this time of year.
I have incorporated a few new supplements into my regimen that seem to be helping. They are:
CBD oil (the cannabinoid on everybody’s lips these days), Adrenal Support (which is a blend of mushrooms to support the adrenal system) and Ghee are all recommendations from the gentleman I spoke to at People’s RX last week about my sleep issues. I will take the CBD oil with dinner. I find that it relaxes me just a little, kind of takes the edge off an active mind. After dinner I take my Adrenal Support. I have been taking it for one week. I notice the relaxation effects intensified, and I just feel happy thinking about supporting my system while I am sleeping, not just simply knocking me out. Then right before bed I will drink hot tea with Ghee in it. Apparently the Ghee helps promote GABA producing in the brain, which is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in our central nervous system. In other words, it helps quiet the mind to get better sleep. I am new to learning about this, so I am for now taking his word for it and accepting it as ritual, in itself powerful. I do all of this and my nighttime medication, or Melatonin.
Before crawling into bed I try to keep the screen time to a minimum for about an hour. I also do a little ritual. I light an incense stick and I sit at my altar and meditate to a short, 10 minutes or less guided meditation. I am currently using an album I bought from Kris Carr, but I also really love the guided meditations offered on Insight Timer, a free app. After sitting and centering, I pull a Tarot card, asking my higher consciousness what I might ask of my dreams. I study that card and write a quick stream of conscious couple of pages about what the card brings up for me, and what I might seek to learn about myself. This also serves as what I like to call a “brain dump”, just dumping out what might be bothering me or what might keep me up at night if I don’t acknowledge it. I then put my cards away, rub some lavender oil on the bottoms of my feet and my temples, burn some sage and rosemary and hit the sheets. Having this routine steadies me, comforts me, keeps me in tune with my needs. If I wake up in the night it is usually after a very active dream, and I have started writing down my dreams as soon as I can in the other notebook I keep, labelled “Dreams”. I check in with these in the morning, note how I feel, what memories were triggered, and how it relates to what I am working on at this time. It usually gives me something, and each day kind of builds on the last, as I work my way through self discovery and healing.
What are your nighttime rituals? How do you keep yourself steady during busy times in your life? What do you love about this time of year, and what are your challenges during this time? I would love to hear from you!