Creating a self-care plan is easy & fun. The challenge is actually sticking to it! I can write “meditate” in my calendar every day at 7am, but – unless I have the optimized my environment for self-care – these commitments can fall to the wayside.
So many people ask me how they can renew their dedication to a meditation routine. When I ask them to describe their meditation environment, it’s often, I meditate in bed.. or I try to meditate on the couch with the TV on.. yikes!
I highly recommend creating an optimal self care environment – a zen den or meditation room can work wonders for your routine. But if you don’t have a whole room to spare, fear not! Carve out another dedicated space where you can be inspired to practice, uninterrupted. (Remember this post too on optimizing your sleep environment!)
For many of you, this will be your bedroom, and that’s okay. My suggestion would be to create a meditation altar to display calming artwork and to hold your candles or incense, or using a meditation or prayer rug/blanket/cushion that helps signal to your mind – it’s time to meditate!
Once you have set your self-care goals, scheduled time into your calendar, & optimized your environment, the next step is to create your self-care toolkit! While practicing self-care doesn’t cost a thing, arming yourself with the right tools can exponentially increase your efficiency, deepen your experience & support you on your self-care journey.
It wasn’t until I set up my own kit with the items below, that I really started to look forward to my scheduled self-care routine. These products* have helped me tremendously!
*This post contains affiliate links.
1. Yoga Mat
My Gaiam yoga mat is my security blanket. Whether I tote it to the park or a class, I’m basically Linus. Pairing it with my bolster or cushion is nice for a supported meditation practice, but on it’s own I use it for yoga, abhyanga, and restorative yin practices.
These little guys seriously changed my self-care practice. First thing in the morning, I like to roll them under my feet with a little peppermint oil to get grounded. Rolling with them under my sits bones has become part of my yoga therapy homework. And rolling them along my jaw and temples can relieve a migraine or TMJD symptoms almost instantly.
This coreageous therapy ball has proven so delectable when lowly inflated as a lumbar support on planes or long car rides. Due to my scoliosis, sitting upright during meditation can be quite uncomfortable. Placing the ball just under my sacrum can help give me that little bit of support I need to sustain my practice. And rolling around on it under my spine and low back is a lovely fascia release.
Is there anything more calming than aromatherapy? Whether it’s sprinkling a few drops of lavender in my bath with my epsom salts, or using a diffuser with eucalyptus when I’m stuffy, essential oils are a near constant staple in my household. I just have to be careful when Tucker’s around, as they can be harmful to pets. Diffuse ’em or mix a couple of drops in with a base like coconut oil for a nice abhyanga warm oil massage. Instant luxury.
5. Coconut Oil
Mine & Lizzo’s go-to self massage product, coconut oil smells divine and absorbs quickly into the skin. The scent mixes well with lavender and peppermint, my two fav essential oils. Be careful with old plumbing – it’s recommended to pour a degreasing dish soap and boiling water down your drain every week or two to protect them pipes! I even use it as a cuticle oil just before bed.
Whether it’s The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day – or Zen as F*ck: A Journal for Practicing the Mindful Art of Not Giving a Sh*t, journaling is so important for intention-setting, self-learning, and reflecting.
I love journaling just after meditating – I find this time to be super-charged with spiritual creativity. I also recommend jotting your thoughts down at the end of the day, even if only to list a few things you are grateful for before dozing off. Focusing on the positive is one of the best ways to rewire your brain to break that negativity bias!
7. Bath Bombs
Baths are divine, aren’t they? There is something so yummy and sacred about that time alone with yourself. I love epsom salts and essential oils as I mentioned before, but nothing feels more indulgent than a shimmery bath bomb, like the ones in this Organic Lush Bath Bomb Gift Set! Pop one in and watch it fizz and change the color and scent of your water. Ahhhh.
Again, with the aromatherapy. 🙂 Paired with the beauty of a flame and the sound of a burning wooden wick, these Woodwick candles are a treat for the nose, eyes, and ears! It signals to my mind that it’s time to unwind and meditate. Namaste.
Is there anything more cozy than a cup of tea? I got super into tea time when I studied abroad in Ireland – and it’s a habit I’m happy to report has never left my side since. I can’t recommend Yogi teas highly enough – Yogi Detox Tea, Yogi Stomach Ease Tea, Yogi Stress Relief Tea are some of my favs. This Yogi Tea Sampler looks amazing! There’s one for every kind of symptom and mood. Put that kettle on and prepare to be cozyfied.
Tarot might not strike you as a form of self-care, but for me it so is. It feels a bit rebellious to me, as a child of a Christian home, and always, always, ALWAYS teaches me something new. Whether I just want to learn about how to best care for myself in that moment, or I’m looking for bigger clarity in my career – exploring the Tarot has never let me down. With an open mind, how could you not learn and with learning more about yourself, how could those self-compassion juices not get flowing? This is the deck I use – The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook. The art and energy behind each card is stunning. I just love it!
Be sure to check out this earlier post on creating an Emergency Resource List here! This is like a toolkit of activities that nourish you when you’re feeling down.
So, Dear Ones, what do you have in your self-care toolkit? Which items signal to your mind that it’s time to take care of you?
I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Let’s get a collection of the top beloved self-care items going here for us all to refer back to!