02 | Pressing pause.

lifestyle, self care

You’re getting ready for your evening. You have a game plan. You are going to prep your supper, hop in the shower, freshen up and put something nice on to go out and enjoy your evening. And then suddenly…

You’re at the hospital. With a cooking injury. On a Saturday night. During Covid-19.

And you’re thinking, “Okay. It’s one night. I’ll be back to my usual self tomorrow and will resume my normal routine and activities…”

Nope.

You realize too quickly that you need to reevaluate your day-to-day to make room for this brand new obstacle. You need to change your entire game plan to include extra time to do just about, anything. You cannot do certain activities that would agitate the injury (like yoga or journal writing). You start to coach yourself on your ability to use your non-dominant hand and with a number of food droppages and spills, you kinda get the hang of it.

But you’re sour. You’re agitated. You’re irritable. You’re looking for a reason to get angry. To lash out. To distract yourself from your pain and stupidity, and to just give yourself a true reason to be fully mad at what you’ve done. You’re a freight train coming at full force and there’s no slowing down….

Until you realize that this behavior isn’t good for you or anyone around you, and it’s only going to make everything worse. How about you sit back and just… breathe?

Press Pause!


This wasn’t the original topic of this week’s blog but it sort of made itself the headline. Not having full use of your dominant hand comes with its own fun obstacles, but it teaches you the importance of self care. It makes you realize you truly need to prioritize your health and your overall well-being before anything. (And then you start to realize how many daily tasks are affected by one single thumb injury.)

You can’t (truly) practice yoga… maybe hands-free postures, but certainly not your usual routines.
You struggle to use a knife, or scissors, or any utensil that you’d need to grip.
Showering and your typical self-care routines take extra long and require a degree from left-handed university.
And I’m not even going to mention going to the bathroom… (wait, I just did.)

So the past week has been an interesting one, and for this week’s blog I’d love to talk about pressing pause on your behaviors, typical routines, actions and reactions and what I’ve truly learned from this experience, in relation to proper self-care and personal well-being.


First…

I’ve learned that pain brings out the worst in you. And you can simply go too far with your emotional reactions when you’re in pain and irritable. You look for a distraction, but not in a healthy way. I quickly learned I needed to pause my emotional responses to people and disengage in conversations where I knew I wouldn’t say anything nice to anyone.

Emotional self care is extremely important with an injury healing process. Allowing yourself to get overwhelmed with all those negative emotions can certainly set you back. Focus on conjuring up those positive vibes and make sure you’re checking your emotions before you express them outwardly.
Make sure you aren’t projecting or deferring anything onto others (or do what I did… realize afterwards you were being a b*tch and grovel for forgiveness to those you took your pain out on… and again, I’m truly sorry to those who had to deal with me the day after my injury.)

Second…

I learned patience. And no, not in one week because I’m still hella stubborn. But, I learned the VALUE of it and how you need to be patient with yourself during a time like this. Yes, you dropped your bagel while holding it in your non-dominant hand… twice. Yes, taking a shower is twice as long and ten times more frustrating than you’d like it to be. Sure, you aren’t practicing yoga or journaling as much.
But so what! This isn’t forever. This is just right now.

So be patient with the healing process and look for other physical activities that you can do (e.g., walking, meditating, seeing friends, etc.) or take up some other, more static activities you’ve been wanting to do for a while (for me, that would be reading). Take care of yourself to the best of your ability!

And finally…

You are simply pausing your normal routine and making accommodations. You have not failed. Yes, it’s a setback, but a minor one. This doesn’t reflect on you as a person just because you can’t keep your home looking totally “Pinterest”-worthy or go the extra mile on a task you usually could. You’re a human being. And humans get into accidents. We get thrown so many obstacles during the run of a day, an accident is bound to happen. But it’s about how you handle it and grow from it. It’s how you care for yourself during it and nurture yourself through the healing process.

Give yourself an extra bit of self care. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Know that this is a moment in time, and it too shall pass. We can be our own worst critics and if we keep beating ourselves up over things we cannot control, we will learn to be helpless. And we aren’t. So just focus on the now, for your own well-being!

Speaking as a recovering perfectionist, and aspiring good enough-ist; the hardest thing to do was to let go of my own expectations and be okay with what I could do vs. what I wanted to do. I strive for perfection almost every day of my life, but I had to be okay with what I was physically able to do – even if it wasn’t perfect.

Life gives you lessons to learn so that you can grow from them and overcome them! And I think that remembering to use a guard when operating sharp equipment in the kitchen is a life lesson that will stick with me for some time.


If you took the time to read this blog post, my heart is full. Have you experienced a setback that caused you to adjust your daily routine? If so, how did you deal with it and overcome in? Would “pressing pause” lessen your anxiety and guilt, and improve your health and well-being? Let’s continue the discussion (perhaps with a nice cup of coffee, heh.)

And reader, I want to thank you for reading up to this point in the post. Writing is an outlet I am passionate about, but hardly allow myself to do. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and look forward to reading future blog posts on this site. I will be posting content every Saturday — so mark it on your calendar or even better, subscribe to my blog below so you get alerted when the next post goes live. Also, look out for future blog/vlog videos, exclusive content and just more positive energy to float your way.

Chat again next Saturday!

01 | A ritual.

lifestyle, self care

I’d like to begin by saying that I am aware that this word has many meanings in various spiritual cultures, religions and traditions. Also, I’m aware of its many connotations in witchcraft and spirituality and how rituals can be performed to banish negative energies from an object(s) or a place(s), or to cleanse an area(s) or belonging(s) of any unwanted or absorbed energies.

There is nothing wrong or incorrect with those versions or actions of rituals, fact. However, for the purposes of this post, I wish to embody and represent a ritual as a ceremonial act or action (as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary). Something that takes conscious effort and present awareness, and brings joy to your day. I also want to look closely at rituals in the context of witchcraft and personal self-care.


So, let’s think about it for a moment…

Do you have a ritual?

Think: that one thing that you do that grounds you. That one thing you know you can count on solidifying your day. That one thing you know is consistently there and is something to look forward to as you begin your day.

What is that one thing for you?

My daily ritual is my morning cup of coffee. It’s completely magical.

During the weekdays, it’s one of the first things I do when I wake up. I head downstairs, grind fresh coffee beans and begin perking my enchanted beverage. It’s my morning cozy warmth from a cup (or during the summer months, it’s a fresh breath of chilled air when enjoyed over ice. )

Upon waking, it’s what I look forward to and one of the very first things I do (with the exception of brushing my teeth.) Even before actually sipping on my coffee, I (sorta) wake up! I smell the fresh air. I stretch my arms over my head and peer out the window. I smile.

And that’s what a ritual should evoke in you — happiness and positive energy.

Rituals are a way to celebrate life and infuse our day with meaning. They channel you into that present moment, where you can appreciate and notice everything about that activity. The smell of coffee brewing, the perking sounds of the coffee machine and the joy of picking which mug to pour it into that day (e.g., is it a Monday mug vibe or a weekend treat?!)


RITUALS AND SELF CARE


Even having just one daily ritual that grounds you, calms you and allows you to prepare yourself for the day is truly a beneficial thing to have for your own self care. Over time, that ceremonious act becomes a meaningful daily habit (and in my case, one of the very first things that I do when I wake up). It becomes something that helps turn our attention towards ourselves, our needs and our overall well-being. We are able to practice mindfulness and be completely present. A ritual can be and should be something that clears our mind and focuses our intentions to prepare us for the day.

Rituals, in the context of witchcraft, actually are a means of conscious spiritual work, that are done/performed with mindfulness. An intentional action(s) to center your mind, allow you to be within the present moment and remove all unwanted thoughts of the past or the future. Granted, in witchcraft, you would perform rituals with various other elements such as candles (fire), sand/salt or burning herbs (earth), (moon infused) water and incense (air). You do not have to do that for all (or any) of your rituals, but there is something magical about using the four elements in any spell work/ritual (but don’t take my word, do some research into witchcraft and rituals if you’re interested, as I’m only a noob with it myself and still learning!)

The main goal of a ritual is to capture and channel, within that moment in time, true compassionate and peace within yourself. To truly spend time and connect to ourselves — to appreciate the feelings in that moment. And to develop a meaningful habit that we look forward to doing every single day. I couldn’t imagine any of my days without my morning cup of coffee, and if I happened to skip it (which hasn’t happened in a long time, mind you), my day would be completely off. I would be so unbalanced and out of my element. Making my morning coffee is one of the one task I could almost do autonomically (which is to say, basically without conscious effort) but it’s also the one thing I choose to be present for and to be conscious of — because the entire process, from the beginning of making my coffee to the last sip from my cup (slurp, slurp), brings me incredible joy and calmness. And in today’s busy world, sometimes we just need to stop for a moment and enjoy everything within it.

You can have more than one ritual. Some people have specific rituals for mornings, afternoons and evenings, while others have seasonal rituals or even annual rituals! Some have rituals they wish to (try) and complete daily, whereas some can be every second/third day, etc.

For example, a few of my rituals are to:

Make my morning coffee
Practice yoga/meditate (depending on work-out focus or restorative)
Prepare a meal (with leftovers)
Read a book (preferably in bed at the end of a night, with tea)

But, if you’re like me and you get busy — pick one ritual to be your absolute go-to! That way, if you don’t get to do them all, with the exception of your one main ritual, you will still feel a sense of accomplishment for the day! And you can plan to add or incorporate the others into your daily routine when the time and energy allows. Sometimes we can get very ambitious (I am terrible for this) and suffer from being overwhelmed by the amount of tasks we promise ourselves to do during the run of a day. I’ll talk more about that in a later post about creating routines/knowing yourself and prioritizing your own needs.

However, if you’re interested…

TRY THIS:

Start small and find your ONE ritual. Do some soul-searching and look for that one thing that brings you so much joy that you see yourself doing every single day. It can be as small as ‘wake up, stretch & breathe’, so long as it’s something that you look forward to doing and it allows you to be mindful, in the present moment, and stirs positive energy into your day.

I once tried to drink a glass of water every morning when I woke up as my morning ritual, but later just discovered that I enjoy a hot beverage (personally) as my first of the day. And honestly, coffee on ice can be a very rare drink for me to have (unless the morning is a scorcher). But it was through self-discovery of what I enjoy and what brings me joy that I developed my morning ritual. And if you so desire, you can find yours too!

Tips:
Start small, think ‘what do I look forward to doing every day?’ and ‘does this activity infuse my day with peace, compassion and positivity?’ and then build upon that.
You can even begin building a morning routine around that morning ritual (e.g., I now, on the weekends, added making a full breakfast while listening to nostalgic feel-good music to my morning coffee ritual) – but as mentioned, more about that in a later post!


If you took the time to read this blog post, my heart is full. Let me know in the comments below if you have any rituals you’d like to share or any tips on discovering your daily rituals. Let’s continue the discussion (perhaps with a nice cup of coffee, heh.)

And reader, I want to thank you for reading up to this point in the post. Writing is an outlet I am passionate about, but hardly allow myself to do. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and look forward to reading future blog posts on this site. I will be posting content every Saturday — so mark it on your calendar or even better, subscribe to my blog below so you get alerted when the next post goes live. Also, look out for future blog/vlog videos, exclusive content and just more positive energy to float your way.

Chat again next Saturday!