Seasonal self-care: 10 science-based self care tips

Many of us struggle with anxiety or chronic stress. Fall is the time of change and transition many of us often struggle with. While nature always seems to embrace the changes, we don’t always cope so well with it. Yet, change is unavoidable and inescapable. However, we can find ways to deal with it better. We prepared 10 Science-Based Self Care Tips to support us through the changing seasons and this time of transition.

USE MANTRAS OR AFFIRMATIONS AS A DAILY PRACTICE

What’s the first thing you do after you wake up? For many of us, it’s checking our phones. Instagram, Facebook, or work emails are not the best thing to start your day with. While it can feel good in the moment to instantly connect to whatever’s happening in the world around us, it’s not the best for our mental health.

Instead of immediately going for your phone, we recommend  starting your day with a mantra or words of affirmation. And what exactly are affirmations? Put simply, every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation. All of the self-talk, the dialogue in your head – they are all affirmations. You’re using affirmations every moment whether you know it or not. And by doing that, you’re affirming and creating your life experiences with every word and thought. These ongoing affirmations are messages to your subconscious that establish habitual ways of thinking and behaving. Positive affirmations create healing thoughts and ideas that support you in developing self-confidence and self esteem, and creating the life you want, while negative thoughts create more negativity and let-downs. 

Wondering how to create your own affirmations? By using the guidelines below, you can transform limp affirmations from sentences you repeat without believing in what you say into mantras for manifesting what you want in your life. Here’s a couple of tips:

  1. First of all, start with the words “I am.” These are the two most powerful words in the English language. 
  2. Use the present tense. Start your affirmation by entering the present tense. Take the condition you desire and declare it to be already true.
  3. Be positive. Do not focus on what you do not want. Where attention goes, energy flows – positive or negative! So be clear and focus on what you do want to attract.
  4. Keep it short. Shorter is better. Affirmations with fewer words are often easier to recall and you want to be sure and comfortable with repeating your statement.
  5. Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word. Powerful affirmations include emotion, as it gets to the heart of how you feel about that outcome. 

Here are also some examples of powerful affirmations you may find inspiring:

I am at home in the universe. Every person, place, and thing on this planet is interconnected with love.

I am patient, tolerant, and loving.

I am worth loving. There is love all around me.

I am supported. Life supports me in every possible way.

PRACTICE MINDFULNESS OR GUIDED MEDITATION 

It’s estimated that about 95% of our behavior is automatic and runs on an autopilot. That’s because neural networks underlie all of our habits, reducing our millions of sensory inputs per second into manageable shortcuts so we can easier function in this fast, crazy world.

Mindfulness is the exact opposite of these processes – it’s slowing down and being aware. It’s being in control rather than on an autopilot, it’s about being intentional with our thoughts, actions, and decisions. But that takes some practice and commitment. The more we activate our ‘mindful brain’, the stronger it will become. That’s why creating mindful, intentional rituals, rather than sticking to our mindless habits, is a great way to start to incorporate more mindfulness into your daily life. This can be as easy as taking your time and all of your attention to make your morning coffee, instead of just going through the motions automatically. Focus on each step, each sound, smell. Be truly present and if you can’t commit to anything more to start with, try to shift your habits into rituals practiced with awareness.

Mindfulness and meditation are mirror-like reflections of each other: mindfulness supports and enriches meditation, while meditation nurtures and expands mindfulness.  But they are not the same thing. Mindfulness is the awareness of “some-thing,” while meditation is the awareness of “no-thing.” Mindfulness is being aware. It’s noticing and paying attention to thoughts, feelings, behavior, and our surroundings. Mindfulness can be practiced any time, wherever we are, whoever we are with, and whatever we are doing, by being fully engaged in the present moment.

RECOGNIZE THE POWER OF LIGHT

We love the calming light of our salt lamps in the evenings. They produce a soft, warm orange light, which is known to help with stress, relaxation, and has a calming effect. 

In the past, the sun was the main source of light, and people spent their evenings in relative darkness. Now we spend most of the day in well-lit offices, afternoons in shops and shopping malls, and evenings in bright-lighted houses. In addition, we are exposed to blue light emitted by electrical devices that we use at every step. Artificial light consists of visible light as well as some ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) rays. Light emission levels can be harmful to health and disrupt the human biological clock and the endocrine system. Ultraviolet and blue radiation have the greatest harmful potential. It suffers from our sleep and increasing difficulty falling asleep. Exposure to light also stops the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms.

So give up bright, intense light in your home. Instead, use dim, warm light bulbs and bedside lamps, such as a selenite crystal lamp or a salt lamp and enjoy the benefits of natural lighting. Red light has the least ability to suppress melatonin and change the circadian rhythm, which makes it the safest for our health. Our lamps produce a soft light that helps to de-stress, has a calming and relaxing effect, while creating a unique atmosphere.

KNOW YOUR ENERGY & EMBRACE YOUR EMOTIONS

During any kind of change, it’s important that we let ourselves fully experience whatever emotions come to the surface. We often try to hide anger, sadness, and fear because of their negative associations, but it can be harmful to bottle those feelings away. So instead, embrace your emotions – they’re there for a reason. Acknowledge them, learn to recognize & accept them, and then let them go.

𝘔𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘴 𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴. And u𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 your 𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘶𝘴 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺.

STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE CHANGING OF THE SEASONS

The truth is, if we live eyes and heart wide open, we understand that each season brings us gifts. Pay attention to the shifts in nature and try to observe them without judgement. If it rains, try to say to yourself ‘it is raining’ instead of narrating it in a negative way and saying ‘oh no, it is raining, what a shame’ – a lot of how we feel can be influenced simply by the way we speak to ourselves, in our own heads.

So make sure to get out of the house, have long walks in nature, maybe even collect leaves or rocks to bring some nature home with you. Enjoy the changes and try to be present for them.

MAKE YOUR SPACE WARM AND COSY

For us this couldn’t be more important. We love setting the mood of the space by filling it with soft lights, incense and handmade objects. We find it really makes a huge difference in how relaxed and calm we feel. No-one likes spending time in a cold, uncomfortable room, so why not make yours as warm and welcoming as possible? 

For creating a warm and cozy space, we recommend using natural materials, warm tones, soft lights or candles, and deep, warming scents. 

THE MIND BENEFITS FROM STILLNESS, THE BODY BENEFITS FROM MOVEMENT

In order to feel better, we all should have some kind of a movement routine. Moderate movement increases GABA and serotonin naturally, which in turn makes us more relaxed and ready for the day. Our favourite type of movement is yoga. 

Yoga is more than simply a set of exercises to keep us fit. In the capitalist world, we treat it as a product that is supposed to bring us tangible benefits related to our appearance. During the lockdown, a large number of yogis switched to online yoga, often fragmented into 10 or 30-minute sequences. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is worth pointing out that yoga has a way bigger purpose. Yoga was originally invented as a tool for self-development. In a way, it is both an obligation and a path. There is no yogi who only takes one step on this path. Showing up on the mat daily, breathing practices and those related to mindfulness are small steps that are able to take us deeper into ourselves. Regularity and self-discipline are essential, but no wonder – yoga is precisely a tool to keep your drives, inclinations, and tendencies in check. The meaning of the practice is that our mind, physical condition and ailments would not be able to interfere with our spiritual development. 

In a way, yoga simultaneously allows us to use discipline, persistence, and empathy to walk the path of spirituality and be better for others, but also sit without knee pain during long hours of meditation. On the other hand, it is in itself a tool for working on the spirit and character, except that the development of our inner selves takes place here through the body.

SUPPORT YOURSELF WITH SCENTS

Through our senses we are able to create space for meeting ourselves, our needs, longings & desires. We find that space through the sense of smell, which is why we specialize in aromatherapeutic, fragrant, plant-based incense. Burning these medicinal herbs before meditation or in a personal ceremony is a powerful practice we want to share with others, as the power of self-care rituals can be transforming.

Smudging is a mindfulness practice which increases awareness and spirituality. It enhances concentration, harmony and balances the energy that surrounds us. The cleansing ritual can also be performed when we want to free ourselves from unfavorable situations or emotions that currently accompany us. Carrying out such a ritual can become a sign for us that a given stage (for example, worrying, uncertainty) is behind us and it is time to move on. Smudging with dried plants affects not only the incensed space, but also directly on us, cleansing our aura.

It should be remembered that in many native cultures, plants are more than just living organisms and are considered to have a soul. Thus, burning the sage was a way to connect with the spiritual realm and establish contact with the spirit of nature, which is then asked to lend its protective energy in accordance with the intention of the practitioner.

CREATE RITUALS

Practicing self-care rituals as part of our daily routine is a way of knowing ourselves and deepening our love for ourselves. The moments spent with yourself in concentration and mindfulness are extremely important to your well-being. 

Choose a ritual that appeals to you – it could be meditation, mindful morning coffee brewing, or incensing to get rid of negative energy. And the time you choose as best for the practice of your rituals depends on you, your needs and the rhythm of the day. Some people prefer to give in to them in the morning, before starting an intense day. It becomes a moment when they can think about the upcoming challenges with hope, set their goals and focus on the positive energy that will guide them through the day. Others, in turn, experience moments of greatest awareness and self-care in the evening – their rituals are a signal that they have finished their work that day. 

Don’t underestimate the strength and value of nurturing the relationship you have with yourself. Love for yourself breeds trust, peace and joy in you.

GO AT YOUR OWN PACE

Finally, give yourself time. Be kind and understanding – not only to others, but yourself too! This is your journey. Don’t feel pressured to move on too quickly if you don’t feel like it. Give yourself the time and space you need to process whatever you’re experiencing.

Everyday, it feels like our world is changing – sometimes the changes are small and insignificant, and sometimes radical and overwhelming. But by learning how to lean into that change, and not resist it, we can make sure it doesn’t weigh us down.