Today’s post has been prompted by a case of the blues. Icky.
I have a bit of a predisposition to melancholy/blues, as well as depression. My list below is not to minimise this more serious emotional imbalance in any way, shape or form. However, it’s important for me to monitor where I’m at, and, where indicated, seek out professional help immediately if I realise things have become more severe. It’s also important that I don’t over-state how I’m travelling and recognise when I’m just a bit down.
Journalling has been an absolute gift for me in this endeavour. My daily journal is a visual expression of what’s happening in life and how I am reacting. I use funny/beautiful/insightful/quirky stickers found on Etsy, especially those designed by Vexed and Hexed. I sometimes feel Anna, the talented shop owner, reaches into my heart, pulling out my feelings and arranging them in an aesthetically pleasing way!
Over (many!) years, I’ve also developed, and continue to refine, an arsenal of other sacred self-care tools to alleviate these feelings when they a pay visit. Here, in no particular order, is a list of just some of my favourites.
1. Fresh linen and PJ’s. When I’m not running at my peak, I find my doona and jim-jams are my greatest solace! Combined with a long rope of pearls and occasionally red lipstick, my soul feels somewhat soothed, and I enjoy the opportunity to have a giggle at my kookiness. No point in taking myself too seriously after all.
2. A clean immediate environment. This is almost counter-intuitive for me as I despise housework (you’re not looking at a Domestic Goddess here!), but when I’m down, looking at mess and dust etc makes me feel more sad.
3. If I feel able to get outside – which is not always the case – I like to spend some time with flowers or sit under a tree. Call me bonkers but I also love to have a chat with them and let them know how beautifully miraculous and comforting they are.
4. Wearing a specifically tailored essential oil blend. Some of my favourite healing scents include neroli, marjoram, vetiver, geranium and ylang ylang.
5. Part of my everyday sacred self-care practice is to thank my crystals for their protection and blessings. This becomes even more important to me during unsettled periods, and I feel comforted when I hold them close and feel their gentle energy. Rose quartz, moonstone, citrine, smokey quartz, howlite and aquarmarine are just some of my faves (I’m a bit greedy!). For Melbournites, I always enjoy visiting the lovely Sue’s stall at Dandenong Market or when shopping online, I can’t go passed Crystal Visions. My beautiful sister also has a wonderful range of Mala Beads on her website that provide an easy way to wear my little bringers of joy!
6. An incredibly powerful ritual for me is to choose candles to magnify my intention (eg. pink for love, blue for peace) and sit still in gratitude. I’m incredibly indebted to have been guided toward listing the wonderful blessings in my life instead of dwelling in more negative emotions.
7. From the amazing vantage point of my Nook, I look out the window and really focus on the wonder of Mother Nature. Weather, light in all its glory, the mini ecosystem in my garden, kitty cats playing, the sky. It’s all just heavenly!
8. On occasion, I’ll take this downtime to create/reorganise/clean my sacred spaces and altars. I like to connect to the things that are important to me.
9. A wise woman once advised me to write and say out loud three things I like about myself. I found this so difficult at the time, I didn’t have a very high opinion of myself, but gradually I’ve come to realise that I’m not worthless after all, and there’s actually quite a bit about my ‘Katie-ness’ that I appreciate.
10. Spending time in a happy place is vital – Pinterest has been a Goddess-send for me!
11. Asking a loved one for a cuddle (ideally for more than 20 seconds) releases the hormone oxytocin which is believed to alleviate stress and burn-out. The human body is such a fascinating, miraculous creation. A boundless source of wonder.
12. My darling Mumma instilled a love of throwing open the windows and doors, weather permitting. I believe this is a most excellent strategy to release negative energy, and I burn cleansing incense and oils to amplify the effect. My sister also introduced me to koshi chimes whose mellow sound I just adore for aural cleansing, and we have wind chimes positioned all around us here at Casa Loco!
13. Words are not big enough to express my love for the comfort of hot tea! I enjoy incorporating intention and ritual into this extremely frequent indulgence. As I spoon sugar into my black tea, I focus on things for which I am grateful. When cosseting myself with jasmine tea, I will chant the following:
I am the tool, you are the fire, fill this cup with all I desire.
I then swirl the tea three times towards me (to encourage the flow of these desires in my direction), and then settle in to enjoy my brew. Sometimes (okay, often!) accompanied by a chocolate biscuit.
14. A psychologist once guided me to minimise using catastrophic adjectives. I drop them like crazy when I’m feeling good because this is a state I want to magnify, but it’s a no-no when I’m down. Think ‘very’, ‘worst’, ‘depressed.’ Even ‘so’ can be a minefield.
My much-loved Dad encouraged an appreciation and curiosity in me for the living English language. It has such power! I seek out words that resonate or bring joy, and have even dedicated one of my Pinterest boards (Wonder of Words) to this pursuit! I just know Dad is looking down on this with a wry grin and some pride.
15. Remembering that being beautifully broken, perfectly imperfect, and fabulously flawed is actually a gift for personal growth. Or it’s my soul giving me a wake-up call that I need to slow down for a bit and give myself some TLC.
16. Someone once told me “tears unshed rust the soul.” I have attempted to source the author with no luck so if you know, please share! Crying can be a much-needed release – as long as I don’t dwell in it.
17. A physical key to minimising overwhelm and distress for me is to keep volume low. TV, social media, music, people. I love them all but sometimes they feel like they’re battering my senses.
18. Speaking of social media, pretty much every time I’m feeling blue, I take a brief hiatus as it can become overwhelming. A quote from Theodore Roosevelt comes to mind – “comparison is the thief of joy.” Sometimes seeing all these -insta-perfect lives can lead me to wallow in feelings of inadequacy. Not safe.
19. A selenophile from way back (please excuse me while I indulge myself in dropping a newly-found favourite word!), I moon journal. Come nightfall, I seek her out visually, sit quietly in her presence, then take to writing. I pay particular attention to her phase to determine if there is a pattern to my emotional balance, and try to practice the intentions for this period (more on this in a future post).
20. Thankfully stumbling upon the spiritual self-care blog, ‘Dwell In Magic’ has helped me greatly in formalising my sacred-self-care rituals. Jessica Dimas’s guidance has been a phenomenal gift; she has spoken to my soul and helped awaken a beautiful spiritual path. With the wonder of the internet, she is not even aware of the impact she has had on me and how often I turn to her teachings, especially when seeking comfort.
21. Last but never least, is spending time with my adorable puzzzz-cats! My Renaissance Boys as I have dubbed them – Leonardo, DaVinci and Michelangelo. As much as they make me laugh, it has been proven that petting a cat lowers your blood pressure, and relieves anxiety and stress. No wonder the Egyptians thought they were Gods!
This post has, in essence, been a cathartic journalling experience for me. I do hope it hasn’t come across as self-indulgent or even self-righteous. I just needed to re-commit to my spiritually guided sacred self-care rituals to find my way to another colour rather than blue.
Is there anything special you like to do for yourself, kitten, when feeling emotionally challenged? I’d love to hear about it as knowledge is power!
Love, light & blessings
A quick note before I sign off… the links in this post (apart from my doTERRA shop) are not affiliates. This means I do not receive any kick-backs for mentioning them; I have done so as I believe in them and use them myself. Just sharing the love, kitten! xo