Empress Chronicles, Part 13: What I Do For Self-Care
Hello there beauties!
It’s been a few months since my last Empress Chronicles (I promise you, I will become more consistent with posting), and many things have now changed. I now have a podcast, another book in the works, and I am working from home again.
While I felt a certain way about this at first, I came to the realization that it was the best decision I could take. Not just for safety reasons (I’m fully vaccinated but still), but also so I could have more flexibility in my daily schedule.
See, here’s the thing: ever since I embarked in my present career, I have experienced burnout about three or four times. And while I won’t say that I didn’t learn anything from these experiences, it can be hard to not fall back into old habits and repeat certain mistakes for the sake of productivity. So I show myself grace, forgive myself, and open myself to guidance from Spirit.
Here’s what I’m learning this time around:
- Letting go of how I want things to be, and accepting the best possible outcome. You’d think that for a Pisces, I would find it easy to go with the flow, but nope! I have a tendency to hold on to things and try to control outcomes. But thanks to teachers such as the amazing Gabby Bernstein (please watch this talk of hers – it changed my life!), I am learning to let go and let the Universe do its job.
- That I need to do what I love, rather than what I think will bring in sign-ups/followers/clients/book sales/sponsorships. Rather than obsess over numbers, I am learning to let go of the outcome and align myself with my goals by doing what I really want to do: writing, helping people, and inspiring them. I won’t lie, this is difficult, especially when my income and livelihood depends on it (as well as my future), but rather than continuing to do what failed in the past, I am learning to let go and let God, so to speak. (I plan on adding more of my watercolor illustrations to my blog, even if they’re not perfect!).
- How to show myself grace. I sometimes tend to push self-discipline too far and become very hard on myself when I fail at certain things, such as sticking to a strict daily routine, or creating a certain amount of content in a given time. And if you’re thinking that this contributes directly to my burn-outs, then you’re absolutely right! When I acknowledge that this is harming my well-being and my business, I become kinder to myself and understand that this stems from the family background I came from (where I was pushed to excel but even when I did, it was never enough). I let myself off the hook and revert to a place of peace, kindness, and love.
One thing I’ve been focusing on lately is self-care. I tend to overlook that, because it wasn’t exactly my biggest priority in the chaotic few years that I spent living in fight-or-flight mode. But now that I have finally manifested a safe, healthy, and loving environment (which, ironically, happened right before the pandemic hit!), I am re-learning how to practice self-care without feeling guilt. I am releasing the voices of my relatives in the back of my head, telling me that my self-care practices are frivolous and wasteful. And I am taking it one step at a time, slowly, gently, and from a place of love, kindness, and forgiveness.
Here are some of the things I do for self-care that bring me joy (you’ll see them illustrated in my watercolor painting above!):
- Drinking water. I try to drink between a half gallon and a gallon per day. I tend to get very thirsty quickly (my girlfriend keeps alluding to that Spongebob episode where he gets dehydrated and he’s like, WAAAATEEEEEEERRRRR!!!), so I need to have a full water bottle near me at all times! Not to mention, the health benefits are real.
- Enjoying the glow of my Himalayan salt lamp. Regardless of whether the claims about salt lamps purifying the air are true or not, I love the one I have on my desk, because its light is so beautiful and relaxing!
- Drinking loose-leaf tea in pretty cups! I am always drinking tea, whether I’m working, or relaxing. I have different teas that I drink throughout the day, depending on whether I need a jolt of energy (I’ll have matcha or green tea), want to sip on something floral (Paris by Harneys and Sons is delicious!), or would like a caffeine-free nightcap (I’ll have Rooibos!). Regardless of what kind I drink, tea is an important part of my mindfulness and self-care ritual.
- Diffusing essential oils! I have a slight addiction to Revive Essential Oils, a company that, among other things, creates copycat blends of MLM companies (like Young Living and DoTerra). I dislike MLMs with a passion, but there were some blends that I used to think I could only get from such companies (so I would buy them from consultants or on Amazon). Until I discovered Revive and was able to get my hands on my must-have single oils and blends without overpaying from them or supporting unethical businesses (disclaimer: this post isn’t sponsored by Revive). The blends that I currently diffuse are Stress Easy, Joy, and Epiphany, and God, these smells bring me so much joy!
- Having plants all over the place! I finally am starting to figure out how to keep them alive and healthy, so I keep telling my girlfriend, who’s a bit of a plant addict (to say the least!) that she has my approval to buy more plants and basically turn our apartment into a greenhouse. Our plants bring me so much joy, and they do have a positive effect on the energy of the apartment overall.
- Burning scented candles. This was something I couldn’t do for a long time (…living in toxic households is basically like being in prison), so I’m so grateful to not only be able to burn candles whenever I want to, but have a girlfriend who want them going 24/7! (I’m also very grateful that our cats do not care about them whatsoever – wish I could say the same about carpets, rubber mats, and toilet paper).
- Painting with watercolors! I discovered watercolors two years ago and they have since become one of my go-to mindfulness practices! While I am working on improving my skills so I can become as good as my all-time favorite artist, Inslee Farris, I also see watercolors as a way to explore beauty and color from a spiritual perspective. Watercolors may be difficult, but they teach you to be in the moment and have patience. It is a wonderful, relatively mess-free medium to work with, which is always a plus in my book!
I also have been working out as regularly as possible – going on walks with my pup, exercising with my girlfriend, or doing some yoga at home. I do it for my mental health, rather than for weight loss or fitness – whenever I get some movement in, I experience less anxiety and stress. I’m also determined to improve the quality of my sleep, because I know intuitively (and have science backing me up) that quality sleep is the key to improving every other aspect of my life!
What have you been doing for your self-care lately? What are the practices that bring you peace and joy? Please tell me in the comments!