Over the past year, we’ve all seen a great deal of stress & anxiety from the pandemic. Whether it’s yourself, a close friend, a loved one, or even a colleague. I’m certain you’ve experienced that dark cloud hangin’ over your head or someone close to you. It’s heavy to read the facts around how many people have, had, or are suffering in some way with mental illness. This is why I’d like to focus on bringing awareness here. I want to take a stand to do more for my own mental health, my loved ones, and all who battle this serious topic. I do believe that even tiny steps can make a huge difference. I see the support being raised daily online, from an increase of self-love tips on Pinterest to the top beauty brands posting daily on self-care. This is fantastic as prior decades struggled to even discuss the topic of having a therapist to their friends and family, and now here I am dedicated to posting awareness all month on Mental Health & Wellness!
I hope you continue to follow along, even if some of the topics don’t pertain to your life. I’m certain that in some way it’ll shed light on what any of us can encounter with someone at some point in our life, and having the proper tools, resources or even just a place to chat can be comforting. I’ll do my best to continue my research throughout the month to share as much as I can, and in return, I hope you may be brave enough to share your experiences or tips in the comments below in hopes that we can lend a hand to even just one reader.
Here are 3 easy rituals I do each morning to help improve and care for my Mental Health:
ONE: Cleanse before Caffeine
I’m a gal who loves my daily cup of coffee or tea, but did you know how important it is to start the day with a glass of water and lemon or a bottle of fresh greens? Currently, I’m drinking one full glass of celery juice each morning prior to allowing anything else into my body. This has not only improved my overall functions in my body, but it cleanses away any “Brain Fog.”
Try it! I promise you’ll see a shift in improvement!
If you’re living near the Foothills in Los Angeles I recommend this Juicery below:
222 South San Dimas
San Dimas, California 91773
The Owner & Founder of this beautiful company is sure to bring a smile to your face, and takes every measure in ensuring quality drinks to every customer!
TWO: Smudge & Meditate
I know for some of you this ritual may come across as hippie-dippy, but as for me, it’s the only way to truly center my mind to take in the good and let go of the bad – just prior to meditation. I also enjoy a quick smudge just before rest at night to let go of today in preparation for tomorrow.
Smudging in North America is a practice common to the Indigenous people, but to my understanding, not all indigenous cultures have the same beliefs in what the smoke represents, and may also have different ceremonies and protocols. From my experiences, it can be done any time of the day to cleanse & purify any negative thoughts of a person or place.
There are also four elements involved in a smudge:
The first element is water and most use a traditional shell as a container to represent this element.
The second element is gifts from our mother earth. Most often used in the ceremony with Sage or a stick of Palo Santo wood.
The third element is fire, and during the ceremony, you’ll burn the sacred plants to represent this element.
The smoke produced from the fire represents air, the fourth element.
“My next step,” in this ritual is to begin meditation, and by doing so I prefer to relax on the ground in a comfy, cross-legged, seated position, also known as Sukhasana or sometimes I find towards the end of my mediation I’ll end in Bālāsana, Child’s Pose, or Child’s Resting Pose which is a kneeling position with forehead to the ground and I prefer to tuck my hands around my feet.
I will then end by adding a layer of black quartz sand to my sage or wood which absorbs the heat, and for me visually ends the ceremony. Just to note, there are many components involved in this sacred ritual, and different steps are practiced for different purposes and beliefs, but just remember that it’s the effort, the intent, your beliefs, and visualizations during this ritual that matters most.
THREE: Stay Active & Fit
This may come as a bit of a no-brainer, and one of those ya-ya-ya, but it truly is the most important and for most the hardest to maintain. There’s this little saying that I love to recite when I find it hard to get into an active mood, and it goes a little something like this; Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. – Mahatma Gandhi
If you can remember that quote, let it resonate into your mind then I’m certain you’ll see that it’s the effort we put into our body that matters more than the amount of weight you lift or the miles racked up on the Peleton. Stay focused on mental well being not winning an Olympic Medal. Make the effort and I promise you’ll see the changes. Start by 20 mins of yoga each day, or a walk around the block, or a few laps in the pool. We’re working, and discussing a lifestyle change, and jumping straight into 45 -60 min workouts is not attainable. Start slow, and gain improvement, dedication, and strength at your own pace.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this post, and remember that it’s important to recognize when you need to get help.
And if you find that you’re not improving with rituals or lifestyle changes then don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and contact a professional for help to talk about options for therapy or medications to treat severe cases of mental disorders.
If you don’t know where to get treatment, start by contacting your primary care provider.
I’ll leave you with a big air hug in hopes that we can continue this journey together and just know that you’re #NotAlone in this world, and there’s plenty of people who want to help.
You just need to ask…