Mastering The Art of Self Care

Your 8 Day Challenge

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8 Ways To Take Care of Yourself

I have come to learn that self-care does not come naturally to everybody including myself. Perhaps you recognize this yourself. My character tends to place other peoples needs first. This obviously gives me a sense of fulfillment. The danger is that I run dry, without energy to even give to myself or child.

This 8-day challenge to mastering the art of self-care will introduce you to simple and unique ways to take care of yourself and feel amazing. You’ll only need a few minutes each day because hey we know you’re busy and we take care of each other here!

 

The Art of Taking Care of Yourself

Yoga has supported me a long way and helps me listen to the needs of my body and mind. I have made little daily rituals a constant part of my life because self-care is an art and goes further than the basic needs.

It is now my intention to give myself more than I give others. It is my need that I have enough to give to my children, husband, friends, students and still obtain an abundance of Prana (Life force energy) for myself.

If you recognize yourself in the above and find that you tend to place the needs of others before your own then take your time to read through this challenge and download the challenge checklist to help you along.

Taking Care of Yourself Requires Planning

If you feel you are not a planner, we can absolutely shake hands!  Self-care is not my default setting and have found out that I have to plan these moments in my diary/day.

Mastering the Art of Self Care

Day 1 | Surrender

Today, I challenge you to take a moment (or a few) to surrender. When busy with a certain activity take a moment to be fully present in the moment and just allowing it to be what it is.

You do this by focussing your attention to your breath. The point of the exercise is not to change your manner of breathing, just let it flow naturally. After settling into the natural flow of your breath for about 10-15 inhales and exhales, start letting go by exhaling deeply and listening to what your body needs. Maybe you need to make yourself a cup of tea, go to bed earlier tonight, take a yoga class, go for a walk, call a friend, or perhaps you just need to go to the bathroom.

This shouldn’t take you more than a minute or two. It is the most important step in the series because through this simple exercise the rest will follow.  It will create more peace in your daily life.

Set an alarm clock today to go off every hour and practice implementing this. A ringtone that triggers a peaceful feeling is recommended. Practice and soon this little practice will become natural.

 

Tools to Surrender

Essential oil

Sandalwood is an excellent oil to support you during your moment of surrendering. It supports during meditation because of its grounding and uplifting properties.

Yoga Pose

Place your hands in Anjali Mudra (Position of prayer in front of your heart). Inhale and while exhaling bow your head to your heart. Turning inwards, connecting your head with heart. Take the moment to listen to what your heart tells you.

Mastering the Art of Self Care

Day 2 | Evaluate

Today, I challenge you to take a moment to evaluate your day. Without knowing how we are doing and what we would like to improve on, it will be difficult to truly take care of ourselves. One of my favorite ways to evaluate this is by journalling at the end of the day. This process of evaluating through journalling only needs to take a few minutes.

Tonight ask yourself if you have given your body and mind what it needed today. Write down what comes up and set your intention to fulfill this need the next day. Simple!

Tools to Evaluate

Essential oil

Elevation blend by dōTERRA is a great blend to add to your bath after a long day of work. It will help you release heavy emotions and get you into the right mindset to set your intentions. Have a favorite diary to journal, light a candle, place your favorite oils in the diffuser. Set the mood for yourself.

Yoga Pose

Viparita Karani (see picture) is a great way to take a moment to relax. Connect with the earth via exhalation letting go of tension in your lower back and place your right hand on your heart and left above your belly button. Observe thoughts that arise, but be aware you are not your thoughts.

Mastering the Art of Self Care

Day 3 | Love

Today, I challenge you to do something that isn’t always easy. Love yourself. Only by loving yourself can you give love or love others. So how do we start doing this?

Practice today by being kind to yourself when you did not meet a need and observe the following. What is your dialogue with yourself? How do you treat yourself? Would you treat someone you love this way? How can you be kinder to yourself? Writing the answers to these down in a journal would be a wonderful way to keep track of your inner thought process and changing them for the better.

Be mindful of the words you use and just like talking to someone you love, talk to yourself in the same way.

Tools to Love Yourself

For me, this always is harder when I do not feel balanced hormonally. My self-talk tends to be more insecure during these times.

Essential oil

Clary Calm blend was my favorite during pregnancy. This topical blend gives a cooling sensation and helps balance emotions. During your menstruation cycle, you can apply it on your abdomen in a clockwise circular motion to experience a soothing and calming massage.

Yoga Pose

Dynamic Breath exercise. Bringing your hands in front of your heart in Anjali Mudra. While inhaling moving your hands wide away from your body horizontally. During your exhale bring your hands back to your heart while moving your belly button inwards activating your core. This exercise will create space in your heart, all the while releasing blockages during exhalation.

View exercise example on my video below.

Mastering the Art of Self Care

Day 4 | Forgive

Today, I challenge you to open yourself up to forgive. Forgive yourself for the past. Let go and live now. This will inevitably open up time, energy and space to truly caring for yourself. This is often not achieved in a single day but if you are willing to start making steps, you will get there.

Practice today is about being present. When you notice you feel negativity towards a situation, yourself or perhaps another person take a breath. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling at that moment and then choose to let go of it by focusing on what is happening in the present moment.

Perhaps you are in the midst of an activity which will make it easier to do so. If you are not, focus on the sounds, smells and sights that you can observe in the moment and practice being present in your day to day activities.

This mindful way of living will attune you to your needs right now. It will prevent you from staying stagnant, and keep you in the flow of your life. Take your time, small steps are all you need to start implementing The Art of Self Care.

 

Tools to Forgive

Essential oil

Forgive by dōTERRA was developed to help you discover the liberating action of forgiving, forgetting, and moving on. The herbaceous, fresh, and woody aroma promotes feelings of contentment and relief, creating a path to let go of burdens and guilt. You can rub it over your heart to help you forgive yourself and others.

Yoga Pose

Balasana (child’s pose) is a beautiful pose close to the earth. Allowing you to let go while exhaling letting those fall away from you into the earth, which can transform this energy into that which the earth needs. Close and turning within holding your inner child forgiving the past and once gently coming upwards feeling renewed and present in the current moment.

Mastering the Art of Self Care

Day 5 | Create

Today is one of my favorite days because it makes such a big difference when you need a little R&R. Create your sacred space. Make sure you have a place at home where you can retrieve yourself. Even if it is to journal or meditate.

Find some time today to dedicate space in your house that is just for when you want to be with yourself. It doesn’t have to be large, in fact, just a corner with a couple of pillows or a beautiful yoga mat will do wonders.

Make an altar of little ornaments you love. Diffuse the essential oils that you need in that current moment. Anything that gives you a sense of peace and happiness. Take a couple of minutes to emerge in that sense of peace.

Create that for yourself. At work, you could carry this sacred space with you by carrying your favorite oil of the day. Or a gemstone. Or even a little redecorating to create that sense of calm.

This process is always so enjoyable for me, I hope it is for you too.

 

Tools to Create

Essential oil

My current favorite essential blend to create my sacred space is Myrrh, Patchouli, Geranium, and Frankincense. I place two drops of each in my diffuser.

Yoga Pose

Sukhasana is the comfortable cross-legged meditation pose. Perfect to connect with your breathing and sacred space within you.

Mastering the Art of Self Care

Day 6 | Action

Take action to acquire what you need.

If you want to meditate 15 minutes daily, plan it. Talk about it with your partner and discuss how you can make this happen. Set an alarm on your phone. Sometimes all that is stopping us is our mind telling us there is no time. You will be surprised how there is always enough.

Dare to ask for help. This can be an accountability buddy, a friend or partner.

Today, take a few minutes to feel and write down all the things that your body and mind needs to feel your best. Then pick one or two things off the list and take action to fulfill that need. Schedule it in your agenda and book that spa treatment, make arrangements with your partner for some time off, or set a lunch date with a loved one.

Self Care Tip to Act

Are you someone who works with to-do lists? Then make a separate space in your daily planner for Self Care. Be reminded of the importance of taking care of you.

Essential oil

Absolute favorites for action are citrus essential oils and peppermint essential oil, or even better the Motivate blend by dōTERRA. This blend promotes feelings of confidence, courage, and belief, and counteracts negative emotions of doubt, pessimism, and cynicism. It also smells delicious!

Mastering the Art of Self Care

Day 7 | Rest

Today I want you to focus on making sure you rest enough because this is a crucial element in self-care.

Practice going to bed at a decent time and starting a healthy bedtime routine.

Tonight, turn off that phone and computer at least an hour before bedtime.

If you have a job that does not leave you the choice. Take time to wind down. Rest your eyes for ten minutes before you go to sleep with soaked cotton pads in rose water. Massage your feet with your sleepy oils, like lavender or vetiver. This will help you have a better quality of night sleep.

Take a 20-minute nap during the day if you get the chance. Recharge that battery.

How to Rest

Essential oil

I absolutely love rubbing my feet with the Serenity essential oil blend by dōTERRA before going to bed. It relaxes me, gives me a feeling of peace and during pregnancy even helped with my restless legs. Other oils that I use to give a sense of relaxation are: Lavender, Sandalwood, and the Balance blend.

Yoga Pose

Lying in Savasana (Corpse pose) gives your body and mind the chance to relax. By bringing your awareness to each body part while exhaling you will feel how you immerse in the present moment, letting go and getting into a state of complete relaxation. You could always place a bolster under your knees, to help you release the tension in your lower back.

Mastering the Art of Self Care

Day 8 | Eat

Mastering the art of self-care also means eating nutritious home cooked food as much as possible. This is also an act of love for yourself.

The yogis believe we take on the energy the food was cooked with. So if you get take-away a lot, this would mean you are taking on the energy of that person who perhaps is having an annoying day.

If you feel rushed or don’t have the time. Make sure you meal prep. Prepare your meals and when you do make it an enjoyable activity for yourself. Listen to your favorite music. Drink your favorite drink. Treat yourself and make sure you will be looking forward to that meal.

If you really struggle with this one, ask for help. You help others and it is ok to accept help too. Or make it a joined activity, cooking with your partner or friends.

Today, take the time to cook a healthy meal for yourself that makes you happy. 

 

Support for a Nutritious Meal

Now in my third trimester of pregnancy I don’t fancy going to the shop carrying around my groceries. By ordering these online I have saved a lot of time. This has created more space for self-care and time to cook.

I have ready-made lists with my day to day groceries which I simply add and distract from. It costs me around €3,- to get it delivered which I find more than worth it.

Cooking Tools

The enjoyment of cooking also really depends on how easy it is to make a meal. This is very dependent on your kitchenware. Make sure you have what you need to make this a daily habit. Check out our kitchen favorites for some inspiration.

We hope you loved this challenge created by Sandra Wilson. In addition to being absolutely one of our favorite yoga teachers of all time. She is an amazing businesswoman, a great friend, and a really cool yoga mama with two adorable little bodhisattvas.
  

Which insight or takeaway is most relevant to your life right now and why?

Leave a comment below and let us know. If you can, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Amazing people come here for insight and inspiration and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.
 
Thank you so much for reading and adding your perspective to the conversation! If you know anyone – your mom, daughter, a friend or anyone else – who could really benefit from some self-care, share this post with them. 

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So Exciting!

I'm so happy that you've decided to do this for yourself. You'll get inspiration, education and a good dose of laughing out loud fun! You'll also get exclusive resources that you just won't get anywhere else.

"When you wake up in the morning you have two choices: go back to sleep, or wake up and chase those dreams!" - Unknown

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Grab Your Free Copy Of The Self Care Checklist


As a thank you for stopping by, we've put together this beautiful checklist with our top 8 methods for self-care to make it super easy for you. Enjoy!

You did it!