We live in crazy times. Sometimes it feels like staying sane is a full-time job, and amping up daily. Political turmoil, immigration issues, environmental disasters, human rights scandals. Then, places where many people go to find solace fall apart as spiritual communities disintegrate under the burden of unethical leaders. Where do we turn for self care?
The short answer is: inside. We turn inside to find the answers.
Anytime we look for answers outside in the phenomenal world, we turn away from our inner wisdom. Sanity can be found by sitting still, getting silent and then learning to listen to the messages that arise. Just like in any close relationship, we have to nurture our connection with sanity. Give her space and an generous invitation and she will show up. Here are a few ideas for how to do that.
Here are 18 Simple Self Care Tips To Stay Sane:
- Wake Up Early And Take A Walk
Even a short walk in the garden will do. Make one of your first breaths of the day full out outside air. Reconnect with nature–our source– right from the start of the day.
- Establish Daily Routines
Routines serve as back up for when you get lost. They are back-up plans for when you lose the path. Just like meditation serves as sane focus for your mind, routines serve as a sane focus for your activities–your body.
- Eat Breakfast In Silence, Without Technology
Isn’t it nice to have peace and quiet? Let your mind have space until you are ready to engage with the world.
- Designate (At Least) One Day A Week To Forego Sugar–Feel The Empowerment
Sugar gives you a surge then sucks your energy–and your minerals, which feed the nervous system. So when these get depleted, your nervous system gets agitated, making it hard to relax and stay grounded. Eat real–unprocessed–food.
- Keep A Stock Of Herbal Remedies
Valerian, Kava Kava, Rescue Remedy and chamomile tea are some of my favorites. I use these liberally. I also love this herbal formula called Relax, and this fantastic tincture called Serenity, made right here in Crestone.
- Lie Down
The quickest and easiest way to ground, regroup, refresh, replenish and restore. I’m a huge fan of the siesta, and shavasana.
- Listen To A Grounding Guided Meditation Or Relaxation
We all need a bit of support from time to time. When I’m feeling edgy, I love letting someone else guide me into a deep relaxation. Click here to listen to a 5 minute guided relaxation.
- Talk Less, Listen More
We’ve got two ears and one mouth. Is it a hint? Listening allows space; talking fills it.
- Ditch Your Car When You Can
Traffic is maddening, in both senses of the word mad. Take the bus and read a book. Walk, ride or cycle. Carpool. Or stay at home…
- Put Your Phone In A Drawer
You know this. Put it away for extended periods of time, like when you are dining with friends. Lift your head and smile at someone. Look them in the eye. You don’t always have to be available.
- Go On A Weekly Culture Or Nature Date
Take yourself out of the pop culture and deepen into one aspect of our rich life on the planet. Beauty is healing, whether natural or creative. Celebrate the arts–local, global, historic, whatever. Earth with art is just “eh.”
Self care is knowing what supports your state of mind. I always feel better —bien dans ma peau–after a swim in the ocean. But I live in land-locked Colorado. So I frequently go to the hot springs, and daily to my bathtub. Sanctuary.
No, not that. Although with marijuana now legal in so many places you might be tempted. I personally don’t feel very sane on the rare occasions that I indulge–and never by smoking. Yes, it can help relax, but I find the residual effects counteract any relaxation with a lack of clarity. I prefer to keep clear and find other ways to relax. Inhale essential oils instead: lavender, rose, chamomile. Very grounding.
When things start getting heated, ask yourself: will this matter on my deathbed? So much of what consumes our daily attention provokes us to react. We are temporary features on this planet, so focus on what is the kindest response–to yourself and others. Go with what feels harmonious and retreat from what feels discordant. You’ll save a lot of energy and stop spinning wheels. And while you’re still alive…
As consciously as possible. Breath is our guidance system. When you pause to check in with your breath (instead of your phone, for example) you are by default checking in with a sane state of mind. When you get practiced at this, you’ll discover all sorts of information: thoughts, feelings, hunches, intuition about what’s happening. If you tune in to these messages, you’ll be able to make more informed choices.
- Take Magnesium
Magnesium gets leached from the bones when we get stressed. Studies have associated low magnesium with depressive tendencies and insomnia. So if you are low on magnesium, you might notice your sleep getting disturbed and your mood getting dark. You can also get this deeply grounding mineral by eating (preferably raw) chocolate–although I prefer not to eat chocolate in the evening as it can affect sleep. So if you go with cacao, do it earlier in the day.
- Shut Your Computer Down At Least An Hour Before Bed
I don’t mean just closing the notebook. I mean turning it off. That way you won’t be tempted to do “just one more thing” before bed. Light from your computer screen agitates the nervous system and makes it hard to settle in to sleep. Not to mention all the bad news you can find there…
- Get An Alarm Clock
Do you really want to know all the news first thing in the morning? Turn your phone off and put it in a kitchen drawer when you go to bed. Make it part of your daily routine when you will choose to turn on your phone.
Making even small efforts to prioritize your sanity and self care will start to change your experience. From an ultimate perspective, everything is an illusion, though at times these illusions trap us in difficult emotions. Setting aside time to tend to self care invites a sane response to a world gone completely mad.