Well friends, today I find myself in the midst of a flareup, which means it will be an indoor May Day for me. The most I’m able to manage today is a little meditation and relaxing in the sun, but I also wanted to share a few of my regular magical self-care tips for anyone else needing a little extra relaxation right now.
Self-care can mean many different things depending on what you need to give yourself a mental reset or to help you relax. Some people also have certain activities that they personally find very relaxing, whereas others might find it too physically or mentally taxing. It’s important to have a range of activities in your self-care regimen to adapt to your different needs.
Do a Little Cleaning
This is one of those activities that some might not view as self-care, but I like to have it on my list because it often helps me relax. I grew up in a hoarded house that progressively got worse as I got older, so clutter and a generally dirty home can easily drive my anxiety through the roof. If I’m feeling particularly anxious or fidgety, I’ll do a little organizing and cleaning around the house which instantly helps me calm down.
While cleaning, I like to light a black candle to help me banish any negative energy that’s accumulated in my home. While sweeping it’s also helpful to sweep towards the outside doors and visualize yourself sweeping the negativity or any unwanted energies and spirits out of your home. If I’m using any cleaners, I like to use lemon-scented products to invoke relaxation as well as gentle energy and warmth. Finally, when I’m done cleaning I light a white candle to finish cleansing the space.
Baths, Skin Care & Glamours
Taking a bath or doing a little beauty and skincare are frequently included in self-care routines and for good reason! A nice hot bath with scented bath salts, bubble bath, or an herb-infused bath tea is the perfect way to relax both physically and mentally. Choose scents and herbs to correspond with the energies you want to invoke for your bath, and allow your skin to absorb all of those properties. If I want to take a magical bath, I will typically opt for a bath tea with herbs that will help me complete a glamor, relaxation, or cleansing spell. I’ll also light a couple of candles and do a little incantation while the bath is filling to set the spell.
After a bath or shower, I almost always use a scented lotion to seal in my spells or for a glamour itself. I have one floral-scented lotion with shimmer in it that I like to use for glamours in particular because it adds such a beautiful glow to my skin and helps me feel the beauty or radiance that I intended flowing from my skin. Another lotion that I love to use to seal in relaxation and cleansing spells in a lemon-ginger lotion from Bath & Body Works. The smell is so soothing that it helps me carry the relaxed light feeling of my spell throughout the day.
In general, I feel like glamours are a great form of self-care that anyone can use for a number of purposes. They help me on days when I am feeling low on spoons or anxious, but I still need to go out and go to work, run errands, or socialize. If I feel like I’m lacking confidence, energy, or determination I will do a glamour before leaving the house to give me the appearance I need to get through the day. It’s my magical method of fake it till you make it.
Meditation & Journaling
Meditation is a great form of self-care when you want to do something magical but don’t have a lot of energy to do so. You can turn on some gentle music, light a candle, or light some incense and set your mind to your intentions. If you haven’t tried to meditate before or struggle to get into the right state of mind, try doing a little guided meditation. There are tons of guided meditation videos on YouTube, and I’ll occasionally use them for astral projection, lucid dreaming, or to simply help my mind focus.
If you’re not one for meditation, journaling is a great option to focus your mind and work through any issues you’re facing or focus your mind on your religious or magical practice. I try to keep a regular witchcraft journal to help track my progress while I develop my practice and meditate on my devotions to the Gods.
Finally, one of the best forms of self-care (especially in our society of constant production) is to just do nothing and be okay with that. Since finishing school, I feel like I’m not doing enough if I’m not being constantly productive and it can become stressful or exhausting. When I get tired, indecisive, or stressed out, I’ve been starting to tell myself that it’s okay to not want to do anything. It’s okay to not be constantly productive. Sometimes we just need to sit and veg out or do nothing at all. Binge-watch a show you’ve seen a hundred times, play solitaire for an hour or two, or just take a nap. Our brains and bodies need rest, so let yourself just rest.
I hear witches and pagans worry about using their free time to rest and do nothing, thinking that they should be spending that time working on their practice or communing with their Gods. I feel like that a lot myself, but that doesn’t mean that we should exhaust ourselves when we don’t have the energy to put into our practice. Our Gods will understand when we can’t give them the attention they deserve, and our practice will be there when we’re well-rested. Take a little time to yourself and be okay with taking a step away from everything for a little bit.