Now, more than ever, we find peace in our solitude. Being alone gives us the power to regulate and adjust our lives. It can teach us fortitude and the ability to satisfy our own needs. A restorer of energy, the stillness of alone experiences provides us with much-needed rest. It brings forth our longing to explore, our curiosity about the unknown, our will to be an individual, our hopes for freedom. Alone time is fuel for life.
During our alone time we have the opportunity to nurture our spiritual self-care. Spiritual self-care is any ritual or practice that we do to further our connection with our higher self or a higher power. Your higher self is who we truly are as an individual, the real you.
How can we nurture this part of ourselves? It will look different for everyone but here are some ways you can nourish your soul.
I think we have all heard how great meditation is and the numerous benefits there are, so I’ll give you a quick reminder. But first, I have to say that there are different types of meditation, so explore, and do some research to see which type works for you.
A few types of meditation include:
Mindfulness meditation: This type of meditation is where you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. There is no judgement, you simply observe them and let them pass. Focusing on your breathe while you observe sensations in your body is helpful to stay in the present moment.
Transcendental meditation: Is different than mindfulness meditation and is thought more of going “deeper” into the mind into a state of restful awareness. This is done by chanting a mantra.
Movement meditation: Something as simple as walking can be done as a movement meditation. Paying attention to your feet against the ground, the wind against your skin, and your muscles engaging can turn into a mindfulness practice.
Common benefits to practicing medication include:
- Reduced anxiety
- Better sleep
- Ease symptoms of depression
- Increases self-awareness
- Manages stress
Meditation provides the most benefits when done consistently so find what feels comfortable and what you feel encouraged to keep practicing. I personally use an app. There are guided meditations that I find helpful. Or if you rather meditate freely it can track how often and how long you are meditating for. An added benefit to meditation is that it doesn’t require equipment and can be done anywhere.
Church or Community
I can’t express how important it is to do life with others! Everyone has a different belief system when it comes to spirituality, so if going to a church is not your thing, it is still important to find a community that is supportive. Studies have shown that we need a safe, secure, social network to survive and thrive. Yes, that right, to survive! It is a basic human need.
There is a difference between alone time and loneliness. Alone time is a healthy thing but when we are faced with loneliness it affects us physically, mentally, and cognitively. Loneliness is the social equivalent of physical pain, hunger, or thirst. Research shows that loneliness predicts morbidity and mortality and over time can accelerate physiological aging such as cardiovascular health risks.
Some options to find or share community include:
- joining a book club
- Having game nights
- yoga class
Connecting with Nature
Besides nature being breathtakingly beautiful, it’s a great way to reconnect and escape from the mundane of our everyday life. Having lunch outside or watching a sunset are easy ways to connect with nature. When is the last time you have walked barefoot outside? Give it a try and see how connected you feel to the earth. Check out this article if you want to try forest bathing.
As we continue through 2021 I hope we keep showing up for ourselves in every way. How will you practice spiritual self-care this month?