We are just beginning to recover from the nightmare that was 2020. It’s going to take some time, and it’s important to allow ourselves the space to try to find peace again. These rituals will help you establish a routine of calm, of rest and of restoration.
· Tea. There are several blends available that specifically promote calm, but if you’d like to create your own tea, consider the following dried herbs:
You’ll only need a teaspoonful for one cup of tea. Allow your tea to steep for ten minutes, keeping it covered so it stays hot. Spend that time journaling, reading, or doing something else restful.
· Yin yoga. Yoga is a movement practice, but yin yoga slows that movement down, using poses that you can hold comfortably for some time, resting and breathing deeply, relaxing into the stretch. Common yin yoga poses include child’s pose, forward fold, heart to earth pose, butterfly pose, and reclined twist, but explore on your own to find the poses that are most restorative for you.
· Aromatherapy. It’s incredible how much a specific scent can impact our wellbeing. These peaceful, calming scents can change your mood almost instantaneously. Choose one or more of the following essential oils and add them to a diffuser:
· Crystals. Crystals have a certain resonance, a frequency within their molecules, and they can bring our energy into alignment, helping us feel more creative, abundant, empowered—and, of course, peaceful. The following crystals can soothe and calm your mind and heart:
· Breath. When we are stressed, we don’t give ourselves enough oxygen. Taking a few moments to breathe deeply calms the nervous system and allows it to shift out of overdrive. Simply inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for another count of four, then slowly release your breath through your mouth for a count of eight. Do this at least four times.
· Meditation. Meditation is so much simpler than it sounds. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing—if the above breathing exercise is helpful, you can do that. Set a timer for five minutes, as that’s all you’ll need to start, and just sit. You don’t have to do anything at all. You don’t have to clear your mind—that’s impossible. You will have thoughts that come to you, and when they do, just let them go by and go back to your breath.
· Body Scan. This is a very simple practice, and a good option for when you’re having trouble getting to sleep—which is of course the most important thing you can do for yourself. Starting at your toes, relax each of your muscles, moving slowly up your body and concentrating on each individual body part as you come to it—your calves, your knees, your hips and so forth, all the way up to your neck and head.
Calming Magic: Enchanted Rituals for Peace, Clarity, and Creativity: by Nikki Van de Car (Running Press, £12.99) is available now.