fall-self-care

Fall Self-Care Ideas to Finish Out the Year

We’re over a month into autumn, now, so what better time to talk about fall self-care, right? Better late than never.

fall self-care

Self-care is something that you should pay attention to all year long, of course, but there’s something about fall that inspires me to think about it a little more critically. Some of the things you do for yourself for fall self-care might be a little different than the rest of the year, and that can be a a good thing.

Disclosure Announcement: Some of my posts contain affiliate links that I’ll clearly designate, which means that I earn a small amount back if you click through my link and purchase something. It doesn’t cost you any more and helps me to keep my site going. That commission doesn’t affect my opinion about whatever I’m recommending.

What Makes Fall Self-care Different?

For the purposes of this topic, it’s probably important to note that I’m in the southeastern part of the United States. Your weather and your experience at this time of year might be different.

Where I live, fall is finally starting to make itself known. The leaves are finally changing, the weather is getting cooler (for the most part), and the Christmas decorations have been out in stores since August. (Whole other issue there.)

It’s also a time of year when I personally start experiencing fall allergies, might get sick more often, and just generally feel more run down.  I’ve gotten through the hot, humid depths of summer and I’m ready to shed all of that — much like the trees are shedding their leaves — and let a newer version of me out.

Paying attention to what I’m doing to care for myself at this time helps me to do all of that.

What Qualifies?

Here’s where we start to have fun. There are people who will tell you that fall self-care — and any self-care, for that matter — consists of specific tasks and to dos or it doesn’t count. I’m not going to be that dictatorial with you. In the end, whatever helps you to feel better and loved by yourself is self-care, even if that means that you’re just paying attention and not necessarily doing one particular thing.

That said, if you need or want some ideas to help you map out your fall self-care plan, I’ve got some.

Start a Gratitude Journal

I’m a huge fan of journaling in general and gratitude journaling in particular. Focusing on what you’re grateful for helps you to shift your mindset, particularly if you’re feeling a lot of lack right now. This isn’t about ignoring what you’re truly lacking or in need of, by the way. It’s about noticing and acknowledging that you do have plenty to be grateful for already and you can work toward having more to feel grateful for. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can jot one to three words on scrap paper and it’s a gratitude journal.

If you’re interested in journaling in general, especially in order to do some shadow work and to get deeply into some issues that have been bothering you, I highly recommend {affiliate link alert} Gwynne Michele’s book Bitchslap Journaling. [Aside: It’s part of the {another affiliate link} Kindle Unlimited program and you don’t have to have a Kindle to be able to read it. (If you sign up at that affiliate link, you can get a 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited and I’ll get a small reward from Amazon.)]

Bitchslap Journaling is not for the faint of heart, I must warn you. But what you *can* do is start out easy with it and delve deeper as you feel able to do so.

Purge Some Stuff

Mother Nature is purging some stuff, at least here in the southeastern United States, and fall self-care is a good time to purge some stuff, too.

Fall tends to be when I get a lot better about keeping my email inbox under a couple hundred emails at a time, for example. It’s also when my computer’s desktop is a bit cleaner.

Something new that I’ve tried this year is a social media cleanup. I’m debating deleting some accounts that I no longer use, such as my Twitter account, and I recently did a radical thing on Facebook. I killed my newsfeed.

A couple of months ago I installed the Social Fixer plugin and that helped a lot. Then I ran across this article about Facebook and how it keeps us locked into it all day, every day and installed News Feed Eradicator. Most of us are fairly aware of the fact that Facebook is manipulating us, but that article helps to lay it all out and it’s fascinating. Meanwhile, I’m in love with News Feed Eradicator.

Rest

Rest is underrated. In western societies, it’s even regarded as lazy. Start learning what your body needs and give it what it needs when you can. If you can rest, do so. You don’t have to spend every moment of every day running at full speed. In fact, if you do, you’re going to burn yourself out.

Go Outside

Fall self-care is the perfect time for you to go outside more often. It’s cooler here than it has been, which means that it’s so much nicer to be outside. Get some fresh air and enjoy what you can of your surroundings before the super cold weather gets here and you’re trapped inside. Being outside more often is also a great way to make sure that you’re getting more vitamin D naturally.

Ground, Ground, Ground

I’m a huge fan of grounding. We lead such scattered lives and our attention is demanded in so many different directions that it’s easy to lose your mooring. Grounding is a way to get it back. There are plenty of essential oils and crystals you can use for grounding, which I detailed in this linked post. There are also a ton of other ways listed over there that you can ground.

Hopefully some of these fall self-care ideas work for you.

What are some of your favorite self-care ideas for this time of year? Comment below!

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Your Root Chakra: Fixing It When It’s Out of Balance

Let’s talk about your root chakra, shall we?

Quick note – this is not perfect or comprehensive. This is what’s occurring to me now to share with you in a moment of my own crisis. If I’ve missed something big, please feel free to leave a comment.

Your root chakra is at the base of all your chakras. It’s responsible for your spine, your feet, your kidneys, and way more. It’s also closely tied to your feelings of safety and security.

root chakra

Your root chakra is associated with the color red primarily, and meditating on or surrounding yourself with the color red can help you to realign your root chakra.

When your root chakra is working as it should, you’re confident and secure with in your place in the world. When it isn’t, you’re likely to experience a variety of issues.

Out of Balance or Blocked Root Chakra

When your root chakra is out of balance or blocked, you’re likely to be angry, insecure, and just feel as if you’re constantly on the edge of fight or flight. You might also have physical pain, especially in your lower back. Modern Western medicine is quick to dismiss the chakra system, but some physicians are opening up to the possibilities that this area, the lower back and sacral area in particular, have some ties to how you’re feeling on an emotional level.

Why Tell You This Today?

Let me tell you something before we get to fixing imbalances.

I woke up today angry. Not just angry, but absolutely furious at my deepest core. This past weekend’s events in Charlottesville, VA were horrifying and evil. Not unsurprising, unfortunately, considering that white supremacy and racism are the very foundations upon which this nation was built.

And this needs to change. “Smash the white supremacist patriarchy” is on my to do list every single day. Every day. Marginalized groups everywhere have to deal with this every day and if you’re white? It’s now your fight, too.

So yesterday, when Tangerine Nightmare stood in front of a bank of reporters and claimed that counter-protesters were violent and that white supremacists were really great folks, I lost my grip a bit on reality. I have never been so angry in my life.

WE MUST DO BETTER. And when I woke up just as angry with my lower back aching and screaming, I knew I had to get a grip or I would be useless.

If you are angry, you have to be able to channel that anger into action. That’s what anger is really good for: Serving as fuel for the action that is to come.

Now, let’s get that anger moving in the right direction.

Let’s talk about your root chakra, shall we? Click To Tweet

What Worked for Me Today

You’ve got a lot more tools available to you for an imbalanced/blocked root chakra than you think.

Here’s what I did this morning:

  • I took a bath in Epsom salts.
  • I infused the bath with Reiki.
  • I meditated, focusing on a red flame in my root chakra. At first, it was small, like a pilot light. My guides whispered, “Bigger. Bigger.” And it became a bank of red flames. Gorgeous stuff.
  • I did some SoulClicks meditating. [See also: Get your own SoulClicks activation.]
  • I remembered that we are living in the Time of Towers and I visualized a better world. Destruction must come before rebuilding, but it’s hard. So hard. I know that I am here for a reason, even if I don’t fully understand that reason yet.

By the time I left the salt bath, I wasn’t just calmer. My back didn’t hurt anymore and I could think clearly. The fire in my root has direction.

Now, just because this worked for me today, that doesn’t mean it would work for me every time my root chakra is out of whack.

Fixing Imbalances in Your Root Chakra

There is SO much you can do for a blocked root chakra.

Mantras and Affirmations

Mantras and affirmations give your brain something to settle on and to hold while you center yourself. Used regularly, they can even be the source of your centering. Mantras to use for your root chakra:

  • I am safe.
  • I am grounded.
  • I have all that I need.
  • I am at peace within my surroundings.
  • I trust.
  • I stand in my power.
  • I am connected.
  • I am abundant.

Crystals

In general, you’re going to want grounding stones, like hematite, black tourmaline, smokey quartz. Also, red stones work wonders. Red jasper, red carnelian, garnet, ruby. Don’t have one of these crystals available? Search for a picture and invite the stone in the picture to help you. May seem woo woo, but it can work, so don’t knock it.

Essential Oils

You can get all complicated with this or simply put a few drops of the oil you choose from this list into an inhaler. {affiliate link} When you need extra help, take a few deep breaths from the inhaler. So, oils:

  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Sandalwood
  • Cedarwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Rosemary
  • Patchouli
  • Palo santo

Grounding/Earthing

So many people make this so complicated. It doesn’t have to be. Go sit outside. Plant your butt or your feet directly on the earth and just be for a few minutes. If you’re lucky enough to have a wooded area, go deeply into it. Can’t do any of that? Close your eyes and imagine roots going deep into the earth. Don’t have time for that or you’re doing something like driving? Put your hand over your heart and take five or six super deep breaths.

Salt Cleansing

Salt is incredibly cleansing, particularly in terms of energy. That link is to a search for different options for energetic cleansing with salt. Most people recommend sea salt, but Epsom salts work fantastically well. Also, most people are deficient in magnesium and could use a dunk in Epsom salts now and again.

Energy Brushing

In a pinch, brushing the energy of your aura can help you to do some good for your root and other chakras. Start with a hand at the base of your belly, a few inches under your belly button. Hold your hands parallel to your body, about an inch or two away, and sweep upwards and outwards. You’re disrupting the flow and helping to create a more positive flow of energy.

Meditation

Meditating can do so, so much for you. It calms your brain and allows you to focus. But it’s not difficult. Sit in a quiet, comfortable spot. Clear your brain as much as you can and focus on your breathing. When a thought pops in, not if – when, refocus on your breathing. The idea here isn’t that you’re going to fully clear your brain, because you won’t. What you’re doing is giving your brain a break. It gets easier, so stick with it. Also, if you’re new to meditating, don’t go for a half hour out of the gate. Start with a minute. Two minutes. Work your way up.

Energy Healing and Clearing

Use Reiki, if you can, to help clear your energy. So many practitioners, me included, offer free group Reiki sessions. I offer a free mid-month Reiki group session every month over on my Facebook page. Stop by, click “Going,” and you’re signed up. If you need more intensive Reiki, let me know. There are tons of other options, such as SoulClicks. Gwynne explains it so much better than I could, so read her post about her unique energy system. Find what works for you and what you love.

Dance, Move, Get Active

The root chakra is your base, your root. It’s all about movement and physicality. Move, get active. Do whatever is within your ability to do. Have an impromptu dance party with your favorite music. Go for a run. Do yoga or Pilates. Do something active.

Meet Your Physical Needs

Remember, the root chakra is all about security, safety. If your needs aren’t being met, you’re not going to feel safe and secure. Have you eaten? When did you last have a big glass of water? Look for whatever physical needs you need to meet now and solve those issues if at all possible.

There’s more. There’s so much more, but this is already so very long. These basics should help you get started. Remember: Your root chakra is your base. If it’s out of balance and not working properly, the rest of you will have a difficult time functioning.

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Get Yourself Grounded – A Little Bit of Why, Much More How

But why should you get grounded? Yeah, that’s a long answer. Let’s shortcut it a bit and I’ll say that grounding is all about helping yourself feel safe, secure, and rooted into the here and now. So it’s great when you’re feeling scattered or flighty or unsafe.

You can go through some complicated moves to get yourself grounded. You can do 20-minute guided meditations that walk you through a lush forest in the height of spring and get all kinds of grounded and that’s groovy. But if you’re grounding because you’re having an anxiety attack? Trust me when I tell you that you need something faster.

Grounding is all about helping yourself feel safe, secure, and rooted into the here and now. Click To Tweet

So, here are some of my favorite quick ways to get grounded. Many of these you can do anywhere at any time.

1. Go Outside

Easy enough, this one. Go outside, if you can. Stand in the grass, put your hand on a tree, get barefoot. You don’t have to wait long for this to kick in. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let Nature do some work. If you have some extra time, while you’re standing amongst Nature with your eyes closed, try to visualize roots sprouting from your feet, deep into the earth. Literally root yourself. 

2. Hand Over Heart

This one is perfect when you can’t get outside and you really don’t have the wherewithal to visualize much of anything. Put your hand over your heart and take five slow, deep breaths. The deep breathing and the hand over your heart work together to ground and calm you right away.

3. Crystals, Rocks, Stones

I’m a crystal hound, so this is one of my absolute favorite ways to ground. If you’ve got crystals available, take advantage. Some of the best for grounding:

 Hematite
 Black tourmaline
 Smoky topaz
 Smoky quartz
 Obsidian
 Onyx
 Clear quartz

In a pinch and no crystals on you? Grab any old rock or stone. They’re all grounding, I promise. They’re of the earth and they’ll help you to root yourself.

4. Essential Oils

Love me some essential oils. If you’re new to them, you need to read up before just throwing them on your body. I’ve been using them for 20 years and I’m still learning. Always dilute, don’t diffuse them around cats (cats cannot process EOs), and really figure out what you’re doing first.

Oils I like for grounding:

 Cedarwood (both Atlas and Virginia)
 Frankincense
 Myrrh
 Palo Santo
 Patchouli
 Sandalwood
 Vetiver
 Spikenard
 Lavender 

5. Smudging

I love me some smudging. It clears the energy and puts me right in my happy place, every single time. My two favorites for smudging are sage and Palo Santo, but incense can work, too. Now, you can’t smudge everywhere, which is where Florida water can come in. It’s not water from Florida, even though it sounds like it.  It’s actually alcohol, usually vodka, with essential oils mixed in and then left to get to know each other for a bit. You can buy some, but if you’re into essential oils, you can make your own much cheaper. BONUS: Florida water doubles as a killer perfume. 

6. Reiki

I find Reiki incredibly grounding. It clears energies and leaves me feeling centered and solid. But not everybody has access to Reiki every time that they need it, so it’s not always a fast emergency grounding technique. If you’re finding it difficult to ground through other means, though, you might find that a few sessions of Reiki help you to clear the way and ground on your own much more readily. If you’re interested, we can set up a remote session.

Keep the process of grounding easy so you can do it any time you feel the need. Click To Tweet

So those are *my* favorite ways to ground – got more you can suggest? Put them in the comments!

fall-self-care

What My Coffee Pot Taught Me about Aligning My Life

A few months ago I started getting a specific message during meditation and at other times. I kept hearing that I needed to work on aligning my life. What the what? How the hell was I gonna do that? I didn’t even understand what the phrase meant. My coffee pot helped me to figure out what aligning could mean and what it had to do with improving my flow.

So, when you see the phrase “align yourself,” what do you think? Like I said, I didn’t know what to think at all. And the message kept popping up. Every time I turned around, it seemed that’s what I would hear. At the time, I was trying to shove a square peg into a round hole in my professional life. I wanted to launch a very specific business and it wasn’t working. I couldn’t figure out why and I was frustrated.

So Frustrated

I was also frustrated with a lot of other things. My time management. My energy levels. My failed idea for a side business. My freaking coffee pot.What My Coffee Pot Taught Me about Aligning My Life

Wait, what?

Yeah, my coffee pot. We have one of those Mr. Coffee 4-cup coffee makers. It’s about a million years old, but I do love it. It makes just enough coffee to fill up my husband’s travel mug for the trip to work and still leaves me with a full cup of coffee. Well, let’s be honest, my mug holds more like two cups of coffee, but still. We both get coffee and I only have to wait for the one pot to brew.

But here’s the thing. I was starting to have trouble pouring coffee out of the pot. It was constantly dribbling over the side, no matter how I tried pouring the coffee. And I started noticing that even though I was holding the handle, the spout seemed to be all askew. I didn’t think it had ever done that before, but nothing had changed, right?

So I grumbled. For MONTHS. And wiped up coffee spills and dribbles. For MONTHS. Sometimes I can be kind of clueless, as we all can be, really, especially at 6am before a cup of coffee. I was so frustrated that I was determined to get a new coffee maker. I mean, this one was beyond ancient, after all, right?

Meanwhile, midway through the coffee pot drama, I’m getting the message about aligning my life.

Ding!

One day, I look at the coffee pot and I realize that it’s not bolted or riveted or even attached to the glass carafe at all. There’s a stainless steel band around the bottom of the carafe that holds the bottom of the handle and the top of the handle has a lip that pops over the top edge of the glass carafe.

Over time, what has happened is the band and the lip have gradually worked their way around the carafe, putting the handle out of alignment with the spout of the carafe.

Once I realized the problem, I gently slid the carafe around until the spout and the handle were opposite each other again. They aligned. And the next time I poured coffee? It was perfect, wonderful, amazing. The coffee flowed just the way it was supposed to.

Aligning My Life

So what the hell does my coffee pot problem have to do with the message I kept getting?

A lot, it turns out.

The next time I meditated and heard that I needed to align myself and my life, I stopped and changed the question. Instead of asking what that meant, I asked how to do it. I got some answers, which surprised me at first, but I started following those answers and realized that they really did help. {NB: I’ll talk about all of these in more depth in individual posts because I think that they’re worth going into much more detail.}

My Methods

One answer that I received was that I needed to meditate by myself. That was interesting, because I’d been meditating quite a bit, but I was using guided meditations. See, I’ve never been able to meditate on my own. It always felt awkward and weird and I just couldn’t seem to do it. But now, I gave it a try.

I started using my pendulum more. That’s helped me to build some self-trust and it’s also helped me with sorting through some issues. If you’re new to pendulums or dowsing, I highly recommend Pendulum Mojo by Amy Scott Grant {affiliate link}. I’ve read other stuff about pendulums and dowsing before and, honestly, they didn’t resonate with me at all. I get Amy and her advice works for me.

I started paying more attention to my crystals and carrying them with me. I’ve always collected crystals, but I usually didn’t have them on me. I’ve also found that although I had plenty of gemstone jewelry, I didn’t get the same feeling that I did from having a crystal on its own next to my skin.

I got much more serious about using Reiki regularly. I’m finishing up the course now for my Reiki Master certification and I honestly think this is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Reiki is transformative and I want to share it as much as I can.

I started using oracle cards, journaling, and venturing into Akashic record study. These are all still works in progress, but I’ll be sharing as I learn more.

The Results?

Right away the flow of my life changed. I didn’t feel like I was constantly fighting my way up stream. Are there days that I still have a rough go of it? Of course. But I take a deep breath and I focus back on what helps me with aligning my life. That’s part of why I started One Cricket Chirping, in fact. I wanted to share what I was experiencing and what helped me.

So tell me, when you hear the phrase “aligning my life,” what does it mean for you?