This will be periodically updated with energetic self-care tips; I expect to refer more readers here as more people become sensitive and aware of how they are affected by energy around them.
These effects can come from the environment, from crowds, from family members, objects, etc. No matter how “insensitive” a person can appear, the truth is that when anyone is feeling especially drained, challenged, or vulnerable, taking care of the subtle “extras” can make for a more restorative time-out, as opposed to prolonging or worsening a difficult experience.
It should be mentioned that taking care of the physical body and physical energy levels with SLEEP, FOOD and REST is the basic level of self-care. However, I’m one of those aware (from experience) that we can hits times in our lives where, for various reasons, it’s hard to get even the minimum sleep or nutrition we need. In which case, if there’s nothing else that can be done, use the energetic self-care tips too.
Sometimes, we may just go through times where every bit helps.
Energetic Self-Care Tips
(In order of least investment of time, to most)
Pay attention to your breath and posture
Note how deeply or shallowly you’re breathing, whether it’s slow or quick. Adjust till you feel improvement. Come back to this regularly. If you keep at it, congrats—this is meditation.
Meditators have long known this. One’s breathing is often made the focus in single-pointed meditation. In more recent times, one study by Pierre Philipot found that each emotion was associated with a distinct pattern of breath. Later, researchers reversed things by instructing participants to breathe in the distinct patterns—leading participants to feel the emotions that corresponded to the breathing patterns ie. The way you breathe affects how you feel. Sources: Psychology Today, NDHealthFacts
Visualise any murkiness or dark colours around you being washed away. The imagination is a powerful way of interacting with your energy, and visualisation is an active way of taking control back.
The above visualisation is especially effective in the shower. Or take a bath with epsom salts if time permits.
Showers give you an atmosphere of negative ions (air molecules with an extra electron) which boost our mood, great for those of us in urban environments that are usually deficient. Epsom salts contain magnesium (or magnesium sulfate specifically), which supports muscle and nervous system health. There are several ways to get more magnesium into our bodies, with Epsom salt baths probably being the most enjoyable.
Tell a friend
Admitting low spirits to someone supportive (especially if you’re usually “the strong one”) eases some of the pressure you’re probably carrying. Everyone gets low sometimes, and most people will have comforted a friend through such times. You may observe that you feel better with at least one person in your corner.
Bonus Info Sources
Avoid screens (laptop, mobile devices, even TV) if you can
Even for leisure, there’s a agitating effect that screens have on us. If you’re really bad off, turn off all screens.
- Screen time might boost depression, suicide behaviors in teens
- Screen time is associated with depression and anxiety in Canadian youth
- The Unexpected Effects of All That Screen Time
- 5 Things Too Much Screen Time Does to Your Body
Avoid sugar or artificial sweeteners if possible. Taking time to drink clean, clear water gives us a moment to “clean and clear” ourselves as well. It’s been found that drinking water has definite positive effects on our mental and emotional health. Our brain is 75% water; dehydration can negatively impact our mood and cognitive function.
All this isn’t so subtle. But here’s something else.
Artists and occultists have always intuitively understood the relationship between emotions and water. We are affected by the water around us—whether it’s clean or polluted, calm or fast-moving, in small volume or large. We are 70% water, after all. Whenever we go through emotional upheaval or processing, it becomes all the more important to soothe and hydrate ourselves with clean, clear water.
We often take our access to potable water for granted, while pouring and drinking mindfully gives us a moment of gratitude. Elaborate tea rituals have been created in the East for this purpose, but we can simplify and adapt.
Put your hands on yourself
Do nothing else for as long as you can and want to. There’s a comfort in touch that some of us may be denied due to circumstances or even the culture we’re in. For those who are intuitive, put your hands where it hurts energetically/emotionally. Ask questions of that part of your body; then feel, forgive, thank, and release the pain. (If you’re going to ask for further instructions from external sources for this exercise, it’s not intuitive.)
Make something yourself, even if it’s boiling an egg. Sometimes, it’s the simpler the better. An activity like cooking slows you down and grounds you energetically with your body. Do it mindfully, and it becomes an effective focusing and re-charging process that nourishes on physical, mental, and emotional level.
Light a candle, and/or diffuse essential oils
Scent can be an especially powerful pick-me-up when we’re down. It also helps us breathe deeper without needing our awareness.
Put on music, an audio book or podcast. Sing and dance along (to the music, but you can also do that with anything else, WGAF).
If you play any musical instrument, you wouldn’t need to be told this point, but: play with it. If you don’t have an instrument but have been thinking of getting one and learning, do it.
Taichi, yoga stretching, exercise, getting outside, even lying down on the floor. All grounding.
Go through your skincare routine. Put on the clothing, jewelry (crystals!), make-up, etc. that just makes you feel the heck better. Close the door if you don’t live alone. Like moving mindfully, these actions ground us in our bodies and have us taking comfort in both routine and an exploration of our being.
EFT, or tapping
This takes 5 minutes at most, or more if you want. Video tutorials are online for the basics. My favorite way working with tapping is combining with them with acknowledgment of my difficulties, then ending with my own affirmations. The exercise releases tension, reduces anxiety, and helps shift one’s perspective and mood.
Journaling brings the same results for me as tapping. More time-consuming, but also more rewarding because I can reread whatever I’ve written. My journal entries tend to start with the problems but end with the advice, solutions or a perspective shift. I try to mark the turning point so I can later reread from that point.
Make marks on paper
Art, if you will. Some people may shy away from art-making because they feel intimidated, but if you’re just making marks, no pressure. So make marks with crayons, pencils, markers, paint.
For those people who have felt especially blocked in the areas of self-expression and creativity, making marks and journaling are restorative and recharging.
Even if the project looks like shit later, working with your hands just works to smooth our rough edges. I find working with yarn satisfies my need to hold something soft, colorful, and that engages my fingers and mind in repetitive and relaxing motions.
Cleaning or Decluttering
If your energy and inclinations allow. This can be a spiritual and mindful exercise that has the added benefit of improving your environment, making its effects more lasting. All the objects in our home carry energy, and if we’re not curating what we surround ourselves with, it’s easy to later feel stuck, overwhelmed, and at the mercy of things we no longer care for or support our happiness.
For those who just wanna bulldoze through life
If you grew up in a left-brain dominant-household like I did, a lot of these activities may seem like frivolous, self-indulgent luxuries. But human beings aren’t robots or economic digits meant to be in “productive mode” all the time (despite what your culture may prioritize and celebrate). A lot of energetic self-care is really about recovering and bolstering our emotional health and resilience, which is an act of self-love. Those of us who have been conditioned to believe simple luxuries of enjoyment and relaxation are only for the “worthy” need to question these notions; constantly delaying self-gratification at the expense of our self-worth and self-care more likely creates resentful grumpy adults who are not working at their mental or emotional best.
For skeptics, there’s always Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
I like whipping this diagram to point out that proper care of all human beings includes more than just taking care of the physiological needs.
Some people really do get stuck thinking that only the physical needs matter; when this happens, there’s too much inclination to allow, and perpetuate, the abuse or neglect of the other needs on the hierarchy. We can develop a “shadow self” that wants to deny that we do crave emotional/creative/spiritual fulfillment, and act out this contradictory desire/denial of desire that may lead to us blaming others for our lack of fulfillment. Self-actualisation requires that all levels of our needs be met.
For the more spiritually inclined who believe in balance and the activation of the various aspects of self, this diagram works nicely:
The chakras form our energy body, and those who do want to work directly with energy will either work with their chakras one by one, or visualisation with their entire energy body. (Details for this are outside the scope of this post. But I’ll cover them in some form or another, likely in a book.)
Direct energy work can be accomplished with quick visualisations, meditation and focus, rituals or various healing modalities (including EFT and Reiki) or—as what I do—a combination of energy work and the tips given above.
At the end of the day, if you’re feeling low, burnt out, or near the end of your rope, self-care is a must. Allow yourself to recognise that self-care goes beyond just physical needs, and this will require time and exploration to know for ourselves. These tips may help. Good luck and much love.