February 13, 2019

Tips and Tricks for Practicing Self Love with You and Your Kids

8 Self Love & Self Care Rituals

 (that you can do with your kids)

Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit. Be the love. Be the change. Light your flame so others feel inspired to light their own. We need more light workers and magic makers. There is nothing more fiercely revolutionary for you to do with your time than to be unapologetically and unwaveringly yourself. In all your truth and light. Glow. Sparkle. Shimmer. Shine. The world thanks you ?

We practice writing Love Notes together in the hope that eventually, my children will be able to send love notes to themselves – physically as well as with their inner voice. Here is an amazing example of my 10-year-old doing just that. Layla, You Are Amazing.

How cool is this little #postit @postit #love note? About a week ago I printed photos of each of my littles and handwrote post it notes to remind them how much they are loved. I wanted them to stumble upon them. So I stuck them to a mirror in the bathroom. Today my middle daughter, 7, cleaned this bathroom. She said “Mom, when you go upstairs, check the mirror so you can see what a good job I did making it clean (no streaks!)” ?but what she really wanted me to see was this Post It love note that she left for me to find. As if cleaning the bathroom isn’t gift enough. Write love notes for yourself too! You deserve to be LOVED. Write down your undying love for yourself, even if it feels funny at first. And then post it where you can see it (and read it to yourself!) 

Looking for some ready-made love notes? You’re in good company! We have some in our Kindness & Co. Etsy Shop. Some of the characters from the Mama May I Handmade Toy collection made their way onto some adorable love notes you can download and print out at home. My littles love receiving Love Notes in their backpack, school lunch, on the mirror, pillow, or in their suitcase when they are traveling. You can find them Here! 

They come in Forest Friends, Rainbow Magic, and Monster editions and they are on sale now for $5 a set (normally $8) or $12 for a bundle (of a limited time only!)

Our senses are very important to our mind/body connection. Awareness of ourselves and our environments is a great way of becoming more mindful. We see, hear, touch, taste, and smell things all day, every day. Sometimes we process the information so quickly we don’t even realize we are doing it. Acting mindfully means stopping to be more cognizant and aware of the things and experiences around us – the things we are sensing with our whole bodies. Slowing down to practice awareness helps cultivate a connection between our mind and our body which increases well being and is a great ritual to add to your self-care menu. 

Going outside in nature has proven beneficial health benefits. Exposure to the sun increases serotonin (a neurotransmitter that increases your sense of satisfaction and happiness). So getting some sunshine will enhance your mood – while doing your 5 Senses Walk will increase awareness and reinforce your mind/body connection.

Pampering ourSELVES is not just a luxury – it, too, is a necessary part of Self Care. “Humans are hardwired for connection.” -Brene Brown. We are primed to connect with one another. Physical contact is proven to be beneficial for infants and babies – it releases the neurotransmitter oxytocin which enhances intimacy and bonding. In turn, this creates feelings of security. A sense of security gives humans of all ages the ability to get curious with the world around them – this sense of wonder helps increase learning engagement. Oxytocin aids in our connection with others and increases your overall sense of well-being and happiness. It helps reduce stress, increase immunity, and lower blood pressure. Engaging in some self care pampering clearly has many beneficial effects. 

You can practice simple massage on your hands and feet, sending some extra love to the parts of your body that sometimes get taken for granted. Grab some coconut oil and essential oils and give your body some extra TLC. 

You can, of course, GO to a spa, yoga studio, or massage therapist but if you can easily incorporate these practices into your weekly rhythm at home, do it! – 

You are showing your children how important self care is and turning it into a family practice. My littles love when we set up This Little Piggy – At Home Spa. We have a foot bath we fill with warm water. We dim the lights, add some candles, turn up the meditation music, and take turns giving each other pedicures. Sometimes we do at-home face masks and relaxation / zen time. Some of the other “Spa Services” offered at our house are : calming yoga practice, pedicure, foot massage, meditation music, heart guidance, gratitude journals, open listening, loving kindness ritual. This is a great opportunity to practice asking for what we need; building listening skills; and consent. All are incredibly important tools to have in your toolbox.

Making an Epsom salt bath can help even more – the magnesium sulfate in the salts has been shown to calm anxiety and lower blood pressure. I make taking a bath in Epsom salts part of my (almost) daily rhythm to help keep my anxiety in check. Find out how to make Bath Salts Here (So easy, your kids can make it!)

One of the guideposts to The PlayFULL Way is practicing intuitive knowing….. it’s embracing the process – tuning into your our inner voice radio station and seeing where it leads. We do this by practicing rituals like following our feet; eating when we are hungry; going to the bathroom when we need to go; setting out art supplies and simply seeing where it leads; doing a brain dump. Tarot Cards are another practice in Intuitive Knowing. It’s a practice in trusting the process and seeing what comes out of it. You could choose the same card over and over but it may have a very different meaning or reflection for you, depending on what you are experiencing in your inner world. Again, this kind of self care is about connecting the mind/body/heart/spirit. 

(These Tarot Cards are from The Universe Has Your Back deck by Gabby Bernstein.)

We gather together in a circle. Light a candle in the center. Choose a deck to be used. We usually begin by sharing one thing we are grateful for. We say “thanks for sharing” when someone is finished. We take turns drawing a card from the deck, reading it aloud, and reflecting on how it applies (or doesn’t apply) to our life. What message or process comes out of it. When everyone is done, we usually close our ritual circle by sing/sharing our Loving Kindness and together. We collectively blow out the candle. This is a ritual I began for myself, but my littles were quickly intrigued. When I realized they would honor and respect the circle with a sense of reverence and curiosity I invited them to participate. I absolutely love this simple ritual. It has brought us so much joy and connection as a family. It’s an amazing way to check in with yourself and each other. Simply making the time for connection is such a gift and an act of presence. 

We also love Chris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Love Notes and The Moon Deck.

(SoulSpace Oracle deck by Jen Berlingo)

Curious how else to infuse Tarot Card Reading into your family’s Seasonal Rhythm? Check out our post on Summer Soltice Ritual

Map of My Heart came from a children’s book called: My Map Book by Sara Fanelli. One of the many kinds of maps she shows inside the book is a heart map. I loved the idea of mapping my heart. Each of us is so different. Different things bring us joy. We each love different things in different capacities. Because I am such a visual person, I thought it would be fun to create heart maps to tap into the big question : What Brings Me JOY? It took me into my adult life to truly start thinking and becoming intentional about what lights me up; what I love to do; and how I can infuse a little more of that into my daily life. Taking the time to map out what brings you joy gives you an easy-access self care menu that you can use when you are feeling disconnected touch with yourself. If you ever feel lonely or like you are missing you, check out the Map of Your Heart and get to work infusing more of the good stuff into your life.

I was having an incredibly difficult, emotional day. And physical day. And mental day. There had been so many big emotions – mostly everyone else’s – and tears (mostly mine). There was lots of acting out – lots of consoling – lots of hugs – Lots of have-tos. Evening came and I couldn’t hold it together. No one was listening. No one was helping. Things were spiraling outward. I was spiraling inward. This used to be a place of activation for me – a trigger – and I would join the chaos and the storm instead of being the calm. Using art, Zentangles, and Mandalas has been an incredible tool in my healing journey. Personally, for sure, but also to help me remain in integrity and connection with my children when I feel short fused. I broke out the gel pens and got to work. The PlayFULL Way. Everyone was curious and everyone made their way to the table to partake in dark-paper drawing. Some stayed longer than others but it changed the tone – the vibration of our connectivity. I kept still, silent, focused. We talked but words trickled between doodles and no eye contact had to be made. It wasn’t forced. It was easy. And lines for me one by one by one. One at a time. A reminder. We played. And through play we found connection. I connected with myself. I eased my inner chaos. They connected with the paper. We connected with each other. One of the best gifts of this kind of art therapy is the conversation that comes of it. You can feel the intensity decrease as we play on the paper. Each person is focused inward, creating. Tapping into their own inner wisdom. While they are deeply engaged, sometimes words, thoughts, feelings, even big feelings, fall from their lips – more easily. There is something about the distraction of the pen and paper that makes connection and nonjudgment and communication come more fluidly. It is a creative tool to have in our toolbox for family connection as well as self care and self love connection.

Zentangles are a visual, physical form of meditation on paper through repetition, pattern, and doodling. 

The benefits of Zentangles and Mandalas are stress relief, relaxation, growth-mindset (there are no mistakes), stimulates creativity, flow – it helps us tap into our deeper self through intuitive knowing. 

Cultivating Connection within doesn’t have to be hard. It can be as simple as practicing Gratitude. BrenéBrown says “Gratitude is the pathway to JOY.” And I have found this to be true in my life – as a grown up, and with my children. You must pass through thankfulness to get to joy ✨it’s not hard. It doesn’t take that much time. It does take some showing up. Some doing it. Some practice. Cultivating that AS A FAMILY. TOGETHER. Is shared joy. It’s Magic ✨

Gratitude Blurbs are the perfect addition to your mindful self care and self love routine. Practicing gratitude reminds us of all the things we have in our life to be thankful for which, in turn, increases our overall well being. I designed these Gratitude Blurbs to be pre-literacy friendly, colorful, and fun. They were designed in a multitude of color schemes and palettes so that you can document your thankfulness all year round. Collect them all and place them in an individual or family Gratitude Book so you can look back and reflect on all the amazing memories and thankfulness you’ve shared over the year. You can jump start your way to gratitude practice by grabbing a handful of post its, index cards, or blank paper – but if you want these deliciously colorful and vibrant Gratitude Blurb pages you can find them here – You can get allllllllllll the different seasonal colors so making a Family Gratitude Book will be easy peasy! Just download, print them out, grab some pens and get to gratitude! (currently on SALE for only $9.99!!)

Gratitude Jar. Set the jar where everyone can easily access it and knows what it’s there for. Sit TOGETHER and write or draw gratitude. Share them or add them to the jar to be shared during dinner, bath time, or bedtime. Don’t forget to revisit ALL the gratitude deliciousness later – during a holiday or special occasion, pull out several slips and Share them as reminders of all the magic in your family. 

Want to know more about why gratitude is so important to practice at home? Check out our blog post about Gratitude at Home.And Teaching Our Children and Ourselves to be Thankful

Self Love is super important for a healthy mind/body/spirit connection but so is connecting to your community. Community connection increases your sense of belonging, self esteem, and overall well being. 

One way we practice connection at home is with our Table Talk – Connection Cards (found here!) We usually do this ritual at dinner time, but you can practice it any time that best fits into your family’s daily or weekly rhythm. We each pick a card from the deck and take turns reading, answering, listening, and connecting with one another. “Thanks for Sharing!” is what we say when each person is through – because it is such a gift to hear what’s on someone’s mind. I made 90 mini watercolor paintings and added interesting and curious questions to the watercolors. They are printed on durable, super silky satin finish post card thickness paper (so if spaghetti spills, you can wipe it clean). We use these nightly as a ritual in connection to ourselves and each other. It’s the perfect practice for listening, sharing, and increasing well being through connection. You can order a set of our Table Talk Connection Cards Here for only $45 – and you can use the sample below to get conversation started at home right away!

Some of the questions include inquiries like :

What did you do to be a peace keeper today?

How did you fill someone else’s bucket today?

What should we do more of as a family?

What are the five best things about being you?

If you could pick 1 event in your family’s history to go back to, what would it be?

What are the qualities you look for in a friend?

If you are curious about learning more about how to incorporate PlayFULL rituals into your self care / self love rhythm and practice – increasing your family and self connection, resilience, and well being, sign up for our Table Talk – Connection Course Here! It’s a brand new, online course created to teach the importance of rhythm and ritual in your family; how to get intentional about what your family’s culture is at home; and how to infuse a bit more connection The PlayFULL Way! It’s currently only $67  (originally $97!)and includes a set of our Table Talk Connection Cards sent directly to your home (International shipping for an additional fee.) I would love for you to join us in creating a foundation of self love and self care at home and in your Family Culture.

Culture: The way we do things around here. – Brene Brown

Printables for personal use only.

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