By Veronica Boscia
Tips and rituals to help you practice self-love with magickal intention during difficult times.
I haven't left my house in almost three weeks since the pandemic began. Even on a good day in New York City, it’s not easy to see the stars. But a few nights ago, as I sat on my porch, I looked up and saw a constellation that normally wouldn’t be visible.
I realized at that moment that it’s about balance. It’s about seeing the light through the dark times. It’s about seeing the beauty in all things – even when it’s hard to make out from the shadows.
If there’s ever been a time to practice self-love, it’s right now. It's a time to develop our inner strength and cultivate courage. There’s not much we can change about our current situation, but we can change how we approach it. Stress mixed with uncertainty means it’s more important than ever to be mindful of our energy and ultra-kind in our words.
Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself physically and mentally, but self-love is about loving yourself unconditionally, accepting yourself without limits, and embracing your shortcomings, as well as your strengths. But like many things, it’s easier said than done.
Here are some tips to help you maintain inner strength and cultivate self-love during hard times...
Acknowledge your feelings.
That means all of them. The good, bad, and the ugly – they’re all valid and okay. With each emotion and feeling that arises, embrace the flow and take time to figure out what they’re trying to tell you.
Elevate your thoughts.
Negative thoughts lower your vibration, whether they are directed inwards or outwards. Behind every negative thought is a positive one just waiting to prove it wrong. Try changing a negative thought into an empowering one. For example, if your isolation partner is getting on your nerves, reframe your thinking to reasons why you are happy to have them. Then send them gratitude for being there, for bearing witness with you – send them a beam of light. Remind yourself that your feelings are valid, but they do not control you. Acknowledge the negative thoughts – and then let them go.
Try a writing exercise.
Magick can be very powerful with clear intention and a strong will. Try writing down your spells with those clean hands!
Sanitize with positive intention.
If you have a hard time shaking away negative thoughts, sometimes physical visualization techniques can be beneficial. Try sanitizing your surfaces and washing your hands with affirmations: “I am washing away any uncomfortable feelings. These negative thoughts are only temporary. I let them go and wash them away.” Of course, you can also personalize your affirmations if these don’t resonate with you.
Moisturize with positive intention.
After all that hand washing, remember to moisturize. Many scented moisturizers are made with ingredients with magical properties, so you can literally lotion up with magical intention!
And you probably already have lotions with magical ingredients: Eucalyptus has been used since ancient times in healing and protection rituals, as well as to treat upper respiratory issues. Visualize yourself being completely healthy as you lotion up.
Another commonly used healing herb is lavender, which also helps promote a sense of peace and protection. Wear it knowing you are loved and safe.
It’s okay to indulge yourself a little.
Yes, you deserve to indulge yourself – even just a little. Was there a book you haven’t had the chance to read? Was there a project you wanted to start but figured you wouldn’t have the time? Have you been procrastinating putting away the clothes that accumulated on the chair in your room? (You know you have that chair…we all have that chair.)
Or maybe you want to lay in bed coloring while catching up on your favorite show? Do that! Wanna take a bubble bath in the middle of the day on a Tuesday? Get the bubbles! You can make the most of this time, without feeling pressure to be “productive” all the time.
Give yourself a break, but stick to a routine.
While it's important not to let this pandemic turn us into Uncle Joe from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it’s also good to give yourself a break. Try to maintain normal hours, even if that means getting up for your daily Zoom conference, getting your work done and then lounging around for the rest of the day.
Check-in with friends and family.
This is the perfect time to get in touch with those you may have lost touch with. Nurture your friendships. Appreciate family time. Try to exercise compassion and understanding, knowing that others might be operating from a place of stress and worry. Remember to place necessary boundaries, but also be kind.
Meditate. Even when it’s not easy to do so.
Relaxing your mind is just as important as relaxing your body. Meditation reduces stress, and promotes a healthy state of well-being. It’s also linked to heightened creativity. Adding meditation to your routine may open you up to new ideas and practices that you can develop over time in the long run. Meditation helps you regain control over your thoughts; it is not about trying to stop them. Allow your thoughts to flow freely and just observe.
Adopt a self-love mantra or chant.
If you’re struggling with inner strength or self-love you can remind yourself each day with positive affirmations, such as: “I am doing my best. I carry strength within me. My kindness and compassion make the world a better place. I deserve peace. I take care of others by taking care of myself. I give myself permission to pause. I say yes to healing.” (You get the idea. But trust me, it works). If any of these raise any doubt, meditate on it and remind yourself you are doing your best.
Limit social media and your news consumption.
The world is already scary enough right now and we don’t have to torture ourselves! Maybe that means just limiting COVID-19 searches to once a day – or on a case-by-case basis. We need to stay informed, but when we are grounded in peace, it’s easier to operate from a place of love.
Remember you’re doing what you can.
Especially now, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like we are not doing enough or that we’re not being productive enough. Aside from essential workers, many of us have found ourselves with a lot of spare time. But think of this time as a free pass to nurture ourselves emotionally, spiritually, creatively and intellectually. The universe has literally put our everyday lives on pause –– It asks us to stay home.
Keep a gratitude journal.
A good technique to do before bed is to either list everything you are thankful for – or, at the very least, jot down three positive things that happened that day. Going to bed with a sense of gratitude can improve your sleep, as well as getting you into a better mindset the next morning.
For more Enchantments’ stories, check out Stacy’s Self-Love Spell here and Carmen's practical guide to keeping a magickal routine.