It’s as simple as taking a walk.
When discussing the topic of self-care, the conversation is typically focused on physical, mental, and emotional self-care all of which are very important for one’s overall well being. That said, many believe your spiritual self also requires some love to help you feel grounded, connected to something larger than yourself, tapped into a sense of purpose, and aids you in navigating the curveballs life throws at you (here’s looking at you, 2020).
According to Kendra Austin, a collective healer and tarot card reader for The SoulUnity, a virtual wellness membership, all self-care is essentially spiritual self-care. “Since spirituality is not about the external but rather honoring exactly who and what we are, all versions of honoring ourselves mind, body, and soul is spiritual self-care,” she says. For instance, Austin shares, spiritual self-care can look like doing things to take care of your physical body because it is your soul’s vessel, as is praying because you want your dreams realized, or setting boundaries to recognize your power and use it effectively.
Meghan Rose, a spiritual advisor and tarot card reader, says spiritual self-care boils down to mindfulness practices that allow you to connect to your higher self — the most authentic and aligned part of you — and hear your inner voice and what it’s telling you it needs. From there, Rose says, the self-care part comes into play when you take action to satisfy your spiritual body’s needs.
As with all types of self-care, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Some practices and rituals will work better for others. To give you some inspiration, below, Austin and Rose share seven spiritual practices and rituals for tending to your spiritual self.
7 Ways To Practice Spiritual Self-Care
According to experts, meditation — whether it’s guided (via a meditation app or YouTube video) or self-guided — is one of the best ways to nurture your spiritual self. “Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind on a particular thought or object in order to bring awareness and gain mental clarity,” Rose says. She adds that there is no right or wrong way to meditate and any activities that bring your mind into a flow state such as painting or cooking also help achieve clarity. Austin recommends not being stringent about how you meditate as that defeats the practice’s purpose.
If sitting still during a meditation is not your vibe, Austin says you can also reap the spiritual benefits of meditating by taking a walk — think of it as an active meditation. “Connecting with our bodies is a huge part of spirituality,” she says, and a walk can help you ground into your body. Furthermore, she says, allowing your mind and your body to wander and just experience walking without an intention or destination can help to better hear your intuition.
Yoga is good for getting a sweat and workout in but it’s also a great spiritual practice that brings together the mind, body, and spirit. “Moving the body through a yoga flow allows you to build dedication, clarity, awareness, and self-regulation that can follow you off of your mat,” Rose says. “It allows us to find mastery over our thoughts, a deeply grounded understanding of our bodies, and an alignment with our truth.”
Journaling is known for its mental health benefits, but it’s also a great spiritual practice too. Rose says journaling helps us release and work through thoughts and emotions that we don’t feel comfortable expressing with others and provides a space to validate and pour out those innermost feelings, which is essential for spiritual growth. Like with all spiritual rituals, how to journal is entirely up to you and what feels good. As starting points, Rose suggests writing down things you’re grateful for, what you want to manifest into your life, love letters to yourself, or pros and cons list around upcoming decisions.
Working with tarot cards
Tarot, Rose says, is a tool that helps us find clarity and cultivate a connection to our intuition. “[The cards] represent your subconscious archetypical thoughts and feelings,” she says. “There is endless opportunity to use the cards to understand your past, present, and future.” To begin your own tarot practice, Austin suggests finding a deck with artwork that speaks to you, then pulling a few cards daily and using your intuition to write down your own interpretations of the cards based on the imagery. Rose adds that booking a private session with a tarot reader is another way to receive insight from tarot and help you connect with your spiritual self.
Aligning with the moon’s cycle
The moon’s gravitational pull and various phases affect us humans here on Earth, Rose says. To create more flow in our lives, she suggests aligning your spiritual self-care rituals with the moon’s cycle, in particular the new and full moon. During the new moon, she advises writing out a list of the things you want to call into your life during the upcoming moon cycle, which is 28 days. To harness the power of the full moon, Rose’s tip is to acknowledge the people, habits, thoughts, self-doubts, judgements or fears that you’re ready to let go and write those down beginning with the words “I release.”
Finding a community
When beginning to lean more into spiritual practices, Austin says you’ll likely feel called to spend more time alone to get better acquainted with your own energy. As you progress in your spiritual practice, she emphasizes the importance of finding a community, whether that be spiritual guides, healers, or other like-minded people that speak the same spiritual language. Having a community helps support you on your spiritual journey but also serves as an opportunity to put what you’ve learned into practice. “The whole purpose of [spirituality] is to find compassion for other people in the human experience,” Austin says. “It’s essential to extend outward and integrate those practices of tenderness to the people around you.”