Self Care and Nurturing Practices for the New Year (and Beyond)

Self Care and Nurturing Practices for the New Year (and Beyond)

I had a wonderful time with all of the planetary and holiday celebrations in December. I spent a lot of time outdoors, in nature, under the moon and stars, sometimes alone, sometimes with close soul-friends, setting intention for the new year and the new world that is being birthed for all of us, within and without.

If you’re like me, you might be finding that you need a bit of a breather this month. It’s important to take time to rest, to let everything settle in, shake out, and shake down, and allow the inner and outer transformations that we have all experienced to take root deeply within our bodies, our psyches, and our souls.

Quantum Leaps

I’m amazed by the quantum leaps that I’ve experienced in my own life and spiritual growth in the last couple of months. I’ve learned–again–that we truly do have access to everything that we need–we need only to set the intention, to ask, and what is needed for our highest good will make itself known and available to us.

Sometimes what we need is to face things that we have kept comfortably hidden for a long time. Sometimes what we need is some help from another person, whether a friend or professional. Sometimes, we just need to allow the process to unfold in its own time and its own way.

This is courageous work. It requires compassion, patience, and bravery. It also requires us to be exceptionally, unequivocally kind to ourselves.

If you’re like me, this is not always easy. We have become accustomed to lifestyles and cultures that encourage us to drive ourselves, berate ourselves, push ourselves harder and harder to improve, to fix, to change.

What We Really Need

What we really need, however, is kindness. Compassion. We can never truly offer kindness and compassion to another until we have offered it to ourselves. If our relationship with ourselves is one of criticism, judgment, driving, and pushing, that will become our relationship with others as well.

Our cultural practice of “New Years Resolutions” often falls into this category. So this year, instead of “Resolutions”, or even “Intentions”, which, for me at least, often become…

Good Intentions for Self-Improvement That Become Unattainable Projects that Never Materialize

…I decided to affirm the habits that I already have in my life, that I know I want to cultivate and continue more.

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Here are my self-care practices, the things that keep me sane, grounded, and able to do my work and live in this world with a bit of balance and, dare I say, sanity.

Nancy’s Self Care and Nurturing Practices

My yoga practice is the core of my spiritual life and my physical health. This year, I’m adding more sitting meditation practice as well. I love to practice at least an hour each morning. Life being what it is, some days that doesn’t happen. So I also am gentle with myself and do a shorter, modified practice when I need to. Sometimes it’s just one or two poses. I am learning to first ask my body and my soul what she needs. The practice evolves from there.

Walking and Hiking:
Outside, in the desert or the woods or by the stream…in my neighborhood…with or without a dog…it’s essential. Walking is another form of meditation for me and it’s also my main form of exercise. Without it, I’m not so good. I get the crankies.

At least once a week, more if I can, I love to take a few hours for a longer hike. I live in hiking paradise, so this is not hard–if I can close the computer, turn the phone off, and just go. It keeps me sane, and I also get much of my creative inspiration, spiritual insight, and incredible communications with the wild ones on these adventures.

Epsom Salts Baths:
Seriously, folks, if you aren’t doing this, you should. Epsom salts are inexpensive and available at pretty much every grocery and drugstore. Epsom salts are wonderful for clearing the energy field of “extra” or unhealthy energies that can accumulate throughout the day. They are also wonderful for healing sore body parts. Throw in some high quality therapeutic essential oils and you’re good to go.

I use these any time I feel depleted, stressed, or overworked, or any time I have been out in the world and feel the need to clear out any extraneous or negative energy. And, of course, baths are just great for letting the body and mind relax and open to the intuitive realms.

I haven’t been as regular about this as I would like to be for my optimal well-being, so it’s high on my list for this year. My favorites are acupuncture, massage, and Bowenwork. Monthly is great, more often, if I can, is even better. My animals enjoy all of these therapies as well. This is self-care at its best.

Fun Club:
I’ve been telling clients about this, and it’s becoming a concept that is spreading far and wide. Sometimes we have to consciously create more fun in our lives. I have a tendency to work work work and “fun” has often involved, say, cleaning the cat boxes or taking a nap. Not so much.

So, for this year, I’m consciously creating more fun in my life. Think movies, outings with friends, laughter, comedy, and silliness. It’s a work in progress. I’ll keep you updated.

I wish you kindness, compassion, nurturing, growth, evolution, grace, ease, and FUN for this year!

This article was reprinted with permission
from Nancy's blog.

About the Author

Nancy WindheartNancy Windheart is an internationally-respected animal communicator, animal communication teacher, and Reiki Master-Teacher. Her life’s work is to create deeper harmony between species and on our planet through telepathic animal communication, and to facilitate physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing and growth for both people and animals through her healing services, classes, workshops, and retreats. For more info, visit

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