Essential Self Care Practices to Prevent Burnout
Everything we do as witches or magickians is a matter of manipulating energy, and bending it to our will. Working with energy all the time can, and does take its toll.
The witch requires rest, and practicing self-care when participating in ceremonial and/or ritualistic magick helps to prevent burnout.
But everything we do — dealing with energy, processing massive amounts of information, discerning fact from fiction, sorting through what resonates and dropping what doesn’t — is hard, demanding, grueling work.
Which is precisely why self-care is so important. Self care is about recovering the energy that we have used.
So how do we recover it? How do we restore our energy, and balance, even our sense of normalcy after being rocked by a cosmic event? Or, any major event for that matter? What are the best methods for any witch, mystic and/or spiritualist to take so that we can bounce back?
I have a few ideas, 17 to be exact.
1. Ground and Center
I have talked about grounding and centering before so I’m not going to go into too much detail here. But generally grounding and centering can be performed through meditation, by physically touching the earth, practicing visualization, setting an intention, or reciting affirmations.
2. Cleanse your Energy Field/Aura
Use crystals, herbal smoke bath, a shower or bath, walking or hiking in a place with a body of water or just a natural area in general.
3. Eat Well
What we put into our bodies has a significant impact on us, and many people don’t think about the effect it has on our Magick!
When we eat foods that are full of preservatives and additives we are not nourishing our body—so we are surely not nourishing our souls.
I know that healthier food options can be pricey and not everyone can afford organic this or that; that’s not the point. The point is clean eating.
Try to eat a balanced diet, and everything in moderation—no one is suggesting depriving yourself the joys of food.
4. Stay Hydrated
Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Tea is okay but remember that black tea is a diuretic so it may leave you just as quickly as you can drink it. Herbal tea is better if you really don’t like just plain water.
Juice is okay but remember that it is high in sugar content so make it only one of your glasses of water each day. Limit soda, and other beverages with added sugar and limit alcoholic beverages as well.
Exercise frequently or practice a form of active meditation. It doesn’t have to be hard or strenuous on the body: yoga, hiking, Tai Chi, and dancing are all wonderful ways to get the blood flowing.
We store our emotions, and excess energy (stagnant, trapped, or otherwise) in our bodies, and the only way to get that energy moving is to get it out.
6. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is important. Whether you give your time, energy or money, make sure you have what you need too. If you over give, you end up scrambling, exhausted, and broke.
The next time you want to help, you won’t be able to because you have weakened yourself.
Setting boundaries is how we give with one hand and replenish our energetic well with the other.
It's okay to say no sometimes. You don’t even need to have a reason. If someone is taking advantage of your kindness, say no. If you don’t have enough this week to spare, say no. If you don’t have enough money or resources to cover your own needs, say no.
7. Be Selective
By being selective with your time and energy you free yourself. It gives you the ability to do the things that are important to you or are in tune with your values.
Be realistic with your selections and stop catering to what your family, friends or society thinks you should do.
8. Create a Self Care Kit
A self-care kit is essential. This could be an actual box of items, or spread out around your house.
It could be emotional (inspiration), mental (affirmations, brain games) physical (healthy food, exercise equipment), spiritual (altar, meditation) or a combination of all of them.
Of course this is personal and will vary from person to person, but here’s what mine looks like:
Gemstones and crystals
A cozy spot
9. Let Go
Letting go of what we no longer need or even want is a form of self-love because it clears room for better things in our life.
It might be physical items. Keep some sentimental items for heirlooms. Keep practical things that you use, wear or look at regularly.
Our thoughts or behaviors can also be something we need to let go of or change. This is where affirmations come in handy. They can help us change our thought patterns.
Examples of affirmations:
I let go of what no longer serves me or those around me.
I am worthy of success.
I am worthy of love.
I am worthy of happiness and fulfillment.
Just make sure your affirmations are positive and in the present tense.
It may take a little while to change your thoughts or behavior patterns. The average time is about 21 days. Please give it time and don't get discouraged if you don't feel or think differently right away.
10. Take a Break
It's easy to feel pressured (whether internally or externally) to be busy all the time.
Being productive is one thing.Doing things to keep ourselves busy to not appear lazy might result in sacrificing sleep or quality time with your families and friends, then there is a problem.
When this happens you can't see it clearly anymore. You need to rest.
Take a step back to recharge and refocus. Catch up on sleep yes but also just sitting still sometimes and notice the little things.
11. Surround Yourself with Healthy People
Unhealthy, unhelpful people make it difficult to be healthy and positive yourself. Release bullies, constant complainers and manipulative people from your life.
True friends will only ask you for help when they really need it and they usually return the favor. They want to celebrate wins with you because they want to share the good times two.
Obviously we can’t avoid all the negative people. Sometimes they are in our family or our coworkers.
If possible, limit contact or phase them out completely. If you are not in a position to avoid them, be careful with the energy, time, attention and sympathy you offer them.
Protect yourself using shielding methods. And remember to lead by example, and maybe you can help others learn to be more aligned with love and joy.
Our diets are not just what we eat. It’s every single thing we expose ourself to. Surrounding yourself with healthy, positive people reinforces your healthy habits and mindset. It also encourages you to keep improving.
12. Avoid Self Deprecation
It’s really easy to blame yourself when something doesn’t go your way. There’s a difference between taking responsibility and berating yourself for every little thing.
When you feel like you’re jumping through hoops with nothing to show for it… when you offer an endless amount of support to your friends and family and feel like people aren’t there for you when you need it… when someone is rude to you without reason…
None of this is your fault!
Don’t try to bend over backward to please them. Remain polite, don’t take it personally, move on.
13. Invest in Yourself
Some of us are lucky enough to have someone that invests in us in the form of money, time or energy. Maybe you have a parent, sibling, or partner.
If you do have someone who helps you, you can’t expect them to do everything for you. And if you don’t, then you probably already know the importance of investing in yourself.
Whatever your situation, give yourself a boost through:
Investing in your education
Wearing quality footwear
investing in a good mattress
Taking time to do what you love
14. Take Stock of Your Resources
This is about gratitude. When you’re bombarded with messages about needed the latest thing, it’s easy to sink into the feelings of lack.
Part of self-care is reminding yourself of your blessings by taking stock of your resources.
Your resources include:
Emotional support and love
If you have clean water, food in your belly and fridge and a safe place to live, you have more than you realize.
If you have friends and family that support you when you need it, and you’re in a position to help them too, then that’s even better.
And good health is perhaps the most overlooked resource. But when your health declines, mentally or physically it becomes painfully obvious just how important it is.
15. Pursue Education
Learning new things should be a lifelong pursuit. It’s important to continue to learn and grow or else we become stagnant.
It is healthy to take time to reflect now and again to see the evolution of your beliefs and release them if necessary. Are they supporting you or holding you back (even possibly harming you)?
Learning can take many forms as well, learning about the people around you, cultures, religions and lore, the world in general, the environment (how to cut down on waste), your hobbies, fiction and non fiction.
The subject we can explore are endless. Self knowledge is one of the most important. How can you take care of yourself or ask others for what you need when you don’t know yourself?
Don’t limit your topics of learning or the methods through which your learn.
16. Treat Yourself
Treating yourself can take a myriad of forms.
Sometimes it’s as a reward for good behaviors, accomplishments and goal achievements, like losing weight, getting a new job, quitting an awful job, standing up for yourself in an unfair situation or cleaning out your closet. Sometimes it’s to motivate yourself to continue with long term goals. Sometimes there is no reason at all for the treat.
But a treat is anything that brings us pleasure.
It will look different for each person depending on you budget and your sense of joyful activities and items, but some ideas for how you might treat yourself include:
buying a new book
taking a Class to learn a new hobby
buying a new (or new to you) outfit or pair of shoes
getting a New hairstyle/color
watching A movie out or in
going out to dinner or order in
eating your favorite treat
calling or texting your friends and family so they can celebrate too
taking A big trip or a weekend getaway
17. Give Yourself Some Slack
I think one of the most important aspects of self love, other than looking after our health (mental, emotional and physical) is self acceptance.
It means accepting your minor flaws. We’re all human and have them.
We might judge or criticize others, but we can be even harder on ourselves. We should all strive to be a little kinder to ourselves and others too.
You may be hard on yourself about appearance, your mental health, your physical health, your spiritual health and other things, but every inch of you tells a story of your life. It’s all something to celebrate.
As long as you’re not hurting yourself or someone else, embrace all parts of yourself.
18. Find a Healthy Outlet
We all get into moods sometimes. Make sure you have a way to elevate your emotional vibration so that you don’t sink further into depression, anger, guilt and other low vibe emotional states.
Find someone you trust who you can talk to in a healthy way, and of course listen to them if they need it too.
Snuggle with a pet (or partner)
Write in a diary or journal
Meditate or pray
Listen to music
Watch a movie
Exercise or take a walk
Do something that helps you acknowledge those feelings and release them in a healthy way or at least relax for a little while and come up with a solution if its an ongoing problem causing these feelings.
I hope this inspires you to make course corrections, if necessary, to a healthier, more positive life. I hope you learn to be a little gentler on yourself. You’re probably doing a lot better than you think!
We are powerful beings, energy sources in our own right but we must remember to restore the used energy or else we get stuck in a never-ending cycle of pouring from an empty cup – which in the end only harms ourselves.
Regardless of the path we walk, our number one priority should always be ourselves, and our well-being; that includes taking care of both our spiritual and mundane selves.
When you forget to take care of the spiritual, the mundane will suffer and vice versa.
It’s all an act of balance.
Continue your journey and share your experiences on the Mumbles and Things Facebook page.
There is a group on Facebook and it was made for you. It is a safe and supportive place for New Age* practitioners to gather and grow their personal power while encouraging one another.
If you are a newbie hoping to learn how to become a witch or are experienced and would like to learn from like-minded folks, this group is for you.
*Metaphysical, Pagan, New Age, Lightworkers, Energy Workers, Shamans, Wiccan, Neo-Pagan, Witches, Angel Workers, Healers, Psychics, Spiritualists, and so many others fall under the umbrella of "New Age."
Join the Community Group.
Now it’s your turn!
Do you neglect yourself or put yourself last? Why? How often do you currently practice self care? What are your current self care practices (body, mind, spirit and emotion)? When you are feeling frazzled, what is your go to self care routine? If you have no self-care routine, design one now.