It took me time to understand what self-care was, what it looked like and how to implement it in my life. Growing up on the East coast, I was more focused on how to “climb-the-ladder” and how to push through the exhaustion that would settle in my bones. I never questioned it because I didn’t really understand the alternative; the click of my shoes on the NYC pavement had me as high as the 6” heel itself and it was enough for me to ignore my body’s messages until I would get sick or hurt or emotionally drained.
I did, however, understand the magic of a bath at a very young age. And when I started thinking about what self-care meant to me, I returned to my childhood. I started seeing it placed delicately throughout my memories, like a crystallized spider web of femininity.
The weekly baths my mom would take and the snores that would emanate from the bathroom as she allowed herself to fully submerge in more ways than one. Or the sound of her voice when she came to greet us post bath, rosy flesh, and marshmallow tones. The smell of shea butter lingering on my dune colored cheek as she brushed it and wished me a good night.
Or my father, who would march outside early in the morning on a Saturday, brush my cheek with his stubbly, cherub shaped face and head to his motorcycle. He’d spend the day with Benji — as we so fondly call her — changing oil, carefully painting bubbles with water along the grooves and applying wax so patiently, I would doze off into a meditation simply by watching him move.
Self-care was an act of self-love, valuing oneself and creating time and space to simply enjoy. No judgment. No competition or comparison. A simple act for oneself by oneself.
It’s no surprise to me that when I got my first period coupled with tear inducing cramps, my mom stuck me in the bathtub. It’s no surprise that I felt instant relief; physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s no surprise that caring for myself with such love and no agenda felt like home.
And now it’s your turn.
Moon Cycle Bakery is all about taking a moment to pause, to reset and to love yourself up. To create a space in time that is all about you and what your body needs. Read ahead for some self-care rituals you can implement into your #monthlymoment (and every day because you’re that awesome.)
A BATHTUB, A JOINT AND HEADPHONES:
a recurring theme, but the bathtub is the place to be when you want a quick escape and those pesky cramps are trying their damnedest to break down the door. But this is bathtub time 2.0. Noise cancelling headphones make all the wonder in the world. Giving yourself 15 minutes of uninterrupted podcast or Beyonce time is known to make even the gnarliest PMS symptoms manageable. Natural medicine is our best friend and the cannabis plant is mother nature’s guru. Did you know that Queen Victoria’s doctors would prescribe her cannabis for her menstrual cramps? Not to mention if you opt for a strain higher in CBD, you receive added benefits such as reduction of inflammation and total relaxation. Yas, queen.
SING A LOVE SONG…TO YOURSELF:
The other day, I was feeling like a million bucks and a love song came on. I started thinking about my husband (who was riding Benji in front of me…that’s right, my dad gave him his motorcycle when we moved out West. The love, man) and all of a sudden, I switched my perspective and started singing for myself. I sang louder. I smiled bigger. And my heart opened wider. We all need some lovin’, especially on our cycles or through times where our hormones are throwing us for a loop. Put that song on you love so much and sing it…to yourself.
Looking for a rad playlist that supports your every phase and helps you navigate during your cycle? Head here for our Period Inspired Playlist.
When we’re on our periods, our estrogen has decreased (bringing serotonin with it) and our creative energy is at bay. However, our progesterone levels have also dropped creating the urge to nest. This can be seen in the later stages of pregnancy when progesterone is at it’s lowest and women feel the urge to create warm and welcoming spaces. This is a great time to get outside and put our hands in the soil, reminding us where our energy flows and how intrinsically connected we are to nature. Or maybe it’s time to give that plant you keep eyeing in your local boutique a home on your windowsill and tell it everyday how much you love it. City dwellers? Take your time walking home and literally stop to smell the roses…or jasmine…or whatever else is blooming in your neighborhood. Pick your favorite flower in season, buy those seeds, adopt that succulent, and create your own little garden shrine.
A HIKE OR WALK WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND:
Speaking of nature, get out there. Often times, we can feel sluggish or zapped while menstruating. We can feel lonely or sad. Or maybe even a bit restless. Best friends are really great for all these symptoms. So is nature. Grab a partner and get lost.
A HEATED BLANKET AND NETFLIX:
And for those times when the idea of being with anyone but yourself makes your eyes roll so hard your head hurts or if there is no way in Hell you are getting off the couch (hands raised over here), there is always Netflix and chill PMS style. Heated blankets have become my favorite things in the world. They are furry, they are soft and they are HEATED! Like a bath but in bed. Netflix and a heated blanket. PB+J. They’re one in the same.
LATHER YOURSELF IN OIL:
We can thank our friend Estrogen who decides to dip out during our periods for dehydrated and dry skin. But this ritual is a fan favorite and great for your body all month long. Take some coconut oil and melt it over a double burner, add your favorite essential oils, let cool until warm and lather your body with it. This is a great time to repeat affirmations (I am so loved!) or whisper sweet nothings in your ear (you are fine, lady) or simply just indulge in the feeling of warm, smooth, silky coconut oil soaking into your very content body.
CREATE SPACE TO FEEL:
My mom always told me the shower was a great place to cry. She always encouraged “a good cry” and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever learned. Our hormones will disrupt our regular programming during the luteal phase and menstruation leaving us to witness to what feels like a spastic dance between up and down. Allow it. Breathe into it. Embrace it. And release it. Whether that’s in the shower, in bed, outside, in the ocean…create space to feel. You will notice a drastic difference in your emotional world as well as your physical ailments.
You are the divine feminine, constantly flowing, constantly changing. Your body wants to move, it wants to sway, it wants to you to feel through it. Dancing allows us to tune out our minds and connect to our Shakti. Embrace your goddess and let go.
CALL SOMEONE YOU LOVE AND FEEL LOVED BY:
I love this self-care ritual as it’s not only an act of self-care but an act of giving, as well. Whether it’s a quick hello or a place to release your ocean filled eyes, calling up a friend or loved one is some of the best medicine out there.
COOK SOMETHING SERIOUSLY SATISFYING + NUTRITIOUS:
My husband is a chef and can usually be found in the kitchen. It’s his true calling; finding him over the stove on a nightly basis — rivaling the moon with his joyous glow — is one of my favorite things about our life. Plus, I’m the best taste tester around. So, I was surprised when i noticed i began to feel restless. That urge to feed myself and care for myself wanted to boogie, so I started cooking for myself more, especially during my cycle. Because baking had always been an early love of mine, that joined in on the party and soon I was finding ways to cook and bake that were healthy and supportive to my body. Taking the time to nurture yourself and listen to your body, focusing on what it needs to feel good and satisfied, is such a beautiful gift we can give ourselves. And hey — if baking isn’t your thing, we’ve got you covered. Every. Single. Month.