Self care can sometimes feel like an esoteric concept — something that sounds good in theory, but much harder in practice. That’s because so much of self care is about knowing what you need, rather than following a prescription someone else gives you. At KIM+ONO, most of us are women and mothers, so we know the valuable impact good self care can have on your entire life. From your family to your work to your relationships, practicing self care is an investment in your own well-being. It’s a way to reconnect and ground yourself even in the midst of the most challenging times. So how can something so important be so difficult to do?
We believe that self care should be infused into the smallest moments of your day. It’s not practical for you to go on a self care retreat every time you need to find a little peace of mind, so it’s vital to bring self care to you, instead of going out to seek it. When we created our silk robes for women, it was for that exact intention — to add a little luxury to your every day and give you a piece of self care you could wear. So that as you’re draped in our different types of kimono robes, you’re reminded to come back to this very moment and find a deep breath. There are so many ways to practice coming back to the moment. And once you get to that present moment space, you’ll always know what you need and how to give yourself the self care your body, mind, and spirit deserve. So today in the journal, we’re sharing five ways to connect to yourself so you can find impactful ways to practice self care every day.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the hardest to implement. Much like children, adults can’t think straight if we’re hungry, tired, or dehydrated. It will be so much harder to know what you need when those basic needs aren’t met. If you’re at a mental impasse and not sure what you need, drink a big glass of water. Let the act of drinking slow you down. Once you’ve slowed to a stop, figure out what you need to do from there. Maybe you slip into your pink kimono robe, or go for a walk outside. Maybe you just need to cook yourself a delicious meal, or call a friend. Give yourself your basic needs as a gateway to understanding your deeper calling for the self care that will make an impact on your day.
While it’s supposed to be an automatic habit, it’s amazing how much we’re holding our breath! Check in with yourself right now — unclench your jaw, take a deep breath, drop your shoulders. Sometimes it’s surprising to witness how much tension we’re holding without even realizing it. This simple check in to take a deep breath can illuminate your bigger needs. We designed our silk robes for women as a reminder to take a deep breath, but many sensory experiences can help with this. You could smell a beautiful flower on your morning walk, or hear a song that makes you melt. Sometimes your senses cause you to take a deep breath, and sometimes your deep breath will cause you to feel more connected to your senses and sense of well-being. Unclench your jaw, drop your shoulders, and take a deep breath as a practical way to get back to your center and give yourself the self care you need.
Rituals, as we discussed last month in the journal, have influenced and inspired all of our designs — from our kimono wraps to our kimono jackets — each piece has our founders’ families’ rituals and heritage woven into them. Rituals connect us to something bigger and outside of ourselves. When we are stuck in a rut, rituals can help bring us back to a greater sense of purpose and alignment. No matter your heritage, you can always start a new ritual today. It can be as simple as slipping into your favorite type of kimono robe and boiling a pot of water for some tea. It can be as complicated as plotting a vacation adventure every September with your best girlfriends. Whatever the ritual is, when you practice it, it should bring you a sense of peace and connectedness. Find a ritual that grounds you, so that when you ask yourself, “What self care do I need to practice right now?” you can find the answer that is most true to you.
Sometimes we can connect to our intuition through our senses, but sometimes it’s easier to get there with simple logic. Making a list can spark forgotten memories and self care practices that worked for you in the past. So our suggestion is to wrap up in your favorite pink kimono robe or whatever makes you slow down and take a deep breath, light a candle, boil some water for tea, and make a list! List out all the times in your life you felt nourished and relaxed. Then list out any practices or daily habits you had in place that you think helped you feel that way. Then use that list to make a plan for the week to feel more grounded and connected to your self care practice. Sometimes the magic is in simply saying out loud (or in this case, writing down) the things you know have worked for you before and could work for you again.
It can be so hard to slow down our minds when we’re going a mile a minute, and sometimes meditation can bring up guilt for not “doing it right” more than instilling a sense of peace. So to connect with your intuition through meditation, use this workaround for creating the peace of mind you’re after—first, find the things that ground you. Perhaps that means literally sitting on the ground, or standing in bare feet with your heels and toes pressing into the floor. Perhaps that means draping a kimono jacket around your shoulders and allowing the fluid drape to inspire your shoulders to roll back and down and open your chest. Perhaps that means lighting your favorite scented candle and allowing yourself to breathe in and out while watching the flame flicker. Whatever you need to feel grounded, do that first. Then, to meditate with low stakes, simply notice your thoughts come up. And when you notice them, say to yourself “thinking”. That’s it! See how you feel after that simple practice. You may get nourished from that simple practice itself, or it may lead your intuition to another practice that will feel good and grounding to you.
At KIM+ONO, we created these silk robes for women as self care you can wear because we know all you do and all you care for each and every day. We hope these tips help you remember that you deserve time and space to care for yourself as well. Take care, lovely, and be well!