Self Care: Welcoming the New Year with Ayurveda

Tapas New

As the New Year approaches, many of us are drawn to reflect on the past year with the intention to create something new, something better than what we experienced the preceding year. Your soul wants to expand and your mind wants to work diligently to discover, analyze, and create a new story. In this scenario, we’re oftentimes driven by the ego-mind which gives us a sense of Self. The ego-mind is what you learned about yourself from outside sources: other people, experiences you’ve had, and the society where you grew up. And so, it’s helpful when it comes to navigating the practical matters of life that we’ve created. For example, thanks to the ego, you can identify yourself as a Mother, Father, European, Accountant, etc. And while it helps create order it also creates a sense of separation, which ultimately is devastating to humankind. You can, however, use the ego-mind as it was intended, to help you evolve. The gateway to do so begins with self-care. Self-care gives you the space to quiet the ego-mind, look within, and create more consciousness. 

Recognize the need for Change through Meditation

So how does one go about such a grand task like saving human existence?! By starting small. The very first thing you can do and perhaps the most powerful is

to recognize there’s a need for change within yourself. We are creatures of habit and we identify with the life we have created. For example, it may feel normal to have racing thoughts, emotionally eat, or be quick to anger. Over time, the “norm” you’ve created may develop into insomnia, weight gain, or an ulcer. Often when psychological symptoms turn into physical illness is when we see a need for change. And so be it. There’s no wrong time to create change; some of us need to “break” before we are really ready to heal. 

One of the best ways to become more reflective is by meditating. It’s through meditation you can create a sense of separation from the ego-mind and begin observing your life rather than reacting to it. So while your mind may still be racing, and you may continue to emotionally eat, or be quick to anger, you can start recognizing when it’s happening and that’s how change takes place. When these moments of awareness start bubbling up, it may feel overwhelming, depressing or frustrating but try to remember to have compassion for yourself and lean into the clarity you’re receiving. Perhaps acknowledge it, “I’m eating more food than my body needs because I feel depressed.” Once you acknowledge it, you set it free. Over time, you can unwind old patterns that are no longer serving you and create more space for thoughts and actions that are in line with your true nature. 

Create a Routine that Works for you

Another way to bring more self-care into your life is through a routine. Everything in the Universe has rhythm and order: the sun setting, the moon rising, the seasons changing, the birds migrating, the ants forming, and beyond. According to Ayurveda, you are comprised of the same elements (air, fire, earth, water, and space) as these magnificent forms of energy. And so, you too crave rhythm and order and function best when it’s in place – especially when it’s in line with your Ayurvedic dosha

As mentioned above, the key to long-lasting change is to start small. That said, consider shifting what you’re already doing. Rather than adding more to your routine, work with what you have and sync into how that feels – chances are you’ll be inspired to add life choices that bring more balance to your life. For example, eating and sleeping are a must so you could begin by waking up, going to sleep, and eating within the same hour every day. This routine helps ease the mind and body, aids in proper digestion, and helps stabilize sleep. 

From an Ayurvedic perspective, each dosha will thrive with a specific routine that honors the natural rhythm of the mind and body. If this is something you would like to work toward, adjust your timing in half-hour increments until you reach the desired time. By meeting yourself where you’re at and slowly shifting your routine, you significantly increase the chance of creating long-lasting, positive change.  

Daily Routine for each Dosha
Vata Dosha Pitta Dosha Kapha Dosha 
Wake up 6pm – 7am 5:30am – 6:30am 4:30am – 6am
Breakfast 7:30am – 8:30am 7am – 8am 6:30am – 7:30am
Lunch 11:30am – 12:30am 12pm – 1pm 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Dinner 5:30pm – 6:30pm 6pm – 7pm 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Sleep 8:30pm – 10pm

Sleep on back

9pm – 10pm

Sleep on right side

10pm – 11:30pm

Sleep on left side

Bring more Creativity into your Life

Every day you have the opportunity to create your own adventure – your soul craves it. There’s magic, wonder, and delight all around you but it can be easily missed if the ego-mind is running the show. When you allow the ego-mind to put you into past or future scenarios, it takes you away from the beauty and creativity that surrounds you. And so being creative doesn’t necessarily mean you need to invest in paintbrushes, yarn, or pottery classes. It can, but it’s also available to you at this moment. 

If you allow it, this moment can resonate with you so deeply that a shift takes place. For example, if you notice a leaf falling from a tree, it may stop you in your tracks, slow your breathing, and open you up to more softness. The next interaction you have maybe met with more kindness and clarity. And so it continues – whatever energetic path you chose, rolls into the next and has the power to change your life, those around, and really, the world. 

All material provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Direct consultation of a qualified Ayurvedic Health Counselor should be sought for any specific questions or issues.

Table provided by The Ayurvedic Institute:    

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