How to Upgrade Your Self-Care Practice

How to Upgrade Your Self-Care Practice

Read our guide for creating an extended version of your self-care ritual. Based on activating all five senses, you'll experience a deeper connection to sensuality and self.

By: Starielle Hope

As I am writing this, we are living in a reality that modern humans have never experienced. As we shelter in place with no clear end date, we have no control over the circumstances that require this isolation. We do, however have control over the way we react to it and use this time. How often have you said, “If only I had more time I would ____”?

I’m a huge advocate for creating small, medium and large versions of my self-care practices so that I can always fit a version of my practices into my day, however busy I become. It is rare, though, that I create the time and space in my schedule to dive fully into the most full version of my practices.

I often say that if I had more time, I would expand my self-care practice, and now I have no excuse. I’m not going to pretend that I dropped into this perfectly though. I’ve taken the first two weeks of shelter in place to do whatever I needed to do to adjust to this bizarre new experience, and really haven’t been focusing on my practices much at all.

Now that I’ve had an opportunity to settle in a bit, I’m finally feeling ready to organize my days more intentionally. I have been reflecting a great deal about the opportunity this time provides us to cocoon, to go inward, and to consider what practices will best support this time of rest, introspection, and creativity, whether that is a burst of creative energy due to extra time or a creative fallow period.

Below is a guide to how I created a more extended version of my self-care ritual, based on activating all five senses.

Step One: Create the Space (5-10 minutes)

Where is your ritual space? Maybe it’s your bedroom, your living room, or even outdoors. Wherever you choose to carry out your ritual, make sure it is ready to host you. Clear away extra clutter, set out sacred objects, flowers, and/or art that inspires you.

If you live with other people, make sure to ask them in advance not to disturb you for at least 30 minutes.

Step Two: Activate Your Senses

Which senses do you want to activate in your ritual? Below are ideas for all five, feel free to mix and match as desired:


What types of foods or beverages activate the type of energy you’re wanting to access in this ritual? Maybe some chocolate would feel rich and sexy, or fresh fruit could feel energizing and playful. When I want to relax I love to sit down with a cup of Blue Lotus Tea which contains natural compounds that cool the nervous system. 


To activate this sense I love to dress in something soft or silky and bring my awareness to focus on the sensation of the fabric on my skin. I have a number of silk robes and deliciously soft cotton t-shirts that I reserve for this purpose.

Another great option is self-massage. You can use any natural oil that you have at home like coconut or Jojoba oil. I also personally love Rosebud Honor Balm which contains jojoba, meadowfoam seed oil and other nourishing plant extracts. It transforms into an oil as you work it into the skin.


I love music and curate playlists for myself depending on what I want to listen to for different moods. What type of music helps to cultivate the energy you want to experience during your self-care ritual? Maybe this is soft, classical or meditation music for relaxation, maybe this is more upbeat music you want to dance to. Music is so personal, I invite you to explore different styles of music during your ritual and see what feels the best. Or, if you’re the type of person who has music playing all the time, maybe consider exploring what it feels like to have no music, to enjoy the silence or any sounds of nature that are around you.


What would it look like to see yourself in a way that would help to activate the energy you want to create? For this part of my ritual, I have been taking time to look at myself naked in the mirror, observe any negative thoughts or judgements that come up, and then choose different thoughts. What could it feel like to see the beauty in yourself? To find parts of your naked body that you genuinely appreciate? This can be incredibly challenging because most of us spend so much time critiquing ourselves. I find it helpful to imagine I am talking to a person I love deeply, and to say those same words of love and compliment to myself.


Explore lighting incense, a candle, or setting up an aromatherapy diffuser with your favorite oils. I personally love rose to activate my feminine energy, and spicy scents like amber to activate more sexual energy.

Step Three - Explore Activating Sexual and Life-Force Energy

Once I’ve activated all of my senses, I generally find myself in a much more relaxed and open state of heightened sensitivity that allows sexual energy to flow more easily through my body. This sense activation ritual is the perfect foreplay for my self-pleasure practice. I am able to orgasm relatively quickly using a vibrator, but having this additional time has been perfect for me to slow down and focus on exploring internal stimulation. I have been using my Heart Slim from Chakrubs to explore inside of my vagina and play with new sensations. Instead of focusing of orgasms, I’ve been simply exploring for as long as it feels good, and noticing how stimulating different internal spots build excitement, arousal, and energy in my body.

In my next post, I’ll be sharing more ways to activate sexual energy in our bodies with breath, movement, and self pleasure!


Photo by Inna Shnayder