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#SELFCARESUNDAYS: how I used spiritual rituals to find happiness and peace

29 Apr 2018

Sometimes you’re going to have those days where you feel like you’re on top of the world, knocking out obstacles and being that badass boss you are. But other days, staying in bed all day in darkness feels like the only option.

I was having a hard time after my 24th birthday celebrations – thinking about all the things I want to do to better myself, what my next career move would be, and just evaluating my life. A while ago, I suffered from depression and went through the most horrible time in my life, but these last two years have been nothing short of amazing. I changed my lifestyle, moved to a different flat and got into a new relationship with a long-time friend (which might I add has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made).

So, what was happening with me this time? Sometimes you can’t really explain what you feel or put into words why you feel the way you do because you don’t know yourself. Even though things were going great with my career and relationship, I felt like I was slightly losing myself, and becoming very confused about a lot of things in my life. Maybe I was just overwhelmed by my huge workload, as I tend to take on a lot of things at once, or maybe it was the feeling of wanting more for myself and wishing success would come sooner. I started to have flashbacks to the most dreadful times of my life, which made me feel like a grey cloud was hovering over my head. I often receive messages on Instagram from different people telling me how much I inspire them, but at that moment, I didn’t feel like I was worthy of their praises.

I gave myself one day to scream my head off in the shower, eat as much junk food as I wanted, sit in the dark watching movies and not to mention, cry the entire day. I told my boyfriend, closest friends and parents that something was wrong and asked for my space, which they completely understood. I had deadlines to meet and no matter how much I wanted to lay in my bed for another day in the darkness, I still had work to do. I couldn’t allow myself to go backwards and let this feeling cancel out the sanity I’ve worked so hard to obtain over the years. Looking at who I used to be and how far I’ve come in life was an eyeopener – something had to be done, and fast.

After a long day of napping and tiring myself out due to excessive crying and screaming, I sat at my desk and researched the different ways I could get myself out of this mess.  At one point I think I even searched “how to be happy.” I mean, I knew I was happy with my life, but I just felt like I was in a negative space. I started my journey off with simple yoga to calm my nerves, but every time I closed my eyes I could feel the tears forming so I had to dig a bit deeper. Growing up Christian, spiritual rituals were not part of healing, other than through prayer. The things I did were completely out of my element or comfort zone. I didn’t want to get into anything too drastic, I wanted something more symbolic, which would allow me to heal myself from anything that was bothering me. Here are the “rituals” I did to clear my space.

1. Burn your sorrows

I wrote down a list of everything that was worrying me and the negative thoughts that never seemed to leave my mind. I took the time to think about them thoroughly and how they have impacted my life. Some of the things on my list were names of people who had hurt me and certain situations I wished I could stop thinking about. After reflecting, I burned the paper to symbolise that all my problems were now non-existent.

2. Purify your space

I placed a cup of salt in each corner of my flat to purify my negative space. It does not matter how positive you may be, your surroundings can consume you in ways you never thought they could, especially if you’re in them every day. Just as people receive energy from crystals, I did the same with salt. . I was a bit sceptical about this ritual but surprisingly I felt lighter and more energised afterwards.

3. Declutter your space

After cleaning my flat thoroughly I rearranged my belongings. I put items were they normally aren’t because with change comes a new form of hope.

4. Prayer

If you are a Christian like myself, you’ll know the importance of this. This is the first thing I do when something goes wrong and more so, when things go right. This is your way of casting all your problems to the Highest while praising Him.

Even though I was very sceptical about all the rites I took part in because I had never experienced anything like this before or even thought to do anything like this, it worked. After two days, I felt enriched and cleansed. You must go into things like this with an open mind. Although the origin of some of the acts I did weren’t from the religion I practice, it was still so amazing to experience. Sometimes you must remove yourself from your comfort zone to go through life changing moments. My advice to anyone who may feel overwhelmed about all the things that life will throw your way is that, things happen. Don’t beat yourself up. You have one shot at life, so you must make the most of it, no matter the situation.

Note: All opinions are those of the writer, If you are feeling any symptoms of depression, please seek out professional help. More information can be found through the NHS here