By Kate Downes, LAc TCM Practitioner
Looking to feel more youthful, creative, and joyful? Just try hanging out with your inner child.
As nature is reborn in spring, now is also the perfect time to return to your inner child. In nurturing our inner child through self-care, we also improve our mood, develop stronger self-awareness, and promote self-compassion.
Let’s rediscover the sense of joy, wonder, and excitement that felt so natural as a kid, but can be difficult to cultivate in our adult lives. Read on to learn how to rekindle your friendship with your inner child with 4 playful self-care practices.
Why is Connecting with Your Inner Child an Important Self-Care Practice?
Inner child work is the practice of reconnecting with the part of ourselves that still holds on to our childhood memories, experiences, and emotions. For many people, this practice helps heal past traumas and release negative patterns. But inner child work can be done by anyone (even if you had a positive childhood) to unlock a sense of joy and creativity to help us live a more fulfilling life. Here’s why…
Embracing our inner child keeps us feeling young.
There is no anti-aging elixir or magical youth serum that could outperform the benefits of simply feeling young. Working with your inner child helps you cultivate a youthful glow inside and out, as you develop that part of yourself that is naturally playful, creative, and full of wonder. It can help you tap into the childlike energy that you may have lost touch with as an adult, and experience a sense of joy and enthusiasm that can keep you feeling young at heart.
Nurturing our inner child is a way to mother ourselves.
We all need the strength, wisdom, and love of a mother, even as adults. By connecting with our inner child, we can create a safe and nurturing environment for ourselves where we feel loved, supported, and cared for. We learn to tap into our own inner wisdom and strength and create a foundation of self-care that promotes our overall well-being and helps us live a more fulfilling life.
Our inner child reminds us of who we really are.
As we grow older, we tend to bury our inner child deeper and deeper within us, until we forget that it's even there. We become so focused on our responsibilities, our goals, and the role in society we believe we should fill that we neglect the part of ourselves that once loved to play, explore, and dream. Reconnecting with your inner child reminds you of the totally unique individual you are and always have been.
Embracing our inner child helps us develop more self-compassion.
In many ways, engaging with your inner child is a way to self-nurture. This practice gives us the chance to cultivate a deeper sense of self-compassion and self-love as we start to see ourselves as we were when we were young, with all our innocence and potential. This can help us develop a more compassionate and forgiving attitude towards ourselves, which can help us let go of negative self-talk and embrace a more positive outlook on life.
Self-Care Rituals to Bring Out Your Inner Child
Inner child work can take many forms, from simply reminiscing about our childhood memories to engaging in old hobbies or activities that trigger our natural curiosity. Let’s give your all-grown-up self-care rituals a playful spin with these 4 practices!
1. Get crafty.
You don’t have to be an artist to experience the joy and wonder of creative expression. When we engage in artistic or crafty hobbies, we step out of our heads and into our hands. The tactile and sensory nature of crafting helps us de-stress while connecting with our physical bodies and celebrating our ability to create and experiment.
So, trade self-consciousness and perfectionism for cultivating mindfulness and inner calm with an artsy self-care ritual. Any medium will do, but the tactile crafts you used to do in grade school art class (like painting, clay molding, or collage) can be particularly enticing to your inner child.
Aromatherapy can enhance your creative mindset – we recommend a few spritzes of Species by the Thousands Sun Aromatherapy Mist to unlock your creative side and infuse joy into your practice.
2. Collect rocks.
Were you one of those kids who always had a rock (or three) in your pocket? Or loved to get your hands dirty in nature (and often brought the outdoors inside with you)?
As a child, this was your way of connecting to nature, exploring the world around you, and finding beauty in the simple things.
Give your inner child’s rock-collecting hobby a glow-up and embrace the power of crystals. Healing crystals have metaphysical properties that can promote physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. They’re a simple way to make your self-care rituals more powerful or work towards a particular goal. And with so many crystals to discover and experiment with, your curiosity will never run out!
Start with a rose quartz crystal to promote self-love, then discover the crystal most suited to your astrological element (aventurine for Earth types, amethyst for air types, tiger eye for fire types, and chrysocolla for water types).
3. Make bath time fun.
Somewhere between rubber ducky bubble baths and the weekday shower sprint, bathing becomes less about relaxation and more of a chore. So, let’s revive our bathtime rituals with some inner child self-care!
The first step is to step back into the world before you cared about time or deadlines. Plan your bath ritual on a day when you can enjoy a nice long bath without feeling rushed. Then, instead of filling your tub with the chemical-laden bubble bath of your younger years, opt for botanical bath salts and a soothing body oil. Settle in with a good podcast or playlist and let your mind wander.
4. Do a daily tarot reading.
Kids love card games. They offer a fun way to learn about the world around us, develop skills, practice strategy, and develop our intuition.
As an adult, playing games is one of the best ways to tap into your inner child and enjoy feeling young again. An easy way to “play a game” each day is with a tarot reading. Tarot cards aren’t really a game, but the practice can evoke the same feelings of joy, curiosity, wonder, strategic thinking, and pattern recognition.
There are many ways to use and enjoy your tarot deck, but the simplest is to pull one card each morning to set the intention or a lesson to consider for the day. Keep a log of the cards you pull each day and get curious – are there any patterns emerging? Any repeated cards or messages? How do the lessons in the cards impact how you approach the day?
It's never too late to reconnect with your inner child, and spring offers the perfect time to embrace the joys of play! For more self-care rituals and inspiration, follow @pinkmoon.co and @_onceinapinkmoon, and sign up for SMS love notes from us – including your monthly horoscope!