Valentine’s Day is a great time to reflect on self love, our relationships, and the journeys we take with the people we love. But it doesn’t stop there. Even after the chocolate boxes have been emptied and the cards carefully put away, cultivating our relationships and investing in ourselves and in others remains a priority.
To help keep the momentum going, we sat down with Rachele Kehler, a Relationship Coach & Human Design Guide, to discuss the intersections between self care, daily rituals, and our relationships with others. The conversation was eye-opening and filled with insights we think you’ll appreciate, especially if you’re currently on a self-care journey or just looking to be more intentional about how you show up for yourself and others.
At Malu, we believe that simple daily rituals can bring you joy and help you feel grounded. In your prior experience as a therapist and now as a relationship coach, what would you say is it about daily practices or rituals that help us feel grounded or better about ourselves?
Rachele: I think there's something to be said for keeping a promise to ourselves. We don't realize how powerful that is for our self-worth and self-trust, and to truly show how much we love ourselves when we commit to something daily. And that daily thing doesn't have to be the same task every day, but just carving out time for ourselves every day I think is so vital to our overall wellbeing because then we don't feel like life around us is just happening to us. We're actually quite more intentional. We are filling our own cup and again, commitment to self is so vital in today's day and age where there's so many distractions that we can kind of get lost in everything.
What is your self-care routine like, or just in general, what is self-care in your opinion?
Rachele: I think self-care is so specific to the individual. For me personally, I look at it as a holistic practice[…] Because most people don't even know what they like. The start is understanding what actually fills their cup. So we usually start there with many of my clients. For me personally, I find listening to podcasts really inspires me to start my day. And I just like silly things like putting on a song and dancing to it while I'm cooking. And again, these are small things that connect me to like my own inner self and my own inner joy. It's the day-to-day small stuff.
Speaking of podcasts, any recommendations?
Rachele: A big one that I really enjoy is anything by Esther Perel. I really enjoy the way that she approaches relationships. On her podcast you can listen to a counseling session with a couple, which is really cool. And then some of her interviews are pretty mind blowing as well.
Most of our customers are women and a lot of them juggle different roles. They are moms and wives and daughters and sisters. What are some things you recommend people can do to create balance and unwind after a long day?
Rachele: So for the woman who is working and coming home to a chaotic house with children, the number one thing I would suggest is to be intentional with your drive home or your transit home. Listen to something that feels like it's going to calm you down. Read a book if that helps you regulate your nervous system. The other big piece is if you drive, just take an extra two to five minutes to sit in your car by yourself before you go into the house, because you know if you're a mom you're going to be bombarded the second you walk in the door. That five minutes of tapping into your body, clearing up your end of the day, can be such a game changer. The other big piece is a lot of us have been working from home lately and so again we don't realize that we need to shift our energy like we used to when we left different environments.
So creating an end of day ritual I think is really important. So a big one I often suggest to all of my clients is to shower at the end of your work day cuz it literally cleanses your energy. That's the time to do something sort of in a different environment–that's the time to exercise, or even go for a walk, have a dance party and totally change up the vibe of your energy.
For the women that are doing it all and for the ones that are kind of the entrepreneurs still going to the office and having a space to go but wanting to decompress at the end of the day, I think that demographic needs to practice slowing down.
So how do these kinds of self-care routines help with your relationships, both romantically with your partner and also with your kids or just the people around you?
Rachele: The thing that women especially need to hear really loud is taking care of yourself isn't selfish. It's actually the most selfless thing you can do because not only are you filling your cup, [but also] giving from a place of overflow[…] Self-care is so important to the health of all relationships because then you'll be giving from actually an overflow of generosity, you won't be giving out of a need to get. So, then, love doesn't become conditional then it's actually unconditional. You'll actually feel grounded, centered and actually present in your relationships and you won't be feeling obligated to do something for other people if they do it for you.
The number one thing I've learned in the last few years is when I started saying no to things that felt like obligations or canceling plans because I needed to take care of myself, it also invited my friends and my partner and my family to also honor that themselves[…] If you can respect yourself enough to honor your capacity and your needs, you're going to show up and be more honest in your relationships. You're going to show up and be more grounded in your relationships. You're going to show up and be just more you authentically rather than relating because you need something from someone.
What is your personal morning routine, if you have one?Rachele: I think one of the things that we, that has really been promoted lately is like success equals morning routine, morning routine equals success. But I think intention is more important than anything. And what you put your attention on is more important than anything. So your morning routine can literally be five minutes of staring out and getting sunlight in your eyes and drinking your tea or coffee or water and looking out the window. You're not looking at a screen, you're not looking at a computer, just for five minutes. That's all it needs to be for some people, and others need structure[…] And that works for them.
I often actually ask myself, what is a loving choice when I get up in the morning? Does the loving choice feel like I'm going to listen to a podcast first thing? Sure. Maybe the loving choice feels like I'm going to actually sleep a little bit longer. Does a loving choice feel like I want to get up and go straight to the shower?
So I say– do whatever feels most loving and gentle, but also imagine yourself stepping into your power.
Rachele is a Relationship & Femininity Coach + Human Design Guide that works one-on-one with clients online and facilitates group transformation. She teaches folks how to authentically embody their own unique ALIGNMENT in order for them to speak and live their truth while cultivating happy, healthy heart-centered relationships.