How to Utilize The Sun, The Moon, The Stars to Guide Self-Care

by | Team Posts, Courtney Miller, Individual Therapy

How often do you practice self-care, such as taking the time to slow down and do something just for yourself? How often do you put in the same energy in caring for yourself as you do for others? It’s easy to get lost in our daily to-do lists. This usually comes at the expense of neglecting signs that our body and mind need rest and care. Too often, people struggle to organize themselves to get the self-care they need. One way to organize your self-care and give time and energy back to yourself is through the sun, the moon, the stars. 

How are the sun, the moon, the stars significant?the sun the moon the stars

Since the earliest civilizations people have worshiped the sun, the moon, and the stars. They have served as the fulcrum for the passage of time and change. They can serve as a symbolic calendar for reflection and manifestations as the position of the stars in the sky relative to the position of the sun and the moon correlates to certain astrological signs. The astrological sign the sun is in presently can serve as a guide for themes to meditate on. Additionally, the phase the moon is in can inform personal rituals. This article will give an introduction to how to use moon cycles, astrological sun signs, intention, and rituals to harness your personal power. These practices can inform and guide your self-care routine. No, you don’t need to be a witch or to believe in astrology to benefit from following the moon’s cycles or what astrological sign the sun is in.

What is Self-Care

Self-care is a full re-nourishment. Check in with yourself, what do you need to refill your cup? Self-care can come in multiple forms. Some people need rest and relaxation (e.g., a bath or spa day, a massage, a nap), others need socialization (e.g., coffee with a friend, calling someone), while some may need alone time, exercise, better nutrients, or more water. 

However, self-care doesn’t always have to be an action, instead, it can focus on internal well-being such as emotions and thoughts. How have you been feeling this last week? Can you sit in your feelings for a moment and just be with them? Where have your thoughts been? Have they been predominantly positive or negative? Do you follow these thoughts or let them be fleeting? What have been your greatest challenges? How have you felt about yourself lately? Are you satisfied with your relationships? If not, what do you need from them to feel more satisfied, how do you get that? Self-care may be you checking in with your mental health and realizing you have felt anxious this month and exploring why that may be. 

Ideally, you are the one who is able to determine what you need, however, sometimes your loved ones may see that you are burning out or maybe paying attention to your schedule and needs better than you. Listen to them when they tell you that you need to slow down. At the same time, you are the expert on what you need. Do not be afraid to stand your ground when it comes to boundaries or making requests for self-care. 

Who needs Self-Care?

sun moon and stars

In general, everyone can benefit from self-care. However, there will be times in your life that you will need it more than others. Self-care can be a preventative of burnout. It can also help get you out of burnout if you’re already there. For those using self-care as a preventative measure to burning out, your self-care may be more stable (i.e., going to the gym 4x/week, weekly psychotherapy sessions, eating nutritious meals daily, calling your mother on Sundays, nightly gratitude journal). If you are using self-care as a way to get you rejuvenated from burnout, you may have to do a lot all at once. For example, taking a day off from work/childcare to go to the spa, have an extra therapy session. You should also think about getting more regimented in your self-care schedule, which this article can help you create a schedule for doing just that. 

Think about how you measure when you need self-care. Everyone has their own threshold. When was the last time you responded to someone in a more angry tone than you wanted to? Was this because you were on edge and could have benefited from self-care that day? Are you checked out, not interested in the things that normally interest you? What are your energy levels? How is your focus? These are all things to pay attention to when thinking about when you need self-care. Everybody needs self-care but if it is not something you are used to you may feel at a loss as to where to start. Perhaps, you are feeling stuck in your typical routine. Following astrology and moon cycles may be a good fit for you to get out of feeling stuck and practice seeing the world through a new lens.

How to Determine the Theme of the Astrological Season

Different dates refer to different themes of self-care to focus on based on the 12 astrological signs. These dates are created by the sun’s positioning with the stars. You can use these themes as directives to your self-care and make sure that you don’t neglect certain areas in your life. Following through with these themes throughout the year can serve as a schedule to keep yourself accountable for your self-care. Let’s start with where we are currently are in the calendar (I am writing this on 2/1/21) as an example. Using the chart below, we see that we are in Aquarius season. Aquarius season is about your vision and building connections. During this season, you may want to ponder: How do you envision your best life to be? How can you be more active in your community?

Additionally, the astrological sign the sun is in can also dictate how you start and end your day. For instance, in Aquarius season you might want to network and get a clear vision of how you want your future to be. How you network or get clarity of your vision for the future can be personalized. For example, perhaps you have an online business, a way to start your day making connections might be to create a social media post. The chart below outlines astrological signs, their themes, and suggestions for self-care.

Astrological Sign Season, Theme, and Self-Care Suggestions

21 March – 19 April: Aries: Confidence and Leadership:

  • Make a list of your strengths
  • Host a meet-up with friends about something meaningful to you

20 April – 20 May: Taurus: Money and Self-worth

  • Make a budget
  • List one thing you did well daily

21 May – 20 June: Gemini: Mindset and Community

  • Set intentions and meditate on them
  • Volunteer

21 June – 22 July: Cancer: Home and Family

  • Redecorate
  • Help a family member with something they need

23 July – 22 August: Leo: Creativity and Fun

  • Complete a craft project
  • Go to an amusement park

23 August – 22 September: Virgo: Health and Habits

  • Create a healthy meal plan
  • Create an exercise plan

23 September – 22 October: Libra: Relationships and Equality

  • Practice fair fighting
  • Go on a date

23 October – 21 November: Scorpio: Transformation and Forgiveness

  • Create a vision of your best self
  • Write a list of people to forgive and practice forgiving those on that list

22 November – 21 December: Sagittarius: Wisdom and Travel

  • Read a self-help book
  • Plan a trip

22 December – 19 January: Capricorn: Career and Goals

  • Define your career goals
  • Write out action steps to take toward your career goals

19 January – 21 March: Aquarius: Hope and Progress

  • Create a vision board 
  • Create a small goal based on your vision board to achieve in a month

19 February – 20 March: Pisces: Intuition and Spirituality

  • Check-in with your gut/spidey senses (i.e., your intuition) to make a decision
  • Create or reconnect with your spiritual practice

Moon Cycles and Themes

In addition to the position of the stars in relation to the sun, the phases of the moon also represent certain cyclical themes. In the time I am writing this, it is a new moon. New moons are a good time to define intentions and plan for projects. Waxing Moons ( the moon is getting bigger) represents the building of energy, momentum, and creativity. The waxing moon is a good time to make progress on your new moon projects and intentions. Full moons represent a celebration of the manifestations of your intentions and projects. This can be an actual celebration with friends! Lastly, the waning moon represents releasing, resting, and preparing for a new cycle. It is a good time to clean and get organized! You can use these themes to guide yourself through your journey with the sun, the moon, the stars, and self-care.

How Astrology and Moon Cycles Relate to Self-Care

You may be wondering, “What is an “intention?” An intention is a small goal or objective that you set for yourself. For example, if your overall goal is to lose 10lbs, you may set an intention for the week that you will walk at least 10 minutes a day. Or, if you’re working on becoming more assertive, you may set an intention to make more eye contact throughout the day. Going about a goal with intention helps keep focus and momentum. It is similar to creating a vision board. Your goals and intentions should be measurable. Moreover, you should be able to build on your intentions. In the above examples, you can easily add more walking time or exercise, and you can choose specific people to make eye contact with or you can work on using “I” statements while making eye contact with someone.

Furthermore, when setting an intention it may help to create an “affirmation.” An affirmation is a statement you can say out loud to yourself to remind yourself of your intentions. For example, in Aquarius season you might create an affirmation related to hope and progress such as, “I feel more connected to others daily.” You can personalize your affirmation according to whatever your intention is.

Self-Care Activities According to Moon cycle:

New Moon:

  • Set Intentions
  • Create affirmations
  • Journal about intention
  • Meditate

Waxing Moon:

  • Make progress toward goals
  • Exercise
  • Get Inspired

Full Moon:

  • Do something social
  • Dress up
  • Do something to enhance your appearance (example: get a haircut)
  • Celebrate your achievements

Waning Moon:

  • Clean
  • Organize
  • Purge items you no longer need
  • Release beliefs or emotions that no longer serve you
  • Rest/Relax

How to use ritual to further your self-care practice

If you have an appreciation of ceremony, you may be interested in creating your own personal spiritual/meditative rituals as a way to honor your intentions. I will outline some basic ways to utilize ritual in your self-care practice. Rituals for intention setting are great for new moons. Celebration rituals are appropriate for full moons and releasing rituals are good for waning moons. However, you can personalize your rituals and do them whenever you need. 

During a waning moon, when you are focused on releasing negativity, you may want to write down what you wish to release on a piece of paper. Light incense or candles to represent cleansing your space. Using a fireproof container (preferably outside or in a well-ventilated area) you can light your paper with what you are releasing. As the paper burns, imagine releasing what is on your paper. Next, pour salt over the paper to neutralize the energy. Pour the ashes and salt into the bowl of water and discard them away from your home. 

A full moon celebration is a great ritual to do with friends in order to appreciate each other’s successes and to honor what each person wants to invite into their life. First, create a mandala with crystals and meaningful items. Next, each person writes on a piece of paper what they wish to attract into their lives. Each person puts their paper in a water bowl and leaves it in the full moonlight. You may also wish to charge your crystals with full moonlight and keep them in your pocket to remind you of what you wish to attract.

Helpful Items for Spiritual/Meditative Self-care Rituals:

  • Candles: Great for a peaceful atmosphere, can meditate while looking at the flame, can blow it out and make a wish!
  • Incense: Typically used to cleanse negative energy from a space
  • Fireproof container: Use to burn the paper with what you wish to release written on it.
  • Bowl of water: Good for dumping the ashes from your fireproof container
  • Matches/lighter: to light candles, incense, etc…
  • Salt: Can be mixed with ashes of burned paper to further neutralize any negativity
  • Crystals: Can be charged with your intentions by leaving in the moonlight and you can choose to carry them around with you
  • Personally meaningful items (ex. your favorite figurine): These are useful to create mandala’s with

Conclusion

After reading this article, you should have a good sense of what to do in each of the astrological phases. You should also know your monthly self-care activities based on the phases of the moon. This article is meant to serve as a starting point for developing your own personalized self-care and spiritual rituals using the sun, the moon, the stars, and self-care. Feel free to get creative! Remember, you can use the theme of the season to guide what you want your goals and intentions to be for the upcoming moon cycle. If you are interested in having guidance in staying focused on your intentions and self-care you might benefit from talking to a therapist. Call us today at 267-495-4951 to see how we might be able to help. We, also, are currently offering Online Therapy and Counseling for anyone located in the United States!

Meet The Author:

Courtney Miller, LPC

Courtney Miller, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Courtney Miller, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a warm, empathetic approach, specializing in children, teens, and young adults, including the LGBTQ+ community. Utilizing her artistic background, she employs creative and experiential methods in therapy. Courtney focuses on overcoming mood disorders, trauma, and relational dynamics, particularly addressing C-PTSD and narcissistic wounds. She emphasizes understanding patterns and enhancing existing strengths, offering tools like mindfulness and thought reframing. With a BA in Psychology and Fine Art from SUNY New Paltz and an MA in Mental Health Counseling from CUNY Brooklyn, she has experience in family dynamics and LGBTQ+ youth support. Based in Philadelphia, Courtney enjoys crafting, travel, biking, and spending time with loved ones.

Learn more about Courtney Miller ⇒

Our Approach to Smoking and Tobacco Cessation

The journey to quit smoking cessation is a big step towards reclaiming your health and well-being. The Food and Drug Administration recommends against using tobacco due to its well-documented adverse health effects. At our Philadelphia center near you, we understand the complications of nicotine addiction and the challenges it presents. Our therapeutic strategy for smoking and tobacco cessation is rooted in compassionate, evidence-based methods that respect your unique story and struggles.

Complete Assessment: Every journey begins with understanding. Our initial cessation counseling sessions are dedicated to exploring your relationship with tobacco and assessing the right path for you if you’re asking how to quit tobacco products. We look into your smoking history, triggers, and any previous attempts to quit. This thorough assessment allows us to tailor a smoking cessation plan that aligns with your personal goals and challenges.

Personalized Therapy Plans: Recognizing that no two individuals are alike, we offer customized therapy solutions. Our plans integrate a mix of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and mindfulness techniques geared toward breaking the mental need for nicotine. We address not just the act of smoking but the emotional and situational triggers that accompany it. 

Skill Development for Long-term Success: Our approach focuses on equipping you with the tools and skills needed to quit tobacco for good. This includes strategies for managing cravings, emotional regulation techniques to cope with stress without relying on tobacco, and building a supportive environment helpful in your success.

Supportive Environment: We provide a non-judgmental, supportive setting that encourages openness and trust. Understanding the ups and downs of quitting smoking, we offer continuous support and motivation, ensuring you never feel alone in your journey. We recognize the habit of smoking is difficult to break. We also recognize that smoking sometimes offers more than just a nicotine hit, such as a break from work or family. 

Holistic Well-being and Focus: Beyond cessation, our therapy emphasizes overall well-being. We explore the impact of smoking on your physical health, relationships, and self-esteem, aiming to enhance your quality of life across all fronts.

Relapse Prevention: Quitting is not a straightforward process, our program includes comprehensive relapse prevention strategies. We help you identify potential pitfalls and develop a plan to navigate them, ensuring long-term success. We recognize the habit of smoking is difficult to break. We also recognize that smoking sometimes offers more than just a nicotine hit, such as a break from work or family. 

Continuous Evaluation and Adjustment: We believe in the power of adaptability. Your therapy plan is regularly reviewed and adjusted based on your progress, challenges, and feedback, ensuring it remains aligned with your evolving needs and goals.

Meet Our Smoking Cessation Therapist in Philadelphia

Our Philadelphia smoking cessation treatment therapist specializes in helping individuals navigate the journey to becoming smoke-free. Using evidence-based practices, they focus on your unique needs, providing tailored support to overcome the challenges of quitting tobacco. With a commitment to your overall well-being, our team offers the encouragement and strategies necessary for lasting change, ensuring a compassionate and effective path toward a healthier life.

Reasons to Seek Therapy for Quitting Tobacco

Quitting tobacco is a transformative journey that extends beyond physical health; it’s a pathway to reclaiming control over your life. Therapy offers a structured, supportive environment where you can tackle the challenge with professional guidance, making the process more manageable and the outcomes more sustainable.

Break the Physical Dependence

Therapy provides practical strategies to manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce the physical craving for nicotine. By understanding the nature of addiction, individuals can learn to break the cycle of dependence, using tools and techniques that address both the immediate challenges of quitting and the long-term goal of staying tobacco-free.

Improve Overall Mental and Physical Health

Quitting tobacco significantly boosts both mental and physical health. Therapy aids in reducing the stress, anxiety, and depression often associated with quitting while also supporting the body’s recovery from the harmful effects of tobacco use. This focus ensures a holistic improvement in quality of life.

Strengthen Self-Esteem and Confidence

The process of quitting tobacco, supported by therapy, can dramatically enhance self-esteem and confidence. Achieving this milestone reinforces an individual’s belief in overcoming challenges, strengthening a positive self-image, and a can-do attitude towards life’s obstacles.

Set a Foundation for Long-Term Health

Therapy not only aids in quitting tobacco but also sets the groundwork for a healthier future. By establishing healthy habits and coping mechanisms, individuals can protect themselves against the long-term risks associated with tobacco use, such as heart disease, cancer, and respiratory issues, paving the way for a longer, more vibrant life.

Financial Saving and Freedom

Quitting tobacco with the help of therapy can lead to significant financial savings. The cost of purchasing cigarettes or tobacco products adds up, and therapy can help redirect these funds towards more fulfilling and health-promoting uses, offering both financial freedom and an enhanced lifestyle.

FAQ For Smoking Cessation Counseling

What is tobacco cessation therapy?

Tobacco cessation therapy is a specialized form of behavioral counseling designed to help individuals quit smoking or using tobacco products by addressing both the physical addiction and the psychological factors that contribute to tobacco use.

Is tobacco cessation therapy effective for everyone?

While individual results can vary, many people find therapy can be an effective addition to quitting tobacco, especially when combined with other treatments like nicotine replacement therapy.

What to expect in your therapy sessions

In your therapy sessions, you can expect a supportive and non-judgmental environment where you will work together with your therapist to understand your tobacco use, identify triggers, and develop personalized strategies for quitting. Sessions often include setting quit goals, learning stress management techniques, and building skills to cope with cravings and avoid relapse.

How does therapy help in quitting tobacco?

Therapy helps by identifying triggers, teaching coping strategies to deal with cravings and stress, addressing underlying emotional or psychological issues, and providing support and motivation throughout the quitting process.

Can therapy address nicotine withdrawal symptoms?

Yes, therapy can provide strategies to manage withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, and cravings and can suggest medical resources if necessary. Other supplementary cessation medications, such as a nicotine patch, or nasal spray can help with withdrawal symptoms.

How long does tobacco cessation therapy take?

The duration varies depending on the individual’s needs and progress, but it typically involves multiple sessions over several weeks or months to provide adequate support and guidance. The smoking cessation therapist will maintain an open dialogue with you about progress and discharge. 

What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)?

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) involves using products that supply low doses of nicotine without the harmful chemicals found in tobacco. The aim is to ease the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting tobacco by gradually reducing the body’s dependence on nicotine. Common forms of NRT include patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays.

What happens to your body when you quit tobacco?

When you quit tobacco, your body begins to heal immediately from the harmful effects of tobacco. Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. Within 12 hours, carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal. Over the next few months, circulation improves, lung function increases, and your risk of heart attack begins to decrease. Long-term benefits include a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases, and significant overall health and longevity improvement.

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