7 Ways To Make Self-Care A Priority When The New Moon Tries To Mess With Your Mood

As the moon orbits our planet, the positions of the Earth, moon, and sun create a cycle of lunar phases. We earthlings witness these phases simply by noticing how much of the moon we're actually able to see. All months have a new moon, all months have a full moon, and the cycle completes and repeats about every 29.53 days. New moons are believed to be a time when you can more easily manifest intentions or desires, which is totally rad. But one must wonder, while all this potential change is happening, can the new moon affect your mood or other aspects of your day-to-day life?

Also of interest, as the moon orbits, it spends time in the part of the starry sky where each sign of the zodiac resides. This latest new moon, happening on Dec. 18, will be in Sagittarius, meaning the lunar event will call for a bit of self-reflection about what exactly it is that we want out of life, especially as we move into a new year. On that note, keep in mind, too, that because this is the last new moon of 2017, it may be especially powerful in how it affects you.

So, if you've noticed your moods are feeling a little out of whack right now, you're likely not alone, and you can blame it, at least in part, on the new moon. But hey, you're an independent woman who don't need no new moon, so go ahead and take care of yourself with these seven strategies.

Make Sure You're Getting Enough Sleep

If you're feeling restless or stretched too thin during this end-of-the-year lunar shift, make sure you're not skimping on your sleep time.

The good news is, while you might be more tired during the new moon, it seems that falling asleep actually becomes easier for people during the new moon, as opposed to the full moon, where it's reportedly more challenging.

Either way, make sure to get yourself to bed, and give yourself some time to unwind beforehand.

Put Your Phone Away And Un-Freakin'-Plug

It's no secret that screens can have a negative impact on our mental health, and I've had some very positive experiences recently with taking a hiatus from social media that has legitimately made me feel calmer and happier.

If nothing else, give yourself time at the end of the day to just put your phone and computer away entirely, and unwind with something sans screens, like a good book.

Don't Be Afraid To Say "No" To Plans

It's no secret that this time of year is filled with obligations. From finishing your semester up with finals, to going to five holiday parties in one weekend, to simply just getting your Secret Santa shopping done, having a moment to yourself and getting adequate amounts of time to unwind and recharge can be a real challenge.

Remember that it's totally cool to say no for the sake of your peace of mind and emotional well-being. If you need to spend a night in with a book and a cup of tea, do you, girl.

Use Your Spiritual Tools If You Have Trouble Focusing Your Intentions

If you, like me, find it both fun and helpful to have a physical object that's representative of something you want to heal or need help shifting — like using a rock of rose quartz to open your heart, or a wand of selenite to clear negative energy — then now is a great time to whip those babies out and use the crap out of them. Maybe you want to focus more on your creative expression, or clear away your tendency toward stress in the coming year.

Pro tip: A self-proclaimed witch once told me that new and full moons are also particularly good times to charge and cleanse your healing crystals, so all the more season to seize this lunar opportunity.

Start Journaling To Keep Track Of Your Moods

The new moon provides you with a great opportunity to start checking in with yourself, so if you're interested in tracking how your mood might move in rhythm with the moon's cycles, why not start writing it down and paying attention to how you feel?

Even if you just jot down a sentence or two, cultivating an awareness of the movement of your moods can be very empowering and enlightening.

Take A Sea Salt Bath To Wash Away Negative Vibes

Sea salt is thought to be particularly good cleansing away negative energy, to rid yourself of any unwanted residue from the past year that you're keen and ready to say goodbye to.

Slip into the water, and let it all wash away!

Make Yourself A Delicious Meal

There's nothing more nurturing than a nutritious and delicious meal, especially when mood swings are trying to take over your day.

Even if you aren't much of a cook, give it a shot and make some veggie pasta, or a nice soup! And unless you need some "me" time (and if you do, I totally get it), why not share it with bae or your BFF for a cozy night of laughs and conversation?

Take that, new moon!