We’ve been using the term “self-care” a lot but lets be honest, last year was hard y’all and 2021 isn’t shaping up to be a whole lot better. I know I need all the self-care I can get! So before I even touch my phone to look at emails, the news, or social media, I start my day by focusing on wellness. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that self-care is everything and those news alerts will still be there later. So to get into a positive headspace and start my day off right, these are the steps I take every day to take control of my own well-being. Try them out and let me know what you think of my 8 Everyday Self-Care Tips.
As I mentioned in my blog post “How to De-Stress + Reduce Anxiety”, I have wanted to get into a regular meditation practice forever. It’s been a year now that I’ve been meditating every morning (and frequently at bedtime, too) and it’s literally been a game changer for me. If there is only one self-care recommendation you take away from this post, let morning meditation be it. If you’re new to meditation, the Headspace or Peloton apps are amazing!
You don’t always need to go to Scandinave Spa for hydrotherapy (although, I do love that place). You can experience the same benefits with your morning shower. Simply alternate 60 seconds of warm water with 30 seconds of cool water. Don’t worry, the water doesn’t need to be frigid cold to be beneficial. The change in water temperature improves circulation and helps your body rid toxins, heal injuries, alleviate sore muscles, and so much more! Not to mention, it’s a great way to feel awake and alert – the ultimate self-care!
Warm Lemon Water
I’ve been drinking warm lemon water first thing every morning for probably 20 years now. Our bodies are working overtime when we sleep so warm lemon water is beneficial to help flush out toxins and rehydrate our system. I know it’s sometimes hard to get enough water each day and I find by starting with a cup (or two), that my brain fog lifts and I’ve already had a jump start on my 8 daily glasses of water. Plus, I find it so soothing to have a warm cup of water in the morning. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.
The only person more obsessed than me with overnight oats is, surprisingly, my husband. They are THAT good. I tweak the Minimalist Baker recipe for vegan overnight oats by removing the sweetener and adding protein powder to ensure I’m getting my required 20g of protein per meal. I also love heating my overnight oats for 30-60 seconds before eating them. Overnight oats are super healthy and keep me full for all my back-to-back morning Zoom calls.
I try to do Qigong every day at noon. Since I’m working from home, I basically never leave my desk and I don’t stop to take proper lunch breaks these days either. I’ve found that I’m sore, achy, and lethargic from sitting all day. Qigong is a wonderful and easy way to get the blood flowing again and it makes me feel rejuvenated for the rest of the day. Sometimes I even just stand next to my desk and do it. If you’re looking for wellness tips for working from home, this is it! You can read about my favourite Qigong practice here.
My favourite way to end the day is with yoga. As I’ve mentioned before, the Peloton app has loads of classes of any level or length. So, if I’m feeling like I have energy to burn then I’ll do a 45 or 60 minute yoga flow class but if I’m feeling like I need to be a little more gentle on myself, then I’m all about the Yin. Even a 5 or 10 minute class makes such a big difference. Yoga is the self-care we all need and deserve.
Skincare is Self-Care
While this may not seem like an obvious self-care step, during quarantine I’ve really upped my skincare routine. Not only has my skin never looked better (shame nobody sees it, haha!) but I’ve really embraced that time in the evening to pamper myself a little bit. I find that it’s really a nice way to unwind after a stressful day and get ready for a good night sleep. (*Stay tuned for a blog post about my favourite skincare products coming soon.)
Read a Book
Put those phones away, y’all! Seriously! This was a hard habit to break but I noticed right away that I was sleeping better when I shut down the screen time early. Now I read for an hour or so before bed. I find that reading is one of the only things that helps my brain truly shut off after a busy day. Plus I’m able to fall asleep earlier. My TCM doctor was always reminding me that I should be sleeping by 10:30 p.m. because that’s when my body starts to heal and recover. Now that I’m unwinding in the evenings with a book, I’m much more relaxed and ready to fall asleep.
Have you tried any of my 8 Everyday Self-Care Tips? Let me know what you think or if there’s other recommendations you think I should add.