Image: @JanelleSilver via Instagram
The term “self care” gets tossed around a lot these days, so much so that it’s easy to disregard it’s importance. The care and feeding of our minds and bodies becomes even more imperative when holiday times demand more from us. Here’s a gentle reminder of some simple rituals to keep yourself looking good and feeling fine every day.
RISE AND SHINE
When you wake in the morning, take a few moments to think of everything you’re thankful for and connect to your breath before hopping out of bed. Try to avoid picking up your phone and just ease into the day. Your headspace will thank you for a few moments of peace.
Natural beauty products are getting better and better, y’all. Green up your morning routine.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG): “The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 different ingredients daily. Many cosmetic chemicals are designed to penetrate into the skin’s inner layers, and they do. Consequently, some common cosmetic ingredients turn up in people’s bodies. Among them: industrial plasticizers called phthalates; parabens, which are preservatives; and persistent fragrance components like musk xylene.”
If that made you squirm in your ugly X-mas sweater, you are not alone! Fantastic natural products are everywhere now. Some of my favorites include Arbonne, Young Living Essential oils and The Heritage Store. A great rule of thumb is to ensure that the products are safe enough that you could eat them – that’s essentially what your skin does – it absorbs everything you put on it. Choose natural household cleaning products, too! A great one is “Thieves” Household cleaner from Young Living.
HYDRATE & FUEL UP
Water is fuel for your entire body – it helps you think clearly and feel good. An ounce or half ounce of water for each pound of body weight daily is a good guideline.
Power up with good eats. Feed yourself with organic, delicious, nutrient dense real food. Aim for simple and whole – if it grows, eat it. If it does not grow use moderation or avoid eating it.
A morning smoothie or green juice provides a lot of energy. If you have limited time, reach for an apple or banana with almond butter to get going in the morning.
PRO TIP: Starting the day with warm lemon water will help rev up your digestion, hydrate your tissues, gives you a little immune boost, and make your skin healthier.
**If you’re imbibing delicious adult bevies – down one glass of H20 for every cocktail, to avoid hangovers. **
CONNECT WITH NATURE
I’m in California, so I can put my bare feet on the Earth every day for about 5 minutes. The technique is called “earthing” and it feels fantastic after being removed from terra firma walking around in shoes and driving or computing all day. I may also have a conversation with and hug my favorite tree… but that’s optional. In snowy climates, bare feet isn’t possible, but you can still benefit from a brief walk outside. C’mon fellow tree huggers! Lessgo!
There’s nothing like a lungful of fresh air! Connecting deeply to our breath is one of the most important things we can do every day.
Check out the air quality in your home. Turns out that indoor air can often contain more toxins and chemicals than outdoor air. Everything from mattresses to pots/pans to kids PJs can contain harmful chemicals in indoor air.
Some remedies for cleaner air are house plants, bamboo charcoal, himalayan salt lamps, and natural beeswax candles.
As a rule, I avoid or completely eliminate the ICK; processed foods, harsh chemicals and unnecessary stressors like: reality/gossip TV, the nightly network news, social media comments sections, and people who love to dump their negative thoughts and emotions all over others. Garbage in = Garbage out. To vibe high you need to weed out the neg.
Move that meat suit daily! It’s really true that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. In addition to yoga, I dig walks, hikes, swimming and dancing. (So what if I’m not really Beyonce and I’m in my undies, in my bedroom alone?) The point is – find something you love doing that challenges you, be it yoga, pole dancing, hiking, parkour, horse-back riding, archery… and the list goes on.
FIND THE BLESSING IN YOUR CURRENT SITUATION
Fill your days with at least one thing that makes you smile or laugh, as many hugs as you can get. Try to learn something new each day. Enjoy your friends and family daily. Our time on this big blue marble is short, make it as happy as you can by making room in your life for the good stuff.
REST. RESTORE. REFRESH.
What goes up, must come down; such is the nature of our bodies. We’ve gotta get adequate rest and give our bodies time to reset. In addition to a solid 7-9 hours of sleep a night, yin and restorative yoga, epsom salt baths, and comedy are genius ways to renew. A good belly laugh is healing. Netflix has some amazing comedy programming. Do it for your health!
Before lights out, go over your day and think about what you’re most grateful for. Gratitude is the magnetic force that can bring what we want into our physical realities. There’s always something to be grateful for, no matter how small.
Affirm that you will sleep soundly, ready to awake in the morning refreshed and looking forward to the new day.
DON’T SHOULD ON YOURSELF.
The thing that’s most important on this list is that it’s entirely optional. Do or do not do any of these things as they fit into your busy life. Self care works best when it feels right. I want you to do you, boo. Sometimes that means giving yourself the latitude of doing NONE of these things and just laying around in comfy pajamas on the weekend, ordering take out.
Furthermore, remember that you are NOT obligated to “light yourself on fire so others can stay warm”. You don’t have to squeeze yourself into roles that no longer serve your wellbeing or fit who you are now. You’re someone’s parent, boss, trusted neighbor, love, best friend, inspiration. You create the most amazing presentations, playlists, delicious meals, screenplays, jewelry, art and goodness wherever you go. Your work ethic is epic. Your project management prowess is a glorious thing to behold. Your unique outlook brings happiness to others (we live for your Insta feed). You make people laugh, you smell amazing, and you have a really nice butt. You’re doing great. Don’t lose sight of that when the shadow of holiday expectation looms large. You’ve got this, gorgeous. Steady as she goes.
The Holidays aren’t easy for everybody; there are emotional minefields ready and waiting to rob you of your well earned (or real talk: wobbly) sanity. Whether you’re flying solo this holiday season, or trying to avoid political small talk over the mashed potatoes at family dinner, remember, you’re not who you were when you lived under that roof, you’ve evolved.
If you’re going through this holiday season after the loss of a loved one, I send you my love and my prayers for your comfort and peace. You’re not alone.
Reach out to a friend, reach out to me, reach out. You can find me on 12Listen.com for support, guidance, clarity and comfort.
I’m here and I’m with you on the journey.