With Winter feeling like it has truly arrived, I'm spending time focusing on Self Care.
Self care isn't something we do to 'treat ourselves', self care should be the practice of taking care of ourselves to nourish and recharge our minds, bodies and spirits, EVERY DAY.
Below are my top morning self care rituals. These are so important to my well being, I try to follow them daily.
However, as someone who has struggled with depression for a few years, my mornings don't always look like this. Sometimes, they look more like me lying in bed waaaaay past my alarm, followed by three strong black coffees, instead of refreshing hot water and lemon, and a whole bar of chocolate (not the healthy kind!) just to make the trip from my bed to the sofa. Other's my act's of self care can be as simple as washing my hair and putting on fresh yoga pants- and that's OKAY, as long as it nourishes and recharges my mind, body OR spirit.
Even if it's just 5 minutes of breath work, a few sun salutations, or a tree pose while I brush my teeth, I try to practice every morning. Sometimes my yoga practice is just Savasana, some days it can be a sweaty flow and others (most) it can be a fifteen minute soulful stretch. Whatever it looks like for you, a daily yoga practice can be a great start to your day.
Hot Water & Lemon
Every morning, without fail, I drink a large mug or two of hot water with a few lemon slices. This kickstarts my digestion, helps to flush out toxins and energizes me for the day. Sometimes I'll add a little grated ginger or turmeric, and always with my favorite mug.
Morning Hot Cacao
I'm telling you, hot cacao for breakfast is what gets me up and out of bed in the morning. I use it as a mindful ritual first thing, heating the milk up on the stove, gently, stirring the ingredients, then watching the steam rise as I softly cup my favorite mug in both hands before my first sip is bliss. Cacao has so many amazing nourishing properties it's a great morning drink. I love to add a little honey, cardamon seeds and a pinch of cinnamon powder.
And YES- following on from my Hot Cacao, I always have a coffee. ALWAYS!
Mindful Face Wash
Some mornings I have time to go all out with my beauty regime. I'll wash, exfoliate & moisturize. But most mornings its a warm face cloth and couple drops of my favorite essential oil followed by moisturizer.
Post shower when my skin is still warm, I'll massage a little oil in. As I don't have time to do my full body, each day I'll target a different part of my body- where ever feel's like it needs a bit lovin'. Abdomen massage is my favorite and ladies, it's great for reducing period cramping.
An Ayurvedic self-care ritual, tongue scraping removes bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. It's the first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning!
These are my favorite acts of self care in the morning. As I mentioned above, my morning's don't always mirror this and if your's don't either that's okay. In fact, I can not stress enough just how important it is to ACCEPT where you are at with your self care. The last thing we need is another guilt riddled box to check on our to-do list.
What ever your self care means to you, do it and do it as much as you want!