By Julie Morris, Superfood Chef
If your day-to-day grind could use a wellness upgrade (and really, whose couldn’t?), then forming a self-care ritual may just be your answer. Unlike spur-of-the-moment healthy splurges like creating a perfectly swirly rainbow smoothie bowl that's destined to get all the Instagram likes, rituals are healthy habits that become part of your real, everyday lifestyle. Practiced over time, these small acts of self-love can boost everything from your daily mood to your productivity, and even enhance your state of biological well-being on a cellular level. Here are four simple steps to create your own self-care strategy:
1. “Set Up” in the Morning
Mornings are incredibly important, as they're a clean slate to set the tone for the day. While the wee hours can be quite busy (and potentially sleepy), it takes just a few minutes to set your mind right. Many people benefit from keeping a gratitude journal to jot down something they're grateful for every day, while others prefer to simply ruminate on positive thoughts for several minutes before even getting out of bed. Make it your mission to start the day on a mental note of love and kindness – you'll be amazed at how much brighter your entire day feels.
2. Make Your First Meal Count
Whether you wake up hungry or choose to fast until the afternoon, make sure your first meal is a solid one – maybe even your best one. That “first food” is another way to prime your body with the nutrients it craves right from the get-go. Depending on your diet preferences, this could look like many different things – from a skillet scramble with broccoli and avocado to a superfood smoothie with fresh fruit. Regardless, get in the habit of consuming a few “routine” superfoods, such as drinking an inflammation-taming Turmeric Superfood Latte in the evening, adding a spoonful of adaptogenic maca powder or Superfood+ Adaptogen Blend to your favorite coffee drink or sprinkling a handful of antioxidant-rich cacao nibs over your bowl of granola. Practice giving to your body through the foods you eat – a.k.a. self care at its finest!
3. Set Aside Mini “Me Time”
In today's busy world, mega doses of “me time” can be hard to come by, save for maybe the occasional at-home facial. But scheduling mini “me time” can act like a daily reminder of your real intentions and help you get in touch (and stay in touch!) with the beauty of the present. For some, this may look like 10 minutes of mediation. For others, this may be lighting some sage or lavender to cleanse the air and mind. Still, others may find it useful to simply pause and spend a few moments writing down goals in a notebook. The important part is that you schedule this time to step off the day-to-day treadmill and re-center yourself. You always can find at least 10 minutes!
4. Value Winding Down
Most of us are stoking our cortisol until the moment we close our eyes, checking that one last work email, scrolling through social media, drinking too much alcohol in the evening or simply putting off going to bed. But getting quality sleep can genuinely change your entire reality, although it doesn't come all by itself. Ensure you're getting the deep sleep you need to fully recharge by giving yourself at least 30 minutes before your bedtime to wind down and relax without stimulation. Keep away from technology and “blue light” and try other relaxing rituals like taking an Epsom salt bath while listening to calming music or nature sounds. You can even just pick up a good book to allow your mind to wander into an alternative universe – just be sure to avoid reading about heavy subjects like business or politics. You'll be amazed at the mental and mindful advantages you gain through ensuring your sleep is of the highest quality.
Remember – no one can give you the self care you really need except for you, and the small rituals you create now can carve the path for a brighter future tomorrow and for years to come.
How do you practice self-care on the daily? Tell us in comments!