Happy Wednesday, how has your week been so far? Great I hope! It’s no secret, the first proper week back at work after any kind of time off can be hard to get into. With lots of people setting New Year’s Resolutions or goals to take better care of themselves, I am delighted to introduce Dannielle Norman, my lovely friend and force behind The Heart Led who has put together a daily routine for you to adopt, to help you love and care for yourself.
Routines are great, they offer structure and purpose, however, they can also feel restricting and overwhelming. So, depending on how you’re feeling the idea of a routine may or may not fill you with joy, or rather, dread. Instead, think of a self love routine more as a peppering of ‘you time’ throughout the day – it’s actually a treat. Here are some of the best ways I share with my coaching clients to incorporate loving behaviours:
Wake Up Right:
The brain is most susceptible in the first 20 minutes of waking, so avoid your phone and set your tone for the day. Meditation and gratitude are powerful tools for encouraging the mind in the right direction, supporting our brain in spotting the good and opportunities in our day. Try a 10-20 minute Gratitude Meditation right after your alarm’s gone off, followed by a short 5 minute reflection time writing down 10 things you’re grateful for. Let yourself feel the happiness these things offer you, let yourself feel good. YouTube is filled with meditations, you can try my guided meditations here.
I make it a priority that the first thing I eat every day is a juicy fruit. Whether it’s mango, orange or kiwi, I nourish my body with a fruit that feels ‘abundant’, it reminds me of how good life is and how much it has to offer. After, I’ll make something else delicious; smoothie bowls or toast dripping with peanut butter. Food is a joy and looking forward to breakfast is something we can do every day. Creating a little ritual or making meals more than just a gulp-and-out-the-door job is a great way to connect with your body.
As the day ramps up, so can the stress factor. Even on a subconscious level, we can be taking shorter breaths, tensing muscles or racing away without even realising. Finding moments in the day to check in with how you’re breathing is a simple and effective way to slow down the body and mind, leading to clearer thinking, calmer feelings and better productivity. Take 2-10 minutes away from anywhere hectic and follow a breathing pattern of breathing in for the count of 8, hold for 4 and out for the count of 10, repeat for 5-10 breaths.
While 8 hours of shut eye may be the recommended, life can cut that short in any number of ways. Making sleep and rest a priority over a late night Netflix binge or scrolling social media will do you the world of good, letting your body recharge and your mind unwind. Set an alarm around an hour before you’d like to sleep as a prompt to start heading to bed, then put away your phone and computer. Always switch you phone off at night, or better yet, keep it in another room.
Self indulgence doesn’t need to be a splurge. Businesses love to market their products with ‘self love’ hoping you’ll part with more cash – hard pass on that. Spend wisely and opt for quality pieces you use daily or once a week: a great toothbrush (I love the wooden eco ones), a decent toothpaste, olbas oil for the shower, face wash or face mask – I love Lush’s range of fresh masks. These will infinitely upgrade your daily routine. Then, buy one or two extras of a once a week hour of head to toe pampering; music on, candles lit, feeling cute. Add some Olbas oils around the walls of your shower just before getting in, the steam will carry the scent and it’ll smell like a spa.
Say How You Feel:
Saying how you feel can be hard, but learning how to vocalise our thoughts, opinions and feelings in ways that are helpful create big changes in our lives. Make it part of your day to acknowledge how you feel and to express it plays a huge part in self love and recognising the importance of who you are.Try saying yes or no to smaller things first can be a great start, for example, rather than just agreeing to go to a restaurant, suggest another or say why you’d rather not go there. It sounds small, but will help you feel more confident over time.