As the holidays and the new year approach, self-care seems more important than ever. By setting intentions and goals for the coming year and practicing daily self-care, I feel inspired and at ease.
It’s important to remember that self-care involves doing things that keep your body and mind healthy, regardless of whether you are dealing with the winter blues or just feeling down. It’s usually when we’re feeling low or overwhelmed by busy schedules that we neglect our self-care routines.
During those moments when we’re not feeling so amazing, however, self-care becomes even more essential. The only way you can be at your best is by taking good care of yourself. To improve your well-being, you don’t have to make major changes all at once.
These five self-care rituals can be incorporated into your daily routine. They are practices that keep me in a good state of mind, body and soul.
Sometimes I only need 15 minutes of yoga to make a noticeable improvement to my mood and how I feel in my body. I like to use the Down Dog app on my iPhone most days, and many of my friends love Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Find a yoga app or YouTube routine that works best for you.
Try a quick 5 minute stretch, or a 10 minute flow, or if you want something longer, a 30 minute yoga video can work wonders. Try a class at a yoga studio if you need accountability.
Writing with a pen or pencil can connect you to your innermost thoughts and emotions. Whether you use a blank journal or a guided journal with prompts to get your writing started, take a few minutes each day to journal and you’ll notice how much more connected you feel to yourself.
Social media can drain us of this energy if we aren’t able to stick to boundaries in our use of it. If you find yourself scrolling on your phone first thing in the morning, switch it up with journaling instead.
Your thoughts get priority in a journal, not the constant stream of videos, reels, stories, and posts of others. Make the choice to honor and recognize your thoughts when you wake up, and before you go to bed. My morning and evening journaling rituals nourish my soul.
Going for a walk improves my mood and clears my mind. A morning walk in my neighborhood gives me that necessary daily dose of vitamin D-producing sunlight. Sometimes I go for longer walks on hiking trails in my area. If you don’t have any trails near you, find a park or go somewhere outdoors to get you moving in nature. We all need green therapy in our daily lives. A walk among trees or in a large botanical garden is my favorite choice.
Walking is low impact, but make sure you wear supportive shoes. Recently my morning walks were slowed down by plantar fasciitis because I wore some cute sneakers without support. Take care of your feet and give them some cushion so you can keep your body active and healthy.
Health and happiness are strongly influenced by sleep. A healthy body relies on maintaining a relatively balanced hormone balance to function properly. A consistent sleep schedule will help your body regulate those hormones so they release at the right time and in the right amount. Sleep a little longer if you’re feeling unwell.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for keeping the immune system healthy. I just ordered my Ōura ring to track my sleep quality so I can better improve my health. I can’t wait to share my experience with you soon in more detail.
Enjoying a meal is such a basic pleasure. When I can, I make a date with myself for a meal at my favorite cafe. Since I’m familiar with the menu, I’m looking forward to what I’ll eat and enjoy taking my time. It feels luxurious to lunch on a weekday when I know I’ve blocked that time off just for me.
As a plant-based chef, I can give you so many reasons to eat fresh, unprocessed fruits and veggies. This goes for all of us, regardless of your eating preferences.
My way of eating has changed over the years from vegetarian to vegan. There are certain foods that make me feel good, so I know what works for me. If I have any processed snacks, like salty crackers, fried foods, or sweets, I may get bloated and have low energy. A little bit is better than a lot. I also avoid alcohol, sugar, and gluten. While this may not seem fun, I do it because I feel so much better when I avoid those things, and as an extra bonus, my skin glows. Sometimes I enjoy an occasional glass of wine at a party, or a boozy kombucha when dining out at my favorite vegan restaurant. When I do sip on something alcoholic, I make sure to drink more water than wine or kombucha.
You know your body better than anyone, and if you want to learn more about it, try at-home holistic health testing. As a result of using Viome recently, I’ve gained a better understanding of which foods work best for me based on my results. Precision supplements were formulated just for me by Viome. Self-care at this level may be considered extreme. I’m noticing a huge improvement in my mood and exercise performance.
When it comes to optimizing my health in my 50s, the customized supplements and probiotic powder I use daily are the best I have ever tried, and I heartily recommend them to anyone who wants to improve their health.