Happy New Year My Loves!
2020 is an all-new year with all-new energy, so now's the time to up your game and take your self-care to a while new level so you can manifest all the things you've been dreaming about, right? Right! 💛⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As we're clearing out our holiday decor and packing it carefully away for next year, why not take a few moments for ourselves to reflect on how far we've come over the last decade and envision where we want to go in this next one. We've been blessed to be here today so let's make the absolute best of it and harness the impulse for change a new year brings. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I see 2020 as a bright space for vision and innovation and not simply just change. Change comes no matter what but heart-led inspiration is what sparks positive change. Let's start the new year off on the right foot and create our own self-care plan to sustain us all year long. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Remember when you were about nine years old and your favorite thing to do was something outside? For me, it was because I felt free and there was way more space to do so many activities. I loved to run, jump, bike, skip, whatever. Now that I'm an adult and seemingly adulting well (LOL), I don't have as much free time to get my pretty self outside. I have to MAKE the time to do it and when I do, I get the same feeling I did when I was a free-running nine year old.
Getting outside has so many benefits:
- Gets you away from the screens demanding your attention
- Fresher air- the air indoors can be more polluted than outside
- More space for your body to move freely
- A chance for you to take as many moments for you that you need, unapologetically.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is essential to keeping our bodies living their best lives. Water is the essence of all life and the benefits are great. According to the CDC, being properly hydrated is crucial for our overall health and well-being, but many people do not consume enough fluids each day. Around 60 percent of the body is made up of water with 90 percent of our blood being water, and around 71 percent of the planet's surface being covered by water.
Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, helps promote good blood flow to your skin and preps your system for the day, while a glass before bed helps to keep you hydrated through the night and may help the body to flush toxins in your internal system. In the morning, I like a mug of hot lemon water. This lovely tonic gives me a boost of skin loving vitamins and minerals and I even feel more energized!
Water helps to:
- regulate your body's temperature
- lubricates joints and cushions the brains, spinal cord, and other tissues
- flushes internal organs
- boosts skin health and beauty (keeps wrinkles and blemishes at bay)
- aids in weight loss
- plus many, many more
Take a full, deep breath. Notice anything different? Were you taking shallow breaths in your chest before? Oh, yeah? Me too! Let's talk deep breaths. I try to remember my breathing during the day. I have to. A few years ago, I was grieving the passing of my dear brother, Nicholas Charles. His death was devastating for me. Several months after, I found myself at work reminiscing and noticed I had taken a deep breath, unconsciously. I then realized during my daydream, I had stopped breathing. I almost panicked because I hadn't noticed it before and started thinking how many times this may have happened before. I made a conscious decision that day to be more mindful of my breathing, my self care, and wanted to do better.
I learned deep breathing is first and foremost a way to eliminate excess carbon dioxide from the body, provide a rich supply of oxygen to the blood, and invigorate the cells and tissues. The pick-me-up, whether practiced in a yoga studio or outside your office during your lunch break, improves circulation and in turn, reduces the effects of stress on the skin and cortisol-induced breakouts. Ashley Neese, the Los Angeles–based self-care practitioner, advises incorporating the practice into your skin-care routine every morning and night.
"As soon as you wake up, you’ll want to jump-start the blood circulation, which gives energy, color, and life to the skin", says Neese, by “addressing the nerves directly under the surface.” Start by sitting up in a comfortable position and inhale through the nose deeply, she says. Exhale through the mouth quickly, and repeat five times. The shorter exhale will signal to the brain that your body needs to activate. Soon, your heart rate will increase, too. In the evenings, she says, “the aim is to soothe the nervous system and prepare the body for deep restorative sleep, [which] is very important as sleepless nights can lead to dull skin, puffy eyes, and dark circles.”
"Consistent practice reduces inflammation in the body and the skin after three months,” says Neese of her first-hand experience. “Clients that go on to practice for years have a noticeable youthful quality [to their complexions].” It’s not a bad racket when you consider the worst-case scenario: Learning how to breathe deeply and correctly and, as Neese often puts it, with more “intention.”
Oh yeah! Who's ready to go on an adventure... a wellness adventure? These type of experiential wellness trips are designed to provide you with a way to relax, learn, explore, and gain much-needed wellness points with you! From yoga wellness retreats that include mountain hiking to kayaking on the Colorado River to skydiving and zip-lining to silent, solitary resets. Different kinds of adventures await you in the world. Why not check them out or create your own type of wellness staycation!
Sleep (as in more naps. Oh Yeah!)
Who wouldn't love an extra hour of sleep every day? How about a nice, refreshing nap? Trisa Hersey, Founder of Nap Ministry, an organization that advocates for rest as a form of resistance against burnout culture and capitalism more broadly states, "Naps are not lazy." Like her, I fully believe in, and appreciate, naps. They can be refreshing and energizing.
As a busy wife, mother, entrepreneur, and veteran, I understand the pull to be even more productive every day. Many times, I find myself as part of the "burnout culture" pushing myself to do more and more with less and less time. When this happens, I notice my overall productivity suffers and I don't feel great. I'm sluggish, forgetful, irritable, and exhausted. Taking a nap or simply resting when I get this way definitely helps to boost my mood, outlook, lessens feelings of overwhelm, and I'm more able to complete tasks. Scheduled or impromptu, naps are necessary to our wellness.
According to The National Sleep Foundation, a short nap is usually recommended (20-30 minutes) for short-term alertness. This type of nap provides significant benefit for improved mood, alertness, and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.
Ensuring you're getting proper rest every evening is primary. Naps can be helpful during your day, however, they are not replacements for a good night's rest. You work hard, love hard, ensure everyone and everything around you is working properly but you're not getting your rest. Even if you're not napping regularly, make sure you're at least resting your mind, body, and soul.
Here's to the great things we're looking forward to happening for us this year!
Happy New Year and let's start this new decade with a focus on our wellness.