Taking time each week to nourish ourselves through conscious self care rituals does absolute wonders for our physical and emotional bodies and helps us find acceptance and love for parts of ourselves we struggle to find peace with.
Practising self care allows us to bring presence and mindfulness into our lives and brings about balance into our fast paced lifestyles.
Self care is all about taking time for yourself and intent of the experience. Create some atmosphere for yourself, light some candles, play some soothing music and create some beautiful rituals for yourself.
Here are a few of my practices I do I on the daily (or weekly)
A daily journal practice allows us to get to know ourselves on a deeper level. We learn to see patterns that have been playing out throughout our lives and can consciously decipher how these are serving/not serving us and choose to embrace those to which do, and let go of those which don’t. It also serves as a supportive practice to help navigate our way through periods of confusion, uncertainty and inner transformation. By surrendering our inner fears, confessions and emotional baggage to the page, we can find clarify, direction and inner peace to move forward. On the contrary, when we write our dreams, desires and goals onto paper, we emit the positive energy and feelings behind these manifestations out into the Universe to then attract that which we desire into physical form. As part of your morning practice, set your ask questions and set your intentions;
How do you intend to treat yourself today?
Who do you intend to be today?
What are you grateful for?
How do you intend on serving others?
Throughout the day, check in to see if you are living in alignment with these intentions. In any given moment, you have the choice to redirect yourself back to your intentions. It’s such a powerful practice.
Conscious body massage
For me, this daily practice is so healing and is a non-negotiable and an absolute game changer in practise of self love and self acceptance. Make it a beautiful ritual, light some candles and play some soothing music. As soon as you’ve stepped out of the shower, mindfully massage the oil into your body setting an intention of gratitude and love for your body for a few minutes. Take your time and consciously affirming and concentrating on areas of your body you would like to learn to love and accept. Make your own body oil by filling a glass bottle with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or jojoba (coconut oil tends to be a bit greasy) and pop in about 8-10 drops few of your favourite good quality essential oils. I love to use grounding oils such as sandalwood and patchouli. Lavender is great for calming and citrus scents such as bergamot and orange invigorate the senses.
DIY face food masks
You can also experiment in the kitchen using superfoods to make your own face masks and exfoliants.. Avocado, olive oil, Greek yoghurt, lemon juice, papaya, honey, spirulina, egg yolk, mashed banana, cucumber – even empty the powder from your probiotic capsules. For a natural exfoliant, grind chia seeds, poppy seeds or walnut in a mortar and pestle and mix with a little olive oil and avocado to make your very own gentle face exfoliant full of nourishing fats. If it’s good enough to eat, it’s even better to put on your skin.
Yin, my favourite yoga practice as challenges both the mind and body. It’s basically meditating while holding gentle, restorative yoga poses. Mentally, Yin teaches self awareness, self-enquiry, self-discipline and emotional strength. While physically, it targets deep connective tissues in the muscles, promoting overall strength and flexibility. It’s a slow paced style of yoga focused on holding poses for longer periods of time and is the perfect complement to more Yang styles of exercise such as high intensity cardio or other forms of yoga such as Vinyasa or Kundalini. If you’re a fan of meditation, and haven’t tried Yin, give it a go, you’ll love it.
Coconut oil hair treatment
Coconut oil can work magic on your hair giving it more body, shine and lustre while enhancing it’s natural colour pigments. It’s also a great home remedy for treating dandruff and scalp conditions. It makes a wonderful overnight hair mask, repairing damage and restoring shine. Simply apply the oil to the ends of your hair before going to bed and shampoo in the morning. If you suffer from scalp conditions such as dandruff, gently massage the oil into the scalp. If you have oily hair, be sure to concentrate on the ends or you may need to shampoo twice the following morning.
Oil pulling!.. Say what??
Oil Pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique designed to draw toxins out of the body that regular brushing can’t get. I often get asked about how I keep my teeth and gums to white and healthy. Including my dentist! It all comes down to a daily practice of oil pulling. I’ve been oil pulling (mostly) every day for about 4 years now. I usually do it as part of my morning routine in the shower for about 15 minutes, spit out into the toilet and then floss + brush my teeth. I love to use coconut oil as it not only tastes good, but it also contains antimicrobial properties and is easier to stomach first thing in the morning.There are so many other health benefits to oil pulling, not only in terms of oral health freshens breath, whitening teeth and promoting gum health, but it’s also known to help improve sleep, skin conditions and help prevent the start of chronic disease in the body… Don’t believe me? Check out Dr Bruce Fife’s book on Oil Pulling.
I often get asked about nutritional supplementation and my general philosophy is to get most of your nutrients from whole food sources through eating a well-balanced diet. In saying that, if you’re needing a little nutritional support, it’s important to listen to your body and find a good supplement to help you through any kind of physical or emotional stress. In doing so, make sure you find a product made from whole foods that your body will recognise and LOVE. I recommend Activated Nutrients Daily Superfood for Women (There’s a mens one too). This stuff is the goods! It’s made from real raw foods, free of synthetic vitamins, non GMO, soy, dairy free and gluten free and full of pre & probiotics, omega 3s and digestive enzymes. All of the ingredients are activated, so the nutrients are more bioavailable for your body to absorb and assimilate. It’s also full of all of the good stuff to support mental cognition and give you radiant, glowing skin and sparkling eyes.
Drink up, especially first thing.
It’s cliche for a reason. But starting your day with a giant glass of water with a splash of apple cider vinegar kick starts your digestive system and helps rehydrate the body after it’s been in restoration and repair overnight. Apple cider vinegar, unlike all other vinegars (which have an acidic effect on the body) alkalises the body and helps balance out the blood’s pH levels. It also helps stimulate digestion and can help the body absorb more nutrients from the foods we eat. If you can’t stomach ACV first thing in the morning, fresh lemon juice will also do the trick. Coconut water is also super hydrating and can be used both internally and topically on the skin to boost the skin’s moisture levels. Coming straight from the coconut itself, coconut water is completely sterile and is the perfect summer spritzer for your face.
I swear by Rosehip Oil as an every day moisturiser and night treatment. It contains a powerful punch of antioxidants and essential fatty acids which help repair oxidative damage and help keep the skin youthful and hydrated. Because it is a non-greasy oil, it doesn’t cause me to break out, however some people with oilier skins may find rosehip oil doesn’t work for them. Add a few drops of oil into the palm of your hand and gentle massage over your face, focusing on your jaw to help remove and tension.
The 5 minute present of presence
Failing the rituals above, if you can’t find the time or energy to incorporate the practices into your day you can gift 5 minutes to yourself first thing in the morning. Take a long deep downward dog beside your bed and a few minutes to put one hand on your heart and one on your belly and taking a few long breaths will calm your nervous system and help you start your day in full presence. So often we start our days on autopilot and ignore what our bodies are telling us or whispering to us. Some days we wake up feeling a bit flat, anxious, angry, irritable (fill in the blank) and we just ignore it. These feelings and emotions need to be acknowledged and processed otherwise they sit inside our bodies and manifest into disease, sickness, physical ailments. This is so simple but so powerful.