What my self-care ritual(s) looked like: January Round-Up
I love talking about self-care and hearing about other people’s rituals. It gives me loads of inspiration and ideas as well as a feeling of community. You see, when I come across someone who divulges his or her self-care routines, it’s like peeking into their soul.
Now, I’m not talking about the filtered routines, you know the ones. The perfectly edited schedules that never waver. I know someone might just be able to accomplish that sort of feat but I can’t imagine it’s fun.
I actually pride myself on being able to mix-n-match my rituals because routines are boring to me. There is only one rule I follow when it comes to my self-care, it has to feel really good.
I know this is a crazy notion given that we are taught from a young age that we’re “supposed” to do a lot of things like exercise, waking up early, drinking water, making your bed, showering, answering emails, and on and on.
I’m going to advise something crazy; let go of it all.
Let go of anything you feel you “should” do and only do what feels good. Whoa, whoa, you want me to do what? Yeah, I know, but listen.
I have focused for far too long on doing what I thought I should do and when I just focused on what I wanted to do, my life began to change. And when I feel good, I attract good things into my life and everything, and I mean everything, gets better.
I want to inspire you to find a self-care practice that lights you up and gives you something you look forward to doing. I want you to be excited for the morning to come because your ritual is that exciting.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, plan on it being different everyday because your needs are different every day.
Some days I have an hour to devote to feeding my soul and some days I have 5 minutes. Here is a breakdown of what those days look like.
Two basic ground rules
Practice self-care in the AM. It sets up my whole day and I bask in the benefits for hours afterward.
NO “shoulding” on yourself. I only do what feels right, not what my ego is telling me I “should” do.
5-Minute Morning (Appreciation + Breath)
APPRECIATION (1-2 Minutes)
This is the one thing I focus on every day. I know, I know. You are yawning right now, but honestly, the reason why people talk about this being so important is because, well, it is.
Once I wake up, I try to immediately think about what I’m grateful for. I am usually laying next to my man so I rub his back and let him know (in my head if he is sleeping) how appreciative I am of him and our life together. Then, I start to think about the easy things, like the warm comfy bed I am in, the sheets I love so much, the fact I didn’t have to wake up early, and so on. It gets easier every day and feels less cheesy, I promise. Once you see how it sets up your day for awesomeness, you will be addicted.
This is the simplest thing I do every day but it’s not always easy. It’s so weird that we humans are prone to want to feel bad. Do you know what I mean? It’s like my brain doesn’t want me to be happy sometimes and I try to explore that to find out why. Sometimes gratitude feels like a chore because of this.
If you are really having a hard time with it, I suggest the FIVE MINUTE JOURNAL. It’s beautiful and easy to fill out. It’s perfect if you need a kick in the butt and are a person who loves tools. But let me reiterate, you don’t need to spend any money to practice being grateful. Love don’t cost a thing boo!
BREATH (3-4 Minutes)
Again, this might sound like a no-brainer but I doubt you are doing it. Yes, of course, you are breathing but deeply and truly breathing is a whole new ballgame. Just try it.
Life energy (known as Prana) comes through you in your breathing. It’s the force that fills up your body, heart, and soul. I can say a bunch of metaphysical things about it but I won’t. Just try it. I promise you. It’s hard to explain but the minute you spend just 1 MINUTE deeply breathing, your body feels different. It starts vibrating at a higher frequency, aka, you feel freakin’ awesome.
I created a guide that explains how to do this. Grab it below. (P.S.. it’s FREE and takes less than 4 minutes a day)
25-Minute Morning (Appreciation + Cold Water + Warm Lemon Water + Kundalini Breathwork + Meditation + Reading/Video)
APPRECIATION (1-5 MInutes)
See above. When I know I have more time in the AM, I try to spend a little more time in the space of appreciation. I cuddle more and let the gratitude flow.
COLD WATER (3 minutes)
Since I have been studying more about Kundalini yoga and reading Guru Jagat’s book Invincible Living, I have been incorporating a little cold water therapy to my morning routine. She talks a lot of the benefits of cold water. This interview she gave to The Numinous (my favorite) is really informational, check it out here.
To practice cold water therapy, I splash my face with the coldest water I can get out of my faucet. I also have been adding cold showers to my routine. I started with just turning the faucet to cold at the end of my shower and slowly, I have been extending the time earlier and earlier. It’s a little shocking but feels weirdly amazing.
WARM LEMON WATER (5 minutes)
Now I head to the kitchen to down a big glass of room temperature water while I’m waiting for the kettle to warm up.
I squeeze either a half or a whole lemon (depending on how juicy the lemon) into my favorite mug . I might add some fresh ginger and/or honey, depends on how I’m feeling, but it’s always lemon and warm water. There are countless articles about the health benefits of this so you can look it up, but i do it because it feels so good in my body. That’s all i need. Proof is in the practice.
KUNDALINI BREATHWORK (3-9 minutes)
As I mentioned above, I have been reading Guru Jagat’s book Invincible Living. She has outlined exercises for certain problems and I’ve been committing to one particular kriya (set of exercises) for 30 days. It’s called the Wake-Up Set and it tunes your whole day.
If you watch my Instagram stories, you might have seen me doing it. It’s three different poses while doing breath of fire which awakens the body and lights a little fire inside which I love. Feels like I worked out and it only takes 3-9 minutes.
MEDITATION (5-10 Minutes)
After the Kundalini breathwork, I go right into a mediation because it’s the perfect complement practice. Breath of fire gets you into this blissed out feeling and it’s almost impossible to not mediate. I will do this for 5-10 minutes. Just sitting there and listening to my breath.
Sometimes I will say a mantra/affirmation. Things like “I am enough”, “I am safe” and “all is well”. Whatever feels like something a mother would say to a child because my inner child needs that love.
READING/VIDEO (5-10 minutes)
I love books. They make me so happy to just hold them. I love to end this little ritual with reading some pages of a book that I find hard to understand because in this moment, I’m so open to ideas and concepts.
Or I might watch a video on YouTube from Abraham Hicks or Gala Darling. I also love to re-watch Jess Lively's paid course Flow with Intention. It’s incredible and gets me into such a good feeling place.
At this point, I feel so good I always want to do more. I decide if I can continue for a few more minutes or if I have to get somewhere, I start to get ready for the day.
60-Minute Morning (Appreciation + Cold Water + Water w/ Lemon + Kundalini Breathwork + Meditation + Reading/Videos + Movement)
Basically, the only difference between this routine and the one above is I spend more time in each of the sections. These are the morning where I have the freedom and flexibility to stay in whatever feels right for me.
I also add movement to these days. That will look like 30 minutes of walking outside or on a treadmill at the gym in my building or doing a Yoga with Adriene video or some videos from Blogilates. Cassey makes working out so fun, love her!
OK, that’s a lot I know, but I hope that sharing the details of my morning routine gives you an idea and some inspiration of what your morning rituals could look like.
It doesn't have to be perfect. My morning never looks the same and that’s ok. It’s not a failure because it’s not “perfect”.
I honestly can say that the most important thing I do is the Appreciation + Breathwork. Those are non-negotiables for me. If I do or don’t do the other stuff I’m ok with that.
Self-care is about what works for you. Stop doing stuff you think you have to do. The underlying takeaway here is find your own flow. Experiment! Try new things. Don’t do anything I do just because I do it. Every one of us is different, beautiful. and unique. Let’s celebrate it.
Let me know what your non-negotiable morning rituals are in the comments below or on IG/FB. Would love to hear from you.
All the love,
P.S. Here is that link (see that big button below) to the FREE Meditation Guide I mentioned above in case you forgot or missed it. It takes less than 4 minutes and I promise big shifts. Put yourself first, starting right now!