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Holistic Routines and Mindful Rituals

Seize the day!

Perhaps this is the year where you grow inner strength and clarity, meet your goals, love your body, accept yourself as the goddess you are, and ultimately kick ass.

To be the master of your life, to reach success, and be the best version of yourself, starts with one day.

Don't get overwhelmed by all the ways you have to change or all the things you should be doing.

Master one day. Feel proud of yourself. Wake up again and master that day. Over time, these dominated days lead to weeks, months, years, and a lifetime of living as the self you want to be.

When the days are hectic, and life feels overwhelming, it helps to have a solid foundation of routines made up of rituals you love and cherish.

Checking in with yourself throughout the day will ground you. The feeling of control over your actions and the satisfaction with your achievement will reward you and awaken your inner strength.

Each day becomes more effortless and richer. As a result, your health improves, relationships thrive, and internal turmoil becomes readable and easier to understand.

Master today through three check-in moments to cement healthy habits, form long-lasting routines, and feel radiant inside and out.

The Morning Routine

Meet the sunrise as you enjoy your sacred time for yourself. Begin your day strong.

If getting out of bed is the hardest part of your day, you are not alone. But imagine how easy the rest of the day can be.

I struggled most of my life with waking up earlier. I have always wanted a morning routine that I looked forward to and which inspired me to pop out of bed before the sun rose.

I've finally achieved this goal and have joined the 5 am club! And my life has changed.

It takes time and patience to change habits for the better. So give yourself a chance to be cranky, a chance to feel excitement and pride, and a chance to make mistakes and try again.

Over time, it becomes more straightforward as your brain's neuroplasticity forms around the new habit.

Imagine finding a new way to your favorite scenic spot. You haven't traveled along this route before, so it's overgrown and grassy underfoot. After walking this new route every day, a trail begins to form. Eventually, you have a well-groomed path that your feet have memorized and look forward to walking.

This same approach occurs in the brain. When introducing a new habit, you must bushwhack your way through the process. Repeated daily, eventually, the path forms, and you have a new habit.

The same goes for negative habits we've created paths for. If you stop using the route, it will return to its overgrown natural state, leaving your brain with more energy and attention for the ways you wish to maintain.

Check out my blog post on morning routines for a more in-depth discussion.

Morning Rituals

Rituals are sacred acts that bring you health benefits, making up a routine you love.

What would you like to have accomplished by breakfast? All rituals and routines are individualistic to meet the uniqueness of you.

I wake up at 5 am, brush my teeth, get dressed in yoga clothes, and bring my gear (iPad, baby monitor, water bottle) to the living room. I already have my yoga mat and props waiting for me. After 45 minutes of yoga on my iPad, I close one app and open my meditation timer app. After a 10-minute meditation, I open my notes app and begin journaling. Throughout this process, I watch the sunrise and the colors change through my windows.

When my toddler wakes up, I feel grounded and connected throughout my mind, body, and spirit. I'm aware of my mood when I woke up and how that could change with my rituals. I may have felt tired initially, but I sat straighter by the end of my routine.

The rest of my morning involves quality time with my little man. He helps me make a cup of tea, and we create a healthy breakfast together.

My day now is a breeze since my big goals have been achieved. The clarity I've cultivated also makes other tasks more accessible and organized.

The Afternoon Check-In

Nourish yourself with mindful eating habits and take a step in a healthier direction.

Most of us have a lunch break. Whether home or at work, an afternoon check-in provides relief from whatever the day represents.

If things have become crazy since your morning routine or you overslept, this is a great time to be mindful and take a moment for yourself.

Think about what would make you feel satisfied and refreshed at midday. Perhaps movement is needed since you've been sitting at a desk or computer all morning. Or stillness is craved after a chaotic beginning.

I enjoy Qi Gong during this time. It gets me on my feet, connects movement with breath, and benefits the body and mind.

Take 5-10 minutes for yourself before lunch. Reconnect with your foundation, your roots, your breath. You’re now prepared for a more mindful meal by separating the time between action and eating.

Mindfully eating benefits digestion, encourages weight loss, creates a more enjoyable experience, and leads to healthier meal choices.

Start with these two basic guidelines for mindful eating:

  • Eat slowly. Try putting your utensils down between each bite. Your body can realize when it is full, which will lead to proper portions. You can also try eating everything with chopsticks or consciously taking a deep inhale and long exhale between bites.

  • Eat until you're 80% full. We often are distracted while eating and shovel each bite in like we're on a mission. Eating slowly also helps achieve this 80% goal. Overstuffing ourselves increases weight, disrupts digestion, and makes us feel bloated and uncomfortable.

Try these mindful eating techniques even if you're eating a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream. Be aware of the flavors you're experiencing.

The Evening Routine

Develop an evening routine that signals to your brain that it's time to go to sleep.

Sleep hygiene, or what happens before bedtime, can make or break your sleep quality and determine the next day's success.

Every evening after I put my son down to sleep, I spend 5-10 minutes preparing for the next day. Having my yoga clothes ready, I can hop out of bed the next morning and require less energy and motivation to transition from bed to mat. The easier it is to wake up and move, the better.

Next, I wind down by eliminating any contact with screens (or wearing blue-light-blocking glasses if you require screen time in the evening). Finally, I brush my teeth, and wash my face (or shower if part of the evening routine).

While my husband takes his turn in the bathroom, I do a few gentle stretches to open up my body, then sit for a 5-minute meditation in bed. Sleep stories are also great to get you ready for sleep.

Now that I'm cozy and my body and mind are ready for relaxation, I snuggle in and read my "fun" book.

Now we turn on our sound machine, turn out the lights, and close our eyes.

Aim to sleep at the same time every night and wake at the same time every morning to maintain an efficient circadian rhythm.

Be sure to keep your bedroom as your sleep sanctuary. A decluttered, ambient room that promotes relaxation is better for your sleep hygiene. Try aromatherapy, dimmed lighting, calming sounds, and a cool (but not cold) temperature.

Before bedtime:

  • Eliminate screen time (or wear blue-light-blocking glasses) - 2 hours before bed.

  • Prepare for the next day (clothes, lunch/snacks, coffee maker, morning routine set up, etc.)

  • Get ready for bed (sleep hygiene)

  • Gentle stretching

  • Meditation or sleep story

  • Wind down with a good book (or sleep story)

  • Turn on a white noise machine

Shower Ritual

Bathing in success and washing away turmoil.

Bathing tends to be a daily ritual for most, or at least throughout the week. Some of us shower in the mornings, and others wait until the end of the day.

Whether you add your bathing ritual into your morning or evening routine, think of ways to enhance the experience for holistic well-being.

I include dry brushing and oil pulling in my shower ritual. Adding a teaspoon of coconut oil, or Banyan Daily Swish, to swish around the mouth for 10-20 minutes adds a multitude of health benefits with minimal effort.

While swishing, use your dry brush before hopping into the shower. Dry brushing benefits the lymphatic system while smoothing your skin for a radiant touch.

Check out my Radiance blog post for more details about dry brushing and oil pulling!

Radiance Ritual

Treat yourself to a beautifying facial, body, and hair routine.

Have you ever enjoyed a spa day with a massage, facial, and hair treatment? Why not do this for yourself weekly at home?

For the face:

  • Give yourself a facial.

  • Be sure to use organic products that benefit your skin and not synthetic chemicals that cause more harm.

  • Use massaging motions to stimulate the collagen while activating acupressure points.

  • Apply an organic, natural face mask. Check out this blog post by Elle

  • Stay tuned for an in-depth blog post on my facial protocol that uses ancient practices in a modern setting.

For the hair:

  • Apply a DIY hair mask. Check out this Good Housekeeping blog for a complete list of masks that fit your individual preference.

  • Let the hair mask sit and soak in.

  • Wash and rinse using organic shampoo and conditioner.

  • Apply a light serum for continuous shine and softness (optional). Here's my personal favorite.

For the body: Try these extra treats in addition to your regular dry brushing.

  • Foot massage. Take your favorite oil or lotion and give your feet a bit of love. What a great way to wind down before bed or after a luxurious bath!

  • Castor oil pack for the abdomen, hair, or eyes. Check out Queen of the Thrones, an excellent female-power company specializing in castor oil kits.

  • Earseeds for whole body and mind wellness. Shop for your Earseeds here and add a little bling to your health. These are pretty, sparkly, and holistic, yet they benefit stress, food cravings, weight loss, and so much more.

Lavish your sacred self with loving rituals.

What rituals will make up your routines? Can you dedicate the time and care to checking in with yourself?

The daily triple check-in accompanying your routines will keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. While benefiting your health, sticking to your habits creates balance. Be sure to love your rituals and feel the comfort and satisfaction that accompanies them.

Life is short. Enjoy your days while nurturing yourself for the long run.

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive updates on blog post releases, including one on a complete home facial protocol that will leave you glowing!

For more information on mindfulness, check out this video on YouTube: Long Story Shortz - What is Mindfulness?

Happy New Year!!

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