Updated: Oct 5, 2018
Want to feel more balanced and less stressed? Try these daily essentials.
I run a Sunday morning morning yoga class and the other week I was speaking with one of the students after class. She told me that she had only landed from holiday a few hours earlier but even with a lack of sleep in her, she said she felt recalibrated by the yoga practice.
I love this description. There will always be things to throw us off balance and it made me think about how we all need practices to help us recalibrate.
Putting in place small daily rituals which are non-negotiable helps to ground and center us, strengthening our ability to handle stress.
Our lives are busy and there will be always be something to do and places to be but don’t let this be your first response when it comes to making time for yourself. You can spare 5 minutes, right? Let these little rituals become your quick daily self-care fixes.
Daily Essentials: The self-care practices to do every day!
Establish a morning routine
We all have a morning routine whether we realise it or not and mine used to be very haphazard and disorganised, but over the summer I have been focusing on establishing a morning routine and I can’t begin to tell you what a difference it has made to my day.
What I have realised is that my mornings are precious; they are a blank canvas as the day is yet to unfold, I want those first moments to be sacred so that I am poised and ready to let the outside world in.
It is still a work in progress and has taken many months to build so I suggest starting small by introducing one thing at a time. Before rolling over and picking up your phone or turning on the TV, try some of these practices.
How you start your morning sets the tone for your day
1. Cultivate an attitude of Gratitude
Before you even open your eyes, acknowledge that you have been granted another day to live your life. It is something we can all take for granted. Be thankful for the bed you lie on, the covers that keep you warm, the birds singing, your family and whatever else you can be think of.
Practice this gratitude practice before even moving and your first thoughts will be on the many riches that you are fortunate to have.
2. Roll out of bed and onto your yoga mat
Now that you’re up, if you have a yoga mat put it beside your bed and move how your body wants you to move. There doesn't have to be a set routine and it only takes a few minutes to stretch out and recalibrate.
I started out doing a 5 minute non-negotiable meditation which I have only now just increased. I used to set myself over ambitious targets that I couldn’t stick to it. Now, I can’t argue myself away from doing 5 minutes.
Generally in the mornings our minds are less overactive and breath slowly and deeply and allow yourself to be.
Spending a few minutes in stillness may be the only opportunity you get through your day.
O.k. now you can go to the toilet 😊
Sit down and eat a nourishing breakfast.
Breakfast is the first food that you are putting into your body after a night of fasting. Your cells and tissues are primed to receive the goodness you’re about to put into it. Rushing in the morning raises stress levels so please sit down and make time for breakfast. Prepare it the night before if needs be. Check out my overnight oats recipe.
Increase daily focus and productivity with a list or a daily plan.
This has been a game changer for me. I know it is not rocket science but honestly, this simple task has revolutionised my day.
Following a session I had with a business coach she provide me with a daily planner. At the top, is space for me to write 3 priorities and then I slot in the tasks I will need to do alongside the hours of the day. This helps me to think about how long each task will take and what I can realistically achieve. It feels so good to be focused and to tick off what I have achieved and if I run out of time, my list reminds me to put it as a priority for tomorrow.
Pack a healthy snack
We’ve all been there, the dreaded work kitchen at 3pm and someone’s left over birthday cake is starting you in the face. If you get the urge to munch or need an energy boost, choose wholefoods. Pack some oat cakes and hummus, a trail mix or try my Coconut and Pecan bites.
Which of these would suit you to become your 5 minute morning fixer? Or maybe you can think of something else?
If your house is a lot busier than mine in the morning, be creative:
Can you take 5 minutes in the bathroom to sit and be still?
No time to exercise or move, how about using a dry body brush to get the lymph and circulation moving?
Have a mindful shower.
Dance to some upbeat music while brushing your teeth.
Listen to a positive audio recording in the car on your way to work.
If mornings really won’t work for you, establish an evening routine instead:
A gratitude practice; write down 1-3 things you are grateful for.
Go for a 5 minute evening walk following work and before going into your home. This helps to leave work in the office and transition into the evening.
Read 5 pages of a book every night.
Eat mindfully without watching TV or looking at your phone.
A soothing nightly bath.
Show up for yourselves every single day with small, manageable and consistent rituals which are good for your soul.