Focusing on self-care can take a lot of time and effort. there are so many sources out there with different ideas and recommendations on how to improve your body and mind. It can be overwhelming because on website will say you have to something, while another will say you should never do that same thing. Here are some things that are relatively easy to implement into your schedule. For me, it has been a slow transition. Don’t rush into making all of these changes at once so you feel overwhelmed. Take everything one day at a time
- Cutting Out Caffeine
I used to be a caffeine freak. I would drink 3-4 cups of coffee on any given day. Because of this, I was very prone to crashing in the afternoon. And then to compensate, I’d drink more caffeine and then have trouble sleeping. If coffee is your thing, try hot chocolate instead. I would drink that in the evenings to give the warm creamy effect of coffee without the intense caffeine. I also recommend non-caffeinated tea. I like to make iced tea at home so I can control the sugar I’m adding to it. As always, water is a great alternative to all of these kinds of drinks, but sometimes it can get boring. Fruit infusion water has really helped me get back into enjoying water. I recommend some mint and lemo
2. Switching to Organic
My goal for the year is to become zero waste, or at least close to it. It can definitely be more expensive; I’ll warn you know. But I like the heightened control over knowing where my food came from and what is in it. I really enjoy picking up a product and being able to recognize all the ingredients. Looking for products that are fair trade and ethically sourced is also important to me. Bring your own containers to grocery stores to save on plastic and cardboard, or use reusable bags. I’m hoping to try Bee’s Wrap soon, so I can update all of you on that. I feel better about what us going into and on my body this way.
3. Regularly Exercising
This can be as simple or complex as you wish. I like to do yoga twice a week and go on walks on the days I don’t do yoga. It sounds cliché, but I do feel so much better when I exercise. To help with my anxiety, I like being able to have controlled increase and decrease of my heart rate. It has also helped a lot with breathing techniques. Exercise as much or as little as works for you. Even just walking around your neighborhood or campus is a great way to put your heart and lungs to work.
When I started meditating, I was a huge skeptic. I pre-convinced myself that it wouldn’t work. Trying it on my own only ended in failure, so I went to a guided mediation. That was the best idea I’ve ever had. Being able to give in to mindfulness and just breathe has helped me so much in dealing with stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Afterwards I feel so much more powerful and capable to take on my day, or I feel relaxed and serene so I can go to bed. I like to pair my meditation before bed with some cycles of cat and cow pose to get my body connected to my breath. Their are so many apps out there that do guided mediation and or breathing exercises. I highly recommend checking them out! I use CBT-i.
5. Knowing My Skin Type
Most of my life has involved struggling with my skin. I had horrible acne and my face was super dry and super oily at the same time. I tried all sorts of products, but I was only focusing on getting rid of my acne as fast as possible. This caused my skin to be so dry that it would overcompensate with oil to add moisture back into my skin. It took me a very long time to realize what my skin needed most was moisture. On YouTube, instead of looking at acne-prone skincare routines, I started looking into dry and sensitive skin routines. My skin has improved drastically in texture and having fewer breakouts. My skin finally feels soft. My makeup used to go on horribly on top of my skin, so I would over-exfoliate to make it smooth. Now I know to add some serum or more moisturizer and I feel comfortable wearing foundation again. Listen to what your skin is telling you! Now that my skin is healthy, I’m breaking out less. It was so much more effective than solely focusing on breakouts and worrying about skin texture later.