Beauty Bit, Self Care

Illustrated By Jacqueline Davis Moranti

A question I ask myself a lot lately is what is self- care? Is it purely just taking yourself to the spa for a massage and mani- pedi? Is it going to the hair dresser for a new cut or style? Is self- care simply just a shopping spree at your favorite mall? Something my friends, and family would ask me many times is how I was doing, and I genuinely didn't have answer. It has been quite frustrating because knowing exactly who you are, what you feel, and what your body needs all seem like things that should come to you naturally. You are, if anything, the main expert of you. But in all honesty, do any of us know exactly what we need at any given moment? Knowing yourself requires a lot of hard work. Think about it, the amount of sleep, plus physical activity, plus protein, and all the sorts of things you actually need (or need to put up with) depends on your individual lifestyle, add in any health conditions you might have, and your simple personal preferences. That's a surprisingly large amount of stuff that does take some work to pay attention to—and many of us aren't used to do doing that especially me! In the end I know it 's all worth it, because knowing exactly what your mind and physical body will react to, both negative and positive is crucial to reach whatever goals you have set in place. 

To achieve that, I've been swapping out my usual morning routine for self- care practices. 

Rather than hitting the snooze button three consecutive times before deciding to get up, I'm dedicating it to serve me, not any one else, just me. 

1. Wake Up
I used to just give myself time to get dressed, feed the dog and give him a quick lap around the block and barely feed myself before leaving for work ( I leave at 8:45 to make it to work on time). Now, I give myself 2 and a half hours to start my day off right! It also helps that my alarm clock wakes me up to music. Sit up, take 5 deep breathes and get up! 

2. Meditation
As women, our minds are racing all the time. I often find my thoughts to be out of control, meditating for just five minutes in the morning helps to give me an awareness of myself that allows me to take control again. I use the Headspace app for some guided meditations while sitting on my yoga mat. 

3. Fitness
I used to work out late, at night. While that helped me go to sleep a lot easier, it didn't really help contribute to my mornings! Working out in the mornings help give me an endorphin boost, it also helps to give your body new blood and oxygen circulation. I've also seen the best results from my morning iron pumps!  I’ve been practicing my fitness for years, and pairing it with meditation, I feel a whole new sense of mental and physical refresh that sets my day off right.

4. Water
It's well known that a person should drink up half of their body weight in ounces every day via water consumption— for me, that’s 10 cups of water. I keep a water bottle right next to my bed and make sure it’s empty by the time I get to work a few hours later.

5. Practice Your Mantras
Practicing my words of affirmation are the way I feel most loved and gain a greater understanding of myself and well being, so to fill up my cup in the mornings, i'll take a post it note and write down something positive about myself and leave it by my vanity desk so it's something I can remind myself of. Next day I collect the previous one and put it in a journal. Giving yourself a little love has a deep impact on yourself.

I do some combination of these things every morning, and it’s made such a difference in how I feel and behave throughout the day! Sure ,not everyday is magical but I'm able to avoid the headaches that come with rushed days. The simple act of choosing to care for myself before attending to anything else has truly affected me in the most positive ways. Now, most mornings, I feel rested, cared for, filled up, and ready to give the best of myself to the day ahead. Dear readers, what do you do to practice self care?

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Thanks for the sweet whispers! XO