Contrary to popular belief, self care is not a luxury, it is a necessity!
'Self-care’ is a general, albeit trendy, term for maintaining and improving yourself - body, mind and spirit. Practicing self-care shouldn’t be frivolous or overindulging, it should be ritual and routine acts that encourage and empower prioritizing your whole self.
Incorporating a personal self-care routine is critical to restore, revive, and rejuvenate you from the stressors of daily life. This in turn helps to boost energy, improve focus, and can advance your overall quality and happiness with life.
Below are 5 simple self-care rituals you can incorporate into a daily practice, today!
1. Self Care Ritual: Eat Well
As convenient and seemingly tasty as fast food, refined starches, or highly processed pre-packaged foods may be, they are nutrient-deficient; heavy in saturated fats and sugars that deplete your energy and keep you from operating at a high level.
Eating foods with a low glycemic index — meaning foods whose sugars are absorbed slowly — can help preserve energy (so, no fatigue after eating!). Foods with a low glycemic index include high-fiber vegetables like dark leafy greens, nuts, whole and sprouted grains, and healthy oils such as grapeseed and olive oil. Proteins and healthy fats, like in avocado, have glycemic indexes that are near zero.
In general, high-carbohydrate foods have the higher glycemic indexes.
TIP: DRINK MORE WATER!
Drinking water is one of the most beneficial acts you can do for your bodies. Water keeps your organs, including skin, eyes, and mouth hydrated. Water also helps to lessen the burden on the kidneys, liver, and digestive tract by flushing out toxins that keep you sluggish and your body from overexertion.
2. Self Care Ritual: Replace Caffeine with Energizing Herbal teas
Since caffeine can leave you exhausted or irritable, it’s recommended to reduce or eliminate drinks like coffee, sodas, energy drinks, and even traditional teas, like black or green, that contain high amounts of caffeine.
Caffeine acts as a stimulant to your central nervous system. That’s how it makes you feel awake and alert. As such, caffeine withdrawal is real and can leave you with headaches, nausea, dizziness and brain fog. It’s recommended to gradually decrease the amount of caffeine consumed, starting to replace a cup or two with decaffeinated coffee, cacao or rooibos tea (tea is used loosely here. Traditional ‘teas’ like white, green, or black, contain caffeine. Herbal tisanes, which infuse herbs in water, are caffeine free.)
Cacao For Energy
With its magnesium and theobromine content, cacao helps to boost energy, enhance mood and focus. Cacao can give a natural uplifting effect, without the peaks or crashes often associated with caffeine.
Rooibos Tea For Energy
Also rich in magnesium as well as antioxidants, is Southern African Rooibos Tea. Despite its name, Rooibos tea is caffeine-free and made from a legume-like fruit versus traditional tea leaves. Its antioxidant makeup is known for protecting healthy cells, reducing oxidative stress and increasing energy and focus.
“Unlike coffee, which could give you the jitters followed by a crash, rooibos tea is a cleaner-burning and longer-lasting fuel for the body since it doesn’t contain any caffeine or tannin. An added bonus is that it also relieves tension and headaches.” Adele du Toit
All SIIKA blends are naturally caffeine free. SIIKA's Chai pairs South African Rooibos with cinnamon, which is known to increase blood flow, for a naturally uplifting and delightful experience without the burnout.
3. Self Care Ritual: Incorporate Movement
Leading an active lifestyle will help you feel less exhausted and more energetic in the long run. Being active isn’t all about high intensity workouts, lifting weights or playing sports. Taking a walk or brisk stroll in nature is a great way to ground and calm your mind, as well as incorporate movement. Dancing is also an amazing way to increase your heartrate, get your blood flowing, and muscles moving.
You can even incorporate stretching as a great way to start or end your day. It gets your blood flowing, gently massages your muscles and relieves tension. (Pssst, you can even stretch in bed!)
In addition to benefits to the physical body, there are many other benefits to exercising, such as increasing the dopamine and serotonin levels in your brain, which, in turn, lifts your mood and actually makes you happier and more motivated.
4. Self Care Ritual: Go to Sleep!
A good night’s rest is really underrated. Lack of sleep not only diminishes alertness and energy, but it can cause a variety of health issues from weakened immune system and hormone inhibition to increased risk of heart disease and dementia. Sleep is the time for your body and mind to rejuvenate itself, to replenish its storehouse.
In a high paced society, you may feel the need to be awake longer in order to get more done. However, research shows that when your body and mind are well rested, you have an increased level of focus, which can make each hour awake more efficient.
Circling back to #2, replacing caffeine, one stage of sleep deprivation is the reliance on caffeine to do daily activities. Obviously, reducing caffeine intake can also contribute to enhancing the quality of your sleep.
Try SIIKA's Clarity blend that fuses the aromatic properties of lavender and lemongrass with the visually calming properties of Blue Butterfly Pea to help you wind down.
5. Self Care Ritual: Incorporate Breathwork
It takes A LOT of energy to be stressed, literally and figuratively. There is a direct correlation to stress and energy. The greater the reduction in stress, the greater the increase in energy.
When you’re angry, have been exercising or are relaxed, your breathing changes for each situation. Breathing is one thing that lets us know we're alive.
Take a moment, close your eyes and take 2, 3 or 10 deep breaths. (Yes, you can try it now!) Notice how the breath moves through your entire body. Fell how alive you are!
While you’re here, try to focus on the present. If it seems difficult to calm your mind from wayward thoughts, try starting a body scan. You can do this laying down or in a comfortable seated position, with your back erect. As you begin to breathe, notice how your toes feel, keep breathing. Follow your breath up through your feet, to your ankles, knees, to your hips. Keep breathing. Feel the breath as it flows up your torso to your heart. From your fingertips to wrists, elbows and shoulders. Follow it all the way up through the top of your head. Always remembering to BREATHE.
Body scans are an amazing way to cope in stressful situations and allow you to truly evaluate your own mental or physical safety in a given situation.
BONUS Self-Care Ritual: Dry Brushing or Oil Massage
Try inserting dry brushing or a massage with oil into your daily routine. Dry brushing can be done right before a shower or bath, and a massage can be done as you moisturize after a shower or bath. Either can be done just as you rise after a good night’s sleep! Massages and dry brushing help to stimulate the nervous system naturally, improve circulation, move energy around the body, and push toxins out of the body through your lymph nodes.
Now this takes a bit more time and effort than the 5 rituals I outlined above, but it’s perfectly fine to pamper yourself every now and again!!
Cheers to more energy, more life, and more love.