This year it’s all about the self care for me. As I said in my 2015 goals post, I’ve realised now important it is to look after myself so that I can then take care of others and in particular, be the best mother I can be. Little things you do daily can have a huge impact on your feelings of wellbeing, so here are 5 simple things you can do to every day to take extra good care of yourself…
Dry skin brushing / hot cloth wash
Dry skin brushing is nothing new or exciting, however it is simply effective! The act of dry skin brushing is where you use a soft bristled brush to gently brush the skin in long motions towards the heart. It removes dead skin cells, improves circulation and drainage of toxins and excess fluids. From my experience I’ve also found it’s a good way to feel more awake in the mornings! On an evening, try doing a hot cloth wash for a similar more relaxing effect. Just fill a sink with hot water (you could also add a couple of drops of essential oils) and dip a face cloth in it then wring it out. Rub the hot cloth on your skin dipping it back in the hot water when it has cooled and repeating all over the body. You’ll find that you have a nice warm glow after this!
Oil pulling is an ayurvedic practice that involves swilling a tablespoon of oil around your mouth for several minutes so that the oil can pull toxins out of your mouth and throat. I won’t go into much detail as this Oil Pulling 101 post from the lovely Amanda has everything covered. It’s something I’ve been doing for a couple of weeks and I’m amazed at the difference! My teeth seem whiter and bleeding gums that seems to be left over from my pregnancy has cleared up! I keep a jar of coconut oil in the bathroom (I use coconut oil for all sorts, see my post on 10 ways to use coconut oil for loads of ideas) with a spoon and I oil pull while I dry skin brush to save time.
For some of you having alone time will be very easy, but for others it might be something incredibly hard to do! Even if you do have time alone in your day, it might not be focused time where you do something for yourself. Try having at least 5 minutes of focused me time every day. It might be going for a quick walk, painting your nails, scrolling through Pinterest (one of my faves!), making a cup of coffee, tea or herbal tea and just being for a while. You could even use those 5 minutes to meditate!
Set your MIT’s for the day
MIT’s are your Most Important Tasks, and this is something I’ve picked up from the Shining Year Workbook. Setting your three Most Important Tasks each day is a great way of avoiding overwhelm and getting shit done! Get a note pad and stick it somewhere you’ll see it every morning so you can jot them down as soon as you get up. Get those three things done and then anything else is a bonus. Check out my How to get shit done post for more ideas.
Eat more super foods
Affordable super foods that is! Including some really nutrient dense foods in your diet each day is a great way to improve your health and wellbeing. An easy way to do this is by always making sure you have some foods like eggs, avocado and kale in the fridge and using them in meals throughout the week.
Do you feel that you are able to prioritise self care? What are your self care rituals?
100% agree that self-care is so important. It’s something I’ve struggled with previously but I’m definitely improving on. Lately I’ve been trying to start to have a bit of a stretch before bed (I wouldn’t quite class it as yoga), which really helps to calm my mind and body before sleep. Plus, I’ve also realised how inflexible I’ve become so it’s a great project also :)
That sounds great, I’ve really neglected stretching recently and I need to remember that just 5 minutes can do the trick!
I love this list Laura. It is so important to have self care practices in our lives, especially after what you have been through! I love to give myself time to meditate, do yoga, or even watch some crappy reality tv – something that helps me switch off!
Thanks Lauren! Crappy reality tv can be so good for destressing!
I think I may have to start calling my top to-do’s ‘MITs’ from now on! Love all these – oil pulling is something I want to dabble in more this year too. For me, making sure I take regular 5 minute mini-breaks throughout the day is great for keeping me focussed and not too stressed – a good scroll on Pinterest is perfect for these ;)
I’m far too obsessed with Pinterest but as we both say it’s perfect for those 5 min breaks! I love looking at some pretty things to relax!
Brilliant, brilliant post Laura! I lost my self-care a bit (okay, a lot) last year and am determined not to this time around. It’s amazing what a few minutes of self care can do for your self esteem and mood, for example just having my toenails painted all the time makes me feel much more confident and polished.
I really need to try oil pulling again, I tried it last year and swallowed it accidentally which put me off big time!
Oh no! I would be a bit freaked out swallowing it too! Glad that you are putting self care as a priority, I’m just the same with painted nails, I’d like to try and make sure I paint my finger nails more often too.
All of these are fab rituals Laura, and I’d never thought of the hot cloth wash with some essential oils, might have to try that one. ‘Me time’ is so important too, I think we can often find ourselves thinking that we’re having me time but really we’re just being a bit lazy, or having too much me time (aka procrastination, something I did far too much last year!). I’m trying to get into some better relaxation techniques but also Pilates which doubles as a great way to improve strength and flexibility. Nothing can get done to your best ability if your mind isn’t in a healthy, relaxed state!
Hope you and little Finley are well and had a lovely Christmas :)
She’s So Lucy xxx
Hope you enjoy the pilates, I wish I was able to take a class! Thanks for the well wishes, we had a lovely Christmas although I was a little poorly but feeling much better now!
I have heard of oil pulling but never really understood it- I will check that post out thanks :)
Hope that post explains it, it’s never been something I thought I would like but when it stopped my gums bleeding I was won over!
Just done the oil pulling – was a bit weird but my lips feel soooooo soft! x
Haha, I never noticed that but they do don’t they!
Great ideas Laura, I agree that it is super important to do things for yourself when you are a Mummy! You are the centre of your baby’s world and it’s important you take care of yourself and ground yourself to be able to do that with joy :)
I love your Pinterest boards by the way, it’s a bit addictive though isn’t it?
Absolutely, it’s such a responsibility and I think that taking care of yourself so you can take care of them is one of the best ways to meet that need. Glad you like my boards, I am SO addicted!
What a lovely cool post, my friend!
I wish you a Happy, fun & culinary 2015!!!
Thank you Sophie!
Love the oil pulling – I am getting back in habit of it too and this year is all about getting in some self care habits, with getting my eye brows threaded regularly being one!
Ooh let me know how the threading goes, I need to get my chin threaded, lol ;-)
Oil pulling sounds rather interesting!! Never heard of it before but I’m intriguing.
I used to dry brush all the time but it got a bit of a faff – I’m a kinda of low maintenance kinda girl. I think the most consistent thing I do for beauty is pluck my eyebrows but that’s because otherwise they’d be caterpillars!
I wish I had your eyebrows then cause mine are non existent!
Love these tips! I live alone so while I get a lot of “me time” I’m trying to improve the quality of it this year by reading / meditating / doing freestyle yoga rather than just lying in bed messing around on my iPhone! x
That sounds like a good plan, before I had Finley I think I was a bit like that and not really doing much that was adding to my wellbeing if that makes sense!
I really like the MIT idea. I regularly dry skin brush, but I’ve got out of the habit of oil pulling- will try and start that up again.
I’ve found the MIT idea so useful, it makes me feel like I’m actually achieving stuff each day!
Self care is huge for me this year, as I’m about 6 months pregnant right now. I want to take care of myself as best as I can before baby gets here. The oil pulling thing sounds interesting. I’ve never heard of that!
A ritual I have just taken on is listening to daily meditation/hypnosis tracks every day to prepare for an easy childbirth!
I love all of these tips! We all need to take better care of ourselves! Thank you :)
Hey Laura! Definitely going to check out oil pulling.. I’ve heard it mentioned before.. but now I’m going to give it a go!
I also made a coffee/sugar/coconut scrub the other day – So easy and is a great exfoliant in the shower :)
Well I’m rather late commenting on this post. But doesn’t matter if it’s at the start of a new year, new month or new day you can start to take care of yourself a bit more when ever it suits you. The 5 points you have included are all great for people to start doing. Do you not think taking regular vitamins could be one to include? Oil pulling has definitely become more popular this year. It’s all over the web now where you can buy little sachets to enjoy oil pulling for a whiter smile.