Do you feel like no matter how hard you work to prioritize and hammer through tasks, meet important deadlines, manage a busy household, and take care of yourself, you’re pouring from an empty cup?
Does it often feel like you’re coasting on autopilot, wondering how you even got from one destination to the next, because you were so preoccupied you hardly remember the commute?
Do you find yourself wondering why – even though you found the 4-5 minutes to make yourself a healthy, protein-packed, liver-loving smoothie for breakfast and squeezed in a 20-minute workout before that important Zoom call – you can’t seem to find a moment of peace?
Oftentimes we think we are prioritizing self-love and self-care – practices that have proven to reduce stress, improve health outcomes, better focus, mental clarity, and more – when really, we are doing everything for others and the bare minimum for ourselves. Sometimes we don’t even know we need to change something because we don’t have the time or think to reflect inward to take inventory of how we feel.
So, how do you feel on a scale of 1-10? With 10 being joyful, energetic, emotionally centered and 1 being frazzled, run-down, stressed out, overworked, and overwhelmed. I’m not ashamed to say that I find myself at a 5 or 6 on the self-inventory scale occasionally. In fact, this is a good thing – because now I have a clear indication that I need to prioritize ME a little bit more this week and I can move the needle up a notch or two by making small, almost effortless changes.
Self-love is an important part of self-care. Your relationship with yourself is arguably the most important one you’ll have. If you can’t remember the last time you had a moment to yourself or even treated yourself to something that brings you joy, girl, we need to talk.
How You Start Your Day is How You Start Your Life
In the words of the timeless and iconic poet Maya Angelou, “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”
If you find yourself on the lower end of the self-inventory spectrum, you’re in luck, because today I am sharing 10 easy, proven ways to increase energy levels, joy, and confidence all at once.
For best results, these need to be applied in the morning. Why? Because your morning routine determines the trajectory of your day. Days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into years which means you can choose how you spend your days.
If you begin the day stressed out, disorganized, and emotional, it’s highly likely the rest of your day will follow suit. You can choose peace over panic, and calmness over chaos.
Implementing one or more of these quick, easy morning rituals will put you on the path to better habits and more easygoing days, sure to bring you clarity and inner harmony that has been absent for so long:
#1 – Boost your mood with citrus essential oil in the morning.
Citrus essential oils contain constituents that when inhaled, stimulate the limbic system in the brain which is directly connected to our emotional responses. Wild orange and tangerine are excellent energizers and can be applied topically (I like to add a drop to my palms, rub them together, and take 3 deep breaths) or diffused aromatically for an instant burst of feel-good energy.
#2 – Play your favorite songs.
Curating a feel-good playlist with songs you love is such an easy way to set you up for success in the morning. Shuffle this playlist while you’re brushing your teeth, getting dressed, and especially in the shower – when we know our singing voice is at its best. A couple of my favorite feel-good jams are “This Is How We Do it” by Montel Jordan, “Happy” by Pharrell, and “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.
#3 – Make the shower feel like a visit to the spa.
Enhancing your morning shower routine to feel like a visit to the spa can be simple! It could look like blasting the aforementioned feel-good playlist and making sure you stay stocked with your favorite shampoo, body wash, and moisturizer. You can even add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil to enhance your complexion and your mood. Citrus oils, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender are all great choices. Important: Since you’re already in the shower anyway, why not make a mental list of 3-5 things you are grateful for? Since studies show one hallmark of happy people is gratitude, this is one small step I try to never skip over.
#4 – Practice mirror gazing.
If you saw the same person in passing all the time, and never gave them the time of day or even felt them worthy of eye contact, how would that make them feel? Well, why do we do this to ourselves? Take a moment to stand in awe of the person you are and the obstacles you’ve overcome in your life. Look into your own eyes; make yourself feel seen and acknowledged. Think of a certain accomplishment or how you handled a situation that week. Connect to the reality of you – a pure, graceful, courageous being. It might feel awkward at first, but as you begin to see and accept yourself, your body will begin to heal in ways you may never have experienced before. You may notice a new radiance, you may begin to magnetize a loving, healthy relationship, but most importantly, you will cultivate a loving, healthy relationship with the person who makes it all possible: you.
#5 – Make your favorite beverage and savor it.
Whether it’s coffee (don’t forget to eat first), lemon water garnished with thyme, or my favorite – an adaptogen-packed matcha latte with frothy almond milk – take a moment to sip it and savor it. For maximum results, do this while your morning playlist is bumping and have an epic dance party with your children like I do. The added bonus: Your children see a happy, healthy parent and nothing makes a child happier than seeing a joyful mama.
#6 – Hydrate your body, gut, and liver.
Start your morning, especially if you drink coffee, with 16oz or more of my Belly Slim down water to help your liver, gut, and belly debloat and function better. In a two-liter glass jar, add purified water, squeeze in a lemon, add in 10-15 mint leaves, a whole sliced cucumber, and a dash of cayenne pepper or ginger root if you are feeling spicy. Cayenne pepper has chemical constituents that studies show can boost your metabolism and help you burn an extra 50 calories per day!
#7 – Love your body with key hormone-loving nutrients.
Much of the stress we feel is exacerbated by hormone dysregulation that many women suffer from today, especially from their thirties on. Knowing the importance of nourishing my body with critical vitamins and minerals that work to restore hormone harmony, I take my supplements every morning without fail. They go down easily with a smoothie, and the impacts are instantly noticeable. Supplements that make a huge difference in energy levels are:
Magnesium Restore – This mighty, jack-of-all-trades mineral supports a whole heap of functions in the body and also provides many benefits ranging from promoting heart health to amping up exercise performance to combating inflammation, depression, and stubborn PMS symptoms. People also report more stable moods and much better, more restful sleep as it helps the body relax and supports the neurotransmitters in your brain that regulate sleep.
Activated B Complete – Studies suggest there is a link between Vitamin B deficiency and stress levels. We often neglect our own needs because stress snowballs and everything going on around and within us feels unmanageable. This Vitamin B complex, especially in conjunction with Magnesium Restore, provides your body with essential vitamins that enable you, mentally and physically, to better tackle those mounting stress levels that are often made worse by PMS or menopausal symptoms.
Adrenal Love – You can’t adequately manage stress – or show yourself the love and care you deserve – if your adrenal glands are not functioning properly. Our adrenal glands are incredible “protectors” that activate when we encounter real or perceived danger. The problem is, the chronic stress levels we face today and living in “survival mode” max them out, resulting in adrenal fatigue. If you think you’re experiencing burnout, just imagine how your adrenals must feel! Adrenal love gives them (and you) the TLC you need to have the peace and mental clarity to manage life’s curveballs.
Thyroid Support – We can’t talk about self-love without talking about adaptogens in Thyroid Support. True to its name, adaptogens are herbs that literally help you adapt to stressful situations. Just like adrenal fatigue, too much stress not managed in a healthy way can wear down your thyroid which is essential for overall wellness, metabolism, skin health, digestion, mood and so much more. Improve your energy and overall well-being by supplying your thyroid with everything it needs in this all-in-one supplement!
#8 – Get morning sunlight on your face.
Unlock your mitochondrial energy! Within 10-20 minutes of waking, step outside and uplift your mood and energy levels with natural sunlight. Take a moment to soak in the world around you without any distractions. Take 5-10 deep breaths, dial in on 2 or 3 sounds around you like birds chirping or the wind whooshing. Take a five-minute walk to reap the benefits of fresh air and good old Vitamin D. Easily one of the most effortless but high-impact morning rituals, the benefits include regulating your Circadian rhythm which can help improve sleep quality, too.
#9 – Send a quick message to someone you love.
After the past couple of years have wreaked havoc on our sense of community and connectivity, feelings of isolation and loneliness persist for so many. As if isolation and loneliness aren’t hard enough to navigate on their own, research links these feelings with higher risks of many physical and mental conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, a compromised immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and even Alzheimer’s disease. This is where it is important to practice self-reflection and inventory your own emotions to see if you need to do something different to avoid prolonging this detrimental energy. Engaging with a loved one who makes you laugh and feel connected can make you feel better instantly and only takes 20-30 seconds of your time.
#10 – Start journaling.
There are proven benefits associated with taking everything going on inside and jotting it down. Taking just a few minutes to practice gratitude on paper or even write about the complex feelings you are experiencing is akin to taking a disorganized, messy purse, dumping it all out, and putting it back in neatly and in a way where you can easily find what you need. That’s why I created a Daily Self-Care Journal – to help women like us who are juggling so much, so often have the tools they need to set the tone for their day and set them up for success in their dynamic, multi-faceted lives.
Just a Little Bit Goes a Long Way
Sure, it is hard to implement 10 new positive habits every morning. But don’t be overwhelmed or feel like you need to implement all 10 immediately. Small, consistent changes – like even implementing just one of the 10 ways to practice self-love and self-care each day – can compound over time and provide remarkable outcomes when it comes to your physical and mental wellbeing. Start by picking one, implementing it each morning, and performing a self-inventory at the end of the week to see if you notice any improvement. I bet you will, and then by week two or three, you can include one or two more habits in your morning ritual to amplify the benefits you’ve begun to notice.
So if you aren’t particularly ready to host Soul Train in your kitchen while giving yourself a mini facial and high-fiving yourself in the mirror as you drink your matcha latte, that’s ok – just start by taking one minute, then two, then three, to put yourself first in the morning so you can give the best of you to everyone who matters most. Don’t forget that includes you, too.