It’s winter time. Time to slow down, hibernate, reflect on dreams, goals, rest, cuddle, bundle, and tune inward. If you’re anything like me you’re probably working a lot, juggling five-million projects, activities, commitments, along with helping others. So, when do you find time for yourself?
When you allow yourself only a few hours of sub-par sleep at night, then, even your rest is not your own. Many of us toss and turn, our minds occupied and racing in thought. I forgot to reply to that email, I need to pick up my dry cleaning, etc.
Or your body finally shuts down and you come down with a cold, and if that doesn’t stop you in your tracks—the flu. Busy modern living can really take its toll if you allow it. But here’s the good news: you are in total control of your actions, and you can design your day with style, honoring yourself first. You can, and deserve to, look and feel your very best.
Taking care of yourself sounds like a simple task, it’s a constant mantra for me. Living a life of optimal wellness is a full-time job, and office hours are 24/7. Being a single mom, I often find myself playing Wonder Woman, I mean, I dig her outfit and all, but just because I can do everything that’s put before me, doesn’t mean I should. Styling your life is all about taking accountability for what exists in your orbit, and implementing practices that reinforce the intention of loving yourself. Don’t let the cool winter chill dull your glow. Work to ignite your inner light as a daily practice.
8 tips for personal care practices that can help you
get your groove back and ignite that inner light!
1. Taking out the trash.
Literally and figuratively, clearing any clutter that shows up in your life. Resolving and dissolving emotional baggage so you can keep a clean heart. Clearing out old clothes, clearing your phone of some contacts you no longer need in your life, you see where I am going with this.
2. Surround yourself with beauty.
What you see is a reflection of what you are. Place lovely flowers in pretty vases (not jars) all over your home, open the curtains and let the light shine in, paint the walls a color that resonates with you. You deserve it, gorgeous!
3. Take a hot salt-soak.
Yes, you have to run a bath for this one. But it is quite nice to soak. A mixture of dead sea salt, epsom salts, essential oils, like lavender and hot water, is the perfect solution to a long day. To really do it big, treat yourself to a nice scented candle—or two. Shut off the phone and the light and relax in the tub for a minimum of fifteen minutes. You’ll thank me.
4. Get your green on!
When you are green inside, you’re clean inside. Try stocking up on more upward-reaching leafy greens—Kales, collards, arugula, mizuna, etc. Our ancient ancestors would eat up to six pounds of leaves per day. Can you imagine eating a grocery bag full of greens daily? Few of us even eat the minimum USDA requirement of three cups of leafy greens per week. Dark green leafy vegetables contain, calorie for calorie, perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients, which protect our cells from damage. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega 3 fats. They help to regulate blood sugar and break down fats, and cleanse the blood. I’m done with my PSA, so gobble two salads a day and down a green juice in the mornings. Make kale your new BFF.
5. Get up and g(l)o(w)!
Exercise during the mornings whenever possible. When you work out at the start of your day, it decreases your appetite and stimulates the thyroid to burn calories all day long. Try power yoga, walking, jogging, swimming, or spinning in the mornings to kick off your day, add some resistance training at the end of the workout to further stimulate the fat-burning process. This might include push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, and squats. Since it’s getting warmer outside our bodies naturally desire more sunlight and activity. Carve out some time in your busy schedule to do some of the things you love to do outdoors, which might include: rollerblading, bike-riding, recreational sports, dancing, walking, etc. When you do what you love—you’re happiest. It’s exercise without effort.
6. Try phone-fasting.
Tune all the digital chatter out of your life for one day per week. If the thought gives you a panic attack, then try half a day. Phone-fasting includes iPads, computers, video games, etc. Take that time to tune inward, be with yourself, go for a run, play Frisbee in the park, cook a meal for someone, write a letter, spend time doing what you love with who you love, and take time to appreciate the precious moment that is the present.
7. Practice confessions of light.
We all love being showered with love and when you can bless someone with the awareness that they have touched your life in some small but meaningful way, it makes a huge difference in that person’s life as well. You can offer the “gift of glow” in acknowledging them. This practice will infect those around you with doses of gratitude. Who can you call right now and confess to? Light someone’s inner candle that has lit yours in some way.
8. Plop down on a pillow, meditate, and be merry.
Set up a sacred space in your home where you can sit in silence and tune inward. Deep breathing and focused concentration slows down brain waves, making them more organized. It allows us to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, releasing endorphins in the blood stream—happy hormones! This helps us to have presence, peace of mind, and a practice of gratitude. If giving thanks is part of your practice, your inner light will shine!
Latham Thomas is a wellness expert and educator in plant-based nutrition, and on the vanguard of transforming the maternal wellness movement. She is the founder of Tender Shoots Wellness, a boutique holistic lifestyle practice that serves women during the childbearing years, offering culinary services, nutritional counseling, yoga, and birth coaching services. She recently launched MamaGlow.com where she offers coaching services, events, videos, and classes for women. Latham will publish her first book, “Mama Glow” in fall of 2012 with Hay House. She is the co-founder of the Mama Glow Film Festival, and has been featured on the Dr.Oz Show, ABC Eyewitness News, Inside Edition, Fox News LIVE, NY Daily News, NY Post, Vital Juice, Essence, Body + Soul, November 2011 cover issue of Experience Life. For more on Latham please visit her website, tendershootswellness.com