My daily rituals are what keep me feeling my best!
I had a few people ask me to do a post on this and I decided it was a great idea, since I find these habits to be the KEY to my healthy and balanced life.
Getting the proper amount of sleep is NO JOKE. Despite popular belief, there is no “making up for” lost hours of REM. Admittedly, I am a night owl, but lately I’ve been trying to go to bed anywhere from 11-12 PM and that is what works best for me. I aim for 8 hours of sleep, but I’ll get anywhere from 7-10 depending on if I set an alarm, or if I am able to sleep in. I have struggled with insomnia during stressful times and it’s honestly one of the most disorienting conditions that anyone can suffer from, in my opinion.
Without the proper amount of rest your brain and body can quite literally, not function. I’ve found that stopping eating about 2 hours or so before I go to bed enables my body to slow down. I try not to consume any caffeine past 2 PM. I always, ALWAYS, obsessively, wash my face and brush my teeth before I go to sleep. I cannot sleep without doing these things. I have a specific nighttime skincare routine that I won’t get into on this post, but if you’re interested comment below or DM me on Instagram. I’d love to share it.
Going to bed at a decent hour and getting ready for bed are only half the battle. Once you’re in bed the other half of the battle begins. How many of you can honestly say that you don’t lie in bed scrolling through your phone for ½-1 hour before you actually try going to sleep? Yeah, that’s what I thought. My BEST tip is to get an alarm clock for next to your bed and leave your phone charging in the hallway or on the other side of your room. If you can’t do this, make sure to use sleep mode and make a conscious decision to PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN and read a magazine, book, or something that is not emitting unnecessary light which messes with your potential to reach REM sleep.
Water. Water. Water. The three most important components to feeling AMAZING. I have an 18 ounce water bottle that I try to fill up and drink all of anywhere from 3-6 times a day, depending on how active and thirsty I am.
I put anywhere from 1-2 scoops of BCAA’s in my water (Scivation XTEND brand, Strawberry Kiwi flavor). BCAA stand for, branched-chain amino acids. They aid with muscle growth and recovering and replenishing electrolytes. I LOVE knowing that my body is getting the proper amount of amino acids to keep my muscles growing. Obviously, it is always important to consult your physician when adding supplements into your diet. That being said, I highly recommend investing in some BCAA’s, based on my own personal experience. There are a lot of great brands out there that are popular among fitness professionals, body builders, etc.
I also love to incorporate water-dense fruits and veggies into my meals throughout the day. Not to mention using fruits to add flavor to my water. I used to NEVER like anything in my water. But over time I’ve learned to love the taste of lemon and lime mixed in. I especially like to drink warm water with lemon in the morning as I feel that it really flushes out my system and prepares me for the day. I do drink caffeine, either tea or coffee, on a regular basis. But I ALWAYS make it a point to drink water before diving into caffeinated drinks. I steer clear from sweet sports drinks and sodas because I don’t see the benefit of consuming all that sugar. Recently, I’ve taken a liking to carbonated water and find it to be a refreshing treat with fruit for dessert.
I’ve taken a bunch of different vitamin and supplements on and off throughout the past couple years. I already mentioned above that I supplement BCAAs in my diet. I also take a multivitamin, and an iron, and B12 supplement separately. Sometimes I will take vitamin D. In addition to this, I take 5000 mg of Biotin a day for collagen support. I recently added glutamine into my diet to aid in muscle recover and I also occasionally use Whey protein.
I know a lot of people have very strong opinions about supplements. I definitely do feel that the best way to get your vitamins and minerals is through the food you eat. But, supplementing these different elements into my diet is what works best for me and I found that when I was eating vegan, I definitely noticed a difference when I was, and was not using supplements. I still notice a difference when I don’t take them, but it’s not as drastic.
It’s plain and simple really, I. Need. Music. Truly, I do. Whether I’m working out, cleaning my house, or cruising around in my car I always have to be listening to something. I have different playlists for different moods and activities. My favorite playlist is my workout one. I recently invested in some wireless Beats by Dre headphones and cannot believe I went so long without having a pair! They are so convenient, especially when at the gym. The only thing I can’t do while wearing them is walk on my hands :P, but that’s to be expected.
I highly recommend investing in Sirius Radio or Spotify, a music provider with little or no commercials. It really does make all the difference. I’ve always had a pretty eclectic music taste, so my playlists have music ranging from rock and punk to indie and rap. In addition to having background music for my daily activities I also like to take time to listen to a song or an album, undistracted. It’s very soothing to be fully present in the music you love, that way you are able to really appreciate it.
#5 MINDFUL COLORING
I absolutely cannot get enough of “adult coloring books.” That’s in quotes because what about a coloring book implies that it’s not just naturally for adults too?! I’ve always been into drawing and coloring and these books take it to a whole new level. It’s so nice to have all the doodles already drawn out. One of my favorite coloring books is pictured above, it is called Mindful Mandalas and I don’t go to work or travel long distances without it!
I know that colored pencils are the standard, but I use markers because they’re so bright and rich. What’s great about Mindful Mandalas is that there is only one mandala per-page and there is no bleed through. Coloring is just a fun way to pass time and it’s super relaxing. I highly encourage any and everyone to get a coloring book and make a commitment to color a page a day. By the end, you’ll have this beautiful book full of your colorful creations.
These are just a few of my favorite daily rituals. I also make it a priority to move my body! Whether that be at the gym or in some other form. I love working out, and being outside is so cleansing and invigorating, so I try to combine the two as often as I can. It should be getting easier now that Spring is on the way (fingers crossed)!