Finding time for self-care might feel daunting when day-to-day life is so hectic. But by looking after ourselves physically we can also give our emotional health a boost. And we should always schedule time for that.
Ready to give it a try? Let’s get into it...
MY DAILY ROUTINE AND WELLNESS WIND DOWN
A massive component of the healing journey is establishing routines, habits and lifestyle changes that can support you on your path. My morning self-care plan and evening wind-down routines were two crucial practices that helped transform my life.
They helped to 1. lower my stress levels (which triggers inflammation, acne, gut problems and more) because, being an Aries girlie, I live for a routine, and 2. instil healthy habits that cultivate self-love and healing. These two simple lifestyle shifts helped transform me physically, mentally and spiritually.
FYI, these routines aren't set in stone; you can always change, adapt or move things around depending on what works for you on that day. You aren't a failure if you don't do your routine every day. This is about YOU and honouring YOUR needs. Remember to always come from a place of love over hate; we tend to make better choices when they come from love.
Embarking on a healing journey enables you to trial and error different techniques to discover what best supports your journey. And when you find what works, it creates space to transmute energy. When we are no longer at war with our bodies, we are deeply committed to listening and caring for them.
Here is what my typical morning and evening routines will look like:
MY MORNING ROUTINE
5.30am-6.30am: Wake up
I used to wake up at 7.30am-8am and felt like by the time I did all my self-care, worked out, and ate breakfast, it was 11.30 am, and the whole morning had gone leaving me with a pile of work and feeling very overwhelmed.
Setting my alarm an hour or two earlier immediately reduced my stress; I stopped feeling rushed, making my day much more productive.
I like to have 15-20 minutes within waking to lie in. I take a few deep breaths, activating my parasympathetic nervous system (relax response). I do a 2-5 minute intention setting (includes my manifestations and how I want to feel for the day) and gratitude practice. Occasionally I miss it, and that's okay! But when I miss it, I always notice the difference in my energy.
Check my emails and to-do list to organise everything so I'm ready to start as soon as I've completed a workout (3-5x a week).
6am-7am: Self Care
I begin with my skincare, which is very simple! I wash my face with only water. I used to clean it with face wash, but I realised I was over washing my face unnecessarily, which can damage your skin barrier. I then apply my no-baggage eye serum and repeat my affirmations in the mirror.
Bio-Hack: I spend a little more time with my No Baggage Eye Serum when I feel extra puffy because the rose quartz roller applicator is so cooling! It's packed with a powerhouse of ingredients and a lymphatic applicator to increase circulation around the eye, minimising the appearance of puffiness and dark circles.
Affirmation practice transformed my healing journey and inspired me to create eyeam.
How do they work?
Affirmations work to reclaim your power to transform yourself into the person you were designed to be. They shift your mindset, which controls your stress, which controls your symptoms. Read here to find out about the skin-gut axis.
"Watch your thoughts, they become your words, watch your words, they become your actions, watch your actions, they become your habits, watch your habits, they become your character, watch your character, it becomes your destiny." Lao Tzu
Changing your language can change your life; Our brain can't tell the difference between the truths and lies we tell it. By repeating affirmations, you are tricking your brain into thinking you feel that way, even when you don't. Consistency with your affirmations permits you to transmit your conscious thoughts into subconscious habits.
What does this do? It reprograms your subconscious mind, rewires your brain and breaks the negative loop. Creating a new vibration, thus emphasising our instinctive capacity for healing.
Followed by moisturiser and SPF (not every day, only when I feel like I need to, I know you guys will come for me, but I have yet to find any that doesn't clog my pores, so). After, I do a mini lymphatic drainage massage to reduce any puffiness on my face. Watch a tutorial here.
I then move on to brushing my teeth and tongue scraping. I occasionally throw in oil pulling with coconut oil (if I have time, as it's a 15-20 minute job). Tongue scraping is effective for getting my digestive enzymes moving in the mouth, prepping me to digest my delicious breakfast.
Next, I do a very quick dry brushing ritual. Dry brushing and tongue scraping are excellent for the detoxification of toxins. Our hormones are processed through our liver, where our toxins are detoxified. So it's essential to support that process in any way you can to ensure you don't have an overload of excess hormones (which can cause hormonal imbalance). All my party years caught up with me, that is for sure! Read my story here to learn more about hormonal imbalance.
I've dry brushed since I was 16 years old. I used to have strawberry arms (Keratosis pilaris - bumps on the back of my arms), and I came to my mum and said what should I do? She told me to use this every day. It disappeared within a few weeks, and I never stopped using it. It helps with skin texture, cellulite, exfoliation, and circulation. It's one of my favourite ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.
I then ALWAYS make the bed. Not only does it keep your room nice and tidy, but it helps tick off one of your accomplishments already! It's a great habit to make your mind think, "Wow, it's not even 7, and I've already completed so much!" It's the start of the snowball to keep your day productive. All small right turns lead to your wellness destination.
7.30 am: Workout or walk
One thing I used to do was always push myself when I was feeling burned out. I did that because the decision always came from a place of hate over love. I did it because I felt "fat" or "lazy" or trying to compensate for the food I ate the day before.
Pushing myself was a leading factor that led me to hormonal acne and made me constantly sick. Inflammation affects our immune system, so if we are continuously inflamed, we will always be sick.
Today, I always listen to my body and never push myself if tired. The way we feel is our body trying to communicate what it needs. Ignoring the signs causes problems, diseases, symptoms and more. I ignored the warnings for so long. The universe continued to whisper until I was ready to listen.
The truth is: any form of exercise or physical activity is better than nothing. And you don’t have to spend a massive chunk of time doing it.
I do a mix of strength work, Pilates and cardio depending on where I'm in my cycle and how I feel on the day. I used to be a Pilates girlie through and through before I started working with my trainer. Strength work scared me as I feared I would be too muscly or bulky. Working with my trainer Ruben Tabares changed my whole perception of that. He is the best of the best! He has trained many professional athletes, like David Haye, Dina Asher-Smith and celebrities like Naomi Watts and Tinie Tempah. I've never worked with anyone like him. His sheer knowledge of our core values, mind - body - spirit, is astonishing. He showed me how to properly weight train without bulking, and I got smaller but stronger. When I noticed I could open jars easily, I knew I was getting more powerful!
BUT - I could only work with him once I had fixed my metabolism and relationship with food and took a break from exercising during my healing journey. Click here to read more about my healing journey.
For cardio, I aim for once a week. I do a dance aerobics class which I absolutely love. Wellness is about finding ways to move your body that you enjoy! Depending on where I am in my cycle, sometimes I throw in a HIIT workout to release some steam. Ruben and I created this 6-week HIIT workout plan that you can add to your routine or complete independently!
9 am: Breakfast
The time I eat varies, but ill never eat breakfast after 10.30am. Most of the time, a meal containing high protein, fat and fibre to support my hormones. Sign up for our newsletter for a free anti-inflammatory recipe e-book with great hormonal-balancing meals!
My big no-no: never drink coffee on an empty stomach. I CONSTANTLY used to do this, not knowing I was hurting my poor hormones and gut. Why? In the morning (usually when we have an empty stomach), your cortisol (stress hormone) is at its highest within the first 90 minutes. Caffeine is a natural stimulant and not bad for you at all, but drinking it with no food can:
- Artificially spike your cortisol unnecessarily (especially bad if you're already feeling the effects of stress).
- It's harsh on your stomach lining, which is no bueno for anyone with gut problems.
A great alternative to drinking a caffeinated drink on an empty stomach is matcha because it's a slow-releasing caffeine and won't spike your cortisol so drastically.
Mindful eating took me ages to master; hard, not impossible! I take three deep breaths before starting my meal. I make sure I have no distractions, just me and my plate.
Digestion starts inside the mouth - If stressed, we can't digest food properly. When in fight or flight (or feeling rushed), our brain sends a signal to our adrenals, and they release our stress hormone cortisol. This response diverts our blood to our arms and legs instead of our gorgeous gut, slowing digestion down! Read our blog on how stress works in the body.
Watch my full morning routine on TikTok.
MY DAYTIME ROUTINE
9.45 am-5 pm: Work
MY EVENING WELLNESS WIND-DOWN
5.30 pm-6.30 pm: Infrared sauna or bio-hacking
I do this 3x a week. I aim to be in the sauna for 30 minutes; this has many excellent benefits, but to name a few: it increases life span and decreases the chance of disease.
What is bio-hacking? Think of your body as a battery and bio-hacking as a turbo-charged add-on you buy to make it work more efficiently and stronger. I opt for a red light therapy bed that reduces inflammation and pain or a giant body suit to help my muscles recover faster. But it doesn't all have to be techy. It can be as simple as grounding your feet in the park! Check out my favourite ways to bio-hack here. I get really nerdy about new machines. Anything new or innovative, I'm willing to try!
6.30 pm - 7 pm: Dinner
As a holistic nutritionist, I consistently go for food combing to maximise my nutrient intake and aid my digestion. I take inspiration from Ayurvedic practices and nutrient combinations to feed myself intuitively. Every day will always be different, and I try to remove any judgment or guilt around feeding my body what it needs. Let food be your medicine to nourish your mind, body and spirit.
My favourite meal bio-hacks:
- Leafy greens are natural antioxidants and are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and calcium). Combining kale and avocado helps the absorption of vitamin K better and is one of my faves.
- An animal protein with non-starchy veg and complex carbs with veg, supporting easier digestion.
- Remember to BREATHE! We need two things to digest correctly - 1. Oxygen 2. To be in our relaxed response. If we're always eating 'on the go', your blood will be diverted to your legs and arms over your gut! Prioritise at least 30 minutes to sit down and eat at a table.
- Digestion starts in the mouth: chew your food as often as possible. Avoiding indigestion and gas - It gets your digestive enzyme juices working (in your mouth) to prepare to break down the food before it hits your stomach.
- Try to eat fruit on its own.
7.30 pm: Wind-Down
TV time; I'm a sucker for Queer Eye. I always play something easy to watch and nothing intense to dodge any stress responses. If I skip the sauna, I will soak in a bath with magnesium salts and bubbles. I love lathering myself up after with rich oil and do a quick lymphatic massage on my legs and stomach. Watch my video here to watch my lymphatic massage routine.
MY NIGHT TIME SKINCARE AND SLEEP ROUTINE
Good cleanse (double cleanse if wearing make-up or sun cream). Now the next step continuously varies - think of your skincare routine like your wardrobe; you don't wear everything simultaneously but pick and choose for each occasion. The same applies to your skin! Depending on what my skin needs that day, ill add either hydration, exfoliation or sometimes nothing! I got so sucked into the retinol, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid routine because of trends and comparison, but like anything else, skincare is so bio-individual. What works for them might not work better for you. I ritualise my no-baggage eye serum and crystal-clear treatment with affirmations. The use of affirmations shifted my whole mindset and perspective. When you change your perspective, all aspects of your daily life can change for the better.
Throughout my acne journey, I applied my Crystal Clear Spot and Pigmentation treatment to help minimise my acne and scarring. It was one of the first few products that helped heal my skin without stripping the skin barrier. Here are the before and after results.
9.30pm -10pm: Snooze time, goodnight
Just make sure you give yourself enough time in the evening to wind down fully and get to bed before it’s too late. Adequate sleep will not only help to keep your mind sharp the next day, but it’s also crucial for skin repair and cell + muscle regeneration. So get the light out and enjoy some shut-eye; it’s called beauty sleep for a reason. 😉
Want to chat about any of my self-care tips and how they can decrease feelings of stress, reduce feelings of anxiety and generally improve your quality of life? Just get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.