The beginning of a new year always gets me thinking about my habits and routines: ones I have, ones to break, new ones to start, ones I want to research. Much of this always centers around health and wellness. For me this goes beyond just staying healthy with things like eating habits and exercise, its about taking care of myself and monitoring my general well being.
Pondering this, I realized some of the funny little things I do everyday. After my Still's diagnosis in 2016, I've been interested in staying healthy like never before. Previously, being healthy was more about looking healthy than being healthy. I exercised and ate to be trim and toned. Nothing wrong with this but now my motivations are more about my overall health with an emphasis on preventative care.
Here's a list of my current daily wellness 'must do's':
1. Eat a spoonful of coconut oil or blend it into bulletproof style coffee. Right before I start drinking coffee, which is about 10 minutes after I wake up, I take a nice, beautiful spoonful of coconut oil. Mostly because my functional doctor told me to but also, it gives me energy and helps me avoid coffee crash.
2. Eat a teaspoon raw local honey because raw honey is good for you and its an anti inflammatory immune system booster that fights allergies and tastes good. I like to take it with the coconut oil so the fat balances out the sugar spike a bit.
3. Drink a scoop of collagen dissolved in water. I do this almost entirely for the cosmetic benefits. It's high in helpful amino acids and is beneficial to digestion, joints and skin.
4. Take a probiotic supplement or two because everything I read says that our overall health is related to the gut and guts love probiotics.
5. Limit coffee to no more than 6oz and all before 3pm. That's right - a strict limit on coffee. It's not the easiest one to stick as I love coffee but I like sleep more. Sleeping is much easier since I lowered my caffeine intake.
6. Drink a cup of ginger tea because I have to have something to perk me up at 3pm. Ginger is good for digestion too but I like it because it's so energizing. Sometimes I make a cup and add the honey and collagen mentioned above to get all that out of the way in one powerful little cup of tea.
7. Think happy thoughts. I'm not kidding. It's important to recognize the things that make me happy on a daily basis. It's not always big things but sometimes just the little things like a joke someone told me, a thing that I ate, how bright and sunny the weather finally is, Chibi's general cuteness. Life is good so why not?
8. Get enough sleep. This is non negotiable. I am very protective about my sleep time. I keep a strict routine. I wake up 8 hours after I go to bed. At least. I'm able to get enough sleep at this point in my life after years and years of insomnia so I make sure to guard and enjoy it!
9. Drink 64 ounces of water. I get to work, I fill up my quart container. I get home, I fill it up again. If I don't do this, I don't drink enough water and then I'm not hydrated. For me, dehydration makes me feel very foggy and tired. A well hydrated mind has all the lights on.
10. I take good care of my teeth. This is a new one. After taking pretty lazy care of my teeth for awhile, I had to have a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning is not a fun thing. It's also expensive so now I brush, floss, rinse and in between clean with the weirdest little pipe cleaner you've ever seen.
11. Dry brush. It's the best! Between this and the above dental care, it takes me forever to get ready in the morning but it's really smoothed my skin out and helped with circulation and lymphatic health.
For 2018, I want to:
1. More plants! This one is definitely happening. Bringing in many more plants for the apartment. So many you won't know if you're inside or outside. Plants produce oxygen, filter the air and are mood boosters.
2. Stretching. Adding a short flow of stretches to do first thing in the morning. I'll do this while I wait for the coffee water to boil instead of looking at the internet.
3. Develop a soothing, nighttime routine - specifically one that includes getting in bed at 10pm. (Don't judge! I get up at 6am for the gym or quiet time.) I think a self indulgent nighttime ritual sounds like just the cozy thing to incorporate this winter. I'm talking pjs, skin mask, pillow mist and books.
4. Be patient. Practice compassion and encourage positivity in my interactions with others, even when I'm not receiving those things from them.
How about you? I'd love to hear about your daily self care practices.