TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE. LITTLE CHANGES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
10 Things to Start Your Day Right and Help You Feel Good About Yourself - Especially if you’re housebound!
This is an exceptional time we’re living in. The new normal is anything but. Even the most resilient among us may need reminding that being relegated to our homes to stay healthy, doesn’t mean we should act as though we’re home sick.
This is especially important if you suffer from depression, the late winter blues or early spring blahs, you’re just not feeling great about yourself, you’re grieving the loss of a loved one/marriage/relationship but on the road to recovery, you’re in early recovery from any type of addiction or otherwise trying to change or manage your mood or behavior. And if you’re not prone to any of these things but suddenly find yourself removed for your normal schedule due to social distancing or a self quarantine you may be finding it difficult to adjust.
Even if you’re feeling pretty good about yourself right now but you have a tendency toward feeling otherwise - or just want to stay motivated - these little shifts in your morning self-care habits can make a big difference!
Some may seem like no brainers - some may seem ridiculously simplistic - but if you’re staying home and beginning to feel not so great about yourself for any reason, letting the smallest of things slip can start to add up and work against you.
Here is my top 10 list of a.m habits to help you feel good about yourself!
1. Get up! When it’s time to get out of bed in the morning, do it. Although lying in bed and reading for an extra 30 or 60 minutes on a Sunday morning can feel like a wonderful luxury and a reward for a long week, doing it on a regular basis doesn’t set the tone for a productive day. Try getting out of bed a little earlier than you have to instead of waiting until the last possible minute. Laying in bed too long isn’t a good habit
2. Let the light in. Once you’re out of bed open the curtains, pull up the shades and let the sun shine in. Even on a cloudy, rainy or dreary day the effects of natural light on your mood are well documented.
3. Make your bed. It looks nice, it sends a message that you’re up and ready to start the day, it gets your body moving even if just a little, and if you suffer from depression it may help keep you from crawling back into it for the day - I’m speaking from personal experience on this one! Plus, getting into a freshly made bed every night feels really great!
4. Drink a big glass of water. Before I have my morning coffee, I have my water. It wakes up my body and get things moving. Starting the day well hydrated - and staying that way - can make a big difference in how you feel.
5. Have a have a morning grooming routine even - and maybe especially - when you’re staying home. Keep up - or step up, now that you have the time - your wake up routine. Do it for yourself if no one else!
7. Move your body. Whether or not I’m going for a morning walk or run (and right now we’re self-isolating at home), I do a 5-minute yoga stretch with deep breathing. Try it. You’ll be surprised with what a difference it makes! COVID-19 Tip: Now that we’re socially distancing and staying home, extending this to a full yoga practice or morning stretch and guided meditation can help you feel wonderful. It’s also a great way to exercise if you’re housebound.
8. Make yourself a good heathy breakfast. I make oatmeal every morning. It couldn’t be faster or simpler. ½ cup of dry oats, a few dashes of cinnamon, a banana, ½ cup of water and 1 minute in the microwave. Bam, I have a hot, heathy breakfast in about 2.5 minutes. (2 minutes and 23 seconds… yeah, I timed this, too.)
9. Tidy your home. I grab my Swiffer’s (see below) and do a quick dust of the furniture and floor. If you don’t want to use disposable wipes to clean your floor you can substitute washcloths on your Swiffer floor duster, like I do (see below). Just poke the washcloth through the holes instead of the disposable cloths. It only takes a few minutes to freshen your surroundings. Nate Burkus said “Your home should rise up to greet you.” I believe that truer words cannot be spoken when it comes to your home.
10. Set some goals for the day. Even if one of those goals is to catch up on some much needed rest or practice self care, put it on you list and get it done! Why not use this time at home to try something new or return to something you love and have long left behind. Put it on the list and do it!
A special note for skeptics: Taking care of your appearance matters. Why? Because you’re insides and your outside are not mutually exclusive. They are connected and both are parts of the whole you. I’m not talking about hiding behind a mask or false facade, I’m talking about simple things to let you - and your natural beauty - shine!
If needed, remind yourself that self-care and self-esteem go hand in hand and are self perpetuating in both directions. The lower your self worth the less you’ll care about these things and the less you’ll want to put forth any effort. Conversely, the more you value yourself the more invested you’ll be in how you feel and care for yourself even - or perhaps especially - if no one else sees it!
Here’s a litmus test. Have you ever left the house praying you wouldn’t run into someone you knew because you felt you looked an embarrassing mess? How did it make you feel? Now how about a time when you left the house feeling like a million bucks? Better, right? My wish for you is that you present yourself in such a way that you don’t care who you run into even if the only person you encounter is in the mirror. You should feel that good about yourself every day. Like I said before, it takes just as much time to put on something crappy as it does to put on something cute. It takes the same effort to put on an attractive pair of slip on sneaks* as it does dirty old flip flops. So up your game! You can do it and you’re worth the effort! The amount of time it takes to run a comb through your hair and chuck on some lip color is negligible.
No matter how grand or humble your abode, your wardrobe or your presentation, keeping it neat can lift you up and allowing a mess can drag you down. It’s just that simple!
*COVID-19 Tip: Do not wear street shoes in the house and if you do, sanitize them with an approved EPA-registered household disinfectant linked here. Of course be careful that you do a color test before wiping the tops and let them air dry thoroughly before walking around your house - lest you ruin a good pair of shoes or track a bleach solution all over your carpets!
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“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” ~Rumi~
We all know it by heart but when was the last time you watched The Wizard of Oz?
At the end of the movie (Spoiler Alert!) Dorothy realizes that all the characters who helped her get home, Professor Marvel/the Wizard, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, were all aspects of herself that she'd been unable to recognize or claim; Intuition, Brains, Heart, Courage. Glinda, the Good Witch, tells her that the power to achieve her goal was always within her, but she wouldn't have believed it until she was truly tested and learned it for herself.
Glinda was right. It had been easier for Dorothy to believe in others - physical representations who embodied these CHARACTERistics - than it was to inherently claim her power. Sound familiar? She had to witness them externally, become friends with them, develop a deep trust and rapport, then, through recognition, embrace them as her own - that was her journey. To see it through, she had to want something so badly - to get home - that she would face her deepest fears and fight every foe to make it happen.
The Longing for Home
Another point to ponder... is “home” a place on a map or a place within us... a state of knowing and belief where we come into our own, stand tall and occupy our space, and embrace our power? Maybe it's both? A physical location where we feel in sync with our surroundings... where the outside matches our insides. Where people, place, and things align creating a powerful energetic vortex.
Is the pull of Home our True North? Is the homing instinct the call of Self? Are the compass and the destination the same thing?
Knowing our truth and purpose works like a rudder, keeping us stable and on course. Once we know this it sharpens our focus and we're free to shine our light and do our thing, Wicked Witches, Flying Monkeys, and naysayers, be damned!
Like the girl said, "There’s no place like Home…"
Have you arrived Home?
Was there a force that moved you to go looking for it?
Was there an event that precipitated your arrival?
Is there a physical place where you feel your power the most?
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“Pure Water is the World’s First and Foremost Medicine.” ~Slovakian Proverb~
It’s not rocket science; We all know that two of the best ways to stay healthy, feel good, lift our mood, and remove toxins from our bodies are to break a sweat with intentional exercise and to drink plenty of water. Today we focus on the latter; H2O. How to help you get enough and make it more enjoyable!
I drink a lot of water. It helps me to feel more awake, clearheaded, and can help keep sore muscles and headaches at bay. It’s also great for our skin; that is to say, well hydrated skin looks younger and more refreshed! Unlike some people, I really don’t mind drinking plain, room temperature water but I also love infusing it with fruit and herbs. It’s a fun way to make it more flavorful, and when I’m having company at my home, it’s a quick and easy way to offer my guests one of the healthiest beverages you can drink while making it really special and pretty!
Every day at my spa I offered an infused water to my guests. Here are some of the favorites:
I recommend using filtered water and organic ingredients.
What You’ll Need
The “recipe” - if you can call it that - is an inexact science and pretty simple. The amounts can be changed according to your taste and you can mix and match as you please.
Per Quart/Liter of water:
Toss the freshly washed combo of your choice into the water and chill for 4 – 6 hours or overnight. Pour into a glass, through a tea strainer if you’d like, garnish as desired and serve.
That's it! Like I said, it's not rocket science but isn't it nice that something so incredibly good for you is so exceptionally easy?
How do you feel about these? Are you inspired to try something new? What are your favorite combos?
Let me know in the comments below!
How much water do you need? Here’s a great article from the American heart Association:
I use the My Water Balance Free App for iPhone to keep my water intake on track:
When it comes to making life changes, I write them down – I make a list. Why? Well, for this, I have two sayings:
Nearly every time I’ve made a change in my life, large or small, I started by making a list. When I changed my career. When I got out of debt. When I wanted to move across the country, and when I was hoping to travel across an ocean. Doing so has moved me (quite literally!) from “I’m considering this” to “I’m doing this”.
Granted, “turning a wish list into a to do list” may be over simplifying it a bit… there’s a process. But even grocery shopping is more effective when you’re armed with a list!
Let’s take my dream to start traveling internationally; I took that one item off my “Bucket List” and broke it down into the simplest of steps. I didn't worry about how I would accomplish it or anything else, just what I would need to do to go from point A to point B.
And then I just started doing them. You can Click Here to read my other blog “Daydream Voyages; How I Became a Solo Woman World Traveler in My 50’s” if you’d like the details of how I made it all happen.
I did the same when I wanted to move three thousand miles back to my hometown. The thought alone felt overwhelmingly prohibitive but then I wrote it down:
Moving To Do List
When you break it down in to bite sized morsels you can create a realistic, doable plan of action. Focus on one task at a time and the outcome will take care of itself.
The point is, you can either tell yourself it’s impossible, so why bother? or you can begin chipping away at a list. Time goes by either way. Want to move to your dream town? Turn your passion into your career? Heal your past? You can. People do it all the time.
It’s OK to start small… the more you do it the more you’ll see that it can be done. This is not just some Rah Rah cheerleader new age BS. I know. I’ve done it. xoAmie
Are you a list maker?
Do you have something that you'd love to do but it feels too big an undertaking?
What list will you make today?
Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
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