Give back to yourself through self-care
When we set ourselves goals, we’re often telling ourselves subconsciously that we’re not quite good enough as we are.
Instead, give back to yourself; create more time, nurture what’s important to you and ultimately find ways to reconnect with yourself.
Setting yourself small positive intentions could be the encouragement you need to help you move forward with your personal goals. Intentions that you could consider to help you reach your fullest potential could be:
I will make time for myself
I will show my body love with healthy, nourishing food
I will take time to tell one person in my life how important they are to me
I will disconnect from my electronic device each evening
I will wake early and take time for me this morning
I will open my heart and mind to learning new things today
We all know that when we take time for ourselves to do the things we enjoy, things that help us to de-stress, unwind and rejuvenate; it helps us to renew, heal, and create reserves of energy and peace.
Although ‘time for me’ very easily gets eaten up by other commitments, there are ways to make ‘me time’ a reality and priority.
Whichever intentions resonate with you, putting them into practice can sometimes feel a little unnatural at first. Below are some practical ways to help inspire you to bring these small positive changes into your life.
Love yourself every day
Before your morning shower, try an invigorating massage with a stimulating, warming oil such as the Pukka to get the blood flowing and release any tension.
For self-massage, use a warmed oil if possible – even if you just warm it up in your hands, this is better than straight out of the bottle. Massage the oil into the entire body, working it deep into the skin. Take a good 15-20 minutes to do this and allow the oil to soak into the skin, then rinse any excess oil off.
Try only washing your main areas, as the oil will continue to absorb into skin once you have rinsed.
Take time to nourish your skin
Looking after our skin is not just about looking after the surface - we need to nurture the inside. A healthy liver helps to keep the body clear of toxins that may originate from our diet or from the environment. These toxins can cause breakouts and unwanted skin troubles, however hormones also have a big part to play.
Support your body’s antioxidant defence system with plenty of plant foods – especially dark red/purple fruits and vegetables, and herbs like green tea and turmeric. As well as providing vitamin C, they are brimming with those all-important polyphenols, as well as other antioxidants.
Find out more about antioxidant-rich foods that can help neutralize free radicals protecting cells and tissues – including your skin.
Embrace natural movement
Natural movement and exercise is a great way to release the body’s own mood-enhancing, endorphins into your body. Regular, moderate exercise such as swimming, jogging and yoga also helps to boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy.
Take our quiz to find out what type of exercise is best and most suited to your dosha (or mind-body type).
Start the day right
When you wake, enjoy a gentle start to the day with a cup of herbal tea. Sit in a quiet space and set yourself a positive intention to carry with you through the day. Focus your mind on this for five minutes whilst sipping on your tea, to allow your intention to remain with you throughout your day.
Make time for you
One of the most important steps to reducing stress is to slow down. Give yourself time during your day to follow these three yin yoga poses. Just five minutes flowing through these gentle poses will help you to unwind and feel present in your day.
Savour a night-time routine
Think of little habits that can help calm the body and mind before bed. Try running a warm bath infused with Epsom salts and soothing herbs like lavender, or snuggle up with a cup of Night Time tea. You could also follow our Hypnotherapy for Sleep audio by hypnotherapist and sleep anxiety expert, Chloe Brotheridge, or read her article on healthy ways to overcome sleep anxiety.
Love your body with nourishing food
We all want to eat food that is best for us. However, there are so many different, and often conflicting dietary guidelines out there, it is often hard to know where to begin.
Ayurveda (the ancient Indian system of medicine), recognises that there is no one size fits all, that we are all beautifully different when it comes to how and what we eat, and offers a wealth of suggestions on how to nurture our personal digestive fire.
Drink more water
Drinking plenty of water is essential for good health. Hot water, in particular, strengthens our digestion and is a great system cleanser. Drink this freely throughout the day, ideally with a soothing organic herbal tea such as Feel New. .
Cut the caffeine
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, turning to coffee for a boost may do more harm than good. High doses of caffeine and other stimulating substances can cause your body to produce cortisol (stress hormones), increasing the draining effects of stress on your mind and body - instead, try matcha green tea.
Whatever intentions resonate with you personally, remember they can always be small, achievable goals that you can set yourself each day. Imagine that the intention you set is a seed that you’ve sown and that you have total faith will sprout and flourish.
Even if your long-term goal is unclear, achieving these small steps each day will help bring positivity, clarity and confidence in the direction you are moving in.
Remember that this is about you reconnecting with you, so be sure to take time to do what makes you happy and healthy.
Author: Jo Webber
Head of Herbal Education
As a BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Jo is passionate about bringing these two ancient sciences together to help people feel empowered about their health. Jo has put her post-graduate certificate in education to good use, co-founding the Ayurveda academy to help others learn of the wonders of Ayurveda. Jo has also earned a Masters degree in human sciences from Oxford University and has taught in several schools
BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher
Years of experience:
20 years as a Hatha yoga teacher/ayurvedic practitioner
Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association