A Self-Care Essential: How To Create A Better Sleep Routine In 4 Easy Steps

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Sleep has been provided by nature to do the body’s healing work, and it takes seven or eight hours for this process to happen. Commit to getting at least seven to eight hours of good quality sleep every night to keep your body and hormones in balance.” – Suzanne Somers

There was a point in my life when getting just wasn’t a necessity. I’d been preached at for years about the importance of sleep when it comes to the overall rest and restoration of the body, but I didn’t truly understand until my body chose to take the reins. I reached a point where I was too burnt out and exhausted to keep my eyes open during one of the most important exams of my life.

A lesson I’ll never forget.

A good night’s sleep is an important foundation for a healthier and happier lifestyle, but it is not always so easy to come by, especially for the busy-bees of the world. If you struggle to fall asleep each night and find yourself waking up exhausted in the morning, you’re not alone. When most people think about health, they focus on eating right and staying active, but sleep is an essential key to overall health that is often overlooked. 

I’ve come up with a few tips on how to create a better sleep routine so grab a pillow, relax, and keep reading to discover more:

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Affirmations 101: Your Word Is Your Wand

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MIND / SOUL

“Your brain is always eavesdropping on your thoughts. As it listens, it learns. If you teach it about limitations, your brain will become limited…teach your brain to be unlimited” – Deepak Chopra

Affirmations have become a popular tool within the wellness space. And for good reason.

When I first began to use affirmations in my daily routine I was aware of the results others were getting, but was unsure about how they could benefit me personally. It seemed weird saying things out loud that I didn’t necessarily always believe to be true or even possible. After a while, I began to realize how much of a positive impact they had on my mindset, my emotions, and my life in general. 

Things in my life began to just ‘work out.’ What I mean by that is the affirmations I said to myself daily or weekly began to affect my behaviours, actions, and thoughts in a such a way that ‘good’ things started happening to me. 

This is because when you constantly have negative thoughts, your mood, outlook on life, and confidence becomes negative, too. Negative thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies. 

When we talk ourselves into believing that we’re not good enough or can’t do all the things we want to do, we don’t end up making the necessary moves to achieve our goals. 

On the flipside, when we deliberately and purposefully have positive thoughts and affirm those thoughts, the effects can be powerful and transformative. 

So, what are affirmations and how can you use them to change your outlook on life? Keep reading to find out!

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Let’s Get Physical: How Exercise Positively Effects Your Well-Being

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BODY / CARE / MIND

You’re only one workout a day from a good mood. – Unknown

We all know that regular exercise is good for our physical health. But did you know that it can seriously impact your mood, improve your sleep and sex life, and  help you regulate emotions when dealing with stress and anxiety?

The connection between fitness and overall wellness is something that affects everyone. No matter your age, ability, or fitness level – exercising regularly can become a powerful tool to help you manage mental health problems and improve your sense of self as well as your outlook on life.

The benefits of maintaining a consistent fitness routine are extraordinary. People who exercise daily, in some capacity, tend to have an overall better sense of well-being. I’m not talking about going to the gym every morning for 1 hour.

If that’s not your thing there are so many other options available to you. Even going for a daily walk or practicing yoga consistently before bed will help you experience these amazing benefits. Now, let’s get to the good stuff.

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5 Daily Habits For A Healthy Mindset

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CARE / MIND

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.”

As the years go by, I am sure we’ve all noticed that mental health and topics that focus on the intricate processes of our minds are becoming less taboo to talk about. More studies are being published that focus on the importance of practicing healthy habits not only physically, but mentally. 

We’re gradually learning that there are many incidents and events that, if gone unchecked, can factor into poor mental health. From what I’ve experienced, this also ties into the process of healing and releasing trauma – a topic for a later date. With the knowledge that cultivating a healthy mindset is important in order to truly thrive in this world, ask yourself these questions: 

Are your daily habits helping you succeed in life? 

Do they assist with your personal growth overtime?

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Planning vs. Flowing: How To Find The Right Balance

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WATER

Work and life aren’t opposing forces to balance; they go hand-in-hand and are intertwined as different elements of the same person: you. – Melissa Steginus

If living through a global pandemic has taught me anything over the last 18 months, it’s that no matter how hard you try, you can’t plan everything. In fact, I’ve learned to get comfortable with uncertainty – the unknown

In a sense, it feels like the world has been put on pause for the last 18 months, and the rise in self-care culture has taught us to enjoy the slower moments in life. When you’re stressed and worried, going inward has been proven to be the answer.

Initially, this was a little difficult for me, even though I consider myself easy-going. I relied heavily on my daily to-do lists, short-term goals and detailed plans for the future. However, as time passed, I realized the importance of balancing both going with the flow, and planning things out. There’s something freeing about being open to the possibilities of the wonderful unknown while also making necessary moves towards future goals.

Which category do you find yourself fitting into? Do you find comfort in planning out every detail? Do you enjoy the spontaneity of going with the flow? Or do you sit somewhere in between the two? 

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How To Create A Daily Self-Care Routine (Mind, Body + Soul)

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BODY / CARE / MIND / SOUL

Self-Care is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation. – Audre Lorde

We all know it’s good for us, but let’s face it, practicing self-care on a regular basis can be difficult. Especially when we live in a world that places our value on productivity – how many hours we work, or how much money we make. A world that encourages people pleasing, inadvertently forcing a disconnect between yourself and you. 

While the rise in Girl Boss culture has shed light on how hard women work and how awesome we are, it has also romanticized working to the point of burn out, which is ultimately detrimental to our entire being (mind, body + soul). We know how important it is to nurture these parts of us, yet we often get caught up in the mindset that we need to “get sh*t done,” or, we feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. 

Forget the guilt-trip. I’m here to remind you about the importance of cultivating a daily self-care routine that looks after your mind, body and soul. Because at the end of the day, not only do you deserve it – but it’s a necessity.

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The Power Of Positive: Gratitude

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I get it, some days are ridiculously frustrating, completely messed up, and you’re left feeling like there’s nothing you can do to make it better. You might’ve absentmindedly, or accidentally stirred your tea the wrong way and walla! – the whole day ends up feeling like crap.

What? Was that not how you expected this to begin?

Searching for my usual words of positivity and inspiration? 

Then clearly you already have the right mindset. You came here looking for positivity, so you’re well on your way to getting yourself back on track. Don’t beat yourself up because we all have our off days.

Give yourself the time you deserve. Today we’re going to acknowledge a powerful tool that I always reach for when the days are a little cloudy. That tool is called gratitude.

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Borderline: Self-Care For Brown Girls

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Inspiration: Borderline (An Ode to Self Care) by Solange

We been lovers on a mission  / So let’s take an intermission Solange

You’ve been overexposed. Overexposure is defined simply as excessive exposure, especially to something harmful. Many people (especially black people) can 100% admit to experiencing this recently along with the overwhelming feeling and exhaustion that comes with it. In a quote from Self Magazine, psychotherapist, Alanna Gardner, M.F.T. refers to life for black people in this country as “emotionally taxing” and unfortunately many are unsure of how to deal with it…or just don’t deal with it.

When you’re angry and outraged over constant images of black suffering flashing across television screens, and frustrated with the persistent trickling of harmful and insensitive comments on social media timelines it can become easy to fall into the need to FIGHT as often as possible – so maybe you do.

There’s a need to be doing something against injustices at all times – so you try. Then, a feeling of depression hits when you catch a wave of hopelessness, not sure if you’ve done enough. You’ve taken action , but you’re tired – for now.

Pause: If you needed a sign that it’s okay to take a step back, this is it. Take a step back. Caring for yourself in and of itself is a form of protest – you’re not caving and you’re not giving up, you’re going within and you’re healing.

What can you give to a mission when you’re too drained to play your part? Trust that you’ve done all that you can do at the moment. Here are some things you can do right now to give yourself a break and get a little relief.

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