I remember having a pretty big turning point in my life as an entrepreneur about 5 or so years ago—it was autumn and I was fresh off of one of the most whirlwind few months of my life, having quit my job, gone full-time with the blog and then proceeding to go travelling for a few months through Europe. I didn’t have any routine or foundation to anchor each day, not only because for years I was burning the candle at both ends working 8 hours a day at my 9-to-5 then logging hours before and after work for the blog, but travelling for an extended period of time meant I had literally no routines (work or otherwise) to speak of. I’d had all these big life changes and experiences and to put it simply, I was feeling lost, restless and about to totally burn out—I needed to start taking care of myself.
As you guys likely know, I am now a huge fan of routines. Rather than making life more rigid, having habits and routines has actually allowed me to enjoy more flexibility and more travel, while also supporting me when life takes an unexpected turn. While I’ve shared my routines in the past, I really want to share not only my routine today but why each step is critical and how it translates into self-care for myself—while my routine might not work for you, I hope that you can start from a place of self-care that is most meaningful to you to build an amazing routine for yourself (if you don’t have one already). I’m also so excited to share how you can kick-start your own routine with the help of an amazing self-care package from Dorset Cereals (more info below). Without further ado, my daily self-care routine is…
Hot water with lemon
This is my non-negotiable no matter where I am in the world. If I can’t find lemon, I still have hot water, no matter where I am or what’s going on. It is my anchor point so that even if I’m in an airport connecting to another flight at 5AM or waking up after a leisurely sleep-in on the weekend here at home, I know that this signals the start of my day. It’s also the part of my day where I let myself ease out of sleep—I could easily sleep 10 hours a day if I wanted to (getting enough sleep has never been my problem) and I am not an early bird as much as I wish I was, so for me, needing to transition from sleep to waking in a gentle way is key. As I go from flicking on the kettle to having the last sip of alkalinizing warm lemon water (with a pinch of sea salt!), I go from completely bleary-eyed to hydrated and awake. It’s insane the effect it has on me, and it’s also become a bit of a signal to Matt and my other loved ones—they know when I’m sipping my hot water in the kitchen that it’s probably best to let me just stand there until I’m fully alive. It’s the quiet (unless I’m in that airport situation) & healthy touchstone that helps me start every day in a peaceful way.
A nourishing breakfast
I honestly can’t wrap my head around the concept of missing breakfast. I go to sleep dreaming about my coffee and my breakfast. Clearly, this is something that’s a total non-negotiable for me. When I’m travelling, I do usually find breakfast out (for instance, if I’m in Spain then I’ll probably go seek out a Spanish breakfast), however at home I have a few go-to’s that I’ve been reliant on for years. I either do a green smoothie, scrambled eggs or coconut yogurt with muesli and berries. It’s very important for me to actually sit and enjoy my breakfast! I take my food pretty seriously and if I’m not making something from scratch, then I try to ensure it’s really high-quality, non-GMO and packed full of good nutrients. That’s why when it comes to my muesli, I turn to Dorset Cereals. Based in Dorset, England, Dorset Cereals are a simple but delicious blend of multi-grain flakes with various nuts and fruits depending on the recipe blend. Each box is packed with fibre-rich, whole, natural ingredients, with no added sugar, preservatives or artificial colours. To help you start your own self-care routine, Dorset has an amazing self-care package they’re giving away (including a notebook, calming candle, yoga mat and of course, their delicious Dorset Cereal, among other things!)—stop by here to enter!
My morning pages
Every morning, I do a bit of a brain dump by just writing for a few pages until each page is filled. As someone who can be prone to over-thinking, this is so key for me. It helps me put unnecessary worries in perspective, helps me work through any issues, allows me to catalog any wins or lessons, helps me plan out my day and all in all, it is just a very simple and effective self-therapy tool! This routine lets me unload anything that otherwise would be weighing me down mentally all day, and also helps me identify what is most important to do in the day, which is why I also always immediately pull out my planner and pencil out my top priorities from most to least importance so that I can start tackling my to-do’s.
Whether it’s a sweaty workout at the gym, a couple quick stretches or a walk, I move every day. I try to do it every morning, but as I mentioned, I’m not much of an early bird so if I have a workout slated for a bit later in the day (usually 1PM is my go-to gym time), then I still get some stretching in first thing to warm up my body and work out any kinks. Since I’ve had to deal with injuries and chronic pain over the years, movement and exercise isn’t something I consider a to-do—it’s a privilege for me to be able to move and I can honestly say I very rarely dread a workout. I know that for my body (and to manage pain and injuries), the best thing I can do is stay strong, so motivation to work out and stretch or foam roll is easy for me. Having said that, the mental component is something that I can’t skip over either. I feel so much calmer, more level-headed and happier when I’m active regularly.
In the summer, I like to get a really fresh scent going in our diffuser (usually peppermint or citrus), whereas in the winter, I like to have a clean candle burning in a calming scent. Scent is one of our most emotionally-linked senses and can have such an effect on you, not to mention the action of either getting a diffuser set up or lighting a candle also carries intention—you’re doing it to either set yourself up for some serious productivity, to create a calming aura, etc. It’s that intention and the amazing aroma therapeutic qualities of it that are so important to me for just creating a lovely space and environment.
My plant babies
Having something to check in on every day and to care for is really special to me—it’s calming, it’s rewarding and it helps me connect with the weather, conditions of the day, etc (I can only imagine what a real baby entails!). It’s usually my last step of my morning routine and while it’s caring for something else, it really is self-care for myself for so many reasons. Growing plants is really such a calming and connecting experience, and the action of pruning and watering them is so grounding before starting your day! I have a whole guide here from earlier in the summer if you missed it.
Again, Dorset Cereals is very generously giving away this dream self-care kit (that incidentally contains a lot of the essentials that are part of my self-care routine) so be sure to enter to win! I got to experience a lot of the kit (pictured at various points here!) and they’re things I’ve been using on repeat. What does self-care mean to you guys, and how do you ensure you do it every day? Tell me in the comments below!
This post was created in partnership with Dorset Cereals but all opinions are my own.