Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.Katie Reed
To the surprise of absolutely no parent on Earth, a recent study has confirmed that new parents face up to six years of sleep deprivation, and that’s just for the first child.
So it’s no wonder that for the for the last 14 years or so, I would wake up already tired. I needed a double shot coffee just to get me out of bed.
I had no real self-care routine in the morning, other than washing and drying my body and hair. Showering was a task to get over with quickly and expediently. I prioritised getting everyone else ready for their day, and my needs by consequence, ended up being of little consequence at all.
And as I write the above, it sounds kind of sad. Although my statement above sounds smacks of martyrdom, there was nothing really noble about it.
I simply didn’t make own self-care as important as it needed to be and suffered unnecessarily.
This year, I’ve made some small changes to reverse those inequalities, that have turned out to have big results. Last year I read Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris. Ferris believes “If you win the morning, you win the day” and I’m inclined to agree!
It was interesting to peek into successful peoples lives and see how they take care of themselves. Most start the day early, with a plan in mind!
I decided I needed to do the same, so today, I share with you my morning my shower routine. It takes less than 15 minutes, but it gets me off to a great start in the morning.
Dry Body Brushing…
Before I get in the shower, I dry brush my body.
The benefits of dry brushing are well documented. Dry body brushing exfoliates your skin, gets your lymphatic system stimulated and circulating.
You will need a body brush like this one, with soft natural bristles. I like this one because it has a long handle, so I can reach where I need to brush!
Gentle is the key word here. Scratching can induce a histamine response in your skin and actually end up making you itchy, putting you in a feedback loop of scratch-and-itch that can be distracting at best, and outright unhealthy at it’s worst.
So brush yourself as you would a timid bunny rabbit, not the bathroom tiles.
I start with my feet and work my way up my legs, brushing upwards towards my heart. I go very gently, and avoid the varicose vein on my leg! Using the same towards-heart stroke, I then brush my thighs and bum, then very gently brush over my stomach. I stretch my arms up over my head and brush down my arms, again towards my heart. I try and brush my back, but it is tricky!
I don’t brush my breasts, neck or face, that skin is just too delicate.
Don’t dry body brush over sunburn, irritated, delicate or broken skin.
I used to love a steaming hot shower, and have adjusted to a milder, warm temperature. Hot showers are drying and traumatic to your skin, literally stripping away protective oils and the good surface bacteria.
I have gone back to using a cold-process, palm oil free soap as opposed to body wash, in an attempt to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
I also try to be quick in the shower, to keep our water waste and costs down.
As I have finished washing, just before I am ready to get out, I flick the cold water. If I have washed my hair, I run it through my hair first, then all over my body, starting from my neck, down to my toes.
Yes, its COLD!
And this is the point where I am officially awake!
When drying off, pat your skin dry rather than scrub (again, with the histamine itch response) it with your towel. I leave my skin a little damp.
I then apply cold-pressed grapeseed oil over my body, except for my face.
Grapeseed oil has many properties that are beneficial for use on your skin and hair. It is easy to source (you can buy it at the supermarket!) and I decant it into this re-purposed plastic pump bottle because I don’t like juggling glass bottles in a slippery, wet bathroom! But the thing I love about grapeseed oil is that it is considered a dry oil.
Dry oils are characterised as dry by how quickly they soak into your skin. So not long after I have applied grapeseed oil, I can get dressed without leaving
Dry oils are typically high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, namely linoleic acid. Other dry oils include borage, rosehip seed, sesame grapeseed and sunflower oils. Choose organic and cold-pressed where possible. I believe grapeseed is the best choice by far, it has no strong scent like sesame oil, is economical enough to use all over the body daily and, is readily available.
Cleanse and Moisturise my Face
I used to cleanse my skin in the shower, but it made no sense for water to be pouring over me while I just washed my face. So now, I do it right after I apply my body oil. I’ll share my face care routine another time, but it is pretty simple and quick in the morning!
It gives a bit of extra time for the oil to soak into my body too!
Then, I simply get dressed and head to the kitchen for breakfast. The whole routine takes less than 10 minutes!
STAY OFF THE SCALES!
So far, so good! I know I’ve lost weight since the start of the year because my clothes are not as tight! But I can’t give you a metric as to how much weight that is. I am going to give the scales up for a year and focus instead on eating whole nutritious meals and building up my strength.
Weight loss (and health gain!) will be a natural outcome of achieving those two goals.
Big glass of water with Lemon
Finally, I have a big glass of water with a big squeeze of lemon juice to get me going before breakfast. No coffee anymore!
How is your morning routine? Do you have one? Do you think it is benefical? I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.