RITUALS: RISING AND UNWINDING
How we start and end our day, ultimately sets us up for the day ahead and affects the quality of sleep we have throughout the night. Like the daily rituals of self-love I practice on my mind, soul and energy, (click here to my 5 non-negotiables piece) when it comes to my skin, I apply the same rules. I am mindful and conscious of ingredients and purpose, with the intention of making myself feel ROOTED.
Give yourself some quality YOU time in the morning and evening, whether it’s massaging your face as you cleanse for two minutes, or relaxing in a long bath with candles before bed. These acts of love towards yourself really do make all the difference and hey, you absolutely deserve it!
Upon RISING, the first thing I do is ask myself how I am feeling and take three deep long breaths, in through the toes and out through the mouth. I'll take a sip of water, swish it round my mouth and release in the sink. I then take a Probiotic (Optibac is a great choice) with plain warm water. I then have a cup of warm almond milk with turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla and honey, which I take back to bed with me. In Ayurvedic tradition, you always start the day with something sweet and nourishing for the body and I've realised over time that it works for me, rather than hot water and lemon. Whilst making my tonic, I do simple breath work again. My morning ritual depends on me waking slowly and giving some time to my partner before he leaves for the day. Connection is our life force so make time for those you love throughout the day.
In the morning, I want to feel enlivened and awake. I like to keep my routine simple and effective. I oil pull with coconut oil (if I haven’t had my morning milk yet) whilst I body brush and shower. Dry body brushing is a brilliant way to get your blood pumping, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage. It also rejuvenates your nervous system, plus it feels pretty damn good! Start at your feet and work your way up in quick circular movements. In the shower, I use Dr Bronner’s shower wash, which all have just the right amount of scent to perk me up. This product is really versatile, it conveniently doubles up as a non-toxic bathroom cleaner too. I use REN’s Rose Centifolia Face Cleanser, which makes my skin feel squeaky clean. Post shower, I say my affirmations to myself in the mirror. This feels crazy at first but you get used to it. Talk to yourself. What do you want to achieve today? Say it and believe it, and live it!
Pre breakfast I’ll have a little stretch but I tend to keep my yoga session for the evening, when my body feels more open and welcoming to movement. For years I used to be up at 6am ready for a yoga class but over time, I have realised this wasn’t serving me at all. Slower mornings work far better for my psyche and put me in a good place for the day. Too much energy exertion too early and I peak and crumble by 4pm! Listen to your body and give it what it needs, not what you think you should be doing.
Twice a week I give myself Reiki for around 30 minutes. Sometimes I get so in the zone, I forget the time and an hour will have gone past. It’s so worth it and I feel fully energised for the day ahead.
Once ready for work, I light some incense, write my to-do list and seize the day.
UNWINDING at night time tends to be more slow-paced and sensual for me. I light a candle (my favourites are Mama Moon and Earl of East London) and run a bath with Epsom salts. Full of magnesium and sulfate, there are so many therapeutic properties to Epsom salt baths, from easing muscle tension to reducing inflammation to flushing toxins and relieving migraines. When the bath is run, I pop a few drops of Aqua Oleum essential oils in. Which oils I use depends on my mood, but my fail safe options are Lavender and Clary Sage, to promote relaxation and serenity or Rose if I’m feeling like I need some extra self-love and care. I always use Inlight Face Cleanser in the evening, which is a wonderful organic balm with olive, green tea and rosemary. This oil based cleanser glides on and gives an incredible cleanse without drying skin. Three times a week I use Neal's Yard Rose Face Polish and twice a week I use one of the face masks by Inlight, either Chocolate or Superfood, both of which make my skin feel fresh. Sometimes I can't decide!
Once a week I have a ‘hibernation night’ and turn off the WiFi, my phone and laptop for the night (check out my digital detox page here) and hop into bed right after a bath. Natural sleep inducing teas are chamomile (I like to brew my own with dried flowers) or valerian root.
On other nights I use a Magnesium spray along with either Inlight’s Body Oil or Neal’s Yard base oil with some additional essential oils in, which I massage into my feet first and then gradually work my way up. Massage and touch is so vital for a woman, especially on the feet, which I personally find the most relaxing. Learn to massage yourself or get your partner or house mate to do it - you can take turns.
Human beings have a natural instinct for the need of rituals. Whether it’s morning or night, one of the most nourishing and loving things you can do for yourself is give yourself time. With so much rush, rush rush in modern life, taking time to slow down and find silence can be the very medicine you need to feel balanced and calm. It seems simple and it is. Explore your morning and night-time rituals and do share with me how you get on.
Pandora Paloma X