It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and not take time for yourself. We forget to take time out to stop and just be present. I discovered this a few years ago when I started to struggle to sleep. I’d always been such a good sleeper, but something had changed, and I found it more and more difficult to get to sleep.
It took some self-reflection for me to realise that work had taken over my life, and I realised I’d stopped doing all the little things I used to relish, because I’d replaced them with a busy life. I knew drastic changes would stress me out as I was unlikely to stick to them, so I made a number of small changes which I knew I would find easier to incorporate into my busy schedule.
Since starting this routine, I’ve noticed such a difference. I never thought a few little habits and moments during the day could be so important to my wellbeing, my health and ultimately my happiness.
My self-care morning routine that works for me
I start every morning with a large glass of water, which I place on my bedside table in the evening so it's there ready when I wake up. I know that this is common knowledge to many people – the importance of hydration in the morning, but I never really tried it before so this is a new habit for me.
Before I head into the shower, I take a morning walk whilst listening to a Joyce Meyer podcast. I find this really sets my mood for the day. I enjoy these walks as my time alone, just strolling, no plan or particular route, just wherever my feet take me.
Walking is something I used to do a lot but life took over and I soon became “too busy” but even when I’m pushed for time, I know I need to get outside and have that time to myself to really kick-start my body and set me up for the day.
My morning shower is a little piece of heaven. I love to pamper myself so I take any chance I get, even if it’s only a 15 minute shower. I make the most of it and have a little “pamper” routine that starts with dry body brushing to wake up my skin before taking a warm shower.
I also like to spend this time to focus my mind on three things I am grateful for. This can be anything from an exciting new product I am working on, to knowing that I'm meeting a friend for coffee today - however small, I count it as a blessing.
I then finish with a little indulgence using our double-award-winning Shea Body Butter. The nourishing blend of 100% pure, unrefined Shea Butter, natural oils, and vitamins A, C, D and E provides my skin with intense hydration, and smells divine with the hint of vanilla. It’s so smooth and creamy, it’s like a little bit of luxury, every morning that is good for my skin.
My daily habits for my wellbeing
However busy my day is, I have a rule that I must make the time to practice self-care during the day. These are small, quick little things I do to look after myself both inside and out:
Drink lots of water during the day to keep hydrated
I feel good and my skin and body thanks me for it. On the days when I fancy a bit of flavour, I add some sliced lemon or cucumber for an added twist.
I'm talking about plenty of fruit and vegetables. Yes, I know we're told this all the time, but I feel the difference when I eat well. This is one habit I will be keeping, with a little bit of planning I find it easy to incorporate good food into my daily life and knowing that I’m consuming plenty of healthy vitamins and nutrients to help my body function, gives me a positive mental boost.
On the days when I don’t fancy eating the fruit or I am really pushed for time, I pop them in my blender and make a smoothie. My favourite one at the moment is a mixture of strawberries, raspberries, bay leaves, coconut, almonds nuts and coconut milk. It tastes great and I can drink it on the go.
I eat organic food where possible and I’m lucky enough to have a great local bakery on a farm near my house. I shop here for all my bread and eggs. I know everything is fresh, local and natural which helps my body and I feel like I am doing my bit for local businesses.
Stay in touch
Most of my days are very busy, I’m always on the go including in the afternoon when I do the school run. Before I would just stand around or scroll on my phone whilst I waited for the kids but now I catch up with one of my childhood friends in the UK. However short the call, it always makes me smile. Doing this each day gave me the idea to do the same in the evenings by calling my parents in Ghana for a family catch up – I find this is my perfect way to end my working day.
I have a little indulgent moment each day with a mug of hot raw cocoa. It's packed with minerals including Iron to boost my energy levels when I need a natural pick me up and the warming sensation is so comforting. I always put my feet up and sometimes I listen to the Steven Bartlett or Lisa Nichols podcast, these are great for when I want some inspiration or motivation. In the evening I sometimes extend the indulgence and have a small bar of dark Ghanaian chocolate after dinner. They’re 100% natural and a small amount satisfies my sweet tooth.
I love flowers so I surround myself with them. All kinds, colours and shapes – the more the merrier. They give me a feel-good boost and such an easy way for me to really brighten up my office and home.
My evening routine for a good night’s sleep
How I finish my day is just as important as how I've started my day, so I've developed a small routine at night time to help me to wind down and relax ready for bed.
The first thing I do is put my pyjamas on the radiator so they’re cosy and warm when I’m ready for bed.
I enjoy a hot shower with my African Shea Black Soap to gently cleanse my skin from top to toe, removing the toxins from the day, leaving my mind relaxed and my skin fresh and clean, ready for my Shea Body Lotion, which I love as the light creamy texture soaks in quickly to revitalise my skin, leaving it soft, plump and protected.
As a busy business owner I'm always on the go, so I treat my tired feet to a nightly massage with Shea Foot Butter, taking time to massage each toe, before relaxing with a good book.
My self-care is still work in progress
I’m still working on my self-care routine, always looking for new little things I can do to help me to be me. I used to have a shiatsu massage once a week, during a Thursday afternoon, I loved them so I’m looking for local spas at the moment so I can enjoy them again.
I’d love to know if you have your own self-care routine, or if you have any ideas for mine. If so, please tag us @avielaskincare and share your self-care moments.