January 2017 Self-Care

The past year was rough and I am now blindly rushing towards the finish line of my Master’s. As a result, I have felt a lot of emotions lately—mostly negative—so, I am trying to balance these feelings out with self-care.

Over the last few years, I have practiced trying new self-care techniques and rituals, but I never stay consistent. I would have limited time, fall back into old habits, and feel guilty when I did practice self-care. I decided that this year would be different. I am planning to post my monthly self-care favorites as a way to stay motivated. I am also: reading motivational and enlightening works by a few authors and poets, eating healthier, weekend hiking, and practicing various forms of skin care.

Anyways, I’ll be posting my monthly self-care favorites. Here are a few of my basic indulgences and healthier lifestyle changes for January 2017:

Balanced Breakfasts

I live a pretty good distance from urban cities. Whenever I leave home to attend classes, work, or visit family I am looking at a 1 hour+ commute. Over the last few weeks, I have been leaving my home at 5 a.m. and I will usually skip breakfast altogether. When I skip breakfast, I feel dizzy, ill, and tired by noon.

When I do have breakfast, it is usually a breakfast smoothie that consists of a banana, berries, spinach, chia or flax, and almond milk. I decided to ramp up my breakfast game by adding a small bowl of oatmeal with additional toppings.

I was never fond of basic oatmeal as a kid. My husband eats a lot of oats, and so I was inspired to start incorporating this high fiber, protein, and carb dish into my morning diet.

I like to add peanut butter, berries/fruit, dried unsweetened coconut, chopped nuts, chia or flax, and a drizzle of maple syrup. So good and filling!

Overall, oats are high in fiber and carbs as well as other important minerals and benefits. I feel full longer, which helps me feel energetic.

Staying Hydrated

I drink a lot of water, but there are periods where I will not because of stress. Even on my worse days, I always drink at least eight cups of water. The more water I drink, the better I feel. I try to drink about 2-3 quarts of water per day. I mostly drink water with a bit of lemon juice. I also like drinking a lot of “detox” water.

The detox water is basically lemon juice, ginger, and some spices. The tea is tangy and semi-spicy. I like to have this tea after a vacation or for an entire week during a month. I may have too much sodium or alcohol on a trip, and this detox water helps to reduce puffiness and bloat. I have also noticed my sinuses clear up, and my skin is clearer and more even.

Here’s my go-to recipe for a 1-gallon recipe. I store the reminder in my fridge or drink it at room temperature. If you want to make a small amount, then just eye the ingredients.

Turmeric, Cayenne, Ginger Detox Tea

Ingredients:

  • 4 lemons hand juiced (save juiced lemon for added flavor)
  • 2-inch knob of ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
  • 1 gallon of water
  • Vanilla extract or maple syrup (optional for sweetness)

Directions:

Simmer the water on the stove. Add lemon juice, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Add used lemon pieces for extra flavor. Let simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold. Drink throughout the day at room temperature or store remainder of cooled tea in fridge.

if you’re not a fan of this tea, try incorporating basic herbal hot teas. Peppermint and chamomile are my nightly favorites, and perfect for cold weather.

Rose Body Scrub or Bath Salt

I have been using essential rose oil ritually for the past year. The scent has been uplifting, my mood improves, and the oil works as a great alternative moisturizer. I try to use rose products in a lot of my every day skin care. Since it is winter, I decided to make a rose petal bath salt for soaking or exfoliating.

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The recipe is really simple and cost-effective. Plus, my skin is left feeling soft and moisturized without an oily feel. Here’s some benefits of essential rose oil.

Rose Salt Body Scrub or Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry rose petals
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • Essential rose oil or melted coconut oil (Needed for scrub)

Bath Salt Directions:

Mix petals and salt. Store in a container with lid to keep fresh and scented.

Body Scrub Directions:

Mix petals and salt. Add 2-3 tablespoons of rose oil. Store in a container with lid to keep fresh and scented.

Anyways, these are just a few simple pleasures and life changes that make me feel happier and more positive.

And in the words of Audrey Lorde:

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

-Skye

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