2018 was the year where I discovered that self-care is a necessity. I didn’t necessarily commit to it as part of my daily routine, but I made a decent effort to be consistent with washing my face at night, tried my best to eat more plant-based meals, and started drinking more water thanks to Gabrielle Union. I read a lot about the science behind morning routines, watched countless skincare tutorials on Youtube, and discovered the power of the sauna.While I had good intentions, I fell short due to lack of commitment and consistency, and therefore missed out on forming healthy habits.

This year I’m taking the next step and making a 100% commitment to taking more care of myself. It will require dedication but I’m more than willing to make sacrifices here and there to get into a better routine and headspace.

Outside of forming solid habits that’ll withstand the test of time, I plan on putting myself first (sorry friends!), and thinking more deeply about the rituals and practices that constitute as wellness. Join me on my 2019 wellness journey and commit to forming new, wholesome habits!

Early rising.

If there’s something I’ve learned over the past few years, the early bird most definitely catches the worm. I’m well aware that there are “morning people”, and people who are a little too comfortable waking up past 10 am; I had to try really hard to force myself to become said morning person but found that it was so easy to slip back into the habit of ignoring my alarm, missing 6:30 yoga, and starting my day with a snooze-induced headache and pessimistic mindset.

I’ve read countless articles about how the most successful entrepreneurs wake at the crack of dawn and proceed to workout, meditate, read or partake in some other type of wholesome, healthy activity. While this is extremely honorable, there’s a lot to be said about tailoring your efforts to fit your natural cycle.

Try easing into waking up early by setting your alarm for an hour earlier than you’re used to waking up. Use the extra hour to do something calming or something that will set you up for a productive day. It’s all about the intention to carve out a little more time for yourself, and waking up early will help get there.

Creating and sticking to a morning routine.

A solid morning routine is what follows the dedication of waking up early; the two go hand in hand like apples and peanut butter.

I’m one of those people who prefer morning workouts over evening because I’m getting something that I consider daunting out of the way. Working out in the morning also helps kick start my day thanks to endorphins and gives me the energy to start my day on a positive and happy note.

If working out isn’t your jam, try stretching or meditating upon waking up. Get yourself to a place of calm so you can establish a solid foundation for the rest of your day. Your morning routine should help ease any nerves you may have upon waking and get you to a place where you’ll be able to accomplish your goals throughout the day with ease.

Here are some examples the morning routines of some of our favorite famous people:

  • Barack Obama: cardio & weights, followed by breakfast with his family.
  • Anna Wintour: an hour of tennis before heading into the office.
  • Oprah: hot chai or latte upon waking followed by a cardio session and sitting meditation.

By following a simple routine every morning, you will decrease the likelihood of feeling anxiety or stress associated with facing a lengthy task list or day filled with meetings.

More H2O.

Last year, after I found out that Gabrielle Union’s secret to perfect skin (outside of genetics) is her daily intake of a gallon of water a day, I invested in a large 32 oz. mason jar that I proudly displayed on my desk as an effort to increase the amount of water I drank every day. I tried to drink 3 mason jars worth of water on the daily but would fall short here and there based on my workload and other fun distractions.

Inconsistencies aside, it can be very helpful to have something like a 32 oz mason jar at hand to help you get used to increasing your water intake. I highly recommend purchasing one of these as they are insanely cheap and an easy way to track the amount of water you’re drinking. Also, mason jars are still cool, right?

Cut out sugary beverages and commit to drinking more water. Think water is boring? Try adding a slice of lemon or fresh mint to your glass. There are countless benefits to drinking water, like faster metabolism, weight loss, and the general flushing of toxins. My biggest draw is the fact that it can contribute to clear, glowy skin, which is something I’ve been trying to achieve for ages!

Outdoor activities.

This year I want to get outside more. I’ve noticed that I’m becoming more and more addicted to my phone, the internet, a plethora of social media apps… and to be completely honest, I’m getting pretty sick of it all.

The outdoors has proven to be a cure for many. There’s truly nothing like getting a good dose of vitamin D and some fresh air. Whether it’s going for an afternoon walk around the block, a bike ride along the water, or a long hike, every moment you spend in the outdoors is incredibly precious and bound to make you a little happier and a lot less stressed. Feel like you’re too short on time during your work day to leave the office? Walking has been shown to increase creativity and is the perfect excuse to get out of the office if you’re facing a creative block.

Try distancing yourself from electronics over the weekend and carving out some time for a hike or a chill beach day if the weather’s nice. You’ll notice a sense of clarity that you don’t necessarily have after spending hours working or glued to your phone.

Sunday evening planning sessions.

I’m a big fan of the weekend but once Sunday hits, I experience a wave of anxiety and rarely know how cope… other than accepting the fact that the work week is slowly approaching and there’s really nothing I can do about it. Sunday scaries are a REAL THING, and I’m motivated to decrease the terrible feeling that arises in the pit of my stomach once the evening rolls around.

Outside of grocery shopping and tidying my space, the only other thing that I’ve found to round out my weekend is a good old fashion planning session. I tried this last weekend, and it gave me peace of mind being aware of my tasks and general plan for the week.

The best way to approach planning your week is to write it all out. Whether you like pen and paper or Evernote, writing out everything you have on your plate helps you see everything from a birds eye view. Once you organize your schedule for the week, you are able to see when you have free time to accomplish things outside of your day to day.

Have you been meaning to make it to the gym more than just once a week? Write it into your weekly plan! Have a pair of shoes you need to bring to the cobbler? Add it to your task list. By organizing your tasks based on your schedule, you’re more likely to get them done since you’re strategically allocating your free time. Visualization is key in creating a plan, and once you master your Sunday planning sessions, you’ll soon forget what the scaries feel like!

More me time.

Growing up, I was extremely shy and introverted. I absolutely loved flying solo – my favorite activities involved me, myself and I, and sometimes the addition of a friend or two. I’d get lost in books, partake in swim team (a team sport that’s mostly a solo effort), and do other things that didn’t zap my energy like socializing did.

Cut to present day and here I am, a very social person who makes plans with friends left and right. I’m definitely more extroverted and interested in other people than when I was a kid and like to dedicate a good chunk of time to hanging out with my friends and family. Whether it’s gathering a group of friends for dinner or having a night out on the town with my girlfriends, I believe that spending time with loved ones is incredibly valuable.

There are times where I notice that I feel absolutely burnt out after a busy week of work and socializing only to realize that the missing piece is the much needed alone time that I rarely get. Me time is an absolute necessity when it comes to keeping yourself happy because it allows you to rest and recharge. By setting aside time for yourself, you are recognizing the importance of taking a beat and checking in with yourself. Whether it involves lighting some candles and taking a long bath, cranking out a new book and cup of tea, or going for a solo run, the time you spend alone is precious and will help prepare you for getting back out into the world!

New Year resolutions can be silly, but this year I’m changing my mindset and committing to taking more care of myself. What will you commit to this year? Let us know in the comments section below 🙂

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