A few weeks ago I wrote a little something about self-care and creating your own routine that works for you and for you only. As I promised in that blog, I am back with my own self-care routine should you want to draw some inspiration from it!
About a year ago I created a little “wellness corner” in my room. This corner consists of the all-natural pills I take on a daily basis and some of my favourite Saje rollers (I listed below the ones that I use). It also houses my list of physio exercises that I need to do once a day. This corner acts as a visual reminder for me to take my pills and do my exercises because otherwise, I would most likely not take/do them! This was the first real step I took to start a good self care routine that I would stick to - I always knew what was healthy for me but never turned it into a real routine.
I tried to journal and write everything down in my calendar as a way to remember my life for a little while. I was told writing is therapeutic (and I definitely think it is) but it depends on the circumstance of which you are writing. The approach I was taking turned it into a chore. I despised having to write down my day. This shouldn’t feel like work! What I do now is write down my 3 moments of joy at the end of everyday and I combine that with my physio exercises. While I am laying on a lacrosse ball trying to loosen my abdominal muscles (lol, I will explain this further down in the blog) - I write down my 3 moments of joy for that day; I have my co-founder Sara to thank for that idea.
To understand my routine, here is a quick list of the chronic issues I deal with and try my best to alleviate: Chronic pain in my right hip (pulled hip flexor) from dragon boat back in 2011. IBS - so basically I am limited in what I can eat or else my tummy will be in serious pain. Eczema - this one isn’t as bad as it used to be but my eyes feel like they’re being pulled from all directions if I don’t throw some creme on there. Low iron and B12 levels. Migraines. Muscles that make all masseuses say “oh your back is like a brick wall” - this leads to constant headaches and if it’s really bad can help in contributing to my migraines. I think I hit them all but every single one of these needs attention everyday or else I have some sort of pain/annoyance in my day.
Bathroom, brush teeth, shower
Exfoliate my face
Moisturize - just started to moisturize my entire face which has helped my skin. I used to only moisturize the spots where I have eczema but it turns out the rest of my skin is also dry as heck.
Grab my B2 pills (riboflavin) and multi-vitamin.
As a tip - I take 400 mg of B2 pills (100 mg per pill) everyday to reduce the amount of migraines I get. This has been a serious life saver. I highly recommend this for any of you who suffer from migraines. It has been clinically proven to reduce migraines by 50% in those who suffer from them.
5. If needed, I take some Slippery Elm Bark pills if my stomach is upset
6. Make a glass of lemon water and a tea (I always drink the lemon water before eating to give my body a little cleanse/jump start to the day)
7. Eat breakfast and off to work!
Read a book on the way to work
Try to eat all foods that agree with my stomach. If you want a more detailed idea of what my body can process, type in “low-FODMAP diet” into Google and it will show you what I can eat without being in pain.
I am an avid tea drinker so I drink a lot of that stuff aha
Stretch when I can to help my tight muscles (specifically neck and shoulder stretches)
Go to the gym or a dance class or hang with friends (depending on the day). I work out/do any form of exercise at least 4 times a week. Some weeks I can only make it to a workout 3 times, but I do walk everywhere as much as possible to keep myself active, including my 25 minute walk (each way) to and from work.
Take a liquid iron packet
Do my physio stretches
Write down my 3 moments of joy for the day
Brush teeth, bathroom, exfoliate again and moisturize again
Try to get to sleep before midnight (this one is hard for me to maintain but I am trying my best to beat this!)
I am lucky to say I do not suffer from any mental health issues on a daily basis but there have definitely been times in my life where I had to work to cope with anxiety and a weird time where I felt what I called ‘neutral’. I didn’t feel happiness or sadness, I was just neutral all the time and I fully contribute that feeling to my birth control. That is a whole other blog article and I will get to that one day but the point here is - make sure you are thinking about both mental and physical wellbeing when you want to create a self-care routine. Some days I do a face mask just to feel relaxed or paint my nails!
I’ve been booking massages more often to work on my muscles and reduce headaches/migraines. I used to hold out on this because of the cost (I am a contract worker without any benefits) - but! that last bit of migraines I had really kicked me into gear. I had 6 in a row - not fun. I am not ignoring my muscle pain anymore.
Also!!! my boyfriend got me a portable neck and back massager and I am in heaven. I am trying to use that everyday. It also works on your legs and wow, I am already so much happier with this thing. I just went to my masseuse and she said my back is less brick like - so we’re making progress!
My Saje rollers (all links attached):
Peppermint Halo (headache remedy) - this WORKS wonders for those dull headaches that you might not even consider a headache yet. If it’s a migraine day I pop extra strength Advil and put some on this behind my ears.
Eater Digest (to ease digestion)
Pain Release (for muscle pain)
Stress Release (to reduce tension)
I also just got a Saje diffuser and I am loving it so far. The essential oils are beautiful and a way healthier way to make your room smell good without all the chemicals found in the candles I used to buy. I try to be a natural as possible with what I ingest and put on my skin. Don’t get me wrong, I love Western medicine, but for the simple everyday things, I try to keep it natural!