1)Stretch! – Even before you get out of bed, stretch out your muscles, take in a nice big breath of air and pay attention to your breathing for one minute. Give thanks you are awake this morning. Bring your conscious awareness to your physical body…which has just been dormant and regenerating through the night. Try wriggling your fingers and toes, rotating your ankles clockwise and then anti-clockwise, stretch your arms out above your head, stretch your legs out towards the foot of your bed (also stretching out your hips). Get on your knees and hands and do a cat stretch, gently and slowly curling your spine upwards then inwards.
2) Start your day with a refreshing glass of freshly juiced fruits, packed with nutrients!
3) Have a bath. Light some unscented candles, play soothing music, and soak in a warm bath of fragrant and therapeutic grade essential oils. I like putting in a handful of epsom salts with my essential oils. Epsom salt is rich in magnesium and sulfate, both easily absorbed through the skin. Sulfates are important in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify the body or medicines and environmental toxins.
Stress causes excess adrenaline and is believed to drain magnesium, which is our body’s natural stress reliever. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
4) Laugh! Pop in a comedy DVD. Laughter creates endorphins. Combine this activity with having a hair mask and facial mask, both of which will take only 20 minutes. I like buying a few facial masks which i leave in the refrigerator (in an air-tight container); the cold mask is refreshingly cooling on the skin and helps to tighten the pores. Use a hair mask which is chemical-free, like Sukin’s Botanical Protein Mask.
6) Exercise. Exercising causes the body to produce endorphins, chemicals that can help a person to feel more peaceful and happy. Exercise can help some people sleep better. It can also help some people who have mild depression and low self-esteem. Plus, exercise can give people a real sense of accomplishment and pride at having achieved a certain goal. 30 minutes is sufficient for that feel-good factor to kick in. If you live in a condominium, most of them will have a gym and swimming pool. Go for a brisk walk round the block (take your dog with you too, and she’ll thank you for it!), pop in an exercise DVD to follow, or do some yoga which improves your balance, flexibility, posture and circulation.
7) Gardening can be a very relaxing and grounding experience. There’s something about getting your hands down and dirty, and connecting back to Earth. So get plucking those dead leaves, loosening the soil, adding organic fertilizer, or re-organizing your flower pots!
8) Read a book or magazine. Make yourself a nice cuppa English Breakfast tea or herbal tea, and sit comfortably for an hour’s uninterrupted read. Reading helps focus your mind on the subject you’re reading, and stops you thinking about anything else. So choose carefully and wisely what you read!
10) Pamper yourself. Go for a relaxing massage, buy yourself a new outfit, treat yourself to the hair salon, go for a manicure/pedicure, buy some pretty flowers to brighten up your space, indulge in your favorite ice-cream (mine would be Haagen Daz’s Caramel with Biscuit & Cream!).