~ In order to CREATE POSITIVE CHANGE (or any change in that matter), you must BEGIN. A Part of maintaining a well-balanced LIFE in itself, is creating a sticking to a realistic schedule/routine where there is enough time for work, play, and some self-care, because let’s face it my friends, without that special time for yourself, you won’t be able to maintain anything but a mad mind and a chaotic life. For those of us with chronic illnesses, this task can seem overwhelming and entirely tedious. I know this because, I was and still am that person, I GET IT. I was that person, waking up mid-late morning (sometimes even into noon when I was really sick, and bedridden all day), groggy, agitated, frustrated, and depressed, accomplishing very little. There was no sense of order, organization, routine, and I felt out of touch with the “pace of life”. I was not LIVING. BUT, I’m here to assure you that there is hope, and you can completely 360 YOUR LIFE! BUT, it all starts with YOU. Take it from someone who understands and sympathizes. I’ve been there, and I started. Since moving into another home (trust me, I’ve had many homes in my young lifetime, I’ve moved a lot, all over), I have taken control of my life, with a chronic illness, and finally feel as though I’m starting to live. It’s an incredible, invigorating feeling, and I assure you, once you do this, you’ll not only grow an enormous amount of confidence and respect for yourself, but you’ll be able to be there for others in a better way (as a result of taking care of yourself), and you’ll start noticing an overall glow about yourself (inside and out). I’m going to share with you my personal routine, and hope it will inspire you and awake the inner WARRIOR within ~
My Morning Routine (Mind, Body + Soul)
8:15 am – Rise + Shine
– SLEEP, we all understand the importance, but do we really? Sleep is not only important for physical function, but mental and even emotional. When you sleep, your body is actually repairing + restoring. Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. For me personally, I need at least 7-8 hours of sleep minimum; 9-10 hours is happy-dance material.
– So friends, I know it’s difficult, but putting down that phone, and putting your laptop to rest is essential in order for you to actually get to bed, and stay in a deep sleep. “Blue-light” is a sleep and peace killer, also doing extensive damage. New research has shown that “blue-light” not only interferes with sleep in itself, but can lead to weight gain, depression, cancer, and heart disease (Learn More HERE). Solution? Well, if your like me, and you need a bit of stimulation before bed (if your not in compete exhaustion mode), I highly suggest grabbing that book waiting to be read in the corner of your bedroom (even if your not a bookworm like me), reading is a relaxing way to “wind-down”, avoiding that toxic blue-light, and leaving you with interesting dreams occasionally 🙂 Needless to say, I read for 15 minutes, the minute I arise!
8:30 am – Smoothie Prep + Supplements
– I always eat my breakfast BEFORE I do anything, this way I stimulate my metabolism and raise my blood-sugars before they drop. I tend to aim more for a smoothie for breakfast, as these tend to stick with me more than juices do in the morning, as they’re more sustainable. If you add protein of some sort- that’s even better! Depending on the smoothie, I’ll usually have pre-prepared greens laying around in my fridge (spinach, romaine etc..). This makes smoothie prep fun + easy! GOALS~! I’ll typically prepare the same types of smoothies in my Vitamix (coconut water, spinach, almonds, banana, SunWarrior Chocolate Vegan Protein Powder , cinnamon) or (Banana, almond milk, pumpkin puree, pecans, “SunWarrior” Vanilla Vegan Protein, Cinnamon, Ginger, Maca powder). Get picky when choosing your breakfast, as this really is “the most important meal of the day”, carrying you through and fueling your brain. At this time, I take my vital supplements (basically 50 pills before 9 am!)
– I also suggest you through in a HAPPY-DANCE (if you are mentally there and have the energy), and throwing on some music of choice, some classic, some jazz, or whatever floats your boat friends. It can really help set your mood and outlook on the day, preparing you to be a spiritual gangster!
9:15 am- Energizing Morning Yoga Session
– Of course, I have my own Yoga routines and methods, but I also have some online Yoga teachers who are outright outstanding, encouraging and just a pure joy to wake up to. At this point, I throw on some comfortable yoga attire (I have a specific jute basket set aside in my closet, so all I have to do is grab some clothes, a mat and a block and there’s no waste of time). I choose to do energizing yoga sequences and vinyasa in the morning, and exercise throughout the later day (exercise is especially important for those of us with chronic illnesses to maintain energy, muscle strength, circulation and brain function- yes that awful brain fog). I push myself- no excuses! I work with Julie Montagu (you may know her from Bravo’s “Ladies of London”). The FLEXI FOODIE that she is, I join her every morning online and practice her 10 minute energizing yoga sequence to reenergize, stretch, strengthen and awaken. Of course, I’ll spend an extra 15 stretching, and ending with some restorative yoga for a clear mind. GAME CHANGER! GET YOUR YOGI ON!
9:40 am – Skin Care + Vitamin D
– After a sweaty yoga session, I always take time to care for my skin, with a toner, mask or cleanser, as caring for your body, is in fact, a part of self-care, and I take it very seriously. I use Evolue Organic Products, as well as “Honest Beauty” products (as a cheaper option). Taking this time always leaves me rejuvenated and relaxed, ready to take on the day, with a bright, fresh face.
– Vitamin D is a critical part of a functioning body (especially for those of us with Lyme disease), it is even more important, serving as a hormone balancer, detoxifier, supporter of bone and brain function, and an energizer. Where I am currently, in Scottsdale, Arizona, the weather is of course, nothing to brag about, however (as much as I miss the cold, damp and fog), I do take advantage of the abundant sunshine, spending at least 30 minutes soaking up the sun in that sauna-like heat by the pool with my laptop, or by walking. This has made a MASSIVE difference in my moods and brain fog, and leaves me completely energized (not always, but most times 🙂
~ I’m ready to work, and begin the day at this point, having taken the time to care for my mind, body and soul. I try to incorporate this into every part of my day, everyday, but the mornings, I pay special attention to. If I’m in a hurry, have an appointment, or am traveling, I’ll cut the time a bit, and readjust (of course, I’ll have a new blog of traveling and maintaining a healthy/realistic schedule), so stay TUNED friends! Keep in mind, that starting a new schedule/routine can be difficult at first, takes time to create, and getting used to adjusting, so be easy on yourself! Anything new such as this, can take some time to establish, we aren’t perfect, but it is important that we at least try to be mindful and kind with ourselves. So, if you feel frustrated, that you “didn’t get it right”, don’t fret, and just try again, until your satisfied and feeling full of LIFE ~