Every new year I start off by working on my inspiration board (aka: mood board). I love the process of brainstorming my goals for next year, writing all these ideas in my journal, daydreaming where I see myself next, going through magazines and clipping out pictures and words that inspire me, picturing myself in places and situations that make me happy and simply just letting my mind wonder. Once my board is complete, I hang it in my closet where I can see it every day. Surprisingly, most of the aspiration ideas from my inspiration board have come to life!
I have many categories for my inspiration board. One of those categories is self-care. I want to share some of the goals that I try to achieve every year to practice self-care.
- Drink More Water. There are so many benefits to drinking water, not soda, not tea or coffee. Just plain water. Since I live in Colorado where climate is dry, I inarguably need more hydration.
- Get Sleep. This is a tough goal, especially when you have a little toddler running around the house and still learning how to sleep through the night. However, I believe that sleep is the best preventative medicine against aging and mind blues, it is a key to a healthy lifestyle, and best cure for almost anything life throws at you. I do firmly believe that to get good quality sleep you need to go to bed at least an hour before midnight. Because every hour that you sleep BEFORE midnight is equivalent to sleeping DOUBLE that after midnight! I also try to clock about 8 hours of sleep so I am a happy being.
- Eat clean. Food is my passion. I love good food, food that is fresh, pesticide and preservative free, simple and homemade. I am a strong believer in eliminating processed foods and making most of your meals at home from scratch. I savor the joys that cooking and food entertaining brings to me. I aim to eliminate salt, sugar and processed foods from my menu. I also strive to include (like most of us) fresh veggies and fruits into my diet. I belief that meals should be fully enjoyed and relished to get the full satisfaction out of food. And of course, rules are made to be broken sometimes. Occasionally, I let myself indulge in a cookie, ice cream, or salty potato chips and greasy hamburger.
- Work out. Run, do yoga, take a dance class or stretching class, bike, hike. So many fun activities, so little time.
- Take some time off for yourself. Yes, spend that time on YOU and do not feel guilty about it! Many of us are so busy with work, house work, children and just every day life errands. Taking time off for yourself is the best way to connect the body, mind, and spirit. Below are some of the things I do:
- Chill in your favorite coffee shop: I love to order a giant cup of rich bitter coffee or a foamy cappuccino, plunge into a chair in one of my beloved coffee shops and read a book or work on my blog. Occasionally, I would pause my work to people watch. During these times I start feeling l’amour de la vie (love for life) as French would say. I deeply cherish my quiet coffee rituals.
- Take a bath: Is there anything more relaxing than submerging yourself into hot water and letting your thoughts melt away? I love to light different colored glass candles which makes the water flicker with different colors. Put on some soothing music, Carla Bruni or Gilberto make in onto my list. I detox my skin by adding either 1 liter of apple cider vinegar or 1 pound of baking soda + 1 pound of kosher salt into my bath. And don’t forget to add a few aromatherapy oils
- Go for a walk: This is one of my favorite activities to do by myself. I love to go on walks around my favorite streets in Chicago or Denver or go exploring new places. If we drive everywhere, we lose the sense of our own flesh and spirit. Walking ties you in with yourself and clears your mind. Running does not have a same effect as walking does for me. During a run I push myself and my limits, tune out people around me, and very seldom can truly absorb the scenery around me. During a walk, I feel my mind slowly untangle and then wonder off into dream land and a state of happiness. I will stop to sample that wonderful fragrance in the nearby gift shop. I will walk out of the flower shop with fresh flowers for my dinning room. I will find a new local coffee shop. It makes my life a little bit better.
Curl up with your favorite book or a movie: ‘nough said.Take care! Take care of yourself!