Can you tell when you're on the brink of burnout? For me, several red flags go up. If I have to hit the snooze button multiple times, start craving more sugar than usual, or feel the urge to cancel fun plans, it means I need to set aside time for some therapeutic practices.
My #1 favorite way to administer a hefty dose of self-care is to plan a date day/night with myself. If an all inclusive trip to the the spa is in your budget, go for it!! But if it's not, here are some effective and free ways to restore and renew:
1. Phone a friend.
When's the last time you talked (not texted -- actually talked) to your bestie? Give him or her a ring and catch up. Nurturing our friendships is a guaranteed way to lift our spirits and gain perspective.
2. Make a list of go-to affirmations.
Affirmations are a wonderful tool to keep in your back pocket for moments when you need a spiritual boost. I love Gabby Bernstein's "Spirit Junkie" app, which features a daily affirmation. You can set an alarm to remind you at certain times each day, or jot down your favorites and display them on your fridge, front door, or bathroom mirror.
3. Create a vision board.
A vision board is a tangible representation designed to bring clarity to your dreams, reinforce your affirmations, and maintain focus on your intention. Grab a stack of magazines or surf the web for images of goals or values you want to manifest. Anything goes -- your dream house, dream job, or phrases that catch your eye. Get creative!
4. Clean out your closet.
As Marie Kondo states in her bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, "Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle". When we tidy our physical environment, we create space for new opportunities and abundance to enter our lives. Donate clothes and items that no longer serve you and you will immediately feel cleansed and renewed!
5. Practice yoga or meditate.
I couldn't not mention this, right? Listen to your body and decide if it needs a vigorous, fiery flow or a gentle, restorative practice. Schedule a session with your favorite private yoga teacher (hint, hint ;) or hit the mat and let your body's intuition lead the way! End your practice with a nice long savasana, or by sitting quietly in meditation. Give yourself permission to relax into the time you have carved out for yourself, and enjoy!
Free writing is one of my favorite ways to clear my head by putting my thoughts down on paper. It's important to mention that you do not need to think of yourself as a "writer" to make use of a journal. Simply start writing down whatever thought is at the forefront of your mind, and let your pen move without judging the result. You may experience a sense of clarity and freedom, or even find solutions you didn't know you were looking for!
7. Give yourself an at-home spa treatment.
Who says going to the spa has to clean out your wallet? Change into your fluffiest robe, break out your pedicure supplies and lather on a luxurious face mask! Opt for all-natural, organic ingredients if you're buying a mask. If you're feeling more adventurous, try out a DIY version! This perfect-for-fall, nutrient-dense Yogurt & Honey mask is packed with lactic acid and antioxidants to brighten and moisturize.
8. Curl up with a cup of herbal tea and a book or magazine.
Maybe you want to wrap yourself in a fluffy blanket with a cup of Yogi tea and a copy of the Sutras. Maybe you prefer a warm blend of Kahlua and hot chocolate and the latest Cosmo -- totally fine too. Decide what your soul is craving in that moment and give yourself the freedom to consciously indulge.
9. Mindfully prepare and enjoy a nourishing home cooked meal.
Okay, I cheated a little with this one. It's not entirely free as you have to buy the ingredients. But cooking a healthy, satisfying meal for yourself (and maybe your partner too) is an incredibly special way to spend the evening. Queen of clean eating, Candice Kumai, recently released this fall-appropriate Roasted Sweet Potato Bowl. With brown rice, roasted veggies and avocado, it's loaded with nutrients that will feed your belly and your soul.
10. Take a bath with epsom salt and your favorite essential oils.
My daily bath routine is sacred and my first step in getting a great night's sleep. Draw a nice warm bath and sink in. Epsom salts reduce inflammation and draw toxins from the body, while essential oils soothe and relax the body (check out DoTerra for high-quality oils and blends). Slip into some warm PJs and call it a day!
What are your favorite self-care rituals? I'd love to hear your suggestions below. Now go schedule a date with yourself! You deserve it.