And Still We Rise: 4 Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Start to Your Day

Our mission at Lukafit is to build an affirming, judgement-free community of like-minded, health-conscious women who support, inspire, and hold one another accountable along our health journeys; a community of women who boldly commit to prioritizing our well being; a community of women who are starting a self-care movement!

Welcome to the Lukafit Family!

 

As a welcome gift, I’d like to share my favorite self-care practices with you. This is my go-to morning routine that I practice when I first wake up and it has helped me develop confidence, relieve stress, and become more productive over the last two years. Oprah, the Obamas, and Beyoncé all have morning routines, so I figured why not follow in the footsteps of the greats?

Yes, this practice requires waking up a bit earlier than you currently do, but what’s more important than taking care of yourself? What better way to practice self-love than by giving to yourself first? Each step can last as long or as short as you’d like. For instance, some people meditate for 3 minutes, while others need 30. If you don’t think you have the time or energy to implement all 4 steps in the routine below, wake up just 5 minutes earlier than you do now to try out 1 of the following steps, then slowly increase to 10 minutes to add another, and so on. Your mind, body, and loved ones will thank you!

Please note that I’m not affiliated with any of the brands or apps I mention below. I simply like using them and hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me 😊.

Blog Post Graphic - And Still We Rise: 4 Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Start to Your Day 

4 Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Start to Your Day 

 

1. Meditate

Meditating has helped me become more confident, more compassionate with myself and others, more patient, positive and creative. It has helped me calm down when I start to feel anxious about all the tasks I’m behind on. It has helped me put things in perspective and realize every day is an opportunity to start anew. It has helped me look inward and develop my sense of self-worth from within instead of using external criteria. It has helped me start accepting myself as I am and stop judging myself so harshly. It has helped me use the same loving words with myself as I would with a friend.

If you’re a beginner, start with just 3-5 minutes and slowly increase your sessions over time. Whether you’re more comfortable praying, meditating, or deep breathing, just start doing it every day and you’ll be so glad you did. I’m currently obsessed with the Calm app but there are tons of other apps and youtube videos you can use.

 

2. Give Thanks

Adulting is more exhausting and stressful than anyone warned me it would be, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by personal responsibilities and the craziness of the world. Unfortunately we can’t start from scratch on another planet (yet) so we have to learn how to make the best of what we’ve got here and now. Many believe that gratitude is the key to happiness and I’d have to agree. No matter how tough things get, we all have something to be grateful for. For instance, are you reading this on your phone or computer? Did you eat today? Did you speak to a loved one? What qualities are you proud of in yourself? What can you applaud yourself for accomplishing recently?

Write down at least 3 per day. I’m currently alternating between my own blank journal and Alexandra Elle’s #Anote2self guided journal to keep track of all of the many things I’m grateful for.

 

3. Affirm Yourself

Are there areas of your life (your health & wellness, career, relationships, etc.) you’d like to improve? Is there an old “story” about yourself you’d like to change? For instance, do you think of yourself as a procrastinator but want to become more productive? Don’t think of yourself as a morning person but you keep reading countless articles extolling the benefits of waking up early? Are there parts of your body you continually berate instead of showing love to? As I learned through meditating, every day is an opportunity to start with a clean state. Affirmations work to change the old stories you (and others) have told yourself.

Write down your list of affirmations (I use the Notes app) and say them outloud to yourself every day! I am constantly editing and adding to what’s now a ridiculously long soliloquy. I used to feel silly talking to myself but now it’s my favorite part of my self-care practice, and I feel on top of the world once I’m done. Affirmations help you fake it til you become it 😉. Check out Alexandra Elle’s beautifully affirming Instagram posts for inspiration!

 

4. Move Your Body

 

Get moving! If you struggle to make time for exercise, try getting it out of the way first thing in the morning. Do a 5 minute workout. Dance by yourself to a couple songs. Do a few sun salutation yoga flows. Find some form of movement that you can stick to several times per week. First develop the habit, then build up from there. It's okay to start small!

 

5. Find Your Community

This bonus step has nothing to do with the morning, but I had to include it on this list. I owe most of the progress I've made in all areas in my life to the support systems I've built around me. I finally started exercising regularly when my friends, meetup members and I checked up on each other and invited each other to classes. I'm in a business accountability group with other entrepreneurs, a life goals accountability group with my girl gang, and have weekly check-in meetings with my roommate. After quitting my 9-5, one of my best friends volunteered to call me every morning to make sure I showed up to my co-working space before 10am every day. Peer pressure works! 

Don't feel any shame in needing help. We are social creatures who thrive in community. Recruit an encouraging yet stern loved one to regularly check in on your progress and hold you accountable to your goals. Start or join a local group of like-minded folks who are also prioritizing their health and wellness (like this one 😊). It really does take a village!

 

Now go forth and flourish!

And stay tuned for weekly emails with fun fitness & wellness event invitations, helpful articles, videos and special announcements :)

 

Please comment below and let me know: How did you take care of yourself this week - physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually



Health and happiness,

Mbali

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