A GUEST POST BY KIMBERLY BACSO
My husband jokes that my morning routine takes hours to complete. He’s right. If I don’t take care of myself first, I get swept away in the momentum of my day and all the good things I want to do for myself don’t happen. I have the flexibility to invest in myself in the morning but you might space your rituals throughout the day. The most important thing about self-care rituals is that they make YOU feel good. Your rituals will be unique to you, but here are mine to get your wheels spinning.
YOGA & MEDITATION RITUAL
Meditation is easiest in that space between sleep and the day’s stimulation, and the physical practice of yoga prepares the body to be comfortable in meditation. I wake up an hour before my family to practice yoga and meditation in a dimly lit room. I end practice with some chanting with my harmonium, a small keyboard instrument. I’m not naturally a morning person, but this practice guarantees me some time to focus on my physical and mental health before the chaos of the day begins.
FITNESS + FRESH AIR RITUAL
After I see my daughter off to school, I go for a walk or run with my dog to get some fresh air and sometimes some sun. I don’t listen to any music. I enjoy nature and look for one beautiful thing to photograph. Every day I see something new. This is cardio, but it is also ecotherapy, or the harnessing of the rewards of nature to reap a plethora of positive health benefits.
Finally, I squeeze in a quick strength training session at home, usually no more than 15 or 20 minutes.
FOOD + DRINK RITUAL
On Sundays, I plan my meals, shop, and prep food for the week so healthy food is in the house before the week even starts so we are set up for success. I typically prep homemade seitan, overnight oats, and infused water so I have some nice vegan protein to work into recipes, something fast to grab for breakfast, and something fun to drink.
If I’m not drinking infused water, I’m drinking tea. I buy loose leaf in fun flavors from a cute shop downtown. Right now, it’s toasted coconut. It’s a way to feel like I’ve had a sweet pick-me-up without actually eating dessert. To turn it into a complete sensory experience for a perfect break in your day, check out my infographic, The Calming Ritual of Tea.
I struggled with adult acne, which has ended up being a blessing in disguise because I started wearing sunscreen on my face religiously when I was in my early 20s. More recently, now that my daughter has started using beauty products, I’ve been replacing old regulars with cleaner options. My new favorites are Beauty Counter’s Brightening + Vitamin C Facial Oil for a healthy glow, and Dew Skin tinted SPF moisturizer, a two-in-one workhorse.
Before I sit down to work, I choose some essential oils to diffuse in my office, depending on how I want to feel during my work time. For focus, I choose peppermint, lemon, and tangerine. And some days call for Peace & Calming or Stress Away.
Self-care rituals are routine practices that you intentionally put into your day to nurture yourself because you deserve it! What rituals are in your routine? What new ones would you like to infuse into your day?
Kimberly Bacso exchanged an office with a view for a life of adventure when she became a military spouse in 2001 and a mom in 2004. Since then, she has been teaching military spouses how to create rich lives through fitness, healthy eating, travel, and creativity. She is the operations director and co-founder of InDependent, managing editor of Legacy Magazine, an experienced registered yoga teacher, and a lifelong vegetarian who can often be found traveling off the beaten path with her husband, daughter, and miniature poodle.