My summer self care morning routine and rituals.
A few words on time and flexibility in creating routines and rituals
The time i get up tends to depend on how late i went to bed the night before. Running my own business like so many of you know means that there´s a tendency to feel that everything is work (which is lucky as for the most part i love what i do). If i´ve had a really intensely creative day, perhaps working on a project, or writing or editing until late, or non-stop administration, i´ll give myself more space the following morning to top up on inspiration, so that might mean taking a longer yoga + meditation + breathwork + bathroom disco practice for example. Or reading in the morning or writing my morning pages.
Obviously if i’m flying to Norway i tend to be up at the crack of dawn so that i can get the minimum amount of these rituals in. I don’t get too crazy about it though - if i need to take an early flight, then i’ll probably practice later in the day and take vitamins on the train and tea at the airport for example. The most important thing for me is to do the stuff that enhances my day, not to stress myself out about it. If i don´t practice, it’s no big deal. If i don´t have breakfast however, it’s likely to mean my energy is a bit uneven during the day so i try to avoid that situation #hangry!
Upon waking i tend to first check my phone. I know!
A lot of people say this is really bad. I think you decide what you feel, babes. With everything. I don’t have notifications on my phone, so first i´ll check the time, then probably go to Hay Day which is my ultimate relaxation app. It´s true. Feeding my animals and tending to my crops makes me feel so good.
Then i´ll hop to instagram to check in, usually not for long of late, have been taking a bit of a hiatus. The places i tend to go though are accounts that talk about stuff like memes and nature and the cycles of the moon, i´m into crystals, food, animals and astrology. So i´ll get some inspo and then get out of bed. If there´s a meme that´s particularly good, i´ll send it to Finemann. I´m that person. Meme dealer.
Then up and out of bed to the window to look for neighbourhood cats. They teach me about self care and being more cat. It´s also a great way of sensing the weather, depending on if they are lounging or prowling.
Coconut oil rituals
Then i´ll head to the kitchen to take some coconut oil (unless Finemann has brought me some first). We´ve been oil pulling for over a year now and really feel the benefits. You can use all kinds of oils, olive, sesame, etc. We favour coconut oil as we tend to have lots in the house anyway as we cook with it, i use it in my hair and for making skincare products too.
Oil pulling is a great way of eliminating the buildup in the mouth from overnight. It’s also great for teeth and gums. Sidenote: my dentist and hygienist are even impressed! It feels weird at first but you tend to get used to it.
If we have saved enough coffee from the day before, i´ll use the granules and mix it with coconut oil and add a couple of drops of mandarin or orange essential oil to it. It makes the greatest skin scrub! Some of you who have been to my retreats have probably tried this one!
I tend to have the oil in my mouth for a minimum of 20 minutes. Sometimes i practice yoga with it in then remove it for breathwork and meditation practices.
Yoga + Meditation + breathwork practice
People often ask me if i practice every day. I do, however i know that can sound really annoying to people so to that, i’ll say what i usually say. It took me years to establish a home practice. My first yoga class was in 2000. You can read about it here along with some noughties anecdotes! I had a regular home practice from 2010. That’s 10 years babes! Really, if you’re struggling even with the idea of keeping anything up on the daily, remind yourself that a practice is just that. It doesn’t have to look perfect. There’s been days i’ll be laying over a pillow weeping. Or days when i’m really enjoying a more physical practice. That’s the beauty of it.
My yoga practice is really about my relationship to myself and how i show up in the world. It is a time of day i cherish, as i get a chance to really create my day, going into it the way i choose. That’s not to say yoga fixes anything. But making that time helps me create space around everything else, whether it’s simply listening to what i need during the day, or creating something that’s meaningful or going out into the world and meeting others. Anyway. That said, If i’ve been teaching the night before, i tend to have a shorter “physical” yoga practice and focus more on restorative stuff - meditation, laying on the floor with my legs up on the bed/a chair or a wall . It all depends and i try to stay responsive to what i need.
On a normal day at home, i’ll usually spend the first part of my practice simply tuning into my body and observing my mind. I might use some incense and make a small puja with things that feel meaningful in that moment. I tend to practice with a notebook so that if i get that annoying yoga teacher brain of starting to plan sequences during my practice, i can jot down any idea or alternatively, any to do that floats in my face. If it’s a busy mind day, i’ll probably take something more physical and vice versa with body. I like to do yoga classes online or if i’m feeling some kind of way, simply start with one posture and see where things go. I like to mix it up with yoga and various kinds of movement, and lately i´ve really loved doing short and strong core work in the mornings as i feel really integrated afterwards. I also like to do a bit of work with tennis balls under my feet which helps me feel more rooted. In the summer, the heat can often take energy up in our heads and literally make us hot headed- so sending energy in the opposite direction feels really good.
Here’s some yoga videos i made for the morning if that floats your boat!
After practice and oil pulling, i’ll move onto a cleansing ritual - warm water with juice from half a lemon. I was doing this version for about a year, but recently in the summer i’ve added a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (also a great hair treatment!) and half a teaspoon of honey. Not only does it taste good (i know it seems weird!) but it really puts hairs on my chest.
Shower + Skincare
Then, i jump in the shower. Probably via a bathroom disco.
I’ve been using a charcoal konjac sponge on my face for about a year now - mostly on its own but sometimes alongside my cleanser. I really recommend it! Not sure how it works but i find it helps my skin feel freshly exfoliated but in a gentle way. If i´m using a cleanser (which isn’t every day) it’s a calendula one as it feels gentle and not drying.
Just everyday soap and water for my body unless i’m doing the coffee coconut exfoliation or if i’m feeling super luxe having a rhassoul clay moment (which i use on my hair + my face and my body). Soapwise, i recommend the Organic Surge range - citrus for morning fresh vibes.
I have sensitive skin and have never liked heaps of complicated products on it. I tend to splash with cold water on my face, tone with diluted apple cider vinegar, rinse again with water then add a simple moisturiser. On my body, I use the divine Urban Veda moisturiser in the summer as it’s light. In the winter i defo lean to cocoa and shea butter but it´s a little too dense for warm days. If i feel in the mood for an oil, almond is my fave in the summer. I will mix it with the essential oils that i’m feeling most that day. In the summertime i like to include rose, fennel and grapefruit! If i'm feeling proper luxurious, i'll mix that with my Le Labo oil.
I tend to keep it super simple in summertime, a bit of coconut oil on my fingertips as i finger detangle and that’s it.
I love breakfast. Ketil has mastered making our fave smoothie mix. Here´s the recipe.
It tends to be more of a smoothie-bowl-in-a-glass as we top it with homemade granola (here’s the recipe for that too), chia seeds and hemp seeds. Diviiiine! I´ll have two servings of it and usually do something to fill up my inspiration hole, whether it´s watching an inspiring video for my monthly faves (here’s last month’s!) or reading.
Vitamins and minerals
As the kettle boils to prepare my tea, i take my vitamins and minerals which mostly consist of a thyroid support complex, krill oil and liquid multivitamin (floradix). If i´m achy from physical stuff i might take magnesium oil as it´s too warm these days for an epsom salt bath, alas!
Tea + morning pages!
I drink around a cup and a half of green tea in the morning. Any more and i get the jitters. My current fave is Moonlight Jasmine. Once with tea, i'll write my morning pages, and once purged, open Asana - my favourite project management app. I´ll glance over things so that i can start my "thinking" phase.
Oral hygiene is a big one for me, and i tend to spend stolen moments of the day flossing with my interdental. I´ll spend a fair amount of time brushing too, so i like to watch the cats in the garden and think about the day.
Ketil and i like to take card readings at the start of the day, so we have a couple of packs we might pick from- Goddesses and Guides. Sometimes i use them with my crystals depending on my mood. I tend to ask a general question - what i need to be aware of that day. Or if there´s something i’m stuck on, i´ll ask for clarity. I love to do this as it helps me to reconnect with my subconscious and be more mindful as i move into my day. I also love a ritual.
Bujos, emails and sitting down to work.
I like to have my essential oils at hand during the day as they really help me to shift my state. I´m particularly enjoying the Neal’s Yard Focus blend at the moment for days at the desk! Music is a big part of my day too and if i´m not already listening to something by this point, i´ll put the radio on and head to my desk (which is in the front room), check on Winfrey and Walcott (the plants) and probably move piles of notebooks and class plans and reference books and crystals and stationary out of the way. I am not a minimalist.
I´ve been keeping a bullet journal (bujo) for almost a year now which has also been amazing at helping me prioritise the things i´m doing in the day, week, month and quarter. It´s wonderful. Let me know if you want me to do a video on it sometime.
I tend to first check my bujo for the “big projects” of the week, and cross reference that with my asana.
Only after looking at my priorities will i check mail, and i'll keep it limited answering what i can, and logging what will take more time to respond.
At this point Ketil and i will usually have a short meeting to talk through our priorities separately and together and get stuck in.
And that´s it! Into work.
What self care routines and rituals help you to stay on your best form?
Let me know!
Love, dionne x