Let’s face it, we live in a stressful world. Sometimes the negativity of the world around us, pressure from work, and daily home life can leave us feeling drained.
It’s so easy to forget oneself. Sometimes we need to recharge and regroup. We expend so much of our energy outside, that we forget to prioritise ourselves. It’s important to remember to bring it back to YOU. Show yourself the same love and kindness that you extend to others.
Here a few self care tips to add to your nighttime routine that will help you sleep better, reduce stress, and have more productive days.
Relaxing Nighttime Routine
1. Turn Off Your Devices
Turn off your devices at night, put them on nighttime mode, or remove them completely from your bedroom. Studies have shown that blue light emitted from your devices can cause sleep deprivation. Blue light reduces the natural production of melatonin in the evening, and also decreases feelings of sleepiness. Blue light also reduces the amount of time you spend in slow- wave and REM ( rapid eye movement) sleep. Theses two stages of the sleep cycle are beneficial for cognitive functions. Blue light has also been shown to cause retina damage.
It’s best to decrease the use of all electronic devices at least 2 hours before bedtime. And if possible, limit the number of hours spent in front of electronic devices during daytime hours as well. The use of electronic devices for long periods during daytime hours can negatively impact sleep.
2. Keep Bedroom Lights Dim
Dimming the lights in the bedroom can help you sleep better. Studies show that light intensity effects melatonin production. Normal indoor light levels can inhibit melatonin production, and interfere with your sleep-wake schedule. Dimmer lighting has less of an effect on melatonin production.
3. Take A Shower Or Bath
Taking a hot shower or bath right before bedtime will help you unwind. This will help to wash any tensions from the day, and soothe sore muscles. Bathing is a great way to help you relax. Add in a shower gel or bath salts infused essential oils to intensify the feeling. Essential oils like lavender are an excellent choice for promoting relaxation.
4. Pamper Yourself
It’s always good to pamper yourself. A dose of self love never hurt anybody. Use the evening hours just before bedtime to shower your skin with affection. Develop an evening skincare routine filled with masks, serums, and creams. Take time to relax and enjoy yourself. You deserve it!
5. Yoga And Breath Work
Nighttime yoga can help those of us struggling with stress and anxiety. You don’t have to be a some sort of guru to learn how to stretch. Yoga relaxes the body, helps with anxiety, and removes stagnant energy/ blockages.
Try to hold each pose for a minimum of 30 seconds to receive the maximum benefits. As you become more comfortable with your nighttime routine, try to hold each pose for a maximum of 2 minutes.
Breath work is the ultimate mood enhancer. Incorporating breath work into your yoga routine will increase your sense of relaxation. Deep breathing soothes the nervous system and enhances your state of serenity.
Crystals are high vibrational tools given to us by Mother Nature. Introducing crystals into your environment can change the energy of your surroundings, alter sleep habits, help with stress/ anxiety or any other emotional trauma.
Placing a crystal on your nightstand or underneath your pillow is the simplest way to use them in the bedroom. Crystals such as Celestine, Amethyst, and Moonstone are very good for promoting peaceful sleep when placed on the nightstand.
If you’re already familiar with crystals and use them regularly, try placing them on your chakras while doing some deep breathing for 20 minutes before bedtime. This will help you sleep peacefully, as well as remove any energetic blockages within the body.
7. Prayer And Affirmations
Tap into the divine power by using prayer and affirmations. Speak positive, loving words over your life and believe that the universe will deliver these things to you. By letting go of control and having faith in a higher power, you release all fears and doubts. Have a good night’s rest knowing that you are safe and all is well.
Reaching Higher Heights: How To Raise Your Vibration
Sometimes in life, we feel stuck. This stagnant energy can make us feel lethargic, depressed, negative and even unmotivated. It can be hard navigating your way to a more peaceful and positive existence. For some of us, it’s hard to figure things out. But with the cultivation of certain practices on a daily basis, you can raise your vibration.
The key is to consciously change your habits. You have the power to change any and every condition in your life. It simply starts with a thought. Slowly but surely, everything else will take root. Once you’ve changed your mindset and lifestyle, you’ll soon see a shift in your energy. You’ll also attract more positive situations and outcomes in your life. When you vibrate at a higher frequency, you start to feel happier, lighter, and more at ease.
There are so many ways to raise your vibration. For some of us, it will take a culmination of different techniques before we start to vibrate higher. For others, it might simply be changing one thing that creates a breakthrough. Just remember that raising your vibration is a journey, and not a goal to attain.
So, how do you raise your vibration? Here are a few simple techniques that will get you on the road to a happier, positive and more fulfilling life.
12 Ways To Raise Your Vibration
Gratitude is one of the best and fastest ways to raise your vibration. The attitude of gratitude is a magnet of attraction. Gratitude draws in positive forces, which help to change your mindset and attract goodness to you. When you in a state of gratitude, negativity and fear cease to exist. With just a simple shift, you can change a negative situation into a positive one. It all starts with one word, “thank you”.
Meditation can work wonders. The regular practice of meditation can help ease anxiety and stress, calm the mind, help you think clearly, and give deeper insight into your emotions. Releasing negative thoughts and emotions will help considerably to raise your vibration.
The regular practice of yoga can transform your life. Yoga has many benefits, especially for the body and mind. Yoga removes stagnant energy trapped within the body. The constant flow of energy and removal of blockages, causes you to vibrate on a higher frequency and also helps to enhance your mood.
Deep breathing calms your nervous system, enhances your mood, and gives you the feeling of serenity which benefit your state of being. Breath-work in conjunction with meditation and/or yoga will quickly elevate your vibration.
5. Raw Foods
You are what you eat. Everything we consume contains prana (life force energy). Raw whole foods that are nutrient-dense and rich in prana will make you feel light, more energetic, and alive. Eating high vibration foods will make you vibrate on a higher level. Eating a lot of dead energy foods such as meat, fried or processed foods will lower your vibration.
6. Crystal Healing
Crystals are nature’s gift to man. They have been used for thousands of years to help raise vibrations and boost positive energy. Keeping a crystal in your immediate surroundings or on your body, will help you tap into earth’s healing powers. Crystals also help to align your chakras, and can be used during meditation.
7. Spend Time In Nature
Reconnecting with Mother Nature is an excellent way to raise your vibration. Not only does it give you the opportunity to exercise, but you also get a dose of vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D boosts the production of serotonin and melatonin, which can help improve your mood. Take time to feel the wind’s gentle breeze, the grass under your feet, and the sun’s rays against your skin. This will immediately help to shift your mood, and give you a much needed break from technology and electronic devices.
8. Keep The Body Active
Move! No matter what activity you decide on, it’s important to keep moving. Going for a walk, running, working out, and dancing are all great ways to keep the body active. Exercising releases a chemical in the body, known as endorphins. Endorphins reduce stress, help relieve pain, and trigger a euphoric feeling in the body. During exercise the body also releases other feel-good chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and endocannabinnoids. All of these chemicals contribute in raising your vibration.
9. Listen To Healing Frequencies
Sound Frequency can be used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, and various disorders of the nervous system. Using sound frequency as a therapeutic cure promotes healing of the mind and body. It can also remove energetic blockages and assist in emotional release.
10. Live In The Moment
Living in the present is a powerful way to raise your vibration. By flowing with the energy of life and living in the now, you release all anxiety and fear. Trusting in a higher power forces you to release control. When you train yourself to live in the present, you resonate harmoniously with life.
11. Think Positive Thoughts
The mind is a great magnet of attraction. Like attracts like, and whatever you think will come to fruition. Be mindful of your thoughts. The quality of our thoughts govern how we feel, and the conditions we manifest in our lives. If you are negative, pessimistic, or anxious, your life will reflect that. Negative energy can leave you feeling drained and overwhelmed. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones, regardless of what your situation looks like outwardly. It only takes a few seconds for a thought to attract another one like it, and activate the Law of Attraction. You are the master of your soul, and the captain of your fate. Only you can set the conditions for a happier, more fulfilling life.
12. Choose Quality Relationships
Surround yourself with positive, supportive and uplifting people. Negative people can drain your energy and drag you down. Sometimes these people are in our family, and are often hard to avoid. Choose who you spend your time with wisely, and don’t allow just anyone to have access to you. It’s important to protect your peace and personal space. Spending time with people who vibrate on a higher frequency, will only lift your vibration.
Detox Your Life
Yoga For Anti-Aging
Research has shown that the regular practice of yoga and meditation, along with a healthy lifestyle, and clean diet can significantly increase our longevity. According to a study by the American Board of Anti-aging Medicine, "Regular deep meditation dramatically affects production of three important hormones related to increased longevity, stress, and enhanced well-being: cortisol, DHEA, and melatonin."
Yoga and Meditation increases Anti-Aging Hormones
As we age, our DHEA levels decrease. DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is produced in the adrenal glands, the brain, and gonads. DHEA helps to produce other hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. It is also popularly known as as an "anti-aging hormone". Many people take this as a supplement, though there isn't enough research to support the benefits when taken in supplement form. But when we practice yoga and meditation, our bodies naturally produce this hormone.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone responsible for regulating the metabolism; immune response, and the way the body responds to stress. It's important to keep your cortisol levels in check. Studies show that yoga and meditation are linked to lower cortisol levels.
Melatonin is an essential hormone that aids in improving sleep quality. Yoga and meditation help the body to produce melatonin. When our melatonin levels are increased, it improves our general well-being and promotes peaceful sleep.
Other Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Menopause: Menopause can cause hot flashes and temperature fluctuations in the body. Yoga practice can help decrease hot flashes associated with hormonal changes.
Tones Muscles/ Retention in Muscle Mass: As we get older, with time we lose muscle mass. Practicing yoga on a consistent basis can encourage the body to retain muscle mass. Yoga is excellent at helping keep muscles toned.
Stiffness/ Muscle tightening: With the passage of time lose flexibility in our muscles and connective tissue due to collagen loss. This can manifest itself as stiffness and imbalance in the body. practicing yoga can help reverse some of those symptoms. Gentle, regular stretching helps keep the body fluid and flexible. If you are not yet in the forty plus category, yoga can help greatly if you are experiencing stiffness of any kind.
For more about the benefits of yoga and the 7 best poses for women, read Yoga For Healing
2020 ushered in new era of hyper awareness. People become acutely aware what was going on around them, which had profound effects on their mental health. The year couldn't have been more of a disaster! The pandemic, black lives matter, wars, civil unrest, human rights violations, and the effects of global warming (just to name a few). Somehow we all silently knew that nothing would ever be the same. But with all this unrest and instability, came new coping mechanisms.
Very early in the pandemic, #selfcare started trending. People became more transparent about how they were feeling. Many of us were struggling and looking for a way out. Personally I was struggling to cope. I felt trapped in my apartment far away from the people I cared about. I was worried about my future, my loved ones, and the state of the world. Three lockdowns didn't help either. I was like a caged animal searching for a way out. And as the days passed, it became harder to exercise patience. My life was at a standstill, and I could feel the weight bearing down on shoulders.
Before the pandemic started, I was always on the go. Work, work, work. I didn't know when to rest. I just kept going and going until I was burnt out. Once I was out of commission, then and only then would I stop to take care of myself.
Now there was this new thing called self-care. I had to learn in a new way. I started to put myself first. Slowly I began to realize that I would never be as happy and successful as I wanted to be unless I began to practice self-care. But what did self-care look like?
Self-care can be defined as taking the necessary steps to provide oneself with psychological and well being. That may look different for everyone, and manifest itself in different ways. According to the World Health Organization, self-care is defined as "a broad concept which also encompasses hygiene (general and personal); nutrition (type and quality of food eaten); lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc.); environmental factors (living conditions, social habits); socioeconomic factors (income level, cultural beliefs etc.); and self-medication."
What does self-care mean to you? And how have you implemented the practice of self care in your daily life?
How to practice self-care
Sleep: I know it may seem silly, but sleep is often overlooked when it comes to self-care. Getting adequate rest is essential. Our bodies need to time to recuperate from the daily aggressors and mental stress. Sleep deprivation is associated with a number of health problems, and can also age us significantly.
Nutrition: What we put into our bodies is as equally important when it comes to self-care. The body needs to be replenished with the necessary vitamins and minerals in order to function properly. Being consciously mindful of what we put into our bodies is what keeps us healthy and strong.
Meditation & Yoga: The practice of mindful activities are beneficial for our overall wellbeing. Meditation is effective at dealing with various conditions like stress, anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, and hypertension. Implementing practices such as yoga and meditation can really ground you, give you a sense of peace and help you along on your self-care journey.
Exercise: Exercising improves your health and increases your sense of well-being. It is a wonderful way to boost your mood. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for making you feel good by creating a euphoric feeling.
Journaling: Journaling is an excellent self-care technique. It can help clarify your thoughts and feelings. Journaling is a great way to reduce stress, get to know yourself better, and increase feelings of happiness.
Beauty Rituals: Having beauty rituals are important. Taking time to pamper yourself can do wonders. Whether it's putting on your favorite face mask, going for a massage or treating yourself to a spa day; taking time to beautify yourself can do wonders for your mood and well-being.
Connecting with Nature: Spending time outdoors and a connecting with nature is an excellent way to connect with oneself. Just taking a walk in the woods, along the beach, or can river can have a relaxing effect on the body and reduce stress levels. If you live in the city, then visiting a local park is helpful. Take time to breathe, smell the fresh air, and observe all the wonders of your environment.
Creating Boundaries: Having boundaries is essential for self-care. Sometimes we have toxic people in our lives, but we don't know how to let go. Letting go of toxic people and situations can be psychologically liberating. When we release things, people, and situations that no longer serve us; we open up the door for something greater to come in.
There are many other ways to practice self-care. Implementing the correct self-care practices ultimately depends on what feels right to you, and what fits into your lifestyle. Creating healthy habits that foster our emotional and psychological wellbeing gives us a sense of serenity, and helps us to evolve. Supporting ourselves by creating an environment of self-love is the key to healing our inner self. Self-care is not selfish but an act of self-love.