Morning Self-Care Routine

It’s important to start the morning off the right way. How your morning goes will frame your whole day, making it essential to start the morning with positive thoughts and healthy food that will provide you enough energy to get through the day. Now we may not have all the time in the world in the morning, but there are a few steps you can add to your morning routine to make your mornings a little bit brighter. For some inspiration, here is a brief summary of my morning self-care routine.

Step 1. Cleanse

Now I begin my morning the same way most people do. I brush my teeth and wash my face. My skin care routine is relatively simple consisting of cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and an eye cream. I begin by cleansing with a Dove Beauty Bar. I prefer this over any face wash because this beauty bar is much gentler on the skin and is great for people with acne (like myself). In face, my dermatologist recommended this to me years ago and I have been using it ever since.

After cleansing, I then spritz my face with my Grace Antioxidant Toner. I just added this step to my routine about a year ago because I thought it was time to add some antioxidants to my routine. Although I am only 20, it is never too early to begin the anti-aging process. I also really love this spray because it doubles as a setting spray. I then apply my CeraVe Face Moisturizer with SPF 30 which is another product I have been using for many years now. It is a great, affordable moisturizer that can be bought at any drugstore that contains SPF. Since it is summer, I recommend applying a sunscreen on top if you plan to be outdoors all day, as although this contains SPF, it is important to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays during this time of the year.

Finally, I finish my skin-care routine with an eye cream. This always changes for me, as I have not yet found the perfect eye cream. Currently, I am using the RoC Retinol Correction Eye Cream. Retinol is supposed to be great for lighting dark spots. Although I have not noticed any visible changes yet using this eye cream, I do like the way it feels. It’s very light and sits under my makeup very well. Along with this, a little dot goes a long way making the price completely reasonable.

Step 2. Meditate

If possible, try to wake up 10 minutes earlier to get in a quick meditation session. Lay down a few pillows, sit up straight, and play some calming music. Pick out an affirmation for the day and repeat it in your mind while also focusing on your breath. If you really can’t squeeze in a time to meditate in the morning, try to find some time in your day that you are able to meditate. All it takes is 10-15 minutes of your day.

Step 3. Write in a Gratitude Journal

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Make a gratitude journal if you haven’t already. Every morning, take a few minutes to write down 3-5 things you’re grateful for. It could even be something as simple as being grateful for sunscreen. Practicing gratitude will help you to be more positive even in times of distress. It will help you recall that even in the darkest of times, there is always something to be thankful for.

Step 4. Make Breakfast

They aren’t lying when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even if you’re not hungry in the morning, or if you don’t have time to cook a large, extravagant meal, eat something small that contains antioxidants. Some of my favorite quick and easy breakfasts include drizzling a bit of honey on some fruit, or eating a fruit and yogurt parfait. My go-to breakfast when I’m on the go is a peanut butter and banana smoothie with almond milk and a tiny bit of vanilla protein powder. This quick and easy breakfast is enough to keep me satisfied for a few hours, and provides me with enough energy to get through the work day.

Step 5. Eat breakfast and Read the News

Sit down and enjoy your breakfast while catching up with what’s going on in the world. Usually, I’ll either skim headlines to see what interests me, or I’ll check out what’s in my inbox using theSkimm. TheSkimm send you everything you need to know about what’s going on in the world in one short post. After catching up with news updates, I’ll see if any of my favorite bloggers have released any new content using Bloglovin’. Follow me on Bloglovin’ here!

Step 6. Get dressed and Go to Work

After my routine is over, it’s time to head into the day. I do my makeup and put on my clothes, and enter the workday with a positive headspace.

I hope you found some inspiration in this post on how to switch up your morning routine to bring in a bit more self-care to create a healthier lifestyle, both mentally and physically. Getting out of bed is tough in the morning, but try to wake up a little bit earlier to add at least one of these steps in if you haven’t already. Good luck!

18 Ways to Instantly Feel a Bit Happier

Unfortunately, not every day consists of cute puppies and fun adventures. The bad days are a part of life, and sadly are unavoidable. Sometimes when we are in a funk, we worry that we’ll feel this way forever, and that things will never get better. The good news is it will, even if you don’t believe so. Nothing lasts forever. As the bad days pass, know the good days are on its way. You can help the good days come even sooner by changing our attitude. Think more positively and engage in actions that will make you feel better. While these activities can’t fix all of your problems, I have created a list of 18 ways to instantly feel a bit happier. Just a little bit of positive energy can have a marvelous impact on your mood and your day.

1. Get a quick workout in. Getting your blood flowing will instantly relieve a little bit of stress, and keep you distracted from your troubles! You can engage in any form of physical activity that you please. Go for a run if you’re feeling angry, or do some yoga if you want to reduce anxiety. The possibilities are endless.

2. Take a warm shower/bath. Relax during a soothing, warm shower or bat that’ll help loosen your muscles and relieve tightness. Give yourself a mini massage while you cleanse to ease any tension you are feeling.

3. Listen to your favorite song. Try to pick a song that is more upbeat or that conveys a positive message. Regardless, choose a song you love and sing it out loud. Write out the lyrics in your favorite notebook, and blast the music through your headphones.

4. Spend time outdoors. Appreciate how beautiful nature is. Lay in the grass and make shapes of the clouds, or watch the stars at night. Walk across the beach and sink your toes in the sand. Go for a hike. Stop and smell the flowers. Nature is so incredible and beautiful. Take a moment to be grateful for your surroundings.

5. Watch a funny video/movie. Distract yourself by making yourself laugh! Whether you want to watch your favorite comedy or binge-watch Shane Dawson videos, take some time to laugh off your troubles. This won’t solve everything, but you’ll at least feel a bit better.

6. Write in a diary. There are many different approaches you can take here. You can release all of your inner thoughts onto the page which will help relieve anxiety by finally coming to terms with all of your emotions. Write as a diary entry, or make a list of everything that’s stressing you out. When you’re finished, read it over, and then burn it. You can also instead, choose to write about the positive. Instead of writing about all of your worries, you can instead write down things you’re grateful for. This will help you reflect positive energy, which will help you feel even happier. See what works best for you.

7. Call someone you love. It can be anyone that makes you feel good. Call your mom, best friend, significant other, grandparent, or whoever. Ask them questions about their life. Reminisce old memories. Vent if you need to, but really try to focus on the good and not the bad.

8. Roam around a bookstore. Getting lost in a good book is always a great distraction. Go to a bookstore and look around to see what you might be interested in next. It’s good to spend some time out of your house, so take your time browsing around. You never know what you might find, or who you might meet!

9. Pamper yourself Give yourself a nice DIY facial, (p.s. you can find a great, simple recipe here) and light a few candles. Paint your nails and take some time out to make yourself feel good and fresh. You deserve it.

10. Doodle Doodling can be a great distraction. Engaging in a bit of creativity can help you feel more relaxed. Next time you’re stressed, grab a pad of paper and draw out your emotions. Have fun with it.

11. Bake cookies. It’s okay to indulge every once in awhile. Bake yourself your favorite treat and take a bit of time out to treat yourself.

12. Clean your room. Cleaning may not be the most exciting task, but it can be a great way to clear your head. Along with this, getting rid of clutter will help you become more organized and will relieve stress.

13. Accept the things you can’t change. This might be easier said than done. Take some time to reflect on what’s bothering you. Sit with your feelings and accept them. Can you change these problems? If not, then accept it. What’s done is done. If you can, do it. Make a plan for yourself. Take action.

14. Fill in a coloring book. Adult coloring books are very popular now due to its ability to de-stress. This will help get creativity flowing and will cause you to focus closely on your coloring, which will reduce anxiety and stress.

15. Meditate. Meditation serves many benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety. Like coloring, focusing on your breathing will help clear your head and bring relaxation. Even just meditating for 10 minutes a day can serve long-term benefits.

16. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself. You can do this to yourself while meditating, and throughout the day when you’re feeling down. Radiating positive energy will draw in positive thoughts.

17. Craft. Crafting can be a lot of fun and can be a great distraction. Focusing on skills such as painting or scrapbooking can be a great way to express your feelings while allowing yourself to get creative.

18. Get offline. No matter what it is that is bothering you and no matter what emotions you are feeling, it is good to get offline every once in awhile. Log out of Instagram and Twitter, and take some time out to do things you like to do. It can be crafting or baking, or whatever hobbies you enjoy, but don’t get distracted by what’s going on online. Social media can be dangerous. It could make you feel insecure, upset, jealous, and overall can ruin your mood in the blink of an eye. Avoid social media every once in awhile, especially when you aren’t in the best of moods.

Remember to stay active and to avoid dwelling. Know that whatever it is you are going through is only temporary. If you believe everything will be okay, it will be. Take steps to increase euphoria. Only you can decide how you feel, so choose happiness.

Green Tea Facial (Using Just 3 Ingredients!)

When you’re feeling stressed or worn down, it is a good idea to take out some time to care for yourself. One of the ways I like to do this is by giving myself a soothing, DIY facial. There is just something about a sweet smelling facial and soft skin that instantly boosts my mood and makes me calmer. Over the years, I’ve experimented with different face masks to see what works best with my acne prone skin. After doing a lot of research, I decided to start DIY’ing my own face masks with ingredients that moisturize and brighten my skin, but that still fight against acne. I have found that green tea, my favorite drink, is even more beneficial than I had thought. You might be aware of the health benefits that come with drinking green tea, but what you might not know is that a green tea face mask can prevent acne and lighten dark spots. Although we are all born with different skin types, I wanted to share what my steps are to my favorite green tea facial.

Ingredients:
Sugar
Green Tea
Honey

Step 1: Remove Makeup

Before applying anything to your face, it is essential to remove all traces of makeup to prevent clogging your pores. I recommend using a little bit of coconut oil to remove all makeup and dirt, but feel free to use whichever product you think works best for you.

Step 2: Apply Warm Compress to Face

Next, lay a warm wash cloth over your face. The warmth will open up your pores. You could also purchase a face steamer, which is especially effective in opening up clogged pores.

Step 3: Make and Apply Mask

The most exciting step: making the mask. You can make this mask in under 5 minutes after acquiring the ingredients listed. Begin by adding 3 teaspoons of sugar into a bowl. Next, add 2 tablespoons of honey. Finally, add two tablespoons of green tea. Mix the ingredients together and chill for 10 minutes. Then, apply to face using brush or fingers. Keep on the mask for about 10-15 minutes before washing off gently.

Step 4: Moisturize

The last and final step is to apply your favorite moisturizer to keep your skin soft and glowing!

Benefits

Sugar- Sugar is a great way to exfoliate your skin- however, it is important to not scrub too hard, or use to often, as this can cause irritation. Using a sugar scrub a few times a week will remove dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

Green tea- There are many benefits that come along with green tea, whether consuming it, or using it as a face/hair mask. Green tea can brighten your skin, making it especially effective for treating dark spots or puffiness. Green tea is a great way to reduce scarring, and to prevent acne.

Honey- Honey is antibacterial, making it a perfect ingredient to hydrate the skin while still fighting against acne. Honey is full of antioxidants and will help prevent aging. Not to mention, honey is very moisturizing and will help brighten your complexion.

Overall, this is a great face mask that you can make in the comfort of your own home with everyday ingredients. Next time you’re brewing yourself a cup of tea with honey/sugar, try giving yourself a nice facial as well.

8 Ways You Probably Didn’t Know Yoga Can Benefit You!

Yoga provides even more benefits than you think.  Not only is yoga a challenging workout that will help with your flexibility and strength, but yoga is an exercise like no other. Yoga can have an incredible influence on both your physical and mental health, providing spiritual benefits you may not be able to achieve from other workouts. Yes, yoga is a wonderful exercise for toning your body and improving your balance, but here are eight other benefits you can achieve by engaging in yoga.

1. Help Your Heart

Yoga is good for the heart and can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. The combination of physical exercise with meditation can help ease stress and lower blood pressure. Along with this, yoga is full of modifications and can be as challenging as you choose it to be, making it an ideal form of exercise for those with cardiovascular conditions.

2. Sleep Soundly at Night

If you’re battling insomnia at night, take a moment to do a few gentle yoga stretches. This will settle your mind, and make it easier to fall asleep. Adding a yoga practice to your daily routine can have incredible long-term effects on your sleeping behaviors, and can help you sleep more soundly through the night.

3. Cure Your Hangover

Yes, yoga can help fight even the most wicked hangover. Those mornings after a night of drinking when you just can’t get yourself out of bed, try doing a few yoga poses. Yoga helps with your metabolism, which will help you get rid of your hangover a little bit faster.

4. Helps to Conceive

Yoga is a great way to increase chances of conception. If you are stressed out about infertility, take a yoga class to calm your mind and increase blood flow. Just by doing this, you are already making yourself more likely to conceive.

5. Relieve Back Pain

Yoga is an amazing way to stretch out your muscles and increase flexibility. If you suffer from chronic back pain, yoga is one of the best activities you can do for it. Engaging in a daily yoga practice can stretch out the tightness and relieve pain.

6. Fight Your Food Cravings

Your food cravings likely come from boredom or over thinking. Yoga can stop both of these by getting you active and cleansing your mind. Next time you’re craving a sugary sweet you know you shouldn’t have, drink a glass of water and engage yourself in a mindful yoga practice.

7. Boost Your Confidence

Not only will yoga improve your posture, helping you appear more confident, but yoga will actually help you feel more confident. Getting involved in a frequent yoga practice will teach you self-love and self-acceptance through your mindful meditation.

8. Be happier!

If you are unsure if you should start practicing yoga or not, just know that one of yoga’s best benefits is its feel good effects. Yoga can aid your fight against depression or anxiety by stimulating serotonin in your brain that will automatically make you feel happier! Along with this, yoga is a great way to relieve stress and to practice mindfulness, which will overall help you develop a more positive mindset.

Although yoga may not be the answer to all of your life problems, it can certainly help and bring you numerous benefits. Take the time out of your day, whether it be 10 minutes or an hour, to engage in a daily yoga practice. Ease your mind and improve your health just by practicing a few sun salutations and focusing on your breath. Next time your hesitant to go to your yoga class, keep in mind all of these benefits.