Sometimes, taking care of ourselves – whether physically, mentally, or emotionally – can feel like another thing on our to-do lists. And between work, friends, partners, and kids, it can be easy to let the little things that help us feel our best slip to the bottom.
And yes: our bodies are amazing at healing and renewing all on their own – but sometimes, they need a little extra support.
Of course, an hour-long yoga class or massage can do wonders for our overall health, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time (or cash) to fit them in. Many of the practices below trace their roots back to Ayurvedic tradition (oil pulling, tongue scraping, connecting with nature, and utilizing gentle detoxifying herbs to name a few) and are gentle ways to support your body’s effort. Whether your goal is increased energy, detoxification, or an emotional boost, these little daily practices are easy to incorporate, and most don’t cost a thing.
Scroll on for 13 restorative wellness practices you can do to kickstart your morning or sprinkle in throughout your day for an anytime pick-me-up.
feature image: claire huntsberger
Drink a Glass of Warm Lemon Water First Thing
Starting your day with enough fluids is in general a great ideal for your hydration and digestion. Adding lemon to your water gives an extra boost by offering vitamin C and potassium, as well as kick-starting your body’s digestion and detoxing power.
Say a Mantra
It doesn’t have to be anything long or dramatic. You can do it at the beginning of your day or any time you need to reset. Simply take a minute to pause, and repeat silently or out loud an intention. I love the idea of having a declaration you speak over yourself or your day every morning, but you can also shift it depending on what you need in the moment. I like to close my eyes, put my hand on my chest, and literally ask myself, “what am I needing at this moment?” Sometimes it’s as simple as saying, “I am enough” or “I am loved.” It’s simple wellness practices like this that make the biggest difference. Try it and see for yourself.
Simple, yet so effective in boosting your energy! Whether it’s simply changing into some cute leggings and a tee, or full-on zipping on some jeans, changing out of what you slept in is a powerful aid in maintaining your sense of productivity.
Start Your Diffuser
Add some water and a few drops of your favorite essential oils and you are good to go. Soothing essential oils such as lavender or cedarwood are wonderful for calming frayed nerves, and upbeat, citrusy essential oils are wonderful mood boosters. For more ideas on blends and oils to try as part of your wellness practices, check out this post.
Spend Some Time Grounding
It doesn’t take much! Start small with just a few minutes a day, and enjoy a little boost of vitamin D while you’re at it. When grounding, the influx of negative electrons from the earth has been shown to calm the nervous system leading to a reduction in pain, boosted immunity, and lowered inflammation. Some of my favorite ways to incorporate grounding throughout my day is to skip the shoes when I check the mail, water my outdoor plants, and have lunch outside on the grass (barefooted of course.)
Take Your Supplements
Anyone else has a cabinet full of vitamins that are oh-so-easy to ignore? Consider this your reminder to actually take them. It just takes a minute! While you at it, go ahead and set a daily calendar reminder on your phone to help give you the extra prompting you need.
Managing stress is essential to lowering inflammation, promoting balance, and preventing the buildup of unwanted toxins in the body. Believe it or not, simply doing some breathing exercises or meditation can be extremely effective in supporting your body’s ability to detox, and will leave you feeling calm and relaxed. Breathing deeply (into your belly) regulates blood pressure and your heartbeat.
Make a cup of herbal tea
There’s nothing more comforting than a cozy drink. Boil some water and brew yourself a cup of tea packed with herbal benefits. Dandelion and milk thistle are some of my favorites for detoxing, as they’re rich in fiber and vitamins that have been scientifically proven to support your liver and gut. Or try peppermint if you’re feeling fatigued, ginger if your stomach feels restless, and chamomile if you’re feeling wound up before bed.
Get Your Sweat On
Whether it’s a short jog (just to the end of the block will do!), a visit to a steam room or sauna, or a quick sit in the sunshine, sweating is an amazing way to cleanse your body and boost your lymphatic system. Since you get the most benefits from consistent sweating, short and sweet does the trick!
Brush, Floss, and Tongue Scrape
The tongue is a huge part of our oral health and is often forgotten! I started tongue scraping a couple of years ago after reading this article and have noticed a huge difference in how fresh my mouth feels. It’s easy, inexpensive, and a quick habit that removes the buildup of bacteria on the tongue.
If you haven’t tried oil pulling, now’s the time. It promotes microbial diversity in the mouth while decreasing inflammation, especially if you use coconut oil! And while the originally suggested 20-30 minutes a day can feel overwhelming, dentists are saying a quick 1-3 minutes in the morning is really all you need. Just remember to spit the oil into the trash, not the sink, as it can clog pipes as it re-hardens.
Pull Out the Dry Brush
Dry brushing is one of those things that may seem like just another thing to add to your routine, but once you start incorporating it’s actually so easy and quick! It’s an amazing way to move toxins through your body by stimulating your lymphatic system, thus easing your body’s efforts to reduce inflammation. It really only takes a couple of minutes to brush my bod before jumping in the shower, and when I am consistent, I also notice smoother, more even skin, and overall better energy.
Sounds silly, but pull out that trampoline! (I just ordered a mini one on Amazon). Rebounding boosts lymphatic drainage and immune function, supports a healthy skeletal system and increases bone mass, helps improve digestion, boosts energy by circulating oxygen throughout the body, and improves balance and the effects of another exercise, as well as muscle tone. Some sources even say that the unique motion of rebounding can also help support the thyroid and worn adrenals.
What wellness practices are you incorporating into your routine this year?
This post was originally published on August 31, 2020, and has since been updated.