Slay Your Day with Strategy and Self-Care
Psst! This is a guest post from the lovely Julia Portela! Let’s dive in!
Humans, by nature, are creatures of habit. We thrive off of the predictability and stability that we get from a habit or a ritual. Really settle into that thought.
When I did, I decided to completely upscale my morning routine. I wanted to create something for myself that had intention, focus and purpose. It always feels so right when we sink into our morning with good vibes!
I know what you’re thinking…”Julia, how can I start my day and set myself up for success?”. Well, with a little self-love and clearly defined habits, of course. I promise, it will fuel your day with magical goodness. Plus, it will set your mind and body up for a great day.
So here you have it, my super-self-care charged morning ritual that sets me up for success!
The number one rule in self-care (as declared by moi) is loving yourself the way you would expect a partner to love you. For me, physical touch is super important.
I am a huge promoter of the body, mind and soul connection. Physical touch connects you back to yourself on all the levels, body (obviously), mind and soul! Plus, starting with some body touchin’ helps actually wake you up by getting you warm and circulating your blood!
Now, affirmations are little “mental notes”, as I like to call them. They are positive phrases, usually that we use to change a negative thought pattern or maintain a really good one.
They work really well any time, but I find them to be most effective in the morning. Why? Because affirmations target the subconscious mind, which is still pretty active when we wake up.
The affirmations I am using right now in my morning affirmation touches are:
I am organized
I am a powerful manifestor
I make myself a top priority
I honor my word to myself
I surrender and trust in The Universe
You could use affirmations that fit your situation more clearly, or you can piggyback off mine! Here’s what you do to combine the practice:
Keeping your eyes closed, begin to let your hands wander your body. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
As you begin to wake, just slightly, begin to repeat your affirmations. Repeat each one for as many repetitions as you feel is necessary. Your intuition will let you know. If you need the consistency of a number, say it 15 times before moving on to the next one.
Breathe deeply and continue to repeat the affirmations while waking your body up!
Personally, I start where I feel achy, which for me is usually my back or my neck. I start to work out the kinks with all of the affirmations. Then, I will move to other parts of my body. I usually focus on my arms, stomach and hips - places that I draw power from throughout the day.
It doesn’t really matter where you touch or how you do it. Some days I am super gentle, almost tickling myself. Other days I give myself a full body massage. There is no right or wrong way.
The important thing is that you are connecting to an intimate energy that we typically deny ourselves. The physical touch aspect of this triggers the subconscious mind and makes it MORE active, which means the affirmations are more potent!
I am a big fan of a five minute meditation. I wake up with a lot of energy so I like to jump into my day. Or, if I am tired, a meditative state will sink me right back into sleep mode, which means I’ll be late for work! Despite all this, I know meditation is pivotal to keep the mind right, so I do start my day off with a quick one!
I prefer a grounding meditation because I find it really empowers me and keeps me level headed throughout the day. Here’s what I do:
Get onto the floor, or if it is nice out go stand on the grass for a moment.
Rub your hands together vigorously. Stop when you generate some heat, or whenever you intuitively feel inclined to.
Close your eyes and inhale deeply. Bring your hands over your chest / heart center
If you are standing, imagine roots coming from your feet and plummeting into Mother Earth. If you are sitting, imagine the roots coming from your sit bone.
Breath deeply for as long as you need to, feeling your energy shift from your mind to your body and feeling yourself come into center or balance.
When you are ready open your eyes and carry on with your day!
If you have a busy mind, like I do, I promise these 5 minutes will be your best friend! I understand, you want to do all the things. But you can’t do that if all the ideas, thoughts, goals, to-dos and everything else are swimming around in your head. Take this time to center yourself. It’s important so you can move on to the next step, which is possibly my favorite!
Set Your Goals
I am a goal-setting JUNKIE! I love to get myself in a zone and totally blow things out of the water! I write down two different kinds of goals, long term and short term. It helps set my day up for success and totally helps me mentally project myself into the future. That way, I can see big picture items and break them down into daily tasks.
I write my long term goals in my gratitude journal. For example, I write “ I have a best selling book” on my list every single day. That’s my biggest wish, hope and desire. Alright, being fair, maybe it won’t be a best-seller, but it has no shot to be if it never gets written. So, knowing that that is one of my long term goals means that I know I can add writing prompts to my daily tasks.
My long term goals are less about the goal and more about who I want to be. Write out 5 big, scary goals for yourself that you’d like to achieve in your lifetime. You don’t need to know HOW it’s going to happen, just that you really, really want it to! Then, get ready to tackle your daily goals!
I set my daily goals in my planner. Yes, I use a planner. You don’t have to use a planner, but you should put your goals down on pen to paper.
I read in Denise Duffield Thomas’s book (Get Rich Lucky Bitch) that the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire was that the billionaire wrote down their goals every single day. Pen to paper.
Y’all. The difference between a millionaire and a billionaire. This isn’t some low level stuff!
If you can incorporate this one practice into your life, I promise you will have life changing results. Those who set goals are more likely to accomplish them and those who put them on paper are likely to have more success. Simple as that.
Make your daily goals by breaking down your big goals. Consider how your big goal looks if you broke it down into chunks. Then from your chunks (which are just your stepping stones) consider how to make them tangible tasks. If your goal is to start your own business, what is your tangible task? That’s what needs to be on your daily goal list! And then… well…. Do it!
Get Your Greens In
Some of you will blow right past this section because it triggers you a little. I know this because I’ve been there. I thought green juice was something yoga studios made up to make you feel bad about yourself so you’ll take their classes. Turns out, that’s a pretty cynical point of view and there are proven benefits on getting in your greens! I don’t need to tell you this because deep down you KNOW it’s right.
So how do you get those greens in? Girl, I got you. Juicing or smoothy-ing (i’m pretty sure that’s made up, but you know innovation is key). Personally, I grew up around the block from a local juice bar and I became addicted...so I bought my own juicer. I highly recommend this if you really, really want to jump start your day with mental clarity.
If you need some recipe ideas, check out Kris Carr - she is the juicing queen! She has a TON of recipes on her site, so try a few and see which one tickles your taste buds.
If juicing isn’t for you then whip out your blender and make yourself a nice smoothie. Get your greens in there. More greens than fruit, by the way!
I typically reach for my juicer faster than my blender but if I do make a smoothie, I check out Be Well By Kelly. She’s a nutritionist who talks about what you need in your smoothies. Play around with her fab 4 smoothie and see if you can get it just the way you like it.
Listen, it’s not something that I look forward to, either. I make my celery juice each and every morning. Without fail, each and every morning, I look at that juice with complete disdain. Most days, I think of a list of a million things I’d rather do than drink the dang juice. But every day I knock it back like a shot of tequila (a nice, 16 oz shot of tequila).
About an hour later, I thank myself as I get a complete head rush with incredible mental clarity. I promise you will too. And so will your skin, your digestive tract and your liver!
Envision Your Day
Life is mind over matter, period. If you spend five minutes a day envisioning how the events of the day will pan out, then you will promote a more successful result.
Often times, we stress about a meeting or a call or a client. When we do this (hey, I’m guilty too!) we are projecting mental vibes into the future to manifest that feeling or worry.
Instead, if you take a few minutes to be really intentional and map out your day, especially on anticipated bad days, you have a better chance of reducing stress and anxiety.
Of course, life happens. There are things that come up that are out of our control. When that happens, allow yourself to feel your feelings. Then find time, in your own way, that works for you to recenter yourself and put your day back on track.
Personally, I excuse myself and go to the bathroom. I’ll sit, pause, take a few deep breaths and then I will envision the worst case scenario. Sometimes you really do just need to acknowledge that and let yourself see that the worst case isn’t SO bad.
Then, I breathe in again and envision the best case scenario. This helps me recenter and get my mind right before I have walk back into my day.
I also carry around a small vision board with me. It has all my goals, power words and dreams right there in a hand-sized laminated delight.
I created a template for you to use and print out that has questions on there to help you create your own vision board.
Feel free to email me or find me on instagram to show me your finished results! I love to see and support fellow soul sisters who are out there getting their minds and bodies right!
The important thing is making this envisionment a daily practice. When you constantly focus on the BEST outcome and project that out there, it makes it so much easier to deal with bad days.
You’re training your mind to expect best case scenario and in those moments when life serves you lemons, you’re teaching yourself how to make lemonade!
I have to admit, I love a good book but it’s hard for me to find the time in the morning to read anything. So every morning as I shower and go through my routine, I listen to a podcast. Podcasts are life and if you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet then you really need to.
I got into podcasts when I worked for Disney. I used to ride the train back and forth from my town to Orlando, which meant about 17 hours of train time. I used to listen to Disney podcasts all the time, everything from TV shows to movie reviews to behind-the-scenes looks. It used to really get me in the zone to work when I was heading down or would keep my Disney hangover at bay when I was coming home.
When I started my business, I got into podcasts even more. Everything you want to know about life, business, parenting… literally anything … is out there, right now, in a podcast. Best of all, it’s out there for you to consume FREE of charge!
So, I like to start my day with a little podcast inspiration. If you wake up worried about money, clients, kids,relationships or life in general… podcasts got ya covered!
Start your day off being inspired and use this to maintain the mindset you’ve cultivated throughout the rest of this practice. Here are my favorite podcasts right now:
Rise Podcast by Rachel Hollis
Rise Together by Rachel Hollis and Dave Hollis
GO! Podcast by Susan Hyatt
Inner Boss Podcast by Jen Casey
School of Greatness Podcast by Lewis Howes
Beyond the To-Do List podcast by Daniel J. Lewis
These are all great podcasts to help you start your day on the right foot. I usually rotate based on my mood and what I am currently doing some inner work on. These are my constants, though! My gospel! I listen religiously and it always starts the day off on a high note!
How to Implement
If you currently have no morning routine, girl, you need to get on it! The practice COMPLETELY changed my life. It’s less about what you do and more about actually making a commitment to yourself.
Getting up earlier than you need to in order to get your mind and body right is an important part of self-care. It sets a boundary within yourself and gives you an unbelievable power. If life serves you a bad season, this practice gives you the opportunity to get your mind back on track right away.
When you can get yourself into a great headspace, you can do ANYTHING. And that, my queens, is how you slay your day!