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As the colors of the leaves begin to fade, and the temps start to decline, it's more important than ever to establish a self-care routine. November and December tend to bring about fuller social calendars, busier work schedules, longer to-do lists and greater obligations, in general. Sometimes the stress of it all can make you feel like you're running on empty and before you know it you're feeling less joy and more overwhelm before you cross a single item off that to-do list. Before the craziness of the Holiday Season ensues, we're carving out space for self-care rituals and setting intentions to keep us feeling balanced ~ mentally, physically, and emotionally all season long.

The beauty of self-care is that it's unique to the individual. And it's important to remember that establishing consistency and routine is what's going to make all the difference. Bringing about inner peace and a happy heart, calm mind is going to look different for everyone. So find what works best for you! With that said, here are 5 easy self-care practices worth trying:

  1. Create a morning ritual

Now is the time to asses your morning routine ~ whether you're a morning person or not, your morning tends to set the tone for the rest of the day. Setting aside as little as 5 minutes for self-care first thing in the morning can foster a more peaceful, productive day. Whether it's slowing down to make yourself a nourishing morning elixir or smoothie, writing in your journal, or doing some light stretching and breath work - tending to yourself each day before you begin to scroll feeds or check emails is pivotal in maintaining balance.

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  1. Meditation

Meditation is a great tool in reducing stress, promoting emotional health and enhancing self-awareness. Countless studies show meditation can positively impact mental and physical health. Meditation improves our moods, sleeping habits and even our relationships — if you haven’t given it a try yet, you definitely should! We're big fans of the Headspace App - it's a great place to begin your meditation journey in as little as 3 minutes a day.

 

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  1. Eat (or drink) your greens

Eating a wide variety of dark leafy greens is one of the best wellness habits you can create for yourself. There is research to suggest that what we eat affects not only our physical health, but also our mental health and overall wellbeing. Bottom line, leafy dark green vegetables are packed with important and powerful nutrients that are critical for good health. Fortunately, many greens can be found year round and can easily be incorporated into your meals in surprising and diverse ways. Prioritizing meal prep and taking the time to fuel your body with nutrient dense meals is a wonderful act of self-love. Here’s a challenge: Makeover at least one of your daily meals this week, see how many "greens" you can add in. Start your day off with this super green smoothie bowl, or pack this hearty nutrient-dense kale salad for lunch.

 

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  1. Boost your probiotic intake

Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body's ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. Studies show that proper balance of gut bacteria is linked to increased physical and mental health. The gut is often referred to as the "second brain", and the roll it plays in your overall health should not be overlooked. Not to mention, a healthy gut promotes healthier skin. And who doesn't want a glowing complexion? A simple yet effective way to boost your probiotic intake and increase gut health is by eating more fermented foods. Think: kombucha, kimchi, kefir, apple cider vinegar, coconut yogurt, and miso. Next time you need an afternoon pick-me-up, try this apple cider vinegar cocktail:

 

8 oz. water

4 oz. pomegranate juice (substitute with any 100% pure juice)

2 tbs. Bragg's organic raw apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp. stevia

 

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  1. Reconnect with nature

Have you ever noticed how at peace you feel when you're in nature? Ayurveda teaches us that the five elements found in nature (fire, earth, water, air, and space) are the very same ones that make up our bodies. Its no wonder we tend to feel more grounded and balanced after spending time outdoors. Next time you're feeling overwhelmed — take a break and get outside!

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