beautygrind

These Morning Hacks Will Help You Start Your Day

In lifestyle, productivity on February 22, 2021 at 8:56 am

For some people, getting up early and starting the day (or week) is easy and the fresh start is something to look forward to.  For others, getting up early and starting the day is traumatizing.  There many factors that can cause one to feel that way such as not being a morning person, always feeling tired or just not looking forward to the events of the day.  Whatever the case, staying in bed seems like a better idea.

For most adults however, staying in bed all day is not an option.  So what is the fix? Planning ahead and establishing a routine, especially if you have to get up before the crack of dawn, can make your process more tolerable and your day run more smoothly.  So the next time you have to get up super early, consider the following:

Set your alarm to your favorite song.  If a traditional blaring alarm is too aggressive and anxiety inducing first thing in the morning, try music. Choose a song that will hype you up and make you want to dance first thing in the morning.  And when that song no longer gets you excited, switch to another song.

Give yourself some time.  Make sure you give yourself a few minutes before jumping out of bed so you will have time to time to do things like meditate, pray or review your schedule.  Nothing is worse than waiting until the last minute to wake up then making a scatterbrained leap out of bed.  Not the best way to start your day.

Turn on all of the lights.  This has helped me tremendously when I have to get up before sunrise (especially in the winter).  Consider getting a timer to turn on the lights a few minutes before you have to get up so you don’t have to walk through a dark house to turn on lights.

Eat a delicious breakfast.  Take the time to have a wholesome breakfast before heading out.  Doing so helps you ease into your day, puts you in a good mood, helps your concentration and improves your memory.

Drink ice cold water.  Doing this will help you wake up instantly.

Buy some new underwear.  I can’t tell you how many times I have gone shopping for new underwear and couldn’t wait to wake up the next morning to shower and put them on.  What is it about new underwear that makes one feel powerful and ready to take on the world?

Get a morning exercise routine.  It might be stretching, yoga, or a HIIT workout which can take place in a physical gym or in your living room.  Wherever you choose to workout and whatever workout you choose to do, take a few minutes to do something to get your blood flowing, burn some calories and energize yourself.

Prep meals and outfits ahead of time.   Eliminate the morning frenzy around food and clothing by preparing ahead of time.  It might be the day before or a plan for the week but whatever the case do it ahead of time so you can focus your energy on other important things during your morning.

Be realistic about your time.  Nothing is worse than rushing to get things done.  Do you find that you are late often or that you are making it to your destination by the skin of your teeth?  Oftentimes we underestimate the amount of time it takes to get ready in the morning or for any event so make sure you are giving yourself enough time to get everything done.  For instance, just walking to the car, getting in, putting on your seat belt, turning on the car and rushing to get gas take up time that counts so plan accordingly.

Don’t get caught up.  In your cell phone or laptop that is.  Email and social media can rob you of precious time.  If you aren’t in an industry like customer support where you have to answer email right away, set up a time where you will check all of that stuff or at least wait until you are done with your morning routine to check in.

What are your best morning hacks to keep you on track for a productive day?

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

6 Unproductive Habits To Break Right Now

In lifestyle, productivity on February 19, 2021 at 8:30 am

We all want to experience productivity and growth in various areas of our lives. But sometimes there are things that we do (or don’t do) that blocks us from experiencing the growth that we desire. You can read about all of the productivity hacks you want but if you are unaware or unwilling to make some behavior adjustments, you won’t be able to enjoy the advancement you desire. Continue reading to see if you are unknowingly doing some of the growth saboteurs below.

Overspending.

We’ve all been there. You promise yourself that you are going to save more money – that you are going to stop spending so much money on whatever it is you like to spend on. Yet you find yourself yet again scrolling through your favorite shopping sites only to find yourself making yet another purchase. You justify your purchase because there was a 40% off sale. So of course you needed to make a move. But think of it this way – that 40% off of $600 is $240 off. Cool – because it’s nice to get good deal. Now consider looking at the same purchase this way: you still spent $360 that could have helped you with your savings goal. Consider creating a saving/spending plan and creating a wish list for items you want. If it’s not on the list, reconsider the purchase – at least until you reach your goal.

Staying In Situations That No Longer Serve You.

This might be you and you don’t even realize it. When you do come to the realization that you are going no where fast, it can sometimes be hard to break free. If you have invested a lot of time and energy into something that you aren’t even growing from, you may even feel guilty for wanting something different. Whether it’s a job or relationship (romantic or otherwise) it is important to periodically re-evaluate where you stand. Take inventory of your skill set and career goals. Do they line up with your current work situation. In relationships, do you feel valued and affirmed? In either case, if things are not lining up, you may need to consider moving on.

Not Getting Enough Rest.

Living in what can be considered a hustle culture, it can be hard to slow down. As an adult there is so much that needs to be done in a short amount of time. Going to sleep can seem like the lazy way out. An escapist route. This can sometimes be the case but regardless it is very important to prioritize rest. Getting enough rest can actually make you more productive, energetic and alert. When that’s the case, you can continue doing all of the things you need to get done. Heck, take an intentional day of doing nothing. Schedule it. It works wonders for the psyche.

Not Saying No.

Do you find yourself saying yes to things you aren’t remotely interested in just to be nice. Do you struggle with saying no to things that you know will waste your time or that don’t line up with your core values? Stop. Now. You don’t owe anyone anything. Saying no is liberating and doing so gets easier the more you do it.

Not Writing Things Down.

Although we live in an electronic driven world and continue to move to a paperless society, there is still value in writing things down. Writing down something you need to remember creates a connection to the very thing you need to do. It also captures your attention in the moment and it can help to clear your mind. You also process things better when you write them down.

Waiting On Others.

How often do you wait on other people to do something like go to a museum or take on a new activity? And how often do you not do something you want to do because you circle of friends is unavailable or not interested. While it’s fun to do things in a group setting, waiting for others to be on the same page as you for anything can rob you of the experiences and growth you deserve to partake in.

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8 Self Care Practices To Incorporate Into Your Life Now

In Health, lifestyle on February 17, 2021 at 8:30 am
Image Courtesy of Madison Inouye via Pexels

The term self care and all that is associated with it may be a trendy buzzword for some but it is becoming a necessary way of life for others. Many people are beginning to see the importance of intentionally slowing down, re-evaluating their lives, and taking inventory of their mental health and well-being and doing something about it.

When you hear the term self care, what comes to mind? Getting your hair and nails done?  Going to your favorite restaurant? Retail therapy?  There isn’t a right or wrong answer per se as self care can mean different things to different people. Activities such as the one’s previously mentioned can be considered self-care because they encourage one to take time for themselves and can even add some much needed fun to one’s day. However, these activities may only address the physical or surface needs and desires of an individual and not deal with the deeper emotional needs and concerns that one may have. A broader definition or vision of self care can also mean getting therapy, meditating, spending time with friends or reading a good book

What Exactly Is Self Care?

First, we should re-frame our mind around self care, what it is and who it is for.  Self care is for everyone and there are many ways to do it.  Because it can still be considered trendy, it’s easy for it’s importance to get lost in the sea of swoon-worthy Instagram posts of beautifully arranged bath photos (nothing wrong with Instagram and beautiful bath photos).  With that said, think of self care as something you do frequently and intentionally to positively impact your mental, emotional and physical being.  It’s about creating health and wellness habits that will sustain you in the long run.  It’s not a once in a while occurrence – it’s about tiny habits that you create that lead to living a better life, thus empowering and energizing you.

But I Don’t Have Time.

This is a common statement I hear from many people – women in particular.  Women have been conditioned from an early age that putting themselves first is selfish.  It is your job to take care of everyone else because that is what a “good” woman does but this is not entirely true. Whatever the case, it is important to make time specifically for yourself and not put it on the back burner until you have some sort of crisis such as a health scare or mental breakdown because you have been running on all cylinders.  You know when you get on a plane and before takeoff they tell you to that in the event of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first before you help those around you with their oxygen masks?  It’s the same thing in your daily life – take care of yourself first and you will be able to take better care of everyone and everything else in your life.

Benefits Of Self Care.

There are many benefits of getting into the habit of taking care of yourself such as the following:

  • Focus.  You will be more focused and in tune to your needs when you take regular time for yourself.  You will also be better able to reflect on things that need to get done in your personal, professional and family life.
  • Better Self-Worth.  Having a healthy relationship with yourself will boost your confidence and self esteem.  You will be able to address those areas in your life that are not at your personal standard so you can make improvements.  You will also be empowered to set boundaries with yourself and others.
  • Stress Reduction.  Being able to step away to reduce stress and anxiety is a great way to lower your risk for things like heart disease and snapping on family, friends, co-workers.
  • Productivity. Self care can help you set better priorities for yourself so you know what’s important such as doctor appointments, visiting loved ones and even writing that book or taking that class you’ve always wanted to take.

Activities that you can include in your self care practice:

The Art of Saying No.  Saying no can be the most loving thing that you can do for yourself.  When you know your limitations, whether it be emotional, professional, relational or financial, saying no can prevent things from interfering with your well-being.  It may be a hard no which is final (like “no and don’t ask me that again”) or it can be a soft no, (like “not right now” or “I want to be sure that I am able to give you my undivided attention, how is Tuesday evening”)  Only you will know what kind of “no” to give.

Stop Apologizing.  Somewhat related to saying “no”, don’t feel you need to apologize for the decisions you make regarding the need to take care of yourself or anything else in your life.

Be Gentle With Yourself.  Sometimes the thing we say to and about ourselves is not very kind.  Would you speak to others the way you speak to yourself?  Probably not.  Treat yourself like your own best friend.  When you make mistakes or miss the mark, don’t berate yourself.  By making time for yourself, you can examine those areas of yourself and your life that need improvement so you will have a sense of accomplishment and feel good about yourself.

Watch Your Mouth.  Even more important, what are you thinking?  Because what you think shapes what you say.  Your words have creative power and become your reality.  You tend to nurture your reality with words and behaviors and that is what grows in your life – whatever it is.  So speak only the things you want to be true over your life.

Become Still/Incorporate Quiet Time.  Even when you are busy, you need to have quiet time.  As a matter of fact, that is when it is most important.  You might be having the craziest work day ever or you may have to care for rambunctious children and you probably only have 5 minutes to yourself.  Use them to get quiet and re-center yourself.  Quiet time is also the perfect time to pray and meditate.

Plan Time Away.  Be intentional about taking time off for vacation.  Nothing re-energizes you more than getting away from your regular grind and surroundings.  If you dont have the resources of time or money to go far away, do something local like getting a nice hotel room in the city for the weekend and act like a tourist.  Something else you can do is switch up your daily routine. This might mean taking a different route to work or taking the morning off. Doing so keeps your brain healthy by strengthening your neural pathways and this will also help you discover new things.

Set Boundaries/Expectations.  Make it a common practice to let people know what you need and expect from them so that you never feel like you are being taken advantage of.  For example, if you don’t want people calling or texting you after a certain time, let them know instead of being mad about it.  If you don’t want someone borrowing your favorite scarf – ever, say so.  If it angers you when people don’t show up on time, say so.  Furthermore, don’t worry about managing their emotions around said boundaries and expectations.

Be Mindful Of Who You Spend Time With. The truth of the matter is that some people are energy vampires and can be quite negative.  If you feel depleted instead of empowered when in the company of certain people, it may be time to re-evaluate the company you keep.

Whatever practices you choose to incorporate into your life, be intentional and consistent.  These are practices that may take time to develop and you may have to rearrange some things in your current daily practices for these things to become more permanent in your life.

What self care practice resonated with you?  Do you have some self care practices that not mentioned above that you utilize on a regular basis?  Please share your thoughts below.

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.