So I’ve been looking for a way to describe this season I’m in (and I’ll definitely talk more about it in a couple weeks), but it’s kinda like Eudora Got Her Groove Back! It’s like I’ve got this crazy positivity all of a sudden – and it might be because I just came out of a ten-day Daniel fast last week (talk about spiritual and physical detox!) or because of that Sephora sale this past weekend, but whatever light was off somewhere suddenly switched on, and I’m loving it!
So I thought I’d share the good vibes and the top things I do/have done when I’m mentally, physically, and/or spiritually worn out or congested that help me live a healthier and happier life in all those regards.
1. Let go of weights and sin.
I wrote about (here) how what goes on in our spirit is directly correlated with what goes on in our soul and body. Every time my body/emotions feel out of whack, it’s usually a clear sign that something isn’t right spiritually. So I turn off the TV shows. I retreat from people. I silence the world. And I spend a lot of time in God and His Word trying to figure out, where is the disconnect? What lie am I believing? What area am I doubting? What sin am I committing? What is the promise I’m not claiming or the fear I’m allowing to consume me – and what does God have to say about it? What does He have for me to do in this season that I’m missing? Once I get a hold of that spiritual aspect, suddenly everything else falls into place.
People do not realize just how spiritual being physically healthy is. The Bible tells us to love God with all our passion (heart), prayer (soul), intelligence (mind) and energy (strength). The Proverbs 31 woman ‘dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong’. Even Paul cites the importance of physical training in his letter to Timothy. We are to honor God with our bodies. Even beyond the spiritual aspect, there is something physically energizing about exercise. Like, you’d think that after running 3 miles at 6 in the morning I’d be physically exhausted but I’m so pumped for the day when I get in my AM workouts! It’s not even about weight loss or anything. I am really just happier and healthier when I exercise.
3. Eat Well!
There is a HUGE difference between how I feel physically and my emotional state when I eat healthy and when I don’t. If you follow me on snapchat (@astoldbyleo) you will know that I cook everything from Kale to cupcakes, so it isn’t that I’m only ever eating green stuff. When you cook at home, you know exactly what you’re putting in your food, and it’s extremely therapeutic as well! A couple days ago I made cranberry muffins – never cooked with a cranberry in my life – but they were awesome and I was able to make a lot of healthy substitutions (lite sour cream instead of butter, oats instead of flour, honey instead of sugar). I have a life rule that I only ever eat out if I’m out with friends. Otherwise, everything I eat comes from my own kitchen. No ordering in! The only exception to those rules are cupcakes. I never say no to a cupcake.
And here’s an extra bonus tip: Chia seed pudding and water. Chiiiiiiiile. Your interiors will thank you.
Rest is Biblical. Jesus rested. Even God rested. and there is a difference between being lazy and resting. I am the person that can lie in bed all day doing nothing if you try me, and it’s a horrible habit. Rest is that thing you get to do after you’ve been productive. And at that point you really GET IT, because you’re not worried about the next thing you have to do. You don’t feel rushed. I’ve been practicing resting lately – doing everything I’m supposed to do when I’m supposed to do it so that I can actually rest and not worry about anything. And it is so much more refreshing when you do it right! Not every day turn up too! Sometimes just kick back with a glass of wine and watch a sunset. Paint. Write for the sake of it. Read a book. Just rest!
I have this disease that hasn’t been discovered yet called cyclical cleanliness. What happens is that my room is organized on Sunday, and by Friday it looks like it was attacked by chaolin monkeys. And the reason it’s so hard to clean during the week is both because I have so little time, and when I clean, I HAVE TO CLEAN. Like total run down, from makeup brushes to dusting – everything has to look like I just stepped into the set of a Good Housekeeping photoshoot – muffins fresh out of the oven and everything… and that takes time I just don’t have during the week. But I find that whenever everything around me is clean, I function better. I sleep better. My mind is clearer. Basically, my surroundings are a reflection of what’s going on in my mind, so clearing them up is the first step to getting my mind right! So I’m getting in the habit of cleaning as I go, so I don’t end up with a big mess to clear up come the weekend. Also, one thing that I love is scents in my room – and not the febreeze cheap ones. I recently got this cinnamon oil infused broom from TJs and my room, closet and bathroom just smell like heaven on earth! When things smell good, suddenly you want everything to look good. I’m hoping to get an oil diffuser soon (birthday is around the corner… *hint*…. but not you Anna/Menee – if one of y’all gets me an oil diffuser, we will fight lol)
6. Get dolled up!
I love to get dressed up. I really believe there is something spiritual about heels. I don’t usually wear them, but when I do, man I can just tell you all of hell is in trouble that day! I love to curl my hair and get my brows slayed (truth is I haven’t shaped my brows in MONTHS because I am trying to grow them out – NARS creamy concealer, Anastasia brow powder and MAC eyebrow pencil will save your life girl!) and just look good. It changes your attitude when you bother to dress up!
But beyond getting dressed up…
7. Take care of your body!
I am the QUEEN of going to bed with makeup on. My bed time is 10pm because I’m up at 4:30, so if I get home past ten, it’s a wrap! But I had this horrible breakout a few weeks ago (which turned out to be from this aloe vera product I was using – aloe is not my friend yall), and it just reminded me how important it is to take better care of my skiiiiin. And I have my go-to skin care products, but I just wanted to develop a new gentler and more natural night time routine so I started with olive oil as a makeup remover, black soap with my clarisonic, tea tree toner and some coconut oil alllllllllllllllll over to just show my body some extra TLC.
So get a mani pedi. Go treat yourself to a massage. There’s something about loving on your body that puts you in a happy place.