After years, literally years, of waking up to severe cystic acne and trying everything to heal it, I'll never forget the day I woke up, looked in the mirror and thought woah, how did THAT happen? Moments later, it occurred to me that the only thing I had changed, the only thing that could explain my clear skin (my clearest skin ever) was the morning ritual I had started just weeks earlier. But could it be?
It could. Turns out, our skin and our spirits are inextricably linked by what I call The Skin-Spirit Connection. Little did I know that my chronic skin issues were only a symptom of a spirit that needed attention, healing and self-care. This is why, despite diet changes, prescription medications, supplements and everything else, my acne didn't go away. This is why, at the peak of my chronic anxiety, my acne was the worst it had ever been. And this is why, when I made the commitment to heal my spirit and set time aside daily for self-care, I woke up to my clearest skin ever.
This is the morning ritual that saved my skin and helped heal my cystic acne.
Make the bed
Every morning starts with rising up out of my blankets and pretty much immediately making the bed. Pulling up the sheets, smoothing out the cover, fluffing the pillows, making sure everything's even.
This mindful moment right after you wake can make all the difference! So much so that scientists have studied the effects of making one's bed every morning and what they found was those who make their bed daily:
- Stress less
- Sleep better
- Feel more motivated & productive throughout the day
5 Mins. Gentle Yoga & Stretching
You don't have to run a marathon right when you wake up, and let's be honest - most of us don't have time for a major workout in the morning. But getting tuned into your body and showing it some love when you wake up comes with major benefits. Whether it's five minutes of gentle stretching or 20 minutes of yoga (whatever you have time for or feel good about), that little bit of bodily self-care can make such a difference! Well worth it and a vital piece of my magical morning ritual.
I love this short, 5-minute gentle yoga sequence, no experience required.
5-10 Mins. Guided Meditation
Meditation is a key part of my morning ritual. Don't skip it. I'll be honest - meditation doesn't come naturally to me and sometimes, it's downright uncomfortable. But the rewards it's given me personally are undeniable and in fact, proven by science.
Meditation has been shown to:
- Reduce stress
- Reduce anxiety, anger & intensity of mood swings
- Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
- Boost immune system
- Slow down aging
- Reduce symptoms of PMS
One thing to remember about meditation is that it's not about turning your brain or thoughts off. For me, meditation is about tuning into my breath, my body, and becoming The Witness of my thoughts.
If you prefer a guided meditation, I really enjoy this one.
10 Mins. Journalling
There's no right or wrong way to journal. Just let it out - whatever 'it' is. Maybe it's writing a gratitude list (be specific), writing out the dreams you had the night prior, or writing whatever's on your heart. Journalling is one of the most healing tools in my toolbox - highly recommend.
It's exactly what you think it is and yes, it may feel a little goofy or awkward at first! But affirmations - or positive 'I' statements said aloud to yourself & declared to the world - are a way of directly counteracting any negative self-talk in your head. I love starting out the morning with these affirmations:
We all know what prayer is, but you may not know that you don't have to be religious to pray. Prayer is a way of communicating with God or the Universe - whatever your higher power may be - and it's a tool I use daily. Multiple times daily! There is no right or wrong way to pray because the relationship you have with your higher power is totally unique. As an example, my prayers tend to consist of thank you's and asking for help staying in God's will, not my own.
Sacred Skincare Ritual
No morning ritual is complete with a sacred skincare ritual. I love using a few minutes in the morning to activate all five senses and pamper myself with beautiful skin treats. Morning skincare is meant to be light, nourishing and sun-friendly - it doesn't have to be complicated.
Cleanse: The Giver Ritual Cleanser is an oil cleanser, so I love the ritual of massaging the oils into my skin for ~30 seconds in the morning - the gourmand coffee scent is perfectly invigorating as well!
Mist: The Offering Ageless Ritual Facial Mist gives just the right amount of hydration & has a beautiful grounding scent that I love to start my day with.
Moisturize: Balancing Act - it's lightweight and mimics the effects of a silicone primer, leaving skin beautifully smooth and matte.
SPF: a MUST!
So to recap, that's:
- Make the bed
- 5 minutes gentle yoga or stretching
- 5-10 minutes of meditation
- 10 minutes journalling
- Skincare Ritual
All in all, this morning ritual takes about 30 minutes and sets you up for better days and your best skin ever. You can customize it however you like, but whatever you do, commit to it for at least 30 days. Consistency is key! This morning ritual literally changed my life.
Have a morning ritual you love? Let me know in the comments below.