Self Care Morning Routine!

I’ve been trying to get into a solid morning routine where I can indulge in some self care and help me prepare for the day! Check out what I’ve been doing!

MINI WORKOUT

I found a quick, but effective workout on Pinterest called 6 Minute Before Shower Workout.

That workout consists of:

15 squats

15 pushups

30 second plank

15 bicycle crunch

As soon as I get out of bed, I start my workout. I started doing this on Monday and it’s been working out pretty well so far!

I’m not a fan of exercising so this routine is a good start for me to get back into the groove of exercising again!

As listed, this part of my routine takes about 6 minutes.

SUN SALUTATION

After I do my workout, I do a sun salutation sequence. I like doing this sequence because the poses flow so well one after the other.

For those that don’t know, sun salutation is a set of 12 yoga poses that helps with stretching, flexing, and toning the muscles. It also offers health benefits like relaxing the mind and help your body produce energy.

After doing this yoga sequence, I jump in the shower and I actually have a few personal motivational affirmations that I say everyday while taking a shower. It’s helps me get into a good mindset in order to be able to take on the day!

This takes me about 3 minutes to complete my yoga stretches.

MEDITATION

I then do a mini meditation session where I’ll listen to either a guided meditation or I listen to calming sounds on this app called Mindfulness. My favorite sounds to listen to are the beach sounds because that’s where I want to be everyday, all the time!

For my guided meditation, I listen to Michael Sealey on Youtube, he has a lot of options to choose from. Here is a link to one of the videos I like to listen to: Michael Sealey’s Guided Meditation

But I listen to the short 10-15 minute videos. It consists of soothing background music as he provides instructions on helping you to completely relax during the meditation session. His voice is so calming I can listen to him talk all day! Haha

I spend on average 10-15 minutes during my meditation sessions. If I have more time in the morning, then I’ll extend my session. If I wake up late or don’t have a lot of time in the morning, I listen to Mindfulness App for 5 minutes so I can still get in my meditation for the morning. Believe me, it makes a difference!

MUSIC IS LIFE!

After my mini meditation session, I start to get dressed and ready for work. As I’m doing that, I listen to my favorite upbeat songs on Pandora or my favorite tunes on Youtube to give me some energy before leaving my place.

It may sound like a lot of things that I do, but it really isn’t. And once you get a good flow going, it’ll be easier to do.

I’ve been noticing that I have more energy in the mornings because of my routine that I’ve come up with, so I’m happy to see the improvement!

I hope this gives you good some ideas on coming up with a morning routine for yourself!

Do you have a self care morning routine?! If so, what do you like to do to prepare for the day?!

Sources:

Destressmonday.org

Pinterest.com

Yogapedia.com

5 Common Winter Health Problems And Their Solutions! Part 4 – *Depression*

The winter blues can have a real effect on people and can cause some seasonal depression. In fact, the ‘winter blues’ are described as a milder version of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). To some extent, these mood changes can be attributed to the decreased sunlight and daylight hours. Even though it’s not talked about very much, depression is real so don’t be ashamed if you are experiencing this.

Solutions:

1. Take Up A New Hobby

Staying active can take your mind off of the wintery cold season! Doing things such as singing, knitting, joining a gym, cooking, reading, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on.

Cheap Hobbies For Restless Winter Months

Winter Activities To Stay Occupied During Winter

2. See Your Friends And Family

It’s been shown that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only stop by for a little while.

If you are not near your friends or family, try calling them at least once a week to help boost your happiness during the winter months!

Beating The Winter Blues

3. Make Your Environment Brighter

Opening blinds and curtains, trimming back tree branches, and sitting closer to windows can also help provide an extra dose of sunshine!

Make an effort to get natural sunlight during the day and limit your days spent entirely indoors. Also, be sure that you’re getting proper amount of sleep—about eight hours for most adults.

4. Turn On The Tunes

In a 2013 study, researchers showed that listening to upbeat or cheery music significantly improved participant’s mood in both the short and long term!

5. LAUGH!

Laughter can significantly reduce your stress levels. Laughing can also help reduce blood pressure, stimulate your mind, and boost your immune systems. I’m sure most of us have Netflix so scroll through and find a favorite comedian, get cozy with a nice blanket, pop some popcorn, pour a nice drink, and let the laughs flow! For those who don’t have Netflix, you can also Youtube a few comedy skits too!

Source: realsimple.com

Part 5 is right around the corner! Stay tuned!

Tender Lover

Tender lover, girl I’m so sorry

Well I never meant to hurt you

I never meant to break your heart.

Tender lover, so broken hearted

Well I never meant to break your

Break your little tender heart”

–Babyface – Tender Lover 

This is one of my favorite songs from Babyface! He is an R&B singer from the late 70s/early 80s! Great musician! Check out the song below! 

Babyface – Tender Lover 
Daily Prompt – Tender

Photo: Pexels.com

“Long Live The Chief!”

If you haven’t heard of him, I need to fill you in!

His name is Jidenna! 


He’s a Nigerian-American musician on Janelle Monae’s Wondaland label. He’s known for his hit song “Classic Man” and for his natty attire inspired by the Harlem Renaissance with hints of African design! 

I absolutely love his style! I’ve always been a fan of men’s fashion and in my opinion, he is the best dressed celebrity out there! 

He’s not ashamed to wear vibrant colors and tribal patterns! It meshes so well with his personality and his performances on stage (you can check out his performances by clicking the Jidenna Playlist below!)


I’m super excited because my husband and I are going to his concert on July 25! Woohoo I can’t wait!!!!!!

His music is the best out there right now because he talks about real things going in life but does it in a modernized way where the songs are super catchy and they end up stuck in your head all day! 

If you like to listen to great music that stands for something, then I highly recommend to check out his songs! Jidenna Playlist! 

Here are more of his stylish outfits! Jidenna’s Style!

Daily Prompt – Natty

Photos: gamingilluminaughty.comallthingsankara.comhollywoodreporter.com

Disclaimer: I do not own rights to any of these images on this blog post. All sources are listed above. 

What Makes You Feel ALIVE??!  (Personal Blog) 

I asked myself the other day, what really makes me happy? Then I thought I feel alive when I’m happy so what makes me feel ALIVE??!

MUSIC

This is a big one for me! My mother is a dancer and has even danced when she was pregnant with me! So she was constantly listening to songs while rehearsing choreography.


And all throughout my childhood, I grew up with my parents playing music around the house almost ALL the time!

And now I can’t go one day without listening to music!

I’ve been working on improving my coping methods when it comes to rough situations that I go through. And to get me out of a “funk” I’ll turn on my favorite tunes and dance around to uplift my mood and it actually works!

DANCE

My uncle has never called me by my real name, he always calls me “Boogie” because when I was younger, I was always dancing around! I guess I can blame that on mom because dancing is in my genes!

I took ballet, tap, and jazz classes growing up! I remember doing a tap routine to the song “Cruella Deville.” I had the whole outfit: the black and white wig, the red silk rob and black dress with stockings and my cute little tap shoes! I wish I had a picture so I can show you guys but it’s somewhere in my parents house miles away from where I am now! (If I end up finding the pic, then I’ll post it!)

I also was a praise dancer in my church that I attended growing up. My mother was the dance leader so she strives for excellence with the choreography and we were constantly rehearsing our dance routines!


*Above: My mom praise dancing! 

Nowadays, almost every time I hear a song that I really like, I’m choreographing a dance routine in my head! And at home, I’m performing that dance routine in front of the mirror! Haha! I don’t care how silly I look, it makes me happy!

FAMILY

Growing up, I moved around from being born in Manhattan, NY (Mount Sinai Hospital) and moving to Rota, Spain –> Virginia Beach, VA –> Chesapeake, VA –> Manama, Bahrain (Middle East) –> and back to Virgina Beach.

So I was never around my extended relatives for very long. We would visit them during the summers and holidays.

I have a little sister who is 8 years younger than I so we couldn’t have the same fun as I did with my cousins who were older or closer to my age.  I absolutely loved hanging out with my cousins! When we get together, we are so silly with each other and I can let loose and be my true self! They were pretty much like my siblings too!

During college, my dad was still in the military at the time. So him, my mom, and sister were living overseas in Naples, Italy for about 2 years. During my summer breaks, I would stay with my aunt and uncle (my relatives live about 2 hours from my campus). They were like my second parents and I was around my cousins all the time since I was staying with them. We did everything together.

We had our disagreements, laughed so hard until we cried, and got in trouble together! With all that, we had the opportunity to bond a lot more than when I was growing up!

Now that I’ve migrated 400 miles away to NYC, it’s very difficult to spend time with my family. Everybody has their own life so sometimes it’s challenging for us to visit each other. We try our best to see each other when we can!


FRIENDS

Being that I moved around a lot, my friend circle was forever changing which was a tough experience for me as a growing teenager. There a very few friends that have kept in contact with me all these years through all of these different places I’ve lived. But I’m so glad for them because I take my friendships seriously. I’m probably the most loyal friend you will ever meet!


I had a little crew while I was in college! There are 5 of us in our crew and through those 4 years, we all grew up as young women and our friendships grew stronger! We went through many crazy and non crazy situations together and we had the best of fun too! It sucks because I live in NYC, two live in Maryland, one in Philly, and one in the Cayman Islands. So we’re all spread out but every time we spend time together, I feel that much more alive!


Above: 5 girl college crew! (plus spouses and cousin) at our friend’s wedding last spring! L to R: Husband, Me-1, 2-Krys, 3-Rocki, 4-Maggie, Kim, 5-Yaya, and Nat.

FOOD

I had to include a little category for food because I absolutely LOVE eating! I mean who doesn’t?! HAHA! I enjoy eating foods from all types of cuisines! My favorite cuisines are Comfort/Soul, Italian, Indian, and Spanish food! Food is so complex that it has so many different flavors that combine into one! Food makes my soul smile and my stomach happy! =)

I hope you enjoyed hearing about the things that make me feel alive! 

What makes you feel ALIVE??! 

Bad Mood Turned Into Positive Vibes Only! 

I was sort of in a bad mood last night due to some personal battles I’ve been dealing with.

My low spirits followed me into the morning but I told myself I’m not going to let my bad mood disturb the rest of my day!

I decided to meditate on The Word and pray which helped.  

Also, my other “pick-me-up” is listening to my favorite upbeat songs which definitely improves my mood! I try to keep positive vibes and happy thoughts! 

Here are a few songs that make me happy!

Cheer Up Tunes! 

I’m also noticing that as I MAKE SURE to keep my spirits up, smile, and be happy, it’s actually motivating me to keep up my behavior because I feel like I’ve conquered over negativity! It’s a great feeling!

So If you’re going through a hard time, just stay positive and have faith that it’ll all work out in the end! 

Happy Wednesday! 

“I Just Want The Simple Things”

“She said I don’t want a model, I don’t want a movie star

You don’t have to win the lotto, I want you to win my heart

Yeah, she said I just want someone true

She said I want someone to,

smoke with me babe, and lay with me babe, and laugh with me babe

I just want the simple things…” Miguel – Simple Things

Daily Prompt – Minimal

Photo: Pexels.com

Music – My Center, Our Center

Music… the center of our world.

Tunes that bring us back to our center when we’re joyful.

Harmonies of musical notes that comfort us when we’re downhearted.

Various pitches capturing our center when we’re focused.

Music, one of the greatest formations… so complex, yet so simple. Brings us to center.

By: Brittany Santiago

Daily Prompt – Center

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