Doing a cleanse is far more then just changing the foods that you're eating or cutting out coffee and alcohol. When you choose to cleanse you are choosing to take time out of your busy schedule to honour rest and rejuvenation. It is essential to do less, work less, talk less and unplug to gain the full benefits of restoring the mind and body throughout your cleansing process.
Why? Well, we're all on over drive and most of us are so stressed out that we don't even realize the impact that a non-stop action packed life is having on our nervous system, organs and mind. Partly because it is considered normal to live like this. It may be normal but it sure isn't natural. Cleansing allows you to press the reset button and provides insight into living and feeling differently.
So, here are some of my daily self care tips for you to use not only throughout your cleanse but even beyond!
Your day begins the night before
You know how crummy you feel after a bad night's sleep, right? How you're feeling today is influenced tremendously by what time you went to bed last night and how well you slept. Getting to bed by 10pm will allow your body to restore and heal very important organs like the liver and spleen. Plan ahead and get a good night's sleep to ensure that you're fully rested and make the most out of your day tomorrow.
Set an intention
Living intentionally is a sure-fire way that you're launching yourself along the trajectory that you want to be on, not ending up somewhere you really didn't want to be. Everyday set an intention for yourself first thing in the morning. State it. Declare it. Be clear and confident with it. Keep reminding yourself of your intention throughout the day. Your intention can be whatever feels appropriate for you that day or something you would like to cultivate more of in your life. If you can't think of anything, start with (and say it with feeling), Today is a great day!
Scrape your tongue immediately upon waking
Before you drink anything in the morning, get up and scrape your tongue (either buy a tongue scraper or use the back of a metal spoon for now). Take the tongue scraper from the back of your tongue to the tip and gently pull off any goopy gunk (known as ama in Ayurveda, which are toxins). Do this a few times. Notice the thickness, colour and consistency of the ama. It will change everyday depending on the state of your health!
Daily self massage
In Ayurveda we call this abhyanga and it is the application and massage of oil into the body. This is wonderful to calm and relax the nervous system, boost immunity and strengthen the body.
Choosing your organic oils–if you tend to feel cold, anxious and overwhelmed easily choose sesame (cold processed, unrefined) oil. If you tend to feel hot, irritable and anger easily, choose coconut oil and if you tend to be on the heavier, lethargic side choose sunflower oil. Warm the oil up a little bit (baby bottle style works well) and then apply the oil from the extremities towards the heart. Work long strokes on the limbs and circular strokes on the joints. You can even apply oil to the soles of your feet and crown of your head. Wait at least 10 minutes before rinsing off in a warm shower or bath (don't use soap as it disturbs the ph balance of the skin). You'll be amazed at how much oil gets absorbed into your skin as your pores open up in the shower to drink up the oil!
Avoid doing your oil massage on your menstrual cycle.
It is essential to have some quiet time to yourself everyday. You may choose to do your own yoga practice, meditate, journal or walk in nature. It doesn't matter what you decide to do but be consistent with your daily you time so that you can pause, reflect and stay connected to yourself and what matters most to you in your life.