Let's start the month by improving our mood, increasing our energy and resetting our mindsets. You can easily incorporate some energy-boosting rituals into your everyday routine to help you feel your best and add a happy boost to your step.
#1 Ice queen
While a cold shower might be the last thing on your mind in the middle of winter, it can offer some great benefits to your mind, body and soul. Trust me! Boosting your immune system by upping your white blood cell count, activating pain-relieving endorphins, and splashing your face in cold water helps calm the vagus nerve and lower anxiety. Turning your shower down for an icy blast can be a great way to get your going in the morning. Start with 20 seconds and see how energised you feel.
#2 A Game for One
Law of attraction coach Carolyne Bennett suggests playing a little game with yourself to get out of an energetic rut. Have a little fun and use your imagination to complete this sentence: 'Wouldn't it be nice if …' and see where it takes you. Your words have power and can make you feel a certain way. You are more likely to evoke negative feelings if you think negative thoughts. Rather than saying 'Wouldn't it be nice if … I stopped feeling tired all the time..' say, 'Wouldn't it be nice if … I felt energised and upbeat?' The game helps you attract more of what you want in life and has a fun element to it.
#3 Use your head
Shifting your energy and raising those good vibes can be as simple as using your hands. I recommend a simple head massage to relieve stress, tension, and fatigue and boost your energy. Massaging the head encourages oxygen to the brain, which is one of the best ways to lift your mood and leave you with a feeling of increased energy, concentration and revitalisation.
#4 Fake that smile
Don't feel like smiling today? That's ok. Try faking it instead. Putting a smile on your face can actually make you feel a tiny bit better, even if it's not genuine. Science has shown that the simple act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life. A smile starts a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing certain hormones, including dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness, and Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress.
I've been conducting my own little smile experiments. I tried smiling when I was driving around yesterday, again during a challenging workout and then today when I woke up with a headache. I found that it feels a little strange to smile when I'm tense or tired, and there's a peculiar sense of absurdity about it. But I have to admit, instantly, I was calmer, less upset and, maybe just ever so slightly for a second, smiling made me feel happy.
#5 Give Gua Sha a go
This ancient Chinese healing method involves using a Gua Sha stone, typically made from jade or rose quartz, and lightly massaging your face at particular points. On top of improving circulation, stimulating blood flow and reducing puffiness and tension through lymphatic drainage, gua sha can brighten your complexion and release tension in the face, which can make you feel more relaxed physically and mentally.
If you don't have a Gua Sha tool, massaging in your cleanser or favourite moisturiser can be just as effective.
Turn on the music and move your body in any way that feels good. Try to release all the tension from your arms and legs. Shake off any self-judgement, and let your body go with the flow. Put on some headphones and dance like nobody is watching to the beats only you can hear!
Mind, body, spirit connection creates balance. Movement connects our physical bodies to higher energy. It also releases built-up energy and gets it flowing. Sometimes we have stagnation and need to release. Not to mention the endorphins that are chemically released makes us feel really good. So get moving; whether it's doing yoga, walking, dancing or some physical exercise, it will energise you.