In our new series, Bazaar’s multiplatform beauty director speaks to inspirers in the wellness world about the rituals and routines that work for them. Here, Bridget March meets Roxie Nafousi, the self-development coach best known as the ‘queen of manifesting’. Below, the 33-year-old reveals the things she believes make the biggest difference to her wellbeing.
Roxie Nafousi has widely been credited with propelling the practice of manifesting into the modern day. Her global best-seller Manifest, and follow-up hit Manifest: Dive Deeper, have granted her guru status to many of her self-development driven followers. But she takes her downtime just as seriously as her day job – the act of cultivating self-love being key to living the life you’ve always dreamed of, she says.
From reciting positive affirmations to meditation and massage, here Nafousi breaks down the wellness philosophies she lives by and what self-care looks like for her.
On her morning routine…
“I wake up around half five or six. I haven't used an alarm for years; I just wake wherever my body's ready. The first thing I do is repeat a positive affirmation like ‘today is going to be an amazing day’, ‘I'm proud of who I am and grateful for what I have’. Your brain is most susceptible to positive messaging as you're waking, falling asleep, and in a meditative state.
“I then have my morning coffee, which is something I always add to my gratitude list at the end of the day because it is that special moment of quiet, giving me time to think.
“New into my routine, but which has been a complete game-changer, is lying on an acupressure mat (from Bed of Nails) during my 10-minute meditation; the needles encourage a deep relaxation. Meditation has become non-negotiable for me, it gives me so much mental clarity, and I am calmer at work because I feel like I have a greater ability to handle things. For guided meditations I really love the Open app or I use one on my website or YouTube. Sometimes I will just have silence, and focus on my inhale and exhale.
“Then, if I have time, I do my morning movement, which I aim to achieve three-to-four times a week. I follow the Form app and love Sami Clarke’s 30-minute workouts.
“Lastly, I have my shower and then do my skincare routine. This for me is also an act of meditation – I repeat affirmations while doing it. My current obsessions include a cryotherapy ice face roller for de-puffing, the CeraVe cleanser, and Paula's Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster – that’s been a game-changer for my skin.”
On overcoming overwhelm…
“I used to feel really overwhelmed by juggling everything. And then I just thought, ‘I don't actually want to live like this anymore; I need to make some changes’.
“Number one was learning to say no. A lot of us have this deep need to be liked by everybody, and we don't want to disappoint people, or let them down. We are so afraid to say no, even though we know we don't want to do something, or we know that it's beyond our bandwidth. We have to get into the practice of saying no, and keep doing it until it becomes comfortable.
“Also, no matter what's going on, finding that time to stop and breathe is really important. For years I was running on overdrive. I kept getting really burnt out. A big part of my problem was mouth breathing as a stress response; to breathe properly you have to be breathing in and out of your nose. I notice now as I get busier and more stressed, I stop breathing properly, so throughout the day I practice breathing in and out of my nose for one or two minutes, and it helps so much.
“Another thing is turning my phone off before bed. Very often, after the workday has ended and we've put our kids to bed, we’re bombarded with WhatsApps and DMs to reply to. But that just demands more output, and you're not getting any of that downtime to actually take energy back in. Restricting access to my phone helps me with this.”
On her evening routine…
“Rather than waiting until just before bed, I shower or have a bath as soon as I get home from work. It's how I switch off. I can't imagine being in work clothes at home, I like to be in my pyjamas straightaway.
“I really set the scene for the evening by lighting candles or incense and dimming the lights. Changing my surroundings to feel more zen is part of how I wind down.
“I'll watch something on Netflix or similar, but then I make sure that my phone is off or on aeroplane mode by 9pm. And I always fall asleep to an affirmation or manifesting meditation. What you're thinking about as you're falling asleep is very powerful.”
On supplements and smoothies…
“I recently started working with Dr Rajendra Sharma, a functional medicine doctor who prescribed me all these amazing supplements. I've never felt more grounded in my entire life. It's kind of phenomenal.
“I take things to help balance my hormones, such as zinc, ashwagandha, diindolylmethane (DIM) and B12, as well as a probiotic for my gut.
“I used to be much stricter with food – I was very ‘no sugar’ – but as I get older, I’ve become more relaxed, which means that I don't binge or overeat. Now I'm not looking at food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’; I look at food as nourishment and try to make sure that I'm getting enough to fuel me. But I'm not a cook, so my nutrition is probably not as good as it could be… I do get a lot of takeaways!
“I'm obsessed with smoothies. My go-to smoothie is protein powder (I like The Organic Protein Company vanilla whey protein) with banana, peanut butter, flaxseed, chia seed, spirulina and plant-based milk. I've got a Vitamix that I've had for 12 years, I’m surprised that still going!
On workouts, walks and wellness treatments…
“If I can get out to a Bodyism class on a Saturday morning, that is heaven to me.
“I also like a nice long walk on the weekend. I wear grounding shoes from Bahé. A lot of people had been recommending the practice of grounding to help with anxiety, but I'm really not one for walking around barefoot so I found these shoes and they’re so clever – as you're walking, the ground’s energy is still able to reach you.
“I have lots of treatments that I really love. I am a massage addict, and I use Urban App for deep-tissue massage. I have such terrible shoulders and neck, and they say that 10 minutes of being physically touched reduces your cortisol levels. I also see Renata Nunes at home or 180 Strand for a mixture of acupuncture, cupping and massage. For facials I see Charbec Baker (Reflexology by Charbec); if you want the ultimate relaxation treatment, she is the one to see.”
On what she’d tell her younger self about self-care…
“I don't think I correlated the two when I was younger, but happiness is so closely linked to how you're treating yourself and how well you are physically.
“Seeing a functional medicine doctor and hormone doctor has been the best investment in my health. I think hormone imbalances are often overlooked, but they contribute to so many of our ailments, as well as how we feel day-to-day. It's been life changing.”
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