There's no doubt that self-care is becoming a bit of a buzz-word these days. But it's for good reason! It seems like we're all starting to realize the impact that 80-hour workweeks, constant social media and jam-packed schedules are having on our mental health and physical well-being.
Even at times like the holidays - which, in theory, are all about relaxation, down time and fun with family and friends - it's hard to kick the habits of overcommitting ourselves, oodles of screen time and late nights.
The good news is that it only takes a few small, beautiful moments each day to feel more peaceful, energized and supported.
The GREAT news is that the five tips we're sharing here today are practical. Actionable. You can easily incorporate them into your life right now, just as it is. Are they earth-shattering? Well, no. But they ARE soothing, nourishing and soul-affirming. They may be little, but they're pretty darn mighty nonetheless.
And you can do them every day. (Even if you're camped out on the air bed at your in-laws' for the holidays.)
Have you jumped on the dry brushing bandwagon yet? If not, we highly recommend starting your morning with this quick routine.
Dry brushing is a daily body and facial care ritual in which you use a gentle, natural-bristle brush to stimulate lymph flow and exfoliate your skin. Starting from your outer extremities and brushing toward your heart (where your lymphatic system drains), dry brushing your body helps to detoxify your body and wake up your nervous system.
It's also an amazing practice for facial rejuvenation and detox. But don't use the same brush you use on the rest of your body - a much gentler version is required, like this one. For an invigorating and effective face brushing tutorial, watch the video below from Province Apothecary.
This self-care ritual feels amazing and really awakens your body, giving you that inner glow - AND it helps keep your skin healthy, so you radiate from the outside, too!
We know, we know. You've heard this one a gazillion times before. But it's important, okay?! Staying well-hydrated supports detox, keeps you feeling energized, and allows your body to function optimally. It's, like, the most basic form of self-care.
We will give you some suggestions on how you can make this one more nourishing for both your soul AND your body, however.
For instance - it can be more fun (and delicious) than plain ice water. In fact, especially during the cold winter months, hot drinks are your body's preference. So stock up on your favourite herbal teas (there are some DELECTABLE ones out there). Learn how to make golden milk at home! Squeeze some lemon and fresh ginger into your hot water.
If you're more of a cool-and-refreshing drink kind of person, infuse your water with fresh organic cucumber, berries or citrus fruit. Make your own juice - or pick up a bottle your favourite freshly-squeezed fruit and veggie blend from your local juicery. Get yourself a stylish reusable water bottle that you'll want to carry with you - and guzzle out of - everywhere.
But stick to caffeine- and sugar-free bevvies - coffee, caffeinated teas, sodas and pre-packaged juices not only dehydrate you, they also leave behind all kinds of junk that'll leave you crashing and burning or feeling super blah.
This is such a self-loving little treat. It feels so indulgent but only takes a few minutes as you prepare for the day or get ready for bed (or both!).
Facial massage renews your skin, helps reverse signs of aging, and maximizes the absorption and effectiveness of your nourishing, natural skin care products.
But that's not even the best part! This practice feels divine. Massaging the skin, muscles and acupressure points on the face encourages relaxation and release. It's a brilliant way to both start and end the day - a perfect exercise in self-care.
To learn our favourite natural facelift massage ritual, watch this video or print out the step-by-step guide and practice it on yourself!
Clear the air - literally
Light some beeswax candles. Flip on the Himalayan salt lamp. Diffuse your favourite essential oils. Burn some incense. Do a smudge. These tiny tasks take up none of your time, yet they enhance your atmosphere - and yes, they actually clean the air.
Beeswax, diffused essential oils and salt lamps all emit negative ions, which bond to airborne particles of dust and allergens in your home or office and remove them from the air. Plus, the gentle, natural scents are wonderful, so this tip is really a two-for-one special.
And that's not all. Creating a pleasant environment for yourself has a surprisingly huge impact on your well-being. A beautiful fragrance or cozy flickering candles can truly make you feel comforted and cared for.
This doesn't (necessarily) mean meditation. It's is all about giving yourself space to do whatever is restorative for you. It could be reading something uplifting, going for a walk, enjoying a cup of tea, or just staring out the window watching the world go by.
Creating space for quiet in your day is quite literally life-changing. Whether you carve out an hour or 20 minutes; whether it's in the evening, at lunchtime or first thing in the morning; giving yourself time to reflect, refresh or simply rest will allow you to feel both freer and more focused.
BONUS: Simple pleasures
Paint your nails, put on a cozy pair of socks and curl up with a blanket, watch some adorable/hilarious YouTube videos, listen to an episode your favourite podcast, or work on a creative project.
"Unproductive" time is NOT wasted time. It's essential to your well-being - mental, physical and spiritual. When you prioritize taking care of yourself, that sends a direct message to your mind that you are important. You matter. You are worthy. Self-care literally increases your self-esteem, time after time.
Welcome to round four of my Green Beauty Giftgiving Guide!
This week, I'm going practical.
Because let's be honest, we all need the basics. Infinite bonus points for high-performance, non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free versions!
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