There's no doubt that this year has had its fair share of ups and downs for all of us. Whether it's the unforeseen global scenario or constant flooding of overwhelming news, let's face it: 2020 has been challenging to say the least. The constant uncertainty and pendulum shifts in and out of the dreaded L-word (yes, lockdown), has put an immense pressure on our physical and mental wellbeing. As we traverse through to the end of the year, we reflect back with intention on the positive learnings from this year: focus on the now, make time for real connections and nurture the mind and body.
As we delved deeper into these thoughts, we also discussed the meaning of 'self-care' with Jessica McLean, founder of Skin Lux and also one of our mindful clients. It is then that we realised that prioritising ourselves through simple exercises can in fact have a huge bearing on our overall wellbeing. And honestly? Self-love is the first step to effectively dealing with everything else this year's been throwing at us! So we've put together a few of our favourite self-care tips that are far from rocket science and easy for us all to incorporate.
"Being in another lockdown over the festive period seems to go against everything we desire currently because we’re all craving contact with family and friends. We want to show love and cheer to the people we care about but that usually starts with showing that to ourselves first. There is joy in supporting other people but it is okay to replenish yourself too. People who love you will want to see you doing well and being your best." — Jessica McLean, founder of Skin Lux
1. The Power of Aromatherapy
Whether you're into candles, incense sticks, essential oils, diffusers or lighting sage, the aromatherapy train will take you a long way by calming the mind and soothing the senses. This mood-boosting ritual can in fact also be complexion-boosting. We have been treating ourselves to some regular down-time with the Escape Candle from Skin Lux. Blended with mint, lemon, clary sage, mandarin, geranium, bergamot and cedarwood, it transports us into an ambrosial paradise. As the massage oil comes into contact with the skin, the heat activates the essential oils to give off a soothing scent with extra healing benefits.
2. Soothe The Body
As our current sedentary lifestyles impact muscle movement and flexibility, taking time out for an aromatherapy massage could be a mindful ritual to feel relaxed and invigorated. Set the mood with dim lighting, candles and music to really immerse yourself in the self-care ritual. Massage your hands, neck, abdomen and legs by recognising the pain points and gently massaging with your thumb/palm in circular motions as you release any tension. The free Skin Lux "Ultimate Guide to Self Massage" is the perfect place to start if you're unsure of how to safely indulge in a luxurious massage for yourself or someone you care about — or if you just need to refresh your memory!
3. De-Stress The Mind
We've found that taking out just thirty minutes at the end of the day, or even ten for that matter, to reflect, affirm and list out positive aspects from your day ends the day on a brighter note. Ask yourself a few simple questions: What were my wins for the day? What made me smile today? What am I grateful for today? And if you're anything like us and love the whole package for a self care ritual we'd recommend to set the scene with some mellow music and candles, pen down your thoughts in a journal and seal the deal with a night skincare routine. The Relax Candle checks most of the selfcare boxes: it promotes sleep and reduces stress and anxiety; the essential oils naturally soothe the skin, elevate your mood and promote tranquility.
4. Cultivate New (Or Old) Habits
Ask yourself this: What's the one thing I'd love to do more of? Whether that's a goal of reading X number of books a year, more time for working out or yoga, allowing time for a digital detox or finally cleaning that mystery drawer at home; pick a habit that you've always wanted to cultivate and set the intention to work on it. Start by setting a small goal: perhaps working out for just 10 mins a day. The little wins will create the motivation you need to carry on, and enable you to scale up the daily goals as you feel comfortable. There's no one way of doing it other than listening to your mind and heart! We're currently prioritising long winter walks as often as we can, to refresh the mind, get our muscles moving and step counts looking healthy!
5. Catch Up with Loved Ones
The one thing that doesn't feel normal in this "new normal" is the holidays this year. It can be confusing and lonely to spend the holidays differently that we usually do – away from family and without the festive cheer. We've taken it upon ourselves to find the silver linings of our new normal, however, and make the effort to innovatively connect with our loved ones over the next few weeks. We're thinking Zoom calls, virtual Secret Santa, online games with friends and handwritten cards to help us build connection over these arduous times. So get creative, seek to feel the joy in a new way, and don't forget to prioritise yourself every now and then.
We'll leave you with a little reminder: you are the greatest project you will ever work on!
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