Self Care At Home
Canadian winters can weigh heavily on mental, physical and emotional health - now throw in a pandemic and it easily becomes a recipe for disaster. With pampering and wellness spaces inoperably shut down, decreased exposure to sunlight, being confined to the home becomes a prison sentence. Cue in all self care measures, virtual fitness and mood boosting practices...right about now.
As we know it the word “self care” has been historically mistaken for the term “self indulgence”. It's often linked with a sense of waste and lack of consciousness. The thought of glutton and " let your worries melt away " mixed in with the vision of foaming bubbles and wine glass in hand paints that convention- all in the name of "self care". However, the term has not been re-marketed but rather more recently revealed. The term "self care" has become a more recent conversation- unveiling the philosophy that " you can't pour from an empty cup". The truth that it brings to light is connecting with one's self, one’s senses and disconnecting from the demands of everything else that takes away from that need. Incorporating modern rituals that are highly beneficial and consciously centering is not only good for you in the moment but for long term as well.
I'd love to share one of my personal favorite sustainable at home self-care rituals and products that can help promote a deeper connection to relaxation and connection to self while at home during lockdown.
Relaxing Body Oil
Everyone reaps the benefits of a good body oil, but not one that’s filled with harmful chemicals, additives and unnamed fragrances that irritate the skin. A body massage with aromatic, naturally scented essential oils can help stimulate the flow of energy and soothe your nerves, while releasing natural and aromatherapeutic fragrances. It's a sure way to treat your body with circulatory attention and it alleviates daily stresses. The mere thought of this ritual takes me to a different place (envisions beach breeze on a sunny island). It doesn't hurt to have smooth moisturized skin during what's meant to be a skin-chapping season. Everyday I look forward to these five to ten minutes post shower or pre bedtime when I give myself that extra bit of care.
My personal recommendation is this 100% natural calming and body oil by Green Envee. This works simply by adding a few drops directly onto your skin, followed by a massage to work in the oil. You can also add a few drops to your body lotion for a calming boost. For ritualistic bath lovers try adding a few drops right into the bath water to set the aromatic mood. The surge of French Lavender and Chamomile will leave you feeling tranquil and relaxed.
Body Rolling or Stretching
The day I discovered “rolling” was the day that the muscles in my body started to thank me. Having a strong and stable roller at home is a great way to minimize tensions and stress in the body, elongate muscles and help with speedy physical post- workout recovery. In a sense, it’s a form of self-massage, helping you knead your tight muscles (especially after hours sitting behind a desk or computer).
There are many foam rollers to choose from online, but if you want to support a local brand that's eco-conscious, B Yoga has one called the 'Release Roller' made of 100% cork. Cork is a natural, environmentally friendly material. It biodegrades completely and can be easily recycled without producing any toxic residues.
SuperFood or Adaptogenic (Plant Powered) Tea
Melting away with a hot cup of cocoa or tea should be 5 minutes of everyone's day. I'm assuming that the frequency of Starbucks-runs and $8 latte sales are predictably down with WFH ( work from home). So now that you're walking yourself to the kitchen more frequently let's update that pantry of yours. There's this new thing that's made it's way on the market. It could mean what's brewing in your cup could be packed with nutrients rather than sugary over-priced frothed oat milk lattes. Here's your chance to discover and select nutrient packed adaptogenic teas that actually help combat fatigue, promote relaxation, boost your skin and hair health, on top of levelling out your mood!
Lake and Oak is a Toronto-based wellness brand that is dedicated to fostering self-care rituals that help bring a balance to your life. I love that 2% of their profits are donated towards mental health organizations such as CAMH (Center of Addiction and Mental Health). My personal favourite from their collection is the Mint Cacao Bliss Superfood Tea Blend. A healthy take on your evening sweet fix with loads of beauty-boosting and antioxidant benefits. Imagine dessert in a cup- but healthy.
At-Home Relaxing and Revitalizing Facials
I love masks and all things skin! There’s just something about a relaxing and nourishing skin-care ritual that helps make every woman feel like a goddess. Having sensitive, combination and acne-prone skin, I have to be considerate and particular about the products I use on my face. This naturally means I avoid artificial fragrances and irritating chemicals at all costs. Most often inexpensive drug-store masks or cosmetic (fragrance-infused) products just don’t mix well for me.
I recently came across VO Beauty, an all-natural, cruelty-free, paraben-free Canadian brand that creates all-natural skincare products that are gentle and easy-to-use. Their 5-minute Facial -Pore Clearing Powder Mask is a clay-based absorbing, pore-clearing powder mask that only requires five minutes to leave on before rinsing off for a clearer looking skin. If you're looking for non-greasy, no film, moisture packed action, try their Sleeping Beauty Gel Mask. It can be used as an overnight mask or moisturizer to give your stressed, dry, or dull skin an intense dose of natural feeling moisture. Across the board this brand uses the best natural ingredients and donates back to local and sustainable beekeeping. If you look into it you'll learn that bees are essential to environmental health- fascinating.
There are many ways to benefit from self-care alongside maintaining a sense of earth consciousness while at home. Be it through the foods that we choose, the products that we use, the activities we engage in and the brands we support, it's a great feeling to know that our self-care can overlap with caring for the world around us.