DIY SPA DAY
No matter how indulgent it may sound, self-care is crucial for our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Taking time for self-care is essential to manage your stress, to recharge your energy and to know your worth. In fact, having a self-care routine has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, improve concentration, reduce frustration and increase happiness.
Sounds like a win-win to me! So - it's time to take charge of your own wellbeing and taking care of ourselves and stop waiting for someone else to do it for us.
In this post I'm sharing my own simple self-care routine to support physical and mental wellbeing for you to get ideas to build your own.
1. Social Media Detox
Before doing anything else, make sure to turn off your phone or put it on an airplane mode.
It’s really important to take some time to disconnect from constant notifications.
Not only because it distracts you from the present moment, but studies have found a strong link between social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, and loneliness as it may promote negative experiences such as inadequacy about your life or appearance.
Switch off the phone and indulge being unreachable!
2. Meditation Music
No matter what you do, whether its commuting in a busy metro or taking a bath, listening to soothing meditation music instantly makes the experience better.
Research suggests that music can benefit our physical and mental health in numerous ways. It can improve mood, decrease pain and anxiety, and facilitate opportunities for emotional expression. Youtube is a goldmine for finding some relaxing background tunes for free.
3. Drink Flavoured Water
Theres no such thing as a spa day without flavoured water.
It's such a simple thing, but it makes you feel like million bucks and it also adds in extra nutrition.
Did you know that just a 5% drop in our fluid levels can lead to 25% drop in energy
and that dehydration literally damages our DNA?
So drinking flavored water won’t only make you feel special and taste good, keeps you healthy and hydrated as well.
Here are ideas for flavoured water:
Mint Herbal Water
Lemon, Ginger and Mint Water
Lemon and Thyme Water
Lemongrass Herbal Water
4. Garshana - Ayurvedic Dry Brushing
Ayurvedic dry brushing promotes lymphatic cleansing and is a powerful way to support the removal of ama from the body and reduce stress. There are specific silk gloves that are normally used in Garshana, but you can also try some different brushes as well.
Doing Garshana is relaxing and it's benefits are extensive:
Improves skin texture
Reduces the effects of stress on the body
Supports healthy metabolism
Improves lymphatic circulation and promotes natural detoxification
Stimulates areas that accumulate cellulite
5. Self-Abhyanga - Ayurvedic Self-Massage
This stress reducing and skin enhancing self-care routine is one of my favorites. The warm oil feels amazing on your skin and the overall benefits of Abhyanga are great.
How to do self-abhyanga
Pour 1/2 cup sesame oil in a clean glass container. Put the container in a pot of hot water until the oil is warm.
Apply the oil to your whole body, including the top of your head. Massage the oil into your scalp, moving in circular motions.
Continue to your forehead, ears, cheeks, and jaw.
Massage your chest and abdomen, moving in clockwise and circular strokes. On your trunk, massage inward along your ribs.
Continue to your back and butt. Massage in straight, long motions on your arms and legs. Move in circular motions on your joints.
Massage your feet, including your toes and soles.
Relax for 10 minutes to let your skin absorb the oil.
Take a warm bath or shower to remove the oil.
6. Warm bath or sauna with essential oils and candles
Going to relaxing sauna or taking a warm bath are excellent ways to wind down and both have various health benefits. Setting up the mood with some music, candles and essential oils is an easy trick of turning your bathroom to feel like a five star spa.
You can also play around with herbs and bath salts to make your experience even better.
7. DIY Face mask
DIY face masks are super fun and easy add into your self-care routine. Instead of the store bought ones, you know exactly what they’re made of and that there’s zero harmful chemicals and additives.
There are different options depending on your skin type. Here’s a nice and easy hydrating recipe:
8. Gua sha
Gua sha is is a natural, alternative therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. This ancient therapy made a huge comeback recently and for a good reason!
It addresses stagnant energy that is believed to be responsible for inflammation and stimulates microcirculation of the soft tissue, to increase blood flow. The stroke pattern used awakens the meridian lines to activate the body’s natural healing abilities.
To do gua sha yourself, all you need is a qua sha tool such as jade or rose quartz tool and then follow the instructions below.
9. Read A Book Or Try Journaling
Reading prevents age-related cognitive decline, reduces stress and depression and helps you to fall asleep. Not a bad alternative for a regular Netflix binge!
Or if you rather pick up a pen and write yourself, that can be very therapeutic and relaxing as well. Journaling is a great way to reflect your day, deal with difficult emotions and also improve your IQ & emotional intelligence.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m never going to stop preaching about the incredible benefits of meditation and how it's the single most effective way to fight stress and increase wellbeing.
Here's an easy way to get started with a new meditation routine.
11. Herbal tea with Ginger and Reishi
Last but not least, making a lovely cup of tea as a part of your daily routine in the evening is a great way to incorporate more healing herbs into your diet and optimize your sleep.
I love drinking chamomile tea with Reishi medicinal mushroom due to their calming properties and adding some ginger for nutrition and flavor.
To Sum It Up
You don't need to rub avocado on your face and create a full spa day for yourself every day to stay well, but creating a healthy self-care routine and incorporating these elements into your daily life is crucial for maintaining your energy balance and being present in the moment.
It's so easy to neglect our own wellbeing when there's million things to do. But you need to remember to think of this time as essential as paying your bills. I love to use this analogy in my yoga classes during savasana, and it works with a self-care routine as well:
If you let your phone battery run out and try to keep turning it on without charging, it might work for another minute or two before it turns off again. It simply doesn't work without charging. We humans are exactly the same - we're just not always as aware our batteries are running out.
Investing more in self-care and being aware of my "energy bank" is one of the things my chronic illness has taught me. I find my self-care routine essential for my physical and mental wellbeing and keep my battery charged .
What are your favorite self-care routines? I'd love to hear in the comments.