Happy Valentine's Day!
Yes, it is Valentine's Day, and I want to share in today's post, a love note to you: that in addition to giving others love, we must devote time to ourselves on a regular basis.
With life as hectic as it is, making time for ourselves to relax and unwind can be challenging. We may not always have time to head to the spa or want to venture out with temperatures hitting single digits. So what's one to do?
Schedule Pamper Me time at home
Neither expensive nor extravagant, here are some simple ways you can create a relaxed environment to be enjoyed by yourself, friends or with your main squeeze.
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1. Create a soothing environment
Essential Oils The use of aromatherapy has been proposed to decrease stress, anxiety and increase relaxation as well as influence our mood. Some assert this is due to a connection between our olfactory system and the limbic system in our brain. The use of pure essential oils can be used in a multitude of ways: inhaling through steam, through the use of a diffuser, burning incense, diluting in a carrier oil or in solution as a room spray. So go ahead and place a few drops in a bowl of hot water or in a diffuser and just, breathe.
Music The effect of music on our emotions and mood can be profound. It can uplift, distract and hold our attention to help deal with daily stress. No doubt music can touch and soothe the soul, not to mention improve our wellbeing. So go ahead, play those tunes to help bring you back to the present moment of relaxation.
Clearing Clutter Can you imagine yourself feeling relaxed in a room with papers, stacks of magazines, clothing and boxes laying around? It may seem meaningless, however, tidying up your surroundings may feel like a breath of fresh air, uplifting your mood and revving up your energy.
2. Plan some spa like treatments
Body scrub A favorite easy scrub of mine includes mixing together 3 tbsp organic coconut sugar and 1-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted. Mix the 2 ingredients together and voila!, a moisturizing exfoliating skin treatment just like the spa. For antioxidant or anti-aging benefit, add a few drops of rosehip seed oil, evening primrose or my favorite, argan oil.
Mineral Bath Who doesn't enjoy a nice warm soak? Mineral baths can relieve muscle tension and have been shown to promote more restful sleep in addition to improving conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and fibromyalgia. Aura Cacia is my favorite.
Hair Conditioning Treatment Barely have time to think about your tresses? Once or twice a month, conditioning your hair and scalp is a wonderful treat, especially if its exposed to a lot of heating. A simple nourishing step can include aloe vera gel combined with cold pressed organic coconut oil and a bit of shea butter. If growing more or thicker hair is the goal, try adding 1-2 drops of peppermint oil.
Relaxing Mask/Facial Giving yourself a mask or facial can be a great time to relax and spend time meditating, in addition to gently exfoliating any dead skin cells for more rejuvenated skin. An easy DIY recipe can include ground oats, a drizzle of honey and pumpkin puree; soothing with gentle exfoliation.
Hand/Cuticle Treatment Between all the handwashing, cooking and house chores, your hands can use a spa treat as well. Oils are a great way to add back nourishment to the hands and cuticles. If your cuticles need some TLC, try dipping them first in aloe vera gel for 5 minutes, then in cold pressed coconut oil (melted) for 5 minutes. Afterwards, gently wipe off any excess oil and massage argan oil into the cuticles for hydration.
Foot Soak Similar to our hands, our feet get a beating from daily use, lack of attention and cold weather. A warm 10 minute soak with mineral bath salts or epsom salt can provide release of muscle tension and increased circulation. Finish off the treatment with a nice foot massage using jojoba oil or foot cream. If you have a footspa like I do, it's time to put it to use!
Massage Massaging any part of the body can bring release of muscle tension and stress. Incorporate a light oil like sweet almond or jojoba for easy absorption during massage. Jojoba oil is wonderful in that it closely resembles the sebum in our skin and is high in Vitamin E. In addition to body massage, remember the scalp, hands and feet are also areas that can hold a lot of tension as well as provide tension release.
These are just some of the wonderful treatments I enjoy, what's your favorite spa treatments to pamper yourself with?