Self-care is more important now than ever before. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic causing stress and uncertainty for many people, it is crucial to prioritize taking care of oneself. Not only is self-care important for physical health, it is also essential for mental and emotional well-being.
Read: Why nature is good for your mental health
One of the main benefits of self-care is that it helps to reduce stress and improve overall physical health. When we are stressed, our bodies produce the hormone cortisol, which can have negative effects on our health over time. By engaging in self-care activities, we can help to lower our cortisol levels and improve our physical health. Some examples of self-care activities include exercising, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and practicing mindfulness.
Essential Oils to Use for Stress ReliefYou can blend any of these oils to create your own blend. The important thing is to find a blend that you enjoy the fragrance of so that you can reap the benefits of the oils without hating the scent. Lavender – Lavender is one of the most recommended oils when it comes to stress relief. The scent is soothing, but the properties of the oil actually help support the nervous system. This can help reduce the feelings of anxiety that come with stress. If stress causes you to lose sleep, consider using lavender oil before bedtime. You can even create a lavender spray using equal parts rubbing alcohol and water along with lavender oil. Spray your pillow 15 to 20 minutes before bed to allow your pillow to dry before laying down. Ylang Ylang – Ylang ylang works to calm the nervous system and reduce cortisol levels. Not only that, but the oil also replaces the feelings of anxiety with feelings of optimism and positivity. Ylang ylang is popping up more and more in body washes, lotions, and other skin products to make it easier to reap the benefits. Bergamot – Bergamot oil can also help reduce stress. It is recommended to blend the oil with lavender oil to create a stress relief blend. One thing to keep in mind is that exposure to the sun when using bergamot can cause a reaction. It is best to use the oil in the evening and not be in the sun for 12 hours after. Chamomile – Chamomile is well known for it’s sleep inducing properties. The oil helps remove feelings of stress and replaces them with feelings of peace. Do not use this essential oil if you are allergic to ragweed. Vetiver – Vetiver should be considered in a stress relief blend for serious stress. The oil is often used to help trauma patients. It also helps with panic attacks, jitters, and hypersensitivity. You will feel a sense of tranquility when using this oil. Rose – Rose oil is, to many, hands down the most effective essential oil for dealing with stress. It is recommended to use it in aromatherapy situations. An equal blend of rose, lavender, and bergamot oil will greatly increase the stress reducing effects of the rose oil. Smell each essential oil and create a blend that smells good to you. You can use skin products that have essential oils. You can use a diffuser. You can even apply the oils to the skin once mixed with a carrier oil. Always test oils on your skin before applying heavily. There can be allergic reactions. Also be careful of essential oil use around pets who may be sensitive to the scents. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!
Disclosure: I’m sharing #MyOliaStory #ad as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™You've probably experienced this scenario yourself - you're in a rut and feeling meh when you decide to take a moment to yourself to rejuvenate. Sometimes it's something simple, like a bath or it's something a little more dramatic (like chopping your long locks.) Regardless of the act, it suddenly gives you that restoration of spirit you needed and that spring in your step is back. Happiness and confidence go hand in hand. When I am happy, I feel my most confident and like I can achieve anything. When I'm feeling down, it often feels like my goals are not within reach. We've all been there. So what can you do to give yourself a kick in the pants? You want my honest answer? Self care. Pampering yourself is is the most natural mood booster I know. It's not selfish by any means, it's transformative. Here are 5 tips for pampering yourself to boost your mood (and confidence):
Get a haircut. There's something therapeutic about cutting off what's weighing you down while venting to your hairstylist. Other things I love about it - the head massage, the hum of the hair dryer, the eventual amazing hairstyle that I can never duplicate at home. I recently decided to chop my long hair. It felt like magic and all of the compliments I got just made me feel really, really good. Color your hair. Go lighter, go darker or just refresh what Mother Nature gave you. Either way, in between haircuts, coloring your hair also has a transformative effect on the way you look. It makes you WANT to look at yourself, smile and say, "Damn girl, you look good!" I'm currently stepping down my hair color with Garnier Olia® 6.0 Light Brown from super dark brown to hopefully a super light brown/dark blonde by the time I'm done. It's giving me shiny hair with 100% gray coverage. I also love that it smells nothing like hair dye. (Check out my getting summer-ready post about it.) Go red. I cannot speak the praises of red lipstick enough. You're never too light or too dark to wear this confidence in a tube. I used to think so until one day I basically asked Twitter to find the right shade for me and tweeted a pic of myself. Some beauty editors answered the call and told me the type of red I needed, along with some recommendations. Once I found my perfect red, I haven't looked back. In fact, I now prefer red over any other lipstick color in my makeup bag. It'll make you feel sexy, glamorous and confident. Take a walk. Get those endorphins going, boost that seratonin. Me and exercise aren't really friends, but going for a walk doesn't seem like work. When I lived in the suburbs, I would park my car in a neighborhood I wished that I could one day live in and just walk through it. I made up stories in my head about living in this house, being friends with someone in that house, etc. Now that I live in the Pocono Mountains and have a lake in front of my house, I love walking the mile around and taking in the beauty. Many times I go with a friend or with one or some of my sons. By the end of my walk I always feel much better. Get a massage. This favorite spa treatment isn't just about indulgence. It releases tension, decreases stress and simply quiets the mind. Massage helps to drain the lymphatic system which boosts your body's ability to heal itself. Going to a spa is obviously my first choice for this because you also have the added benefit of aromatherapy and stepping away from interruptions, but getting a shiatsu massager for at-home use is always an option as well. What are some of the things you do to help boost your mood and self confidence? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!
With the change of season it takes an extra dose of effort (and nutrients) to ward off dreaded colds. The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, N.C.) is treating spa guests to a soothing seasonal Lemon Ginger Lavender Elixir that will be more pleasant on the palate than cough syrup!Chef Greg Gettles shares his recipe for a refreshing, vitamin-packed pick-me-up that combines potassium and calcium-rich Lemon, Ginger, which has antioxidant and direct anti-inflammatory effects, relaxing Lavender and Thyme, which helps relieve coughs, bronchitis, and chest congestion.
Lemon Ginger Lavender Elixir Recipe:
· 7 lemons (peeled and juiced)
· 7 bruised and chopped lemongrass
· 3 oz. peeled and chopped ginger
· ½ oz. dried lavender
· 12 oz. lemon juice
· 16 oz. honey
· 7 oz. simple syrup
· 3 ½ oz. ginger puree
· 12 sprigs thyme
· 16 qt. simmering water
Method: Combine all ingredients in a cambro and pour over with simmering water. Allow mixture to steep for at least 4 hours before straining. Adjust seasoning and chill.
Enjoy and feel better!