We all know that our self-care can always do with a little extra helping hand. So here is a guide to a few of the 'must-have' items that can be packed into your self-care toolbox. From apps to oils, mats to massagers - when it comes to caring for yourself - these items pack a punch.
There is research that suggests aromatherapy with some essential oils may help promote relaxation and relieve anxiety.
But what are the best oils to get me in a state of bliss you may ask? Oils such as Bergamot Orange, Rose and Ylang-ylang are popular aromatherapy oils for relieving anxiety and promoting relaxation. Plus Aromatherapists commonly use essential oils from lavender, claiming that they have anti-inflammatory, muscle-relaxing, and anxiety-relieving properties.
We say lead with your nose on this one and find the right one for you.
When it's time to wind down, reach for your phone. Sorry..what was that? Although this may seem extremely counter-intuitive (often our phones keep us up into the wee small hours) there are plenty of apps to help us with complete mind, body and soul relaxation. Popular relaxation apps like Headspace, Mindbody and Calm have developed a strong following with rave reviews.
A yoga mat
An essential item in your self-care toolbox. Yoga mats are now readily available and if you shop at the larger chain stores - very reasonably priced. Bringing together the breathing exercises, meditation and poses in yoga can encourage relaxation and reduce stress. So we say roll out and bliss out.
How do you brew?
Discover your inner Zen by brewing up a pot of caffeine free calming teas. Renowned for having a relaxing effect on the mind, body and soul, your entire self will be thanking you. We would suggest trying herbal teas for stress relief that include chamomile, valerian and lemon balm.
Make an at-home face mask
A natural home made face mask is one of the simplest and cost effective self-care things you can do. Fancy a brighten up? Follow these three simple steps to give yourself a Tumeric Brightening Mask.
1. Mix one teaspoon of turmeric and one tablespoon of honey to make a smooth orange blend.
2. Apply the mask mixture to your clean, dry face and leave for 15-20 minutes.
3. Rinse with lukewarm water then seal in the goodness with a moisturizer of choice.
And voilà! Instant bright skin.
Getting a scalp massage promotes the scalp’s circulation, encourages hair growth, removes gunk and (the best part) releases the tension that we all tend to hold up top. They feel simply fantastic. Create a Sunday self-care scalp ritual and get your mitts on a scalp massager that can be used in the shower.
Snuggle up with a blankie
Popular with the little folk, there is no reason why us adults can't reach for a special blankie for warmth, comfort and self-care support (we might be likely to wash ours more regularly also). Merino, cotton, wool or fleece - whatever fabric gives you the warm fuzzies - stick with it.
And 1....2....3....BREATHE. Easy to pack into the toolbox and easy on the wallet - slow, deep breaths can have a positive impact on your general mood. The best thing about deep breathing is that you can do it anywhere and it only takes a few minutes. Just breathe in through your nose for about six seconds and pay attention as your lower belly rises. Pause for a couple of seconds and slowly breathe out through your mouth for another six seconds. Your body will thank you for it.