May is Mental Health Awareness month, and now, months into a global pandemic, we strongly feel mental health should be a priority now more than ever. Many of us are experiencing feelings of stress, change, and fear, and it’s time to check in with ourselves and make sure we’re setting aside time to care for our bodies and minds. People often think of self-care and beauty routines as superficial, but we believe this is a huge misconception. Self-care is far from shallow—it’s essential to our emotional health and well-being.
Self-care can trigger a “relaxation response"
There’s a psychological reason why self-care activities like meditation, yoga, and facials can improve your state of mind. They trigger your body’s “relaxation response.” A term coined by Dr. Herbert Benson, a founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, the relaxation response is your ability to switch off your body’s stress response. When we’re stressed, we get a surge of flight-or-fight hormones that put us on high alert: our blood pressure and heart rate increase and our muscles tense up. Over time, this can contribute to medical conditions like heart disease and autoimmune issues as well as depression and anxiety. The relaxation response instead allows our bodies to slow down and return to normal by breaking the cycle of everyday thought. There are many ways to access a relaxation response, like meditation, breathing techniques, acupuncture, and any form of self-pampering. You just have to find what works for you!
Self-care can allow us to be our best selves
When we feel good about ourselves and taken care of, we are better able to give support to loved ones as well as to the outside world. Even small, everyday stresses can be difficult to deal with when you are already exhausted physically and emotionally. Mothers in particular are often primary caregivers and can easily fall into the habit of prioritizing the needs of others before themselves. This can take a toll on mental health, triggering feelings of depletion and resentment. Setting aside time to care for ourselves means that we can be more present and patient. Mental Health America states that “Good feelings can boost your ability to deal with stress, solve problems, think flexibly, and even fight disease.” Similarly, self-care can help prevent job burnout, a point where stress from your career exhausts you and makes you feel less capable.
Beauty rituals and self-care
A recent Popsugar article covered how beauty and self-care can help people who struggle with mental health. It quoted clinical psychotherapist Matt Traube, MFT, who said, "I see many clients who use [beauty] rituals to manage a variety of mental health issues... It can increase self-esteem and give a sense of self-worth.” Especially now, when schedules are chaotic or non-existent and many feel like they have lost themselves in some way, we believe enjoying a daily beauty ritual can help cultivate self-love and appreciation.
The most gratifying part of being a beauty brand is that we are able to give our clients a much-needed moment of pampering and help them feel rejuvenated, inside and out. We put so much thought into the feel and scent of our products because we think beauty rituals can be incredibly healing. The calming aromatherapy of our Enzyme Exfoliant and the luxurious velvety texture of our Firming Serum are meant to both soothe and completely relax you. Of course, the way you choose to care for yourself is completely up to you! The important thing is to find something you enjoy and to set aside time to do it.
At-home self-care suggestions
- Start a daily meditation practice
- Try an at-home facial.
- Cleanse: Start with clean skin. Mix two pumps of our Amla Purifying Cleanser with warm water and massage gently over your entire face and neck. Leave for 30 seconds and wash.
- Exfoliate: Apply a teaspoon of Enzyme Exfoliant to your damp face, Let it sit, and dry for up to 15 minutes.
- Steam: Dampen a facial cloth with water and microwave for 30 seconds. (Make sure it’s not too hot!) Take the warm cloth and place it over your face for about a minute before wiping away the Enzyme Exfoliant.
- Moisturize: Apply 1-2 pumps of the Firming Serum all over the face and neck. Make sure you apply enough that there is some slip.
- Massage: Facial massage helps encourage healthy blood circulation and can promote a firmer, more lifted appearance. Check out Youtube for great examples depending on what you want to work on. Lymphatic drainage is our favorite!
- Give yourself a detox bath
- Invest in an at-home manicure/ pedicure kit
- Start a 30-day yoga challenge or any at-home workout
Of course, pampering shouldn’t be the only thing in your self-care routine! Self-care also involves sleep, diet, exercise, and seeking the guidance of professionals when necessary. Mental health should never be neglected, and finding even little ways to value yourself and pay attention to your needs can go a long way.