As we navigate a second phase of slowing down and turning inwards, I have been thinking about putting together a plan, or let’s better call it a little bag of treats to myself, to get through it whilst protecting my mental health and overall wellness.
Unlike the first lock down in Spring, this season encourages us to naturally slow down, be more gentle, be more quiet and go on energy saving mode for the Winter. Yes, the day is getting shorter and shorter which is no mood booster but this time at least we can count down to all things nice…October and some Halloween magic, (my birthday) and of course Christmas!
So I had an idea… Why not see all these days on the countdown to Christmas as a big Wellness Advent Calendar?! Every day I will be giving myself a little treat, a pick me up, that I will allow myself to enjoy thoroughly and be very mindful and present during that experience. Not everything has to be big or super special but they will all be nice things to look forward to every day…
So what will these treats be? Let’s start with some ideas that will hopefully be some inspiration for you too…
Wellness treats for the senses
Indulging the senses is always a happiness booster and the more present we are, the bigger its effect. For the next 90 days I want to:
Drink delicious hot chocolate – Do I need to say more? We all know about the amazing mood-boosting power of cacao! It increases the levels of Serotonin, the feel-good chemical that has a beneficial effect to our mood and also boosts the release of endorphins, the chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain. And it tastes amazing too! Anyone else counting down to when Costa Coffee Black Forrest Hot Chocolate will be available again?
Burn a scented candle – I recently purchased the “Hello Autumn” candle by the YR Studio which has a gorgeous baked caramel toffee and vanilla scent. I can’t wait to burn it and enjoy its sweet warmth.
Sip good quality coffee – Good coffee is for me one of life’s greatest treats! A good cup of coffee can get me through the most boring tasks and save the day the mornings that I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I’m currently enjoying the Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice ground coffee by Whittard and I love its full flavour and beautiful scent.
Perform an extra mindful Gua Sha and face roller skincare routine – The amazing skincare results that Gua Sha and face rollers can achieve through the lymphatic drainage that offers depuffing and glow-boosting action are now very well known. However, you can transform this skincare routine to a complete self-care ritual with instant mood-boosting and stress-release effect. Create a nice environment, switch off your phone and tune in the feeling of relaxation, mindful of the effects of this facial massage to your skin and nerve endings. Where beauty meets wellness…
Try Sound Therapy – Back in the beginning of 2020, before our lives changed for good, I tried for the first time a Gong Bath Meditation at My Body Studios. Gong meditation is a meditation practice accompanied by therapeutic gong sounds and vibrations. The sound waves produced have a very healing and relaxing effect and help release emotional blockages. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience which felt like a warm hug made of sounds and I want to try it again soon. If you are based in the North East of England, according the the My Body Studios website there will be dates available for Gong Baths in November and December. I have also found very nice YouTube videos like this one which obviously don’t offer the exact same experience but they are a great alternative.
Enjoy a massage – A slightly more extravagant experience and one of my favourite things in the world! I have my eyes on the Sperience Elements Massage at the Newcastle Crown Plaza Mineral House Spa. According to the brochure, this is a Feng Shui inspired full body massage. It is specifically catered for you by matching one of our 5 active oils to your zodiac sign. Perfect for my birthday month!
Treats for the mind
Keeping my mind stimulated with informative, uplifting and entertaining content always helps me keep any stressful thoughts quiet and turn to happy thoughts. I will make sure to:
Make the most of the magic of a good book – I have so many books in my to-read list at the moment! I recently read So Lucky by Dawn O’ Porter which I really enjoyed and definitely recommend. This month’s book club book is Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo which I’ve wanted to read for a while so I can’t wait to start it.
Relax with lighthearted movies and TV series – No better way to relax and switch off than a good movie or TV series. In times like that, I prefer funny, lighthearted content so I can’t wait for Emily in Paris to start (2/10 on Netflix). This TV series has the signature of Sex and the City creator Darren Star and is entirely shot in magical Paris, both facts worth getting excited about!
Engage my mind by learning a new language – I love learning new languages! It’s a process that I find so interesting and engaging. I have used the Duo Lingo app in the past to learn Italian so now I have decided to start using it again to refresh my French as I haven’t touched it since school!
Stay tuned for the next part of this blog for more wellness treats for the spirit, treats for the body and creativity treats!