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​How to Turn Your Home Into a Self Care Sanctuary

By Tyler Howell and Hillary Oberpeul | March 7, 2018
​How to Turn Your Home Into a Self Care Sanctuary

Focus on your well being every day by creating a DIY wellness retreat—right at home.By

In an age of wellness trends that seem to move faster than the speed of light, there’s one trend that’s been a constant: self care. This focus on the “self” has really taken off. It has more than 4 million posts tagged with “#selfcare” on Instagram! But do you really know what self care is?

It turns out, the fundamentals of self care are about much more than bath bombs and face masks (though they can be part of it!). The root of self care is simple. Amidst the pressures of life, people should take time to focus on their holistic health—mind, body and emotions. This focus helps you maintain balance in your life, take care of your relationships and improve your overall well being.

But how do you start making self care a priority in your daily life? Take a look at these practical tips for making self care work for you.

What Qualifies as Self Care?

It’s called self care for a reason. Your version should be 100% about you! It may be as simple as doing exercises and stretches at your desk or as involved as taking an hour to meditate and journal at the end of the day. Anything you do to enhance your physical, mental and emotional health can be labeled as self care. Whatever that means for you, it can help you be mindful and address the stressors in your life.

Why Should You Care About Self Care?

Self care isn’t just a wellness trend, it’s a lifestyle change that can have a very real impact on your health! Think about it, the busier you get, the less you do the things you enjoy—and the more likely you are to burn out. Burning out can lead to physical and mental illnesses. But don’t stress about being stressed... self care can help.

By taking time for yourself, you not only give yourself a much-needed break from life, research shows you can actually reduce that harmful stress and anxiety. Self care has even been used as treatment for those with physical and mental illness.

The important thing to remember about self care is that it shouldn’t come with the pressure to cut things out of your life. It’s about doing at least one thing every day to make yourself feel happier and healthier. And the best part? You can get all the benefits of self care right from your home!

Learn How to Create a Self Care Sanctuary

The first step to an effective self care routine? Find a space to get into mindfulness mode. We like to create a “self care sanctuary,” which is a space at home that is separate from where you work (and stress!). It’s full of all the things you need to step away from the chaos of life.

Your self care sanctuary should be:

    • Quiet
    • Clean
    • Separate from where you work/eat/study/play
    • Filled with personal details that make you comfortable

Get Your Self Care On

Once you’ve got your space figured out, it’s time to hone in on what takes your stress down a few notches. Need some ideas? Here are a few of our favorites.

Be Creative

Whether you’re naturally creative or not, making something can be really beneficial to your health and wellness. It’s actually been shown to reduce anxiety, increase self-worth and positively affect your control over pain (depending on the activity). While the way creative pursuits affect your health is still being studied, these types of activities seem to improve people’s quality of life.

Artistic expression looks different for everybody. Strumming a guitar can be as effective as painting for some, while others prefer journaling or dancing. Researchers have found that four types of creation often benefit well being:

    • Music—Decrease anxiety and restore emotional balance by immersing yourself in your favorite music. Try finding a relaxing playlist or create your own at home!
    • Visual art—Express difficult feelings by drawing or painting, or reap the benefits of the rhythmic motion of coloring. Try a mindfulness coloring book to help you feel centered and in the moment.
    • Movement based expression—Shake off your stress and anxiety through a little movement! Whether it’s dance, a workout video or yoga, movement can increase your self awareness and provide an escape from the stresses of everyday life.
    • Expressive writing—Research shows you can increase your control over pain, boost your mood and even impact your immune system through journaling. Try setting a timer each day to write about the things you’re grateful for, or experiences that were very impactful in your day (whether positive or negative).

Be a Yogi

If artistic expression isn’t for you, meditation and yoga is another popular and effective addition to your self care routine. One study found that Americans who practice yoga report better wellness and health behaviors. Another study connected yoga to better sleep and reduced stress.

The great thing? Yoga doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or space, and it can help you care for your mental, physical and emotional health.

Here are a few ways to incorporate yoga into your day:

    • Find a nearby yoga studio and try a beginner class
    • Set aside 15 minutes at the beginning or end of the day to do an at-home yoga session in your self care sanctuary
    • Take 15 minute breaks throughout the day to go through a few of your favorite poses.

Just remember, as with any new activity, you might be a little sore after immersing yourself in your practice. Be sure that your self care routine involves time for recovery, so you can keep your routine consistent!

Be Mindful (and Meditative)

If you’re not in the mood to buy a yoga mat or practice poses, you can sharpen your mind and care for yourself with just your smartphone.

In the last few years, there’s been an explosion of meditation and mindfulness apps for smartphones. Long days make it easy to become mentally exhausted or stressed. Meditation apps help you unplug for a second and get yourself back on track.

But recently, apps have even gone a step further. New “tracking” apps are available to measure your mental wellness. Apps aren’t just a way of responding to mental stress, but tracking your mental health throughout the day. These apps can even help you take a second to breathe.

It’s kind of like having a Fitbit for your mind—instead of counting steps, your ‘MindBit’ keeps track of your headspace and keeps your mental health a priority.

Be Present

One good way to keep yourself in the moment is with essential oils and aromatherapy. These oils can help you handle anything from migraines and digestive issues to stress and sleep. They’ve even been used to treat anxiety and depression. The beauty of essential oils is that they allow you to practice self care anywhere—at home or on the go.

Make sure when you’re looking for essential oils you choose them for their quality. Not all products labeled essential oils are the kind you want to use. Some synthetic fragrance oils are labeled as essential oils, but their extraction process has changed the chemistry of the oil—meaning these oils mimic the smell of essential oils, but they don’t carry the same benefits for your health. Stick to a reputable brand like Bon Vital’.

And as you venture into the world of essential oils, make sure you remember to do so safely. Keep these tips in mind to make sure you’re staying healthy:

    • Never ingest essential oils directly. Many essential oils are toxic when swallowed (some are even fatal!), so unless a healthcare professional has directly prescribed it, stick to a topical application or aromatherapy.
    • Make sure you use essential oils only after they’ve been diluted. Using pure essential oils directly on the skin can cause burns and irritation. Proper dilution is approximately 10 drops (maximum, you can use less) per one ounce of unscented lotion or other carrier product.
    • Check the product-specific safety data. There may be additional restrictions, depending on the product you’re using. Make sure to double check these before use.
    • You don’t need a fancy diffuser. Add a few drops of essential oil to boiling water or a humidifier, and it works just the same!
    • When adding essential oils to a carrier, always start with oil first. Then if you need to adjust the scent, you have enough room in the bottle to do so.

If you’re using water as a carrier (like in a room or linen spray), use distilled water. Then any minerals in your water won’t interact with the oil or stain your fabrics.

We like to combine our aromatherapy sessions with a little meditation and a soothing eye mask that can either be heated or frozen, like the TheraPearl Eye-ssential Mask. You get all the benefits of being present, while breathing in essential oils with a warm or cool compress on your eyes!

Do Self Care Your Way

No matter what the internet says about self care (and the right and wrong ways to go about it), the reality is that everyone takes care of themselves differently. And self care doesn’t have to take away from your work or relationships. If anything, it gives you the energy to do all of those things well. So take the time to practice creative pursuits, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy or any other activity that helps you feel grounded and ready to take on the world.

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