Welcome to 2015. January brings with it a theme of wellness and self care. Whether you look at it as a gimmick or not, I can’t help but be appreciative of this healthy start to the New Year. Really, we should be treating our mind and bodies with the same attitude of wellness all year long, but hey, if we take one month to make it a priority, what harm can be done?
So jump on the band wagon. Make 2015 about all the little things you can do to treat yourself right. Instead of smoking that cigarette, eating a cookie, or wrapping your mind in a cocoon of stress, think of ways to indulge that actually do good for you. To get you inspired, below are five healthy ways to treat yourself; however, don’t feel limited to just these five — look around for ways that will make you feel good…. and do them!
1. Practice Abhyanga or self massage: Abhyanga is the daily massage typically done with sesame or coconut oil in Ayurvedic practices (see how to do it here). Not only is it incredibly relaxing, but it also loosens up tight muscles, improves circulation, and helps release toxins stored in the body. To put a cherry on top, taking the time for yourself and going through the repetitive motions is extremely meditative.
2. Take a Yin yoga class: Yin yoga is all about calming the mind, and sitting in passive poses to open up and relax the body. Its benefits are incredibly healing for muscles and joints, and it’s a great way to take a break from stress. If you don’t know of a Yin yoga class near you, give a look online. Just 30 minutes will have you feeling completely refreshed.
3. Put on a face mask, and chill: Something about putting on a face mask and letting yourself hang out is so great for the soul! I like to mix up a homemade concoction of 2 tbs yogurt, 1 tbs honey, 1 tsp flax seed, 5 drops lavender essential oil, 5 drops tea tree essential oil, and then I apply it to my face for a good 15-30 minutes. If you have it available to you, I highly suggest applying the face mask before stepping into a steam room or a warm bath. After washing it off, spritz your face with some rosewater and give a nice hit of jojoba oil to moisturize. Afterwards, you’ll be glowing.
4. Go to bed an hour early and read: How often do you promise yourself you’re going to read more and then don’t follow through? You get into bed thinking you’ll kill 20 pages, and then you end up scrolling through Instagram instead. Kill the habit. Stop what you’re doing, and go to bed about an hour earlier than you normally would. Then, just read. Or you can flip this on its head, and instead of getting out of bed right away on a Saturday, open your book before you do anything. Your mind will feel much more fulfilled from a good read than it will be from a good scroll. You’ll be so happy you did it.
5. Grab a cookbook from your shelf, pick a recipe, and make a healthy dinner: Learning to cook is one of the best steps you can take for your overall health. The more home cooked meals you consume, the less sodium and saturated fats you’ll be filling your body with from restaurants. Beyond that, cooking is also fun! Make a project of it. Pick a recipe, pick up the ingredients, put a record on, and leave plenty of time to prepare the dish. You could teach yourself how to cook something you’ve always wanted to make, or maybe you can learn how to make an old favorite into something healthy. The more you experiment with recipes, the more skills and tricks you’ll pick up to incorporate into your own cooking. Let cooking be a release — from your day, from stress, from rules — make it an adventure all your own.
Follow Naomi on Instagram @NumieAbbot
Check out Naomi’s blog Numie Abbot