Self Care to Self Love in the Month of Love
By Kati Vardon
In January, I wrote about resolutions and signed off with a request that you are kind to yourself and practice the type of self care that works for you.
Each week, Pevonia covers a ‘snippet’ for Self Care Sunday and these indulgent treats can really help with your own well-being. With February being the month of love, it is a perfect time to indulge in self love and pampering. No need to wait for someone else to treat you on Valentine’s Day and don’t save the treats for the fourteenth.
Self love is defined as ‘regard for one's own well-being and happiness’ so it is pretty much the same as self care. The idea is to take care of your own physical and emotional needs which includes social, work and financial aspects.
Right now, I am thinking mainly about the early points, but being smart with your finances will help your mental well-being. Manage your money, pay bills on time, avoid debt and remember the mantra ‘do you need it’ ‘can you do without it’ to avoid unnecessary overspending.
A negative workplace can have a devasting effect on your mood, whereby a positive atmosphere can make going to work a pleasure. If you are self-employed, creating a positive work space will pay dividends.
It’s easy and inexpensive to practice self love. With thoughts on the physical aspects of your life, make sure you get enough sleep each night. Switch off your phone at least an hour before bedtime and avoid bright screens during the same period, that includes laptops, televisions and tablets. Blue light – from the sun as well as these man-made sources may have long-term effects on eye health and also disrupt sleep. This is where switching off for a long bubble bath and a good book come into play. Add in a cup of Lavender Camomile Latte for further relaxation.
Exercise and Relaxation
It’s still early in the year, but my New Year Resolutions are continuing well. Having found exercise classes I enjoy, it’s a pleasure to go to the gym three or four times a week and this has a wonderful affect on my well-being.
Within two of my chosen classes, the sessions end with relaxation. I’ve learned how difficult it is to quiet my mind and remain present. My thoughts turn to work, food, holidays and everything else. When our minds begin to wander, the instructor reminds us to bring ourselves back to the present and notice our breathing. Over the weeks, I am finding it a little easier and therefore feel more relaxed. Next step full meditation!
At least once a week, I also use the thermal suite for additional relaxation, reducing aches and a boost to my circulation. This feels like an indulgent treat and is a great way to end a visit.
You don’t need to have expensive gym membership to follow an exercise regime. I always find it uplifting to get out for a walk, in almost any weather.
I’m lucky enough to live by the coast, where a bracing long walk on a Sunday morning can improve my mood and let tensions fade away. This is equally good with a ramble through the countryside.
There is something about fresh air and nature that I love – it’s definitely good for you. If you are a city dweller, your local park will still work. Follow the morning’s exercise with some fresh and nutritious cooking, and you have the basics for a lovely weekend.
Finding a hobby or interest is a superb way of showing self care. For me, at this moment in time, my main hobby is exercise, along with weekly trips to the cinema to watch the latest films. This is about taking time for yourself and enjoying something that gives you pleasure. You don’t need to dedicate multiple hours to a hobby, but just go with what works for you. It could be just switching off and concentrating with a jigsaw puzzle.
If a spa visit isn’t an option, set aside an hour or two at home, in a nice warm bathroom. Pop on some soft background music and light a scented candle. I love Pevonia’s Spa at Home Green Tea & Lemon candle which comes in a dinky little tin. While filling your bath with your favourite fragrance, use a body brush on dry skin to remove dead skin cells, increase blood circulation and boost lymphatic drainage. This is a good time to pay attention to your feet by rubbing a foot file over the hard skin to reveal a softer foot.
Next, use a gentle exfoliator to clean your face and slough off the flaky old skin. Select yours based on your own skin type and concerns. For me, I go between Pevonia’s Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser (vegan-friendly) and their Enzymo-Sphérides Peeling Cream (ESP), depending on time. I adore using ESP when time isn’t an issue. When time is tight, I normally choose the cleanser for a quick exfoliation when getting ready for work each morning. My skin isn’t sensitive, so it gives me plenty of options for my products. I follow the cleanser with a lotion and use the vegan-friendly Phyto-Gel Cleanser to remove any traces of ESP left on my skin.
Now we’ve reached the time to apply your mask. By now your bath should be ready and waiting for you. Again, here you can choose your favourite and one that will address any issues your skin may be experiencing at the time. When in doubt, I reach for Ageless Skin Collagen Mask, to plump, de-age and counteract the effects of free-radicals. Now you are ready to slip into the warm, bubbly water and enjoy the relaxing effect the water brings.
After emerging from the bath and gently drying yourself, rub a body moisturiser into warm and damp skin. When I can, I massage the Stem Cells PhytoElite Intensive Body Corrector all over, concentrating on those problem areas of dimply, ageing skin. Again, I like to do this when I have plenty of time, so I can make the most of the massage. On a daily basis, I reach for Dry Oil Body Moisturiser. Both options are vegan friendly too.
Love Your Lips
Whether you’re puckering up for someone, or appreciating your own luscious lips, Pevonia’s Rapid-Restore Lip Balm is the perfect product to exfoliate and hydrate dry lips. Keep it in your handbag and reapply as needed during the day and evening. The Balm also works over lipstick, so no need to be colour free if you’d rather indulge in this season’s latest shades.
The Good Housekeeping Institute published a review of Rapid-Restore Lip Balm, in January, where it showed an overall score of 74/100.
So, whether you’re in a relationship or not, this month, make sure you practise a little self love and make winter just that little brighter.