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Relax. It's Sunday.

Relax. It's Sunday!
Sunday's are prefect for self-care and relaxing.

As it's National Stress Awareness Week and National Spa Week, why not give yourself permission to switch off this weekend, be kind to yourself, and discover some amazing wellness benefits along the way.

Whether it's taking a warm bath, enjoying a reflexology session, or snuggling under a blanket with a good book, self-care is essential for our wellbeing.

As a body-mind therapist, I dedicate countless hours to caring for my clients. From relieving stress to recovering from injury, my clients depend on treatments for various reasons—and sometimes they demand a lot of my time and energy, so making sure I'm also taking care of myself is especially important.

What are you doing to look after yourself today?

Studies show that taking time out for ourselves can reduce feelings of stress and improve our energy levels, yet one in five of us feel guilty for taking time to look after ourselves, despite these wellbeing wins.

Any spare time we have is often spent caring for others, catching up with daily chores, or agreeing to help others. But as they say, 'you can't pour from an empty cup'. This weekend, let yourself enjoy a little self-care. Here's some inspiration to get you started.

Take a mindful walk.

Shorter chiller days may have left you feeling like hibernating under a cosy blanket, but getting outside is good for our wellbeing. Being in nature lifts our mood, and natural sunlight helps to regulate melatonin, the hormone responsible for our sleep patterns.

Transform your walk into a mindful one by noting the sights, sounds and smells around you. Admire the sunlight streaming through the branches, the sound of crunchy leaves underfoot, the smell of grass, feel the wind on your face. Engage each of your senses one by one, and feel free to pause and take in anything that makes you smile or feel calmer.

Give yourself a head massage.

Indulge in a soothing head massage, gently rubbing your scalp with nourishing hair oil. I like Argan oil, which nourishes and revitalises skin and locks in moisture for beautiful hair and nails. You can also try almond oil which is good for sensitive skin or coconut oil. The vitamins and fatty acids in coconut oil help nourish your scalp and penetrate the hair's cuticle. You don't need to be an expert - place your fingertips on your scalp and massage in small, soothing circles for a simple but effective technique.

Not only does a head massage ease tension, but it can also improve circulation to your scalp and neck. Once your massage is complete, relax and allow the oil to soak into your hair. Rinse out when you're ready with your favourite shampoo and conditioner.

Of course, you could always book yourself in for a professional Indian Head massage too!

Turn your morning cuppa into a ritual.

Often, we boil the kettle mindlessly, glugging down a mug of tea or coffee without a second thought. Make this time, especially at the weekends, more of a ritual to set you up for the day ahead. Brew your tea in a pot, and watch it change colour as the tea infuses the water.

Notice the aroma of your chosen drink, whether it be coffee, tea or a herbal blend like refreshing peppermint or uplifting lemon. Notice the smell and how it makes you feel? Find a comfortable, quiet spot where you can enjoy, sip by sip, and use this time to set your intentions for the day.

Create a meditation zone.

Creating a sacred space for meditation, no matter how small, can be ideal for helping you to cultivate a regular practice. Find a cosy, quiet corner where you are unlikely to be disturbed and transform this space, so you're more likely to come back to it each day.

Create a comfortable seating area, and choose some scented candles or soft lightning to calm the senses. Personalise the space with your favourite crystals, oracle cards, or meaningful photos.

You might also want to include the meditation remedies to roll. Roll onto your pulse points and inhale the aroma of an expertly formulated essential oil blend to help you find your inner zen. This aromatherapy blend is the perfect way to encourage mindfulness and meditation, as relaxing aromas of frankincense, vetiver and sandalwood come together to create a moment of inner calm for a feeling of enhanced wellbeing.

Get creative with a vision board.

Self-care can include working on our hopes and dreams for the future, improving our health and wellbeing. Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, after seeing the results of his study, puts it this way:

"To have a goal in life that's beyond us, and yet which brings us satisfaction in striving to achieve it, is good for the brain and for our health in general ".

Our hopes and dreams are often put on the back burner when we are always on the go. Take a moment this weekend to create a vision board. There are no rules for creating your board, so enjoy the freedom and get creative!

It might be on a piece of paper, card or even a pinboard. You can also create a digital version and save it on your computer. Find photos, artwork and quotes that inspire you and relate to your dreams and goals, then arrange them on your board. Once you've finished, put it somewhere you're likely to see it every day to keep you on track.

Unwind in a warm bath.

Enhance your Sunday evening with the benefits of a soak in a warm bath.

At night our body temperatures naturally drop, which signals the production of melatonin—or the sleeping hormone. Soaking in a warm bath will raise your body temperature, and exiting will more rapidly cool it down, instigating melatonin production and better preparing you for sleep.

Sure, a soak is no match for water aerobics or active hydrotherapy, but a good sweat induced by a hot bath can burn as many calories as taking a walk.

While scalding baths can make your skin more irritated, a warm bath—in combination with certain essential oils, like coconut, olive, or lavender, and also oatmeal—can better hydrate and heal dry or irritated skin. Plus, aromatherapy is great for regulating your mood or reducing stress.

Try the aromatic foaming bath with a tranquil blend of lavender, marjoram and geranium essential oils to help you relax and unwind. Or the lavender bath salts with mineral-rich sea salt crystals from South America infused with pure, organic lavender essential oil to leave you feeling relaxed and ready for bed.

“Self-Care means giving yourself permission to pause” - Cecilia Tran

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