Style + Green Living from the Heart of DC

Spring Self-Care Rituals // Nourish

Washington, DC, USA
Confession: spring is my least favorite season. Womp, womp. What a way to start a post like this! But I cannot pretend like all the allergies and the unpredictable rain storms don't get to me, because they do. Instead of wishing away the days until summer I want to embrace this time. My winter rituals helped me appreciate winter for the first time ever, so I have experienced how self-care can transform my attitude and well-being. Most of all, when we care for ourselves in these small, but powerful ways it encourages us to go through our days with more kindness and grace.

Self-care rituals look different for everyone because each of our lives and needs are unique. The most important thing to remember is that they can be simple and minimal. Some days I can really indulge and other times it is really just one thing. All in all it's nice to have a few things at our fingertips that can help bring some peace and calm to daily life. No matter what you do it is precious, well-deserved time. The list below is not exhaustive, but they are my most favorite things I have gathered for spring.

A dry brush
The perfect way to perk up in the morning...before you get changed use this brush gently all over your body, stroking towards your heart. It is refreshing and oh so invigorating. I also do this when I am sick or stuffy to give my lymphatic system a boost. 

Natural massage oil
My favorite, favorite thing! I never imagined I would be using an oil to moisturize my body but it works so well and my body soaks it all up. Best of all, there are no worries about synthetic fragrances with this oil. After dry brushing it feels great to use this oil all over. It is also really relaxing to rub all over your legs and feet around the time you want to unwind before going to sleep.
"Abhyanga is the anointing of the body with oil...The Sanskrit word sneha means both “oil” and “love,” and the effects of abhyanga are similar to being saturated with love. Both experiences can give a deep feeling of stability, warmth and comfort." - Banyan Botanicals

Plenty of face and eye masks
The face and eye masks shown here are products I was able to try on my yoga retreat and later repurchased myself because I enjoyed them so much. These are great anywhere, anytime. On planes, while taking a bath, relaxing on your  yoga mat (or the couch with a towel over your pillow or shoulder). 

Sweet orange oil
This is most uplifting scent ever to me right now. It is only a few dollars and my favorite one is sold at Whole Foods, so it is easy to find. During the winter I go for my peppermint oil the most, but this light citrus scent is a nice transition to the sweetness of a season when things are blooming all around. I like buying smaller bottles so I can keep one with me wherever I go. When I get to work I add an oil to my diffuser and that really helps me feel more comfortable when I'm at my desk. 

The perfect eye pillow
Be it before bedtime or naptime, an eye mask is an incredible helper. I'm not saying you have to get this same brand as I have shown, but you really, really should consider it. It's the most natural feeling to me and doesn't slide off easily.

A self-care routine is about giving yourself loving attention. Sometimes I will be dry brushing but find my shoulders becoming tense. Or as I stand to apply a face mask I will find myself kind of slouching, just trying to get it done. I try to gently remind myself to shift my shoulders down away from my neck, to stand with my weight balanced on both feet or find a comfortable seat, relax my jaw, to breathe...the most beautiful part of this routine is that as you are physically caring for yourself your mental attitude can begin to shift as well. This is the time to check in with yourself and how you are feeling.

This month I was able to attend a Nourishing Rituals workshop hosted by yoga teacher Catherine Zacks of Flow Yoga. It was an afternoon filled with so much love! She asked us to consider supports and barriers to our ideal day. When it comes to time in my day for self-care, a huge barrier for me is that I convince myself that my time could be spent doing something better, something less selfish and more helpful or urgent. But you know, my mood and my confidence are much greater when these rituals are active in my everyday life. It helps every other task throughout the day happen with more patience and lightness. 

For more reading on self-care I frequently turn to Claire of Vidya Living. I am so grateful our paths crossed in life. She is just amazing and has so much wisdom to share. (Also, she used to live in DC!) Claire is the one who taught me all about self-care as it relates to Ayurveda. She has a powerful, beautiful post with more information and more details on morning rituals.

Link Love
face mask (pictured)

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