Spring Cleansing: Mind, Body, & Home {HEALTH & WELLNESS}

Spring Cleansing
Spring is almost here and readying its blossoms. This is the time when we emerge from our layers and unburden ourselves from Winter’s sedentariness. We often lighten from the outside by cleansing our homes of clutter and excess. And, we cleanse from the inside by purifying our minds and bodies.

Many have watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, Tidying Up, that offers ideas on how to organize and purge our homes of clutter, allowing us to open up and brighten our spaces. We tackle this by letting go of material items and clearing our homes of the years of amassed clothing, shoes, and books. We’ve ‘KonMari-ed’ our home and recently took on our sister’s kitchen cupboards! We felt a bit like Monica Geller from the television show Friends (if you know what we mean :)), but we got the job done!

For our bodies, cleansing may include exfoliating the dead layer of Winter’s skin that has been hidden underneath heavy, thick clothing. Also, choosing the right foods including leafy greens like kale, watercress, and arugula and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant foods like ginger, garlic, turmeric, lemon, and berries can help to heal and protect our bodies (we’ll include some of our favorite green smoothie recipes in an upcoming post).

For our minds, cleansing our thoughts may feel like the most challenging task. Because how do we stop our minds from drifting, especially to negative thoughts that can affect both our minds and bodies? What can we do?

For us, taking long walks gets our body moving and allows us to reconnect with nature from which we draw inspiration and to clear our thoughts. Life’s details snare us. So, we turn off our cellphones and disconnect from the social noise so that we can reflect in the beauty before us and, most importantly, the beauty within us. We admire the perfect imperfections of nature. Not every tree is perfect. There are many with fractured branches. But that’s what gives each tree its character. Not all the rocks are uniform in shape. Yet, the variations in shape allow for greater contrast and a varied flow in the waters. It’s the combination of these differences that create the perfect picture that we call life. So, take a step back and breathe. Let the fresh air purify your body and mind.

More recently, we’ve also found that meditation can help to clear our minds, especially of any negativity and distractions that can draw us down a seemingly endless rabbit hole. As we researched the meditative practice, we reviewed material from Oprah Winfrey, Marie Forleo, Gabrielle Bernstein, and Dan Harris whose book, 10% Happier, gave us a good understanding of how meditation can help many to be more centered in their personal and professional lives. Meditation takes time and discipline to effectively incorporate into our day-to-day lives but it’s a practice that can help us remain focused on what’s most important…our health and well-being.

For us, we’re still working on honing the meditative practice. Oftentimes we find it hard to stop thinking about the dishes that have piled up in the sink or the loads of laundry that need to be washed, but we’re working on that :).

Choose the practice that feels most comfortable to embrace into your life. Take the time to disconnect from the social noise so that you can reconnect with your inner self. It will help to disentangle from the minutia and allow your mind and body to cleanse.

Thank you for being kind to your body.

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Spring Clean Your Pores! [BEATUY TIPS]

NS Facial Steaming - Flowers & PetalsDo you facial steam? We do. But not as often as we’d like. Incorporating facial steaming into your weekly skin care regimen can help keep skin clearer and give your skin that Spring-ready glow.

Overall, what can facial steaming do to help improve your complexion? Here are some benefits of facial steaming for the skin:

  • Detoxify your skin and manage acne – Facial steaming can encourage perspiration that helps to lift bacteria, toxins, debris, dead skin cells, and excess sebum, unclogging pores and reducing breakouts.
  • Get your glow on – The heat from facial steaming can help to enhance hydration, increase blood flow, and stimulate circulation to give your face a skin-healthy glow.
  • Reduce blackheads. – If you have trouble with unsightly blackheads, facial steaming can help to alleviate this condition by softening blackheads, allowing for easier removal and elimination.
  • Softens dead skin cells – This aids in the sloughing of stubborn rough, dry skin and allows skin to regenerate, letting younger, fresher skin shine through.
  • Better absorption of skin care treatments. – Facial steaming can help to eliminate buildup and remove barriers, allowing treatments to penetrate deeper and more effectively into the skin.
  • Relaxes and de-stresses – Sit back and enjoy some quality time. Facial steaming is a great at-home treat to help you decompress after a busy work week.

If you don’t have a facial steamer at home, you can use the hot towel method or the “steam tent” method. We like to use the “steam tent” method because with this method we can add herbs, flowers, and/or essential oils to the water bowl and breathe in the amazing scents for some body-relaxing aromatherapy.

Are you ready to facial steam? What you’ll need is a wide-rimmed bowl, a bath towel, 4-6 cups of boiling water, and herbs, flower petals, and/or essentials oils of your choice. First, secure your hair back. Pour the boiling water into the bowl, add herbs, flower petals, and 2-3 drops of essential oils of your choosing. Then, drape the bath towel over your head, creating a “tent” to trap and focus the steam onto your face. Keep your face about 6-8 inches above the water, far enough so that the steam doesn’t burn your skin. Steam for about 10-15 minutes, rinse face after steaming, and pat dry with a towel. If you do this weekly, you’ll notice a difference in your skin.

Depending on your skin type, some essential oil ingredients that you can add to the bowl to enhance the steaming benefits are:

  • Dry skin: lavender, rose, calendula, roman/German chamomile, neroli
  • Oily skin: rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, patchouli
  • Mature skin: rooibos, rose, frankincense, carrot seed oil
  • Acneic skin: tea tree oil, turmeric, lavender, clary sage

So, enjoy some relaxation time and happy home-spa pampering!

*** Please note, if you have overly sensitive skin, rosacea, are prone to fungal infections, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, please seek the advice of your medical practitioner before doing facial steaming.