For the majority of us, life is pretty stressful. Whether we’re a busy student balancing classes with internships, or we’re out there working a grueling nine-to-five (more like nine-to-nine, am I right?), it’s pretty easy to find ourselves overwhelmed and feeling a little out of whack. While nothing can change the day-to-day stresses we’re faced with, sometimes treating ourselves to a little TLC is all that’s needed to make things better. In fact, for many of us, it’s crucial.
We talked to three experts in self-care, from herbal connoisseurs to crystal enthusiasts, to tell us about their favorite ways to unwind. Below, read the five remedies that are proven to give you a serious “ahhh” moment and melt away anxiety.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to show yourself some much-needed love.
Energy Cleansing Ritual
Sometimes, all self-care needs to be is letting yourself exist in a space that feels good. We talked to Dominique Caron, founder and owner of Apoterra Skincare, to teach us how to declutter and clear our space of negative energy. “For me, a self-care ritual always starts with prepping the room I am in,” she says. “The arrangement and energy of my living space really affects how I feel and my ability to relax. If the room is too cluttered, stuffy, or has been neglected, it emits negative energy that hampers any positive work I am doing.”
If cleaning your apartment doesn’t sound like the ideal start to a self-care ritual (we get it), Caron suggests that you do this the night before. “This way, you can spend the entire day focusing on things you enjoy,” she says.
Tools: Smudge stick or aromatherapy spray
First, once you’re in your newly cleaned space, put away any electronics and begin smudging, the Native American ritual that involves burning white sage or cedar to clear negative energy out of a space. “Studies have actually shown that smudging increases negative ions in the air, which have been associated with creating positive and happy feelings,” says Caron. “Our electronics, artificial lighting, and overall modern society create a lot of positive ions, which can make one feel depressed and anxious. So, smudging really does work.”
You can buy pre-bundled smudge sticks, or learn how to create your own here (and learn a little more about the ritual!). Then, light the stick on one end. Once it begins smoking, distribute the smoke throughout the room and around yourself. “I like to do this with positive and grateful intention,” says Caron.
If you don’t have a smudge stick or the time to create one, Caron recommends using an aromatherapy spray instead. “Essential oils are really powerful when it comes to clearing the air of unwanted microbes and also work with our bodies to promote healthy and positive feelings,” she says. “You can make a simple spray with just water and essential oils, although make sure to really shake your bottle before misting, since the oils and water won’t homogenize. A favorite blend for killing microbes and helping me relax and feel joyous is sweet orange, sandalwood, and rose geranium. You can also try ravintsara, laurel leaf, and cedarwood.”
Now, you’re ready to relax and have the perfect setting for any other rituals you choose to partake in.