How are you all? How are you coping with the ongoing lockdown situation, do you feel anxious about it all? I am surprisingly okay, I am getting bored and I am keen to start going out now, I'd love to sit in a pub garden or go for a walk along the South Bank in London. I am also missing time to myself and a quiet house. Too many bodies passing through at the moment, and a lack of routine! But I need to remember to be kind to myself and remind myself I am doing a good job and it is okay to take some time out for me.
Remember back in February, before we knew what was about to hit us, there was a lot of talk about how important it is to Be Kind following the sad death of Caroline Flack? Well, Mental Health Awareness Week (18 to 24 May 2020) is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and their chosen focus this year is Kindness.
What has become really apparent during this unprecedented crisis the world finds itself in, is that community spirit, support for each other and hope for the future is alive and well and we are being kinder. From clapping for our NHS carers, to the huge number of volunteers that came forward to help, to checking in on our neighbours and friends, to smiling as we pass a stranger on our walk or allowing a more vulnerable person to pass us in the queue, we are all doing our little bit.
Kindness has the ability to transform mental health, it reduces stress, it gives us a different perspective, encourages friendships and boosts our self-esteem.
But. we must be kind to ourselves too ...
Using aromatherapy to better your mental health
I've been using aromatherapy oils for sometime now, I am no expert, but, I am very well aware of the benefits they can have in supporting our mental health. Apart from anything else their scent is so relaxing - and why would you say no to feeling a bit more relaxed? A good aromatherapy massage is one of the best remedies I know for stress.
I was recently asked by a relatively new health and wellbeing lifestyle brand, Scentered, if I would like to try out one of their aromatherapy balms. I had already purchased one as a stocking filler at Christmas for my daughter so I knew of them and I love their packaging and their message.
Be kind - to yourself
And being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others. How often do we put our own wellbeing first? Especially as busy women, wives and mothers, we tend to put ourselves at the bottom of the to do list. I know I am really guilty of that. During the pandemic I have made a concerted effort to get out for a walk in the woods most days, I have also taken the time to make sure I light a candle and have a bath, so I can switch off and be alone with my thoughts.
I am so missing my girlfriends, I realise I really do need those chats, where we can share and grumble and gossip and realise we are not alone. Zoom or WhatsApp calls just aren't the same.
To help us stay emotionally healthy Scentered have created their Wellbeing Ritual:
Scentered’s “Stop. Inhale. Reset.” Wellbeing Ritual is about taking mindful moments for yourself throughout your busy day and using scent as a mental trigger to transition to your desired mindstate. When shifting from one desired mindstate to another, apply our Balms to your wrists, neck and temple liberally or light our Candles, inhale deeply and think about how you want to feel in the next moment. Repeat throughout your daily journey, navigating between our six unique blends to support your mindful transitions.
Scentered kindly sent me the I WANT TO SLEEP WELL gift set which comes with both a Balm and a Candle.
The packaging is so pretty, in fact it matches the new colour scheme in my bedroom (when it eventually gets painted)! So I am keeping the box to use on my dressing table, Scentered encourage you to reuse their packaging and glass candle jars (details on their website).
The award winning balms are designed for a mess free application and can be applied directly to the skin. They are not designed as a fragrance to last throughout the day but instead the moisturising ingredients of moringa and shea butter provide a personal sensory experience, the essential oils are absorbed into your skin and the aroma gently fades away so you are then free to apply another blend a short time later to allow you to transition from mindset to mindset. The SLEEP WELL Balm is designed to last longer as you breathe deeply and drift off to sleep. It contains a blend of palmarosa, lavender and ylang ylang.
The therapeutic candles are made from a blend of natural waxes, all sustainably sourced and non-GM, they contain pure essential oils for a clean burn and all natural fragrance. The SLEEP WELL candle will allow you to include a relaxing bedtime ritual into your routine to give you the best chance of a restful sleep.
I tried out the candle on the first evening by using it in my lounge whilst relaxing with a book, the scent is so soft and gentle, it smells really natural and is lovely and calming. Then I added the balm to my pulse points as directed - wrists, neck and temples -before bed.
It is really important to look for all natural candles, they may seem more expensive but they have a much longer burning time so they last longer and they are free from potentially harmful chemicals.
Scentered have six scents as part of their wellbeing ritual - Happy, Focus, De-Stress, Escape, Love and Sleep Well. I was also sent a sample of Happy - this is a mix of grapefruit, lemon myrtle and spearmint. It is uplifting, energising and refreshing. It is sunshine in a stick, perfect for days when you need a little extra lift!
I love that their balms are so portable, they are really easy to carry around in your handbag or at home and they are simple to put on, no mess or spillages and no need to mix with a carrier oil - they are ready to go! And of course both the balms and the candles are all natural. I have made the mistake in the past (and not so long ago) of buying some wax melts that just smelt too strong, too much like perfume and I was disappointed. But the Scentered products I am delighted with.
The balms or the candles make perfect and affordable gifts or Scentered have a fantastic selection of different bundles and gift sets. They also have a De-Stress Wash & Lotion Duo, a hand and body wash and a hand and body lotion.
You can find our more about Scentered and their candles and balms on their website.
My top tips for being kinder to yourself:
Put time aside to be alone, go for a walk or sit and read a book.
Forgive yourself, we are all human and mistakes happen, accept and move on.
Take a bath, light a candle, slow down.
Don't take on too much, you can say No.
Accept you are not perfect and you can't get everything right all of the time.
Don't compare yourself to others.
Be realistic about what you can achieve, just take small steps in the right direction.
Ask for help.
What have you been doing to be kind to yourself during lockdown? Is there something in your routine that is non-negotiable? For me - my daily walk and bath time! Candle lit and balm applied!
Did you miss these posts?
In a world where you can be anything, be kind
My personal struggle with emetophobia
Finding the positives of staying at home during the Covid-19 pandemic
Disclaimer: the sleep well set was gifted to me from Scentered, however this review and my opinions are entirely my own.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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