5 Ways to Tend to Your Body in the Midst of Winter
Photo Credit: Allison Mulvaney
Here in Portland, OR we have received a rare snow event, leaving many of us stranded at home under a foot of snow. If you're looking for creative ways to offer some tenderness to your body, here are some ideas:
1) DIY facial
Step 1: Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser like plain oatmeal, or my "Be Radiant" face scrub using tepid (not hot!) water.
Step 2: Exfoliate with a simple sugar or salt scrub. I like to keep mine basic with a mix of coconut oil and sugar. If you like, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, geranium or frankincense.
Step 3: Steam your face to open the pores and cleanse on a deeper level. I like to bring a pot of water to a boil, turn off the heat, add a few drops of essential oils (like tea tree or eucalyptus), drape a towel over my head and lean over the pot. It should feel warm, not hot or scalding. Stay here, taking breaks as needed for up to 10 minutes. This also has an added bonus of clearing out the lungs!
Step 4: Create a Mask to leave on your face for about 10-15 minutes. I love either pure local honey or an avocado/milk blend. Both are very moisturizing and softening. Rinse with tepid water.
Step 5: Moisturize with your favorite lotion or oil, such as my "soft body cream," almond or apricot oil.
2) Perform a full body anointment with your favorite body cream:
After a cleansing shower or bath, massage the cream into each part of your body, from your toes to your face with attentiveness and love. Give gratitude to each part of your body as you go. Every piece of you performs endless duties and provides many gifts to your health and functionality. Devote extra care and attention to those areas that are feeling cranky or are injured or tense.
3) Stretch your body: I recently came across this resource as a guide to address each individual area of the body with specific stretches. Remember to move slowly and gently into and out of the stretches.
4) Meditate: Spend 10-20 minutes sitting or laying quietly. Focus your awareness on your breath, feeling and bringing awareness to your entire body as your breath moves inside. Notice which parts are awakened or touched on as your inhale. Allow your body to relax and release as you exhale. Whenever your mind or thoughts take over, gently bring yourself back to your breath and simply feeling the sensations in your body without judgement.
5) Book a bodywork appointment! Offer a gift to your future self.