Self-care is the cornerstone of great gut health. 70 % of our immune system lives in our gut. Caring for yourself, making your body feel beautiful, and pushing toxins out from your body is necessary for great health and a wonderful life. Self-care is also a way to connect with yourself, to fall back in love with yourself, and to cultivate health and joy within and spread it to everyone you touch! Here are some of my favorite tools.
Skin brushing is a must when it comes to eliminating toxins and restoring your gut health. Doing this supports your lymphatic system, kidneys and liver.
Using a skin brush such as the one by Yerba Prima, brush your skin in the morning before showing and at night for maximum results.
Always brush toward your heart with the flow of the lymphatic fluid.
Start at the soles of your feet and then move up your legs, brushing in a circular motion.
Brush your chest and shoulders toward your heart in long strokes, and then start at the fingertips and brush toward your body. Use small, circular strokes in your armpits.
Move in a circular motion counterclockwise on your stomach to respect the direction of digestion.
Tongue scraping is one of my go-to tools to relieve my body of toxicity. This removes mucus and toxic buildup in your mouth.
You can purchase a tongue scraper on Amazon or simply use a spoon. I use Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner.
In the morning and at night, reach to the back of your tongue with your scraper and pull forward, scraping off the white film and then repeating.
Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is wonderful for supplying your body with magnesium, boosting nutrient absorption, relieving stress, improving sleep, and reducing muscle cramps.
Adding Epsom salts to your bath is a divine experience. To do this, add 1 cup of Epsom salts, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup sea salt, and ¼ cup Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar (optional) to a warm bath. You can also add a few drops of essential oils, such as lavender or another favorite essential oil.
Rebounding is a great way to support lymphatic drainage. You can purchase a used rebounder on Craigslist or a new one on Amazon. I suggest rebounding for 15 minutes each day.
Castor oil pack
Castor oil packs are another way to efficiently remove toxins from the body. There are two ways to do a castor oil pack:
Rub castor oil on your stomach, the right side of your liver and upper abdomen. Some people prefer to soak a cloth, towel or old shirt in the castor oil, wrap the pack in plastic wrap (BPA-free preferred) and then apply over the desired organ. You can lay a hot water bottle or a heating pad on the top of the pack and relax as you release toxins for about 45 minutes.
Lay down on a towel and rub the castor oil on your stomach, the right side of your liver and upper abdomen. Then re-apply every 15 minutes until you've reached the 45-minute mark.
Oil pulling is one of my favorite and most effective advanced tools because it cleanses the mouth of bacteria and yeast that can lead to infection and toxicity in the body.
You should oil pull in the morning on an empty stomach, and follow up with tongue scraping (above).
Gratitude may feel difficult and confusing in these times, but it does help our stress level, which in turn helps our health, by calming our stress, and therefore helping our immune system.
When many of us think of gratitude, we associate it with the act of simply saying “thank you” to someone for an act of kindness. However, gratitude is more than just a reaction or the feeling associated with feeling thankful for something. Instead, it is a positive emotion, and a deeper appreciation of someone or something. This deeper relationship with gratitude, of course, has a longer-lasting effect.
Gratitude is a state of mind that we create when we affirm good in our lives that comes from outside of ourselves or from relishing in small pleasures. We all have those precious blessings in our lives that we are grateful for, but gratitude does not necessarily have to come from our own circumstances.
Practicing gratitude means developing an awareness that allows you to be grateful for things like good health, a delicious meal, a child’s smile, the air that you breathe. It is a deeper appreciation of life in all its moments. This includes negative experiences as well because by practicing gratitude, you become aware and grateful that there is always something to be learned. You choose what to be grateful for and when.
The benefits of practicing gratitude are plentiful. Here are some of them:
Expressing your gratitude can improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
Gratitude strengthens interpersonal relationships.
A focus on gratitude can increase optimism by shifting your energy to more positive emotions.
The pursuit of happiness is subjective, but the satisfaction that comes from practicing gratitude has a lasting positive effect. Therefore, the more we practice gratitude, the more positive we feel, thus the happier we are with our lives.
So. how do you enter into this state of mind?
Starting a gratitude journal is a wonderful way to get in touch with what makes you feel grateful.
To do this, get yourself a journal that is only going to be used for your gratitude journal. This is important because you want this journal to be filled with positive, happy experiences and emotions. It is good to be able to express all of your emotions, so maybe have a secondary journal for all other expressions.
The purpose of the journal is to reflect on your day or week to pull out at least five things you feel grateful for.
Before you begin your journaling, make sure you feel sincere about what you are about to write about, and try to focus your energies on both people and intangibles.
Besides highlighting the wonderful things you can be grateful for, this practice has been proven to increase sleep quality, decrease symptoms of sickness, and increase happiness and joy.
Enjoy the journey!
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Yours in wellness
It cannot be denied that everyday life has some accompanying stresses. Often we carry those stresses to bed and carry them along through the next day as we collect new stresses. With this in mind, it is essential that we take some time for ourselves to sit quietly with our thoughts, to pamper ourselves, or just to relax once in a while.
For many of us, this sounds like a great idea, but it’s hard to put into action. We either can’t seem to find the time to take for ourselves, or a day at the spa sounds great but is not within our financial reach. Regardless, it is important to find the time because prolonged stress can lead to:
There are many ways to reduce your stress, including eating healthy, exercising, practicing meditation, and finding quiet moments to yourself. One great way is to carve out the time by creating a spa day for yourself at home. And guess what, it doesn’t cost much!
Here are some steps to help you create a relaxing, rejuvenating self-care experience:
Make yourself a pitcher of lemon water with fresh mint to treat your senses.
Put on your favorite tunes. This might be something calm and relaxing, or it might be that album from high school that you secretly love.
Candles! Why not? Light a few in your bathroom for your bath. The light of candles is naturally calming.
A calming foot soak is great before that mani/pedi. And it is as easy as pouring warm water into a bowl with Epsom salt, olive oil, and your favorite sensual oil.
Pamper yourself with a fresh coat of polish on your fingers and toes! Plan ahead and buy yourself a new color.
Create a natural DIY mask to smooth and soften your skin. Here are some wonderful recipes to try: https://wellnessmama.com/12200/face-mask-recipes/
Olive oil is a great hair treatment. Apply it and simply massage it into your scalp and all the way down to the ends of your hair. Leave on for at least 15 minutes, shampoo out, and enjoy your soft, lustrous locks.
Elevate your bath with a soothing bath bomb - a dry mixture made to dissolve in water and release essential oils, scents, flowers, or bubbles into the bath. A wonderful DIY recipe follows.
At the end of the day, it is nice to have something relaxing to look forward to. It may not come until after help with homework, dinner, and laundry, but when you can, jazz up your next bath with this DIY bath bomb recipe:
-1 cup baking soda
-½ cup citric acid
-½ cup of sea or Epsom salt
-¾ cup cornstarch
-2 tablespoons of oil (olive, coconut, almond)
-2 teaspoons of witch hazel
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-30-40 drops of your favorite essential oil
-Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.
-In a separate bowl, combine the oil, witch hazel and vanilla extract and stir well. Add essential oils if using.
-Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients a few drops at a time. Mix well with hands.
-The mixture should hold together when squeezed without crumbling. You may need to add slightly more witch hazel if it hasn’t achieved this consistency yet.
-Quickly push the mixture into molds or greased muffin tins. Press in firmly and leave at least 24 hours, or until hardened.
-When dry, remove from molds and store in an airtight container. Use within 2 weeks
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