Blog by Stacey – Stephanies Group Trainer & Spa Retreat Manager
Practising gratitude and tuning inward. Find calmness, clarity and peace in mind, body and soul daily. Be still. Find your joy. Give back to yourselves during this time for you have fought battles of your own to lead you to this very moment.
Continue to just be...
Please pour a cup of healthy tea and enjoy reading our Stephanies Self Care tips to nurture your mind body and wellbeing.
EAT HEALTHY MEALS & EXERCISE
Eating, drinking water and exercising well can have an impact on how you feel on a daily basis. If you exercise in the morning, eating at least an hour before your workout can assist in fuelling your body to improve your workouts and may also allow you to work out for longer periods or at a higher intensity.
Eating and drinking water after you exercise is just as important, to help your muscles recover. Keep in mind portion sizes for meals and with snacking well in between meals with food choices such as: Yoghurt and fruit, an energy bar, fruit smoothie, wholegrain crackers and dip, can also help in reducing naughty cravings. We are not saying do not have chocolate, but everything in moderation!
I’m not personally a big eater so my favourite is having a blended fruit or vegie smoothie in the morning before my workout and recovering with some protein and good fats such as eggs and avocado on wholegrain toast afterwards.
In between meals, I would snack on either some fruit and nuts, an energy bar, peanut butter and celery sticks or rice crackers with some tuna.
We have chosen some popular exercises to do at home and Apps suggested by our spa team, for you to reach your fitness and wellbeing goals:
Yoga Down Dog
Pilates Pilates Anytime
Aerobics Daily Cardio Workout
HIIT Interval Timer
Strength Training SWEAT
GO ON A 24-HOUR SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX
When was the last time you had a social media free day? Yes I know it pretty hard to do at them moment! But, having a digital detox from social media every now and then allows us to clear our minds, become more present with ourselves, our wants and needs and spending quality time with our close ones. A digital detox doesn’t have to be permanent; you can set an end time whether it be 24 hours, a few days or a week. It just must be long enough to rewire your brain and break you from the ritual of checking your phone regularly.
Some benefits to a social media detox can be
- Having more free time
- Experiencing less anxiety
- Having restful and undisturbed sleeps
- Enjoying your morning with your family or fur children
- Practising mindfulness and being more aware of your body and mind
Let your friends and family know that you are having a detox from social media – this will help you successfully achieve your digital detox and not only will it make you more accountable, it can inspire others to do the same.
Andra Chamtim has some great tips on how to social media detox the right way: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/g30681374/social-media-detox-tips/
Who doesn’t love a beautiful soy and coconut triple scented candle? Healthy clean candles can form a huge part of any relaxation ritual and sometimes helps switch your mind off from whatever the day has thrown at us.
Aromatherapy candles that use quality essential oils can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and stress and induce quality sleep.
Napali Collection is handmade in Australia, and their triple scented fragrances are absorbed into luxurious soy and coconut wax to form the perfect candle to your surroundings.
My favourite must be Mykonos – Sea Salt & Amber with fragrance notes of rockmelon, bergamot, sea spray and hibiscus. This scent really reminds me of being by the ocean and soaking up the sun and immersing myself into the sea… it is so refreshing!
With up to 80 hours burning time, you are brought back to your relaxation haven once again…
If you want to try our beautiful Napali candle collection, please Shop and light a Napali candle: We have some great offers in our spa shop.
PRACTISE DEEP BREATHING
When was the last time you were aware of your own breath and took a deep meaningful breath?
We breathe in and out all day without noticing but did you know breath work is one of the biggest tools to combat stress levels, anxiety, reduce pain and high blood pressure?
We always guide our clients totake three deep breaths in, upon commencing their spa treatments to relax them into their experience and on completion of their Stephanies spa ritual.
Deep breathing is an intentional practice and can be incorporated into your daily routine. You can intentionally set some time aside in the mornings during yoga and meditation, during stressful situations throughout the day or while lying in bed when you’re about to drift off to sleep.
>>> Breathe in calmly, through the nose, filling your abdomen and chest, for 5 seconds (or longer, not exceeding 7 seconds). Hold this breath in for 3 seconds. Slowly and gently release the breath through the mouth for 5 seconds (or more, whatever is comfortable.) breathe out through a slightly parted lip or “O” shaped lips. Repeat this 5 times, or even better, continue for 5 minutes. <<<
Important tips: Deep breathing should be slow and gentle. Remember to fill the abdomen, not just the chest. A simple way to make sure you are doing this is to place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest. Breathe deeply and make sure your hand on your stomach is rising. Try to be aware of your breath, heartbeat and to release tension from your body. Sometimes it’s easier to lie down or sit comfortably in a chair.
-Urban Balance, Andrea Watkins
LISTEN TO BEAUTIFUL MUSIC
Music can be uniquely linked to our emotions and can be an extremely effective tool in relieving stress and encouraging more calmness and joy. We are so grateful to have beautiful relaxing music that plays throughout all our spas that aids in relaxation when spa treatments are in progress.
I regularly listen to music in the car on my way to work, in the spa itself, on my way home, while cooking dinner and even when I’m showering sometimes!
Find your preferred genre of music that relates to your current emotions or if you want to feel a certain way, set a playlist and be still. Feel your emotions and feel them change and flow. Spotify is an excellent app to discover different genres of music, artists and songs.
My top Spotify Playlist picks for relaxation are:
- Evening Acoustics
- Stress Relief
- Peaceful Piano
- Yoga & Meditation
- Peaceful Meditation
- Relaxation Massage
CALL A LOVED ONE
Who are you thinking of lately? Be sure to pick up and call your nearest and dearest family and friends. This is a gentle reminder to reach out to them during this time, even if it is just to check on them and ask “how are you doing?”.
I think we can all admit that we may have a handful of people that we can reach out to and now is the best time as any, to do so.
Skype, FaceTime, House Party and Zoom Apps are wonderful ways for staying in touch virtually and keeping the connection. Why not do a dinner date just to be in the same room as each other, not physically, but presently? Cook a meal together with your cameras facing each of you in the kitchen, pour a glass of wine and sit down and enjoy your meals!
We can find very creative online ways to connect and share our lives with our loved ones to let them know we are thinking of them.
PREPARE A BATH TIME RITUAL
If you don’t have a bath, even a mindful warm shower will do wonders.
When you start noticing you’re beginning to tired or overwhelmed, with life or a situation, you can set yourself up with your own spa moments with a bath or spa shower time ritual to bring your emotional temperature down. This is a great self-care routine to wash away daily stresses and help us reset a bit.
Epsom salt-based baths are good for relaxing muscle tension, along with essential oils that can help aid in different states of emotion. If you do not have a bath, find an essential oil-based shower gel to mindfully massage into your skin. Stephanites Naked bath salts contain an alchemy of Epson Salt, Celtic sea salt and beautiful quality Essential oils.
While you’re taking your bath or shower, listen to some soothing music and light a Napali candle while you explore your surroundings using all your five senses, feel, see, smell, taste and touch.
I like to unwind by reading a book as well and sip on Stephanites iced Red Delicious tea from la Vie elixir collection which is perfect to be made chilled as it is made from organic dried apples!
Mindful Bathing and Bath Soak blog: https://stephanies.com.au/blog/2020/03/mindful-bathing-and-bath-soaks/
SPEND TIME IN YOUR GARDEN
Connecting with Mother Nature and the Earth can be so grounding while caring for our plants and flowers. With the practice of gardening, you can cultivate a healthy mind, regain your inner balance and immediately feel calm. There is something special about planting a seed with intention, or touching soil that is so transformative and if you’re gardening outside, you will also increase your vitamin D levels simply by being outdoors. It is a great way to boost your mood and improve mental health as it has been used as a way of therapy for depression.
Tips for mindful gardening:
- Unplug your phone or leave it indoors
- Walk barefoot – notice the earth, feel the soil, smell the air
- Study a flower or a plant – notice what flowers or plants are already in bloom, look around you
- Pause before you begin – take slow, deep breaths and connect with the world around you
- Be grateful and present – notice how the soil feels, take a moment to appreciate Mother Nature
- Set intentions – place the seeds or plants in the ground with intention “may you grow and be healthy”
- Water lightly – listen to the sound of water hitting the earth and nurturing your plant.
CUDDLE YOUR PET
How many of us love coming home after a long day at work and being greeted by our loving, happy pets? For many of us, interacting with our loved animals is the ultimate therapy to a stressful day but many of us remain aware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of cuddling up to our furry friends.
Studies have found that:
- Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets
- People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations
- Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine hormones, which calm and relax
- Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without
- Pet owners over age 65 make 30% fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets
Pets can also fulfil the basic human need to touch as it has very therapeutic effects and can also ease loneliness, make you have healthier lifestyle changes, add structure and routine to your day and reduce anxiety and stress levels.
If you wish to adopt a friendly animal who deserves a loving home, just like our founder Stephanie has with her beautiful rescue dogs Bailey, Sasha and Faith her lovely cat.
Unwind with a bespoke collection of tea blends using only the finest tea, herbs, flowers and fruit sourced and hand-picked from around the globe. Professionally made by an artisan master tea blender and herbalist, our Signature spa tea has a focus on wellbeing and is served in all our Stephanies® Luxury Spas to our treasured guests. As always quality is of the utmost importance and only freshly milled herbs are used, harvested by hand with a sickle and shade dried, allowing butterflies and insects to fly away, preserving biodiversity.
Prepare your la vie elixir tea: Infuse 1-2 teaspoons of loose leaf in a teapot. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes or for desired taste.
Red Delicious – Apple pieces, Ascorbic Acid & Natural Acerola, Citric Acid, Natural Sweet Apple Flavour. Can be enjoyed hot or chilled.
Just like eating a red delicious apple, this smooth tasting tea is the perfect sugar craving antidote. Great to drink at any time while providing a great boost of vitamin C. Makes a delicious apple ice tea, just add mint.
Soul Soothe – Lemongrass, Passionflower, Skullcap, Lemon Balm & Lavender.
A soothing herbal beverage for the mind and soul. An ideal accompaniment to our modern lifestyle, especially during and after a long day as a part of your home spa ritual.
Spa Mint – Spearmint, Alfalfa & Calendula.
Relaxes, restores and aids digestion. Refreshes the breath naturally and is delicious as a cold drink. Perfect tea blend to enjoy after any spa experience, good as an after-dinner mint refreshment too.
French Tea Party – Black Tea, Lavender, Rose Petals, Mallow Flowers, Mango & Bergamot.
This is a beautiful, sophisticated tea bouquet that embodies true romance and style. It is great to drink any time of the day. An ideal Spa High Tea Party delight.
Shop and pour your next cup of healthy la vie elixir herbal teas:
READ A BOOK
One of the most effective ways to give back to ourselves is through knowledge and development. Reading a great book can help us learn, understand and makes us more knowledgeable! Not to mention the vocabulary expansion and thinking skills we develop from it as well.
“Reading a book, and taking the time to ruminate and make inferences and engage the imaginational processing, is more cognitively enriching, without a doubt, than the short little bits that you might get if you’re into the 30-second digital mode.” – Ken Pugh (President of Haskins Laboratories)
10 ways reading benefits us and why we should cultivate a good reading habit
- Sharpens your mind
- Increases your vocabulary
- Improves your memory and focus
- Enhances imagination and empathy
- Strengthens your writing abilities
- Enhances your imagination
- Boosts your sleep
- Lower levels of stress and tension relief
- Helps with depression and dysthymia
FIND A QUIET SPOT TO MEDITATE
Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect thoughts, where it can also increase awareness of your own breath and surroundings. Meditation can be performed anywhere mindfully. In most places, people like to practice in a quiet place in the comfort of their homes, during a yoga class, in an open space such as a park or even sometimes temples.
During isolation, an ideal place that we can incorporate meditation is in a quiet place of your home – find a room, balcony or veranda that has some natural light and allows for some fresh air to flow through.
How to meditate for beginners
- Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion.
- Close your eyes. We recommend using one of our la Vie elixir Eye Pillows if lying down.
- Make no effort to control your breath; simply breathe naturally and feel your sensations flow through your body for a minute.
- Now, focus your attention on your breath and how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, ribcage and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If you mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and the try it for longer periods
- Mayo Clinic ,
- Good House Keeping
- Urban Balance
- Psych Central
- Stephanies Blogs
- NY Times
- Help Guide
- Self Development Secrets
- Gaiam Blogs
We hope you found this BLOG helpful. Look after your loved ones, stay at home and try to adapt your mind, body and family into this unprecedented time that our world is experiencing. Please show your appreciation and gratitude to all our wonderful front-line service provider and those very special healthcare workers.
Till our next Stephanies Blog, stay well.