Simple Wellness Practices that Transform Your Bathing Ritual

I’ll be honest, I’ve wasted many a shower composing emails in my head, or tallying up a mental list of to-dos to check off the minute I’m dried and dressed. I think it was becoming a mother that made me realize that a routine shower (or bath) is less a task to perform on autopilot and more of a self-care ritual to be savored.

I challenge you to seize those precious bathing moments to incorporate some simple wellness practices that will help you look and feel your best— mind, body and spirit. I try to incorporate a few of these 8 practices every time I bathe, whether I’m hopping in for a quick rinse or taking time out for a long soak.

wellness-shower-bath.JPG

8 Wellness Practices that Transform Your Bathing Ritual

1. Gratitude. You’ve probably already made a mental note to bring more gratitude into your life, but you may not have found the time to be consistent. So incorporate it into your bathing ritual. When I shower in the morning, it wakes up my senses and I’m instantly grateful for another sunrise, the calming feeling of warm water flowing over my body, a roof over my head, and food that will be my breakfast meal.

2. Healthy Beauty. Your bathing ritual just won’t support your body and beauty if the products you use contain hormone-disrupting or carcinogenic ingredients. Put thought into the products you choose, and remember that your dollars are well-spent on products that absorb into your body in seconds, and influence your overall health. For ideas, I’ve shared lots of my favorite natural and organic products on this site!

3. Head massage. You know how drool-inducing a head massage can be at a salon, now slow down and bring those techniques into your regular routine. The benefits are way more than just pleasurable: gently massaging your scalp encourages the flow and drainage of lymph from your brain that keeps your brain and waste-removing lymphatic system in top form.

4. Deep, steamy breaths. If you’re showering, take a few moments to deeply breathe in steam that rises from the stream of water. You’ll calm your body, open up your airways, and help your body detox naturally.

5. Aromatherapy. In addition to steam, there are so many benefits to adding natural scents to your bathing routine; I recommend using small amounts of essential oils to avoid any synthetic fragrances. You can sprinkle a few drops of essential oils on your shower floor, make or purchase a baking soda-based aromatherapy tablet that dissolves on the floor of your shower and emits scent as you bathe, or mix essential oils with a carrier oil and/or natural salts to add to your bath. I share some of my favorite essential oils in this post.

6. Single-tasking. You’ve heard of multi-tasking, now single task— mindfully perform one task at a  time. I see this as kind of a mini warmup or trial run for meditation that strengthens the brain’s focus and calm in the same way. Pay attention to the details of your bathing ritual (even though I bet you could bathe in your sleep, it’s so routine) like scents, textures, and sensations, and you practice a habit that will serve you outside of your bathing ritual.

7. Dry brushing. I love dry brushing after I bathe— when my skin is clean and my circulation is already flowing. I think it’s the perfect addition to a bathing ritual, as it speeds up the flow of waste-removing lymph and brings glow and tone to your body (it can even reduce cellulite!). Get your own natural-bristle body brush and add this quick, transformative step to your routine using instructions found here or in the Eat Pretty books.

8. Skin-nourishing oils. The final wellness-boosting step I’d encourage you to adopt in your bathing routine is applying high-quality natural or organic oils to your skin. This practice gives you a chance to touch your skin, head to toe, and love your body. And plant-based oils will enhance the effects of your beauty diet from the outside-in.

What wellness practices do you love to incorporate in your own bathing ritual?

You're Going to Love the UMA 7-Day All-Natural Challenge!

File this UMA 7-Day All-Natural Challenge under: things that are too good to miss!

Starting Monday, January 23rd, and running through Sunday, January 29th, the UMA 7-Day All-Natural Challenge is an inspiring, health- and beauty-boosting program developed by the lovely natural beauty company UMA, with the goal of getting YOU involved, and helping you get healthy and gorgeous this month.

Participating will get you some incredible rewards, in addition to feeling great after competing each day's healthy habit challenge. Everyone who participates for all 7 days and follows the challenge terms (below) will receive a $100 UMA Detox Bundle, which includes sample sizes of 3 of UMA's amazing masks and 2 gorgeous wellness oils. BUT you have to join the challenge and participate in all 7 days for your prize!

Here's all you need to know to participate and prepare:

To Participate

  1. Sign-up for UMA's email newsletter for challenge updates.
  2. Regram the challenge announcement post and rules on Instagram (Jan. 16) and tag a friend to join you in the challenge so they can win too!
  3. Regram UMA’s daily challenge photo for all 7 days with a blurb about how you participated in each day’s challenge, including the hashtag #UMAallnatural

Super easy, right? And here's how to play along:

Steps to Pure, Natural Lifestyle

  • Day 1 (1/23): Try oil pulling with coconut or sesame oil first thing in the morning to promote oral health rather than using mouthwash packed with cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Day 2 (1/24): Trade your daily cup of coffee for a metabolism-boosting, antioxidant-filled cup of herbal tea. Not only will you get a steadier energy boost, but you’ll be doing your skin a favor with tea’s inherent compounds that are great for skin elasticity and circulation.
  • Day 3 (1/25): Only eat non-processed food all day. Try one of our recipes if you need ideas!
  • Day 4 (1/26): Use only beauty products with ingredients you can pronounce.
  • Day 5 (1/27): Detox your body with warm lemon water in the morning to improve digestion, support liver detoxification, and reduce bloating. Have a spoonful of flaxseed oil before bed to flush out toxins and get a boost of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Day 6 (1/28): Pre-shower, stimulate your lymphatic system and boost circulation with dry brushing. Dedicate 3-5 minutes to massage the body with firm, small strokes in a circular motion towards the heart, starting from the feet and working your way up to the neck and face. At night, give your body a rub down with the oil that best suits your dosha. Discover yours via the link in our bio.
  • Day 7 (1/29): Meditate for 5 minutes with the help of an essential oil. Sandalwood, frankincense, and chamomile are especially soothing. Any of our Wellness Oils will do the trick, especially our grounding Gorgeous for Good blend! Essential oils will help you reach a meditative state and promote focus, clarity, and relaxation. Not quite ready for meditation? Just try switching out your perfume for an essential oil with luscious scent notes to reap the benefits all-day long.Commit to the all-natural life with us! Each day of the challenge, we’re asking you to take an actionable step towards a healthier lifestyle. Let’s hold each other accountable and start treating our bodies better together.

Prize

Everyone that participates in all 7 days of the challenge, following the challenge terms, will receive an UMA Detox Bundle valued at $100.

Challenge Terms

  • Must follow @umaoils on Instagram
  • Must be signed up the UMA email list
  • Must regram contest announcement post and rules (1 week prior) and tag a friend to join
  • Must regram UMA’s daily challenge photo all 7 days with a blurb about how you participated in each day’s challenge
  • Must use the hashtag #UMAallnatural on every photo
  • Followers that participate in all 7 days will receive a Detox Bundle valued at $100
  • One entry per person
  • Open internationally to public accounts only
  • Competition close date: January 29, 2017

Challenge Dates

  • Challenge Announcement: January 16, 2017
  • 7-Day Challenge: January 23-29, 2017
  • Close Date: January 29, 2017
  • Announce Winners: January 30, 2017

Ready to get going? Me too. I cant wait to see you posting and re-gramming your challenge photos starting 1/23! #UMAallnatural

x, Jolene

10 Beauty Lessons I Learned While Traveling Abroad

dolder-grand-sunset-travel.jpg

The view from my balcony at The Dolder Grand in Zurich.

I'm just back from 6 days of traveling in Germany and Switzerland with natural beauty brands Amala and Primavera. This wasn't your average trip, for many reasons. First, I traveled at 25 weeks pregnant— a bit of an adventure on its own. Second, this trip was 100% focused on natural beauty, including a tour of the remote (and amazing!) eco-friendly German headquarters of Amala and Primavera (look for my coverage in Organic Spa mag), and a peek at Amala products in action at one of the world's most luxurious hotel spas, The Dolder Grand in Zurich. The third thing that stood out about this trip was the location— the German Alps and Switzerland, which had a fairytale feel that made it easy to find beauty everywhere.

You know how leaving your comfort zone to have a fresh experience can truly inspire you? That's exactly how this trip felt. Traveling reminded me of some of the universal truths about beauty and health— truths that apply to your lives as well.

Here are ten simple lessons gleaned from a few magical days abroad...

Read More

Beauty Food Breakfast: Ginger Grapefruit Chia Pudding

ginger-grapefruit-chia-beauty-food

If you think caffeine is the only way to wake up your senses in the morning, think again...

How about some citrus and ginger aromatherapy to rev up your energy before work?

Maybe a recipe that also has protein and anti-inflammatory omega-3s from chia seeds, plus powerful maca root?

For an eye-opening beauty breakfast to rival any cup of joe, try my Ginger Grapefruit Chia Seed Pudding- recipe below. This energizing breakfast combines the wake-up power of ginger and fresh grapefruit to rev you up for the day ahead.

Read More

Good-Looking, Great-Smelling Scent Therapy from 21 Drops

The idea that aromatherapy effects the body in ways that go far beyond mood truly fascinates me. Could it be that aromatherapy actually has the potential to help us digest, sleep well, cure a headache or relieve PMS? What if there was a fragrance blend to boost immunity or relieve muscle aches? There is.

Read More