Self Care… A Healing Gift You Can Give Yourself. Here’s How:

Posted

 

I truly believe that even with the stress of everything we are facing right now, we can still feel healthier than ever if we intentionally set up some supportive, comforting and deeply healing health routines.

So all winter long, I’m going to be giving you a weekly blog post full of uplifting ways to improve your health, and every single idea is something you can do right in the comfort of your own home.  Social distancing approved.

It’s a new mini-series I’m releasing for you to help improve your health over these next three winter months.  Forward this newsletter to a friend or a family member so that they can take part in this healing mini-series with you!

The series so far has been:

Topic 1: Movement

Topic 2: Listening

Topic 3: Declutter

And now on to today’s topic: Nurturing Your Body

 


 

 

Most of us do not practice enough self care, so this “stay at home” time is the perfect time to experience what it is like to actually prioritize caring for the body we are living in.

Your body has been waiting for this!

I highly encourage you to read through this list of ideas, select a few that resonate with you, and continue to do them long after this pandemic is over.

We can let this experience actually improve our health for the long term!

Let’s go:

 


 

 

1.  Hydrate Inside And Out

 

Known as the “Elixir of Life” for good reason, water is absolutely critical to our well being in every way.

Not only are we primarily made up of water (over 70% of our body is pure water) but water has a healing property that goes way beyond simple hydration.  Today, I want to share with you all the different ways that dehydration affects our health (you might be surprised at some of these!) and also how we can use the power of water to support our Well Being from the inside out.

What Does Dehydration Feel Like?

Dehydration is life threatening.  Severe dehydration means our organs absolutely can not function normally and leads to seizure, organ failure, and death. But did you know even very mild levels of dehydration might be affecting you on a daily basis?  Dehydration can lead to or exacerbate common conditions such as constipation, dry skin, bad breath, headache, and high blood pressure.

  • Dry Mouth: One of the first symptoms of dehydration is dry mouth, which leads to bacteria overgrowth and bad breath.  If you notice bad breath, you might consider: are you chronically dehydrated?
  • Dry Skin:  Your skin turgor is another indicator of dehydration.  If you’ve been concerned about your skin feeling dry or more wrinkled, double check that you are drinking enough fluid each day.
  • Pain:  Pain is actually a symptom of dehydration as well, often starting with a headache. And low fluid status can lead to brain fog as well, as the fluid volume of the brain gets depleted.  I’ve literally had patients with a raging headache drink a glass of water and have the headache clear completely.  The next time you have a headache or any type of pain, make sure you drink a glass of water and then re-evaluate your pain levels before reaching for a pain reliever or medication. Dehydration makes all pain worse, as the volume of the organs and joints deplete, dehydrated discs in the spine allow increased pinching of nerves, and muscle cramps increase as electrolytes deplete.
  • Constipation:  Having sluggish bowels is another classic symptom of chronic dehydration.  Recent studies have shown that water status is the number one factor impacting regularity.  Drinking water has more of an impact on encouraging  healthy bowel movements than fiber supplement or exercise… in fact, I’d go as far as to say fiber supplements clog people up more often than they help. In general, a constipated person is a dehydrated person.  You can fix that right now — go grab a glass of water.
  • High Blood Pressure:  Another classic sign of chronic dehydration?  High blood pressure.  When we decrease our water intake, our blood gets thicker, harder to pump, our blood volume decreases and our heart rate increases and our blood vessels constrict.  All together, this means your blood pressure raises and stays raised.
  • Digestive Issues:  Dehydration also impacts your entire gut lining, and chronic dehydration can give rise to stomach ulcers and absorption issues as the mucosal layer stops secreting it’s protective film.
  • Dry Cough:  Not only does the gut lining need to be well hydrated to function, but also our entire respiratory lining does too. Our lungs absolutely require a moist mucous membrane to function.  In chronic dehydration, the mucus membranes in our respiratory system dry out and become more vulnerable to dust, pollen and other irritants.
  • Urinary Tract Infections:  Getting more UTI’s than usual?  Our entire urinary system (and therefore the health of our kidneys) depends on having enough volume to use liquids to flush toxins from our body.  When we can’t do that, we set ourselves up for issues with kidney function and a higher rate of infections.
  • Weight Gain:  Another little known side effect of chronic dehydration is weight gain. As we become volume depleted, we begin to feel thirst, which is often confused with hunger because the body is craving intake of any kind (knowing that most foods will provide some form of hydration, your body sends out the message that it is hungry when it is volume depleted in any way.) As a result, we eat when what we really need to be doing for our true health is rehydrating.
  • Bad Mood & Foggy Brain:  Did you know that even mild dehydration affects our mood?   A study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that study participants reported decreased motivation and increased feelings of anxiety when mildly dehydrated.  And this medical review published in the Journal Of the American College of Nutrition showed that our attention spans and even our short term memory fizzles when we are dehydrated.

 

So the next time you have a headache, or feel anxious, or notice your blood pressure or weight creeping up… drink a glass of water and re-evaluate.  It could be that chronic dehydration has been a key factor contributing to your symptoms all along.

And don’t rely on thirst to remind you to drink!  Dehydration begins when we are just 1% volume depleted, but thirst doesn’t set in until our body is about 2% volume depleted.

By then we have already had effects on our mood, energy level, ability to think clearly, and pain levels.  Instead of waiting for thirst or darkened urine to remind us to drink, let’s utilize these preventative strategies for staying well hydrated, instead of treating dehydration!  The goal of this isn’t to teach you how to address dehydration but to have you protecting your hydration levels by preventing dehydration in the first place.

Here are 5 ways to prevent dehydration before you even get thirsty:

  • Begin and end every single day drinking a big glass of water:  Drink water each AM before you even think about reaching for orange juice or coffee. Replenishing the fluids you lost overnight every as well as the fluids you may have overlooked drinking all day long is a great lifelong habit to get into… do it daily so it becomes an automatic routine!
  • Drink a glass of water whenever you feel hungry:  Use hunger as a reminder to hydrate!  We feel hunger on and off all day long, and so we can remember to drink water on and off all day long too.  Drink a glass of water before each meal and whenever you feel thirst *or* hunger, and you will stay well hydrated all day long.
  • Include fruits and vegetables at every single meal:  Fruits and veggies are full of water (many being more than 90% water!) and minerals that help you maintain essential fluid volume.  Processed foods like packaged snacks actually dehydrate you.  Fruits and veggies are a great way to hydrate *while* you eat!  The most hydrating ones include:  melons, berries, cucumber, celery, leafy greens, tomatoes and bell peppers.
  • Use an unrefined sea salt when you cook, instead of table salt:  It’s truly important to make sure you have enough minerals in your diet so that you can absorb and retain the right hydration balance.  Trace minerals, found in sea salts, are essential to the body’s function. I talk a little more about why minerals are so essential for health in this video I made for you here.  Even if you don’t think hydration is an issue for you, most of us are mineral depleted whether we hydrate well or not.  You might want to consider a daily mineral supplement that you have to put into water, which will further encourage you to drink drink drink throughout the day.  My favorite is Concentrace Mineral Drops, which I have waiting for you in my trusty online dispensary here.
  • Switch from soda to sparkling water:  The sugar and chemicals found in soda (even diet soda!) mess with your metabolism and should not count towards your 8 cups of water a day.  Get your carbonation fix from sparkling water instead and reap the hydration rewards!

 

Beyond staying hydrated, you can use the power of water to boost your health in these 6 unique ways.

The healing power of water can work magic for helping to support our entire well being, from clearing our mind frame to easing pain.

Let’s go beyond staying hydrated and really tap into the broader healing properties of water… here’s 6 ways that water can boost your whole body well being:

 

  • Allow tears… always:  Never hold them back.  Let the water of your tears release your emotions and lift them from your body.  Water is the ultimate medium of flow and healing… in fact, water is the body’s natural choice of release as well, as you can see in the fact that the body uses tears to facilitate an emotional release.  Tears help encourage the flow of emotions through the body (both tears of joy and tears of sorrow!) and allows us to release tension more easily.
  • Sweat it out!  The other way that the body uses water as a form of energetic and physical release is through sweat.  Heat uses the energy and flow of water (the blood in your circulatory system) by increasing flushing — fluid in, sweat out.  Exercise is an essential, wonderful, medically proven treatment plan for so many different health conditions, shown to be effective in treating everything from insomnia, to depression and anxiety to fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions… even preventing dementia and extending lifespan!  Whether you like hiking, yoga, biking, jogging, or even a more passive form of sweating like a sauna — find a way to embrace sweating and be sure to replace that fluid flow with tons of fresh filtered water both before, during, and after sweating!
  • Use the cleansing properties of water to detox and release:  Take a long hot epsom salt bath soak (add some baking soda and apple cider vinegar to turn it into a detoxing experience) to soothe muscles, calm and relax you before bedtime… or simply relax in a warm shower and envision the water carrying the tensions of the day down the drain for you (more on this below!).
  • Benefit from the conductive property of water:  Another great way to use water to heal is to ground by the ocean or river or lake (or even the morning dew on a blade of grass!).  There is a reason that doctor’s routinely gave out prescriptions for spending time by the sea when they had no idea what else to do to help an ailment… That’s because the earth has healing energy to give you, and if you add moisture to that you increase your own conductivity and healing accelerates.  Ground outside (daily if at all possible) and add water –sweaty feet, making a puddle with your hose, standing on the morning dew, or any other way to add moisture:  moisture + you + earth = expedited healing.
  • Combine water with heat: My favorite way to combine the healing power of water with the healing power of heat (beyond the sauna, bath and shower I’ve already mentioned!) is to fill a hot water bottle full of warm water and hold it on your body where you are feeling any tension, pain, or stuck emotion, for example on your chest, abdomen, neck, back, etc… Adding the element of heat enhances the healing release all the more.  I love using my organic grounding hot water bottle for releasing energy in stuck, sore muscle cramps, relieving nausea and abdominal cramps during my period, to ease growing pains for my children, and countless other applications!
  • Make sure your air contains moisture!  As I mentioned above, your mucosal membranes absolutely require moisture to function… did you know you lose over two cups (or a half liter) of water just from breathing each day?  Use steam/humidifiers to help hydrate your air and support the hydration of your mucosal membranes.
  • Intentionally drink water as a way to energetically reset the body from the inside out:  You lose up to 2 liters (8 cups) of water each day just through urination and bowel movements and skin surface evaporation. You can utilize this high turn over of fluids to your advantage and hydrate hydrate hydrate during times of worry or sorrow or stress more than any other time of your life.  Look at every glass of water you drink as a way to add a healing intention into your body, infusing every single cell of every single tissue of every single organ system you have with healing support. You can simply say a prayer, say an intention, even just *think* an intention as you hold your cup of water and silently bless it before you drink it. Let your body be flushed out inside and out and with every urination or bowel movement or tear or droplet of sweat you shed, recognize you are flushing the old energy down the drain and making way for new healing.

 

The beautiful, life affirming, healing properties of water can not be matched with anything else we put into our bodies.

And one last note:

I recommend you filter your water before drinking it, especially from the tap.  After hundreds of studies have shown fluoride affects everything from cognitive function in humans to diabetes, fertility and more in animals, I recommend avoiding fluoride in water and never use fluoridated toothpastes.

Fluoride is an enzyme inhibitor, point-blank.  But what’s the problem with the minuscule amounts of fluoride added to the public water supply?  The old problem that is widely recognised (even by the National Institutes of Health) is that it accumulates in bone.  It is estimated about 50% of the fluoride we consume is eliminated, and 50% is stored.

Miniscule amounts of fluoride adding to our bodies sip after sip after sip equals a not-so-minimal exposure.  Over a lifetime, these levels can reach high proportions… decreasing bone density and causing brittleness.  For a nation whose women have epidemic proportions of osteopenia and osteoporosis, it would be counter productive to continue to drink fluoride on a daily basis.  Studies have shown that the rate of hip fracture in elderly is directly increased in areas that fluoridate their water.

Statements from reps of the National Institutes of Health recommend that people who drink large quantities of water should not drink tap water, but instead switch to bottled water.  We are just getting so much exposure to fluoride, to intentionally consume extra fluoride, whether through drinking water or toothpaste, is way too much.

Fluoride is being taken up by your cardiovascular system as well.  Direct absorption to of fluoride into our cardiovascular walls (and a significant correlation between cardiovascular events and fluoride uptake) makes it all the more urgent for us to avoid fluoride all together.

And now new reports are revealing something even more disturbing, if you can believe it — fluoride lowers IQ  I am routinely asked at the dentist’s office if I would like to give my children a concentrated fluoride treatment.  And affect their still-developing brain?  Uh… NO.

I keep a water filtration system out on my kitchen counter space and not only am I drinking pure, clean, fluoride free water, but the visual reminder to DRINK every single time I walk by the water filter or am standing in the kitchen preparing a meal.  This has really helped me to remember to maintain my hydration status.

Here is my favorite water filtration system, in stock are ready to ship right now.

 

 


 

 

 

2.  Moisturize With Oil

 

Morning and night, especially after bathing, use a beautiful, all natural, super healing organic oil directly on skin such as coconut oil or sunflower seed oil (my two favs that are medically shown to repair the lipid bilayer best.) Raid your pantry to see what oils you have on hand — no need to buy anything.  Grapeseed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, anything will work!

Oil seals in moisture better than a lotion or cream which both are water based and will not protect skin the way a pure oil will.

If you don’t want to feel greasy after applying oil, the best way to do it is to apply oil before toweling off after bathing, while the skin is still wet, and then toweling gently off to remove excess water and oil.  You will be left with incredibly hydrated skin, ready for getting dressed and without the fear that you will get oil on your clothing!

 


 

 

 

3.  Supplements

 

To me, body care starts with nurturing the inside with high quality supplements.  During non-pandemic times, I still recommend a great multi mineral supplement, curcumin, omega 3 fatty acids, probiotics and a few others depending on what my patient’s personal and family history is.

But during this pandemic?  Let’s focus on immune boosting supplements for sure!  My three non-negotiable favorite immune boosting supplements to take all winter are:

  • Vit C (1,000 mg a day)
  • Vit D (1,ooo IU a day)
  • Probiotics (1 – 5 billion CFUs a day)

If you want to target supporting your skin, there are lots of vitamins that do just that.  In fact, vitamin B3 dramatically reduces skin cancer rates, which is clear evidence that a simple vitamin can be cancer preventive.

Presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2015 Annual Meeting in May 2014, researchers looked at over 380 patients with a prior history of non-melanoma skin cancers, giving half nicotinamide supplements (Vit B3) and half a placebo, and followed them for a year.  They found the patients in the Vitamin B3 group had a quarter less skin cancers total (a 23% decrease) than control patients:

  • Basal cell occurrence decreased by 20%
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma decreased by 30%
  • Actinic Keratosis decreased by 13%

Nicotinamide (Vit B3, also known as Niacinamide) enhances DNA repair in skin cells damaged by UV light, as well as boosts the immune system and prevents the suppression of immunity by ultraviolet radiation.  (Nicotinamide has other benefits as well, including preliminary studies showing a boost in cognition… helping to restore cognition in Alzheimers!)

So… if you have a history of serious sun exposure?  Or a history of previous skin cancers?  Or you just want less unsightly actinic keretosis popping up in the future? Vitamin B 3  offers 100% all natural holistic chemo-prevention!  Vitamin B is safe, inexpensive, proven.

In addition, you can take curcumin to help protect against melanoma. Curcumin has been specifically shown to target and kill melanoma cancer cells in laboratory studies. Read this study published in the International Journal of Cancer in October 2016 for a good overview on what we know about curcumin and melanoma so far.

 

If you want to add the anti-cancer benefits of curcumin to your health regime (which I highly recommend if you have any personal or family history of melanoma or even if you just have a history of intense sun exposure) I recommend taking a pharmacy grade supplement that couples a 500 mg dose of curcumin with bioperine to help increase the bioavailablility and absorption of the curcumin.

I have these supplements (set at a discount for you) as part of my Skin Glow Protocol in my online dispensary for you right here.

 

 

 


 

 

 

4.  Gratitude Shower

 

Showers are the perfect way to enjoy a private sanctuary to practice self care.  Not only are you likely grounded in your shower (watch this video here where I show you with my grounding test meter how you are grounded inside through the plumbing) but incorporating gratitude into your shower will reset you inside and out — trust me.  Here’s how:

  • Set an affirmation for your shower today, for example:

“I step into this shower and feel peace envelope me…” 

“I step into this shower to show gratitude to body…” 

“I step into this shower and accept an instant health boost…” 

“I step into this shower to release fears and worries about things that I can not control…” etc…

  • Before you turn on the water, take a soft bristled/natural hair brush (if you have one) or a dry loofah mit or washcloth and dry brush your skin. Think about all the burdens you carry around you every day.  Think about all the ideas and feelings we have attached to our bodies that don’t serve us well.  Think about these burdens as a grey cloud that hangs on our body, cloaking us with a dark misty morphic field that clings to our skin. We want to gently buff these away… gently take your dry brush or dry washcloth onto your dry skin, and gently sweep them off.  Brushing down your arms, down your legs, gently down your torso… just sweep off all of the negativity and doubt… and awake to your true, glorious, optimistic, naturally pleasurable state of being.
  • Turn on the water and allow it to reach a nice comfortable warm temperature. As you allow the water to warm, state your intention for this shower.  A good one for this exercise might be,

“I step into this beautiful water and I feel it cover me with warmth and love. I am using this shower today to show gratitude for my body and to my soul. I allow this nurturing attention to infuse deeply into the core of my well being and feel it immediately boost my health.” 

  • Step into the shower and take a moment to allow it to cover you with warmth.
  • As you begin to wash yourself, truly focus on the body part you are cleaning, and the organs that lay underneath each part. As you bath your leg, for example, thank the muscles that hold you upright, the bones that support you, the blood that faithfully brings energy and nutrition to your legs and the nerves that allow you to feel this warm water on your skin. Just hold your leg and gently cleanse it in the water, saying to your leg, “I love you. Thank you.”   Feel the love and gratitude pouring through you while you are washing your leg… I actually have been moved to tears in my shower, taking the time to finally say thank you to the body that I tend to ignore for so long.
  • When you are done cleaning, take some oil as discussed above (you can just grab some olive oil or coconut oil from your kitchen pantry, or use skin or massage oils if you happen to have any) and pour a bit into your hand.  Massage it into each part of your body you can reach… repeating your thankfulness.  Allow that part of your body to relax, and let it feel you taking care of it for a change. Feet, legs, arms, stomach, chest, neck, shoulders, hands, face… lovingly apply oil to the skin and bath your body in loving gratitude again.
  • As you towel off each part of your body give gratitude one more time to your healthy body, for supporting your journey in this lifetime.

Repeat this sequence every single time you take a shower this week… in fact, once you get in the habit, you’ll never let a shower go by without turning the water into an intentional health experience again!

 

 

Baths more your thing? 

There is significant benefit to be gained from an epsom salt bath at home.  Magnesium is an essential mineral (required for over 300 different enzymatic reactions) and absolutely crucial for energy production as well as proper function of our heart, our nerves, our brain and our muscles.  And most of us are magnesium deficient.

If you are magnesium deficient, you can be anxious, depressed, low energy, have muscle tension, headaches and insomnia.  You might find immediate benefits after just one single Epsom salt soak.  Here’s how:

  • To experience an inexpensive at-home version of float therapy, draw a warm bath just before bedtime, making it just a bit warmer than body temperature (around 100 degrees or so) and add several cups of epsom salts to make a hypertonic magnesium solution.
  • 2 cups of Epsom salts will equal one pound of salt in your bath, so shoot for at least 2 cups of salts per bath, but if you want to ration your Epsom salts, even 1 cup will make a difference.
  • Darken the room or place a warm washcloth over the eyes and soak for at least 15 minutes and up to 60 minutes, adding warm water when needed to maintain body temperature.
  • See if you feel more calm, with less muscle tension, and get a better night’s sleep!

 

 


 

 

 

5.  Oral Care

 

Because it is natural for our enamel to yellow as we age, it is an instant boost to your appearance to whiten your teeth… making you look years younger. So here is how I boost my whitening naturally… it’s only three steps and will make a noticeable difference in your teeth!

  • Start by oil pulling:  I talk about oil pulling with coconut in more detail here… but I basically take a small scoop of coconut oil into my mouth and swish it around my teeth for as long as I can stand it — typically I hold it in my mouth for the 10 minutes I take a shower, then I spit it out down the shower drain before stepping out of the shower and drying off.  The oil works to soften any plaque build up on your teeth, and is a FABULOUS healthy fat for your body so the more your oral mucosa absorbs, the better!
  • Swish with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide:  I use this as a pre-rinse before brushing — I just use a little bit (be sure not to swallow!!! It will burn!) and swish all around, letting it foam all over my teeth and my tongue.  Then spit out the hydrogen peroxide and follow with this:
  • Brush with baking soda:  Although there are lots of great all natural toothpastes, when you are whitening your teeth, the combo of hydrogen peroxide with baking soda is AH-MAZ-ING.  And the added bonus of not having to worry about any additional fluoride exposure is liberating.  If you are using a fluoridated toothpaste, and you are a female, please think again. As I talked about above, fluoride is thinning to your bones and whether you are 20 or 70 you really want to protect the strength and long-term density of your bones.

It’s that simple: oil pull, swish with hydrogen peroxide, and brush with baking soda.

Do this as often as you like… I do it once a week. Give it a try for a month and I guarantee you will see noticeable results!!!

 


 

 

6.  Face Mask

 

There are so many incredibly awesome DIY face mask recipes on the internet, so you should be able to find some ingredients in your pantry to make at least one or two different face masks without having to buy a thing.

There are face masks based off of yogurt, ones based off of honey, ones based off of oatmeal, ones based off of coffee grounds… look around your kitchen to see what you might have on hand already and then do an internet search to find hundreds of masks to whip up!

Here are three of my favs:

 

Avocado Honey Mask

  • Mash one-quarter of an avocado in a small bowl.
  • Drizzle in one tablespoon honey, mashing and mixing well.
  • Apply the mask to clean skin for 10 minutes.
  • Wash off with warm water, then follow with a moisturizer.

Banana Mask

  • Mash one-half of a banana in a bowl.
  • Mix in a tablespoon of orange juice and a tablespoon of honey.
  • Apply the mask to clean skin (it will be lumpy and that’s fine) and keep the mixture on for 15 minutes.
  • Remove banana mixture from skin and discard in the trash, then rinse with warm water and follow with a moisturizer.

Oatmeal Mask

  • Combine one egg yolk, one tablespoon of olive oil and a cup of cooked plain oatmeal.
  • Stir well, then apply it to clean skin for 15 minutes.
  • Remove oatmeal from skin and discard in the trash, then rinse with lukewarm water and follow with a moisturizer.

Don’t feel like mixing up a face mask?  Just apply plain yogurt to your face before hopping in the shower or bath and rinse off!

 


 

 

7.  Scalp Massage & Hair Mask

 

I highly recommend scalp massages because you can give them to yourself any day, any time, any location, and they help reduce stress and tension throughout your entire body!  Just like a foot massage is something simple you can do for yourself to relax your body from head to toe, a scalp massage brings more blood flow to your scalp, which stimulates healthy scalp and healthy hair.

You can do a dry scalp massage… simply using clean fingertips to gently rub your scalp in circular motions… or just prior to stepping into the shower, you can even use some coconut oil to really give yourself a luxurious scalp massage.  Simply dip your fingers in coconut oil and rub in circular motions all over your scalp.  This is so fabulous if you have a flaky scalp, as the oil will help lift and the rubbing motion will help remove any flakes… and the moisturization of the coconut oil is fabbo for hair!  Just shampoo twice to be sure to rinse the oil out.

 

Hair Mask:

Most people think of doing a face mask when doing an at-home spa day, but lots of people skip one of the easiest ways to refresh your look, and that’s with a hair mask!

There are just as many lovely ingredients in your pantry that you can use on your hair as there were for your face, maybe more!  Even simply warming some coconut oil or olive oil in a microwave safe bowl for 15 seconds and applying it to your hair before showering can completely transform your locks.

To go one step more fancy, consider any one of these hair mask recipes:

  • 1 egg + I tsp honey + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 an avocado + 1 tbsp honey + 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise + 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 1/2 cup yogurt

Apply blended ingredients to dry untangled hair, wait 20 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water, follow with a gentle shampoo if desired.

 


 

 

8.  Exfoliate

 

Give your skin a quick daily (or even just a weekly) exfoliation will sweep away dead skin cells and allow your skin to better absorb your moisturizer afterwards as well.  Over time, you will notice improved circulation, improved texture, softer plumper skin.

To exfoliate, simply make a paste by mixing baking soda and a little coconut oil and us it to gently scrub your skin to remove dead skin cells.  If you want to go even more simple, you can literally just sprinkle some baking soda in your hand, dampen with water and massage on skin in gentle circles.

But to up the moisture of your skin, I love going the extra step of mixing baking soda and coconut oil, like this:

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, melted or very soft
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

Mix ingredients well, until thoroughly blended and creamy. Use a small scoop to exfoliate skin gently all over the body.  Any left over? Your exfoliator will keep for weeks at cool room temp.

 

Dry Brushing:

Alternatively you can dry brush your skin using a natural bristled brush before stepping in the shower or bath.  Simply:

  • Use a natural (not synthetic) bristle brush.
  • Get naked and use long sweeping motions lightly over all skin surfaces.
  • Overlap strokes as you go, and be sure to lighten your pressure over any sensitive areas.  Do not dry brush on areas with rashes or broken skin.
  • After dry brushing your entire body, shower or bathe to cleanse.
  • When finished bathing, pat skin dry and apply a natural moisturizer (like coconut oil) to further pamper your skin.  While you are at it, drink a big glass of water to internally hydrate as well!
  • Leave your dry brush in a clean area with good air flow, to air dry before the next use.  Use daily or as often as desired.

 


 

 

9.  Bodyscape

 

I know I always feel really refreshed after I wax my armpits (sorry if that is TMI!) but it’s a simple way I can feel like a new woman and  reset myself for the week.  I also love a good eyebrow grooming!  Here are some ideas to consider if you think manscaping or womanscaping would feel like a fun way to have a weekly dose of uplifting self care:

  • scalp massage (see above)
  • eyebrow grooming — pluck, tint, trim
  • nasal hair trimming
  • facial hair: waxing or grooming
  • armpit hair waxing
  • trimming chest, neck, pit hairs if grooming
  • bikini line trimming
  • leg waxing
  • nail grooming: manicures & pedicures at home!

 


 

 

10.  Orgasm

 

The absolute epitome of pleasurable self care is nurturing the sensual nature of our bodies.  Sensual pleasure is something to allow and welcome and receive… not something you need to force or fabricate.

My two favorite resources for ideas for upping your daily sensual energy flow is Layla Martin (she releases free YouTube videos every week with awesome pleasure boosting ideas) and Mama Gena (who has written some amazing books centered around the human right to feel pleasure!!!)

Orgasm — either alone or with a partner — is awesome but is not the only way to focus on your pleasure today.  Some other ideas include:

  • picking clothing that **feels good** to your skin to wear
  • choosing underwear that makes you feels attractive
  • flirting and remaining aware of your sexual energy during your connection to others throughout the day (might have to put this one on hold while social distancing, but jot this down in your journal to use after “stay at home” orders are lifted!
  • placing your hand on your lower abdomen to center on and connect to your sexual energy center, then actively visualize expanding this energy to include your entire body and outwards, filling your entire energy space — use your whole aura to exude sensual energy!
  • reading a pleasurable book, a fun book or a sexy book
  • watching a romantic movie
  • re-assess what sensuality means to you right in this moment… everyone’s sexuality is constantly evolving and expanding.  What is your definition of sexy right now?  What makes you feel sexually alive?  What attracts you or catches your eye throughout the day?
  • getting or giving a massage
  • soaking in a hot tub — light candles, add pleasurable scents/essential oils in the water that appeal to you, finish with luxurious oils to moisturize
  • adorning your body with temporary tattoos that make you smile and empower you when you see them on your body

 


 

 

11.  Boundaries

 

Your skin is always speaking to you.

Skin can speak subtly through chronic messages that it whispers to you your entire life… or skin can scream loudly and angrily during acute transitions and times of crisis.

Because our skin replicates so quickly, it is a wonderful mirror for what is going on with the rest of our body and mind:

  • If we are anemic, it shows us quickly.
  • If we are dehydrated, it shows us quickly.
  • If we are malnourished, our skin will lack that robust glow that healthy skin gives.
  • If we have been neglecting our selves in other ways, our skin will reveal us.
  • If we are unhappy, our skin literally sags.
  • If we have lost connection with joy, our skin tells it.
  • If we feel ugly, our skin mirrors that.

 

And because it covers our entire body, every thought we think and every word we say and every intention we ever have passes through our skin on its way to communicate with the outside world.  So it doesn’t just protect us from the world… quite the opposite is true too:

it translates our inner being to the surface.  It shows the world what is going on inside of us.

It is constantly in contact with and intimate with our inner workings.  Because of this, skin reflects how we feel about ourselves.  Skin forms our barrier, our identity.  It forms what we perceive as *us* and delineates *us* from *the rest of the world*.  Skin is our outer projection of our inner truths.

In short, skin represents our personal boundary.

Grab a journal or get into an open meditative mindframe and ask yourself:

  • Are you enduring something that you’d secretly like to say a firm “no” to?
  • Are you letting someone in your energy space that constantly irritates or drains you?
  • Do you need to set some healthy boundaries at work?
  • Do you need to set clearer boundaries around your time?  We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but if you are doing activities you don’t feel aligned with or tending to emotional needs of others constantly, you will find much of that time will disappear and you won’t even know where it all went.
  • Do you have a friendship that needs some boundaries clarified and strengthened?
  • Do you have a family member that you need to create firmer boundaries and consequences of boundary violations with?
  • Do you need more personal space when you are home?  Do you have a place where it’s clear to everyone sharing your home that they are not to disturb you?
  • Do you need to set boundaries in your sexual relationships?

Double-check that you say no when you need to and have clear boundaries that allow you to do what you truly want to do and enjoy that without guilt.  

If you are sucking it up in any area of your life and just putting a smile on your face, your body feels this. Your skin will be working over time to set a boundary that you are failing to make for yourself.  There is no way your skin should be having to set boundaries that you aren’t setting for yourself.

If you find your skin is stressed out, ask yourself what boundaries need to be strengthened in your life and meanwhile give your skin a little TLC with the other 10 steps listed above and watch the energy shift and your skin improve dramatically.

 


 

 

Want more tips on holistically supporting the health of your skin?

I have my Skin Happiness eBook available for you to instantly download right now, right here, for FREE!

Feel free to share this link with everyone you know — I have several free ebooks on my website, including a free adrenal repair book, a free grounding guide, and this free skin happiness ebook.

 

 


 

 

 

12.  Journal Questions

 

Want to take the topic of self nurturing even farther?

Explore your thoughts with the following journal questions.  Grab a piece of paper and free write, without censoring yourself, what immediately comes to mind when you read each question:

  1. How much of each day do you devote to your own pleasure?
  2. Do you feel any guilt when you allow yourself simple pleasures like eating, daydreaming, self care?
  3. What priority does pleasure have in your life?
  4. What priority do other emotions have in your life?  If you had to pick one emotion that you value more than any other, which emotion would that be?  How often do you feel that emotion?  What is the emotion you feel most often throughout the day?
  5. What is the easiest emotion for you to tap into?  Is this the best emotion to make big life decisions by?  What emotion would you most want to use to feel your internal alignment and make decisions by?  Joy?  Relief?  Contentment?  Excitement?  Passion?  Comfort?
  6. What part of your life do you feel has the most flow?  Your career?  Partnerships?  Parenting?  Friendships?  Your inner world?  Hobbies?  Travel?  Education?  Entertainment?  Health?  What area would you say is the most stagnant?  Do you want to change that?
  7. Do you consider yourself creative?  Do you feel you were more creative in the past?  Do you wish to be more creative in the future?  What pleasurable steps can you take to express your creativity more?

After reading through today’s article, write down your top three ways to explore nurturing your body that you can commit to doing on a weekly basis, at least until the pandemic is over.  Spend a few minutes finding some way to do something for your own pleasure at least one day each week

  • I don’t care if it would please you to take 20 minutes to wipe down every shelf of your refrigerator and put all the food back into a sparkling clean fridge.
  • I don’t care if it would please you to read an erotic book each night.
  • I don’t care if it would please you to wake up 20 minutes earlier each day to do a yoga youtube video — maybe one of the ones I emailed you a few weeks ago in Topic 1: Movement 

Whatever it is that would give you some form of pleasure that you would not have otherwise allowed yourself — THIS is what I want you to make time for today and every day (or at least once a week) during this pandemic.

From sexual pleasure, to healing touch, to a cup of tea, to curling up with a book and a hot water bottle, to buying yourself a new soft robe and sleeping in it each night, to washing fresh sheets and spritzing them with linen spray when you normally would never do that in a million years, write down three different ways you are going to pleasure yourself each week and SCHEDULE IT IN!!!!

 


To Summarize:

 

Skin is your largest organ of the body and as such caring for it makes you feel as though you are caring for your entire body from head to toe.

Incorporate one way to pamper your skin every single day of this quarantine and/or make a weekly habit of a spa day where you try new recipes you have never tried before!

Be sure to keep your favorite new additions to your daily self care practices going indefinitely!

Also be sure you are signed up to receive my free newsletter so you don’t miss any of the uplifting holistic healing tips I send out each week!

If someone forwarded you this email so you could join in on this health routines mini-series with them, you can sign up on my homepage to get these tips delivered directly to your own inbox by clicking right here:

 

 

To your naturally resilient, astoundingly incredible human body!

xoxox, Laura