If you read enough of my content on this platform, you already know that 1) fall is my absolutely favorite season and 2) I'm all about a good pampering. Which brings me to this question — when is the last time that you pampered yourself? I don't mean what I generally consider to be maintenance moves like scheduling a mani/pedi appointment or even getting a massage; no, I mean, when's the last time you did something that falls into the category of indulgence? Pure, sheer and totally unapologetic self-indulgence.
If you're a bit stumped in finding the correct answer, perhaps these 12 "nudges" will inspire you to do something that will make you feel a little "self-spoiled" over the next couple of days. As a bonus, they're all fall-themed too. How dope is that?
1. Put Some Fall-Themed Flowers (or a Wreath) in Your Home Office and Bedroom
While some people get fresh flowers for their home for purely aesthetic reasons, the reality is there are a lot of health benefits that come with doing it too. Fresh flowers can help to get you into a better mood. Fresh flowers can inspire creativity. Fresh flowers can reduce stress. Fresh flowers can even help you to physically heal at a quicker pace and sleep more soundly. So, in the spirit of all things fall, why not get some blooms that are at their peak right now? Some of those include chrysanthemums, pansies, and anthers.
Or, if flowers aren't really your thing, how about hanging up a wreath? I've got a couple that is made out of nothing but twigs; yet, surprisingly, they feel very "autumn" and make my living room and bedroom feel extra cozy because they are on my walls. You can usually find them at a local arts and crafts store; especially around this time of the year.
2. Get a Humidifier That Comes with a Diffuser
Something that I've been saying, on loop, to anyone who will listen, is in this season of COVID that we're in, it's an absolute must that you bless your space with a humidifier. The main reason why is because viruses like COVID, colds, and the flu struggle in low humidity (however, if you check out "10 Really Good Reasons To Get Yourself A Humidifier This Fall," you'll see that it comes with some other benefits as well). Although the humidifier that I have doesn't have this particular feature, I have owned one that comes with a diffuser so that essential oils are able to "run" along with the mist that comes out. The result is whatever room a humidifier is in, it smells absolutely divine. If this piques your interest, oh so Spotless is a site that offers up some reviews on a few humidifiers that have diffusers. You can check them out here.
3. Create a Simmer Pot
Another way to make your home smell amazing is to create your own simmer pot. It's basically when you put a whole bunch of fruits, herbs, and spices together into a pot, then you let them simmer on your stove for a few hours. Something that I really like about this suggestion is you can combine certain ingredients in a way where you can sip them as a delightfully warm or cool drink once you're done. So, for two hours, a mixture of apples, oranges, and cinnamon sticks can appeal to your nose, and then you can drink it while watching a holiday film — wonderful. Tipnut offers up 15 simmer pot recipes. If you want to check them all out, you can do so by going here.
4. Add Some Fairy Lights
Personally, I'm someone who likes to sleep in pitch-black darkness. Still, whenever I go to someone's house and they have tiny fairy lights hanging up in their bedroom, I always think it looks really… "enchanted" is the word that first comes to mind. And since we're in "fall back" season, as far as time goes, a little more light (even if it's in your office or kids' room) certainly can't hurt. Just a thought.
5. Pick Up a Couple of Pairs of Moisturizing Socks
Switching gears a bit, how about giving your feet some extra tender loving care? Something that one of my goddaughters is a huge fan of is what she calls "lotion socks" although they are technically referred to as being moisturizing socks. Long story short, they are super comfy socks that have lotion "built into them" (although some, you've got to apply the lotion yourself). Not only does this help to make your feet feel unbelievably soothed and stress-free, but it can also keep your feet moisturized too. If you wanna cop a pair, Mom Junction reviewed over 10 of 'em. The ones with five toes for each sock certainly caught my attention. Check that list out here.
6. Make a Fall-Inspired Body Scrub
If you want to pamper your skin by unclogging its pores, removing dead skin, and brightening your complexion, exfoliation is the way to go. Making your own body scrub is one of the best ways to do it. In the spirit of autumn, how about making a scrub that smells like the fall season? A vanilla body scrub (recipe here) is good for you because vanilla is rich in the kind of antioxidants that fight aging and free radicals. A pumpkin body scrub (recipe here) is great because it's filled with Vitamin C and beta-carotene; both are able to stimulate the production of collagen. And finally, an apple scrub (recipe here) will do your body good because the properties in apples help to hydrate your skin, protect it from UV damage (which yes, also can happen in the fall and winter), reduce the appearance of dark circles underneath your eyes, tone your skin and even out your complexion.
7. Invest in a Brown Matte Lip Color
When the temps are cold and the wind is blowing, you definitely want to make sure that your lips are well-moisturized. Do that by first exfoliating them (like with a DIY lip scrub), applying a "base" like shea butter (I sleep with shea butter on my lips at night), and then applying lip color. This season, a hue that is really big is a deep shade of brown (which looks absolutely amazing on us!). Make sure it's one that has a bit of a matte finish. Yeah, I know you're probably still wearing your mask (damn COVID!), but you've got to take it off at some point and your lips will look amazing once you do if they are covered in a beautiful brown color.
8. Get Accessories in Classic Fall Colors
Remember how I said in the intro that pampering is ALL ABOUT indulgence. I don't care if you've already got a good purse and some cute boots from last year — treat yourself to a few more accessories that are in signature fall colors including grey, brown, blue, orange, green, and red. One of my favorite things about accessories is they bring so much detail to an outfit. Plus, they're a great way to "switch up" a look if you don't have a lot of money to ball out on a new wardrobe this year.
9. Buy a Cable Knit Blanket
Personally, I'm of the belief that no matter how many blankets you already have, you really can't own enough of them — especially during the fall and winter seasons. So, if you don't already have a cable knit one, what are you waiting for? Something that's especially cool about this particular kind of blanket is it can keep you warm when you're cold yet it also has the ability to adapt to other temperatures which means that a cable knit blanket can pamper you all year-round…if you let it.
10. Use Hurricane Lanterns for Your Fall Soy-Scented Candles
Is there anything more romantic, seductive, or fall-invoking than a bedroom that is lit up with nothing but candles? Whether you're sleeping alone or with someone, to me, the answer is "no". Still, this ain't the movies, so you need to be careful lighting some up and then falling asleep. Something that can significantly decrease the risk of something catching on fire is putting your candles inside of a hurricane lantern or glass terrarium boxes. Just make sure that the candles are soy (they are cleaner and burn longer) and they have a fall scent to them. Some that fall into that category include apple, pomegranate, vanilla, pine, cinnamon, pumpkin, butterscotch, pecan, amber, and musk.
11. Bake (or Order) the Hell Outta Some Sweets
Although comfort food is pretty much bomb any season of the year, is there anything better than a hot bowl of soup or some soul food when it's freezing cold outside? While you probably don't want to go crazy out in these streets, why would you deny yourself the joy of a homemade baked good or even ordering some autumn-themed desserts right about now? Apple crisp (recipe here). Pumpkin spice cupcakes (recipe here). Pumpkin brownies (recipe here). Cranberry apple cobbler (recipe here). Vegan butternut squash pudding (recipe here). All sweet. All comforting. All autumn-themed.
12. Learn How to Make Mulled Wine and Herb Infusion
Pampering isn't truly pampering if you're not setting aside some time to sip on something that makes you feel good from head to toe, right? As we close this out, two drinks that have "fall" written all over them are mulled wine (which is red wine with spices added to it) and herb infusion (which is basically making tea except you are adding a lot more herbs and allowing them to steep for a much longer period of time). Since a lot of mulled wine recipes feature cinnamon (which is full of antioxidants) and/or nutmeg (which is a powerful detoxifier) and the herbs in teas can be super ideal for your immune system (check out "10 'Uncommon' Teas You Should Add To Your Stash (& Why)"), these two options are absolutely perfect for this time of the year.
A delicious mulled wine recipe is here and if you want to learn how to DIY an herb infusion, click here. How can all of these tips not make you feel pampered as you embrace even more of what fall has to offer, chile? Enjoy!
Featured image by Getty Images
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There are moments on our health journey when our bodies are bugging us to hit the reset button.
With life, we can start to see slips in our diet, irregular exercising, and inconsistent sleep schedules, and our mental health can suffer because of it. But what many people come to find is that with just a few adjustments — as opposed to restrictions — being made to their food intake, we can see a focus more on eating “the right” calories and less on being on a restrictive diet.
"Raw Till 4" is a dietary concept and lifestyle associated with the raw vegan and high-carb, low-fat vegan (HCLF) movements. Created by Australian blogger and YouTube star known as 'Freelee the Banana Girl', the method suggests eating raw, uncooked plant-based foods until 4 p.m. each day and then having a cooked, vegan meal in the evening.
The Raw Till 4 lifestyle follows the guidelines of vegan and rawist eating and involves consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains in an uncooked, natural state until the designated time of 4 p.m. or around one’s typical dinner time. After 4 p.m., a cooked vegan meal is consumed, which may include foods like steamed vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based sources of protein like tofu or tempeh.
On TikTok, creator Adina Yaffa is repopularizing the trend, sharing how it’s helped to improve digestion, boost energy levels, and support weight loss.
Replying to @🌜kat🌛 here is what I eat in a day on a raw till 4 lifestyle. I eat with the sun and according to the circadian rhythm that out bodies follow on a typical day. Where i drink liquids during the first 8 hours, then juicy fruits, then smoothies, more dense building fats, proteins and veggies! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass #rawtill4
“During the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body is in an elimination phase and needs all the help it can get,” Yaffa says in the clip. “So what you’re going to do is drink coconut water, citrus juices, and green juices during this time, and around 8 a.m., you can break your fast with some fruit. I suggest juicing fruits, and then after that, I suggest having a smoothie or a bowl with berries and granola so you can get your fats and healthy proteins in.”
Raw till 4 has so many benefits including better digestion, nutrients, belly fat and bloat elimination, snatched waist, more energy and so much more! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass
On the official Raw Till 4 website, Freelee the Banana Girl shares tips on how to get the best outcomes of this lifestyle change, which include:
- “Stay hydrated! You should pee about 8-12 times per day, and your urine should be clear. Drink 1 liter of water when you wake up in the morning, and 1 liter of water about 30 minutes before each meal for optimal results.”
- “Fragmented sodium (salt) should be kept to a minimum. Use herbs, lemon juice, etc. wherever possible in place of salt.”
- “Eat unlimited calories at every meal, no restriction. The majority of your calories each day should come from fruit. Don’t under-eat on fruit during the day or 'save up' your calories for dinner time. RT4 is about abundance at every meal.”
- “Move your body daily. Find an activity you love and make it your playful exercise.”
- “Make sure to get lots of rest, relaxation, and good sleep. Learning to incorporate good rest, early nights, and regular sleeping patterns into your life will greatly improve your overall health.”
- “Practice gratitude and peaceful emotions at mealtime, and get a vision book started! Be sure to enjoy this journey. Focus on long-term health instead of short-term results.”
Critics argue that it can be challenging to get all the necessary nutrients from a raw vegan diet and that it may not be suitable for everyone, especially over the long term.
As with any diet, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes to ensure that it meets your individual nutritional needs and health goals.
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