If there's anything we've learned from 2020, it's that self-care isn't just a buzz word; it's a necessary aspect of living for mental, physical, and emotional wellness, especially during tough times. This year also taught us the importance of having a self-care practice that doesn't require leaving home, as many of our go-to self-care activities, like massages, facials, and even going to the gym became inaccessible among COVID lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.
As we look to a new year which nobody knows what it will bring, it's important to make sure our self-care arsenal is strong. While some forms of self-care require nothing but a clear mind and deep, conscious breathing, for those who like their self-care with a strong side of pampering and introspection, we recommend these items.
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Angela Caglia Skincare Rose Quartz Self-Love Eye Mask
The name says it all when it comes to this eye mask made of rose quartz which promotes feelings of love and well-being. The multi-use mask can be used in meditation to promote relaxation while the coolness and heaviness of the crystal may also help relieve sinus issues, close pores, and reduce the appearance of fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness.
HUM Nutrition Big Chill Supplement
Reduce the signs of stress from the inside out with these "chill pills". Formulated with rhodiola root extract, these pills help calm your mind while reducing the physical signs of stress on your skin.
Ariana Ost Sound Crystal Kit
Tap into the power of sonic rituals with this kit featuring a BioSonics tuning fork and dish with a hand-wrapped crystal attached.
The peace of mind that comes with having a clean home has taken on a whole new meaning since the onset of the pandemic. This wand eliminates the need for harsh chemical-containing sprays and cleansers by naturally eliminating germs that cause colds, infections, asthma and allergic reactions by simply holding the wand approximately 1-2 inches from the surface of the item you want to sanitize and gradually move it over the area.
Homedics Relax & Unwind Wellness Kit
Reap the benefits of sound and aroma therapy with this wellness kit. It features a SoundSpa® Mini to help you decompress to the sounds of white noise, a summer night, ocean waves, and rain along with a Travel Eye Mask with Vibration Massage and Built-in Headphones. Top off the experience with the Ellia Dream Away Essential Oil Roll-On for ultimate relaxation.
Mindfulness Card Packs
Mindful thinking takes practice and sometimes we need prompts. This pack of cards has more than 50 exercises to help users go deeper in five areas of mindfulness: Rest & Balance, Insight & Awareness, Curiosity & Joy, and Kindness.
Raw Crystal Ring + Earring Set
Many people who believe in the cleansing power of crystals like to wear their gems on their body. This earring and ring set from Pura Vida makes that easy to do. Raw Clear Quartz, aka the "Master Healer", which is known for its ability to balance and absorb energy, is the mineral used in this jewelry.
The Good Patch Hemp-Infused Hangover Patch
We've all made the mistake of having a few sips too many, but none of us has the luxury of losing a whole day behind it. Get on the mend sooner rather than later with this hemp-infused patch that helps replenish essential nutrients lost from a night of too much drinking.
Nighttime Self-Care Kit
Self-care is skincare and this set makes it easy to refresh skin overnight. The four-piece kit includes the Magic Gel-to-Milk Cleanser, 3-in-1 Detox Mud Mask, Deep Hydration Face Cream, and Beauty Sleep Resurfacing Serum.
Neo Tarot: A Fresh Approach to Self-Care, Healing & Empowerment
If you're into Tarot, take your practice to the next level with this guidebook that mixes explanations of the symbolism of the 78-card deck with practical wisdom and actionable exercises to increase self-love.
Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!
Featured image by Shutterstock
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Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
What Are Intrusive Thoughts & How Do We Manage Them?
TW: some depictions of intrusive thoughts may be disturbing for readers.
Have you ever caught your mind drifting off to entertain the most disturbing scenarios imaginable? Maybe you can’t stop thinking of all the ways a loved one could pass away or worrying that you left every candle lit in your apartment to which you’d return to a home in ruins. If distressing ruminations like these have crossed your mind, you may be experiencing an intrusive thought.
What Are Intrusive Thoughts?
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted or distressing thoughts, images, or impulses that pop into your mind without your control or consent. These thoughts can be repetitive, unsettling, or even violent in nature, and can cause anxiety and frustration for those who experience them.
“Generally they're unwanted thoughts that come up in our head that interrupt what we're doing or thinking, and can feel very foreign,” says Adia Gooden, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and host of the Unconditionally Worthy podcast. “It’s any thought that intrudes or interrupts what you are doing. They can be distressing and upsetting for us because it feels like we are not in control of them, and they're coming up out of nowhere and aren’t in line with how you normally think.”
What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?
Certain trauma or stress can contribute to the development of intrusive thoughts, so having a challenging experience from the past or current life situations may trigger them to form. “An intrusive thought could come in the form of a flashback, image, or a thought about something that's happened to you,” Dr. Gooden tells xoNecole. “When it gets to the point where you feel like you can't function or make clear decisions, that's when intrusive thoughts become really challenging.”
While some of the 1 billion videos found under the #intrusivethoughts hashtag on TikTok would lead you to believe that these thoughts are nothing more than casual displays of our imagination going untamed. Intrusive thoughts are more than sticking your hand in a soap dispenser, wanting to cut all your hair off at 3 a.m., or having a random impulse to eat fake bread in public.
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America reports that approximately six million individuals, equating to roughly two percent of the American population, encounter intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are often linked with obsessive-compulsive disorders, but they can also manifest in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety.
Examples of Common Intrusive Thoughts
Because of the explicit nature of intrusive thoughts, they tend to cause shame and internal conflict in those who experience them. Although these thoughts can differ from person to person, these ideation can consist of:
- Violent or aggressive thoughts towards oneself or others, such as harming or killing someone;
- Sexual thoughts that are unwanted or inappropriate;
- Repetitive thoughts, such as a song or a phrase that keeps repeating in your mind;
- Contamination or germ-related thoughts or the fear of contamination and getting sick;
- Religious or blasphemous thoughts, such as questioning one's faith or having thoughts that go against religious beliefs;
- Doubts or uncertainty about one's own actions or decisions, such as fear of making a mistake or fear of not doing something right.
Intrusive Thoughts and OCD
That’s why Dr. Gooden encourages everyone to understand the difference between our fleeting thoughts and impulses and true, intrusive thoughts. “What level of distress does it cause and is it something you would never consider,” she says. “If you're finding that these thoughts are getting in the way of you living your life and that you're controlled by the thoughts, those are some signs that it would be good to get some support in navigating it.”
She also emphasizes the importance of understanding that while we may not always have control over our thoughts, we can control our behavior. “On TikTok, people are sort of blaming intrusive thoughts on their behavior, and our behavior is always a choice,” she says. “If we are in our right mind and we're not having a psychotic episode, our behavior is our choice — we are not obligated to follow any given thought that we have.”
Are Intrusive Thoughts Normal?
With intrusive thoughts, it’s natural to question whether these thoughts are “normal” to have. However, these thoughts are not meant to define who you are as a person but simply indicate that you have a functioning human mind with automated thoughts that you, or any of us, can’t control. These thoughts may come, but they don’t have to be acted upon, nor do they define who you are.
“I've worked with clients in the past who say, ‘Why am I thinking these things? What's wrong with me?’ But if you're not acting on the thought, then it's probably not a huge issue,” Dr. Gooden says. “If you are thinking a harmful thought towards yourself or someone else and you are making plans to act on that thought, then yes, we need to do something about it.”
How To Manage Intrusive Thoughts
If you are struggling with managing unwanted thoughts, Dr. Aida suggests taking these tips to help manage your mindset when they occur:
- "Recognize that it's a thought and thoughts are just thoughts. We often put a little bit too much weight on our thoughts, and that can create a lot of distress. But remember that thoughts are not facts."
- "Having a thought that's disturbing or upsetting doesn't make you a bad person, and it doesn't mean that you are suffering from a mental illness."
- "Sometimes the best thing you can do is say, 'Huh, that was an interesting thought. I'm going to let that go. That thought is not helpful for me right now."
- "Ask yourself: is this helpful? Is it helpful for me to buy into this thought and believe this thought? Asking that question can be really helpful because we are not at the mercy of our thoughts. If it's not helpful, you can let it go."
Intrusive thoughts can feel bizarre and foreign when they come up, but they aren't inherently "bad." Our minds can sometimes be filled with random and inappropriate thoughts, but that's what our stream of consciousness does: it thinks. Fortunately, we can release those thoughts at any moment; you don't have to follow through with them.
And ultimately, not every TikTok diagnosis is one that we should label ourselves with.
"It's important for people to acknowledge what they're experiencing but not run too quickly to diagnose themselves with some mental illness or disorder," Dr. Gooden advises. "It ends with confusion, and we miss the opportunity to understand the people who really do have that mental health challenge."
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