Self-care comes in many forms. For some, it's exercise and meditating that helps them feel centered. For others, it's eating well or the act of cooking that nourishes their mind and body. Sometimes it can be something as simple as taking a bath. Whatever activity works for you is great and you should absolutely keep doing it. But what if you could take self-care from being less about what you do and more of a space in which you live.
The reason most of us don't regularly indulge in self-care -- and it's considered a treat when we do -- is because it takes time. It's extra effort many of us, quite frankly, don't always feel like putting in, even when we should. That's why we're taking the focus off of things to do and placing it on things to have in your home so that it's always a space of self-care. With the majority of us spending more time in the house for the foreseeable future, it's more important than ever to keep the place in which you now work, eat, sleep, and live your own personal sanctuary 24/7. Here are a few things to add to your space to do just that.
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TargetSalt Table Lamp Natural - Himalayan Glow
If you're into crystals, then you're familiar with the fact that Himalayan Glow Salt lamps are known for their soothing and calming effects. Each of these lamps is hand-carved, making it uniquely individual to your space. And the dimmer feature is great for those who want to keep this lamp on their nightstands.
Just Because Flowers
The very presence of flowers has been shown to not only brighten a room but also brighten one's mood and decrease feelings of agitation and anxiousness. Set yourself up to receive a flower delivery every two weeks to ensure you always have at least one bouquet of these natural mood-boosters in your home. 1-800-Flowers literally has a category of Just Because flowers to choose from, which is perfect because that's exactly why you should add them to your space.
Crate and Barrel
Rose Clay Zabuton
If meditation is a part of your self-care, be even more intentional about it by incorporating a zabuton into your bedroom or living room to signal it as the space for your wellness practice. This Japanese-style linen pillow provides cushion for your knees and ankles as you meditate to aid in better focus.
Bed Bath & Beyond
SpaRoom® Mysto™ Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser
Allow good vibes and calming aromatic scents to continuously flow throughout your home with this essential oil diffuser whose marble design fits nicely into any home decor. The option of bright or warm white lighting adds an additional mood-setting element
BlanQuil Essence Aromatherapy Pillow
This pillow embodies everything you need to consistently get a good night's rest which is self-care 101. Soft memory foam allows the pillow to cradle your head, neck, and shoulders for ultimate comfort, while built-in ActivAir technology diffuses heat and encourages the flow of cool air, making this a great buy for those who suffer from allergies and asthma or have sensitive skin. The cherry on top is that the pillow is infused with calming essential oils to help you relax at bedtime and reduce restlessness.
The FLIP Double Sided Hybrid
While we're talking about sleep, this is a good time to assess whether your mattress is what's standing between you and a peaceful night of sleep and a productive day of work. Our sleep needs are constantly changing and what's great about this FLIP mattress is that it's double sided so can choose how you sleep any given month, week, or even night if you'd like. Ideal for side, back and stomach sleepers, this hybrid dual-comfort mattress should have you counting Zzzs in no time.
Have you ever wished you could just sit out on your patio or balcony at night listening to tunes as you watch the stars, but your current sound system wouldn't let you be great? We all know music is healing and that's why you need Sonos Move. The battery-powered portable smart speaker from Sonos is perfect for outdoor and indoor listening, allowing you to stream music via Bluetooth when WiFi isn't available. Its durable structure is also weather-proof so you can keep it by your side when doing some of those other self-care activities you love, like gardening.
Cuisinart Cordless Kettle
Tea has incredible medicinal properties for the body and mind and this cordless kettle, with its six preset heat settings and one-touch controls, makes it easy to get your daily dose.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness and peacefulness. A simple way to ensure your home is a true sanctuary is by keeping it clean. Your spirit will feel even better if you're not the one who has to do the work. Handy allows you to set up weekly, biweekly, or monthly cleaning plans to keep your house in a constant state of order.
Featured image by Shutterstock
This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.
When it comes to healthy hair care, there are a few things that will help you achieve healthy strands: a healthy hair care regime, hydration, consistent treatments, and scalp care. While scalp care is one of the most neglected practices, it is also one of the most important. Why? Because it helps promote healthy hair growth, clear hair follicles, and remove build-up.
When it comes to creating a healthy scalp routine, it helps to know exactly what you’re up against so you know how to specifically treat it. Two of the most common concerns are dandruff and dry scalp. It can be tough to decipher which is which, but here’s a quick breakdown: dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin, while dandruff is caused by an excess of oil and yeast buildup on the scalp. Knowing that both of these are big concerns, SheaMoisture released two separate product lines to address both issues: the Scalp Moisture collection and the Anti-Dandruff collection.
Needless to say, if you tend to experience dandruff then I’d recommend you try the Anti-Dandruff collection. However, my biggest concern has always been dry scalp. A lack of moisture on the scalp can be caused by several factors like weather, age, and hair products to name a few. I’ve noticed that when I use certain gels or skip out on a deep scalp cleanse, my roots feel itchy and dry nonstop, which is uncomfortable.
The only way to relieve the discomfort is to properly wash and moisturize my roots, so I tried the Scalp Moisture collection and this is what I thought.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
First, What’s In The Collection?
The Scalp Moisture collection is a four-product line that includes a pre-wash masque, a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and a moisturizing scalp cream. Each product uses moisturizing and strengthening ingredients like aloe butter and vitamin B3 as active ingredients to provide eight times the moisture. Together, aloe butter and vitamin B3 work to restore dry and brittle hair, as well as add relief to the scalp.
Now, let’s break down each product…
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque may actually be the all-star of the collection. Using this deep conditioning masque is one of the best ways to target your dry scalp, restore hydration, and nourish your strands before shampooing.
I started by completely saturating my hair and scalp with water, then making small sections to apply the masque directly to the root. For my girls who have experience with relaxers and perms, it helps to apply the masque to your roots just like you would do with a relaxer. This way you can make sure you’ve covered as much of your scalp as possible while minimizing any breakage.
Pro tip: you can also use a color application brush to make this step easier.
After I completely covered my scalp, I massaged the product into my roots, used any excess on my strands, then left the masque in for 30 minutes. I was shocked by how moisturizing and clarifying my scalp and hair felt. One of the things that I love about the masque is the slip and how much softer it made my hair. While this is marketed as a scalp care product, it can completely transform your hair from dry and parched to completely hydrated.
In my opinion, the downside of this masque is that the quantity is too small for my liking. Truth be told, naturals go through deep conditioners faster than any other product (especially when it’s this good.) So SheaMoisture, if you’re reading this, we’d love a bigger jar.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Shampoo
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Shampoo is a gentle cleanser packed with the same moisture as the masque. The pearl-colored shampoo is lightweight with a serum-like consistency and a light and clean scent. The smell is pleasant, subtle, and not overbearing. When I applied the shampoo, I noticed immediately that it foams and lathers up very quickly, so less is more.
After applying the shampoo, I parted my hair and started at the roots to target as much of my scalp as possible. I recommend really taking the time to work the product and massage your scalp as much as possible.
Pro tip: using a scalp massager makes it easier and it feels amazing.
Once you start to massage your hair you’ll feel the product start to work. There’s a tingling sensation that might catch you off guard if you’re not used to it, but it’s not nearly as strong as other scalp products I’ve tried. I know some may not appreciate the sensation, but I loved it! My scalp felt clean, light, and breathable.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Conditioner
Like the shampoo, the SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Conditioner shares that pearly color and serum-like feel. It applies very easily while softening and moisturizing your hair. When I applied it to my hand, it gave my hands a lotion-like feel, which speaks volumes about its hydration capabilities. I also loved that the conditioner comes with a pump, instead of having to squeeze the product out – to me, it makes application easier.
I typically apply my conditioner to the ends first but because this is a scalp care product I started at the root and worked my way down to my ends. I did leave the conditioner in for ten minutes, although the bottle recommends leaving it in for three. The conditioner also provides that same breathable feel to your scalp. I honestly loved the relief.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Cream
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Cream is more of a daily relief product for your roots rather than your overall hair. It’s great for providing moisture and immediate relief to a dry and itchy scalp. Just like most of the collection, it gives a light and breathable feel – without the tingle. The applicator bottle targets specific parts of your scalp and makes applying easier.
Pro tip: I typically just squeeze the bottle to wherever I need the relief and use the tip to massage it into my scalp so it doesn’t mess up the hairstyle.
Overall, SheaMoisture’s scalp care line lives up to its claims – it moisturizes, strengthens, and provides immediate scalp relief. I definitely recommend trying the Scalp Moisture collection for an affordable way to treat itchy and dry scalp.
Featured image by Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
I don’t know what it is about turning 30 that made me super interested in vitamins and routines, but I love it here. Gone (well, not completely) are the days I let the day turn into night with my makeup, lights, and TV on with my laptop by my head. I blamed burnout on an undesirable work culture, a busy schedule, etc., but growing wiser, I realize the responsibility to set aside time to restore my mind, body, and soul is entirely mine.
When it comes to anxiety, the way I look at the dilemma of the mind is as living in the past and being fearful of what is to come. To combat that, intentionally cultivating routines that involve tapping into my five senses as a grounding technique helps me to become more present and realize what a gift the current moment is. Not only am I able to let go of the feelings of frustration that I carry around stemming from what (or what did not) occur in the day, but I also get to regulate my nervous system to the point my mind can start imagining a better future.
I think of my aura as a glass mirror that picks up fingerprints during the day, and I get to find different ways to wipe it clean at night so that I can see myself clearly the next day. Creating a sensual nighttime routine for myself does exactly that. Here’s how I start:
In my younger days, I used to save this step for right before bed, but I find getting spiritually grounded for a few minutes better assists me in switching from productivity mode to giving myself permission to just be. These days instead of defining myself by external factors like what I do for a living, how much I can produce, and accolades, I take a few minutes to express my gratitude through prayer to my higher power, the universe, my ancestors, and my everyday angels I'm lucky enough to call my friends and family. I am reminded that I am part of something way bigger than I often realize.
This then makes it easier to take time to take care of myself.
Sound: Self-Care Playlist
I’m getting back to my teeny-bopper days when each of my moods has a custom playlist. But this seriously works wonders by listening to music that affirms and uplifts me while soothing me into a restful mood. Don’t get it twisted, I do include a little bit of upbeat music in my playlist to ignite some passion and endorphins needed to carry out this process while I'm exhausted. Hearing my favorite songs at this time just takes the monotonicity out of my routines and inspires creativity. Hey, even a little jig every once and a while never hurts.
Smell: Burning Incense, Candles, and Using Oil Diffusers
Aromatherapy is a part of my routine that I refuse to skip. It's really hard to think about all the annoyances that occurred during the day when I smell the fragrance of citrus or berries in my vicinity! Almost every step of my nighttime routine has scents that are either soothing or delicious to me, from my skincare to the essential oils that I use. This just brings to my attention that often the simplest pleasures in life are free or at least super affordable. Plus, certain essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, and lemongrass are great for calming down one’s nervous system enough to fall asleep.
Touch: Taking the Day Off
Touch involves quite literally getting my day clothes off, getting in the shower, and changing into some comfortable night clothes. I take my playlist into the shower for some karaoke, inviting laughter and tears. My favorite shower products are great for my sensitive skin, but also layer different scents so that my perfume doesn't have to work so hard the next day. Exfoliating and applying body oils ensure that my skin feels soft.
My skincare routine ensures that when I look at my skin, it's bright and rejuvenated in the morning. I focus on glowing before bed because the nighttime is the only time my skin has to repair and regenerate hence the phrase “beauty sleep.” However, skincare does not stop at the face, so I am exploring new body care products to make sure the skin on the rest of my body has an even texture. The self-massage pays off because, by the time I lay down, I'm relaxed.
Taste: Decaffeinated Sweets
Health is wealth, and healthy snacks are imperative to my overall happiness. I try to stay away from foods that are too sweet or caffeinated at night, so I reach for rich and creamy textures and my favorite liquids. Decaffeinated teas, sugar-free ice pops, fruity-tasting sparking water, and fruit and veggies with peanut butter or salad dressing are my favorites.
Sight: Journaling And Reading
Journaling allows me to truly release and reflect on what’s bothering me. Guided journals are a great way for me to stay consistent and motivated by answering prompts. It’s so funny that writing about what caused me the most stress in the day and then being asked what I need to release helps me realize I’m in the driver's seat of my joy, happiness, and destiny. All that I desire is often a decision away.
With my overthinking, I find it better to put my sight and mind to use to read and experience an alternate reality. I’m an audiobook lover during the day, but at night my bed is a no-phone zone. With dosing off and missing a few sentences, it's tempting to get up and grab my phone/tablet, and the next thing I know it's 3 a.m., and I’m on TikTok. Holding my favorite book, flipping through pages, and fighting to keep my eyes open in excitement to figure out what is on the next page somehow knocks me right out.
When I wake up in the morning, I feel well-rested and like I had a much better quality of sleep than if I would have skipped my routine. It’s easier for me to be way more resolute and productive because I’m running on a lot of positive energy instead of fumes. As I continue to practice my routine, I am starting to realize whatever it is that I thought I was gaining by working behind a computerized screen after 10 p.m., I am losing my quality of life the next day. I proudly put my Bedtime setting on my phone, confidently assured that whatever it is can wait until the next business day.
I know my energy budget, and these days, I’m hella bougie.
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