We're right around the corner from Christmas, and there are so many emotions brewing.
Some of us are frantically preparing for holiday parties and last-minute shopping for gifts. Others are in a mental state of bliss that's heightened with each Christmas song and ugly sweater we encounter. Yet others of us are battling through conflicting feelings about the holiday season due to the loss of loved ones or other traumatic experiences that've put a damper on the Christmas spirit.
Either way, each of us deserves to remember ourselves during this time of giving by indulging in self-care. As such, xoNecole encourages you to take part in our 12 days of Christmas Self-Care Challenge as the ultimate gift to yourself. Each day, participate in the designated activity below. Feel free to bookmark this page as a guide, it's our way of making spirits bright.
12 Days Of Christmas Self-Care Challenge
Day 5: Binge-watch Your Favorite Shows
Order takeout, put on your favorite loungewear, and totally dedicate yourself to binge-watching your favorite shows. Give yourself a reality break that doesn't require you to think about all the things of the world. It'll be a total treat.
Featured imaeg by Getty Images
Kandice Guice is a lifestyle and beauty writer who doubles as an attorney and entrepreneur. She prides herself on helping multidimensional women discover personal and professional fulfillment by encouraging them to live with ambition, sass, and a whole lot of pizzazz. When Kandice isn't closing corporate transactions or writing blog posts, she is usually cheering on her husband as a football coach or looking for new travel adventures with friends and family. Check her out at kandiceguice.com and follow her on all things social @kandiceguice.
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.
Ciara is opening up about what ultimately led to her realizing the relationship with her ex Future no longer served her and that it was time for a change.
In an episode aptly titled "Ciara: Don't Let Him Waste Your Time," the "How We Roll" artist recently pulled up to Alex Cooper's Call Her Daddy podcast for an extensive interview where she spoke about discerning red flags, choosing yourself, how she knew her husband was her one, and when to say when it toxic relationships.
Ciara was an open book as she broached the topic of the rapper Future, recounting to the host when she knew it was time to leave her relationship. "It's almost like your tastebuds change. You gotta also sometimes look in the mirror and reflect on yourself, like what are things that I could be doing differently in my life? I'm looking for a change but what does that mean?"
The 37-year-old multi-hyphenate had a relationship with Future, who is also the father of their son together, Future Zahir, and they started dating in 2012. The pair seemed to be a match in ATL rap and R&B heaven but despite becoming engaged in 2013, the relationship came to an end a few months after Ciara gave birth to their child in 2014.
Back then, sources believed the split was due to Future's alleged infidelity. Now, Ciara is suggesting that calling off her engagement nine years ago was more about coming to terms with hard truths about herself.
The mother of three admitted that becoming a mom when she did woke her up. "When you have a child, it's very important to me, it's no time to play around," Ciara shared. "I am now responsible for another life, so what am I doing, how am I thinking that through?"
Her biggest life pursuit is joy. "I want joy. I want to make sure my cup is full." Realizing that her relationship at the time didn't bring her was a wake-up call she couldn't ignore. She recalled of that time in her life, "When you're tired, you're tired and don't nobody want to be tired all the time."
If you're drained more than energized by the things closest to you, like your relationships, Ciara is a reminder that it's time to reevaluate. "Those are things that come to my mind when I process, when I was making a pivotal moment in my life," Ciara continued.
The "Level Up" vocalist would eventually find the joy she sought in another love, through the answered prayer that is her husband, Russell Wilson. After a whirlwind romance, Ciara and Russell tied the knot in July 2016 and have been devoted and in love ever since.
In addition to her son Future Zahir, 9, the couple have since expanded their family to welcome two more kids, a daughter named Sienna, 6, and a son named Win, 3. This year, the couple took to Instagram to announce the big news that they were expecting their third child together.
"You look at me like that again, we make another kid... You my heart I'm your rib," Ciara cheekily captioned the pregnancy announcement post on Instagram.
In the same podcast episode, Ciara told Alex how she knew her now-husband Russell was her one. After time spent soul-searching, she said knew Russell was the one from the very start. "My mind is as vivid as it can be," she said of her power of manifestation.
"When I saw my husband, I've never seen anything like that." Everything that she had asked God for and prayed for on her healing journey was standing right in front of her in the NFL star. "It was crazy," she said.
Cheers to Ciara for learning her worth and refusing to sacrifice her joy!
Ciara: Don't Let Him Waste Your Time | Call Her Daddy video podcast Alex Cooper
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Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Strength Of A Woman Festival & Summit