As adults, we often channel our energy to the needs of our careers, our families, our pets, even our houseplants more than on taking care of ourselves. However, now, more than ever, we must make caring for our physical + emotional well-being a priority.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck last spring, our worlds have been turned upside down + we have all had to work our hardest to pivot to the new reality of our lives. All while, most likely, looking to the needs of everyone but ourselves. This post is all about how to treat yourself to some self-care + how Pantry Products can help you manage the stress + uncertainty the world brings your way.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care means putting yourself first. While many of us often put others first, it’s important to realize that self-care is not a selfish concept, it is a necessary one.
Self-Care Helps You.
Self-care helps us cope with stress, unhappiness, illness, depression, and negative emotions. It provides relief when we feel overwhelmed. Most importantly, it reminds us that we are important too.
Self-Care Helps You Help Others
When you maintain your own health and sense of calm, you are more energized and refreshed and you can provide a more positive outlook for others.
Self-Care is Simple.
It includes daily activities, like washing your face and taking deep breaths, to more extravagant ways such as getting a massage or taking an trip.
At Pantry Products, we like to think of self-care as a simple extravagance that everybody can afford to indulge in. We started from simple ingredients pulled from the shelves of my kitchen pantry. And still today, we are employing those same ingredients in the handmade products lining our shelves. Always know that you can find the means to self-care without having to leave the comforts + confines of your own home.
So, let’s get to it…
1. Prioritize Sleep
We all know how amazing a great night of sleep feels. But, as adults, getting enough sleep is often difficult. It’s even more difficult when we’re in the midst of a global pandemic
However, now more than ever, we need to ensure we are getting enough sleep to keep our immune system running at its best to fight off infections. In fact, there are parts of the body’s immune response that happen only during sleep.
Sleep is also one of the top ways we can help keep stress in check. Since sleep deprivation can make us more sensitive to the effects of stress, ramping up our reactions (or overreactions).
Finally, the brain needs sleep to function; without it you’ll be less patient and less focused, make poor decisions, and be more moody, irritable, and emotional.
How to get your best sleep:
I, like many, have a hard time shutting off the day + settling into sleep. In order to ensure sleep success, I have created a bedtime routine that includes the usual brushing of teeth/washing of face/lotioning up. But, to ensure once I crawl into bed, I can easily slip into sleep, I also shut out all unwanted light, turn my phone to Do Not Disturb mode, and then spritz by pillow, sheets, and air with Pantry’s Sweet Dreams Essential Spray. For the ultimate in sleep, team your Sweet Dreams spray with our Sleep Salve and/or Sweet Dreams Roller Ball Remedy.
This blend of lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, and cedarwood essential oils helps to relax the mind, reduce anxiety, and induce sleep. Plus, it smells ah-mazing!
2. Wake up + Rejuvenate
As much as getting a good night’s sleep is important to managing stress, so is having a healthy start to your day. And let’s be honest, our days are rough since COVID struck. Between endless Zoom calls, homeschooling kids, not being able to get away from your spouse or partner, and sometimes not even bothering to put on pants…life is hard. Taking some time to take care of yourself in the morning + throughout the day may seem daunting but trust me, you can do it.
- Rosewater to revitalize + balance your skin’s pH
- Vegetable glycerin to moisturize
- Vitamin E to restore skin cells
- Jasmine essential oil – antidepressant
- Clary Sage essential oil – antidepressant + stress reducer
- Chamomile essential oil – calming
Our facial mist will boost your mood, refresh your skin, and doesn’t come with the jittery side effects of a 2pm cup of coffee.
3. Work it Out
Spending a lot more time at home does not mean you get to be a couch potato. Just because your gym closed doesn’t mean you don’t need to work out.
Staying active not only keeps your body healthy physically (keeping your risk of chronic health issues down and lowering your chances of acute illness, like COVID-19), it also helps up your mood and well-being.
Exercise releases endorphins, sharpens focus, and aids sleep. Staying physically active also lessens the risk of mood disorders, boosts energy, and improves mood overall. So, lace up those running shoes, pump up those bike tires, or pull on that swim cap.
And when you wake up tomorrow morning a little sore from getting ripped, reach for Pantry’s Arnica Muscle Salve.
This wonder balm features:
- Arnica Flowers- anti-inflammatory
- Cayenne Pepper – anti-inflammatory, analgesic
- Ground Ginger – anti-inflammatory
- Peppermint + Eucalyptus essential oils – anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic
- Clove essential oil – analgesic (aka numbing)
- Cypress essential oil – antispasmodic
- Wintergreen essential oil – revitalizes muscles
4. Manage Stress w/ Scents
When you use scents to improve your health or mood, you’re using aromatherapy. In aromatherapy, essential oils that are distilled from plants are absorbed into the body either through the pores of the skin or by inhaling.
The scents released by EOs affect the hypothalamus, which is a part of the brain that influences the hormonal system. While individual responses to EOs are highly personal, a scent can affect your mood, metabolism, stress levels, and even your libido. Meow!
Most of Pantry’s products feature aromatherapeutic benefits as well as their main function. I chose Serenity Now! for this feature because honestly, who couldn’t use some serenity. RIGHT NOW! However, Pantry crafts 12 essential oil Roller Ball Remedies that are tailored to various ailments.
Serenity Now! harnesses the power of these oils:
- Lavender, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang – relaxation
- Cedarwood – induces sleep, reduces anxiety
- Vetiver – reduces stress, nervousness
- Clary Sage -reduces stress, natural antidepressant
- Lemon + Orange – boost mood
5. The Healing Power of Touch
We all know how wonderful a massage feels on our aching + aging bones + muscles. But did you know that it also helps us physiologically and mentally?
Therapeutic massage can help boost immunity through the reduction of stress hormones + pain, but at the root of the benefits of massage sits oxytocin: a naturally-produced hormone in the human body). Oxytocin (also known as the “Love Hormone) is stimulated by human touch + the release of oxytocin relieves pain + relaxes tense muscles, which signals your brain to go into a calmer state
As oxytocin is released, stress hormones that wreak havoc on your immune system decrease.
Massages can help build your immune system too by increasing circulation in your body. And you need to have access to your favorite spa or even a spare pair of hands. There are several self massage methods you can use to release tension while in quarantine.
Whether you’re tending to your aches + pains or a loved one is treating you to a little tender touch, Pantry’s Calming Massage Candle can help ease your muscles, soften your skin, + calm your mind.
- Shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil to hydrate + condition
- Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot essential oils – calming
- Palmarosa essential oil – comforting, calms anxiety
6. Take Time for Yourself
It’s common for folks (myself included) to keep themselves busy, busy, busy in order to avoid assessing their current well-being. But it’s healthier to be still + do nothing. To take time to listen to what your body + mind need. And to check in with yourself.
In times such as these, acknowledging our feelings for the loss of normal activities can help us stay grounded + process the profound changes we are experiencing.
Taking a bath is the perfect way to create a quiet space to reflect. It also has a beneficial effect on your physical + mental wellbeing.
Studies have found baths to be more effective in aiding depression than aerobic exercise, mental health benefits resulted in less stress, tension-anxiety, anger-hostility, and depression. Also, increased body temperature at night helps synchronise our natural circadian rhythms, leading to better sleep patterns, along with improved quality of sleep and overall wellbeing. Treat your self + your soul to some soothing with Pantry’s Soul Soother Sea Salt Soak.
- Epsom salt – relax muscles, loosen stiff joints
- Sea salt – stimulate circulation, soothe aches
- Dried Lavender – calming
- Dried Peppermint + Spearmint – muscle relaxant
- Dried Eucalyptus – analgesic/pain relief
I hope these tips + our handcrafted products allow you to create a simple + attainable self-care routine to help you survive the pandemic. As always, feel free to reach out to me + the Pantry team with any questions on how to harness the power of Mother Nature to live your healthiest life.