Wellness Practices at Home with Very UK

Thursday, October 15, 2020
What is wellness? According to the Global Wellness Institute: wellness is "the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health". Wellness is a multidimensional pursuit including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental aspects, which can be difficult to manage and maintain. Achieving wellness in one aspect can be difficult especially during the current global pandemic and political chaos but there are many simple and small changes you can make to improve aspects of your wellness at home. 

Wellness At Your Desk 

Many of us have been working from home for most of the year which can have its positives (*cough* working in pyjamas *cough*) as well as its negatives such as the difficulty in finding a work/life balance. I've personally found that since the start of the pandemic and the almost constant lockdown we've had in Manchester, I'm not as productive as I used to be and I am easily distracted by incoming news articles and coronavirus statistics. 

To try and combat feelings of anxiety and stress during the working day I've started to make small changes and positive habits while at my desk including putting on a little makeup, lighting a candle, taking regular breaks and using calming products. Stretching routines or basic exercises at your desk, music or dance breaks, breathing meditation and drinking enough water throughout the day are also great wellness practices you could add into your daily working routine while at home. 

Putting on makeup may not seem like a healthy habit or a wellness practice but I find the process of applying skincare and makeup not only relaxing but it gives me a definite starting point to my working day and makes me feel a little better too. I've been wearing makeup since my early teens, makeup is something I love to wear and experiment with, although it is very different now compared to my teenage years (no heavy black kohl liner and dream matte mousse anymore!). 

However, the process and the stress relief it gives is the same. I remember getting ready on the morning of my practical driving test, I'd failed my first test so naturally my anxiety levels were even higher as it felt like I HAD to pass the second time but as soon as I'd started applying my makeup, I felt instantly calmer and less anxious. The process is familiar, easy and almost soothing in its repetition and routine which has helped during lockdown when days have blended into one 'oh no what next' blur.

Makeup Mindfulness

I haven't been wearing much makeup this year, apart from brows and mascara as I think they can have the most dramatic impact without wearing a full face of makeup. However, there is one new-to-me base product that I've fallen in love with and the fall was instantaneous! The *Elemis Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser (£39, 60ml) is a natural radiant glow booster in a bottle that instantly makes my skin look brighter, fresher, luminous and healthier - as though I'd had three litres of water and a peaceful ten hours sleep, which is never the case. I find that skincare or makeup labelled as 'glowing' or 'radiant' fall into two categories: chunky glitter or greasy. Thankfully this amazing beauty product is neither as it genuinely gives my skin a fresh faced, radiant glow that looks natural and beautiful either worn on its own or underneath my CC cream. 

Relaxation and unwinding after the working day is important but what about using relaxing products and techniques during your working hours? I often find myself lighting a candle, especially at this time of the year, to make my home office feel cosier and smell wonderful! Scents have been used within relaxation rituals, cosmetics and bathing products for centuries and there are many studies to suggest that various scents can produce positive psychophysiological effects. 

A metanalysis of available literature conducted in 2016 by Sowndhararajan et all, suggests that there is a significant connection between scents (olfactory stimulation) and human brain function such as cognition and mood. For example, lavender has been found repeatedly, by various researchers, to reduce anxiety and stress levels and improve mood. Camomile, orange, bergamot and ylang-ylang essential oils have also been found to produce calming effects. 

Scents For Relaxation

Scent is very personal to each individual and there are differences in the effects of various scents on men and women. I personally find that certain scents can have a very calming and relaxing effect on my mind. Lavender is one of my favourite scents and I will happily purchase any candle or product that contains lavender for the wonderfully relaxing scent it provides, although my bank balance isn't quite as happy about it. 

Patchouli and ylang-ylang are also calming scents for me but sometimes I don't want to burn a candle or open another diffuser so a handy, easy to use roller ball is a fantastic solution, especially while working, on the go or at your desk. I've loved the Aromatherapy Associates bath oils for years but I haven't tried much else from the brand so I was very happy to receive the *Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Roller Ball (£22, 10ml) which smells as calming as the name suggests. I've been using it on my wrists and a little behind my ears during the day to help me feel a calmer and more relaxed. It's nice to have a little break throughout the day to stretch, apply a scented product and to re-focus on the tasks ahead.  

Its The Little Things 

Hand washing is more essential than ever before and with it comes dry, tight and uncomfortable skin that will only get worse with winter approaching. A deeply nourishing and replenishing hand cream can instantly transform the skin, leaving it smoother and moisturised as well as much more comfortable. One of my all time favourite hand creams is the *L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (£21.99, 150ml)which I've tried numerous variations of but I always come back to the original (or the cherry blossom scent because I can't get enough of it). 

L'Occitane has been one of my favourite pampering and fragrance brands for the past ten years! I absolutely adore the L'Occitane cherry blossom range as it brings back lovely summer holiday memories and the scent itself is sweet, floral and feminine. I also love their famous hand cream as it instantly calms  the skin, leaving it smoother and moisturised but much more supple too. I cannot recommend it enough and it would make a lovely gift for someone special this Christmas or as a treat for yourself, you deserve it.

Everyday Self Care 

Pampering and self care shouldn't be restricted to occasional pampering evenings. It can be something you incorporate, even in a small way, into your everyday skincare routine! My skincare routine changes constantly depending on the weather, the new products I am reviewing and what my skin needs at the time - it's an intuitive process that just needs a little knowledge and practice. Speaking of skincare knowledge, I cannot recommend Skincare by Caroline Hirons enough as it is filled with no-nonsense skincare advice. Also the audiobook is hilarious, especially the bloopers! 

CBD Skincare 

CBD has been one of the most hyped new skincare ingredients of the past year and it has some bold claims. CBD or cannabidiol is derived from the Cannabid Sativa plant and has been claimed to help reduce certain health complaints when ingested (such as back pain) or provide moisture when added to skincare, among other benefits. I've tried a couple of products containing CBD and while I am currently on the fence about the hyped claims, I am still happy to try new products and continue to use them continuously to see if there are any benefits. 

I'm currently using the *Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Nourishing & Calming Moisturiser (£59, 59ml) which claims to visibly reduce the appearance of dry, flaky skin and deeply soothe stressed or angry skin, the latter is a great way to describe my lockdown skin unfortunately! The moisturiser feels very nourishing and moisturising without leaving a heavy or greasy residue and I adore the packaging. So far, so good, I'll be sure to include it within a post or on my Instagram (@ofbeautyand) in the future. 

Nourishing Oils 

One of the most luxurious and comforting skincare products I've discovered lately has to be the wonderful *Emma Hardie Brilliance Facial Oil (£39, 30ml) which not only smells utterly wonderful but it leaves my skin feeling incredible too. The mini sample bottle will be included in my autumn empties post so stay tuned. Facial oils are a staple within my autumn and winter skincare routine as even though I don't suffer with eczema on my face anymore, it can still become tight and dry during the harsh, colder months, especially in dreary Manchester! 

Nourishing products are ideal for this time of the year and as they give my skin a comforting blanket of moisturise that it desperately needs. There's nothing better for my skin right now than the Emma Hardie facial oil (which is probably my all time favourite facial oil and I've tried many). As well as feeling soothing on the skin, the scent is equally as relaxing and calming which makes it a doubly perfect product to use if you and your skin are feeling a little worn out and in need of some TLC. 

Everyday Targeted Treatments 

Pampering nights are fantastic for relaxing, de-stressing and treating your body as well as calming the mind but why not enhance your everyday skincare routine with a targeted treatment or two. Depending on how my skin is feeling I've either been using spot treatments or calming creams as my skin is behaving like a temperamental teenager currently (sadly I can't give it a time out) but you can tailor your skincare each day to it's specific needs. Here are a few recommendations and well loved products to target troublesome issues for the skin, hair and body that you could add into your daily or weekly routine: 

  • *REN Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream (£49) 
  • *Philip Kingsley 5 in 1 Elasti-styler Treatment (£34, 150ml) 
  • Elemis Superfood Vital Veggie Mask (£30, 75ml)
  • *Sanctuary Spa Calming CBD Oil (£11.99, 45ml)

Spa At Home 

Creating a spa-like experience in your own home can be as simple as lighting a candle, reading a good book in the bath and using a few 'special occasion' treatment products or you could go all out with masks, treatments, beauty tools, a soothing playlist and maybe even a glass or two of wine. However you decide to spend your pampering time doesn't matter as long as you take time for yourself, unwind and not only look after your skin, hair and body with wonderful products but also calm your mind and try to de-stress, which I think all of us need after everything 2020 has had in store. 

Special Weekly Treatments

I love to use 'special occasion' or treatment products during the week or as and when my skin needs them as I don't think there is any benefit to leaving a product unused for an unnamed day in the future when you could be enjoying and benefiting from it now. However, there are certain products (and they don't have to be luxury items) that I love to use for a typical pampering evening such as face masks, hair masks and indulgent treatment products. 

Acid toners have also made a huge resurgence in 2020 which some of the most loved being from Pixi Beauty. I have been alternating between using the new Pixi clarity tonic and the famous Pixi glow tonic once or twice per week as an extra step in my skincare or as part of my pampering evenings to exfoliate, brighten and clear my skin. I personally think that using acid toners more than a few times per week could potentially irritate the skin, depending on your skin type so please proceed with caution. 

I've recently delved into the world of vitamin C as another popular skincare ingredient with the *Pixi Beauty Best of Vitamin-C (£20) which is a fantastic set if you are new to the brand - they have some many fantastic mini sets to choose from. The autumn and winter months can affect your mood and emotions as well as your skin so a boost of brightening vitamin C might be a great option to try to lift the winter blues and boost the skins luminosity. 

Skincare Tools & Taking Time For Yourself 
Taking time for yourself, either with a busy schedule or commitments, might be a challenge but it will be worth it to use those well loved or new and exciting products as well as having some much needed me time. Fitting in time for healthy habits such as looking after yourself, reading and de-stressing is something that shouldn't be ignored or cancelled. In the work focused, social media filled world we live in, it is easy to always be online, working or simply scrolling and wellness practices are sadly forgotten - it is NOT selfish to look after yourself, you are important. 

I love using bath bombs and indulgent, rich skincare on pampering evenings but I also love simple skincare tools as well that help to enhance my pamper routine. I typically forget to use my quartz roller and gua sha on a daily basis but I always use them on pampering evenings; both of which have been used for centuries to tone the skin and relieve muscle tension. I find it to be such a therapeutic and tension relieving process that feels great, it helps to reduce my persistent tension headaches and it only takes a minute or two. 

The final skincare tool I want to recommend is one that reminds me of my teens, the *Magnitone Steam Ahead Facial Sauna (£29.99) is admittedly a far better version of the facial steamer I used in the early 00's (I thought I was very fancy!). The facial steamer is a quick and easy to use skincare device that helps to unclog pores, primes the skin for gentle exfoliation, cleanses and hydrates. It is a great way to refresh and hydrate the skin while feeling like you are in a spa within your own home, even if you only have five or ten minutes to spare. 

Wellness Tips
I hope you found a few products recommendations as well as some tips or advice within today's wellness focused post with Very UK. I think it is easy to view pampering and wellness practices as selfish or something we don't have time for but looking after yourself, whether you are focusing on your mental health, emotional wellbeing or simply your skin (or all three), is vitally important especially as we are currently living through an extremely difficult time. Here are a few parting wellness tips, after a very long blog post, that I hope you can try to implement into your daily or weekly routine: 

  • Stick to your self care routines
  • Try new healthy habits
  • Begin with small manageable positive changes 
  • Talk and get help if you need it 
  • Enjoy the little things
  • Don't put pressure on yourself to change or improve immediately 
  • Put things into perspective
  • (Most importantly) Look after yourself 

Have you tried any of these products? Do you have any wellness practices that you can share in the comments below? Do you have any relaxation product recommendations?  

*Gifted 

13 comments

  1. Oh what a fab range of products! xx

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  2. Some products here that I really want to try. I love taking my makeup off and having a bath with nice aromatherapy oils x

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  3. Love this post! I totally agree with you about putting on makeup - it helps me to feel like I am starting the day properly and it makes me more productive

    http://www.theemeralddove.co.uk

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  4. These look like great products particularly the spa at home x

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  5. So many products within this bundle that I happen to adore and I’ve kinda of gotten used to working from sofa in my loungewear, not too sure I want to adult and wear actual clothes

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  6. I definitely don’t mind working from home in my PJs I think I’ve gotten used to it now! You’ve got some amazing products in this collection, I spy some of my favourites x

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  7. These all look amazing! WOW, love your photos

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  8. Omg, what a fab selection of products you mention.

    https://littlemissmelanie.com/

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  9. Such an amazing range of products! xx

    Tiffany x www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

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  10. You've included so many great products. I love using oils for wellness and relaxation but I think its definitely down to what the individual enjoys.

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  11. I totally agree with you about putting on a little makeup and doing things to make you feel a bit more 'ready', it makes me so much more productive. I love the sound of the Elemis moisturiser x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  12. I love Aromatherapy Associates - perfect scents for relaxing and unwinding

    Jasmine xx

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  13. This is so in-depth, well done! Would love to try the EM facial oil x

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