We're wrapping up Mental Health Week in Canada with a list of a few of our Founders' favourite things. These are the products that help us find calm and comfort, maintain balance, and stay as mentally healthy as we can.
Like so many others, I like to find quick and easy ways to fit in my moments of self care. Anything that requires little-to-no time commitment sounds just perfect to me. That's why I love making Blume's tasty, warming Beetroot Blend a part of my morning ritual. It's a treat for the senses with its spice notes and dreamy pink colour. When it's warm enough outside, I like taking a cup out to enjoy on the deck. And it helps to have that moment of brightness and me time before I get going.
I find that scents have a powerful way of leading me back to my breath. And when I feel stress start to rise, I also learned with my therapist to use physical touch like giving myself a hug or light massage to help calm myself down. So the Calming Hand & Body Lotion from Way of Will is one of my essentials for helping to bring calm back to my day whenever I need it.
Even now when I'm working from home most days, I still love having comfy clothes to change into at the end of the day. It's like a signal that the busyness of the day is over and I finally get to switch gears. I reserve some of my loungewear, like the Sunday Romper by Smash + Tess, just for chill time. It's soft, it wraps around you just perfectly, and it's roomy in all the right places. It's a comfort I look forward to every day. And one of my favourite things is getting into my romper and curling up to read a little bit of one of our favourite books, Tiny Beautiful Things.
The powerful duo of Keep Going and Settle Down essential oil sprays by K'Pure are in heavy rotation in my self care routine. At any given moment I can find Keep Going close at hand. I have one in my purse and one on my desk, and reach for it anytime I need a moment to take a deep breath and regroup. The small act of allowing myself these micro breaks in my day can bring me back to centre and help keep my anxiety at bay. Settle Down lives on my bedside table, and a nightly spray on my pillow helps to slow my mind and lull me into a restful and restorative sleep.
Speaking of sleep, my B Yoga Marbled Silk Sleep Mask has become an important part of my nighttime routine. A good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining my mental wellbeing, and my sleep mask is a small luxury that does wonders for my ability to fall and stay asleep (especially when my five year-old turns on the hall light wayyyy to early in the morning)!
My final pick is my favourite Almond Butter Chocolate bar by Mast. My anxiety disorder often leads me into all-or-nothing thinking and so I’m prone to falling victim to a perfectionist view of wellbeing. That’s why I make the conscious choice to include things that bring me pleasure when it comes to my self care practices. This chocolate is next-level good, and I almost always have one on hand for when I need a little indulgence in my life.
The One Line a Day journal is a low barrier way to start journaling! There is only space for a few sentences per day so I don't feel overwhelmed like I do when staring a blank page in other journals. And because it's a 5 year journal, you see what you wrote on the same day in previous years and I think that little glimpse into your thoughts, your worries, your joys and your feelings is pretty powerful. This is such a life-changing period in our lives that I've been trying to capture my thoughts and feelings in my journal as we go through it. I know it will be powerful to see my pandemic musings in years to come. That said, the pandemic has drained me of all my energy and most nights I get in bed, look at my journal on my night table and think 'Gah. I'll write in it tomorrow'. I'm trying to not beat myself up for 'not journaling properly'. I'm doing the best I can in an extraordinarily hard time, so a few sentences every few weeks is the best I can do and that's okay.
In the winter lockdown, I spent some time decluttering my basement and setting up a home office. A Lohn Scent Pebble and the Boost Blend Essential Oil from Vitruvi were some of the things I bought to make my home office a welcoming, peaceful place (my office is in the basement and I share my space with the cat litter 😂.). Every day (after wrangling 2 kids into their various Google classrooms and Zoom meets) I come down into my office, turn on a podcast and put some Boost oil in my scent pebble. Home life, school life and work life have all blended into the sameness of each day. So this simple, joyful ritual helps break up the sameness and helps to mark my 'office time'.
A few months ago, as my therapist and I discussed my exhaustion and my anxiety, she asked me, 'After you get the girls in bed, what do you do for yourself? What are you doing that you look forward to and brings you a little bit of joy?' I stared at her on the Zoom screen in silence. After that conversation, I bought my first puzzle. It's a lovely way to disconnect from my thoughts and connect to the present. After my kids are in bed and I finally get some 'Me time,' I turn on some music, pour a glass of wine and work on my puzzle. This screen-free break for my brain has been so soothing and restorative. I'm halfway through Wonder & Bloom right now, and I am loving each little colourful piece. Slowly but surely the flower shop is emerging, and slowly but surely, my anxiety is lessening.
I tend to develop emotional attachments to my houseplants, and How to Raise a Plant and Make It Love You Back has been my go-to guide for keeping my greenery healthy lately. Among my collection, I have an aloe plant that started as a cutting from my now-deceased grandmother’s plant, and a ficus that my best friend gave me as a housewarming gift when I moved in with my late partner, Rob. Those plants are a living connection to people that I’ve lost, and caring for them brings me a real sense of peace and connection.
I've been doing yoga at home during the lockdown, and I like to light a candle during my practice to help transform the space between my kitchen island and desk into my mini studio. The Cedar Stack candle by Boy Smells is my current favourite. Years ago, I had a yoga instructor who would come around and apply essential oils to everyone’s temples during savasana, and I found that really soothing, so I’ve been emulating that at home with the Calm roller by Cardea Auset.
A hot/cold therapy pillow is a real comfort item for me; I’ve had one in my possession since the OG Magic Bag, but the Half Moon pillow has elevated the concept, with a calming lavender scent and beautiful design. I use it for the stiff neck I inevitably get from my poor Work From Home ergonomic set-up, period cramps, and any other pain or tension.
Do you have a favourite wellness product that you just can't live without? Share it with the Crying Out Loud community by leaving a comment below!