A Good Soak

The most traditional of Treat Yourself routines, the bath is the king (or queen!) element of all relaxing routines. Throw in some epsom salts to help

Epsom salt baths are said to help with insomnia, detoxification, aches and pains, and to aid in quick muscle recovery.

And before I get into the tub, I always do a quick dry brush. It takes off any surface dead skin cells and also gets your circulation going before stepping into the warm water.

When I get out, I always moisturize with a great body butter or body oil. If you’re looking for another layer of hydration that will make your skin glow, another product I’ve been loving lately is Glowbiotics Probiotic HydraGlow Cream Oil, which is a facial oil infused with probiotics. It comes recommended by Dr. Whitney Bowe, who is a big proponent of the benefits of good bacteria for your skin.

Here’s what Dr. Bowe says about this product:

“It demonstrates one of the most promising aspects of probiotic therapy: it boosts the skin’s innate immune function. In other words, this product supports your skin’s natural defense mechanisms and shields our skin from invaders while calming unnecessary inflammation.”

Probiotics, or healthy bacteria act as a protective shield with calming effects, provide ammunition against bad bacteria, and boost your skin’s innate functionality. These effects ultimately help reduce inflammation, which in turn helps limit flare-ups in skin and prevent premature aging. –Dr. Whitney Bowe

 

Relaxing Nighttime Reads

There is nothing more relaxing to me than ending my night with a book. As the last thing in my nighttime routine, this is always guaranteed to relax my mind and help me fall right asleep.

I always choose more mellow reads, since anything with too much action and suspense gets my brain going a little too much to relax. Historical fiction is my absolute favorite genre. I’ve read and devoured every. single. book. from Philippa Gregory–The White Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Constant Princess are good places to start–but I have read all of them and they are all great! Check out her entire list of works here.

I’ve also read a ton of WWII-era books lately, specifically those that chronicle survivors’ stories during the Nazi regime. I have delved into my psyche a bit to try to figure out what it is about this genre that is so captivating to me, and [Cue Armchair Psychologist], I think the discord that is defining the current political climate has me reaching for examples of how incredibly resilient the human spirit can be, even in the face of the purest evil. So… on that very uplifting note… ha!… here are my favorite reads from that category:

Reads from Other Genres and Eras:

  • Tangerine, by Christine Mangan (This one is more of a psychological thriller. Set in a gorgeous setting and a real page turner!)
  • Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly

Side note: Anyone out there want to start an online book club? I’ve always wanted to be in one, and I think this would be a great way to suggest some good reads! Let me know by emailing me here!

 

Facial Massage

Is anyone else’s favorite part of a facial the massage part?

Turns out there’s more to facial massage than just major relaxation; some people claim it plumps up the appearance of their wrinkles and fine lines, and it can also help to speed up the detoxification process by stimulating your lymphatic vessels.

There are lots of devices designed to help improve your facial circulation and stimulate your skin’s healing process, but my favorite of late is this roller by Nurse Jamie. It’s essentially a weighted rolling stick that you run up and down the contours of your face.

Not only is it majorly relaxing, but it’s also perfect for convincing your partner that you’ve lost your damn mind every time s/he sees you using it. Win win!

I picked up my Nurse Jamie roller during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, but it’s still for sale here.

 

Aromatherapy

There’s a reason the sense of smell is most closely tied to memory.

Our ability to associate a certain smell with a particular ritual, place or feeling is incredible, and if you get into the habit of smelling the same smell at a certain time in your daily routine, you can immediately relax.

My favorite ways of incorporating aromatherapy into my relaxation routine are with candles and essential oils. For candles, I favor scents that are musky, with a touch of spice or vanilla. My favorite scent these days is this Voluspa candle in Bourbon Vanille.

This tin of three small candles, which includes this scent, is great because you also get to sample two other scents. These little candles last a lot longer than you would think!

Essential oils are all the rage in the natural health renaissance that’s taken over these days, and I like to incorporate my oils into my routine through diffusing and by using them in my bath.

My favorite oil to put in the bath is lavender, and when I diffuse I prefer frankincense.

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Do you have any special routines or products that help you relax at night? I’d love to hear more in Comments below!
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