Recently, my sister and I mulled over morning stresses of getting everyone out the door before 8.30, while the men established a ‘pecking order’ of tasks. Filling and emptying the dishwasher, making beds and blowing husks out of the birdseed bowl were viewed as “non-essential”, while we declared that coming home to wrinkled bedclothes and full sink amid wrangling school bags and hungry kids was not on our agenda!
Whilst I’m not sure that they thought we should spend more time in the bathroom, inspired by the males’ advice to “re-prioritise”, I’ve challenged myself to prioritise self-care each morning.
Without the DINK (double income no kids) status, I’m not about to swap holidays or gifts for Botox and dermal fillers! Once the kids are fed and clothes are laid out, instead of running through my own routine on autopilot, I try to make those minutes count.
Whether your mornings are hectic, or you have a little leeway, a small window spent on yourself can reinvigorate the brain, remove toxins and lay the foundation for smooth skin. Here is my way of combining all three in ten minutes or less!
The root cause of heathy hair
A head massage increases blood flow (nutrition) to the scalp for strong and healthy hair and energises the brain.
Hang your head upside down and feel the weightlessness as your head, neck and arms dangle. Using the pads of the fingers, massage your scalp all over for around two minutes. If you’re about to wash your hair, you could use a few drops of an essential oil (e.g. Lavender or Neem) or Jojoba oil. Flick your head up and voila, you also have full bodied 80’s-inspired hair!
This simple routine, also referred to as the ‘inversion method’ is also hailed as a method to grow hair more quickly.
Brush away toxins
Grab a natural bristle brush with a long handle (Kmart or The Body Shop). In simple terms, you’re brushing towards the heart, remembering that your lymph drainage areas are under the arms, in the groin area (around where the pelvis and upper thigh meet) and the neck.
Starting from the feet, brush up each leg in long strokes with a light pressure, clockwise around the belly, under the chest to each armpit. Brush up each hand and arm, down the neck and shoulders and each side of the face: along the jawline, across the cheeks and forehead.
At first, it may feel strange dragging a brush up dry skin but I find it really wakes me up. It comes close to a coffee! Up to three minutes is all you need.
Put your best face forward
Face massage may be the best thing you can do to prevent wrinkles. It brings fresh blood and nutrients to the skin, helps to improve muscle tone and relaxes stress points. To prepare the skin, I like to use a carrier oil, mixed with a few drops of organic essential oil. Currently, I’m using Grape Seed Oil as a carrier, mixed with a few drops of rose oil. Rose is filled with anti-oxidants and I also like to mix it up with Frankincense to help remove any blemishes and for anti-aging).
Take the index finger from each hand and move them across the skin in opposite directions to each other. As with body brushing, I like to massage one side of the face and then the other. Starting from the chin, move across the jawline up to each cheekbone, treading gently under the eyes toward to the outer eye and across the forehead. I like to spend a minute working on the pressure points and releasing tension along the upper eyebrow line.
Buzzing with energy, you can then take that brisk shower and finish off with some natural skin pampering. My current favourites are Hyaluronic acid combined with Vitamin C, followed by organic shea butter. Shea butter is very thick to apply (I only use a dab) but I find it extremely hydrating and I also like the small amount of natural inbuilt UV protection.
Natural methods take longer to work than artificial ones, but as with parenting, I’m holding on to the belief that consistency is key and that lasting, natural beauty outweighs any quick fix.
I hope you’ll join me in spending some of your precious time on ‘me time.’ It’s the little things that count.
Some of my favorite natural beauty blends:
- Clairburn vegan skincare (NZ-made)
- Sukin naturals vegan skincare (Australian brand)
- River Veda Nuture Sunscreen stick – SPF 30+ (70% organic)
- Moogoo Natural Super Vitamin C serum
- Lotus oils (wholesale prices available)