Rediscover self-love during times of turbulence and uncertainty
There is one thing for certain right now, and that’s that nothing is certain. And while these past few months have been deeply uncomfortable for many of us, at Ahhh, we believe these speed bumps along our road have made us slow down enough to see the beauty we otherwise may have missed.
Many of us have spent time with family, tinkered with new hobbies, read more and talked more, and taken long walks in the gorgeous autumn sunshine. Some of us even thought we were Nadia Lim and attempted the recipes we normally didn’t have time for. Some of us were even successful. 🤣 🤣 🤣
As we ease into winter, we wanted to take the time to remind all you gorgeous people that whatever you did or didn’t do during lockdown, that it’s your perfect story.
It’s OK to chill
If you didn’t spend lockdown writing the next great novel, mastering your stuff-of-legends crusty homemade soda bread, teaching your kids with your encyclopedic knowledge of absolutely everything, or achieving Olympian fitness goals, that’s super OK.
Every one of us did what we needed to do during lockdown, and for some of us that meant pushing the pause button on life. There may have been a little more Netflix, a little more wine, and some delicious sleep-ins from time to time.
And that’s all totally OK.
Feeling anxious is natural and meditation may help
Feeling moments of heightened anxiety and stress is a natural reaction to a freakin’ global pandemic (!!). Our bodies are hard-wired to respond that way. When we perceive that our lives or the lives of our family are in danger our autonomic nervous system takes over.
We sleep less, we sleep more, we clench our teeth, our muscles ache, we want to weep or scream for no tangible reason. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis gets busy stimulating the endocrine so our bodies produce more cortisol steroid hormone. This is great in short bursts, but long term can trigger issues like depression. So learning how to relax is very important during this time.
Meditating even just five or 10 minutes a day benefits the body and mind, and you don’t have to go it alone. There are loads of apps to choose from, and here are some of our faves: Stop, Breathe & Think, Buddhify, Breethe, The Mindfulness App, Calm, Headspace, Sattva, Ten Percent Happier and Simple Habit. Because they’re on your phone, they’re perfect to take with you on a short walk to sit in nature, even for just a moment.
Love all of your epic self
As we rebuild our lives and communities, we want to encourage you to take time to cherish all of you. That means just as you love your polished, poised, game-face self, to also send love to your trackpant, slipper wearing, messy-haired self.
Because whether you see it or not, you held your own like a boss during a freakin’ global pandemic (!!) with zero preparation. So we reckon every part of you is pretty darn epic!
So take a moment of gratitude and give yourself thanks for getting yourself to this moment now.
Change your brain one affirmation at a time
In a world where we value our lives and measure self-esteem by what we do, it’s a challenge when our usual measurable achievement markers fly out the window. And when our income is challenged, that’s a double whammy.
So it’s time to reprogramme your brain with words of nurturing, kindness and love, just as you would a child who is feeling uncertain. You love yourself when you’re happy and thriving, and you’re just as lovable and deserving of love when you’re not.
Author of You Can Heal Your Life, the late Louise Hay is a momentous self-love advocate with her many infamous affirmations:
“I love every cell of my body”
She shares tips on how to love your whole self here.
Get in that bath, girrrrrl!
We may be biased but we think there is nothing quite so relaxing as a bath, and if there’s such a thing as a bath season, then winter is it.
History and health benefits of bathing
When you jump in your bath you become part of a cultural legacy dating back nearly 3,500 years. It was first popular with the Greek Aegean who loved their public baths, and used them to soothe aches and pains, and cure disease. The popular social activity was adopted by the Roman Empire from 27 BC and swept across Europe and North Africa.
We Kiwis are no different, flocking to hot pools when we can today.
It’s probably because we smart cookie humans innately know that hot baths are good for us, and we’re not wrong. Here are 9 reasons why taking a bath helps our health:
- It calms our central nervous system, alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety.
- It relieves joint and spine pain thanks to supportive floating in water.
- It elevates our heart rate and “exercises” this large muscular organ.
- It helps our lung capacity enabling us to breathe easier thanks to more oxygen intake from our faster beating heart.
- Increased oxygen in a warm bath makes our blood flow better.
- The steam helps clear out our sinuses and chest, and relieve symptoms of cold and flu.
- It helps regulate body temperature, especially warming up the body during winter.
- Warm water can stimulate increased levels of serotonin giving a sense of peace and wellbeing.
- Natural oils like coconut oil, and salts containing minerals such as magnesium, like Epsom salts, hydrate and moisturise our skin and can ease muscle aches.
Get your bath bomb on!
Not only did the idea of a soak in a hot bath inspire our entire Ahhh brand link to >About Us, but we have included beautiful, nurturing ingredients in our bath bomb range to elevate and revitalise your bathing experience. Here are just three of them:
Our Lavender Love Bath Bomb contains the nurturing scent of lavender, which has been shown to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, restlessness, insomnia and depression.
The fragrant rose petals in our Sweet Pea Rose Bath Bomb can stimulate the brain to release the “feel good” hormones, endorphins, and that chemical dopamine to relieve symptoms of anxiety and postpartum depression, and can even spark romantic desire.
Our Lemon Meringue Bath Bomb brings the refreshing energetic joy of lemongrass oil, which is a potent antibacterial and antifungal to aid in skin healing, can alleviate arthritic pain, and inhaling the oil helps with lowering blood pressure and can ease stress and anxiety.
All our bath bombs contain the luxurious natural skin hydrator coconut oil, proven to help healing skin conditions such as eczema, rashes and itchiness.
2020 may have served us a big ol’ dose of thinking time in the first half of the year, but amid the reflection and navel gazing, we hope that like us, it brought you closer to the people you love most in the world.
Whatever life holds for you in the coming months, always take a moment to give yourself the love you deserve.