Quarantine Activity: Shower Ritual

With Quarantine being primary to so many of our lives, thousands of us have turned to face mask after face mask to instil self-care and fill up the time we are spending at home. But there’s only so much masking that our faces can take, before our stock runs short along with our patience. If any positive is to be drawn from lockdown, is the chance to inspire splendid habits for the rest of our body.

Our body, as much as we hate to admit, often gets neglected and in the pursuit to feel amazing and give us something to do, I have put together some tips and tricks for some head to toe pampering alongside your shower routine.

READY SET SHOWER

Pre-Shower: Dry Body Brushing

We don’t often think about much pre-shower, but a fabulous way to encourage blood flow to our skin, reduce the appearance of cellulite and gently exfoliate is dry brushing. By implementing this simple step, you can encourage healthy skin over your whole body and take that extra minute to yourselves.

Dry Brushing is an ancient technique that is still used to this day to promote excellent skill health. By using a dry bristle brush, you brush upwards in a circular motion. By starting on the legs in and upward motion, using light strokes, right up to chest and arms you are preparing your skin for the next steps of your routine. The Botanics Exfoliating Body Brush an affordable tool to help with the texture of your skin and blood flow.

During Shower:  Massage and Lather

Showers can be a restorative process and when relished can bring a moment of wellness as well as body benefit. Before getting in the shower, let the shower run to a warm temperature – too hot can be drying on the skin. Following your full body brushing, your skin will love the rejuvenation of a purposeful shower. Using a massage tool in the shower can cement the effects of dry brushing and add luxury to your daily habit.

By using your favourite shower gel lather all over your body and use your massage tool in a similar way to your dry brush, upwards and in circular motions. The ribbed surface of an in-shower massage tool will stimulate the skin and encourage lymphatic drainage. Use this time to absorb the sensations of the shower, the sounds, the scent and allow yourself to relax. A public favourite massage tool is the Champneys Massage Tool.

Post-Shower: Moisturise

 Turning off the shower and giving yourself a moment to exhale before exiting the shower is great way to bring an element of mindfulness to your experience. As the pores of your skin are open and you body is still wet, it is primed to absorb the benefits of skincare products following. Use a towel to pat to your skin, not rub, as the moisture on your skin is ideal for the next step.

Grab your favourite body moisturiser or body oil and massage from your legs in an upward motion. Use this time to coat your body and take your time. Allow the product to sit for a few moments and then pop on your favourite pyjamas or your outfit for the day. Lush’s Tharapy Massage Bar is a luxurious plastic free and began product to satiate your skin.

The Importance of Breathing

Lockdown has become primary to so many of our households now, and being in such a confined space can become a catalyst for anxiety. With so much uncertainty around us and so much conflicting information being given to everyone, we sometimes forget that simple breathing can bring momentary relief and help our thoughts align.

The British Lung Foundation outlines that our body needs oxygen in order to function at it’s best. Breathing supplies all of our vital organs with this and is crucial for our survival. Not only is breathing key to our functionality, but also beneficial for our mental health.

Effective Breathing

When things get a bit much, take yourself to a quiet space (even if this means going into the bathroom for a sec) and exhale. Sometimes we have the tendency to hold our breath when situations get stressful. Exhaling will make you feel amazing! The action alone can symbolise the first step in moving forward, but actually fully exhaling is crucial to ridding our body of toxins and feeling less stagnated.

Basic Breathing Exercises

  1. Inhale deeply for 5 seconds, ensuring you fill your lungs
  2. Hold for 3 seconds
  3. Exhale for 5 seconds, ensuring your stomach flattens
  4. Repeat 5 times, but can also be done throughout the day

More Extensive Breathing

Adopting The Abdominal Breathing Technique is a way to take your breathe control further and is particularly effective when feeling stressed.

  1. Place one hand on your chest and other on your stomach.
  2. Take a deep breath through the nose and inflate your diaphragm (imagine you are filling up your lungs).
  3. Once your lungs feel ‘full’ or you experience a slight stretching then exhale slowly.
  4. Complete 5-10 sets of deep breathing.

With there being an array of breathing techniques, mastering control of your inhalation and exhalation is known to help reduce your heart rate and over a longer period of time can be extremely beneficial to your health. On top of that it’s great for your skin too!

THE BRITISH LUNG FOUNDATION:

https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/how-your-lungs-work/why-do-we-breathe

FURTHER EXTENSIVE BREATHING EXERCISES:

https://greatist.com/happiness/breathing-exercises-relax#3.-Progressive-muscle-relaxation-

The Power of Colour

With Holi taking India’s streets by storm, the festival of colours is the perfect trigger for endorphins and goodness in our own selves. Holi is the Indian festival of colours and spring, which is celebrated with fights of powdered colour and celebration. With the significance of this festival being a great way of symbolising a new start, it’s a great reminder to us all to inject positive energy for spring. Many of us busy bodies live under the smog of the city and we forget to embrace the vibrancy of colour in our everyday living. From our diets to clothing choices, not only are we changing up our routines, but also encouraging a more positive mindset that can aid a happier lifestyle.

Here’s my guide to integrating more colour into your lives!

GREEN: With green being symbolic of life and nature, it’s only fitting that we add more greenery into our diets. From vibrant salads to tangy guacamole, making this small change will not only add fresher colour to the eye, but strengthen your gut health. A great way to do this is by making an amazing Budda Bowl, or even having a house herb plant.

Check out Dr Megan Rossi’s pick and choose gut goodness bowls: https://balance.media/mix-match-gut-goodness-bowls/

HOLI

YELLOW: As the colour paired with sunshine and happiness, it could be argued that yellow is primary to our lives and encouraging a cheerful outlook. An extremely simple way to integrate yellow into your lives is through accenting this colour throughout our daily living. Choose a yellow accessory, full outfit or even change up your work coffee mug to add more brightness.

Etsy’s top mug picks are sure to add some colour: https://www.etsy.com/uk/market/yellow_coffee_cups

BLUE: This calming colour is synonymous with the sky and sea. It can encourage humility and calm. A great way to integrate this tranquillity in your life is by introducing it into your self-care routine. It can be as easy as using a blue bath bomb when taking a soak in the tub.

I recommend Lush’s Big Blue Bath Bomb: https://uk.lush.com/products/bath-bombs/big-blue

RED: The saucy and passionate red goes hand in hand with encouraging determination. This is a great bold colour to put a spring in your step and feel empowered for the day. Sometimes simplicity is key and this can be achieved with the classic red lip.

This will become a staple to your make up look: https://www.charlottetilbury.com/uk/product/matte-revolution-red-carpet-red

COLOUR IS KING

ORANGE: Being the love child of red and yellow, orange is an energetic colour and is reflected in our Vitamin C powerhouse, the humble orange. By simply eating more oranges during the day, we are not only providing our body with the vitamin C it needs, but giving us a citrus zing to stay awake through our infamous 3pm slumber. Even an orange or citrus scent can help us feel more awake and encourage creativity.

Try this amazing diffuser at home or at work: https://www.thewhitecompany.com/uk/Orange-Rind-Diffuser/p/ORDDI?swatch=No+Colour

Making even one of these small changes is a great way to bring more vibrancy intro your everyday living and encourage creativity. Happy Colouring!

‘Indian Pale Ales, but no Indians’

Like so many people of colour living in Britain, there can sometimes be a haze surrounding how opaque we ought to be with our cultures in a Western society. As gentrification lays its seeds all over Britain, we can find elements of different cultures being mimicked without a magnified presence of the people from who they are influenced.

A progress report by Alex Fenton highlights, with regards to gentrification in London, that changes in cultural dimensions and inclusions can be attributed to gentrification. This could be mirroring the underlying classist and even racist attitudes of the UK even today. Seemingly in these developed areas you can find Indian Pale Ale in every pub, but no Indians.

As a third generation British Asian, it is this climate that makes it ever confusing as to how much acceptance we will face from our British counterparts in society. With Indian influences fuelling many spiritual paths and trends in the Western World, there seems to glaze over much of its culture. For example, with the love of Indian food being prominent, but the lack of representation of Indians on mainstream cooking channels. This is something that is changing and education is at the front of this.

This is all contributory to cultural appropriation, which is now being highlighted by British Asians and people of colour more and more. As the new generation in a world that is seemingly getting smaller and smaller, there is no room for this ignorance and we should not shy away from certain parts of our culture out of fear of that part not being accepted. Although it is not the role of people of colour to explain the inherent confusions that can come with balancing two cultures  whilst living in the west, we can now call out this appropriation and try and educate our peers.

Third Generation South Asian

A progress report by Alex Fenton highlights, with regards to gentrification in London, that changes in cultural dimensions and inclusions can be attributed to gentrification. This could be mirroring the underlying classist and even racist attitudes of the UK even today. Seemingly in these developed areas you can find Indian Pale Ale in every pub, but no Indians.

As a third generation British Asian, it is this climate that makes it ever confusing as to how much acceptance we will face from our British counterparts in society. With Indian influences fuelling many spiritual paths and trends in the Western World, there seems to glaze over much of its culture. For example, with the love of Indian food being prominent, but the lack of representation of Indians on mainstream cooking channels. This is something that is changing and education is at the front of this.

This is all contributory to cultural appropriation, which is now being highlighted by British Asians and people of colour more and more. As the new generation in a world that is seemingly getting smaller and smaller, there is no room for this ignorance and we should not shy away from certain parts of our culture out of fear of that part not being accepted. Although it is not the role of people of colour to explain the inherent confusions that can come with balancing two cultures  whilst living in the west, we can now call out this appropriation and try and educate our peers.