Caring for Yourself During Times of Change

Caring for Yourself During Times of Change

Posted by Sonia Bellini on

Self Care Is How You Take Your Power Back.

The energy we put out has to be replenished, and practicing self care is like pouring energy back into your personal strength reservoir. Without this practice we can become tired and emotionally depleted. Any changes in life can cause a shift in our balance. Even the changes of the season can cause one to pause and readjust. Not only do we need to adjust our skincare routines, but we also need to adjust our daily practices. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you will have nothing left to give -- this is why self-care is so essential. With this transition into spring, there is an abundance of energy around us as sprigs of grass rise and blooms burst around us. Take this cue from nature as a sign to care for yourself, add more green into your life, and get yourself moving! 

Spring brings about a dramatic change from winter, not just with the scenery around us, but with our bodies as well. There is a common practice of spring cleaning one’s house, and thus removing the clutter and debris that accumulate over the year. As the saying goes, your body is a temple, and thus is no exception for a thorough spring cleaning. In ancient Chinese Medicine theory, “spring is the time of year in which liver function and detoxification are most active”(O’Brien, 2021). Thus, spring is the perfect time of year to utilize and boost your body’s natural maintenance cycle with a spring cleanse. 

As green scents around us bud and bloom, be sure to also take some time to pamper yourself. Since scent is closely related to feelings and memories, we are big believers in pairing aromatherapy with self care throughout the year. By taking care of yourself, you can be the best version of yourself. One embodiment of this practice is by treating yourself to an annual ‘spring cleaning,’  which can help you feel light, energized and vibrant throughout the year.

Your Liver and Skin

Have you ever noticed that when you have a stomach ache, other parts of your body hurt as well? That is because your body is one living organism, and will compensate for any organs that aren’t functioning perfectly. Although our bodies are designed to manage daily detoxification, there are practices we can do to improve the natural detox system. 

Your Body’s Detox Systems

  • Skin
  • Liver
  • Kidneys

If one of your detox systems is falling behind on its job, the other systems will take over some of the work (Mann, 2018). When your kidneys and skin have to handle elimination, you may notice your skin flaring up from toxins that your liver is unable to handle (Mann, 2018). 

Signs Your Liver Is Not Functioning Optimally

  • Acne
  • Rashes
  • Premature aging

By keeping your liver healthy, you will be able to keep your skin healthy, and of course we want to have clear skin! So how can we do this? Start a spring cleanse! Keep reading to see the list of foods, scents, and activities you can do to assist your spring cleanse.

Refresh, Revive, and Come Alive

Taking care of yourself is a daily practice, and the food you choose to eat has a direct effect on your health. Since many vegetables are ready for harvest during the spring, your diet during a spring cleanse should be rich in color and nutrients that support and replenish your body on a cellular level. There are a variety of foods that have a positive impact on your liver, many of which produce or contain vital nutrients called glucosinolates. 

Foods to Increase

  • Cruciferous vegetables rich in glucosinolates like kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower
  • Fiber-rich foods like chickpeas, legumes, or lentils
  • Sulfurous foods like onions and garlic
  • Brightly colored vegetables
  • Increase your water intake

Foods to Decrease

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine, which produces additional stress on your liver
  • Inflammation-causing foods, like GMO’s
  • Trans-fats
  • Sugars
  • Foods high in carbohydrates, since they will convert to glucose

By supporting the chemicals your body needs, you are able to more easily flush fat-soluble toxins from your body (O’Brien, 2021). By supporting your body’s natural process of detoxification, you are able to increase the effectiveness of your detox, while also improving your overall health. Fiber is one of the pillars to your spring cleanse, since it is what prevents the metabolized toxins from being reabsorbed by your bloodstream (O’Brien, 2021).

Ways to Flush Toxins

Sweating targets toxins stored in fat cells and liver. In addition to exercising, you can try sweating through the following methods:
  • Hot tubs
  • Saunas
  • Steam Rooms
  • Detox baths
    • Increasing your water intake will flush toxins stored in water cells and kidneys

    As always, you can keep your skin and organs healthy by drinking plenty of water. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can incorporate a water-detox recipe into your everyday routine. Keep reading to see what recipes our team at Bellini’s has put together two recipes to help you eat greener! 

    Taking Care of Your Skin During the Spring

    Anything you put on it has the ability to be absorbed into your skin, and possibly reach your liver (Mann, 2018). 

    Avoid Products With 

    • Parabens
    • Preservatives
    • Artificial fragrances

    Opt for brands that are environmentally conscious, have clear reasoning for their ingredients, and have ethical standards for their company. We only carry brands that meet our strict standards, and are always happy to recommend Phytomer, Vie, Yonka, or SkinCeuticals products.

    In addition, we offer a variety of purifying facials, and incorporate products that help detoxify the skin into each facial. One of our fan-favorites is the Seaflexology, which places a cooling and detoxifying mix of seaweeds along your back. The Seaflexology detox is available to add onto any facial, and will leave your body completely relaxed. Just like your feet, the back contains key reflex zones that correspond to other systems in your body. By applying a layer of pure seaweed along the spine, we stimulate these zones to eliminate tension, support the body's natural toxin release, and enhance overall well-being. 

    Take the Spa Experience Home

    Simple Solutions

    Start with simple solutions to improve your wellbeing, then you can develop them further once you have created a stable routine. Your daily routines build up to become your habits, which means that you can always develop yourself into the person you want to be. By starting small, you won't be overwhelmed with the process of change. One suggestion we have is to 'stack your habits'. If you want to add a new habit, try to add it to an existing process you already do. For example, taking off your shoes could trigger you to wash your hands. After you develop this connection, you can add another habit, such as washing your face. James Clear states that we are more likely to establish lasting habits when we build them into what we are already doing (Clear, 2020). Thus, the example of taking off your shoes has grown to a combination of actions that become a habit. Overall, it is important to remember that this guide is just that - a guide. It is not a hard-and-fast rulebook for how to live. With that being said, if you are able to follow these suggestions 80% of the time, then you will be doing wonderfully. 

    Use Aromatherapy to Uplift Your Space

    There are many embodiments of self care, one of which can be surrounding yourself with beautiful scents and colors. Using the practice of aromatherapy, you can streamline your mental clarity by customizing the scents around you. We love how Mad et Len is able to incorporate this idea with their crystal potpourri. One of our newest additions to the Mad et Len line is their Totem Green crystal potpourri, which consists of green aventurine and emerald brut crystals. Both crystals are said to promote clarity, discernment, and dissolving negative energy and thoughts. In addition, the medicinal properties of rose and mint are shown to reduce stress, soothe the nervous system, and encourage letting go.

    The luxurious aroma of Mad et Len’s crystal potpourri invites us to unwind and admire the little things around us. Each potpourri vessel is handcrafted, and the small differences are admired and celebrated. We think that Mad et Len says it best, “that beauty is as diverse as there are human beings on earth.... each wrinkle or spot [is] a testimony to a beautiful story filled with emotions” ("MANIFESTO | MAD ET LEN", 2022). 

    Get Moving

    Building up the habit of exercising can be a challenge, which is why you have to find the type of exercise that best works for you. The main objective is to make exercise fun, so that you will be incentivized to continue. Our aestheticians at Bellini’s got together to talk about their favorite ways to get moving:

    Abby: I love to walk to work because I need something that I can effectively incorporate into my everyday routine. Plus, I’m happy to save money now that gas prices are so high! 

    Eliza

    Jillian: I like to start my day by opening up all the windows in my house. That gets me ready to take a 10-minute walk before the rest of the day begins. 

    Sonia: I love to swim and take hikes with Baci. It’s easier to get through the stairs when I am enjoying my time.

    Savannah: I love dance workouts! I follow along with The Fitness Marshall on YouTube. I like his channel because he has three different levels of dance intensity, so I can always participate and stay moving.

    Tired feet and legs? Try Gehwol and BabyFoot

    Overall, the main goal is to just get a little sweaty! Exercise increases your human growth hormone, which is an essential protein for densifying your skin (Roemmich & Rogol, 1997; Rudman et al., 1990; Edmondson, Thumiger, Werther & Wraight, 2003). Having thicker skin isn’t just an idiom, it’s also beneficial for keeping your skin looking younger longer. In sum, exercise is a catalyst for better health, and your body will thank you for this everyday practice. 

    Try This Out: Remove Toxins With This Multi-Use Tool

    Dry brush your skin to stimulate blood circulation and lymph nodes (Villines, 2022; "Lymphoma Action | The lymphatic system", 2022). When dry brushing, remember to use light pressure in order to stimulate the lymph nodes. Deeper pressure pushes past the lymphs, and begins to work on your muscles.

    We Mist You!

    We believe self care is essential to good health. In line with this idea, Ayurveda is the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and the outside world (Newlyn, 2021). Since certain fragrance notes can boost circulation and mood, we curated a list of fragrances to help zing you into spring! It's natural for people to be around each other again now that the winter weather has lightened up, so why not be the best smelling one in the room?

    Scents for Spring Ayurveda

    • Clove
    • Ginger
    • Black pepper
    • Lemon
    • Bergamot
    • Grapefruit

    Our top recommendation is Olfactive Studio's Still Life in Rio, which has notes of ginger, black pepper, and lemon, as well as additional peppers and fruits. Still Life in Rio's fragrance is inspired by the tropical sun spilling shadows through a valley. The top notes are reminiscent of lemonade, and are backed by a blend of coconut water, rum, and the balsamic, peppery notes of Brazilian Copaiba.

    A runner-up from Olfactive Studio is Panorama, which is inspired by urban jungles, and combines the surprising note of wasabi with fig leaf, fresh grass, and a hint of myrrh. 

    On the other end of the spectrum, our next recommendation is Olibere's L'etoile Noire. Literally translated as "The Dark Star," L'etoile Noire combines lighter and aquatic notes with heavier, spicier florals. Including blue ginger, lemon, and bergamot, L'etoile Noire will have you curiously sniffing all day. The scent was inspired by the 2001 movie Mulholland Drive, and hangs tight to the skin. The second scent from Olibere we recommend is Balinesque, which combines aquatic notes with bamboo sap, ginger, and vetiver. Balinesque is a fresh green woods fragrance that will take you to the heart of the tropical rainforest of Bali. 

    A few other green scent recommendations to lighten up your mood are: Parfums de Marly's Meliora, Initio's Oud for Happiness, and Lumira's Cuban Tobacco

    If you're looking to dress up your fragrance wardrobe for Spring, we suggest trying out our newly released Fragrance Flight. Pick four different perfumes to try out before committing to a full size. If you're not sure what to pick, we also released a guided quiz to help you pick the right scents.  

    In conclusion, spring is a time of rebirth, renewal, and growth and it’s the perfect time to focus on you and your health! A gentle spring detox can help your body release toxins and kickstart your metabolism after the winter months. You can easily begin your cleanse by eating more greens, lightening up your diet, and trying to eliminate food that converts to sugar. Every journey starts with a single step, and you can think of self care in the same way. Results don’t happen overnight, but instead are the build up of our daily practices. Since there is a connection between your liver and your skin’s health, you will want to maintain a level of health If you want your skin to look good. The liver’s main job is to filter blood coming from the digestive tract to obtain nutrients, but it also removes toxins and waste products from the blood, detoxifies chemicals, and metabolizes drugs that are then secreted into bile for elimination. Overall, the habit of caring for yourself is a gradual process, but overtime you can refill your personal reservoir of strength, take your power back, and be the best version of yourself possible.

    Recipes

    Dandelion Greens with Walnuts and Goat Cheese 

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup walnut halves
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
    • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tsp. nut oil, such as walnut or hazelnut
    • 8 oz. dandelion greens
    • 4 oz. goat cheese (chèvre), crumbled

    Dandelion greens are most tender before the plant begins to flower, and are packed with vitamin K, E, and C, calcium, iron, and fiber (Frey, 2021).

      Directions:

      1. Preheat an oven to 400ºF.
      2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and toast until lightly golden and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.
      3. Let the nuts cool to room temperature, chop coarsely and set aside.In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and nut oil until smooth and blended, and season with salt and pepper.In a large salad bowl, combine the dandelion greens, walnuts, vinaigrette, salt and pepper and toss to mix.
      4. Top with the goat cheese and serve immediately.
      Courtesy of William’s Sonoma

      Grapefruit, Lemon and Mint Detox Water


       Ingredients:

      • 1 organic grapefruit sliced
      • 1 organic Meyer lemon sliced
      • 1 bunch of fresh mint

      Combining both practices of spring cleaning and Spring Ayurveda, you can turn ordinary water into a special occasion. Aim to drink about half a gallon of water daily to keep your organs’ health optimal (Mann, 2018).

      Directions:
      • Slice ingredients and add to a large container.
      • Fill with water and let chill for at least 45 minutes.
      • Pour into a glass, jar, or water bottle and garnish with fresh mint leaves, if desired.

      Courtesy of Pop Shop America

       

      Works Cited

      Clear, James. “How to Build New Habits by Taking Advantage of Old Ones.” James Clear, 4 Feb. 2020, https://jamesclear.com/habit-stacking.

      Edmondson, S., Thumiger, S., Werther, G., & Wraight, C. (2003). Epidermal Homeostasis: The Role of the Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factor Systems. Endocrine Reviews, 24(6), 737-764. doi: 10.1210/er.2002-0021

      Frey, M. (2021). Dandelion Greens Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Retrieved 16 March 2022, from https://www.verywellfit.com/dandelion-greens-nutrition-facts-4582373#citation-1

      Lymphoma Action | The lymphatic system. (2022). Retrieved 16 March 2022, from https://lymphoma-action.org.uk/about-lymphoma-what-lymphoma/lymphatic-system

      MANIFESTO | MAD ET LEN. (2022). Retrieved 16 March 2022, from https://madetlen.com/manifesto/

      Mann, F. (2018). Is your liver the most important organ for your skin?. Retrieved 15 March 2022, from https://www.avogel.co.uk/health/skin/is-your-liver-the-most-important-organ-for-your-skin/

      Newlyn, Emma. “Ayurvedic Springtime Routines.” Ekhart Yoga, 8 Apr. 2021, https://www.ekhartyoga.com/articles/practice/ayurvedic-springtime-routines#:~:text=Abhyanga%20massage&text=Light%20oils%20like%20almond%20or,those%20of%20a%20Kapha%20dosha. 

      O'Brien, K. (2021). How to do a Safe and Effective Spring Detox - Healthy Life Redesign. Retrieved 15 March 2022, from https://www.healthyliferedesign.com/spring-detox/

      Roemmich, J., & Rogol, A. (1997). Exercise and growth hormone: Does one affect the other?. The Journal Of Pediatrics, 131(1), S75-S80. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(97)70017-9

      Rudman, D., Feller, A., Nagarj, H., Gergans, G., Lalitha, P., & Goldberg, A. et al. (1990). Effects of Human Growth Hormone in Men over 60 Years Old | NEJM. Retrieved 15 March 2022, from https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJM199007053230101

      Scentcillo. (2015, October 14). How to make your home smell good in spring. Scentcillo. Retrieved March 9, 2022, from https://www.scentcillo.com/blog/how-make-your-home-smell-good-spring

      The Liver-Skin Axis and Your Skin Climate. (2019). Retrieved 15 March 2022, from https://www.bendbeauty.com/usd/the-liver-skin-axis/

      Villines, Z. (2022). Dry brushing: Benefits, myths, and how to dry brush. Retrieved 18 March 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/dry-brushing#summary

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