This post has been sponsored by Chesapeake Bay Candle.
Many of us are bombarded with social media, texts, calls, and emails first thing in the morning. If we’re not careful, as the day goes on, we can easy get carried away by this constant stream of demands and distractions. Meanwhile, the body, mind, and soul are all yearning for more structure, predictability, quiet, and control – and that’s where everyday rituals play an important role. Simple, daily rituals offer us a way to remove ourselves from the chaos around us, and reset and reconnect with ourselves without distraction.
“Because only when we look inward and start caring for ourselves, will we be able to start gaining a new perspective of things. If we feel centered, and balanced, we will see clearly the priorities in our lives and will be patient but focused to pursue those.” – Mei Xu, co-founder of Chesapeake Bay Candle
Even short 5–minute routines can help us restore a sense of well-being while reducing anxiety. Need some inspiration? Here are 5 rituals you can practice in your daily and weekly routine. Start by incorporating one of two into your schedule, and take note of how it makes you feel after a week or so. Your body and mind will thank you, I’m sure!
Regular exfoliation can be extremely beneficial to the body – this includes both in-shower on wet skin, as well as dry exfoliation (like with a dry brush). The benefits are numerous when it comes to the health and overall look of our skin – first and foremost, exfoliation removes dead skin cells, which keeps our skin looking healthy and glowing (while also preventing ingrown hairs). It also helps increase blood circulation, breaks down fatty tissues, stimulate the lymph nodes, eliminates toxins, and reduce stress.
Aim to exfoliate 2 to 3 times per week (if you have sensitive skin, shoot for once every week, or once every two weeks, to avoid irritation). You can use anything from a homemade scrub in the shower (it’s a simple as mixing organic cane sugar and/or coffee grounds with a little coconut oil), or dry brush just before hopping in the shower. Remember to drink plenty of water on the days you exfoliate because you’re encouraging new skin cells to grow, and you want them to be well-nourished and hydrated – from the inside out!
Awaken + Invigorate (lemongrass eucalyptus) Chesapeake Bay Candle
For this ritual, turn on some relaxing music and light an aromatherapy candle. Scents like eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, and spearmint are all great for mornings as they help refresh and revitalize the mind and body. Chesapeake Bay Candle’s new Awaken + Invigorate candle incorporates all four, along with a grounding base of thyme, coriander and cedarwood. It’s my favorite scent to enjoy as I’m getting ready for my day – from dry brushing and showering, to picking out an outfit and doing my makeup.
In the fall and winter especially, many of us wake up and drive to work or school before the sun has risen. Then we often stay inside all day under artificial lighting, only to leave the building after sunset. When we live this way, our body isn’t getting the sunlight it needs and craves. This, in turn, can have a huge impact on our mood (1). So even when the weather is chilly, make an effort to go outside for at least 5 minutes (20 minutes preferably). If you’re at the office, step outside for a quick break and just let the light shine on you, enjoying its warmth as it lifts your spirits.
Right around noon is also a good time to release some of that stress that has built up after the morning rush. An afternoon meditation break will give your mind and body a much needed time-out from the daily demands, and prevent the stress from accumulating to an unhealthy amount. You can practice through whichever method works best for you, whether that’s quiet prayer, traditional meditation methods, a little forest bathing, or even mindfully eating a snack or meal. Turn off all phone and email notifications during this time as well.
Bonus – Mentally and physically ‘resetting’ for even just 5-minutes can also help boost your productivity, energy, and mood once you return to work (2). In fact, it’s recommended that we take these meditation/relaxation breaks at intervals throughout the day, every 50 to 90 minutes (3).
Stillness + Purity (rose water) Chesapeake Bay Candle
To elevate your meditation routine, carry a roll-on essential oil or solid perfume with you and massage a little over your pulse points beforehand. If you work from home, set the stage with an aromatherapy candle. Rose is one of my personal favorites for afternoons as it’s both calming and uplifting, and Chesapeake Bay Candle’s new Stillness + Purity candle captures it perfectly. It features a blend of Moroccan rose, along with fresh peony and soft muguet petals over top of resinous oud, musk, and golden amber. Combined, it creates a very fresh and feminine yet grounding scent. Prefer more masculine, earthy scents? Try Confidence + Freedom (my boyfriend loves this one!). It mingles airy and aquatic notes of ozone and crystal marine with calming lavender, sage, white cedar, oak moss, patchouli, and oriental spice. It’s a great spirit-lifter!
Many of us spend a good portion of our daily lives sitting down. The latest research tells us that this can be detrimental to our bodies. In fact, some studies have found that even if you exercise daily, long periods of sitting can still cause health issues (4). So instead of staying planted in your desk chair and watching YouTube videos at lunch (or going straight back to work – come on, you deserve a break, no matter how busy you are!), go for a quick walk around the building, parking lot, over to the nearly coffee shop (and get a group together for extra motivation!). Or better yet, find a nearby nature trail and use this time to both move and meditate. If it’s too chilly outside, it’s time to get creative! Steal yourself a call room or empty conference room for 5 minutes and run through a quick yoga routine, or take a leisurely walk up and down the stairs while listening to music or taking a call.
Evening Tea Meditation
Just before retiring for the evening, hold a personal ‘tea ceremony’. The whole process of making tea teaches us to slow down – from waiting for the water to boil and the herbs to steep, to sitting patiently while the tea cools. Through this simple ritual, we practice being present. And then comes the reward – the sensory experience as we taste and inhale all those aromatic herbs, fruits, flowers and spices. Drinking hot tea before bed can also help calm the central nervous system, and the herbs combined with the entire experience can help increase one’s sense of well-being.
Chamomile tea with dried rose petals & Serenity + Calm Chesapeake Bay Candle
For this tea ceremony, grab your favorite tea cup or mug, and use an old-fashioned kettle if you have one. Then mindfully brew your tea. Here are a few teas that are perfect for evenings: Valerian tea (Valerian is known for being a strong natural sedative and for increasing sleep quality), chamomile tea, passionflower tea, decaf green tea, and catnip tea. Experiment a bit until you find the one that works best for you. I also recommend adding a few fresh or dried herbs/flowers to help elevate the whole sensory experience.
Serenity + Calm (lavender thyme) Chesapeake Bay Candle
To create a relaxing atmosphere for your tea-time, start by turning off the TV, closing your laptop, and leaving all devices in another room. Then find a quiet and comfortable place to sit, dim the lights, and light some scented candles. Chesapeake Bay Candle’s new Serenity + Calm candle is perfect for evenings, with its soothing, herbal blend of lavender, bergamot, thyme, rosemary leaves and eucalyptus, plus grounding patchouli and cedar. It actually smells very much like a rich, herbal tea! Reflection + Clarity is another one of my favorites for winding down at night. It features a calming blend of chamomile, lavender, and eucalyptus, along with sea salt, clary sage, and thyme which help clear the air. This one has an instant calming and almost trance-like effect for me (like ASMR for the nose!).
Aromatherapy essential oils and candles can help set the scene for relaxation, reflection, and even inspiration, for all our self-care rituals. If you’re on the hunt for some mood-lifting, nature-inspired scents, I highly recommend Chesapeake Bay Candle’s Mind & Body Collection. Their candles feature natural soy wax blends infused with high-quality essential oils, housed in gorgeous pastel-colored frosted jars that add a clean, modern touch to any space.
The latest 3 Mind & Body fragrances come in medium jars (~$10), which I’ve shown throughout this post, as well as large jars ($15), 3-wick coffee table jars ($15), and reed diffusers ($20). Explore all the scents and sizes here on Amazon!
What are some of your favorite daily rituals, or ways to practice self-care throughout the week?