Wellness Rituals: 6 Must Have Palo Santo Items

When life hands you lemons, sometimes you really just want to squeeze them into other people’s eyes. But when life hands you Palo Santo, somehow everything just seems alright. I’ve been crushing on this scent for awhile now since I first got a whiff while browsing at Le Labo. Once you smell Palo Santo, you immediately notice that every calm and peaceful place in the city is crushing on this scent too. Palo Santo, or holy wood, has been used for centuries for everything from energy cleansing to respiratory ailments. The smoke is much lighter than sage and the wood itself is so fragrant that you don’t even have to burn it to reap the wellness benefits. Obviously, I just had to bring it home and I was stoked to see that there are so many products available that harness the power of this aromatic wood. Here are 6 must have Palo Santo items for you to bring home!

Morphologically Aromatherapy Roll-Ons

Clean beauty has never smelled this good. While you’re swapping out all of the toxic ingredients in your beauty routine, don’t forget to get your hands on your new favorite perfume. While you’re at it, shop the entire range of home goods from Morphologically’s Holy Wood Collection.

Anthropologie Palo Santo Incense Bundle

Each eco-friendly incense stick is harvested from naturally fallen branches from Ecuadorian Palo Santo trees!

Le Labo Fragrances Palo Santo 14

These calming candles will really set a purifying mood in your home. They’ve been the perfect addition to my ginger detox bath.

Monk Oil Palo Santo Skin Potion

Slather on this calming and  grounding skin potion that’s a unique blend of Palo Santo and Vetiver eseential oils. Oh and did I mention that each bottle contains a Smoky Quartz crystal? Hello, celestial healing!

Min New York Palo Santo Wood

Because one simply can’t have just one incense bundle.

Apotheke Candle

Because one simply can’t have just one candle.

Immunity Boosting Ginger Lemon Wellness Shot

I hold my breath when someone sneezes in an elevator until I’m able to make my escape. Knee jerk reaction, but seriously dude, you couldn’t hold that in for one more floor?! I’m washing my hands like crazy, cleaning door knobs, remote controls and appliances around my house with homemade antibacterial cleaners, just so dude can sneeze on me in an enclosed space. No way. This deadly flu I keep hearing about has me taking extra precautions. First off, I’m taking the stairs to avoid Mr. Sneezy McGee. As added insurance, I’ve been choking down this ginger lemon wellness shot every morning… and I do mean choking down. There’s no sugar coating this one. It’s a whole shot glass of rough. This is not something that you drink for the taste (though admittedly I’m starting to get used to it), but the benefits to your immune system are no joke. Here’s the boring bit about the ingredients and a couple of their health benefits.

Ginger

  • anti-inflammatory
  • natural antihistamine
  • natural expectorant

Lemon

  • balances pH
  • high in Vitamin C
  • helps keep you hydrated

Cayenne Pepper

  • anti-fungal properties
  • anti-bacterial properties
  • anti-allergen

Like I said before, this wellness shot is no joke. I wouldn’t call it tasty by any means, but be honest, you’ve probably taken shots that burn just as bad on the way down, without any of the health benefits. No judgment. All I’m saying is that you can do this and your immune system will appreciate the boost!

Ginger Lemon Wellness Shot

ingredients

  1. 1 inch of ginger, peeled and juiced
  2. ½ of a fresh lemon
  3. dash of cayenne pepper***

directions

  1. peel the ginger and run it through your juicer into a glass
  2. squeeze the juice from your lemon into the glass
  3. top with a dash of cayenne pepper and stir

***You can swap out lemons for limes and cayenne pepper for turmeric. Also, if you absolutely can’t do the whole concentrated wellness shot thing, try this homemade wellness tonic, or this wellness tea.

Source: Christina Greve

Wellness: 5 Realistic Tips for a More Restful Sleep

When I first heard about Gwyneth Paltrow’s clean sleeping trend last year, I couldn’t help but scoff a little bit. I mean, seriously.  I imagine her being hermetically sealed into an anti-ageing, oxygen chamber while a fleet of Oompa Loompas work frantically to make sure that her sleep isn’t disturbed by any outside distractions. Meanwhile, in my world filled with all the Wangdoodles and Snozzwangers, and rotten, Vermicious Knids, quality sleep is often an unattainable luxury. In fairness, Paltrow’s suggestion that we should lay off of our phones and TV before bed is probably all kinds of true, but she totally loses me when she starts talking about copper pillowcases.

That being said, I know that quality sleep is extremely important when it comes to overall wellness, but I had to take a more realistic approach than giving up on electronics because, you know, Netflix doesn’t just binge watch itself at 1 am. I started by doing a complete overhaul of my bedding, with a new mattress, new pillows and, sigh, full disclosure, I even bought one of those copper pillowcases which is kind of amazing to sleep on. Well played, Gwyneth, well played. But what next? I thought for sure that I’d become one of those morning people that can just pop up out of bed all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Hardly. Though I felt way more rested than I have in years, I still felt a little groggy. Here’s what I was missing. Sleep is as vital to wellness as exercise and diet, so it should be treated as such. The careful design that goes into your workout of choice and your meal plan should also go into your unique sleep routine.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.

We’re not kids anymore, so bed time doesn’t have to be at 8pm, but establishing a consistent sleep schedule that works within your schedule and not against it, will train your body to wake and rise with ease. Circadian rhythm and other science type stuff, y’all.

  • Establish an evening bed time ritual

Truth: I love rituals. Candles, aromatherapy, meditating, herbal tea. I think I was a witch, or worse yet a hippie, in a former life. Anyway, a nice chamomile tea and a homemade sleep spray are just what the shaman ordered.

  • Snack Intelligently

I absolutely can not fall asleep on an empty stomach. I know I’m not alone. But instead of reaching for a three course meal at midnight, eat foods that actually help increase your body’s melatonin without weighing you down. Think pineapples, bananas, oranges, oats, yogurt, or trail mix.

  • Rage against your sleep tracker

Not a band name, y’all, it’s a battle cry. Because one thing’s for sure: if your sleep tracker is causing you stress, you should probably stop paying so much attention to it. We all feel this need to compile as much data as we can to fix some problem. These sleep tracker apps tell us all the details of our sleep cycle. Each disruption. Each second of sleep we missed. Fact: worrying about that data will cause anxiety that will keep you restless. It’s like looking at your throat when you’re sick. Is it really any redder than it was when you were perfectly healthy? Ignore the data for a bit and just listen to your body.

  • If all else fails…

Invest in some technology that helps you drift off to dreamland. White noise machines will help drown out all the ridiculousness, like some dude speeding down Linden Blvd. blasting trap music at 3am. Air purifiers are also a must have especially if you’re noticeably congested every morning. Try using this 2-in-1 air purifying, white noise machine available on Amazon or Wayfair.

4 Wellness Rituals to Start Today

There’s been a lot of talk about self care recently. While it may sound super indulgent at first glance what with all the emphasis on ‘me time’, it is an essential part of physical and mental health. If you’ve ever felt like you have nothing left to give, like you’re emotionally and physically exhausted, or even like you just need a moment to get away, you already know how important self care is for you and everyone else around you. There is no shame in hitting the reset button. There’s no shame in trying to keep all the cogs and wheels in your mind and body running as smoothly as possible. That’s essentially what all this ‘me time’ talk is hinting at.

There’s no one-size-fits-all method for self care. Sometimes it’s as simple as lighting a candle and meditating. Sometimes it’s as painful as confronting the obstacles that we put in our own way. Whatever method of self care we choose, the fact of the matter is, we just need to find the rituals or habits that allow us to be our best selves. The mind and body are inextricably connected. We have to nurture both. Here are 3 suggestions for self care that you can incorporate today!

Drink warm lemon water every morning

As a coffee drinker, I completely understand if you hesitate on this one, but if I can do it you can too! Warm lemon water, detoxifies and hydrates the body, aids digestion, and gives you a nice kick of Vitamin C. Just squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon into a mug of warm water and enjoy.

Start a gratitude journal

I used to think journaling was something you did just to vent out deeply repressed frustration. Not so! There is so much to be thankful for and sometimes we lose sight of it. Each morning, take a few minutes to jot down a quick list of things you’re grateful for to kick the day off with a positive frame of mind. Seriously, a gratitude journal will remind you to be happy and keep you grounded.

Try Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition that is primarily for oral health, but is also known to vastly improve overall health. Oil pulling is said to boost energy, clear up the skin, alleviate headaches, and much more. Swish a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning. Spit it out in the toilet or in the garbage to avoid clogging your drains. Rinse your mouth out and start your day!

Dry Brush Your Skin

This is another Ayurvedic tradition that has a ton of benefits. Not only does dry brushing stimulate the lymphatic system, it promotes detoxification, improves circulation, and you guessed it, it exfoliates your skin. Using a brush with natural bristles take an extra few minutes before your regular shower routine to dry brush. Beginning at your feet, gently brush in upward strokes working your way up toward your heart. Shower as usual. You’ll totally feel the difference.

Again, there is no right or wrong blueprint for self care. Don’t hate on yourself if you’d rather take a bubble bath than do any of the things on this list. Find what’s right for you and start today! Your future self will thank you.

3 Apps to Support Your Emotional and Mental Health

Does running away from my problems count as cardio? Sigh. If only that was the way things worked. Anxiety and stress are no joke. No matter what changes you make to your diet and your fitness routine, your mind can always find a way to convince you to be miserable. Now that self care is an actual trending topic, we can finally openly talk about the struggles we’re facing in our quest for emotional and mental well being. What’s even better is that there’s always an app for that.

Meditation Studio

This app goes beyond just general relaxation meditations. Meditation studio offers a wide variety of guided meditations that focus on specific areas like anxiety, sleep, and gratitude. There’s even an ‘unguided’ feature that allows you to create custom meditations.

Talkspace

This app is like having the magical ability to get your therapist to make a house call. For $32/ week, you can chat with a professional as much as you need to. You can even do couples therapy! This is unlimited, on-demand counseling, y’all.

Happify

This app is like a one stop shop for emotional and mental support. Happify describes its mission best: “How you feel matters. Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or you’re dealing with constant negative thoughts, Happify brings you effective tools and programs to take control of your emotional well-being.” Set your goals and let the app do the rest.

***Didn’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Go here for the low down on more Health & Wellness Apps available on ios and android.