6 ‘Slow Beauty’ Practices You’ll Want to Start Immediately
Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and author Shel Pink is no stranger to self-care—she launched the luxe SpaRitual beauty brand in 2004. And now she's compiled all the wellness wisdom she's gained over the years into a new book, Slow Beauty. Basically, the philosophy focuses on easy-to-incorporate ways to take care of yourself, inside and out. So pay yourself first with these little physical, emotional and, yes, beautifying practices.
Breathe In the Bad Stuff
Tonglen is a Buddhist breathing practice that seeks to calm by (stay with us now) connecting with suffering. Next time you’re angered, troubled or otherwise out-of-balance, sit comfortably with your feet on the ground, hands in your lap. Take a few relaxed breaths, then with your next breath, imagine deeply inhaling the uncomfortable thought or feeling. Fill your lungs completely, then exhale the opposite thought or feeling. Try this: Seven to ten rounds of breathing in anger regarding your boss, then breathing out while imagining her success and happiness, and you’ll be amazed at how much more at peace you feel.
Practice Daily Self-Massage
Sound like a big to-do? It’s not—just think of it as mindfully rubbing on body lotion. Prep your own oil blend (or buy a pre-mixed one) and, post-shower, apply it in massaging circles starting with your feet and moving upward. You’ll feel alternatively relaxed and energized, as well as have silkier skin than ever before. Bonus—touching your body in a comprehensive way is a great early detection system for swollen lymph glands, cuts or skin ailments.
Take a Supercharged Bath
Hot baths sweat out impurities, and they turn into a spa-like experience when you dim the lights, add candlelight, put on peaceful music or a guided meditation and commit to spending 20 to 30 minutes soaking. (It’s called slow beauty, remember?) The secret sauce here is adding an entire eight-pound bag of magnesium chloride flakes plus four drops of essential oil (wintertime favorite lemongrass, for example).
Discover Emotional Blending
Not sure how to get out of an emotional funk? Wonder why you’re feeling happy one minute, then in the depths the next? Have a look at Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions, a flower-shaped diagram developed by a psychology professor that helps you understand and control your emotions. It’s like a color wheel: blend two emotions next to each other on the wheel to create a third...for example, serenity + interest = optimism.
Walk Barefoot in Nature (or Even Your Suburban Yard)
The addiction to screens is linked to depression, anxiety and challenges handling stress. Chill out (and fight nature deficit disorder) by the daily practice of taking off your shoes and walking around with your feet touching the bare earth or grass. With just 30 minutes a day, in less than a week you’ll notice less self-absorption and greater calm.
Less Coffee, More First Light
Want better sleep and more energized mornings? Start each day by stepping outside to feel the sun on your face. You’ll be amping up your circadian rhythms and signaling your body to start melatonin production, which you’ll need by day’s end to put you to sleep.