Welcome to the MANA Self Care Masterclass, for the recalibration of your beautiful mind!
This guide will lead you through a perfect MANA afternoon of rest and relaxation for rainy days (both literal and figurative!) Each step can be adapted to your mood, preferences and style, but remember to keep it simple. Don’t get caught up in the whirlpool of decision-making.
Step One. Switch Off
This is the simplest and most important step. You have nothing to do, and nowhere to be. You do not need to answer to anybody in this moment. If you are going to really commit to this time for your own self care, switch your phone to aeroplane mode and close all emails, messaging apps and social media from your devices.
Step Two. Music
Put on your soul music. Dust off the old vinyl, cd collection or Spotify and find an artist that truly makes your heart sing. Alternatively, stream a relaxation soundtrack from the great selection on Youtube channels such as Stardust Vibes or Relaxing White Noise.
We love this natural white noise as an ice breaker idles through a blizzard in the Arctic Ocean.
Step Three. Aromatherapy
Light a scented candle, incense stick, essential oils or use a sweet smelling perfume to set the mood. Scent can invoke powerful effects on the body and mind, so choose your fragrance with care.
Mental Boost: Peppermint, Cinnamon, Ylang Ylang, Rosemary, Basil, Pine
Energy Boost: Spearmint, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Grapefruit, Jasmine
Relieve Stress & Anxiety: Vanilla, Jasmine, Clary Sage, Lavendar, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Marjoram, Green Apples
Ease Depression: Bergamot, Citrus - Lemon Balm, Orange, Tangerine, Rose Geranium
Healing & Immunity: Patchouli, Lavendar, Tea Tree, Lemon, Chamomile
We especially love to burn Palo Santo, a sacred wood from South America with spiritual purification and energy cleansing properties.
Step Four. A Cup of Tea
Nothing soothes the soul like a steaming hot cup of tea. Different teas hold different restorative properties, so choose a blend that feel right for you in this moment.
Energy: Green Tea, Yerba Mate, Liquorice, Cinnamon, Chai, Assam or Ceylon.
Immunity: Ginger, Echinacea, Lemon, Lemongrass or Honey
Digestion: Mint, Fennel, Matcha, Sage or Peppermint
Cleanse: Nettle, Fennel, Oolong, Tumeric or Matcha
Relax: Chamomile, Lavendar, Rose, Tulsi or Marshmallow Root
If tea is not your thing, any warm beverage such as a hot chocolate, almond milk or hot lemon water will do beautifully.
Step Five. Movement
If you’re feeling energetic this is your chance to release. Dance, run, skip, shake, do handstands… Take as long as you need to let it all out! If you are feeling fatigued, try something more gentle such as yoga, stretching or a few qi gong exercises.
It is important move your body around, and aim for at least 20 minutes to let the blood circulate and fill your lungs with fresh oxygen.
Step Six. Hydrate
This one is pretty self explanatory. After exercising drink a nice, cool glass of water to replenish the cells, adding lemon or mint if you’re feeling fancy!
Step Seven. Meditate
The best time to meditate is directly after you exercise. After releasing all of that excess energy, take 10 minutes or longer to sit or lie down and soak up the stillness. Let the dust settle, and try to quiet your thoughts through a focused exercise such as a Mantra, Body Scan, Yoga Nidra or a Guided meditation. We recommend the app ‘Headspace’ for a beginners introduction to meditation and mindfulness.
Step Eight. Journal
Now is the time to put pen to paper and reflect on your present state of mind. If you don’t feel much like writing, just try bullet pointing your thoughts, or perhaps drawing your thoughts instead.
If you’re feeling anxious, we find it a helpful exercise to draw a line down the centre of a page and make two columns.
What am I Anxious about?
What am I Happy about?
Some days, the column of anxious thoughts will fill the page. Other days you might find that happy thoughts and gratitudes dominate. Don’t overthink it, just try and find a few small things to put in each column. When you write your thoughts onto the page, just like writing a list of groceries, you are giving your mind permission to let go of it. At least for now. You can always come back to it later.
Step Nine. Bathe
After soothing, quieting and cleansing the mind, it’s the perfect time to wash off the physical stuff too. Take a nice, hot shower and scrub away the day. Use whatever elixirs and lotions make you feel renewed. If you have the luxury of bath in your home, get yourself a bath bomb or some bubble bath and put it to good use!
You can also look to your kitchen for easy, homemade and natural bath products. Honey makes a wonderful face mask, Coconut Oil will strengthen hair and soothe skin, and Olive oil mixed with brown sugar and a pinch of salt makes an excellent body scrub!
Step Ten. Nourish
By this stage, you’re probably feeling hungry. An important part of every self care routine is to Eat. The goal here is to minimise digestive stress and maximise serotonin, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. A few of the best mood boosting foods include Bananas, Strawberries, Yoghurt/Kefir, Dark Chocolate, Avocado, Lentils, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Raw Nuts, Salmon.
Last step. Treat
The final step of the MANA self care routine is to treat yourself with whatever it is that makes you feel complete. A glass of wine, a good book, netflix, and maybe… if you’re alone, love yourself. If you know what we mean ;)