Many of us often like to make excuses about how we don't have time to take care of ourselves, or to indulge in something as simple as a bath or face mask. However, body positive beauty rituals are incredibly important to prioritize, no matter how busy your schedule might be. They can be relaxing, confidence-inducing, and they might even help you develop and maintain a healthy relationship with your beautiful body. If you're anything like me, that might just lead to greater productivity at work and a more enthusiastic presence in your social life. After all, if you feel loving towards yourself, the daily stressors and requirements of life can seem a lot easier.
I know that when I take the time every week to incorporate something like a face mask or a manicure into my schedule, I feel a whole lot better about myself and my responsibilities. Approaching the world more confidently certainly has the power to improve the outcome of my day as well as my mood. For instance, I notice that I feel significantly less sad and anxious when I'm consistently engaging in body posi beauty rituals. And some of these rituals, like dyeing my hair a new color or doing a vajacial, offer me a sense of renewal and deeper connection with myself so I can navigate my way out of even the worst of mental funks.
Below are some of my favorite ways to engage with body positivity in my beauty routine. Hopefully you can glean some of the powerful and transformative benefits from them as well.
1. Give Yourself A Vajacial
It only takes a few simple ingredients (including coconut oil and Vitamin E cream) to whip up a moisturizing and softening mask for your vagina. It will very likely leave your skin feeling amazing, but the process also gives you some quality, loving time with a part of your body that doesn't usually get enough beauty-related attention. Try a vajacial and your labia will thank you. Trust me.
2. Get Some Face Mask Action, Too
Whipping up a nice face mask with some of your cupboard ingredients is one fun way to show some love to your body. DIY masks are fun, but if time is of the essence or you prefer something simpler, throw on a sheet mask. The latter is great for giggles since this beauty ritual sometimes has the power to transform you into a beauty-obsessed Hannibal. I always feel good when my face is glowing and soft from the nourishing wonders of a face mask.
3. Pamper Your Breasts, Too
Lovely Jubblies Breast Cream, $25.95, lushusa.com
Having a cream specifically for softening the skin of your breasts and making them smell like a bouquet of flowers is all kinds of body positive. Like your vagina, your breasts are not often the center of any type of beauty-related attention. Show your jubblies some loving with LUSH's breast cream of the same name, which contains tiger lily petals, beeswax, and avocado oil.
4. Revel In Body Oils
Rosebud Multi Use Oil, $28, urbanoutfitters.com
Although it might have similar softening properties to your moisturizing lotion, body oil, to me, feels way more luxurious and is oftentimes easier to smell. I love covering myself head to toe in the rose body oil my mom got me for Christmas before bed. I feel soothed and completely luxurious as I inhale the floral fragrances just before sleep. Plus, it's a great way to restore your dry and damaged skin during these winter months.
5. Indulge In A Massage
Whether it be delivered by a trained professional, your friend, or your partner, try to fit in a massage whenever you can. It's a great way to work out tighter spots in your muscles, and is ideal for growing more in touch with all the different parts of your body as an integrative whole. And if you're chilling at home alone, or are taking a break at work, take some time to give yourself a foot, hand, or scalp massage if ever you can. Your body deserves to feel good.
6. Paint Your Nails
Sometimes all I need when I'm feeling a little blah is a fresh manicure. The act itself is centering, and is a little dose of self love that will pick me up throughout the day. Use a color that makes you feel confident or lifts you up from a funky mood for maximum effect.
7. Dye Your Hair
Whenever I need an emotional reset or simply an aesthetic change, I dye my hair. Changing the color of your hair can be very empowering and fun, and may even serve as a catalyst for a major mood shift. I always feel loads more confident and beautiful after I dye my locks a new shade, and the feeling tends to last for weeks. This is hands down my favorite beauty ritual, and always gets me radically closer to what I see as ultimate body positivity (aka unconditional self love).
8. Take More Baths
Baths are a very important part of "me time" that can do wonders for your mind and body. Submerging yourself in a tub of hot water is usually super relaxing, and the beauty ritual options of bath time are endless. Try out a new aromatic bath bomb, pour some detoxifying epsom salts in, and cover yourself in a whole multitude of scented soaps.
9. Try Out Some New Makeup
Experimenting with new beauty products always makes me feel more at one with my body, while also allowing me to have a grand old time discovering what feels and looks good, and what doesn't. Without the expectation of perfection, you can feel free to experiment with any look that interests you. I find my best makeup jobs comes from these experimental moments, since I'm not nervous and shaking about getting it looking just right for an employer or date. Take a bunch of selfies when these beauty victories occur, and share them with everyone you know.
10. Give Yourself A Scrub-Down
Lemon Sugar Body Scrub, $19.50, bigelowchemists.com
There is no better feeling than having a million little micro-particles, courtesy of face and body scrubs, massaging and removing dead cells from your skin. Try to allot some time in each shower to scrubbing yourself down with a body exfoliate or even a pumice stone. Your body will emerge from the shower buzzing and good as new.
11. Moisturize Your Stretch Marks
'Tis the season for dry and flaky skin. And our stretch marks can sometimes get extra itchy and dry around this time as well. Treat them to some Vitamin E lotion or scented body oil to keep them soft, and remind them that they deserve a beauty ritual. And to smell good, too.
In fact, remind your whole body that it deserves some pampering "me time." Setting aside an hour or so of your day to partake in the beauty rituals that most relax you is of huge body positive value.
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Images: Getty Images (3); Meg Zulch; Neon Moon