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How to relax this summer

Not going away this summer? Don't worry here's how to create the perfect staycation.

We've all heard of getting your body summer ready but what about your mind, mood and home?

This pandemic has thrown everything out of sync including the ways we used to unwind. We might not be able to enjoy some of our favourite summer activities or getaways like before, but here's how to create the perfect summer staycation with the right conditions for recharging.

Change the Scenery

If I could wave a magic wand, I would be on an Italian beach, soaking up the sun and filling my belly with freshly caught fish and clams.

Although it's going to be a little while before I make it to this beach again there are a few ways to recreate that holiday feeling at home.

A clean, clear and organised home is the perfect backdrop to your summer sanctuary and the right conditions to unwind.

Cleaning with citrus oils such as lemon, lime and orange essential oils, will not only freshen your home but can boost your immune system and improve your mood. And unlike many cleaning products, they are completely nontoxic with great antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Here are some quick ways to brighten your home with citrus oils:

For Surface Cleaning

Add 5 to 6 drops of lemon oil to one ounce of water in a spray bottle to clean, disinfect and deodorize countertops, sinks, tables, wood cutting boards, appliances and other surfaces.

For Cleaning Stainless Steel

Use a few drops of lime oil on a soft cloth and apply to stainless steel appliances in the kitchen to clean and shine.

I love this simple recipe from G Baldwin & Co - Washing up liquid tutorial

Spend Time With Your Body

Throughout the year, our bodies bear the brunt of our decisions and activities. As such we’ve all been carrying too much stress and too much tension. The summer gives us the perfect excuse to slow down and indulge. And creating a home spa is the ultimate indulgence!

As I’ve said in one of my previous blogs, our feet are one of the most neglected parts of our bodies. In this blog I share 4 Top Tips for soft feet including this aromatic foot bath that will leave your feet in absolute bliss. I simply add my aromatic bath oil to my foot bath with a handful of sea salt. It’s both relaxing and moisturising without being greasy!

To completely switch off, a long bath in one of my aromatic bath salts helps me create my own personal sanctuary. One of my favourite blends contain Tea tree, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Cypress and Sweet marjoram. You can also soak your tensions away with a tailor made blend of your choice.

Let's not forget the face! For the much needed summer glow I like to mix Almond oil or Hazelnut oil with 6 drops of Palma Rosa to make a bespoke face oil. I’ve put together a list of oils to suit every skin type - Make your own Face oil. Equally you can book a consultation to discuss the best oils for you.

Finally, there are many great local businesses you can escape to for a pretend day at the the spa. There is nothing like a Massage, Facial or Body Treatment, to help you completely unwind for 60 to 90 minutes, then you can take a stroll home to prolong the experience.

Use Essential Oils as a Brain Trigger

Nothing fills me with more joy than setting my out-of-office and daydreaming of all the things I can (but let’s face it will not) achieve on my time off. And though physically I have not moved away from my chair, the notion of a holiday usually fills me with a rush of calm and memories of my last trip.

Diffusing essential oils can be great for triggering your favourite holiday memories that bring you joy. This is because there is a small part of the brain called the limbic system. The limbic system deals with memories, emotions and stimulations.

Citrus oils make us feel like we are in the south of Europe (still daydreaming of the Pesaro Beach) and have been shown to have uplifting qualities. Florals such as Neroli transport us to North African countries like Morocco or Egypt whilst Jasmine takes us on a round trip to South East Asia.

Floral essential oils have also been shown to promote relaxation. Wood essential oils such as frankincense and sandalwood can bring us closer to nature and are great for giving our minds a break together with meditation.

Enjoy The Outdoors

Now that your skin is glowing, your house is clean and your feet are feeling loved, it’s time to enjoy the outdoors!

Surrounding yourself with nature is a great way to recharge. The Japanese have a name for this ‘shinrin-yoku’ which roughly translates to “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”. This is the best eco-antidote to the last year and a half of computer screens and zoom calls.

So, set some time aside to ‘forest bathe’, if you can’t make it to idyllic destinations such as the Lake or Peak District, your local green space will do the trick. My favourite outdoor trip this year was to Mayfield Lavender Field. Getting to spend a hot Monday morning surrounded by Lavender was such a treat, I thoroughly recommend a trip over the summer before all the Lavender is cut.

Wherever, you decide to go, don't let any pesky insects ruin your time in the outdoors. Try my natural insect repellent, it will definitely keep the bites at bay!

My top 3 items to improve your outdoor experience are:

  1. Quick Itchy Eye Soother for hay fever sufferers, but also makes a great face & body spritz

  2. Neat Lavender - which is great for cuts, bites, you can also mix in Aloe vera gel to make a cooling sunburn remedy.

Switch off

There is nothing like a digital detox to help you switch off. We've become so addicted to our phones, that we are all suffering from information overload.

Every year I have a weekend where there is no screen time and this year whilst I take my own summer break I will do the same. I will also take my email and social media off my phone during my 2 week staycation break. Stepping away from work can be hard, but it is essential for our mental health.

I plan to implement some quiet time, meditation and to catch up on my reading. You can visit my gifting page to see which books inspire me. Of course Aromatherapy is my passion, so I will be dipping into some new Aromatherapy books too!

I hope I have inspired you to make this year's staycation as good as any overseas holiday.

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