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Self Care September - by Guest Blogger, Bryanna Martonis from The Ecological.

Modern living brings so many brilliant luxuries and easily accessible experiences, but it also brings dozens of new stresses to day to day life. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, what with work commutes, pressures at home, and incessant social media updates, but how much time is left over to re-cooperate? 
This is why the month of September has been dedicated to self care, well being, and the idea that putting ourselves first is sometimes essential. Welcome to #SelfcareSeptember! 
Let me just take a minute to say self care looks different for everybody – there is not a 'right' way to practice self love, and there is not time requirements for how long you need to pamper. I mean, not everyone has time to take a long bubble bath or to do an hour long yoga session, and many people may actually find those activites MORE stressful. The key is just to be kind to yourself. Find what works for you, and go for it! 
For me, I make sure to take at least fifteen minutes for myself every single day. Most of the time this tends to happen during my skincare routine (which is partially why I make sure I LOVE the products I use) but I also book out a bit of me-time on Sundays so I can regroup. 
Still unsure how to unwind or struggling with the idea of me-time? I highly recommend trying a few of these simple tasks – maybe even take on one new one every week in September! 
1. Compliment yourself – I know it sounds weird, but it honestly does you a world of good! If you are loving the way your new dress looks on, tell yourself you are beautiful. Finished cooking a new complicated recipe? Give yourself a thumbs up and congratulate yourself! Rocked it at the gym? Tell yourself that you are proud! You could even write up a little compliment list and pin it up somewhere you will see every morning. Boosting yourself up is a great first step towards self care and gets you in the habit of taking a moment for things to be all about you. 
2. Aromatherapy is by far the biggest aid for me personally as there are essential oils and blends that address a huge array of issues, from anxiety and depression to ADHD and tiredness. If you have a diffuser (I personally love the Tisserand machine) you can simply pop in your oils of choice and let them do their work silently behind the scenes. If this tool is not available to you then you can always opt for a more traditional method – candles, diffusing rods, pulse point balms, or even a room spray! Just breathe them in throughout the day and let them work their magic.   

3. Mindfulness meditation is a fantastic way of promoting self care, as the practice allows you to sit with your thoughts, feelings, and sensations and just let them be – there is no judgment, no good or bad, everything just IS. By regularly meditating you can decrease stress levels and depressive symptoms, and recent studies have even shown that your overall health can benefit too! And if you are like me and struggle to sit still or concentrate for extended periods, consider trying out Headspace. Not only does this guided meditation start you with the basics and teach you key techniques, but it constantly gives you motivating tips that help keep you on track. 

4.Get outside! Getting a good (and safe!) dose of vitamin D is essential for both your energy levels and your mental health, and being in nature has been shown to have a huge amount of benefits, from increased short term memory to lowering levels of inflammation. Even just stepping out onto your back garden barefoot can have a positive effect – give it a go!

5. Not to sound like the guy from Parks and Rec, but treat yourself! You could book yourself in for a spa day or go on a mini shopping-spree. That serum you have been eyeing up for months – grab it! Self-gifting on occasion is a great way to keep your spirits up, especially if that gift is something that addresses built-up stress. This is why I love subscription services like Natural Wellness Box so much, as you can receive a box of handpicked wellbeing goodies every single month at the fraction of the full price cost. You get 5-7 all natural, cruelty free, and vegan-friendly products that target natural beauty by tackling it from the inside out!

 Can't afford a pick me up treat just yet? You don't have to spend tons of money on self-care – just get creative. Make plans to go out for a coffee, join a local group (I'm part of a low-cost film club that meets every month and it's brilliant fun!), host a games night, or head out and hit the town with a friend. It doesn't matter what your do, just as long as you are treating yourself to something a little extra special. 
6. And if all else fails, just take ten minutes out at the start and end of your day to do a full skincare routine! Keeping up with an established skincare routine has not just helped my complexion, but also helps settle my mind. Since I use green beauty, each of my products contains powerful plant and botanical extracts that multi-task to nourish my cells and to act as a mini aromatherapy treatment. In the mornings I try to opt for energizing, invigorating, and focusing ingredients like rosemary, bergamot, or neroli, and in the evenings I go for more calming fragrances such as rosehip, lavender, frankincense, or chamomile. At the very minimum I cleanse, tone, and moisturize, and while doing so I just take in the sensations of the treatments. Plus, I have found maintaining set skincare steps helps me establish a sense of routine which in itself is super calming! 
The key to self-care is self-love, so no matter how hectic things get, just remember to respect yourself. Take breaks if you need them, make positive affirmations, and try to pick out the good things going on in your life and focus on those. 

wish you all a brilliant #SelfcareSeptember and hope to see you over on The ecoLogical!

You can find me over on the following platforms, and I would love if you joined me!