Now, more than ever, we are glued to a screen. We are working from home, studying from home, attempting to socialize from home. Anxiety levels are high and motivation is low. The sofa is working overtime too–it is now your office, dining room, and bedroom. “Social distancing” to “Flatten the Curve” is certainly the best way to combat this invisible enemy, but it is certainly wreaking havoc on our physical and mental health. As we juggle to do multiple jobs, all at the same time, and all from home, I hope we can take a minute to stop and take care of ourselves. Thus, I thought I would share some of my tried and true TLC tips. Trust me, these are homemade and homegrown rituals that we Indians have been indulging in for centuries!
Tip #1: Start your day right!
Every morning, the first thing I eat (yes, even before your morning coffee) are a few pieces of raw turmeric with a few whole black peppercorns and local honey. Turmeric has curcumin which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric is excellent for your skin and digestion. Ingesting it with peppercorns (which has piperine) helps in the absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream. Local honey helps you with seasonal allergies, it also sweetens the earthy taste from the turmeric and cools down the heat from the peppercorns.
Tip#2: For your hair
For those of you who know me, I don’t know how to do hair. I can tie it in a ponytail or straighten it, so the least I can do it take care of my hair’s health. All my life, the only “product” I have used regularly is warm coconut oil. Massage the oil into your scalp and leave it on–the longer the better. Wash it off with your usual shampoo. Haircare–done!! This works! Even my husband is a huge fan–although I think he enjoys the scalp massage more than the soft and shiny outcome of the treatment.
Tip#3: Sandalwood for your skin
Much like my hair care routine, this homemade face mask is also something I have been doing all my life. It starts with Sandalwood powder. It does wonders in removing a suntan, in soothing a sunburn, and healing acne scars. To make the mask you can add a whole bunch of natural stuff like citrus juice (to lighten and brighten), yogurt (to soften and moisturize), gram flour (natural exfoliant) and rosewater (to hydrate). Use whatever combination that suits your skin type. While you are at it, close your eyes and put some cucumber slices on them–your eyes need some rest too! Move aside, expensive lotions and potions here comes your one-stop skincare fix!
Tip#4: For dry hands
Now that we are constantly washing our hands and using hand sanitizer, our hands are extremely dry. I like pampering dry skin (not just hands, think elbows and heels too) with an olive oil and sugar scrub. You can add rosemary and orange zest (lemon, vanilla bean, and lavender are excellent choices too) to a small jar of sugar and store it in your pantry. When you are ready, add some of the fragrant sugar to olive oil, scrub it on and massage (area for your choice) for a while till the sugar dissolves, and then wash off with warm water. Say hello to supple skin!
Consider trying one or all of these tips at least once a week. Why not make your next Sunday and self-care day?