We’ve been thinking a lot about support recently. Supporting our minds, supporting our bodies, supporting our whole person. But what does that look like? Social media often presents an unrealistic idea of what rest and support should look like. Not all of us can escape to a private beach at a moment’s notice. For many people, support is achieved in subtle and quiet ways, whether it’s taking a hot bath after a long day or burning their favorite incense while reading.
Part of why we emphasize creating your own daily rituals, moments for yourself that can serve as a reset button, is that big results can come from small routines. We believe in the power of scent and touch to calm the nervous system. It’s why we highlight techniques like breathwork, massage, and aromatherapy. A dysregulated nervous system can affect mental health, particularly conditions like anxiety and depression. When our mental health is in decline, other systems of the body are also impacted.
Here are five of our favorite ways to incorporate support into our weekly schedules:
1. Breathwork – the practice of breathwork doesn’t have to be a big mystery. In Smoke founder Kathleen Currie’s private practice, Wellspring Wellness, there is a focus on breathwork (as well as craniosacral therapy and gua sha facial massage) to connect and calm the systems of the body. Check out this Healthline article on simple breathing exercises to try out.
2. Ritual Baths – there’s a soothing, hot bath and then there’s a ritual bath. Rose petals, candles, essential oils, incense, and bath salts galore – it’s a *bit* extra, but sometimes it’s the perfect reenergizing treat at the end of a stressful week. And the best part is that the ritual doesn’t have to focus on anything other than you. It’s time for yourself, to clear your mind and take a break. *Click here for a previous blog post all about ritual baths.
3. Aromatherapy – Well, we are a perfume company. We live to spray Ritual or Wellspring perfume when feeling stressed. Or sip a hot cup of tea while burning Night Cloud incense. A favorite scent can instantly relieve tension in our muscles, calm our nerves, connect us to our breathing which quiets the nervous system, and slow frenetic thoughts.
4. Self-massage for circulation – Another personal favorite incorporated into any bath time ritual: a foot massage. After a long soak, apply a foot scrub, then massage Cypress Oil into your tired feet. If you’re not a bath person, the Lanshin hot stone massager is an amazing alternative. Just add hot water to the porcelain container, cap the lid, and work away at those aching muscles.
5. Light stretching – Daily stretching doesn’t have to mean a rigorous yoga discipline. It can be as simple as fifteen minutes of light movement to unclench tense shoulders or release strain off of your spine. For example, if you carry a lot of stress in your neck or back, taking a few minutes to stretch each day can help loosen up muscles and get you back on track.