Nine Self-Care Ideas to Make Lockdown a Little More Bearable
Prioritise yourself with these self-care ideas.
Lockdowns can really take a toll on your general wellbeing and having lived through a few now, Sydneysiders sure don't need to be reminded of that. As our city rides out another stretch of stay-at-home restrictions, it's more important than ever to pop the things that help you unwind and de-stress to the very top of your to-do list.
While you may be stuck at home for a while longer, there are plenty of things you can do at home to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. Whether you're jumping on a meditation app, or getting some locally-made bath products and books delivered to your door, these self-care ideas will hopefully get you feeling somewhere well north of 'fine'. And, if you've got the extra emotional bandwidth to give some extra care to your NSW mates, these boutique products make an excellent thoughtful gift (hint hint, nudge nudge).
Want to transform your pad into a soothing sanctuary and aromatherapy haven? If that candle collection is in need of some fresh talent, you'll find some absolute gems being created by the folks at Byron Bay Candles. These hand-poured pure soy products come in uplifting scents like Coconut Lime, Japanese Honeysuckle and the neroli-infused Beach Holiday, with free Australia-wide shipping available for orders over $75. What's more, the candle jars are reusable and refillable — and if you use the code "15%refilloffer" at the checkout when you order any 50-hour gift boxed candle, you'll even score a 15 percent discount. Meanwhile, luxury fragrance house Lumira will have any home smelling absolutely gorgeous, with its range of sophisticated hand-crafted candles. Jump online to order scents like Balinese Ylang Ylang and Tahitian Coconut, shipped to your door.
LUXE BATH ADDITIONS
You might not be able to visit a day spa right now, but if you've got a bathtub, you can recreate at least a little of the magic at home. Light a few candles, throw on some of your favourite tunes and make that next bath a proper event. Blue Mountains-born label Ikou can help level up bathtime with its line of aromatherapy soaks and a de-stressing bubble bath elevated with lavender and geranium. Sydney's Sweet Cherry Soda sells an array of fun salts, oils and vibrant doughnut-inspired bath bombs that look almost good enough to eat. Or, try Get Drenched's hefty line of bath goodies — from fizzy bath mallows shaped like cupcakes, to luxurious milk soaks scented with coconut and rose.
DECADENT BODY SCRUBS
If your ideal self-care routine involves plenty of self-pampering, a decent body scrub is a must. Slough away stress (and dry skin) as you pep up that outlook with some sweetly-scented body products from one of these local brands offering their goodies for home delivery. Developed by a beauty therapist, Seven Islands Skincare has a range of toxin-free products inspired by Mediterranean skincare traditions, including a lush exfoliating body scrub crafted with honey and crushed olive seeds. Renowned brand Grown Alchemist makes both a purifying and intensive scrub, with the latter featuring ingredients like volcanic pumice and activated charcoal. And Endota's restorative recovery scrub is designed to release toxicity and soothe tense muscles, while buffing your skin to blissful smoothness.
Offering a stack of physical and emotional benefits, meditation is a staple in the ol' self-care toolkit. Among other things, the practice is thought to help reduce depression, alleviate stress, manage anxiety and improve sleep, so it's a worthwhile addition to any lockdown routine. If you're keen to meditate your way out of that isolation funk, there's a variety of handy online tools to get you started. The widely-used Headspace app simplifies things with a brief beginners course that teaches the basics of meditation in just a few minutes a day. Award-winning app Calm has its own variety of meditation lessons, along with expert-taught masterclasses, guided exercises and relaxing soundscapes you can use in your future meditative endeavours. Sydney Buddhist Centre currently runs online morning meditation sessions each weekday, via Zoom, and more in-depth online meditation courses are offered by the likes of the Zen Room.
As wellness experts will tell you, essential oils can have a whole swag of benefits for your health and mind — including some that can prove especially handy during these stressful lockdown times. And if you want to give them a whirl, there are lots of local companies slinging their therapeutic oils online. Nunchi has game-changing products including a focus-boosting Chill Bill spray, a calming yoga blend and the signature No Mud, No Lotus spray — thought to encourage feelings of acceptance and resilience. Meanwhile, Sydney Essential Oil Co has been going strong for over two decades — to see why, check out its expansive offering of organic oils and blends, available to shop online. And alongside its well-known line of plant-based, natural skincare, Natio also has a wide array of signature essential oils, offering free Australia-wide shipping for orders over $59.
A STASH OF QUALITY TEA
A nice, hot cuppa never goes astray — not only is it a comforting, health-boosting hit of antioxidants, but tea is a great excuse to pause what you're doing for some all-important 'me' time. Whack on the kettle, raid the pantry and cosy up with one of your favourite tea brews, or shake things up by trying something new from a top local producer. Sydney Tea will win you over with its selection of all-natural loose leaf teas, not to mention the free shipping offer for orders over $59. It's also got four different varieties of tea subscription packs to choose from. The husband-and-wife team behind T Totaler is slinging a hefty offering of tea over on the online store, including varieties like a coconut lemon splice green tea and an all-Aussie immunity-boosting blend. And you don't need to leave the house to get your mitts on some tasty treats from the Red Sparrow Tea Company — the family-owned brand is shipping its beautiful blends Australia-wide, along with a wide range of teaware and accessories.
Nothing can brighten a mood quite like a dose of lush, living greenery. So, what better time than lockdown to treat yourself — and your home — to a new plant baby? A little boost of nature is sure to soothe the senses, plus it'll make your space that much more comfortable to be holed up in. And there are plenty of local companies who can have a new leafy mate sitting on your doorstep ASAP. Online retailer Plant Girl offers same-day Sydney delivery on its oft-changing lineup of low-maintenance plants and ceramics. The curated gift bundles are worth a look at, too. Natures Colours is also running same-day delivery if you order before 11am. Choose from a sprawling selection of potted plants, terrariums, succulent bowls, and add-on gifts like chocolate and candles.
If your self-care go-to is curling up with a good book and escaping reality for a few hundred pages, you're going to need some decent lockdown reading material. Luckily, there's no shortage of local bookstores offering up fresh literary delights for both home delivery and pick-up. Newtown favourite Better Read Than Dead is running free deliveries for orders made via phone (10am–4pm daily) and the web. It's also slinging discounted multi book packs, if you're keen to devour more than just one great read during lockdown. Glebe's Gleebooks has returned to offering free shipping across City of Sydney and Inner West local government areas, as well as pick-ups. If you're further out, you can score free postage on orders over $100. And while Abbey's Bookshop is closed for browsing during lockdown, the York Street store is open daily for kerbside pick-ups, with delivery also available.
A FUTURE OFF-THE-GRID HOLIDAY
Any lockdown stint is made that little bit more bearable with a light at the end of the tunnel. So give yourself something great to look forward to and book 'future you' a nice off-the-grid getaway. If you want to stick with a mindful escape, start the search with Unyoked, which has a collection of tiny house stays located on secluded properties across Australia. Each mini-retreat features comfy amenities like bedding, a hot shower and a bar fridge, though you can look forward to being offline — and one with nature — for the duration of your stay. Your tiny house might be nestled by a wooded creek, perched on a working farm, or set high on a mountain overlooking rolling hills. Either way, you'll only find out the exact location after you book; which just adds to the excitement and anticipation.
Top image: Kira Auf Der Heide via Unsplash
Updated Tuesday, August 24
Published on June 28, 2021 by Libby Curran