Finally. The sun is shining, the days are getting longer and lockdown rules are beginning to ease. Like many others, we are thrilled to be able to re-open our shop and see some friendly faces. It's great get back to work and sense a some more normality.
Although, after living under lockdown restrictions for the best part of a year, getting back into the swing of things can feel a little overwhelming. With that in mind, in this week's post, we share our 6 top tips on how you can feel a little bit more prepared when easing yourself back into a normal routine.
1. Pace yourself
After being locked up with very little to do for the best part of a year, there are many who are desperately excited to get back out there, go to their nearest shopping centre and arrange to catch up with friends and family straight away.
While it’s exciting to sense some normality returning, it is important to take things at your own pace and do what YOU feel comfortable with. Social situations and sensing the world opening back up overnight can feel daunting, so don’t be afraid to take your time when starting to do ‘normal’ things again. Make sure to do what feels right for you.
2. Take Some Time To Get Organised
For many of us, after being cooped up for so long, the idea of going out feels really unfamiliar. Even getting ready to go out and do something as simple as going to the shops can feel strange!
If you are starting to return to a more usual routine, now is the time to get organised. Often, by having a clear vision of what is happening around you and what you need to get done, it can help you to be more productive and feel more prepared for what’s coming next.
Take some time to sit and write a list of everything you need to do and slowly work your way through. If you are returning back to work or education, even doing those simple tasks such as packing your bag or making your lunch the night before can eliminate some of the stress and busyness on the day, allowing you to feel more relaxed and prepared.
3. Practice Self Care Rituals
Are you suddenly having to get used to your commute to work or starting back at the gym again? Many of us have spent so much time at home, especially for the last few months that now a ‘normal’ looking day can feel pretty exhausting! Lockdown easing is a sudden shift for everybody, so remember to be kind to yourself if you’re feeling tired or a little run down.
Give yourself some time to continue the self-care rituals you have learned and practiced during lockdown to make sure you have an opportunity to unwind and take care of yourself.
4. Get back into good habits
Now we are sensing some more normality, you may find it helpful to ease yourself back into a daily routine. By getting into the habit of doing things now, you’ll be doing them in a few weeks without even giving them a second thought.
Have a think of all the important things that keep you feeling well - staying hydrated, eating well, getting plenty of sleep and prioritising daily exercise often help all of us to feel good. Make a plan of when and how you can keep on top of things so you can ensure you have enough time.
Now is also a good time to think about your skincare habits. When was the last time you treated your skin to a weekly treatment? Are you making sure to apply your SPF every day? Do you remember to double cleanse every evening? For more on our Spring Skincare Tips, take a look at our previous blog post by clicking here.
5. Show your skin some love
When you begin to go out more, you may notice skin sensitivities occurring - especially with the change in season. Throughout the winter, skin has been hiding under our long-sleeved t-shirts and jumpers, hats, coats and gloves so spring does bring a significant change in your surroundings such as humidity, pollen and extreme weather changes. Now is the time to indulge in some self care and treat your skin to some TLC.
Top tip: Are you making sure to wear a clean mask each time you go out and nourish your skin to reduce symptoms of Maskne? Read more about our tips for Maskne Prevention here.
A selection of our products were recently individually tested to verify their suitability for sensitive skin - all passed with flying colours and we have had some great feedback from many happy customers who have seen some brilliant results from using them. To learn more about skincare for sensitivity and redness, click here to visit our website.
6. Be Kind To Others (and Yourself!)
We’ve been in the pandemic now for over a year, so with lockdown easing and things returning back to normality, anxieties are bound to be high. It’s not surprising if socialising feels strange or more difficult when you haven’t been doing it, so be kind to yourself and remember to take one step at a time. It’s also important to remember that whilst the rules are easing, we all still need to do our bit to be safe and considerate of one another by keeping our distance, being patient with each other and be mindful of how others may be feeling.
We hope these tips help you to feel a little bit more prepared for easing yourself back into normality. Remember, It’s a really strange time for us all, so it’s okay to feel uncertain, but this is a really positive step and soon we will have lots more to feel excited about, especially when the warmer weather comes!
In the meantime, if you would like to go read our previous blog posts with tips on self-care, you can find them by clicking here.
To learn more about ARK Skincare, head over to our website www.arkskincare.com.
You can also follow us on socials! @arkskincare
It’s safe to say that this lockdown has been really tough on all of us. In one way or another, we have all been affected, and with all the uncertainty in addition to all of the worrying news stories, it can often leave us feeling run down or anxious.
Sometimes, we all need a gentle reminder to take some time for ourselves and practice some self-care. With that in mind, in this post, we share 10 suggestions of ways you can show yourself some kindness to build yourself up whenever you’re feeling low.
1. Take Time To Check In With Yourself
When we are anxious, it can sometimes feel easier to ignore our feelings, but often, bottling up how we feel can make things a lot worse.
Take a few minutes to be mindful about how you’re really feeling. If you are feeling worried, sad or stressed, have a think about what you can do to make yourself feel better.
This could be reaching out to talk to a close friend or family member, comforting yourself with a relaxing evening in with your favourite film, or finding a positive distraction to take your mind off whatever is bothering you.
2. Manage Your Goals & Expectations
With the busy, fast-paced lives we lead, it can often feel like there is so much to get done and busy ourselves with. While it’s great to feel a sense of accomplishment by getting things done, it’s also important to make sure you’re not overworking yourself. There is no use in trying to do everything at once if you’re going to end up burnt out and feeling exhausted...
You may find it useful to write down a daily or weekly to do list so you have a clear plan of what you need to get done. Prioritise your tasks by making a note of the most important things which need to be done first before working through your list.
By managing your time, you can also manage your expectations of what you will be able to achieve. Then, if you don’t have time to do everything, you know you can push something back until the next day.
3. Practice Positive Self-Talk Regularly
Self talk, otherwise known as ‘internal dialogue’ is the way we speak to and think about ourselves. Practicing positive self talk can help and benefit all of us. It encourages us to believe in ourselves, pick ourselves up when we’re feeling low and helps to improve our self-confidence.
When you are feeling particularly negative or anxious, it can become easy to talk yourself down. This is when it is important to recognise negative thought patterns and know how to challenge them.
Examples of this could be:
Negative thought: I’ve been so lazy today. I really should have done some exercise.
Positive thought: I decided to have a rest today and that’s okay. Everyone deserves a day off. I can exercise some other time instead.
Negative thought: There is no way I can achieve this.
Positive thought: This may be challenging and take more time than I first expected, but I will get there eventually.
Negative thought: I can’t possibly try doing this. I’ve never done it before and will fail and look silly.
Positive: This is a great opportunity for me to try something new. It may take a few tries to get it right and that’s okay. It’s all part of learning.
Treat yourself as if you were talking to your best friend. If they came to you feeling low, would you talk down to them? - No! You would be kind and encourage them to do something to make themselves feel better… Make sure to give yourself the same treatment.
4. Believe In Yourself!
This may sound cliche, but when you have self belief, everything feels much easier.
Sometimes focusing on the things we like about ourselves can be really difficult as it can make us feel like we’re being vain or self centred. But the truth is, having self awareness and recognising your strengths can really helps to boost self confidence. Take some time to think about all positive qualities you have to offer and what skills you can improve on to build your self-esteem.
5. Show Yourself Forgiveness
We all make mistakes now and again.. When we do, also important to forgive ourselves and know when to let go and move on.
Each morning when we wake up, we start a brand new day and face every new experience with the knowledge we have learnt so far.
Everybody is learning all the time, so remember - It’s okay to mess up now and again! It’s these experiences that teach us right from wrong so we know how to cope with things in the future.
6. Surround Yourself With Positive Energy
With spending a lot more time at home during lockdown, many of us have turned to our phones and are spending a lot more time on social media.
When scrolling through your apps, have a think about the content you're viewing and how it makes you feel. If anything you're viewing that leaves you feeling or thinking negatively, it may be time to make some changes to your following list. Have a look and find accounts which will uplift you and make you feel good instead.
7. Keep The Mind Of A Child
Remember being back in the classroom as a child when everyone would be desperate to volunteer to get up on stage and try new things?
Children have a brilliant sense of optimism and self-confidence because they are not afraid of ‘looking silly’ or getting things wrong. This is because they have not yet experienced feelings of self-doubt or embarrassment.
As we get older, through our experiences, we learn what it’s like to feel embarrassed and shy we and often let these negative emotions hold us back, but we shouldn't let them get in the way.
Remember - it’s okay to get things wrong sometimes. Just try to keep a light sense of humour. Learn how to laugh at yourself, brush yourself off and "try, try again!"
8. Make Sure You’re Taking Care Of Yourself
When we take care of our physical health, it can often make us feel a lot better mentally too. Make sure you’re keeping yourself well by getting plenty of sleep, keeping hydrated, eating well and getting regular exercise. These small things may sound basic but they play such a huge part in feeling good, so it's important to make sure you prioritise them.
Spend yourself some self care by getting some exercise, cooking a nutritious meal or taking a few ours to relax and pamper yourself. If you’re in need of a treat, head on over to our website. From our AgeIntelligent ranges and Skin Essentials to our Skin Perfectors and Body Beautiful Collection, our specifically formulated skincare products are the perfect addition to a pamper evening.
9. Stop Worrying About What Others May Think
If you are constantly trying to please others, you may become exhausted and defeated. It is important to do the things that make you feel happy and try not to worry about the opinions of others. You cannot please everyone, but remember, as long as you are kind to others and try your best in what you do, that’s all anyone can ask of you...
10. Remember To Give Yourself Some Credit
When we’re busy, it can be easy to forget all the great things we are achieving. Take some time to reflect on all the positive things you do and remember to treat yourself every so often! We all need a bit of self care and indulgence from time to time...
We all have days where we don’t feel so great and that’s okay. It’s just all about having the right tools to know how to make yourself feel a bit better...
We hope this post has given you some helpful tools and suggestions of things you can do to pick yourself up whenever you’re feeling low. Do let us know by getting in touch on socials - we always love hearing from you! @arkskincare
To learn more about our products, head on over to our website www.arkskincare.com
It is fair to say we’re living in a crazy time. In one way or another, the pandemic has affected absolutely everybody.
We've had to adapt to living with Covid-19 restrictions, and almost a year on this can still feel overwhelming. Whilst some are finding themselves with a lot of extra time on their hands and not a lot to do, others are busier than ever - key-workers are still going to work, parents are learning how to home-school and some may feel like they haven’t got five minutes to take a break.
Whichever end of the spectrum you might be, it is completely normal to feel uneasy or anxious or just plain fed-up! Despite us starting to get used to lockdown, it is important to remember that this is not a normal situation and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes.
In this post, we share our top tips to help you keep positive and tackle the lockdown blues.
Allow Yourself To Be In The Moment
Feeling tense? Take a moment to take some deep breaths. When we are stressed or anxious, it shows up in our bodies. You may notice that you feel tension in your shoulders or that it is difficult to take a full breath. Set a reminder on your phone and make some time to practice a breathing exercise. This article by Healthline offers 10 examples you may like to try.
If you are constantly busy and feeling overwhelmed, you may also benefit from taking a few minutes to write down your thoughts. It may sound silly, but simply having a list of things in front of you can really help to visualise and prioritise the things you need to focus on. It may also help you to manage expectations of what you are able to achieve. Work through your list one thing at a time and remember to ask for help when you need to.
Encourage Yourself To Keep a Routine
With many of us spending more time at home, it can be difficult to stick to a normal routine. You may feel you’re juggling a bit of everything and struggling with motivation, but that is OK.
Our homes are our safe places where we are used to relaxing but in this scenario, we are bringing work, school and all our social lives home with us! It is normal to feel overwhelmed.
Try putting together a new routine and build your ‘new normal’. Giving yourself just a few things to do each day is a great way to feel a sense of achievement. It doesn’t have to be strict - now is not the time to be pressuring yourself! Even something as simple as making your bed, going for a walk or taking some time to practice your skincare routine every day can really beneficial.
Take Some Time For You
We are all trying our best to adapt during lockdown which can be really challenging. Whether you’re rushed off of your feet with lots of responsibilities or are sat wondering what to do yourself, it is important to remember to take some time for you.
Allow yourself some time to relax and show yourself some kindness. Have a bath, treat yourself to a cup of tea and a biscuit or listen to some soothing music. Even just five minutes can make a positive impact on your mood.
If you’re looking for a way to relax and show your skin some extra love, you may like to take a look at ARK Skincare’s Jade Facial Tool. The ancient self-care beauty ritual Gua Sha has been used for several thousand years as a natural way to achieve skin health and provide a radiant, youthful complexion. It can also be a therapeutic way to relax and unwind.
The sweeping action of the jade tool against the skin stimulates blood circulation and encourages lymphatic drainage. With regular practice facial tension is relieved, the jaw line becomes more defined, fine lines are reduced, skin is lifted and de-puffed. You can learn more about the benefits of Gua Sha in one of our previous blog posts by clicking here.
Practice Positive Self Talk
It is normal to feel anxious or a bit low at the moment. There is lots going on in the world! We are all living in the most peculiar times. Just remember that things will get better. You may not feel 100% everyday but it is important to know that you are not alone. Remember, nobody has a ‘how to happily cope with the lockdown manual’ ...we are all just trying our best.
This article about positive self-talk is well worth reading. It gives some great examples of how you can turn negative thoughts into positive ones and ways you can improve your internal dialogue.
You are doing your best. Be kind to yourself.
Reach Out To Others
It’s no secret that lockdown can be very isolating. We are all missing seeing our friends and family and being able to do normal things. It may feel like there is very little to catch up on at the moment as the days and weeks can be so similar, but even so, reaching out to others is still really important.
Pick up the phone and give a friend or family member a call. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with others can make you feel so much better. Even a quick conversation with a loved one may be everything you need to pick yourself up and it may even make their day too!
Make Some Post-Lockdown Plans
As we’ve said before, it’s important to remember that this won’t last forever. It may take a long time for things to go back to normal, but happier times are coming. You may like to think of some fun things you can do after lockdown to keep you inspired.
How about planning a day out with a friend or family member? Perhaps you could research some different places you might like to visit or plan something nice you might like to do for yourself. Having things to look forward to is a great way to help you keep moving forward. We will get through this.
You can learn more about ARK Skincare and our full product range by visiting arkskincare.com!
Most of us have a bit of extra time on our hands at the moment. We are not travelling to work, not going to the gym, and not socialising, meaning we have some extra time in our usually packed schedules. It is easy to lose time to social media, negative thoughts, or rubbish TV. None of which helps to elevate our mood. Instead we have some helpful tips. Spend any extra five minutes you have in the following positive ways and help lift your spirits.
Have a five minute tidy
Tidying up can help clear your mind and make you feel positive. Clutter can be oppressive, cause stress, and make you tired. The thought of tidying your whole home may be rather overwhelming, but take five minutes at a time. Tidy your bedroom, make your bed, tackle one shelf in the kitchen, or clean out the fridge. Each five minute segment of effort will add up, and you will begin to feel more organised and positive.
Quick tidy challenge. Next time you have five minutes ...
- Make your bed and tidy your bedside table
- Organise the fridge
- Tidy your shoes, bags and coats by the front door
- Tackle one book shelf
Use the 'phone
Take five minutes to telephone someone. Talking is good. When our schedules are packed we often rely on text and social media messages. If you find yourself with five minutes, pick up the phone to someone you haven't connected with for a while. Make sure they are OK. You will both feel better.
Do something special for somebody
During this time, many of us are unable to visit friends and family - but you can still keep in touch! Let someone know you’re thinking of them by surprising them with something special. It doesn’t have to be huge. Even a small gift or a hand-written letter can make someone's day and it will make you feel great too! If you’re in need of a gift for somebody, head on over to the Ark Skincare website - we have something for everyone!
Nurture an indoor plant
Grow a seed, take a cutting to grow or invest in a new houseplant. Not only do indoor plants enhance the overall appearance of a space, but they've been shown to boost moods, increase creativity, reduce stress, and eliminate air pollutants — making for a healthier, happier you. Indoor plants don't just look good – they can make us feel good, too. Spend any spare five minutes learning more and caring for your plants.
Read a book
Do you often find yourself with very little or no time to read? If in lockdown you have some spare time on your hands, why not pick up a new book? Reading is a great way to lose yourself for a few hours, especially if you find a good storyline!
Open a window
It may be cold out there but open a window and breathe. Fresh air can help stimulate positivity, and make you feel revived. Stand at your window and take time to breathe. In addition throwing open a window helps eliminate toxins from our homes. Opening a window for at least five minutes a day should be enough to decrease the concentration of indoor air pollutants.
With many of us staying at home a lot more, it can be easy to find little motivation to exercise. We can imagine everyone might be a bit fed up with their daily walk, but getting some exercise is important for both your physical and mental health! Why not find a workout video online or a virtual class you can join?
Listen to some music
Put on some of your favourite music and have a dance! It has been proven that when listening to music the brain releases dopamine, also known as ‘the happy hormone’ which helps to elevate your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Give yourself a mini facial or a body treatment
Do you have a body brush you have never used? A Jade Tool you haven't worked into your skincare regime yet? Now is the time. Take an extra five minutes to body brush, exfoliate, or give yourself a facial massage. You now have the time to learn what works best for you and you will quickly get into the routine and see real benefits. If you’re in need of a treat for your skin, we’ve got you covered! Click here to head over to the ARK Skincare website to find out more.
Take a cold shower
Cold showers can improve circulation, speed up metabolism, increase immunity and decrease depression. They are hugely beneficial if you can stand the cold! With five minutes extra on your hands start to build them into your routine. Gradually get used to standing under cold water and you will soon see and feel the benefits.
Prepare a healthy snack
Feeling good starts from within. Take five minutes to prepare a healthy snack or plan some nutritious meals you can enjoy. Perhaps now is the time to get creative and learn a new recipe!
However you use your extra time, remember to use it to look after yourself. Give yourself a hug. You deserve it.
8 TOP TIPS
Do you ever find yourself so submerged with something, then you look at the clock and hours have gone by? Find something you enjoy doing and allow yourself some time to have fun! There’s plenty of things to keep you occupied - a funny film or tv show, writing/drawing, puzzles, online quizzes, or even virtual games you can play online with friends!
While they're a lot less chatty, if you have a pet, spend some time with them too! Animals can bring us so much joy with the little things they do and can be a great company when you're feeling low.
“The way to someone's heart is through their stomach!” - A tasty treat is always a great way to put a smile on someone's face. There are plenty of free recipes online, so why not have a go at trying one yourself? Baking can be a really therapeutic way of keeping busy for a few hours and as a bonus, you'll have an afternoon treat to go with a cup of tea!
If you're in need of some inspiration, take a look at these yummy looking recipes!
Offering an act of kindness to others is always a nice thing to do. It can make somebody’s day and you’ll feel great seeing their reaction, knowing you’ve done lovely something for them. Ideas could be offering some help to somebody who is struggling, treating a loved one to a home-cooked meal or even showing a smile to a stranger.
Having something positive to listen to is always a good way to lift the mood. Put together a playlist of all your favorite songs to put on or find something interesting to listen to. There are plenty of podcasts online where people talk about all kinds of different topics.
For an all-round feel-good podcast, The Mental Makeover Podcast has lots of episodes on how to live a happier lifestyle, including topics such as the law of attraction, boosting your mood and improving your self-confidence. Definitely worth a listen!
Although we all know the importance of staying inside at the moment, we can still get our dose of vitamin D! Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain's release of a hormone called serotonin, known as the happy hormone. Even going for a short walk or standing outside for 5-10 minutes can help. Just don't forget your SPF!
Taking some time out to practice self-care is so important for good mental health. Run a bath, pop a face mask on, grab some of your favourite body products and treat yourself to a few hours to yourself to relax and unwind. An early night now and again helps too - a rested mind makes anyone feel better!
If you really want to treat yourself, take a look at ARK Skincare's new Uplifting Care package! The perfect gift to treat yourself or a friend to.
- Vitality Hand & Body Wash
- Nourishing Body Lotion
- Hydrating Beauty Mist
- ARK Washbag
You can find more of our other care packages and gifts here.
When we are stressed Cortisol is released by the body. We have discussed Cortisol before as it can have very negative effects on skin causing skin sensitivities, break outs, and irritations. Cortisol is released as part of our fight or flight defence mechanism. It is not all bad as in small doses it prepares us for action. However, large or prolonged doses can have a number of negative effects on our health. Unfortunately, as we age, the amount of Cortisol we release increases, and it takes longer for this potentially damaging hormone to return to normal levels, meaning we are exposed to it for longer, and negative side effects may be seen.
The first step to managing stress, and reducing cortisol, is to acknowledge it. We can not adopt coping mechanisms unless we acknowledge what is adversely affecting us. There are a number of signs which can help us identify if we are chronically stressed. Poor memory, lack of concentration, only seeing negatives, as well as irritability, anxiety or a change in eating patterns can all be symptoms. Take the time this month to assess situations which may be affecting you and then find ways to cope with them.
Coping mechanisms can help us overcome chronic stress. Coping can be achieved by changing the situation you find yourself in, or by changing your reaction to the situation. There are a lot of well documented ways to cope. The key is to find what is right for you.
Top tips which have helped some of the ARK Skincare team:
Laugh - studies have shown laughter can reduce the stress hormone Cortisol. Find something which makes you laugh and do it more!
Exercise - symptoms of stress can be reduced by including physical exercise in your weekly routine. Just twenty minutes a week can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing according to this study
Unplug - modern technology can seriously increase the amount of demands placed upon us. Take time to "unplug", turn off devices, and slow down.
Be mindful - take time to bring your complete attention to the present moment. There are plenty of techniques, find out more here
Massage - Studies have found that regular massage can reduce stress and improve sleep patterns. There are many different kinds. Find a therapist here
In summary it is key to remember to accept that stress is unavoidable. You can take steps to reduce your stress and learn how to cope with it, but you will never be completely rid of stress. Stress serves a purpose as a healthy response to overwhelming situations or perceived threats, and it can be dealt with in an equally healthy fashion. Remembering this is, in itself, a good coping strategy.