Self-Care: Apps and Books for Your Mental Health

Now that we’re full swing into 2018, it’s time to check in with ourselves and make sure that we’re doing our best to really take care of ourselves! Life gets hectic and the first thing to go onto the back burner is your own self-care. This year, our goal is to stop this bad habit and make our well-being a top priority! We aren’t saying to go out and spend money on weekly massages or even that you need to take a ton of time each day to dedicate to yourself, that’s not necessarily realistic for everyone. However, there are some really easy ways to take a few minutes out of your day to slow down and check in with yourself. Today, we’re sharing our top tools that help us focus back in on our well-being.

1. The Calm App

Image Source: Calm

Image Source: Calm

We love the calm app! This meditation app offers a huge variety of guided meditation options to choose from. While there is a subscription fee, you can download the app for free and play around with some of the meditations before you decide if it’s for you or not. More often than not, you’ll end up receiving an email with a coupon code to use for your subscription! These guided meditations cover things such as stress relief, anxiety, happiness, focus, peace, sleep and so much more. Start your day with a five minute meditation session to put you out the door on the right foot. Listen to a sleep story to help you relax and fall into a deep, restful sleep at night. We truly cannot say enough wonderful things about this one!

2. The Daily Quote App

Image Source: Daily Motivation

Image Source: Daily Motivation

Do you respond well to inspirational and motivational quotes? Well, so do we! The Daily Quote app is a free app that provides you with daily inspirational and motivational quotes. Enable notifications to have it send you your quote of the day each morning! We have ours set to notify us the same time we wake up, because what’s better than waking up to some motivation waiting to greet you?

 
Image Source: Samia's Photography

Image Source: Samia's Photography

This is one of our all-time favorite books. The tagline is “How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.” If you’re someone looking to really take control of your life and make positive changes, this is the book for you! Find a way to take even 5 minutes a day to read a few pages. Put yourself first, make a commitment to read each day, and transform your life into the one you want to be living.

 
Image Source: Rachel Hollis

Image Source: Rachel Hollis

As women, we unknowingly believe many lies about ourselves. The title “Stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be” couldn’t be more true. Hollis starts each chapter with a lie that she, and most women, believed about herself that made her feel negatively. She then re-tells her experience with this lie, and finishes up with what helped her work through and unpack things to discover the truth of her situation. This story is so relatable and motivational, showing just how true it is that you can accomplish anything if you stick with it and believe in yourself!

The Skincare Bible

Image Source: Pink Peonies

Image Source: Pink Peonies

We’ve all been there - one little pimple pops up, uninvited, right before you’re headed out. You try to cover it with layer upon layer of packed on powder and concealer and hastily wipe it off at the end of the night with a makeup wipe. The next morning, everything is even worse, and there’s no covering it now.

A spot treatment could come to the rescue, but the best way to deal with these unwelcome blemishes is by knowing exactly what to do to prevent them. And caring for your skin is more than just trying to zap every pimple that pops up; it’s also about learning what works for your skin type (and just figuring out what exactly your skin type is!) and cutting out any unnecessary products that are worsening whatever issue it is you’re dealing with, be it an oily t-zone, wrinkles, or dry winter skin. We’re here to break down every product and habit you should (or shouldn’t!) be incorporating into your skincare routine, so you can rock the glowy, fresh face trend confidently!

Pick your facial cleanser wisely!

Image Source: Mysterious Beauties

Image Source: Mysterious Beauties

Choosing your cleanser is arguably the most central part of your skincare routine, especially if you typically wear a full face of makeup. Whatever your skin type, it’s important to pick the right kind of cleanser to get rid of any left over product that might clog up your pores. Picking a cleanser isn’t necessarily about finding one for morning and one for nighttime. Instead, it’s about finding what works for you. People who suffer from oily skin should opt for a foaming cleanser, but dry skin needs a little more moisture from something like a lotion or cream wash. No7’s Beautiful Skin Foaming Cleanser is an affordable option to use day and night if you’re dealing with oily skin you can’t seem to get under control!

If you’re struggling with dry, flakey skin, be careful that you aren’t over-exfoliating. It’s an essential part of the skincare process, but it’s too easy to go overboard and scrub away necessary oils, leaving you with dull looking skin. It’s recommended that you only exfoliate your face about 2-3 times a week. Using a natural product like Lush’s Ocean Salt is a great idea if you have sensitive skin but still need a gritty exfoliant, and the lime-infused vodka in it smells great and brightens!

Toner’s great - but only when it’s necessary!

Image Source: ASOS

Image Source: ASOS

Toner is one of those skincare products you kind of ignored in high school because you weren’t really sure what it did, and as you grew up, more and more of your friends started using it, but without any real direction. Toner can be tricky, especially if you have dry skin, but it can also be really beneficial in brightening, balancing, and evening your skin tone. One of the most important parts of skincare that people seem to ignore is that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing - there’s no rulebook that says you have to use a toner, but it could also be exactly what your skin is missing!

If you decide that you are looking to add a step to brighten your skin, a great drugstore toner is Pixi’s Glow Tonic. It’s perfect for adding a little extra glow to a fresh face, and there’s no alcohol in it that’ll dry you out, which makes it a great universal option for all skin types.

Don’t mistake serums for moisturizers!

Image Source: Fashion, Love and Martinis

Image Source: Fashion, Love and Martinis

Serums can add a lot of moisture to your skin, but they’re actually quite different. Think of them as a supplement that provides a little extra help, while moisturizer is more of a regular, basic need. If your skin is on the oily side, seek out a serum with glycolic acid to incorporate every night. Don’t forget to add products on in order of their consistency, too - serum comes before moisturizer, not after!

If you’re not a serum kind of gal but still want to add a bonus step to your routine, test out some face masks every other night that target exactly what issues you’re looking to solve. Clay masks are great for oily skin because of how absorbent they are, but make sure to only put them where necessary (for instance, in only the T-zone if you have combination skin) or you can dry out your skin. Dr. Jart+ Shake & Shot Rubber Masks are perfect for targeting specific needs, like firming and brightening, and they add some fun and excitement to what can be a monotonous routine!

… And pick the right moisturizer for you.

Image Source: First Aid Beauty

Image Source: First Aid Beauty

No matter the skin type, if there’s any one guideline that you should follow, it’s to make sure you have SPF in your moisturizer! SPF is necessary to protect your face against the sun, and using it daily drastically reduces the possibility of wrinkles. If you have dry skin, it’s a nice idea to grab a heavier weighted moisturizer for the nighttime (and a nice, hydrating eye cream), especially in the harsh winter months. But if you want to use the same product day and night, go for it - just make sure it’s around SPF 30!

 

Be mindful of your skincare habits!

Skincare isn’t solely about what products to use and when. It can be tempting to use a tanning bed so you get that bronzed glow fast, but the harsh reality is that they dry your skin out drastically and expose you to harmful rays that’ll lead to wrinkles. Try a self-tanner that moisturizes instead! A lot of habits actually link directly back to our skin, whether we realize it or not. Something as simple as drinking more water can lead to brighter, healthier looking skin - if your skin is looking thirsty, you should be too! Changing your diet and cutting out dairy and junk food can minimize breakouts, too. Just being mindful enough to go through your whole skincare routine instead of lazily choosing a makeup wipe can contribute to a beautiful, natural glow!

Image Source: Herbivore Botanicals

Image Source: Herbivore Botanicals

DIY Facials & Scrubs

Untitled-1.png
IMAGE SOURCE: THE FREE SPIRITED

IMAGE SOURCE: THE FREE SPIRITED

Need a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to exfoliate your dry skin to get a new glow? There are so many face scrubs that are easy to mix together using common household ingredients! These scrubs are a great way to give your skin a fresh start all while saving money in your wallet!

IMAGE SOURCE: MORE

IMAGE SOURCE: MORE

1 tsp granulated sugar
1-2 drops water
1-2 drops orange, lemon, lavender oil (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Gently rub the scrub onto your clean face. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a towel.

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Combine ingredients in a bowl and gently rub into skin. Rinse clean with warm water.

IMAGE SOURCE: HOMEMADE FOR ELLE

IMAGE SOURCE: HOMEMADE FOR ELLE

½ fresh lemon
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

Combine lemon and olive oil in a bowl. Whisk in the honey, then gradually add in the sugar. Apply to face in gentle, circular motions. Leave on for 7-10 minutes and rinse with warm water.

¼ cup uncooked oats
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup olive oil

In a food processor, pulse oats until they are broken down but not powdered. Transfer oats to a small bowl and add in honey and olive oil. Add a thick layer of the scrub to your clean face and massage for 60 seconds, then continue to leave on skin for an extra 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry.