Up until a couple of years ago, you’d be forgiven for thinking the term “wellness” only referred to lazy afternoons spent at a spa or a wellness retreat. Today, wellness is considered an important part of everyday life.

The covid-19 pandemic saw a global surge in self-care practices and mental health awareness. It forced us to stop, breathe and to take a closer look at our health. This led to a major uptake in meditation, yoga and other self-care rituals.

But what exactly is wellness, and how is it different to general health? Wellness is a lifestyle. It’s the act of practicing healthy habits daily to improve one’s overall physical and mental health, and to live a fuller and happier life. Wellness forms part of all aspects of your life, be it your diet (snacking on healthy foods rather than sweets or chocolates), your relationships (spending quality time with loved ones), your downtime (resting and relaxing when you are feeling run-down) or your work (instilling healthy habits like taking a lunch break every day or not checking emails over weekends).

When we incorporate wellness practices into various parts of our lives, it has major benefits for our physical health (a stronger immune system, more energy and better fitness) as well as our mental health (less stress, less anxiety and a happier state of mind).

Wellness practices are different for everyone depending on their lives and lifestyles. After a stressful day at the office, one person’s wellness practice might be a run or jog through the neighbourhood. For another, it might be a bubble bath and a good book. The key lies in finding what works for you.

Wellness at work

Practicing wellness at work is two-fold: there is the aspect of stepping away, such as taking a lunch break or getting up to stretch every half an hour; and then there is the aspect of incorporating wellness into your work by creating a happy and healthy work space. A clean and tidy desk area is a great start, as is ergonomic seating and plenty of fresh air. Have you ever considered adding a diffuser and some essential oils to your desk? Not only does it leave the room beautifully scented, but the oils can also help benefit your mood. Try the SOiL Inspire Essential Oil Blend, which contains an uplifting and refreshing blend of lime, mandarin and spearmint to energise and inspire. To support a healthier environment, we recommend SOiL Shield Essential Oil Blend, a spicy, citrus, mint blend that creates a barrier against unwanted germs and bacteria to support a healthier environment, immune and respiratory function. Simply add a few drops of these oils to your SOiL Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser which disperses the essential oils into the air via a fine mist.

Wellness at home

Not sure where to start practicing wellness at home? It’s easier than you think! Start with a few basics: ensure good ventilation by keeping windows open when possible, keep the space tidy and clean and, importantly, enjoy the space. If you love taking a bath and you have a bathtub, use it regularly to unwind. If you have a room with lovely afternoon sun, take some time out to read your favourite book in there. Try to get the whole family on board with wellness practices, whether it’s a walk to the park after work or a family movie night once a week.

One of the easiest ways to set the mood at home is to light a tea candle in your SOiL Ceramic Aroma Burner, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil and allow the scent to infiltrate the room. The candlelight creates a relaxing atmosphere, and your chosen essential oil does the rest.

If you want to create a peaceful or relaxing atmosphere, add a few drops of the SOiL Sleep Blend to your burner or diffuser while you prepare to go to bed. It contains a blend of soothing herbal extracts: oils of lavender, marjoram and bergamot will help you drift off peacefully in no time. It’s also a great option to add to your bath water. Gently massage some  SOiL Baby Massage Oilinto your skin before bed to help your body relax. This blend of chamomile, lavender and olive oil will help keep your skin moisturised and help your mind switch off.

For an uplifting or energetic atmosphere, opt for SOiL Energy Blend, with lavender, bergamot, marjoram and vetiver or SOiL Inspire Blend, which contains a refreshing, uplifting and inspiring blend of lime, mandarin and spearmint.

And while we’re on the topic of the home, let’s not forget the importance of keeping supplies on-hand for daily concerns. The SOiL First Aid Essential Oil Trio Box consists of lavender essential oil that soothes and calms the mind, body, and inflamed skin, tea tree essential oil that cleanses the air, mind, and body with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and eucalyptus essential oil which supports a healthier respiratory function and soothes insect bites. It’s the perfect trio to keep in the home – you never know when you may need it!

Making greener wellness choices

Wellness is not just about making better choices for ourselves, it’s also about making better choices for the planet. When we use sustainable materials, purchase products that were ethically soured or manufactured and support cruelty-free brands, we help lead the way to a better future: Cleaner air, cleaner oceans and a more diverse animal and plant population. One of the most important things we can do is to ensure the products we buy are fair-trade. This means that fair prices are paid to the producers of products in developing countries, helping to achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships, and to avoid exploitation.

14 May was World Fair Trade Day. The purpose? To showcase the contributions of small-scale producers and farmers to healthy and sustainable communities around the globe. SOiL is Fair for Life certified, which is an internationally-recognised certification for small businesses that follow fair trade practices. Some of the products made with internationally-sourced fair trade ingredients include SOiL Rose Geranium Essential Oil, SOiL Vetiver Essential Oil, SOiL Jojoba Carrier Oil and SOiL Cinnamon Leaf Oil.

“Wellness” is a loaded term, but it need not be daunting. A few small lifestyle changes will send you well on your way to a healthier, happier life.

Want to learn more about how to blend your own custom aroma therapies with SOiL essential oils?

Click here or head over to our online shop and make your selection of oils, blends, roll ons and diffusers prepared and packaged for your convenience.

SOiL is available at Dis-Chem, Wellness Warehouse and online at www.faithful-to-nature.co.za, www.takealot.com and www.soil.co.za.

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