Whether you’re anticipating roses and a lovely dinner on Valentine’s Day, or feel a twinge of loneliness about the holiday because you are not, an excellent way to care for yourself during the Valentine’s Day month – and anytime – is through mindful self-care.
Think meditation and mantras. Did you know there are meditations specifically for those who want to feel and look beautiful?
Even just five minutes of meditation per day can benefit not only your mind but also your appearance. Dr. David E. Bank, a board-certified dermatologist and author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age, explains that stress causes blood vessels to constrict and hormones to be released. This can channel blood (and therefore oxygen and nutrients) away from the skin toward muscles and other organs. “Our muscles tense and skin loses that rosy glow and fine lines and wrinkles begin to form,” he says. It can also make the skin sensitive to pre-existing conditions, such as acne and eczema.
Cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD, who has researched the health effects of meditation for 30 years, goes further: “Any condition that’s caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation,” he says. Conventional medicine recognizes that meditation helps ease chronic pain, improve heart health, boost immunity and resolve some pregnancy problems, as well as easing anxiety and stress and boosting mood.
It’s possible, according to ZenHabits, to start establishing a daily meditation routine with as little as two minutes a day.
One easy way is with the free and easy-to-use app Headspace. There are also free instructional videos online that offer meditation tips:
- Meditation for Better Skin (2.5 minutes)
- 3-Minute Skin Meditation (3 minutes)
- Meditation for Beauty, Self-Esteem, Confidence (6 minutes)
- Guided Meditation for Taking Care of Yourself and Cultivating Self-Love (21 minutes)
A mantra is a word or sound that is repeated to aid your concentration during meditation, and some are very specific, such as mantras for skin health. People have chanted mantras for as long as we know; consider adding a mantra to your meditation practice.