Get set for Spring: Build a day of self-care
Self-care: you might struggle to describe exactly what it is. And especially what it means for you.
To jog your inspiration, we’ve compiled an entire day of self-care, designed to target all areas from your physical wellness to your emotional and nutritional needs.
A smoothie bowl or a soak in the bath might not be possible 7 days a week, but it’s all about slotting a few minutes for your mind and body into each part of the day, every day.
Take a few tips or try them all...which everyday swaps can you make to take care of yourself?
Morning: A smooth(ie) start
You’ve heard it a hundred times... but breakfast truly is that important.
That said, it’s likely not a priority if you struggle to form a sentence in the morning. But don’t be tempted to skip it – a whopping 1 in 5 of us do. 1
Today you’ll whiz up a 5-minute spirulina smoothie bowl set to keep you full and provide a morning nutrient boost. Take it from our expert nutritionist, Jordan Whiting:
The star ingredient is spirulina: “This superfood has large antioxidant properties which can support the bones, muscles, and joints to get you back up on your feet in no time!
Spirulina is a great source of B1, B2, and B3 which can all boost energy and reduce fatigue,” Jordan explains.
Plus, it can help you stay energised through to lunch, thanks to high-fibre bananas.
If smoothie bowls aren’t your thing, try to find small changes you can make to your favourite breakfast:
- Cereals can be loaded with hidden refined sugar, which can cause a “crash” mid-morning. Check the labels of your favourites and opt for a lower-sugar alternative if possible.
- See if you can make the swap to wholegrain toast if you haven’t already. It takes longer for the body to digest (thanks to their higher fibre content), which can help you feel satisfied for longer.2
And don’t worry about tomorrow: this evening, you’ll meal-prep for an instant breakfast.
It doesn’t have to be a jog around the block! Any form of activity counts.
Moving your body can boost “happy hormones” in the brain, helping you to shake off the sleep and feel good about the day ahead.3
And it’s a great way to get fresh air and stay social. Why not rope in a running buddy or join a local walkers’ group?
Or start the day gently with this yoga session from Sarah Malcolm, designed to focus and energise you for the morning ahead.
This one works great outdoors, but you can have a go anywhere you like.
Need extra help from vitamins?
Vitamins and supplements don’t have to be part of your daily routine. We should get our nutrition from a balanced, colourful diet wherever we can.
However, when that’s not possible – or there’s something specific you’d like to target – a daily supplement can help provide some extra support.
Take our H&B Expert Joint Support and Bone Support capsules, each specially designed to help maintain normal joint and bone function:
- Joint Support contains all-important vitamin C, responsible for collagen production, plus manganese and copper for connective tissue function and ginger root extract to help support joint flexibility
- Bone Support is a multi-action support formula combining vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, and zinc. Plus, it’s enriched with red algae and bamboo (rich in silica).
Now’s a great time to put on sunscreen, too. It’s not just for warm days; harmful UV rays can affect us in all weather.4
The Clean Screen Mineral SPF from REN offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, as well as controlling shine being friendly on sensitive skin. Containing yellow passionfruit seed extract, it’s designed to provide an antioxidant boost that’s easy to fit into your everyday skincare routine.
Afternoon: Find the balance
Hopefully you’ve got through the morning with energy to spare. Good news either way: it’s lunchtime!
A balanced diet is important to help maintain good health in the long term – and can help you feel your best day-to-day, too.5
Colourful fruits and vegetables are known for their high antioxidant and vitamin content, so you might have heard that “eating the rainbow” is the trick to a balanced diet. There’s more to a food’s nutritional value than its colour – but it’s one way to provide some variety.6
Choose seasonal, locally-grown produce where you can, as it reduces the journey your food takes to make its way to your plate.
Say no to al desko
It can be hard to compromise between a fuelling, satisfying lunch and one that’ll have you dozing off at your desk. We can’t think of a better balance than these Loaded Sweet Potato Wedges with Garlic Coconut Yoghurt Dressing (served away from your workspace, of course). And Jordan agrees:
Sweet potatoes are “an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making them a great addition to a healthy diet.”
Plus, they’re high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
“Vitamin A is important for healthy bone growth and maintenance, while vitamin C helps promote the synthesis of collagen, which is essential for healthy joints and connective tissue. Potassium helps regulate muscle and nerve function and can help prevent muscle cramps and spasms.”
And no need to go easy on the garlic! “Garlic contains high levels of manganese, a mineral that is important for building and maintaining healthy bones. Manganese helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones. Consuming garlic regularly can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis,” says Jordan.
Get these on the menu and they’ll have you saying those three words: “chips for lunch”.
Screen break stretches
Posture check in 3, 2, 1...
Taking just a few minutes to stand up and move can do wonders for your mobility and mood. Join qualified yoga teacher Sarah Malcolm for a “screen break stretch”, designed to help ease tight muscles and give you time to check in on your mind.
Fancy a snack?
If you’re frequently peckish between meals, you might benefit from some more protein in your diet. A protein bar, ball, or shake is an easy way to add some fuel into your day.
Or, if just a drink will tide you over, treat yourself with a fruity and fizzy kombucha, packed with live cultures.
Our new H&B kombucha range uses added ingredients, designed to help the day run a little smoother. Whether you’re after Energy, Focus, or a Glow, you’ll find extra benefits in this tasty drink.
Fancy a snack?
Spring clean your skin
Our skin welcomes the warmer weather, too. It’s the perfect time to swap out for lighter, brighter products and make sure the SPF’s within easy reach.
Springtime swaps might look like:
- Updating your moisturiser: Many of us reach for thick, heavy moisturisers in the winter, in the hopes of keeping hydration in. Switch to something a little lighter once the sun comes out, like the Bio-Structure Vegan Beauty Day Cream.
- Changing out your cleanser: While hydration is important, you might also see oil levels increase as the weather gets warmer. If you’re prone to shiny skin, opt for something that keeps oil in check whilst still being gentle and non-drying, like the Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser.
- Adding vitamin C: Vitamin C can help to maintain strong, healthy skin and hair. There’s also some evidence to suggest it may help to reduce the damage caused by UV rays; extra important as we glimpse the sun again.7 We love the Q+A Vitamin C Brightening Serum for a springtime glow.
These are just a few of our tips – but you can hear from Dr Maha Shariff, expert Aesthetic Doctor and General Practitioner in the NHS, in her full guide below:
9 ways to transition your skincare routine into spring
Just like you, your skin breathes a sigh of relief when spring is on the horizon. Warmer temperatures, a softer wind chill, and the absence of harsh heaters equal all-round happier skin.
9 ways to transition your skincare routine into spring
Evening: Take time for you
It’s easier said than done, but recovery time is just as important as the rest of the day.
Hopefully your screen break stretches have eased some tension, but running a bath with magnesium bathing salts might help you unwind even more. Soothing music optional!
Some evidence from the University of Birmingham suggests that bathing with magnesium salts can increase your blood magnesium levels.8 Magnesium’s responsible for normal muscle function, and you might experience muscle cramps and aches if you’re deficient.8
It’s worth noting that research is still mixed in this field. But, either way, taking a dip could be an ideal way to wind down after a long day.
And why not take it up a notch? Look after your skin and hair with a collagen sachet (like these ones from Revive, each delivering 8500mg of marine collagen). If you’re feeling fancy, pop on a face mask, too!
Then, nourish your skin with a super-smooth moisturiser; we love the Weleda Skin Food Body Lotion.
How to look after your scalp
Scalp care may not be much fun – but neither is an itchy, oily head. We present a simple user’s guide to the scalp.
How to look after your scalp
You’re almost done! There’s just time to prep your breakfast for tomorrow, so you can save the rush in the morning (or hit snooze – it's up to you).
These banana and chia seed overnight oats take just minutes to prepare and they’re ready to grab from the fridge first thing. And let’s check in with our nutritionist Jordan on some of the benefits...
“The complex carbohydrates in oats make them slower to digest, providing energy over a longer period of time. In terms of muscle, bone, and joint health, oats are particularly beneficial due to their high levels of magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. These minerals are essential for healthy bones and muscles and help regulate muscle and nerve function.”
And chia seeds have pretty high praise: they’re “a tiny but mighty superfood”!
They are also “a good source of plant-based protein, which is important for maintaining and building strong muscles.” What’s more, they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids and “a good source of antioxidants, which help protect the body against cell damage and inflammation.”
If your mind’s still busy after your evening wind-down, you might want a relaxing drink to take to bed. The H&B Expert Sleep Unwind Drink is formulated to help you prepare for a good night’s sleep, combining:
- Clinically studied KSM-66® ashwagandha, which contributes to emotional balance and relaxation
- L-theanine, which contributes to normal sleep
with classic soothers lavender and chamomile in a hot chocolate drink.
Last updated: 28 February 2023
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Before taking any supplements or minerals, it’s best to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients through your diet first.
Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
If you have sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis, acne or rosacea, consult a dermatologist before trying any treatments.
It is important to always check with your doctor or midwife before taking any supplements while pregnant.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medications or under medical supervision, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before use.