Live Simply: ‘Slow Beauty’ Enhances Everyday Living

SpaRitual founder Shel Pink on taking your time to nurture your mind, body and spirit.

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| January 21st, 2013

Rituals. “Elevate the routine,” Pink advises. That means if your beauty habit involves cleanser, toner and lotion with SPF, think about more than just the products. “Ritual includes nutrition, self-massage, breathing, bathing…” says Pink. The slowbeauty.com blog can guide you in every aspect of these elements. Your task: Instead of rushing to put on lipstick in the morning and get your teeth brushed at night, linger a little. Let your beauty routine become a self-care ritual that rejuvenates you.

Renewal. “It is all about a good night’s sleep,” says Pink. “Resting calms your central nervous system.” Renewal also has to do with the concept of cleansing, which doesn’t necessarily mean juice fasts (unless that’s your thing). Pink recommends seasonal cleansing as a way to tune into your body and keep it in tip-top shape, the way you do with oil changes for your car. That might mean avoiding alcohol for a week, cutting back on sugar or even adding more green foods—whatever your body is telling you when you take the time to listen. Your task: In addition to eight hours of sleep, find down time to daydream, to do nothing, to be still and listen to your body—even if it’s just 10 minutes and you have to put it in your calendar and wait for the ding. Baby steps.

QUIZ: Are You Getting A Good Night's Sleep?

Meditation. “Studies show that people who regularly meditate live years longer than people who don’t,” says Pink. “I see meditation as the new yoga—in a few years everyone will be finding a practice.” Pink does transcendental meditation two times a day for 20 minutes, but your way might be very different. As long as you’re taking a timeout to go inside yourself and refocus, it doesn’t matter what the meditation looks like. “Stillness rejuvenates us on a cellular level,” says Pink. Your task: Find a practice—even a three-minute one—that you can fit into your life, and give it a shot. See where it takes you.

Self-Expression. “There is a lot of focus on looking beautiful in our society, but what about doing something that creates or celebrates beauty in the world?” asks Pink. As our schedules fill, time for self-expression is one of the first sacrifices we make, but Pink thinks that’s a huge mistake. “Being in the space of creativity—writing poetry, drawing, making music—leads to the spirit of play and innovation,” she says. “It’s essential to develop levity and bring beauty out from inside of yourself.” Your task: Let at least one part of your day involve something creative. That could mean something as big as starting a novel or as small as being mindful enough to turn on a Beatles record while you make dinner (don’t forget to enjoy the music).

Nourished Mind. “We think about what we’re putting in our bodies obsessively, but we don't often consider what we’re feeding our minds,” says Pink. Steady diets of reality TV and Facebook aren’t uncommon (hey, they’re fun distractions, right?), but balance is key. “Nourishing your mind means life-long learning.” Your task: Make time for mental engagement. See a play, read a challenging book, visit a museum (and make a habit of these things, in between Real Housewives episodes).

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