The Beauty of Self-Care

The Beauty of Self-Care: Lesson 4 – Ritual + An Aveda Giveaway

by Caitlin Kelch

Image via GIPHY

There’s been a lot of gratitude, participation and conversations around this series and we’re so grateful for the thoughtful responses. When Emily Henderson shared a post from our series and a “thank you” on her Facebook feed, I replied with a quick comment that said, “We practice what we preach.” I wanted to re-emphasize that self-care takes practice and guts. For me, it’s like waking up on a cold morning — I don’t want to get out of bed. I’m in my warm, protected space and just want to stay there. Then, as consciousness creeps in, I remember I’m a mom and I’ve got a lunch to pack and breakfast to make. Before I made self-care a priority, these rituals took the place of any activities to nurture myself. While I’m happy to take care of my daughter in a loving and nurturing way, the day would just become a period of time with a long to-do list that would leave me exhausted when I turned in at night.

One of our favorite companies, Aveda, recently reached out to Grace and I and wanted to be a part of this series. After we pinched ourselves, we realized it was a great fit that made total sense because we essentially work with all of the same self-care ideas, Ayurvedic practices and products that their business is built on. Grace has been an Aveda fan since high school and my aunt runs two Aveda salons in Florida. When I stayed with Aunt Laura during a recent trip to Florida, my daughter peeked out from the bathroom to ask about soap for the shower. Aunt Laura smiled and told her, “We don’t use soap, honey,” and told her to use any of the Aveda products in there as “soap.” I took a peek into the shower and was in spa heaven. Of course, I left with a suitcase filled with Aveda products. We’re so happy to announce that, thanks to Aveda’s support, we’ll be continuing this series through the end of the year!

I’ve gotten good at internal care thanks to meditation and breath work, but my external body care practices were pretty much nonexistent. I grew up taking external beauty routines, makeup and even putting on lotion as a sign of vanity and privilege. The word “pamper” still makes me a little uncomfortable. As an adult, I totally realize that this reaction is just because my childhood was about survival, not enjoying things like treating yourself. Shame was pretty much running my life until five years ago. Now, I appreciate all my body does for me every. single. day.

Every morning, I do two things for myself that leave me ready for anything that comes my way during the day — cleaning cat boxes, tantrums from a 10-year-old with no Internet access, and other challenging situations. My first ritual is to sit at my table, have my coffee, and do the painting exercise from lesson one. I just work with gouache and water and make circles of color without even thinking. As I move into the bathroom/get-dressed mode, I sit in my fun green floral chair in my office and I do a skin brushing ritual with some amazing oils that leave a scent in my office that keeps me relaxed all day. After I have my coffee and have to move into the start of my day, my mind naturally starts racing, mostly in a good way, and while I’m brushing I take the time to let those thoughts race on by, but I observe them — I no longer rush to scribble them down on paper that will get lost in the pile of all of the other lists. The wonderful thing about my brushing routine (for me) is it takes time. I literally let the oils and the aromatherapy effect sink into my skin while I watch all of my thoughts drift by like clouds. It’s like letting your tea steep to that perfect flavor you only know through practice and observing the color of the tea.

If you think about our external body as connected to our health — beyond the standard practices of a healthy diet and regular exercise — our skin is our largest organ of our body and covers an area of about 20 square feet. It protects us from harmful microbes, helps regulate our body temperature, and allows us to experience the sensations of touch, heat and cold. Most of us take care of our skin in obvious hygienic ways, but treating your skin and senses to a dedicated ritual that encompasses meditation trains your brain to remember the calming effect of specific sensations.

Please join us and our new collaborator, Aveda, each Tuesday at 1 pm for some self-exploration + exercises to build good habits and instill positive self-care into your everyday routine. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work on this content side-by-side with a company that shares our values and has such a thoughtful approach to self-care and beauty.



Click through for this week’s 10-minute exercise and a special giveaway from Aveda. –Grace and Caitlin

We’ll be learning more about the specific beneficial properties of essential oils and scents next week, so you can connect this ritual with some historical and cultural context. For this week’s exercise, though, we’re simply going to focus on establishing a ritual for yourself and exploring the sense of touch. This exercise will incorporate Patience and Purpose from our previous lessons.

As an incentive to take this time for self-care, Aveda has generously offered to treat three readers to their tulasāra™ awakening ritual kits. To enter the giveaway, just leave a positive comment in the comment section and they’ll randomly pick three readers and send off the kit. I personally started out with the exercise below and moved over to the Aveda practice because it added elements of the science behind the essential oils and the aromatherapy benefits.

I just bought my first home and had to give up my semi-regular full-body massage sessions, so my massage therapist recommended some self-massage techniques beginning with the face and head. My brain was already trained from her work to know that when this scent pops up, it’s time to relax, so the aromatherapy element of this ritual was very important to me.

This act of self-care will take 10 minutes, refresh your senses and help integrate your internal self-care practice with a tactile, external one. I recommend you try this first in the morning as you move into “getting ready/dressed/bathroom” mode. It’s wonderful at night, too, but staring your day out with this ritual preps your brain to experience a healthy, protective layer between you and the stress of the day.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a quiet place with no interruptions (Turn off your phone notifications. You can use your phone’s timer if you’d like. I do.)
  • a bowl
  • olive oil
  • towel

Step 1: Take a seat and place the bowl — filled with two tablespoons of olive oil — nearby. Lay the towel across your lap.

Step 2: Take five deep breaths through your nose, exhaling through your mouth loud enough that you can hear it. This helps your brain “hear” the intention of releasing. That means, if you keep practicing, every time your brain hears the sound of you releasing your breath, it will slip into relaxation mode at an increasingly faster pace.

Step 3: Using your fingertips, drum lightly all around your face as you count to 30. When I say “drum,” I mean like you would do on a countertop if you were impatient :) Pay attention to any areas where you hold stress — for me it’s my jaw area.

Step 4: Flatten your palms, and lightly run your palms and fingertips of both hands over your face and neck simultaneously for two minutes. It’s helpful if you count to 60 two times. You’ll most likely feel strange, impatient or otherwise weird. That’s when you take that deep nose breath and loudly exhale through your mouth. Again, you’re telling your brain to chill out and signaling to it you’re in control.

Step 4: Dip one set of fingers into the oil. As you raise your oiled fingertips from the bowl, cup your other hand underneath it to catch any oil. Lightly drizzle the oil from your fingertips onto your other palm. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and to experience the simple sensation of touch.

Step 5: Starting at the space in between your eyes, make a heart shape motion to cover the face with the oil down to your chin. Continue to massage the oil deeply into your skin. Don’t forget to get your ears and neck. Follow any desires to stretch your jaw or neck. You’re releasing tension, so let your body react accordingly.

Step 6: As you’re massaging your face and neck, a ton of thoughts will come into your head. “This is stupid,” was one of my repeats. If this happens, literally nod your head to acknowledge the thought and then imagine it as a cloud and watch it drift away. You can even name it and silently say something like, “Oh hey, Ms. Doubt! Thanks for stopping by. See you later.” Again, it sounds silly, but you are training your brain to manage thoughts before they become emotions and feel like they are who you are, which they are not.

Note: Feel to move on to your shoulders or arms if you feel the urge or if you think it will help you pass the time until this becomes a good habit.

Suggested For You


  • It is so hard to let go of the gilt that comes with taking care of yourself. However, before you take care of anyone else, you have to be OK. Thank you DS for reminding me of this!. Looking forward the next installment!

  • Sharing this with my new-mom daughter, we both are following this series, and need to remember self care as we go though our busy days. Thanks for this great series, glad to hear Aveda has helped to make it last!

  • I love the idea of doing this every morning and taking a moment to myself before starting the day!

  • Since I have been clenching my jaw a lot lately, I think this is something I need to do. Now to just find a clutter and toddler free space to do this…

  • I feel like this could be great post-workday ritual to help wind down from the day! I also clench my jaw a lot when I’m stressed so definitely eager to try this.

  • Meditation has literally change my life. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to bring more peace and clarity into their lives. I also use essential oils to lift my spirits or give me a sense of calm! I already use the Aveda Stress Relief oil and it smells heavenly! :)

  • I just bought this brush and oil for my sister as a thank you gift, and now I’ll have to pass along this routine to her too! She’s a mother of preemie twins and I thought she could use just a little bit of self-care in between all of the caring for others that she is doing. Thanks for sharing!

  • I have been struggling with a morning routine lately, this seems like the perfect way to get back in sync with the dawn and start the day right!

  • Thank you for the step-by-step directions, I already feel more in control after just reading the how-to. Ready to send some bullying, pushy thoughts away for a while. Poof!

  • I have to take more time. No phone no internet etc. Time to be a better me for myself and those I love.

  • Meditation is super beneficial, thanks for the reminder and exercise info.

    I’d be delighted to have a chance to win a ritual kit – thanks!

  • This sounds like a beautiful way to start the morning and could be a great way to start or end a meditation session. So happy that this series has been extended!

  • It always hits me that the times I need to practice self-care the most are when I think I can get away without self-care! Slowing down my day and being mindful keep me sane.

  • Thank you for the reminder to stop and breath and take care of ourselves! With the holiday season looming, this exercise will come in handy for sure!

  • I’ve been dying to try this set! I had to shelve my retinol because I’m pregnant, so this would be a great, natural, pick me up!

  • I’ve done a similar ritual morning and night, for many years, and taught it to my daughters too. It’s wonderful. It helps me feel very cared for. I’m excited to incorporate some of these ideas.
    Might seem odd but I think this helps my allergies and sinuses quite a bit.

  • What an interesting exercise! I used to work with middle school children and had “aromatherapy” perfume rollers in my office. The kids would love to come in and roll them over their arms, legs, face, etc! They sure smelled good when they left, haha.

  • Positive comment! There’s just something about a concerted effort to be positive that can make all the difference!

  • Now that I’m an empty-nester, it’s time to focus on me. This ritual sounds like a great start. Can’t wait to try it.

  • I love the idea of “managing thoughts before they become emotions.” Thank you for these tips!

  • This is a great idea – I am definitely going to incorporate it into my day. Seems like a good way to “meditate”, as well!

    Another great article, D*S <3

  • These steps make sense–I like the concrete direction to the breath and invasive thoughts. Will be trying this tonight–thanks so much!

  • I am fairly new to meditation, pilates, massages and am only now, in my early thirties, starting to take better care of myself. But all my life I have been fascinated by how olfactory stimulation can bring upon childhood memories and state changes. This seems like a great way to combine the focus of mind and body into a daily ritual. I would love to try this and see if I can incorporate it in my daily chaos, where brushing my teeth and dealing with contact lenses seem like the only constants.

  • Lovely, especially interested in teaching your brain to relax with greater ease each time you do it. Love Aveda products too, they always smell incredible

  • I just started doing 10-minute meditation sessions at work through an app. It’s amazing how so little time can make such a big difference!

  • This totally sounds like something I need to do pre-bedtime – sounds like a great way to relax my daytime jaw clenching.

  • Such a great idea. Self care has been something I’ve been trying to practice since becoming a mom- and it’s really hard! Creating a ritual is a good way to weave it into your daily routine.

  • Loved the 10 self-care practice. Will definitely be trying to incorporate this into my everyday routine. Thank you for this golden nugget!

  • I too am a new mom with another one on the way. The hardest part of it all: finding time for ME. I’m so looking forward to this new self care ritual.

  • I love your morning ritual and just reading this post calmed me. I often say, “am I awake” to myself to drag my brain out of the circle of thoughts. I then see and remember what’s really in front of me.

  • Why have I not done this yet?!?!?! Giving it a try for sure…thinking I’ll use some stress fix oil I have handy.
    : )

  • It can be so easy to forget to make time for yourself each day. I know for me, once I get home, walk the dog, make dinner, pay bills etc. I just want to flop into my bed. I think this brushing ritual would be a nice way to end the day too. Perhaps revitalize after a long day at the office. Thanks Grace!

  • It’s so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle…thanks for the motivation to slow down! This sounds amazing.

  • It’s so important to take care of yourself so you can take care of others! Thank you.

  • yes, I love face massage, one of my favorite aspects of a professional facial. Personally, I massage my face at the end of the day to release tension when I am washing my makeup off. Jaw muscles are always my worst spot.

  • This is such a great idea to add to the Design Sponge repertoire. I hope to get into more self care rituals since my move to a sleepy town. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • I just got a sad e-mail from a friend struggling with her pre-teen daughter. I’m going to refer her to this series. Its right up her alley and would make a huge difference in her day.

  • As many have stated, happiness starts with taking care of you. It may be difficult at times, kids need us, meetings consume us, and life happens. It is so important to give ourselves a minute of our own time. After all, being happy with ourselves usually spreads to being happy with everything else.

  • as my (cosmic) girlfriend audre lorde once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

    and there is no better time to wage war, my loves.

  • I ‘ll try this tonight. Actually I will try this for a month. I never do anything to take care of me, I never did, so maybe, I can start with this? Who knows? Maybe I could get used to it.

  • This sounds divine. I’m more relaxed having just read this. Hallelujah Aveda! Thank you from an over touched and under slept mother of a nursing and teething 10 month old baby.

  • Simply wonderful advice. I’m very happy Aveda will allow you to continue this self-care column. Keep up the good work and great advice!

  • This is a beautiful ritual and sounds like an amazing way to start the day. I will try this tomorrow. Maybe my three-year-old daughter will want to join me; I’d love to get her started on self-care early!

  • Now more than ever, we as women need to Both practice and promote self care as a healing tool and this chaotic world. Thank you for making the series and for the thoughtful practices described both practice and promote self care as a healing tool and this chaotic world. Thank you for making the series and for the thoughtful practices described. I love that a Aveda is a partner in this because their products are amazing, smell incredible, and just make you feel good when you’re using them!

  • I’ve dabbled in ayurvedic techniques over the years, and oiling is by far one of the best – I do my best to oil my ears and nose in the morning, and the Shampure oil from Aveda is amazing.

  • I sure could use this especially after waking up at 2:30am thinking about a Trump presidency ; ( I need more relaxation in my life and this seems like the perfect way to deal with anxiety!

  • “Weeds are flowers too….. Once you get to know them”
    -Winnie the pooh

    I love The Aveda philosophies and principles of beauty. I love this quote because it encompasses beauty and self care while appreciating what is ” beautiful”

  • This sounds really beautiful. I’d love to start a habit like this to ease into each day. Thanks for sharing!

  • I have not considered this kind of morning ritual but it sounds wonderful. Thank you for the giveaway.

  • I’ve wanted to try skin brushing for the longest time! Thanks for the post, doing it in the morning is something I’ve never thought of before.

  • The tulasāra ritual sounds amazing, I love the idea of using the brush to get the skin ready for the oil, I think this would really made a difference.

  • In this crazy season of back-to-school, a little self care for this mom seems like a great way to keep spirits bolstered for me and my family!

  • Learning to pay more attention to my senses and take care of myself, and this would be a great way to do it!

  • A lovely ritual. Thanks for sharing. Might help me get through the dark winter mornings ahead, xo

  • I just love this series. As a cancer survivor I am always looking for tools to reduce stress in my daily life and take good care of myself. An Aveda morning ritual sounds heavenly. Thanks!

  • I love this! I am incorporating more rituals into my life and love the quietness and beauty of this one.

  • I’ve been on a mission of sorts to intentionally make time to meditate throughout my very busy day. What a wonderful ritual to incorporate into my morning routine!

  • Gosh, this sounds so wonderful! I can imagine how beneficial this would be, and I’m going to try and incorporate this practice into my morning routine. Thank you so much for sharing, and for this thoughtful series!

  • Starting the day with thoughtfulness & a relaxing technique will be a good addition to my morning routine. I’m already a fan of Aveda & trust & love their products. I can relax just thinking of the aroma of the hair care products I use!

  • I’m so doing this instead of hitting social media first thing. It’s killing my vibe. Oils are the future of amazing skin! Thanks Aveda, for making a lovely concoction!

  • Recently I’ve become much more aware of rushing, from morning till night. Hopefully this will maybe change that. It would be nice to sit down at the end of a long day and know that I got the most out of every minute.

  • This sounds like a really great way to start the day. I tend to read the news first thing, which especially these days tends to start me off stressed rather than relaxed. I’m definitely going to try this!

  • Thanks so much for this series! There is a more intentional form of tapping that can help reduce anxiety and stress that readers might enjoy. Just search fo “EFT tapping” to learn more.

  • I use a face oil at night after removing makeup. For years I believed that putting oil on your face would cause horrible breakouts but it’s exactly the opposite! I went for a facial a couple months ago and the esthetician told me whatever I was doing, to keep doing it. :-)

  • This series is really great. I think I often turn to the outside when I feel like I need stress relief (like going out to get a massage or some other spa or relaxation treatment), which then adds to the to-do list and can further clog an already-packed schedule. It honestly hadn’t occurred to me how simple and freeing it would be to do a ritual like this at home, at my leisure. I always have olive oil on hand!

    Thanks for this!

  • I tried to routinely practice gharsana a few years ago but only used warmed almond oil on my skin. Then I would shower, dress and go “energized” into the rest of my day. I would love to add aromatherapy into my morning routine to see if it would help me stick to this relaxing ritual everyday by creating another “just for me” healthy habit.

  • If everyone took time everyday to meditate/pray, we would all be a lot better off, if at least emotionally. :-)

  • I totally relate to the idea of shame controlling your life.Trying to overcome that takes intentional work, just like this ritual. I look forward to incorporating this into my daily routine. I think it will help my daughter’s anxiety issues as well. Thank you for this series!

    • Melanie

      Thanks for sharing your note. My daughter, who’s 10, suffers from debilitating anxiety also. We literally whip out flow charts when anxiety hits either of us that has us follow a series of questions that help her realize she’s actually ok :) If your daughter has sensory issues like my mine, this would probably be very helpful for her. It’s akin to occupational therapy techniques that revolve around “brushing” techniques that help some of us adapt to tactile things that aren’t so pleasant, like clothing seams, rough sheets etc.

      Another thing we do that helps us stay in the present is to stick our hands in a bowl of ice or hold a warm ceramic cup.

      As for shame, yep – it is so tricky and subtle. I really had no idea (or admission ;) that it was running my life until my anxiety over little things literally stopped me from leaving the house. Now that I start my day this way, I am able to associate the lingering smell and softness of my face throughout the day and it reminds me exactly who is in charge. ME.


  • Thank you for sharing. I think I will try this ritual, I need to take time out for my self, I think a little self love can help me not only feel better about my self but help me be a better person/wife & mother. :)

  • that’s a beautiful ritual. It reminds me of my yoga practice, and that its helpful to remember that its all practice, and you don’t have to get it right. The purpose is doing it, and the practice begins to change yourself and connect yourself to your higher self “more divine” or “truer” or even just “happier” self. Nice.

  • So wonderful. I lost a child this year and reminding myself that I need care too is really tough right now. Thank you so much. Life-saving techniques come in all forms <3

  • This is a beautiful ritual and a way to get in touch with your physical and emotional body! I love to do a face massage when I have the time, but I love this idea of connecting it to your intuition to do let your body do what it needs to release and relax. I love this series and this particular ritual spoke deeply to me. I can imagine that Aveda oils would complement this perfectly, everything they make is thoughtful and smells incredible.

  • That’s actually a really awesome suggestion for combining mindfulness with external self-care! Love it!

  • This is such a wonderful self-care ritual! I love how it actively incorporates attention to the senses!

  • This is very similar to the ritual that my stylist does before I start my haircut. It always makes me feel so good, it only makes sense to do it for myself at home, too!

  • Yes! Fall is always a time to start new, healthy habits. As the days get shorter, it feels like there’s less time in our days, but our nights are longer. What better time than evening to be good to yourself?

  • Thank you. I am at a place right now where I need these reminders. This ritual sounds lovely, and necessary for so many days where it just doesn’t feel like it will end (until you decide to be done). Rituals provide doorways to new spaces in our minds. Starting this tonight.

  • I need some me-time, desperately, after an overseas move from South Africa to Florida a couple of months ago and basically starting life over. I’ve been following the self-care series, also incorporating yoga, and it makes a huge difference in my day. Thank you!

  • Such a beautiful ritual and beautiful reminder to treat ourselves! Now is the perfect time to start investing in ourselves. Have a wonderful day!

  • I just discovered this amazing website and this uplifting concept of self-care. Although I no longer have kids living with me, running my own business from home can be very high stress, and I usually start the day with a long list of worries.

    I want to change my perception of those worries into opportunities, and I just know this beautiful ritual will help

  • I’m loving this self-care series. I need to make more of an effort to create mindful routines for myself, and this is great inspiration.

  • Thank you for posting. Since becoming a mom, I remind myself that self-care benefits my whole family!

  • Thanks for posting the self care series! It’s so important to appreciate ones body. :)

  • I love this form of mindfulness and I felt a sense of calmness just reading this. I’m going to try it now.

  • Even just reading this calmed me down!

    It’s easy to forget that when I’m stressed, I tend to stress the people around me, so this is super important for me AND for my family.

  • Even after some time away from practicing self care regularly this is a nice reminder you can always return/self care can a!ways be there!

  • We all need to remember to take a little time for ourselves so thank you for the reminder. I’m a little more relaxed just reading through this exercise and I can’t wait to try it!

  • What a great reminder to take care of myself, especially now, when I feel so overwhelmed both at work and at home. Thank you, thank you. Peace and blessings.

  • Our body and spirit are our best investments. I am thankful for this series…. And I am excited that my faves, Design Sponge and Aveda, are bringing us lessons in love!

  • I’ve never thought to just use olive oil, which of course we already keep well-stocked for cooking. What an easy idea to implement as well! I can always find 10 minutes to relax, but rarely do because there’s nothing to accomplish in that time to make it feel necessary. With a clear goal of doing this exercise for 10 minutes, it’s much more likely I will actually do it instead of filling the time with more to-dos.

  • so glad to read this reminder to create time for self-care in the mornings. I usually rush through washing my face and going straight to minimal makeup, definitely needed to read this!

  • Aveda products always feel like a treat, which I guess is a form of self-care in itself, right?!

  • I used to use Aveda products all the time, but have a harder time getting since we moved in 2000. I have been dealing with hives as a response to the stress hormones in my body and have been trying to control them without going back on prednisone. I think your technique sounds like a great way to start the day and one that I will have to adopt. Thank you.

  • Newbie here-I am actually on day 2 of a full blown cold but I sat down and did the exercise with the oil and I feel (especially my face and sinuses) so much better! Thank you!

  • I have an essential oil burner in my preschool classroom. Most people who enter always say it smells so nice and it adds to the calming environment.

  • I’ve had to look at doing things like buying and applying lotion as a necessity and not an unnecessary indulgence as I feel so much better mentally and physically when I do this.

  • I do enjoy centering myself daily. The addition of oils and massage is a lovely excercise. I can already smell what ever my adored Aveda company might have chosen as a scent for this new line of products! Thanks for offering the gift!

  • Thanks for the reminder to take a few minutes to relax and unwind and just care for oneself each day. It can be really hard to remember sometimes, but imagine how positive the world could be if everyone could have this as a daily ritual.

  • It’s been great to read the lessons :) I’ve just had a baby and i’m now a mother of two. It’s been awesome but tiring, so the lessons have been my “me” time for the past weeks. Thank you so much!

  • This is great! With the winter months and shorter days coming, I know I will need something to keep my spirits up.

  • With a very stressful commute and work situation, I can use all the calmness at the start of the day that I can find. I’m getting relaxed just thinking about trying it!

  • As a new mom to boy girl twins, self-care is something I’m learning the deep importance of. I love Aveda and would love to win this giveaway!!


  • This goes hand in hand with the daily yoga I’ve been practicing this month. As a small business owner, time is precious and time for myself is almost non-existent. Thank you for the chance to experience something new.

  • Relax, refresh, meditate and breathe. We all need some downtime. A good reminder for us all. gb

  • (corrected comment)

    This self care ritual sounds wonderful, I admit I don’t take enough time for myself most days.

  • Anything that stops the onslaught of distraction in our lives and brings us into the present is awesome. I love this!

  • I love how practical and doable these instructions are. The “See ya later, Ms. Doubt!,” is genius. ;-)

  • “Live the questions now,” is a quote from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet that I have been turning to over and over again. It is a reminder for me to stay present, to relish in the uncertainty that is everyday, and to seek curiosity and peace and vicacity in every moment. I am working to build my self-care and daily rituals around this phrase– for me, it is a kind of mantra, and a way of centering myself, which isn’t always easy. Thank you for sharing this series and this post– in these times, amid our frantic world, it is so critical to seek peace and take time.

  • Even as a massage therapist i dont do enough to take care of SELF – especially first thing in the morning. Thank you for this reminder ?

  • Thank you! Grateful for the reminder for self care. Funny how we have no problem rushing off to help others but feel guilty to take a little time for ourselves.

  • Definitely have to try this morning ritual. I love that it combines the conscious breath with some meditative concepts (letting your thoughts pass through) as well as the physical self care!!

  • A wonderful and timely post. I’m enjoy reading about self-care from the Design Sponge team. As many times as I commit to treat myself as well as I treat others, I need reminders like yours to keep me on track. Thanks to Aveda for their lovely contribution too!

  • What I have learned is that I create all the prosperity, grace, healing and abundance in my life. It comes from within me and manifests outside of me. I’m extremely blessed to have learned this lesson. Thank you to all of my benevolent and loving teachers and guides!

  • Now that my husband has hit the 5 year mark and considered cured, I can relax a bit and begin to care for myself again. This ritual is a perfect way to begin a new day!

  • Thank you—for a great post and important reminder to focus on ourselves early in the day. Cheers!

  • I am currently pregnant and finding self care to be a challenge, but just reading the description of that one daily ritual made me feel more relaxed. I will be making an effort to incorporate this into my daily routine!

  • Thanks for the instructions, and for the reminder to take some time to care for myself! Aveda products are a staple in my house, and I’m excited to see them subscribe to Ayurvedic practices.

  • Love the idea of this self massage – I moved recently too so my monthly massages have been seriously reduced. Thank you!

  • My husband and I just agreed this morning that we must learn to manage our stress. This looks like a great way to begin. Thank you.

  • My 8 year old daughter has asthma and suffers from a lot of anxiety because of it. We’ve been working on rituals like this to help ease her mind and soothe the irritations that come up, before and after her attacks. We loved this with a drop of lavender. Thank you so much!

  • My younger daughter is a true practioner and ambassador of “self-care”. She has been encouraging me to indulge! This may just send me over the edge :-). That will certainly make her happy (and hopefully me too).

  • This sounds like a great idea, I wonder could I get into this routine. I have long term chronic illness so anything that relaxes my body is fantastic. I have been wanting to try Aveda products, so thank you for the chance.

  • I think I will give the ritual a try, whether I win it or not. All the best , have a great day!!

  • I used to think of myself as a very aware, grounded person who didn’t need a lot of fuss and nonsense. The older I get, though, the more I appreciate the absolute necessity of self-care. Kindness to yourself inside and out leads to more positive things in all areas of life.

  • A little “me” time always sounds perfect! Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity!

  • I just changed jobs to better focus my passion in my life, rather than in my work.
    My energy is now for my loved ones and myself. Self care is no longer something to be pushed aside for later.

  • Finding time to pamper ourselves these days gets harder and harder, but we must constantly slough off the dead petals of stress, and nurture the blossoms within. Bloom, ladies. Just remember everyday to find time to bloom.

  • What a great message and a positive opportunity to be good to ourselves each and every day. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Thank you for the reminder.
    I tell myself to Stop. Breathe and be silent. Its rare that I do it.
    The olive oil in a bowl is really a cool idea.

  • As an elder, recently retired and unexpectedly feeling a little lost, I can see how a little self care, both first thing in the morning and before bedtime at night can help center me and help me adjust to this new and what I hope, will be a wonderful stage in my life.

  • What a great reminder to be kind to ourselves. Thank you for encouraging us to pause and take time out for self-care.

  • Yes please! I love the smell of aced a products, takes me away to a place of relaxation.

  • A morning meditation is the way I start my day. I might just have to add this to my ritual…if I have the time. Thanks for the reminder about self care!

  • I am a creature of ritual and the morning and evening ones are the loveliest–the aroma and flavor of my daily fresh coffee, savored quietly with the morning crossword; making the bed; the getting ready rituals. Throughout the day, I practice active gratitude, a ritual in itself. I am immediately grateful for finding this link and having the opportunity to express my joy!

  • Love Aveda – I can’t wait to try this oil kit and routine. And it’s such beautiful packaging :) The Tulasara concentrates look yummy too

  • I take steps every day to peace of mind: breathing, silent appreciation of what is good in my life, kindness to strangers. These are lessons I have gratefully learned.

  • This sounds so lovely! I think it’s time to stop rushing through everything and take a little care and attention to ourselves.
    Being in the moment.

  • I began using Aveda many years ago as an augment to my therapy for depression. I believe aromatherapy and “touch” therapy to be vital to the care of oneself, but particular to the body that has become stressed by illness.

    I felt myself breathing more slowly and my shoulders relaxing just reading the steps to this precious self-care ritual.
    Aveda has helped to heal my mind, body…not to mention given me gorgeous hair.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • The method of releasing thoughts in the last paragraph is beautiful — thank you for sharing this! I’m going to start practicing this tonight!

  • That creamy yellow teacup with white raised blossoms was one of many self care moments in design sponge today. I am so intrigued by the idea of using the brush with the oil in the Aveda set and love how their products smell. I’m all about spa rituals and this is one I would absolutely love to check out. I also love the Aveda tea with mint and fennel/ licorice, speaking of calming self care.

  • So good! I am now a mother of two so I need these reminders to make some time for myself. Thank you!

  • Thank you for this. I can add this to my daily mindfulness meditation and routine.

  • I am so curious about this oil, I’m in love with Aveda scents and love oil massage!

  • Thank you for the reminder. When life is crazy (and it always is) taking care of ourselves is the first thing to go and yet the most necessary.

  • Thanks for the giveaway and encouraging all of us to spend more time on ourselves!

  • Thank you for the post! New to this (both the exercise and the series), but, as someone who often wakes up with a to do list at the front my mind, I appreciate the encouragement for some me time to start my day. Thank you for practicing and preaching!

  • Lovely reminder that self care is as much about restoration and preservation as it is about relaxation.

    After all, if we don’t take care to replenish our own vessels, then what will we have to give to others?

    Still, I catch myself treating my own self care like a gift–one of which I am worthy maybe a couple days a year. Thank you for reminding me that beautiful rituals like this can be part of my daily life!

  • I have wanted to try massage techniques for quite awhile and these are super easy to follow! Thanks so much!

  • I love the idea of taking the time to sit and take care of me. What a plus to finish with a lovely scent to ground you during the day.

  • This was so helpful! Good idea before this day begins….Thank you and thank you Aveda!

  • Oh, that glorious yellow teacup and saucer! What a joy that would be to drink tea from. I started adding time for meditating to my daily planner and it’s made such a difference in all areas of my life. I’m a better wife and mother when my mind is clear of all the chatter.

  • Just reading the instructions had me breathing deeper and slower. What a lovely practice. I live in Aveda land (they manufacture in my town) and had never heard of this. Love it.

  • I love the idea of taking the time to sit and take care of me. What a plus to finish with a lovely scent to ground you during the day.

  • This practice would help me ease into mindfulness and meditation: two things I’ve been promising myself that I would make time for. Thanks Aveda!

  • While I appreciate that young women need time for themselves away from young children and other pressures, I am realizing that as an older woman I need to take the same time to be quietly with myself. This would be a wonderful ritual to begin or end (or both!) a day with.

  • Thank you for this beautiful reminder that we must care for ourselves first, before anything or anyone else. I love that this ritual incorporates breathing and oil, my go-to soother for hair and skin.

  • I love Aveda and as a social worker am trying to learn to take better care of myself!

  • I love the direction you women are moving in. This new collaboration creates an interesting intersection of two aspects of elements that have been a part of my world for years now: following Design Sponge as a relevant source of inspiration & my magnificent obsession with Aveda products.
    A humble but deeply sincere “thank you”.

  • Aptly timed post as my chiropractor taught me how to massage the adhesions in my jawline this week. I think it might be less painful with this ritual and oils.

  • I love oil face massage, I usually do it in the evening while laying in bed to help me fall asleep. I will be trying this ritual in the morning to better prepare myself for what lies ahead in the day!

  • I’m excited to give my body(and mind) the pampering it deserves. Thanks Design Sponge!!!

  • This sounds amazing. It would be a perfect Sunday night ritual to start the week.

  • Such a relaxing routine. I need something like this to keep me focused and ready to take on the day!

  • I have always loved Aveda products – their scents are so natural and refreshing. I am going to give this a try in the morning – thanks!

  • I set my alarm 15 minutes early to start incorporating this self-care step to start off my day.

  • I feel so lucky to have come across this series. It’s like finding a supportive friend who sincerely cares for your well being and wants you to care as well.

  • i get covered with tons of grime throughout the day because of my work (jewelry/metalwork) and my hobby (trail running), and i don’t mind being dirty, but i’ve recently come to love getting clean at the end of the day, vs feeling like it’s another chore. those aveda scents obviously are a huge incentive, my favorites are anything rosemary mint and the “be curly” co-wash. <3

  • I love facial massage! Not only is it relaxing and beautifying it works well to move stagnant lymphatic fluid, leading to increased well-being and health.

  • I have never done anything even remotely close to facial massage. And I am seriously flawed at self-care. I promise to give this a try. Thank you for sharing this with us. Aveda used to be my favorite shampoo – I got away from it, and I still miss it. Appreciating the reminder so that I seek their products out again.

  • Lovely exercise. Relaxed face, relaxed body, relaxed mind. I love Aveda products, they are the best for my 70 year old hair, my skin, my body. Thank you!

  • thanks for acknowledging that some feel uncomfortable with the privilege associated with such self-care — but you’re totally right that it’s important to take such time for yourself. love this all!

    • Hi Sofia

      Thanks for your note. I just wanted to say that I spent a long two years struggling with the privilege issue. I was very judge-y about all things self care and saw the whole thing as “pampering” in a not-so-good way. I grew up below the poverty line and I wanted to be sensitive to that issue. I’m so glad that came through!

      Thanks again –


  • drinking a cup of aveda’s comforting tea is a very good way to show oneself some love, that stuff is the best.

  • Thanks for emphasizing the importance of caring for ourselves. I am loving this series. Taking the time for stress relieving rituals makes me much more productive and calm :-)

  • I always feel so good when I give myself some time for self-care, but the problem is I wait too long to do it!

  • I’m 71 years old and feel like it is finally time for “self care”. I will pay closer attention to the spa products at my next Aveda appointment (haircut). Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  • I had lost myself for so many years ‘ just Recently found the power of deep breathing & this massage is awesome. Until I can afford Aveda oils I’ll have to stay w/olive oil. I know what I’ll be putting on my Christmas list. Thank you from someone who needed this because I had lost all hope

  • Harmony between body and mind is very important. The tips, rituals and the new product of yours will let to reach that harmony. It is very important to find time for yourself to calm the mind. :}

  • This sounds amazing. I can’t wait to try it. I love the smell of Aveda products. Their salon’s always smell amazing!

  • I’m new in the self consious rutine and I’d tried this morning. It was so relaxing and calming that I will do every morning. Thanks for your experience!

  • First of all I want to say great blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself
    and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting
    my ideas out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems
    like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually
    lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?

    • You just have to put your pen to the paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and write stream of consciousness. It will eventually make sense. When you pause to read it, you’ll begin to naturally edit it and distill it down to what you were feeling/thinking.


  • Your blog series is both encouraging and inspiring. Its helping me to remember a mantra I wrote to help keep me moving toward personal growth…

    Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, and Live Life on Purpose