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10 beauty and wellness things to do instead of being anxious about COVID-19


TextAlex Peters

From Netflix shows to homemade face masks to yoga classes and virtual galleries, here’s some ways to unwind during this tense time

Many of us around the world are currently facing the prospect of an indefinite period of social distancing and self-isolation. You may well have been doing it for weeks already. And it takes its toll. The relentless news, the uncertainty around the future, the loneliness, the concern about loved ones, the added stress on our jobs or studies. None of us are immune to the anxiety this toxic combination can cultivate. This is why now, more than ever, we need new ways to connect with another in solidarity.

Earlier this month, Dazed launched #AloneTogether – a space where our community of peers, collaborators and readers can share ideas, open dialogues and stay connected through creativity in this period of isolation. Expect beauty tutorials, exercise classes, and mental health check-ins, while over on Dazed there will be everything from live DJ sets streamed straight to your bedroom to wholesome recipes and viewing parties. 

Beyond that, we want to help you with things you can do right now to calm you, uplift you and help you take your mind off everything happening around you. We hope that you will find some comfort in it.  

TAKE A FITNESS CLASS

While some of us are lucky enough to have a daily exercise allowance as part of our lockdown, many don’t have the same privilege. It’s important to stay active and online workout classes are a great way to stay fit from your living room.

If you are interested in yoga, why not try out a lesson with Chroma Yoga or with Do.om Yoga. Or join a livestream class with Dr Nitasha Buldeo, founder of Organic Apoteke and I-Yoga, who is offering free weekly sessions on her Facebook page.

Alternatively, Dolly Trolley is offering free Drag Aerobic classes every Wednesday. Chiyo is doing free livestream kickbox cardio sessions on Instagram every Tuesday and Thursday. Or you could workout with principal dancer at New York City Ballet, Tiler Peck who has been livestreaming her daily workouts.

TRY A MAKE-UP TUTORIAL

Now’s the time to get experimental with your make-up, since you have the time to be creative and no one will see you if it all goes horribly wrong.

Why not create your own version of this Matty Bovan look.

Get messy with Lara McGrath.

Or go all out with Aquaria and this weeping Virgin Mary look.

LISTEN TO THIS PLAYLIST

While we can sadly no longer visit the Barbican’s exhibition Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, centring on masculinity and featuring work from artists including Robert Mapplethorpe, David Wojnarowiz and Catherine Opie, there are a number of ways to still experience it.

Listen to this playlist which explores how musicians have dealt with the subject of masculinity.

Watch this film from Nowness where Bunny Kinney borrows from the exhibition’s themes to create a playful, pastel-hued, talking-heads film exploring gender roles, patriarchy and hegemonic masculinity.

Read this piece about Catherine Opie speaking on her seminal career.

Read this piece exploring how the female image-makers in the show approach the multifaceted male experience in their work.

DO A FACE MASK

Skincare might seem like a trivial thing while the world around us is in crisis but it’s important to take time for yourself and touching and grooming yourself has proven mental health benefits.

Tommy Genesis swears by Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. “You can get it for like five dollars and it’s amazing. I mix it with apple cider vinegar, it smells kind of crazy but it really works.”

You can also DIY it with ingredients from your fridge. Dazed project manager Jade Mordente uses this recipe which she then leaves on for 15 minutes.

Yoghurt: fights acne, dissolves dead skin cells, prevents premature aging, moisturising ⁣
Honey: filled with antioxidants, antiseptic and antibacterial properties, keeps your pores free from dirt and oil, boosts complexion ⁣
Sweet Orange: gives you a glow and encourages collagen production ⁣
CBD: anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and deeply, deeply hydrating. Add three drops under your tongue too. ⁣

TAKE PART IN A VIRTUAL WASH DAY

Now that we can’t make it to our favourite salons, many stylists are starting to host virtual wash day parties to help us maintain our hair and recreate that salon vibe from the comfort of our bedrooms.

Winnie Awa and the team at Antidote Street are hosting a Deep Condition Dance Party this Sunday (April 5). You can join live with your DCDP routine, products and tunes and the team will be sending some personalised Antidote Street DCDP kits out to those who use #DCDP after too.

Hair stylist and trichologist Ebuni Ajiduah is also hosting weekly virtual wash days every Sunday. All you need to do is wash your hair and sit down with her on Zoom with your comb and products at the ready.

If you are looking for some additional tips on how to care for your afro hair while in isolation, hairstylist Kemi Akinbola is here to help. Read this to find out everything you need to know.

WATCH THE GOOP LAB ON NETFLIX

Goop has seen its fair share of controversy in its time and we can’t say we endorse all of their recommendations or products. For example, if you have a vagina, please don’t steam-clean it. Having said that, the brand’s recent Netflix show The Goop Lab is actually quite good. Hosted by founder Gwyneth Paltrow and chief content officer Elise Loehnen, over the course of six episodes the show explores alternative wellness practices ranging from psychedelics to cold exposure therapy.

In episode three, the Goop team delve into the topic of female sexual pleasure and with the help of sex educator Betty Dodson take a hard look at the ways that women are taught to think of their sexuality and desire and how we can begin to unpack that and learn to love ourselves and our bodies.

As Amelia Abraham wrote in her review of the series, it's interesting, seemingly well-researched and enjoyable, “an informative wellness documentary that could open up some new possibilities for people struggling with their physical or mental health.”

LISTEN TO A GUIDED MEDITATION

Since we are stuck in lockdown, we may as well take this time as an opportunity to pause, reflect, and disconnect. Meditation gives us the opportunity to look inwards, concentrate on ourselves and learn the tools to help us cope with stress and anxiety.

Many meditation platforms have started hosting live sessions in response to the pandemic, including Ten Percent Happier and Beeja. They also both offer guided meditations on their podcasts.

Try this session with Giselle La Pompe-Moore, a meditation teacher and founder of meditation practice Project Ajna.

The Healthflix is also a resource, offering live interactive classes for free covering topics including breathing, meditation and yoga.

Or branch out into further wellness practices including sound healing and astrology readings with wellness brand She’s Lost Control. The brand has taken its events online for the first time and are running them as 'Pay-What-You-Can'. See the schedule here.

CREATE A CRAZY WIG

Get creative with this V&A wig design tool which allows you to create the ornate Rococo hairstyle of your wildest dreams. It’s beyond satisfying.

If you are interested in learning more about wigs, read this piece exploring the history of the eternal hair trend.

MASSAGE YOURSELF

Being touched brings us all sorts of physical and mental benefits, from releasing serotonin and oxytocin to reducing blood pressure. While in isolation, create these benefits by massaging yourself. Here are some tips from Renata Nunes, a trained physiotherapist, acupuncturist and masseuse.

Use a clean toothbrush to gently stroke the neck muscles downwards towards the shoulders, and up from your jaw to the cheekbone. Press very softly and do as often as required.

Take a small-medium towel and roll it into a long sausage. Hold it at each end so that it cradles the base of your head, top of your neck, and relax your head into the towel. Keep the weight of your head in the towel. Twist the towel from side to side to rock the head. You can also roll the towel up your neck for extra massage.

Use 4-5 drops of facial oil and massage along your jaw and neck. Keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth whilst doing this, with teeth apart but lips closed for maximum effect.

Press some useful acupressure points. With fingers closed and your thumb beside your index fingers, press the ‘mountain’ of skin which forms at the bottom of your thumb crease firmly and keep pressed for 1 minute. Breathe deeply, relax shoulders. It is very good for neck pain, but do not do if you’re pregnant.

The other point is at the outer side of your hand. Curl your fingers, and follow where the bottom knuckle of your little finger is into the palm of your hand, between two creases of skin. Press firmly and when you do this, move your head from side to side, roll your head, and try not to hunch your shoulders whilst doing this. 

ENJOY THIS FRIDA KAHLO EXHIBITION

Just because you can’t go to a museum or gallery doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying art. There are many exciting digital art exhibitions that you can explore, including Frida Kahlo’s I Portray Myself which focuses on the ways the artist reveals aspects of her own self through her artwork.

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