When the month of February comes around, our minds go to chocolate, cards, and flowers. We don’t normally associate much else with the month, aside from perhaps the long weekend we get during President’s Day. It turns out, February was a carefully crafted month on the Roman calendar.
The word February derives from a blend of two Latin words: februum, which means purification, and februa, which refers to instruments used for purification purposes. The objective was to remedy the overindulgence from prior months and to ready the body for spring. The method, however, was slightly radical.
The Roman tradition included cleaning the house with salt and spelt, along with a tradition we’ll call the goatskin nude dash. This tradition involving practically nude men running around the city with goatskin pelts in hand was believed to promote fertility whilst purifying the city.
Fortunately, there are other ways you can help to detach from the indulgent habits of the holidays and renew just in time for Spring. Since this entire month revolves around purification, it’s important to point out that purity is both internal and external. We’ll touch on internal health next week, but here are a few of our favorite ways to cleanse and promote external purification:
1. Burn Negativity Out Of Your Life—Literally
You may have heard the terms “smoke cleansing” or “saging” before. If not, this practice involves burning an herb, wood, or incense that contains cleansing properties and wafting the smoke to cleanse an area or particular item. The purpose is to cleanse any negative energy out of your space and allow positive energy to flow into it. This practice can also prove beneficial by offering a relaxing, therapeutic effect. Some other benefits may include improved sleep and revitalized energy.
If smoke cleansing isn’t your jam, try aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of naturally extracted plants and herbs that are either cold-pressed or distilled into oils, and taken either topically or via inhalation from the air. Various oils serve different purposes, but the benefits can range from pain management to relief of anxiety or depression.
2. Take a Bath
One of the best ways to remove the impurities from the day is by rinsing them away. Whether you’re a shower or a bath lover, either will do the trick. Since February is a month centered around extra self-care, we say run yourself a nice bath. Round up some Epsom salt, sprinkle in some flower petals, pick out a soothing playlist and unwind. If you’re feeling extra kind, extend this same courtesy to your significant other. Run them a nice, relaxing bath. Don’t forget to use luke-warm water instead of scalding hot, and keep skin hydrated by following up with body oil immediately after you’re done.
3. Detox Your Makeup and Skincare Products
Touching on the purification of the body, this one can also trickle into internal health. When we take our makeup off at the end of the day, unless you are using safe products, you are also removing impurities from your makeup products. If your products are chemical-laden, they can be hormone-disrupting and cause issues for your skin and organs, as makeup products and skincare products do get absorbed into the skin gradually throughout the day.
If you haven’t already, make February the month to get an early start on the Spring cleaning of your makeup drawer. Learn about what each ingredient in your products means and the purpose they serve (especially those tricky ingredients that are hard to pronounce). If it isn’t safe, it isn’t worthy of being on your skin.
4. “Spring Clean” More Than Once Per Year
Good external health not only refers to the cleanliness of the physical body, it also includes maintaining cleanliness in our living space. When our home is maintained, it keeps germs at bay and reduces the chance of illness. You may even notice reduced allergy symptoms due to the removal of dust and pollen carried in from the outdoors that were agitating your sinuses. Other benefits of a clean living space include improved focus and better quality of sleep resulting from the cleaner air.
To help maintain clean air, consider investing in an air purifier. An air purifier removes harmful chemicals and pollutants from the outside air, and drastically reduces the amount of pollen and dust you’d normally inhale. We recommend a HEPA filtration system, which stands for high-efficiency particulate air filter. These systems can remove upwards of 99% of harmful or irritating particles from the air.
We hope these tips inspire you to indulge in the self-care you deserve this month! Let us know your favorite self-care tips, we would love to hear them!