In a relationship? Why not try creating a little romance right at home? Single? All the more reason to practice a little self love. Here are Catherine’s top tips:
Pack a picnic – prepare a basket of delights that are easy to eat and can be packed up and taken outside. Think strawberries, dark chocolate or oysters, honey, figs, avocado and banana – all said to have aphrodisiac-like properties. Lay a table cloth on the grass, whip out your spread and share some quality ‘me’ time or with someone special in your life. When you’re done, you can sit back and do some star-gazing, read a good book or simply relax.
Aromatherapy – the age old art of using pure essential oils to enhance your surroundings, your mood, your body care and much more. Well known for ‘romance’ are rose oil, ylang ylang and jasmine which are all extracted from the blossoms – the actual flowers. With up to 5000 kg of rose petals needed to produce a mere 1 kg of pure essential oil, this oil can fetch up to $10,000 per kg – which is beyond the budget for most of us. Whilst these floral oils are all heavenly, some people are not drawn to highly floral oils and instead, prefer something more subtle and earthy. Why not consider these more affordable substitutes including rose-geranium, black pepper and patchouli which are all readily available online and can also be found in some health food stores and pharmacies. Use 3-5 drops of your chosen oil in a burner or vaporiser, or add your drops to a teaspoon of cream or yoghurt (this will help the essential oils disperse when you add them to water) then add to a warm bath. No oils? No problem. Herbal tea bags are perfect – use 2 or 3 teabags in the bath water – chamomile flowers, marshmallow or any ‘sleepy’ blend will work fine. Allow the teabags to steep for 5 minutes before you soak.
Massage – if baths and picnics don’t tickle your fancy, why not try giving yourself (or your love) a massage? Use 5 drops of any of the oils mentioned here, or a blend of all 3. If you don’t have access to essential oils, use the inside of a vanilla pod (at supermarkets) or 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla paste or extract and mix with 1 tablespoon of sweet almond, grapeseed or any organic, edible oil. Try massaging your legs, arms, décolletage and abdomen – basically, where ever you can reach. This time out for self-care can help boost self esteem and soothe dry skin.