7 Easy Tips to a Jamu Lifestyle - Social Distancing Edition
So…life has taken a turn for most of us, if not all of us, in this age of staying at home to collectively fight the spread of a pandemic. I view it as a necessary sacrifice I'm willing to make for the health of everyone, for as long as it is required. However, I'm also committed to making this transition as gentle and self-caring to myself and my community as I can make it. So - how does one remain a good member of society that takes on responsibilities of social distancing and staying at home, yet at the same time remain a sense of calm, balance, and wellbeing? This is not just for pampering or self-indulgence purposes. This is for our actual health maintenance: to the degree that we can reduce stress and anxiety, the more our bodies, minds, and loved ones will thank us as we will be able to embody a happier and more supportive version of ourselves.
How? By embracing rituals, to start. It's easy to think "oh, rituals, isn't that just the fancy word for having routines?" Sort of. Yes, technically they are practices we do repeat but done with intentionality and purpose. You can "ritualize" a routine such as taking 2 mindless minutes to wash and moisturize your face as a chore and transform it into a 2-minute ritual just by reframing the action: These 2 minutes are about you taking care of the biggest organ on your body, and you're maintaining its health so it can take care of you. You can even add a few deep breaths and a quick facial massage while applying moisturizer to make this a rejuvenating or relaxing (your choice) moment of the day, versus a mindless task. I'll bet those 2 minutes will feel much more satisfying - even improving your mood after, and everyone benefits.
When we're all at home, we could use some rituals to add both structure and balance to our lives, especially when the days start to blur. Here's a list of suggested mini-rituals that trigger self-care in a week, inspired by the Jamu lifestyle – incorporating some natural ingredients that are used in our eastern, Indonesian medicinal tradition. Of course, you can mix up the days since many of us do now anyway, but this might make them easy to remember!
Be aware of your body and love it. Take care of it. Since going out for a full body massage is not an option, give yourself a neck massage, even a hand massage (oh those texting thumbs!) since we may be tense from having more screen time at home now. Always good – a gentle face massage, especially with our JUARA Rose Quartz Facial Massage Roller or even your fingers. The point is you are important, and a massage can not only increase circulation and relax muscles which could use a break, but it is also mentally relaxing and rejuvenating.
(Or Tamarind, or Tea… )Toss a little of that bright orange root in your food! It can be as simple as adding some turmeric powder in your eggs, or making a turmeric latte. The point is turmeric has health properties and is high in antioxidants, it’s a core Jamu ingredient and it’s good for you as an overall health booster. Time at home also allows for adventures in the kitchen. Turmeric cooking tips: it tastes best when your food has some fat in it, whether oil or coconut milk. It helps with flavor and makes the benefits more bioavailable.
Take a yoga class online or meditate (I've recommended Headspace or Calm.) Or something that helps your body strengthen and stretch, become in tune with itself, as well as relax with purposeful breathing. If you’re new and it seems like a lot to have a daily practice, well, start with Wednesday because why not? It’s just as good as any other day! But the point is – just start doing something that takes care of your mind, body, and breathing. It’s a powerfully calming and self-balancing practice.
Why wait for Thanksgiving when you can be thankful every Thursday? (Or every day, actually.) Research does show that being grateful for what you do have can help your happiness and sense of satisfaction as it helps you focus on the present and on appreciation, rather than wanting more. This helps our brains compensate for its natural tendency to focus on worries, threats, and negative states - and we could really use distraction from bad news nowadays, especially on things we cannot control.
FRIENDS ON FRIDAY:
TGIF - or can it be Friday everyday? Now it can! Social distancing is not emotional distancing. A call or healthy chat session with a friend is always good to nourish yourself. There is research that also shows people with strong social, high-quality relationships with others are associated with living healthier, happier, and longer than their peers who are less socially connected. It is also good for your brain, especially in your 80’s. Your brain’s memories stay sharper longer – barring other conditions affecting it, vs memories of those who don’t have other people to rely on. Oh heck, make this a practice to do more than just Friday!
Well, this could go many ways – but we’re suggesting that you spice up your Saturday with actual spices! Jamu is full of healthy ingredients that can be easy to add to meals and drinks – cinnamon is great for those who have to manage their blood sugar levels, chili pepper is not only yummy but also full of vitamins (and great if you have stuffed sinuses to clear it…) Ginger is naturally antibacterial and great if made into a tea for upset tummies, the list goes on and on. Experiment with your spice cabinet! There’s a reason Jamu has lasted centuries as an empirically proven health tradition using herbs and spices not only for flavor but for healing! People in Indonesia still rely on Jamu, whether sold in pharmacies or home-brewed at markets, for maintaining health. Curious to try authentic Jamu? Try our Red Ginger Jamu co-created with a fourth-generation Jamu creator in Indonesia, to warm and soothe the body.
SOFT SKIN SUNDAYS:
Take care of that skin and get ready for the new week to come! Enjoy a JUARA Face Ritual and a mask and indulge in a treat for your body. Of course, this doesn’t have to be once a week either, but give your skin extra TLC 1-2 times a week to maintain optimal hydration, smoothness, and health. This isn’t only for your face but your entire body – treat yourself to a luxurious body scrub like with our Invigorating Coffee Scrub and finish with the Ginger Coffee Firming Treatment for that extra caffeine kick to firm and smooth skin, and our JUARA facial masks – I like double masking – using 2 masks one after the other when I really want that purifying with the Rose & Willowbark Blemish-Free Mask followed by a deeply hydrating, winter-dryness busting Java Plum & Avocado Moisture Mask.
Again, all these can be practiced every day and any day, but once a week is a good start! Enjoy!