Words by Tully Walter
Biologically speaking, the season of spring ushers in feelings of renewal, excitement and optimism. Planning long weekends, warm-weather wardrobes and soaking up that much-needed vitamin D provides the delicious boost of happiness and hopefulness that can be so radical scientists refer to it as spring fever.
Things feel remarkably less spring-y here in Melbourne, 2020. Covid-19 has been an emotional rollercoaster at best, an emotional dump truck for most. With a barrage of bad news and cancelled plans, a collective heartbreak for friends and industries doing it tough and the seemingly never-ending lockdowns, those feelings of fatigue, flatness and full-body funk are very real. Don’t get me started on the searing jealousy of seeing those interstate friends now soaking up the sunshine and spritzers (Happy for you though! I’m just popping your Instagram on mute for a bit.)
With Melbourne’s stay at home orders extended until the end of October, the team at Makers' Mrkt are dialling up our self-care routines. By self-care, I’m talking less from the Gwyneth Paltrow playbook and more about the minimal effort, everyday mood boosters. Think acts of self-kindness and little rituals to help you feel that metaphorical spring in your step while you’re still stuck at home.
5 Stay at Home Mood Boosters
1, The Power of Scent
We love the transformative power of scent. Infusing a room with a fragrance, which has a famously powerful ability to evoke a place or memory, can soothe or invigorate the mind and remind ourselves of the world beyond our walls.
A morning wash with Fazeek’s Australian Botanical Bush soap will do just that. Combining notes of lemon myrtle, pine and eucalyptus, this soap invokes the calm of the bush and the spirit of adventure. Equal parts grounding and invigorating, this soap is escapism and comfort wrapped up in one gorgeous little package.
2, Make Your Bed
Your Mum was right! (Again.) Last week, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth advised people struggling with Melbourne's extended lockdown to make their beds to help boost their mental health. And while fluffing pillows might seem a touch futile at the moment, the magic is in ticking off some achievable goals.
"It sounds so simple, but if you get into some structure and routine for the next two weeks while the stage four restrictions are still in place in metro Melbourne and the surrounds, those sorts of achievable goals and structure can be very important to keep you on track,” Dr Coatsworth said.
3, Bring the Outdoors In
Not just the slogan for peaceful protests of the 1960s, flower power describes the magical ability of flowers to make people happy, strengthen feelings of compassion, foster creativity and even provide a boost of energy! A 2018 research from the University of North Florida’s Department of Public Health found that living alongside flowers contributed to reduced levels of stress. So in the name of mother nature’s own mood-boosters, support your local florist or take a forage in the backyard to bring some outdoors in!
For a steer on what’s blooming in September, we love styling the architectural extra-ness of wattle, cherry blossom and gladioli and the sunny optimism of gerberas, poppies and the humble daisy - the original icon of peace.
4 Light some Candles and set a #mood
Ayurvedic medicine emphasises the importance of our connection to the rhythms of nature to maintain a healthy body and mind. However, busy schedules, lockdowns, and Netflix accounts make rising with the sun and resting with the moon sound a bit more in line with Game of Thrones than 2020. One great evening hack to support your circadian rhythm is minimising the overhead lighting and subbing in some old school, mood lighting. Nothing sets the tone quite like switching on some lamps, or better still, lighting some candles.
Setting the table for dinner is a beautiful act of care for yourself or someone you love. Whether ordering in or cooking at home - setting up and sitting down for a meal can be a transportive little luxury. We love Black Blaze Pillar Candles for some dining table drama and we love that they're a natural way to calm yourself for a peaceful night’s rest.
5, Soak In the Bath
“I am sure there are things that can’t be cured by a good bath, but I can’t think of one,” wrote Sylvia Plath in her 1963 novel, The Bell Jar.
For an extra dose of mood boost to your soak, combine a half-cup of Epsom salts with a half-cup of baking soda. Since Epsom salts are another name for magnesium sulfate, this bath will not only remove toxins from your body, but it will also help boost magnesium levels, in turn helping to boost serotonin levels in the brain.
You can also drink wine in the bath. And Melbourne, we think you deserve it.