Tag Archive for: self-care

Best Hair Salon Tips for Your Post-Summer Hair

There’s no doubt about it, this summer has been a hot one. We’ve beached, pooled, road tripped, ate and drank all the things, and ultimately – had ourselves the exact kind of hot girl summer we’ve been craving the last few years. But all of the fun aside, this summer has taken a beating on our hair. Before we officially enter sherpa fleece season, a hair reset is a must. If you’re with us on that, read through our tips for repairing your sun-bleached summer hair and resetting your hair regimen for a healthy fall and winter ahead.

Get a Haircut

The best way to get rid of those crusty sun-bleached dead ends is to chop them off! At the Bryony & Birch Hair Loft, our stylists can do just that and more. If you’re looking for more than a trim, and want to change up your look, come in and treat yourself to a cut you’ll love. Get more information on cuts, colors and pricing at our hair salon in downtown Amesbury.

Get a Moisturizing Treatment

From the pool to the beach to the trail, your hair has been soaking up all of the sun, wind and salt it can handle! If it’s feeling dry and damaged from all of the adventures, you can pump some life and shine back into it with a moisturizing treatment. At Bryony & Birch, we love Electric London’s line of ultra-moisturizing products. Come into the Hair Loft to pick up one of their moisturizing hair masks or tack a moisturizing treatment onto your next haircut. Book a treatment with one of our stylists here.

Get a Toner

If you typically get a hair color service, then you’re probably familiar with your hair color starting to dull a few months after you get it done, especially if you’ve been spending a lot of time outside in the sun. To give that color a refresh and extend the life of it, book a toner with one of our hair stylists. A toner is like a top coat for your hair – it enhances your current color and gives it that fresh, polished, hair salon feel. In the Bryony & Birch Hair Loft, you can come in and get just a toner, blow dry and style, if a refresh is in order, but no haircut is needed.

Refresh Your Hair Regimen

Sometimes we get so married to a haircare product line or brand, that when the condition of our hair inevitably changes, we fail to treat it with the proper care that it actually needs and craves. That’s why we recommend taking a look at your hair regimen at least once a year and giving it a refresh. Our stylists at the Bryony & Birch Hair Loft are more than happy to give you some recommendations on product lines that can treat your hair’s specific needs. We always recommend finding a line with a shampoo, conditioner and moisturizing mask that you can incorporate into your daily and weekly regimen. Out with the old and in with the new!

Accessorize Your Hair

If you’re looking to update your look without making changes to the length or color of your hair, we always look to hair accessories for a nice bump in style. Think: butterfly clips, scrunchies, bright earrings or even a cute new beanie. All of them do the work of elevating your look without making any semi-permanent changes.

Bryony & Birch Offers Haircuts, Colors and More

Located in downtown Amesbury, Bryony & Birch is a hair salon that offers cuts, colors, toners, moisturizing treatments, extensions and more. We offer wedding party preparation services and also have a studio rental space that we rent to local entrepreneurs, creatives and anyone looking to host an event or workshop. Stop in the next time you’re in the area to browse our vintage rack, get a haircut or just say hello. We love our community and we’d love to meet you!

How to Start a Daily Meditation Practice

I’ve flirted with having a solid daily meditation practice since my early 20’s. Back then, I’d get on a good streak for a couple of weeks, and then head out to a wedding weekend or into a busy season of work and it would fall to the wayside. It wasn’t until I became pregnant in March of 2021, that I not only felt motivated to wake up each and every day to do it, but I genuinely loved and looked forward to it.

When it comes to starting a daily meditation practice, the rule of thumb is to be easy with yourself. This is not one of those habits that you need to get mad at yourself for not sticking to – it is self-care work, yes, but it’s still work! Sitting in the same category as exercise and a healthy diet, meditation can be challenging to work into a daily routine, but oh-so-rewarding when we do. Here are some insights from my own meditation journey that might help you start your own.

The benefit of a daily meditation practice

Throughout our day, we have experiences and conversations that we’re constantly reacting to. Oftentimes, without thinking or processing how they actually make us feel. And having those unaware reactions over and over again block us from feeling the calming and healing power of being present. Meditation is a beautiful practice that allows us to embrace stillness, presence and observance of our thoughts, by simply pressing pause.

The benefits of a daily meditation practice include lowered anxiety, increased happiness, and a myriad of health benefits that all follow suit when your body is less stressed.

Set a time and a place

One of the best ways to introduce a positive new habit is to attempt to do it at the same time and in the same place every single day. I meditate every single morning, before my baby and dogs wake up. I set my alarm for 6am, pour myself an iced coffee, and head to my little meditation corner – complete with a cozy rug and pillow to sit on. Creating this ritual every morning has made meditating as easy as brushing my teeth.

If you’re the kind of person who loves tracking a good habit streak, check out the Streak app. A friend of mine uses this to track her meditation practice and finds that seeing herself on a good streak, is enough motivation to keep going.

Start with a 5 minute meditation

You may hear about people who meditate for an hour a day and think: who has time for that? The funny thing is, once you have a developed meditation practice, you might be that person. But you don’t have to start there! Start with something easy and attainable, like a 5 minute meditation. You may want to increase that over time – or not!

Use a meditation app

Almost everyone I know who has a daily meditation practice, uses (or has used) an app to help guide their meditations. To me, listening to another person guide me through the process of clearing my mind is the ultimate relaxation. It’s one less thing I have to do, which makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

Another thing that’s nice about using an app is that these days, there are so many specific types of meditations to help someone through literally any season of life. Pregnant and struggling with first trimester nausea? There’s a meditation for that. Wanting to quit your job, but don’t know how to approach the conversation with your boss? There’s one for that too.

Meditate while doing yoga

If you’re having trouble finding the time and space to meditate, consider working your meditation practice into a routine that you already have. For example, during yoga! You can sign up for a yoga class at Bryony Body in Exeter, NH and treat your entire class as an exercise in meditation. Movement & meditation go hand in hand, so please – feel free to combine them.

Join us for yoga and meditation in Exeter

Photo Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

We offer in person and virtual yoga classes at Bryony Body in Exeter, NH. Take a look at our membership options to find the best fit for you. We can’t wait to see you in class!

Have the Winter Blues? 5 Ways We’re Investing in Wellness This Winter

Winter is hard. Our skin is dry and itchy, we’re vitamin D deficient and even going for a little mental health walk can seem daunting. Thanks a lot, February windchill.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the headspace that winter is never ending and our self-care isn’t as important. Thoughts can play over again in our minds, “Well if I gain these extra five pounds, no one will really notice because of all the layers I’m wearing.” “If I don’t get this pedicure it doesn’t matter because I’m in socks and boots for the next two more months.” But listen, you deserve to feel great even if the weather doesn’t. Here are some surefire ways to get back into the rhythm of your life so that the winter blues don’t keep you down.

Invest in loungewear

Sitting at home in the same old sweats can really affect our self-esteem. One of our favorite ways to spice things up is by investing in cozy loungewear sets or a new waffle knit sweater from a woman-run small business like VETTA or Darity (if you’re nursing or pumping.) Not only do they make you feel cute and comfortable, but you’re making your dollar count by supporting a small sustainable business. Get comfy!

Use a humidifier

Purchasing one of these handy little guys for the bedroom has been saving our sinuses this winter, and our plants too! You can find these for a decent price at a local big box store. As a moisturizer enthusiast, my lotions and body oils still just don’t cut it this time of year. Save your skin and your sinuses this season and find a humidifier ASAP.

Try heat light therapy

There are so many benefits to trying relaxation, muscle tension relief or detoxification in the winter months. One way us New Englanders love to relax in the dark winter months is with heat light therapy. Not only does it have positive effects on our mood, but it also provides many benefits for blood flow and cardiovascular health. You won’t have to look far for local heat light therapy, but if you have trouble finding somewhere, ask your dermatologist for a recommendation.

Relax in a healing bath

You deserve a mystical escape from your everyday routine once and a while. Treat yourself to some holistic soap and organic wellness products from our local favorite, Rooted Body Co. and set up a healing bath with crystals, candles, bath salts, a glass of wine and some soothing music. Anything that will make you feel like you’re at a spa, right from the comfort of your own home. If you don’t have a bath, hang a Eucalyptus sprig from your shower head. Calming scents, especially while bathing, nourish our minds and bodies.

Nourish with soups & stews

Are you on a rabbit hole of soup TikToks lately? No? Just us? Soup tok is all the rage right now. Invest in a Crockpot or slow cook a soup on your stove midday while you finish your work into the evening. The scent of a warm stew brewing throughout the home is no match for winter dread. And if you prefer sweet over savory, treat yourself to a relaxing CBD baked good from our local favorite, Fairy Good Organics. We’ll take their triple chocolate brownies any night of the week!

Hopefully these tips and tricks inspire you to embrace this winter with a fresh attitude. The cold months are hard, but they make the spring and summer feel that much better. Get in touch with your body and don’t forget to indulge – you’ve got this.

Gratitude + Mental Health: Why They Go Together Like Turkey & Gravy

Have you ever sat around a table on Thanksgiving and been asked to share one thing you’re grateful for?For some, this is an easy request. “My job!” “My dog!” “My health!”

For others, this can literally be the reason they nearly faked a headache an hour before they were supposed to arrive. While it could simply be a fear of speaking in front of others, sometimes it’s that we’re subconsciously afraid to say what we’re grateful for. In a way, it’s like we’ll jinx it.

While we can’t do a whole lot for your stage fright, we can make quite a good case for expressing your gratitude (all year round.)

In this post, we’re chatting about the benefits of expressing gratitude as well as the gratitude practices we love.

Scroll down to learn more!

Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

#grateful is a thing for a reason. Just ask Robert Emmons Ph.D., the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude.

His decades of research shows that actively expressing your gratitude:

  • Improves your outlook on life and makes you more optimistic
  • Increases your confidence and self-efficacy
  • Improves your relationship with a romantic partner, friend or family member
  • Helps you make new friends and connections
  • Promotes better physical health (stronger immune system, less pain, lower blood pressure)
  • Promotes better mental health (Can help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression)
  • Decreases feelings such as envy, resentment and aggression
  • Increases empathy, generosity and compassion
  • Fosters resilience

As we continue to live in the chaos that is the 2020s, it’s never been more important to take care of our mental health. Keep reading to find out the gratitude practices we love.

Gratitude Practices We Love

Now that we know how powerful gratitude is when it comes to our mental and physical health, let’s talk about all of the ways you can cultivate it!

1.) Create a Gratitude Wall or Board

Seeing what you’re grateful for every day is a powerful thing. Try creating a collage on your wall or make a board (similar to a vision board) that allows you to stick photos, words or drawings of the things you’re grateful for.

2.) Keep a Gratitude Journal

One of the most fascinating studies Dr Emmons did was on journaling gratitude.

“In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.” (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

3.) Meditate

Meditation is a great way to consciously show love for the things you’re grateful for. While you can simply sit and do this silently, there are some fantastic guided meditation tracks on gratitude on apps like Calm and Insight Timer.

4.) Get a Gratitude Buddy

Sometimes you need an accountability partner! Try finding a friend or family member that you either call, text or email every day and mutually share 3-5 things you’re grateful for.

5.) Say it Out Loud

One of the best ways to consistently express gratitude is to make it part of your morning and/or evening routine. The minute your head hits the pillow or your feet hit the floor, express your gratitude audibly! You could also do this when you get in the car or get home from work!

6.) Write a Letter

If you’re particularly grateful for someone – tell them! Writing a letter of gratitude won’t just make your day – it will make the recipient’s too! Even if you don’t send it, the act of expressing your gratitude will still work wonders.

7.) Call a Friend

Nothing brings us more joy than someone calling to say they are grateful that we’re in their life. Honestly, it’s soul-soothing to feel that love. Try calling a friend (or family member) and letting them know that you’re so grateful that they’re in your life.

8.) Look in a Mirror

Self-love isn’t selfish. Take a moment to look at yourself and thank YOU for showing up everyday. Thank your smile, your eyes, your ears, your hands… thank everything about you.

9.) Make It (Another) Love Language

If you’re in a romantic relationship, let your partner know that you’re grateful for them and why. This can be emotional or physical aspects. It will deepen your bond and connection as well as your appreciation and respect for each other.

10.) Prayer

Perhaps the OG of gratitude expression, prayer is a beautiful way to consciously give thanks for the people, food, opportunities and experiences in your life.

Meet Bryony Body Yoga + Meditation Instructor: Veronica Woodlief

In 2017, Veronica was diagnosed with Panic Attack Disorder and PTSD. Searching for a way to soothe the anxiety, she committed to a 40-day Kundalini meditation practice and her life has never been the same. Veronica knew instantly that she wanted to become a teacher and share the benefits of this practice with others, which is why she chose to complete the Kundalini Research Institute’s 200 hour YTT.

Veronica’s goal is to empower students with practices that promote a sense of inner peace, balance in body, mind & spirit, and a strong sense of self. She strives to bring a grounded approach to esoteric spiritual concepts and yogic philosophy so they’re relatable and easy-to-understand. Off the mat, Veronica loves cooking vegan food, reading, and spending time on the beach with her husband and two dogs.

Click here to book a Bryony Body class with Veronica!

Continue reading The Bryony & Birch Times: