I’ve given myself a bit more time to write this piece. Churning out 2 new blog posts a week, doing styled shoots for the posts and the posting, it can become overwhelming for anyone, and even more so when working full time and taking on more responsibility at work. The question has crossed my mind over the last week as to why I do the blog as well then when I have so much else going on… And the answer is always the same, because I love it.
The Loud Library has been allowing me to focus on my journey into wellness and holistic living, and it makes me indescribably happy.
My “official” journey into wellness and holistic living only started a few months ago when I changed the focus of the blog. However, in many ways, I feel as if I’ve been on this journey all my life.
Caring for the environment, people and my, and other’s emotional needs has been part of my psyche since I was a little girl. Even before I went to school I remember telling a man my father’s age to pick up his cigarette bud he threw down outside a shopping centre because it was bad for the environment. In school, I begged my mom to start recycling because we all needed to do our bit. I hated cars that spewed out balls of black smoke and would hold my breath when passing them. In the same breath, I would give people massages and work on getting to understand why things are the way they are and making them better for my family and friends rather than sitting idly by.
When I started writing this post I realised that I had a lot more to say than I originally planned. So this is Part of my journey, focusing on yoga, pilates and exercise and beauty. Part 2 will follow next week focusing on meditation and lifestyle.
Yoga, Pilates, and Exercise
My wellness journey really started with meditation and pilates. Read my previous post on how yoga, pilates, and meditation changed my life. Pilates acted as a gateway to reintroduce me to exercise. Today I can say I am in better shape than ever, but I have also learned to listen to my body and not over, or under exercise. I know, sometimes even when I am tired, my body still needs exercise, and sometimes it needs rest.
The transformation I have undergone from someone who exercises in extremes to someone who exercises because it makes me feel like I can conquer the world, is extraordinary.
I now also know that living fitness holistically means doing a combination of exercises. From running to strength to swimming to pilates and yoga. Each exercise has its own advantage. By combining these exercise regimes and allowing myself to exercise in a less rigid program, I have fallen in love with exercise again (even running which I hated for such a long time after high school). There’s no need to cut out exercise completely, but you need to find the combination of exercises that speaks and works with your body and mind.
As my wellness journey expanded, I also started taking note of how I was living holistically when it came to my beauty regime. Many wellness blogger and Instagrammers overseas (not in South Africa) rave about these wonderful eco-friendly beauty products available, but the trend really hasn’t taken off in South Africa yet.
I started listening to podcasts and reading up about makeup and beauty regimes and was shocked and grossed out by all the chemicals we put on our faces (this podcast on In it for the Long Run’s Chasing Joy Podcast can give you a much better perspective on eco-friendly beauty). I think we all get to a point in life when we realise that what we are doing to our bodies, and in this case, our skins is not conducive to long term sustainability.
My love for my rabbit, Olive, has also made me more and more aware of animal testing. I’ve become very conscious about picking up beauty products that have the Beauty Without Cruelty logos on them, and let me tell you, they are few and far between at your local Clicks or DisChem.
I’ve always struggled with my skin. My hormones are all over the place, stress and living in a big dirty city doesn’t help. Lately, though my skin felt tired and my breakouts became more intense. It got to a point where I would become teary before going out because of how bad my skin looked. I’m very self-conscious about my skin. I’m 26 but look much younger (people usually think I’m 20 when they first see me) and having bad skin makes me feel like people have even more of a reason to think of me as young and not take me seriously.
So, I made the decision to start changing my beauty regime and see if I could give my skin a break from the chemicals.
First step was a new Rooibos face wash by African Extracts (read my initial review here). Since then I’ve started using the African Extracts make-up remover face cloths as well and I am very happy with the results.
Unlike many other face washes and face cloths which sometimes leave your skin feeling tight and seeps the moisture from it, the Rooibos products leave my face feeling clean, soft and healthy. It removes all stickiness from moisturiser and a long day, but doesn’t dry my skin out at all.
My next step was to replace my face cream and pimple/acne treatment.
I honestly didn’t know where to start. There were no beauty experts online in South Africa giving advice on what to try and what works and what doesn’t. I was completely in the dark (and still kinda feel like I am). I turned to the Faithful to Nature website.
Luckily for me, Faithful to Nature was having their Black Five Day sale during the week leading up to Black Friday. I scrolled through those promotion products up and down, read reviews and in the end took the plunge.
I’ve been pretty happy with each of these and I promise to do a proper review of all of them in the new year, but I’d like to use them for a while before making any real assumptions. In general, they have helped and my skin feels softer, less oily and less sore and red around the breakout area. Slowly it’s been giving me my confidence back.
The next step in my wellness beauty journey is to start replacing my foundation and makeup with eco-friendly alternatives. I would love to do the same and simply try something from Faithful to Nature, but with makeup and especially foundation you need to test the colouring on your skin. My skin is so light I use the lightest shade available and anything darker makes me look like I used too much self-tan.
So I’m still searching. If anyone has any suggestions or tips on what makeup products or brands are both eco-friendly, by holistic companies and affordable, please let me know.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this first part of my wellness and holistic living journey round-up. Next week I’ll delve into Meditation and how my Lifestyle itself has changed through this journey.