In the How to Stay Present marriage advice series, the Kundalini guide behind Benshen, Desiree Pais, gives you the tools you need to stay focused and calm before, during, and after you tie the knot.
When it comes to taking care of things, no one does it better than brides-to-be. From start to finish, head to toe, brides are superheroes at making sure everything is as close to perfect as possible. But the most important thing on the to-do list that brides often forget to check off is taking care of themselves.
Oftentimes, women put a lot of pressure on themselves to look a certain way, especially before an important day. We’ll go to extremes, all too often wreaking havoc on our bodies, only to have to repair the damage later. So, instead of working so hard to make sure everything is perfect (including our bodies), it’s more empowering to take a little extra time for self-care. You’ll have more energy to do what you need to do and not feel drained by fatigue, stress, hormones, and low blood sugar.
Unfortunately, self-care has a bit of a new-agey connotation to it—so much so that you might find yourself wondering if you need to try the latest juice cleanse or buy crystals, sage bundles, and Yoni eggs to really hit the nail on the head. Even as someone whose entire career is within the wellness world, I’ve had to figure out what self-care really means. A lot of times, what we think is self-care is actually self-discipline rather than truly doing something kind for your body. After a lot of trial and error, I've discovered rituals that leave me feeling absolutely nourished, calm, and totally cared for. Here are a few of my favorite ways to indulge.
My latest obsessions are the beautiful healing baths that Deborah Hanekamp of Mama Medicine shares on her stunning Instagram account. Think fresh roses, coconut milk, basil, peonies, geraniums—the list goes on. It will make you never want to leave the sacred temple that is your own bathroom!
When it comes to evening rituals, I always like to ask myself: What would a Hollywood movie star (think Rita Hayworth or Katharine Hepburn) do before bed? They would do a whole lot of pampering, which I believe was the key to their radiant beauty. The more attention and care you give to yourself, the more your body reflects that healthy glow. Before bed, I love to use Herbivore Botanicals’ Jasmine Body Oil, which smells absolutely divine—perhaps because it’s distilled from thousands of jasmine petals. I light candles, put on a gorgeous piece of lingerie, and do a full body massage, which leaves me feeling so good and ready for a night of deep beauty sleep.
A Really Good Book
Okay, I know what you’re going to say: “I’m busy, and I don’t have time to read a book!" Not having time was my biggest excuse for ages. I’m finishing a master’s degree, and I freelance write, consult for a major beauty brand, and teach yoga and meditation; believe me, by the time I get home at the end of the day, I’m pooped. What I finally realized is that I do have time; I just have to make room for it. And one of my favorite things to do is sit in the park under the warm summer sun with a cool breeze and dive into a book to take my mind off all my troubles, even if the only moment I can grab for myself is a quick lunch break. Leave work in the office, and just enjoy. Even cooler than that breeze is Belletrist, the book-club brainchild of Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss that selects an incredible book each month. The perfect distraction from the madness that is planning a wedding!
Desiree Pais is a meditation and Kundalini guide and a natural beauty alchemist. She is currently pursuing a master's degree at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and she studied Daoist healing with Grandmaster Sung Baek. She teaches Kundalini yoga and meditation classes and workshops around New York City. She aims to make these ancient practices available to anyone who is interested in using this profound practice to create the life they want to experience.