Unwind Like Royalty: 5 Sensory Secrets to Elevate Your Self-Care Rituals

Self-Care Rituals


Could your life use a little more luxury? Small things matter when it comes to your self-care routine – and, hopefully, you have one of those! Whether it’s waking up to the enticing smell of freshly brewed coffee or reading your favorite book in a big, comfortable chair, adding touches of luxury to your life can help you feel more relaxed and satisfied.

Let’s look at simple ways to treat yourself to small self-care rituals that will put you in a better frame of mind and even do good things for your health. Who says you can’t feel like royalty, even if you aren’t?


Let’s start with the magic of aroma, or aromatherapy, that is. Essential oils can help you unwind after a long day at work and even help you get a good night’s sleep. For example, lavender has a calming effect on your mind and body while chamomile has similar anti-stress and anti-anxiety benefits.

If you need more of a pick-me-up, the invigorating aroma of eucalyptus is an energizing choice. Need more mental clarity? Preliminary studies show rosemary may help with brain function and memory retention. Research also shows that peppermint oil has activating properties that boost brain function too. As an aside, it also helps suppress the desire to eat.

The key is to put these scents to work for you. One way to do that is to invest in a diffuser to release essential oils into the air. You can also add a little essential oil to bathwater or dab it on your wrists and neck. They’re a healthier substitute for synthetic fragrances that often contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals called phthalates.

Experiment with different essential oil combinations and see which satisfies your olfactory system and mood the best. You can even vary them on how you feel on a particular day.

Make Your Home and Surroundings Comfortable

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to turn your home into a comfortable abode. Something as simple as having high-quality natural sheets, like bamboo or cotton, feels good against your skin and can help you get a better night’s sleep.

To help make yourself more comfortable when you’re at home:

Wear comfy clothes – Whether that means wearing sweatpants or pajamas all day long (or both), dressing in loose, natural clothing (like cotton) will help you relax and unwind after a challenging day. Add soft touches to your home – Pad the chairs you sit on with soft, decorative pillows. Put a big comfy plush pillow on the couch so you can rest your head on it while reading a book. Your head deserves it! Imagine sinking into your sofa at the end of a long day, resting your head on an oversized, cloud-like pillow that seems to melt away all your worries and stresses.

Watch the temperature:  Make sure the area you relax in is not too hot or too cold — keep it “just right.” Most people feel most comfortable in a room with a temperature between 67 degrees F. and 72 degrees F.


Did you know your taste buds are one of your body’s main sensory organs? You’re also more likely to make healthy food choices if they appeal to your taste buds. So, skip the tasteless and low-nutrition junk food and eat balanced meals. Prepare simple meals at home and enjoy your meals in an unhurried, mindful manner. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day, so as not to become dehydrated during your relaxation time. But also, enjoy something healthy, but a bit decadent, for example, a square of dark chocolate. Savor it mindfully while you look out the window and sip a cup of herbal tea.


It’s amazing how a massage, a hug from a loved one, or even holding someone’s hand has a soothing effect on your mind. There’s science behind it too! The power of touch boosts the release of oxytocin from your brain. This is a hormone that people release when they look into the eyes of someone they love. So, it’s not surprising that it helps calm your mind and body.

Although robust research on the effects of touch on mental and physical health are limited, a meta-analysis of 137 studies found that touch therapy boosted mental and physical health markers in all ages, from newborn infants to adults.

Maybe you don’t have the time or money to visit a spa for a professional massage to tap into the power of touch, but you can still add the soothing powers of touch to your self-care routine, even if you live alone. Learn basic self-massage techniques, practice simple yoga poses, or even give yourself a hand or foot massage while watching TV. Just 10 minutes of touch therapy a day can do wonders for your mental and physical health. So go ahead, gift yourself some tender loving care (TLC), and see how much better you feel!


What’s the take-home message? Take care of yourself and do it in a way that feels good and makes you feel special. Find what makes you feel relaxed and add more of it to your life. You can also try new things — like meditation or yoga — and see how they work for you. Whatever you do, ensure that the activities in your self-care ritual feel good for YOU — because if they don’t, then what’s the point?

Hopefully, this article has inspired you to upgrade your self-care routine with luxurious and elegant touches. Whether it’s a hot bath with candles, music, and flowers, or just an evening out with friends, treat yourself well. When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to give to others.


  • Sattayakhom A, Wichit S, Koomhin P. The Effects of Essential Oils on the Nervous System: A Scoping Review. Molecules. 2023 Apr 27;28(9):3771. doi: 10.3390/molecules28093771. PMID: 37175176; PMCID: PMC10180368.
  • “The Healing Power of Touch: New Scientific Insights.” 14 Apr. 2024, https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-asymmetric-brain/202404/the-healing-power-of-touch-new-scientific-insights.
  • “Self-care research: Where are we now? Where are we going?.” 01 Apr. 2021, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020748919302093.

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