A guide to holistic health & nutrition: forming healthy rituals

Forming healthy boundaries and creating a sense of ritual in our daily lives has infinite benefits. From anxiety reduction to burnout support, routines and rituals help us cope with change and take on our busy modern lives. It takes roughly two months to form a healthy routine you’re likely to stick to. What we see reflected in our skin, bodies, and minds results from what we do most often—change comes from consistency. With everything from skincare to diet shifts, daily habits need to be nurtured and upheld in order to make a difference.

With the help of health & nutrition coach Camilla Schmidt, we’re sharing some key behaviors that form the foundation of a healthy ritual in part II of our Guide to Holistic Health & Nutrition. Whether your goal is to achieve glowing skin from the inside out or to simply establish some new priorities as we head into the busy holiday season, we’ll be sharing Camilla’s tips for stress management, lymphatic drainage, sleep, and exercise.

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Stress Management

Stress isn’t just a mental state, it’s a physical response that travels through the body. While temporary bursts of stress can be beneficial, leading to extra energy and focus for a specific task, the problem occurs when stress responses get activated too often or over a long period of time. Since our various systems are so interconnected, the gut and digestive systems are extremely sensitive to stress and a great indicator of when you’re feeling stressed. You might feel that when you’re stressed, your stomach behaves differently—you may become bloated more easily or have a hard time going to the bathroom. Prolonged periods of stress can manifest themselves in all shapes and sizes from fatigue to organ malfunction, weight gain, hair loss, and accelerated ageing.

Luckily, we have lots of tools at our disposal for stress management that help us to create a state of homeostasis — a sense of home and stability in the body. Routine building is one of these tools. Forming consistent routines around stress management, whether that’s exercising, integrating adaptogens (read on), or being rigid about your sleep schedule, is a great first step to a less stressful life.

One of our favorite ways to manage stress is through the use of adaptogens. Adaptogens are power herbs and mushrooms that help our minds and bodies achieve a state of balance. They’re potent plants that thrive in very resilient environments and have been used for centuries across the world—some have even survived the ice age. Adaptogens increase our resistance to different kinds of stressors like physical, biological, emotional, and environmental ones. They are non-stimulant, non-habit-forming, and have the power to lend you stamina, calm the mind, stabilize the mood, and balance the skin. 

Tips for managing stress:

  • Look for the signs. Sometimes it’s hard to identify when we’re stressed which is the first step in managing it. Look for other physical manifestations such as stomach pain, irregular bowel movements, difficulty prioritizing regular tasks, and interrupted sleep.
  • Find a routine. Daily routines and rituals provide us with an anchor during hectic times—allowing our bodies and minds to regulate themselves. However, in order to see results, we need to be patient and consistent with our routines.
  • Discover movement that inspires you. Movement is an excellent tool to release stress. Whether it's a date with your favorite online The Class teacher or making an afternoon walk a mandatory part of your work day, create space for it.
  • Integrate adaptogens! Reishi mushrooms help to support a healthy sleep cycle, manage stress, and have a calming effect. 


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Optimizing Your Sleep Routine

Sleep is the body’s best tool to reset, regenerate cells, and protect our immune systems. Establishing a healthy sleep routine makes a world of difference, and the easiest way to do that is by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. Easy, right? Sleep enhances the body’s creation of growth hormones, which in turn boosts collagen production—a naturally occurring process critical in keeping skin firm and resilient.

From a holistic point of view, no system in the body works alone—they influence one another both for the good and the bad. Not getting enough sleep impacts our lifestyle in many ways. It can change the food our bodies crave, the energy we have to take on the day, and our effectiveness in managing stress.

Tips for a better sleep:

  • Set a consistent alarm that helps you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. As simple as it sounds, it will make a huge difference.
  • Invest in an old-school alarm clock and charge your phone away from your bed. The temptation to sneak in extra screen time before bed and right when we wake has a huge impact on the signals our brain receives about sleep. Try charging your phone in another room to reduce temptation and limit screen time.
  • Move your body. Daily movement helps us to fall asleep faster and stay asleep better.
  • Create a calming nighttime tonic. Whether an herbal tea or hot water with a few drops of edible lavender oil, this will help your body to understand it’s time to wind down.
  • Swap the screen for a book. Watching a show right before bed has become a big part of many of our nighttime routines. Try swapping your laptop/tv time for a book before sleep and see the difference it makes.

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Movement and the Lymphatic System

Movement and exercise are essential to our well-being. This isn’t anything new, but it is helpful to reframe why we think of movement as being so important. The key reason being that movement is connected to so many other functions our bodies need to maintain a healthy, balanced state. As we’ve already touched on, movement has a positive impact on both stress management and sleep patterns, but another key function it influences greatly is our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is directly connected to the cardiovascular circulation system and works to keep blood and lymph fluids in balance, flushing toxins out of the body. Every cell in the body eats food and excretes waste, and waste is excreted through the lymphatic system, which is activated through movement and circulation.

Tips for optimizing the lymphatic system:

  • Exercise is one of the most effective ways to support the lymphatic system, particularly movement that gets your heart rate up like walking, running, biking, and swimming.

  • Massage is another extremely effective tool that helps the body release excess water and toxins while increasing circulation. This has been shown to boost the skin’s elasticity and plumpness. Try our Japanese Facelift or a deep-tissue massage which also helps to soothe the nervous system and provide physical and emotional release.

  • Massage can also be done at home using tools like gua sha

We hope that these tips and tricks for creating healthy and balanced rituals have been an important step on your wellness journey. For more tips and inspiration, follow Camilla on Instargram. Camilla has also shared some of her key sources of inspiration to help you on your path:

Inspiring health ambassadors to follow: