Friday Favorites #36: Self Care

Happy Friday! How has your week been going? This week started off pretty rough so the theme of this week's Friday Favorites are self care related. Veterinary medicine days can be amazingly rewarding. Other times we have to do things we really don't want to do. That's why I'm such a huge believer in self care for mental and physical health. Sometimes that's yoga and green smoothies and sometimes that's cake. It's all about balance. As always I'd love to hear what things made you smile this week. Thanks for stopping by. <3


Annointed bodyworks massage
I didn't take any photos of the massage (because that would be weird), so here's a random flower photo instead of a generic massage stock photo.

I am a huge believer in the benefits of getting regular massages to help prevent injuries and manage stress. Massages are an amazing form of self care. In college I got certified in equine sports massage therapy. It was really awesome seeing how those giant athletes responded to a massage. They would literally let out sighs as they started to relax during the therapy. One of my favorite parts was having their riders tell me how much better the horses moved after a massage.

I think everyone should get monthly massages. The world would probably be a lot more relaxed and less painful if that was the case. Do I get monthly massages? No. Why? Because it feels like a splurge and kind of frivolous. Despite what it may seem from my Costco expeditions, I'm much more of a saver than a spender. But arguably, investing in preventative care like regular massages (and healthy food and fitness) is one of the best investments we can make for our mental and physical wellbeing. I'm still struggling to make progress with my piriformis muscle and hamstring tendonitis at physical therapy, so when my PT encouraged me to get a massage that was the push that I needed. But first I turned to Groupon.

Sometimes Groupon feels a little sketchy for finding a massage therapist. But, when I found an incredible deal for Annointed Bodyworks Massage Therapy in Cornelius and read all of the amazing reviews I thought it was worth at try. It totally was!

If you're local to Lake Norman, I highly recommend John Angles. He has been a massage therapist for 27 years, and he works wonders. I was impressed with how knowledgable he was about the anatomy of muscles, their attachments, and how they work together. While I may not be getting regular massages, I have had a lot in my life. He gave one of the most effective massages I've had. I also really appreciated that he took the time to read over the form I filled out prior to the session and really focused on the areas that were most problematic. I left feeling like so much tension had melted away. I definitely plan on starting to schedule regular massages with him (and will happily pay his normal price).

Epsom Salt Baths

epsom salt bath

My massage therapist referred to my massage as a "medical massage", which I think is a nice way of telling me I'm a mess. It was more of a hurts-so-good kind of massage, so he recommended an epsom salt bath that evening to help with sore muscles. Since I had gone to physical therapy earlier that day for dry needling and had a pretty intense massage, I decided to follow his advice.

I picked up this Dr. Teals epsom salt at Walgreens on the way home. I thought it was cool that it also contained arnica. I probably indulge in baths even less frequently than massages even though we have a pretty great jacuzzi bathtub, so the fact that I had a massage AND bath all in one evening felt pretty darn indulgent. And wonderful. If you've been working out hard, or you're carrying stress and tension in your neck and back, your job is tough on your body, or even if you just need a few minutes to yourself consider indulging in this easy and inexpensive form of self care. Your body deserves it.

Getting Curious Podcast with Jonathon Van Ness

This is another podcast recommendation from my mom that turned out to be awesome. You know Jonathon Van Ness, the Jesus look-a-like on Queer Eye? Well, he has a podcast and it's surprisingly educational. He still has his flamboyant bubbly personality, but he addresses a huge variety of tough and interesting topics like climate change, the census, what's going on with bees, sunscreen, and so much more. The way he interviews is very entertaining, but he also asks thoughtful and challenging questions. I always finish an episode feeling like I've learned a lot in a very approachable upbeat way. If you're "getting curious", give it a try. I couldn't help myself...

Watching the Great British Bake Off Show with Cake

move that dough cake

I adore the Great British Bake Off. Really, how can you not? Perfect British accents, friendly judges, inspiring baking, questionable fashion choices...what's not to love. Except sometimes it's hard to watch because everything looks so good and I want to taste just a bite of those culinary masterpieces. Tell me I'm not alone...

We started Season 10 this weekend. As we were watching the cake episode I had the wonderful realization that I still had some pieces of cake saved in the freezer. YES. Enjoying the show while eating delicious cake definitely sweetened (hah) the viewing process.

But you know what I really want to happen? A British Bake Off tasting delivery plan. Each week little samples of each of the recipes they make on one episode would be delivered so that while watching you can do a taste test along with the judges. Can someone please make this happen?

As an aside, there's an Amelia, a veterinarian, and a contestant that's into healthy baking so I feel like this season is really speaking to me. If you haven't watched the Great British Bake Off you must give it a try. But maybe go find a piece of cake first.

What's your favorite form of self care?

What podcasts are you loving at the moment?

Can we agree that we need a British Bake Off food delivery plan?

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. As an Amazon associate, I (theoretically could, haha) earn from qualifying purchases. I only link to products I know and love. Thanks for your support. <3


Jennifer Nguyen

Hey Amelia!! It is so nice to stay updated in your life while reading your posts weekly. I hope everything is going swell for you. 😁😁
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Hi Jennifer! So great to hear from you. Thanks for reading. <3 I'd love updates from you - I hope you're having a great time at school.
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Terry Pinkston

Amelia, the massages and epson salt baths are a staple for me. I had dropped the epson salt part when I moved and my massage therapist recommended I re-start. I justify the expense ad continued PT, which I will be doing until I am merely a storyline. Do continue, as it helps re-align muscles, ligaments, and tendons after assorted bouts of hard exercise.
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Thanks for the encouragement to continue, Terry! It's nice to hear that you have good luck with the epsom salt baths post-massages, too. Your point that it serves as continued PT is so true. I could feel SUCH a difference after the massage - it was a good reminder of how much of an impact a massage can have. It makes sense that working out tight muscles helps to keep everything balanced and to prevent injury. I'm glad to have found this therapist who I can hopefully continue with. :-)
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