In an increasingly hectic world, the term ‘spiritual wellness’ is starting to find a place in the everyday lexicon. A socio-cultural obsession amongst the millennial generation, the term often encompasses the ideals of self-care, mindfulness and metaphysical practices.
On Instagram, images featuring hashtags, such as #selfcare and #spirituality, rack up a total of 20 million and 12 million posts respectively. The content runs the gamut from inspirational quotes in pastel-hued backgrounds to yoga poses, daily tarot card pulls to horoscope quotes, and at times, even images of adorable kittens and dogs.
Today, the term is also freely interpreted as a way of introspection and maintaining balance. And much of these interpretations take the form of yoga lessons, yoga retreats and even wellness travel.
“In a world of incessant noise, introspection and trusting your gut is the key to maintaining a balancing act,” says Valerie Ho and Coco Chan, co-founders of OMSA (short for “Ohm for the Spiritually Awakened”) — Asia’s first dedicated e-commerce and lifestyle portal that focuses on self-care, spirituality and introspection. “It is increasingly hard to disconnect, while remaining relevant and up to date with the lives of those you care for. In this sense, we think people turn to spiritual wellness as a coping mechanism.”
Over the past decades, celebrities, the likes of Russell Brand and Naomi Campbell, have also become vocal in their pursuit of peak spiritual wellness. The English comedian and actor is known to practice yoga and meditation by his altar at home, while the English supermodel is obsessed with crystal healing and aromatherapy with candles.
“Spiritual wellness in the traditional sense has been rooted in faith or religion. Going to church or temple was a way to stay grounded and connect to the divine. In today’s world, most people have a broadened sense of this concept and exercise those beliefs in rituals,” explains Chan and Ho. “For some, it is still rooted in faith or religious-based gatherings. For others, it means making time for themselves, or doing something they love and with people they love.”
While the millennial demographic has become avid purveyors of such spiritual practices, including meditation, yoga and crystal healing, the journey towards peak spiritual wellness in a world of instant connectivity (which requires you to be available at another’s beck and call) can be rather difficult to navigate about. Wellness content on the Internet — cue Instagram’s portfolio of misattributed and misrepresented quotes — is after all dubious, vague or overly informational and at times, metaphorical.
“At OMSA, we want to be at the forefront of the next wave in wellness, which is redefining spirituality. What we’re trying to do is asking people to really pause, look within and nurture that relationship with yourself through self-care, whether it be meditation or simply just pausing and creating space for yourself,” the duo elaborates.
In redefining what spiritual wellness means in the 21st century, OMSA strives to become more than just a platform that sells quality-vetted crystals, herbs or essential oils. It aspires to become an educational hub that fosters a community for healing by connecting tested healers, practitioners and beginners together to share tips on self-care or simply support one another. “By acknowledging the need to stay connected not only with others but also with the world around us, we turn this age-old concept into a contemporary practice for the modern man and woman seeking to be ‘woke.’,” the duo says.
For starters, each of the co-founders has shared with ELLE Singapore some of their favourite self-care rituals.
“Tumeric Tea with milk or coconut oil, a slice of lemon and honey is my go-to if I feel drained after a long day,” reveals Ho. “A hot bath with Epsom sea salt and a few drops of Anatome Sleep & Recovery blend does the trick too. Before bed, I do this fifteen minutes sleep meditation and it knocks me right out!”
“I’m a new mother and run multiple businesses so I love simple practices that I can do anywhere at any time. I love mindful breathing. It’s a simple practice,” says Chan. “Find a quiet space, take as many slow and deep belly breathes as you need to feel calm and center yourself.”
And here are three additional commonly practice spiritual practices that can empower the modern woman.
1. Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are feel-good statements (or as some would call it, “mantra”) that you can carry out on your own. For founders Chan and Ho, they recommend spending a couple of minutes in the morning, right before getting out of the bed, and repeat such statements thrice.
Here, the duo also shared some tips to create such affirmations:
- Begin the sentence with “I am”
- Use the present tense
- Use optimistic and words of positive
- Make it specific.
2. Grounding Exercises
To combat against incessant anxiety and stress, grounding exercises are perfect for anyone looking to recalibrate themselves in the present moment. One of the best grounding exercises you can do anywhere is to spare a moment and simply focus on your breathing. Then, place your fingertips on your wrist and count on your pulse for a full minute.
Or if you are lucky and live near nature, why not take a walk barefoot on grass, sand and soil?
3. Smudging with Sage
As we hustle around every day, we come in contact with so many people and are exposed to their “energies”. One useful way to cleanse them is via saging. “Just like a taking a daily shower, saging is a useful technique to rid yourself of what is not yours and cleansing your body and home space from negative juju,” the duo says. “Alternatively, you can use a sage mist spray to cleanse your energy and space.”