The varying aspects of self-care, including physical, social, mental, spiritual and emotional, have never been more important. According to Google, online searches for self-care-related topics have surged by 250% between 2019 and 2020, and the result is an opportunity to grow a business as well as up your own wellness game in the First Coast region.
One of the most important aspects of self-care is maintaining physical health. Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches are home to opulent jogging and biking paths along the Intracoastal Waterway, leading to pristine golf courses with ocean views, perfect for outdoor adventure lovers. The best view of all might be during a jog or bike ride over the Flagler Beach Bridge. This path leads straight to the ocean’s waves.
Cyclists will want to check out the Mala Compra Greenway Trail in Waterfront Park. It is the ideal place to enjoy a more rigorous bike ride. The trail is mostly shady, with a few small bridges over water, for a cool ride on a hot day. Other options for enjoying the great First Coast outdoors include kayaking, paddling, surfing, and even tennis and golf.
To ensure you are fueling your body the right way, try Juicy Café, located on Anastasia Island. Once known as “The Juice Truck,” Juicy Café was created by owner Julianne Baksh-Renfroe from a love of juicing and healthy eating. “We were fortunate to expand during Covid! While everything Covid hit us like a brick, a few things stood out. One, the St. Augustine locals we beyond supportive! Many came to Juicy daily, and still do. Many people started a journey to better health. We were fortunate to be included in this journey with them. These new customers have become friends of Juicy and we see them often. We realized very quickly that this growth was too much for the juice truck space. We felt confident that once we found the perfect space we would hit the ground running, and we did! We’ve been at our cafe location for 6 months! It’s wonderful!” Since opening a store front, Baksh-Renfroe has also expanded the Juicy menu offering to include espresso coffee-based drinks, Kombucha on tap, and a few bites that include avocado toast, and peanut butter toast. They still have a great selection of freshly made juice, house wellness shots, smoothies, and a variety of bowls (açai, pitaya, etc.)
Mental and Spiritual Health
A healthy social life can go a long way toward self-care and wellness. How about some yoga coupled with endless laughter to lift your spirit? Amy Angelilli, owner of The Adventure Project, offers laughter yoga sessions that will leave you feeling connected and happy!
“The Adventure Project offers team building, bonding and development through cooperative play activities, such as applied improvisation and laughter yoga,” Angelilli says. “The laughter yoga experiences have exploded in COVID times as the one-hour sessions of breathing, stretching, clapping, laughing, meditating and relaxing offer teams a quick way to take a break, enjoy each other’s company and reset, whether it’s at lunchtime or at the end of the day.”
Angelilli says these types of programs help team members feel appreciated as human beings who are going through individual stresses while enabling them to bond as a group.
Elorah Davis, owner of Now and Zen Studio, is a proponent of yoga to positively affect the mind, body and spirit.
“Our brain wants us to be overall happy, not stressed, and the idea of self-care is under an umbrella so large that yoga does just that,” Davis says. “Endorphins start flowing as we experience joy and kindness. With yoga, people start to feel calm, centered and overall, more present and aware in their everyday lives.”
A unique offering from Now and Zen is their Women Circles, designed to help women be seen and heard, which Davis asserts most women don’t often feel.
“By holding the space for someone to talk without feeling judged, or the need to defend or put walls up, it helps us build a connection,” Davis says. “The result is the feeling of a cathartic release and being brought back into their body, into the present moment and out of their mind.”
Offering “A place for everyone,” Pilates Yoga Loft believes in taking one step at a time to reach your top potential in your health and wellness journey. Located in Saint Augustine, the wellness center offers group classes such as aerial yoga, Pilates reformers and dance, as well as massage, acupuncture and community wellness events and retreats. Pilates Yoga Loft promises to help you every step of the way – body, mind and spirit.
Regarding self-care and wellness, our outlook can be easily affected by numerous senses, one of the strongest is our sense of smell. The Flagler beachside shop, A Scent to Remember offers a one-of-a-kind experience that can calm your mind and body or help access memories to work through trauma. Shop owner Jacqueline Buckingham offers a full-service aromatherapy business for aromatic and topical use of essential oils. She said, “Scents are known to trigger nostalgic memories and to be calming but also sometimes stir traumatic memories ones too.” The Master Aroma Therapist on staff carefully blends essential oils formulated to trigger calming and peacefulness to your meditation, uplift your spirits or spark thoughts or memories of years past. They work closely with counselors in conjunction with therapies to treat trauma, aiming for healing, recovery and overall wellness.
The First Coast region of Florida offers a variety of avenues to help you practice self-care and all-around wellness. Physical health and nutrition as well as mental and spiritual wellness are a sure bet when you visit the numerous businesses that can help open your mind and nurture your body.