Italians are known for celebrating the New Year with a few classic traditions: Eat lentils (for prosperity), wear red underwear (for luck and success), and throw out your stuff.
Let’s focus on that last one.
At one time, in some parts of Italy, people would toss their pots and pans and old clothes out the window to mark the passing of one year and the beginning of another. Today, it’s more a philosophy than a common practice – a lovely Italian belief in the importance of starting a new year symbolically unburdened by the struggles and frustrations of the past.
We’re all enjoying deep, cleansing breaths now that 2020 is officially in the rearview mirror, and if there was ever a time demanding a fresh start and new routines, it’s now. But instead of hurling your pots and pans out into the snow, use this special opportunity to toss out your old beauty and self-care regimen and build a refreshing new one for the 2021 you.
So if we press reset on our daily routine for 2021, what does that actually look like? We still have the same work and life obligations, the same nagging concerns tugging at us as we struggle to balance home, family, work, health, and community commitments. We can’t change all those things – but we can change how we care for ourselves. And that, my friend, changes everything.
Let’s face it: Most of us spend more time taking care of our cars than we do of ourselves. Self-care is a habit you can design with intention and a spirit of fun. It can, and should, be one of the most enjoyable parts of your every day.
To get you started on your beautiful new normal, here’s our New Year’s gift to you: Five fresh Italian beauty-inspired resolutions for 2021. Buon anno!
1. Bring nature in.
2. Get serious about a sleep routine.
Don’t let this peaceful stretch of days leading up to the new year fool you: Real life starts back in earnest very soon. With kids back in school, work kicking into high gear, and life starting to normalize, it’s easy to lose our rhythm, start cutting corners, and sacrifice sleep. Get ahead of it now with a plan and routine that protects this most precious part of your beauty regimen. Your body demands its downtime to repair your skin and hair and increase the blood flow so crucial to a glowing complexion. So make sleep your highest-priority habit. Prep yourself with a soothing evening bath that relaxes your muscles and signals to your brain that it’s time to rest. A calming scent of lavender wafting through the room or lightly spritzed on fluffy towels and smooth sheets are all part of the bedtime ritual. (Acqua di Bolgheri Lavanda linen spray) Invest in natural-fiber sheets that breathe, and pay attention to the weave and thread count to find a set that feels most soothing against your skin. Set aside your phone and e-readers, the enemies of good sleep; their blue light interferes with the production of melatonin you need to drift off. And turn the temperature down: Sleeping too hot causes you to wake more frequently during the night, disrupting REM sleep. You want a cool room – 65 degrees is ideal – for solid, uninterrupted rest.
3. Incorporate products that take your mind to faraway places and set an intention to travel there.
We hope travel will become an option again in 2021 – but we know that planning and imagining future travel now is a boost to mental health and dispelling pandemic depression. Start making a plan for the adventures you’ll embark on when the world opens up again. And what better place to dream about than Italy? Picture yourself gazing at Renaissance masterworks of art in Florence, cruising along the Amalfi coastline, strolling through the fashion capital of Milan, or steaming in a natural hot spring in Tuscany. Then accent your travel vision with enchanting Italian-made products from the region you want to explore – home fragrance, soap, beauty products. Choose one that sparks your senses and allows you to fully visualize your travel goal with every use. Acqua di Bolgheri will carry you to the Tuscan countryside. Tap into the spicy scents of Sicily with Ortigia Sicilia products. Or let Storie Veneziane convey you to Venice with its scents each inspired by a different Venetian neighborhood. It may be January here at home, but Italy awaits...and reveling in the anticipation of future travel is a key part of the joy.
4. Bring in new inspiration and energy through fragrance.
Lift your spirits at any point in the day with personal fragrance, even if just for yourself. The average adult inhales and exhales 26,000 times a day – and each one of those breaths can impact our sense of comfort, energy, and well-being. The scents and fragrances we take in shape our moods and our perceptions of the world around us, and since antiquity, artisans have worked to produce fragrances that elevate and inspire. Some people are animated by bold floral scents that connect them to feelings of sunlight, activity, and adventure – others are moved by musky or woodsy aromas that convey a sense of mystery and the beauty of the natural world. Fragrance is such a personal experience, it’s worth spending the time finding one that speaks to you and that you want to wear for any or no occasion. Experiment with scents that bring you joy, make you feel alive, or sensual, or relaxed, or inspired. (Personal Fragrance Discovery, Collezione Lady Code, Ortigia Sicilia Florio Eau de Parfum, Acqua di Bolgheri Magnolia)
5. Incorporate some history and heritage into your daily beauty routine.
There is something so special about having a product or two that come from a very long and rich history sitting among everything else on your counter. A bath salt from Farmacia 1561, a brand that has been continually produced in Florence for more than 450 years. The scent of Fiori di Capri by Carthusia, which was first inspired by a bouquet of wild carnations picked for a visit by Queen Joanna I of Anjou in 1380. These products and fragrances link us through time and through generations and remind us how connected we are. Even the elegant packaging and nature-infused colors speak to something more lasting, more true, and more beautiful than that plastic tube of lip gloss at the bottom of your makeup bag. Sometimes the best renewal is to reach into our collective heritage and connect with the remarkable ways our fellow humans have managed to capture the essence of beauty, of nature, and of the passage of time over centuries. We are not the first to live through a challenging time – and that chain of experience and memory, accented by craftsmanship and artistry, is part of what makes our human journey so rich.
These five simple resolutions are the recipe for an energizing new routine in 2021. And for all you travelers, the advice they give you on an airplane is an excellent reminder of why all this matters: If the plane gets into trouble, you’ve got to put your own oxygen mask on first. You can’t help your kids, parents, or the stranger in the seat next to you until you first take care of yourself. That’s why making the time to toss out the old stuff and commit to a new daily routine of self-care is the true key to a great new year. (But go ahead and wear the red underwear, too… just for fun!)