My Top 10 Self-Care Activities at Home

by Gemma Bowden
Director at The Owl and The Coconut

Click a heading to find out more about each one!


I’ve absolutely loved practicing yoga in the comfort of my own home. Manchester based Stefan shares classes live via zoom throughout the week. And also offers an OMdemand subscription, which really suits me as it means I can just open up my laptop and practice anytime of the day with the gentle guidance of a yoga teacher I know and trust. Yoga teacher Stefan usually shares his classes across Manchester, including at our lovely very own Levenshulme Old Library.

Gong Spa

Ran by the lovely Martyn who has been our resident gong bath at The Nest since day one! Bringing his amazing soothing gong sounds to us every month. And now he’s bringing this gong sound experience to your home! And not just online, if you get a few mates together in a socially distanced safe way, Martyn will bring his Gong Spa to your very own back garden! How amazing is that!

Talk About It Mate

Sees the very passionate Mike and the team hold a space for men to be open and honest about how things are for them in their lives. They were newcomers to The Nest and we hope to welcome them back as soon as possible. I think The Blue Bell pub will be happy to hear that too, I believe there’s an option to pop there for a pint after each meet up! 

Heal Yourself with The Ice Shaman Wim Hof & Russell Brand

Watch for FREE this incredible, funny and informative interview with the inspiring Wim Hof and beautiful soul Russell Brand. Then get yourself (Safely! Follow the guidance in the video!) into an ice cold shower! Following a Wim Hof 10-week online course that I’ve done during lockdown, I’m now a massive fan of cold showering and his intensive breathing sequences. They leave you feeling full of the cosmic glow of human life!

OM and Gayatri Mantra Meditation

Live from Costa Rica with Deva Premal & Miten and hundreds of people live online around the world! I find this really special. Watch live on Facebook or Instagram at 9pm BST on Saturdays to be transported over to the Costa Rican rainforest with the amazing voices of Deva and Miten who guide you through simple and heartwarming mantras and meditation guiding you into a restful night’s sleep…

Merka Box

A self-care dream! I received my first box in June, a self-care treat for me from me! And it truly brought me so much joy! Filled with amazing vegan chocolate, gorgeous loose tea, incredible smelling incense cones and a beautiful lotus gazing necklace. And that’s to my six year old sons YouTube viewing I now understand the joy of ‘unboxing’! The whole box came with an info card with such heart centred tips on how to use the items for maximum self-care ritual me time. The name itself means; mer = light | ka = spirit | ba = body How lovely is that?! 

The gherkin, Levenshulme

OK so you do have to nip out the house for this one! But then straight back home to enjoy an oat milk decaf latte (that’s my fav!)and a freshly made energy ball. Both infused with a drop of CBD oil, which is said to help improve mood and reduce symptoms of pain. Also while your there check out the array of fabulous art for sale and get yourself a sage smudging stick to help raise funds for us! As the very kind owner is stocking a few meditation type items to help us raise some funds during these tricky times. 

Make your own shrine

I know it might sound grand this one! But I live in a two bed terrace with two other people and a dog and have still managed to sneak mini shrines all over the house! My main two shrines are in the bathroom and the garden. Just think of a shrine space as a space for you to find some peace. Place a few objects that bring you joy or inspiration for wellness. Maybe a nice candle. An image you love. Your journal. A chocolate bar! Have fun, meditation can be fully enjoying the experience of letting a piece of chocolate melt on your tongue as you tune in to the experience of all your senses as you enjoy it! 

Be a Perma Person

What the heck?! I know right! I’d never heard of this before I watched this great zoom session with Martin Seligman, a master on positive psychology and research into well-being, with Action For Happiness, click here to watch the full interview for FREE. In which Martin describes a perma person are people who make your day! Those kind people that give you a big smile. The friend who leaves a tub of vegan ice-cream on your doorstep (it happened to me! I have great friends!). The stranger who paid for my coffee when my card was declined. But that person. The world needs more of that. 

Do nothing.

No-thing. Nothing. When was the last time you truly did nothing? Just pause in the present moment. Feel your feet on the floor. See whatever you can see around you. Hear all the sounds that come and go, near and far. Notice any smells passing by. Any taste in your mouth. Feel a sense of melting in the body, softening, easing, letting go, like ice melting into water, releasing any holding, any tension in the jaw, the forehead, the shoulders. Stop the ‘doing’ and come back to ‘being’. Rest in present moment awareness. 

What have you been up to?

Tell us how you get on trying these and let us know what you’ve been up to for your own self-care, we want to try it! It will also really help us to plan our own un-pause if you could fill in this short questionnaire. Read more about un-pausing here.

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