From Yoga to trying out new herbal face packs, Neena Gupta’s wellness routine is super easy to emulate. The evergreen actress spent a large chunk of the lockdown in 2020 at her home nestled in the mountains and trees up in Mukteshwar, and got the chance to slow down and indulge in self-care during her down time.
And, if there’s one ageless beauty we can’t stop obsessing over, it’s her! Over the years, the Masaba Masaba star has earned a new fan base of loyalists thanks to her unabashed honesty and how she lives her life sans filters.
And we got an even closer peek into her life during the lockdown, when she posted pictures and videos of herself on Instagram living her best life and healing her soul amidst nature—a stark contrast to the fast-paced Bollywood life she was living so far. And guess what? We still keep going back to her Instagram feed for a dose of motivation from time to time.
So without further ado, we’ve got you some of Gupta’s best-kept self-care secrets, fresh from her Instagram feed. You’re welcome!
She practises Yoga regularly
“I’ve been doing Yoga since my childhood, but in these four and a half months [of the lockdown], only four days I didn’t do it,” said Gupta about her consistent practice in an interview. “I’ve been very regular, and I have got time to look after my body,” she shared. While the actress has been sharing snippets of the poses she’s been perfecting, she reminded her fans that she isn’t an expert and told them to not blindly try something simply because they saw it on social media. Instead, Gupta suggests that one work with an instructor to guide you to the best possible workout for you.
The actress still regularly practises Yoga, and many other healthy habits she had adopted during the pandemic. Regular Yoga practice has proven to help increase flexibility, improve muscle strength, boost energy and maintain a balanced metabolism. Since it includes strategic breathing and slowing down your mind and body as a whole, Yoga is also able to contribute to your mental wellbeing.
She takes long walks in nature
“I love walking,“ shared Gupta in a video. “This will encourage me to stay fit, inside and outside,” she shared. Walking is known to help improve cardiovascular fitness, boost bone health and rev up the metabolism too, making it a great fitness activity, even for older people.
From a stroll through a city park to a day spent hiking in the wilderness, exposure to nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders and even upticks in empathy and cooperation
She follows a skincare routine
Wellness and beauty rituals like dry brushing, jade rolling or following a multiple-step skincare routine can be time-consuming, and may be overlooked when you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But during the quarantine period, many got the chance to devote more time and energy to those activities, including Gupta.
“I have never scrubbed my feet so much everyday, like I have here,” she said. “I put a [face] pack, I never put a pack!” she confirmed. Using face masks to hydrate, exfoliate and soften the skin, giving yourself a manicure/pedicure or massaging your skin with a moisturising oil, can be a great way to take care of yourself and remain in tune with your body.
She immerses herself in dance and music
The OG ‘Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai’ siren is a huge fan of dancing, singing and anything musical. Dance is not only a great self-care tool, but is also a workout that’s good for your body and your mind.
Through this, you get to learn skills like balance, control and coordination. Singing and movement is also good aerobic exercise, and is linked to stress reduction, physical fitness and overall good health.
She eats healthy home-cooked food
Gupta clearly loves preparing food for herself or her family any chance she gets. Cooking at home is good for your mental health because it is ultimately an act of patience, mindfulness, and an outlet for creative expression. We can’t survive long without sustenance, and the ability to choose what we cook and even who we cook for can be a radical act of self-care, and the actress gets that.
Gupta also makes sure to give all her meals a healthy twist to contribute to her inner and outer radiance and beauty. She eats nourishing, wholesome foods as much as possible.
She cuddles with her fur baby a lot
Everyone knows that cuddling with your dogs can calm and relieve stress, and Gupta certainly loves spending time with hers. Research has shown that even simply petting a dog can lower levels of the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for anxiety, stress, and depression.
When you cuddle with your dog, it stimulates the brain’s production of Oxytocin (also called the ‘love hormone’) in both you and your dog. It’s associated with the feelings of trust, empathy, and strong bond formation, and even boosts your mood and wellbeing.
She rediscovers herself on solo trips
Women often get the short end of the stick on so many levels in our society, and Gupta knows this all too well. Even if a woman works more than a man, she gets paid less; women are constantly judged for their looks, marital status, and reproductive choices, among other things. But while it’s difficult to practise self-care when you’re consumed by work, cowed by societal expectations, and expected to care for others, we think it’s necessary to take some time out solely for yourself, just like the Badhaai Ho star does.
One of the reasons we love and advocate female solo travel is that it gives you the ability to be selfish. So often women are expected to be selfless and are defined by their status(es) of being a sister/wife/mother/daughter. But when you travel solo, there’s nobody to answer to but you. The beauty of a solo vacation lies in the ability to structure your days as you see fit— there are no quibbles about where to go to eat in the evening, or objections about visiting that obscure museum you’ve had your eye on since your arrival.
You are free to experience your destination as you like and without having to cater to someone else’s wants and desires. You make the decisions, you call the shots. It’s highly empowering, which is why we think a solo trip is the best form of self-care a woman can practice.