Wrapping Paper Roll Call: Wishing You a Season of Wellness

Illustration for article titled Wrapping Paper Roll Call: Wishing You a Season of Wellness
Photo: Sanctuaire

So...did you get some R&R over the holiday weekend? If you’re like most of us here at The Root, you may need more than a long holiday to get yourself back to center, especially after the collective trauma of 2020. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that paying attention to our personal wellness—whether physical or mental health—isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. We know, we know... “self-care” has devolved from a well-meaning catchphrase to a somewhat annoying trope, but nevertheless, it means well, and in these COVID-crazed times, all we really want this Christmas is to be well, too.

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We know it’s Cyber Monday, and encourage you to check out our Cyber Weekend roundup (above) for all the ongoing deals on this deeply discounted day. But as we lean further into the season of giving with our Wrapping Paper Roll Call, we’re encouraging an extra focus on wellness—especially if you or someone you love happens to be an essential worker, a caregiver, or simply barreling through the emotional and physical burnout—or, all of the above. Courtney Arrington-Baldwin, the founder of the all-BIPOC-founded luxury wellness marketplace Sanctuaire, knows all too well the ill effects of neglecting to take care of ourselves. After a 15-year career in the white male-dominated world of construction, it took three years for her to identify the burnout that would compel her to make an abrupt exit from the industry six years ago.

“There were a lot of things that were going wrong with me physically that I did not understand and it really was as a result of stress and anxiety and not really practicing self-care in the way that I should have. I’d always been into diet and exercise and nutrition, but still not really listening to my body and kind of pushing my body like a machine,” she recently told The Glow Up. “ I feel like that is the story of a lot of Black women...there’s so much that is put on us and there’s so many boxes we’re trying to check. We want to be, you know, career women and mothers and, you know, all the things but a lot of times we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves.”

Fast-forward to 2020, when, amid the pandemic, Arrington-Baldwin made the brave decision to center and sell self-care, launching Sanctuaire, which in turn boasts 90 percent Black-owned brands—specifically, Black women-owned, most of which are self-funded startups. Luxury skincare, cosmetics, apparel, accessories and more can be found among the site’s offerings, making it the perfect online destination for gift-giving. But in a moment when we desperately need to remain focused on our health, Sanctuaire offers more than just products.

“With Sanctuaire it’s important to us that, yes, we are a place to shop, but we also provide information and just an introduction to some wellness practices that people may not be familiar with,” said Arrington-Baldwin. “Everyone can’t leave their career and just become a yoga instructor. But there are things that you can do to just help you function on a day-to-day,” she adds. “I think we always have—as Black women, a lot of us at least have this ‘can do it’ [attitude]—you know, we can do it all and we’re kind of invincible. But we’re not, you know. We really have to take time to focus on ourselves, our mental health, physical health and wholeness.”

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Sanctuaire also gives Arrington-Baldwin the opportunity to promote fellow BIPOC entrepreneurs, a demographic she’s thrilled to provide a platform for because “we make good products, you know, and sometimes we don’t get the exposure through mainstream markets...and not because our products are not good,” she explained. “I think sometimes we may not have the connections with the mainstream marketplaces or they just don’t look at our items, and so we wanted to highlight that there are good products out here on the market with beautiful branding and beautiful packaging and made with love.”

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For Cyber Monday, Sanctuaire is offering 15 percent off its signature kaftans & gifts sets with the code COZYATHOME. But whether strapping on the Fitbit, fixing a smoothie of firing up a bowl, what other retailers are offering the gift of wellness and relaxation this season?

Blk + Grn

This all-natural marketplace founded by Dr. Kristian Henderson has long been one of our faves for locating green alternatives and upgrades to everything from household essentials to cosmetics and skincare. If you want to give the gift of less-toxic living this season—even to yourself—this is a one-stop-shop.

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Black Girl Sunscreen

We don’t know how many times we have to tell you: melanin is not sunscreen! Being Black doesn’t make you invulnerable to skin cancer or sun damage, and thanks to Black Girl Sunscreen, wearing sunscreen doesn’t have to make you look like a streaky gray mess. For Cyber Monday, this upscale sunscreen brand enriched with jojoba and avocado is buy one, get one free, so put some sun protection in their stocking.

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Bolden Skincare

“Maskne” is no match for this cruelty-free, responsibly-sourced, all Black woman-run, skincare brand, which gently hydrates, exfoliates and evens skin tones and textures with its acclaimed and scientifically proven formulas. For Cyber Monday, get 30 percent off sitewide with code CMON30.

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Golde

This superfood-fueled brand knows wellness is both an inside and an outside job, and has its devoted following covered with matcha and turmeric-based face masks, latte blends and more—indulge them with a kit for a mutually beneficial gift. For Cyber Monday, get 20 percent off with the code SUPER20.

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Made Fresh Organic

If a hardcore cleanse is what the end of this year calls for, how about a pack of juices from New York’s Made Fresh Organic? This Black woman founded brand prides itself on clean juices with no artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors “or anything else you wouldn’t want to serve to your family.”

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Iconi

This inclusive activewear brand encourages wearers to embrace their power...and with an endorsement from none other than Oprah, we’re inclined to embrace their no-nonsense, all-comfort aesthetic and get to work. If you catch their Cyber Monday sale, you can catch up to 40 percent off.

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Womy

Is someone you love fighting the feeling of overwhelm? Womy’s loose-leaf blends offer her the opportunity to “Chillax,” “Glow” and become her own personal “Shero”...and currently, their stress-reducing and energy-infusing blends are 25 percent off for Cyber Weekend.

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EcoSlay

This sustainable haircare brand’s motto is “Slay your look, not the planet”—which means it’s as good for the Earth as it is for your locks. The focus may be green, but their formulations have delectable names like “Jello Shot,” “Orange Marmalade” and “Rice Pudding,” specifically typed from wavy to kinky textures. If they’re new to the brand, treat them to a bundle.

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Heal Haus

Spending most of our time at home has turned out to be far less relaxing than we thought it would be—but it’s where many of us will be spending the winter. To help your loved ones unwind, how about a monthly subscription to Heal Haus? Get access to 6 live online yoga and meditation classes 7 days a week from anywhere in the world—and for Cyber Monday, they’ve reduced the price to $20/month.

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Canna Luxe Co. 

For the herbal connoisseur in your life, why not outfit them with the best accessories? This home decor-inspired luxury smoking accessories line is meant to complement the high life in high style—quartz crystal pipes, anyone? For Cyber Weekend, get up to 40 percent off sitewide.

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Noirebud

If CBD is the relaxation method of choice, Noirebud has the upscale salves, teas and more they deserve. Get your hands on these luxury-level goods and help them level out during a stressful season. For Cyber Monday, it’s 20 percent off the entire site.

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Smile Natural

With masks now a part of our daily lives, we’ve all become too accustomed to smelling our own breath. Why not stuff their stocking with a Toothpaste Sampler Pack and Antibacterial Oral Rinse from Smile Natural? With sustainably sourced ingredients and packaging, this is a “friendlier hygiene solution”—for 35 percent off oral care and 25 percent off other items (read: body care) this Cyber Monday.

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Re-Spin

If you’re ever in need of a little “fitspo,” look no further than Halle Berry’s Instagram page, where she makes 54 look better than ever. Now, the Oscar winner is letting us in on the secrets behind her legendarily fit body with her newly launched Re-Spin line, and it’s already taking off; the brand’s Full Body Resistance Loop won “Best Resistance Band 2021” by Women’s Health magazine.

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Solely Fit

If she wants to move, help her do it in style with the “elevated athleisure” brand Solely Fit. This Black woman-founded brand makes sleek and sexy athletic separates fit for working out, but also made to look very, very good.

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Brown Girl Jane

This sister-founded CBD brand (now partnered with influencer Tai Beauchamp) has got the goods to make her feel good inside and out with its luxury-level line. The quality and selection are top-notch, but for Cyber Monday the prices are an accessible 25 percent off and 30 percent off sets.

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Peak & Valley

The wisdom is ancient but the aesthetics are of the moment with this herbal and mushroom-based holistic brand, which draws from Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine to craft its neuroscientist-formulated blends. Help them regain balance with a Wellness Collection—20 percent off for Cyber Monday.

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Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?

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