Back in Feb I held a free Weekend Wellness Virtual Event talking about simple tricks we can use in our everyday life to boost our mental wellbeing. As April is Stress Awareness Week and we’re all feeling strange mixes of emotions as Lockdown 3.0 lifts I thought I’d share with you the tips I have in this post so that you can refer back to it anytime you like.
Breathing, the most important thing we can focus on at all times. It’s said in some yoga philosophy say we have a set number of breaths to last us our lifetime, so when we’re stressed and our breaths come in short, sharp and fast we go through extra breaths which is then doing to reduce our lifetime..I’m not sure how true this is but based on this theory and using breathing techniques to slow down the breath could quite possibly extend your life..
In the current way that we live in the Western World we spend a very high amount of time in the ‘Fight or Flight’ mode which was really only ever designed to help us survive in life threatening situations (think cave men confronted with dinosaurs). But due to the ever present stresses of traffic, families, work and even the notifications on your phone* all constantly pushing us into this Sympathetic Nervous System or Fight or Flight Mode its down to us to work hard on switching from this to the Parasympathetic Nervous System or Rest and Digest mode, as often as we can!
And if nothing else, these breathing techniques will calm your mind in that very moment. Below is an info sheet I created on one of my favourite Pranayama (Breathing Techniques) which is suitable for beginners too;
Mindfulness – quite simply meaning to be present on the very task at hand, feeling it for all it is and experiencing it fully.
Remember that Mindfulness is a journey we take not a destination, we can experience mindfulness but it cannot be ticked off our to do list after. It is something we can incorporate into our every day lives quite simply.
Washing your face
A simple essential task you likely do at the start and end of every day, but do you do it mindfully? Perhaps you’re mentally writing your to-do list or physically sending a text or email when washing your face in the morning, perhaps when washing your face before bed you are replaying an event from the day or berating yourself for things you didn’t tick off that to-do list.
I use our smoothing cleanser every day for this practice with its uplifting blend of essential oils and creamy oil based texture, try it for yourself;
Take a few pumps of smoothing cleanser, rub them between your hands and then cup the face, inhale deeply breathing in the eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils to refresh your senses. As you massage the oil into the face focus around the temples, the forehead if you have a headache and really work it all across the face and neck, using it like a facial massage
Made with Golden jojoba oil, the most similar in composition to the skin’s own sebum, making it the best oil to lift makeup and grim away from your face and Green tea extract packed with antioxidants whilst the caffeine undertakes a de-puffing and brightening action.
Take a bubble bath time out
Did you know that a warm bath can actually stimulate the production of serotonin?? That’s the chemical in the brain associated with happiness! A warm bath also calms the nervous system and reduce levels of stress and anxiety in the body.
My tip is to tell your family that you’re busy for 1 hour (or 30 minutes if that’s all you can manage). Lock the door to your bathroom, put your favourite soothing playlist on (Link to my favourite relaxation Spotify playlist here).. turn your phone onto DND or even off and enjoy some time completely for you. Pushed for time? You can also use this for a perfect time to listen to a podcast! I’m currently enjoying Megan Rose Lane and her support for self love and I wrote a whole blog on my favourite podcasts a few months back if you wanted to see that click here.
I recommend our So Sleepy bath foam, made with a blend of Lavender, Chamomile and Frankincense essential oils just like our So Sleepy Pillow Mist and using plant based technology to create a bubble bath that that isn’t harsh or irritating which makes it suitable for all ages and sensitivities, including babies!
Macadamia oil feeds and nourishes the skin whilst maintaining its PH level to stop it drying out. Aloe Vera brings lots of hydration and coconut cleansers derived from coconut oil create a natural foam bringing you all the bubbles!
Do you want to boost the quality of your sleep?
In 2020 our So Sleepy Pillow Mist was tested as part of an independent clinical study on 56 volunteers who suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders. It showed an increase in sleep scores by 33% in just 7 days. With 70% of users agreeing that 4 weeks of use saw their overall sleep improve, taking less time to fall asleep and less disturbed sleep!
With its blend of lavender, chamomile and frankincense it doesn’t smell like your regular lavender spray, several people I know who aren’t usually a fan of lavender love having this on their pillow every night!
Not just for use at bedtime though, mist this around you anytime during the day when you need a calming lift, or spray some onto a hanky and keep it in your pocket to help you during a stressful work shift.
Why are we talking about Tropic?
As most of you know by now I’m an independent Ambassador for Tropic Skincare. Tropic is a UK based company who’s certified Carbon Neutral, works with 100% naturally derived ingredients, has won over 150 awards and is truly revolutionising the way we look at skincare!
They invest in the environment and every £50 spent with Tropic donates a school day through their alliance with United World Schools.
You can read more about the world Tropic does with United World Schools here
Here’s a link to a short video I shared on my Wellness Event incase you missed it or would like to watch it again;
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
*Did you know that every time your phone pings you with a notification, be it a like on social media or text, that it has the potential (and more often than not it does) to create a release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine can be known often as the feel good or pleasure hormone, anything we do which releases these Dopamine hits for example, such as hugging a loved one, eating your favourite food, hearing that song that takes you right back to the summer of 69, these all trigger the want for more to get you another hit of Dopamine because our body loves that feeling of bliss it creates. You can read a great article from Harvard University around this with a lot more depth and facts which I’ve linked here if you’re interested it reading more about this.
Ever tried to write piece of work/homework/an email to a friend and noticed how long it takes if you leave your phone on loud? I am TERRIBLE for this, I have to put mine on do not disturb AND step it away from me because my brain is so addicted to the constant hits of Dopamine I get from likes, comments, messages both online and texts that I can’t easily go more than a minute without picking up my phone (something I’m working on don’t worry).
Sugar for example also releases Dopamine. Refined Sugar being especially bad as its been chemically processed, meaning its stripped quite far from its natural form (which means its less natural for our body to be able to digest it easily). Back in the 1950’s food manufacturers realised the effects this processed sugar had on us, that calming, satisfying high that Dopamine gives us. Before then we’d usually only have it when our mum or grandmother baked us a homemade cake so it would be on a special occasion and not accessible all day every day, whereas after this discovery was made food manufacturers started pumping it into as many food items as they could, drinks, snacks (even those ‘healthy’ ones like cereal bars..check the label if you’ve not been aware of this before) and it coincides with the influx of fast food chains like MacDonalds spreading far and wide.
Due to the release of certain chemicals into the brain when we ingest sugar, it’s actually as addictive as Heroin! This wasn’t so bad back when we where cavemen who had to gather our food to survive, the sugar we would have eaten would have been naturally occurring in fruit, something we’re wired to need due to our bodies not having the capabilities to create our own vitamin C, which we mostly absorb from fruit, so you can understand why our brains work in this way, its just about realising the way in which manufactures have manipulated this to monetise our natural urges!
Sugar leaches our body of vitamin B, any mental, physical or emotional stress will do the same..so add Sugar on top of this and you have a recipe for exhaustion. We need vitamin B to to keep our metabolism healthy, boost our energy levels and work to keep our skin, hair and nails plus immunity nice and strong.
Fact – in the last 20 years or so, sugar consumption in the US has increased from 11.7kg to 61.2kg per person per year! At the turn of the 19th century (1887-90) the average consumption was just 2.3kg per person per year. (Quoted from James Duigan Clean & Lean published in 2010).