It's so easy to burn out isn't it?
It took me back to last March when I was really poorly with nothing like I'd ever remembered feeling. I had pulled a couple of muscles and with it felt so ill too - a weird crushing feeling in my back, sickness for days, lower blood oxygen (my neighbour, medical herbalist, Katherine had a kit). I called an ambulance in the end on her recommendation, they couldn't find anything wrong and key observations revealed I had the resting heart rate of an athlete! It was a very strange time and in hindsight, chatting last week to a good friend, we rationalised that it was very likely Covid and a bit of a breakdown to boot.
So, when wondering what to write for this week's Skin Elixir - nourish the skin you're in blog, I thought I would draw on this story - and as I know many of my lovely customers (based on a survey I conducted last year) love taking personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing - that I would take a look at some of the ways we can all nourish from the inside out.
Here's 5 ideas that encourage me to feel better. I hope there will be some helpful takeaways for you too :-
1. Change Self Talk
Kindness is king and the way we talk to ourselves impacts the way we talk to others. We choose, in any moment, to be critical of self or to be self compassionate. So what can we do if this doesn't come so naturally? I invite you to listen to our IGTV from last week here when resident Skin Elixir writer Katie Murray (who does her fantastic bi monthly blog posts) reads 4 poems and we chat about the power of free and unconscious writing. If we want to change self talk then this is a transformational tool. When we begin to recognise the words we tell ourselves (often on a cycle in our heads) Katie talks about how when you can 'pull them you like splinters, lay them on the page, hold them in your hands it's then that you can write yourself real again'. Powerful stuff.
2. Drink more water
From the perspective of skin health, drinking water supports the body's detoxification process helping our kidneys do their job more efficiently, flushing impuritires out of the body that dull skin. When we stay well hydrated we improve circulation and blood flow which in turn helps skin glow. Increasing water consumtpion improves our digestion. Even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level, and ability to think clearly, according to two studies recently conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory. Read the full article here.
3. Learn to breathe properly
Breathing is something we do naturally of course, as it's the process that actually keeps us alive, doh. But, how many of us are aware of the power of breath to transform mood and energy levels with mimnimum investment of time too? Check out the WimHof Method in this video here known to reduce streess, help us sleep better and recover faster from physical exertion.
4. Take in nature daily
What the pandemic has given many of us is a reason to walk more and with this, appreciate nature with her changing seasons. It's a reminder of how nothing stops for nature, and there's nothing as constant as change. The turning of the leaves to crisp brown, then bare come winter, signals a time for more self nurture and hibernation, restore and renewal before we spring into action when lighter days dawn. Being in Nature is proven to improve our sense of wellbeing. Here's a fantastic report that explains how spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing.
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep is so important I remember (vaguely haha) having little consistent sleep when the twins were little. Gosh it was hard work! I emphathise with anyone going through that now. I think unconsciously I must have developed the Magnificent Night Oil with a good night's sleep in mind. The sweet basil (Ocimum Basilicum) known as the 'oil of renewal' is proven by science to improve the quality of sleep in older people by improving stress related sleep issues (who doesn't want better sleep, whatever our age!), read more here. It's scent is also known to support anxiety and nervousness and can help adrenal fatigue and exhaustion.
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