> SEPTEMBER 2020
Practice makes Progress....Think of a world where everything you attempted at first-hand, you were excellent at ….it would be super amazing, not to mention impressive, right?
Yoga is an activity that I wish I were better at. The rise of the “yogi insta famous!” encourages my innate competitiveness and has me striving to perfecting headstands and arm balances (not to mention, picking up the odd muscular strain), However, more so recently through regular practice, I’ve come to realise that this ancient discipline isn’t just about how well I can touch my toes, it’s about being present, regardless of my abilities, and giving it my all.
Unlike, some health and wellness fads, yoga has been around for thousands of years, but the incredible advantages still feel very new to me. I have always been quite an active person, so it has only been very recently that I’ve discovered how much more there is to yoga.
Yoga, has fast become my “go to” discipline and one that I very much look forward to, stepping onto my mat and making time for me in those 90 minutes when all around you feels frantic and your head is constant with thoughts, yoga can benefit you to still your mind and add a little calm within.
One of the benefits of spending more time at home this year (COVID-19 Lockdown), has meant the plethora of classes available online which can fit in with your schedule. As restrictions have been lifted and eased, online practice still suits me well and I still feel I have support and a sense of virtual community.
YOGA BENEFITS - Regular yoga practice, helps you improve flexibility, build muscle strength and better your posture. Yoga has also been proven to help with muscle imbalances in the body, boost immunity, lower blood pressure and take care of the health of your bones and joints.
Yoga helps to calm the mind, bringing more clarity to the thoughts and beliefs that run through the mind on a daily basis. As we take time on the mat to consciously slow down and breathe, we give ourselves space from the torrent of thoughts by permitting time to process and find inner serenity and stillness.
Regular yoga practice builds discipline. “Showing up for yourself” day after day is a practice of patience, self-care, dedication, discipline and brings rewards such as gratitude, like nothing else.
> August 2020
Stay Protected, Prevention is Key......
It is not so much about the rising hot temperature as it is to do with the strength of the sun and our own skin. What we ought to consider are a series of factors, such as the time of day, time of year, and of course the geographical location. Additionally if you are fair-skinned, have lots of moles and freckles or have a family history of skin cancer, you should be particularly careful in the sun, and avoid the strong sunshine in the middle of the day.
It is advised that for most people a sunscreen with an SPF of 30, and a high UVA rating (four stars or above would be ideal) is sufficient in the summer in the UK. We are all aware that sun’s rays are damaging to our health, the first line of protection against the sun must be to cover exposed skin with loose clothing. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that ideally covers the ears and the back of the neck, as these are frequently missed when applying sunscreen. Also, wear some UV protective sunglasses to protect your eyes. Seek shade when necessary, especially between 11am and 3pm to avoid burning. And remember that sunscreen should be used in addition to and never in place of these simple measures.
The Skin Care Campaign says never forget the 5 s’s…
• Slip – slip on a t-shirt
• Slop – slop on factor 30+ sun cream
• Slap – slap on a wide-brimmed hat
• Seek – seek out shade and stay in it
• Slide – slide on UV-blocking sunglasses
Sunlight is crucial for getting vitamin D into our bodies, which is vital for the health of our bones. Preserving and maintaining the strength in our bones is one issue that none of us can afford to ignore, and is an increasing concern for women as they near the age of menopause, as the reduction in oestrogen levels can lead to lower bone density, and consequently a risk of osteoporosis. So it stands to reason that some sun can be beneficial and much needed.
The months between May and September, the public in the UK should get out into the sun for approx. 10 minutes, once or twice a day, without sunscreen, which blocks the process of vitamin D production. The human body is very efficient at producing vitamin D so you should have produced enough long before you start to burn.
Sun protection - Identifying your skin type is essential, to getting your sun protection right for you. Having a basic awareness of your skin type will massively help you to determine the sun protection that you need. Skin types range from type 1 (those who have very pale skin that never tans), through to type 6 (black and dark Asian skin). Those with fairer skin should use higher factor sun protection and be careful about the amount of time they can spend in the sun before burning. Their skin may burn very quickly in strong sunlight, and as such they are at the highest risk of sunburn, and sunburn significantly increases the risk of developing skin cancer.
Make sure you Do…..
• Escape the midday sun. On the hottest days keep out of direct sunlight between the hours of 11am until 3pm
• Go out in the sun for short amounts of time unprotected, just for around 10 minutes
• Consider opting to take a vitamin D supplement in the winter months when exposure to sunlight is limited. A calcium supplement (they often come as one tablet) can be complimentary to assist with strengthening of your bones.
Make sure you Don’t…..
• Go out unprotected on the hottest of days, as doing so significantly increases your risk of skin cancer
• Forget to keep topping up the sunscreen, otherwise protection impact may wear off during the day
• Rely on the sunshine for your tan.
- Fake it! Think creams, lotions and potions and definitely not sunbeds!
> JULY 2020 - Natural Beauty Hacks
Men and Women who are interested in good health tend to ensure the food they eat is free from chemical additives and the beauty products they use are natural. The following hacks are easy to follow, give it a go.
Lemon & Colgate toothpaste is the NEW skin hack to reduce pigmentation - Looking to soften the rough patches and pigmentation of the skin on your elbows and knees? Forget expensive scrubs, skin lighteners and moisturisers. Simply, apply toothpaste over the area, cut a lemon in half and rub over the trouble areas before rinsing off with warm water. Toothpaste and rosewater are a good option too.
Top UP ON H2O -Want to know the best kept secret to younger, healthy looking skin? Water! Drink plenty of H2O to keep your skin hydrated and your body fit. If you are a fan of cordial, add some cucumber slices, a squeeze of lemon or a handful of mint leaves to naturally flavour drinks without the sugar.
Clean your make-up brushes - Make-up brushes can be a harbouring and nesting germs and bacteria. Keep yours clean by using coconut oil – yes, another use for this marvellous product! Simply melt 2 tbsp of coconut oil in the microwave, swirl your brush in the warmed oil then rinse with warm water and leave to dry.
Lock in Lips -Want to banish chapped lips? Apply a layer of nourishing lip balm then scrub lips with an old toothbrush to remove any dead skin. You will be pout-perfect in no time. Don’t forget to use a nourishing lip balm after.
Skin Sensation -The antioxidants in blueberries help fight off premature ageing so start including the superfood in your five-a-day to help ward off dreaded wrinkles. Blueberries taste great with porridge or as part of a smoothie so why not add them to your morning routine?
A smooth SHAVE - Out of shaving gel? Before you reach for bar soap, use hair conditioner to lather pins instead – it'll leave skin silky smooth and provide the right amount of slip to enable the razor to glide easily reducing the risks of cuts, unlike bar soap which can cause friction.
Super dry MANI in minutes - Say goodbye to afternoons of Netflix whilst you wait for your nails to dry with this simple beauty hack. Submerge freshly painted nails in ice cold water for a few minutes. When you remove your fingers, you will be good to go!
Sweet CRUSH - Struggling to find the perfect lip colour? Make your own by mixing a loose pigment eye shadow or blush, you may want to mix 2 lip shades with a lip balm. Apply with a lip brush.
Beat THE FRIZZ – Defeat the frizzy hair with a homemade, 100 percent natural hair mask. Combine half an avocado with two teaspoons of olive oil and massage into clean, damp hair. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and follow with a natural conditioner.
> JUNE 2020
Get your Post-lockdown Beauty Hack
Other than friends and family, most of us will be missing our summer vacation, weddings and birthday parties that had to be postponed since lockdown began…For others it may be that daily morning coffee “on the go” from our favourite coffee house, the simple pleasure of meeting up with a friend for lunch and shopping for clothes at their favourite store.
Like most, you'll also be counting the days until you can be back in the hairdresser's chair for well need a cut, colour and blow dry and have an appointment secured at your beauty salon for a reviving facial, manicure and eyebrow tint. Some will be eager to be booked into a laser clinic to be fuzz free and others will most certainly want to erase those worry lines!
In the meantime, we can recreate some of those salon treatments from home, ensuring we'll look and feel our best when we finally emerge from lockdown.
Is your Skin look and feel dull and do you feel you are losing your skins vibrancy? Getting break outs and clogged pores? Don't worry, we're here to help with a few simple ways to boost your beauty regime and reclaim your radiance! The following are some easy but effective beauty hacks:
Keep Hydrated - We know you've heard it numerous times before but staying hydrated is a must. Whether you're working, working out at the gym keep it on hand at all times. Take sips often and regularly, why not liven things up with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, some mint or cucumber? Then top up that internal hydration by applying moisturiser every day too, and you'll be sure to banish dry and flaky skin.
Protect your skin with sunscreen - Whether it's sunny or not, wearing sunscreen all year round is essential if you want to have healthy, gorgeous skin. As we all know the sun's UV rays damage our skin, so make sure sunscreen is a part of your daily routine.
Inner and Outer Glow - Our body's natural collagen levels decrease as we age and can result in dry skin, loss of facial volume and fine lines starting to appear, making us look less youthful! Supplements can help to provide your body with any vitamins and minerals you may be missing in your diet.
Zzzzzzz - If you want to avert dark circles and sagging skin then you could do worse than having an early night. A lack of sleep can cause the stress hormone cortisol to be released which can in turn lead to inflammation. It’s worth noting , that while we sleep our bodies repair and replenish themselves. That includes our skin cells, which use our resting hours to repair damage and rebuild collagen.
Cleanse & Wash - One of the best things you can do for your skin is to wash your face before bedtime. You'd be surprised, just how many still go to bed with their make-up on... all cosmetics clog the pores, preventing the skin from breathing while sleeping. So take a few minutes each evening to cleanse and wash your face and neck with warm water, cleansing away all that dirt, oil and pollution that's built up throughout the day.
Exfoliate ! You can create your own beauty product to exfoliate your skin effectively by using natural ingredients to create a variety of soothing scrubs which will work to remove dull, dead skin cells, revealing new improved healthy skin.
Try blending a tablespoon of honey with a tablespoon of fine brown sugar for a scrub that clears pores and locks in moisture. Or you may want to combine coffee granules (grounded) with olive oil, this will help to leave your skin feeling brighter.
Apply any homemade scrubs to the face in gentle circular motions before washing with warm water.
> MAY 2020
Covid 19- Surviving Lockdown.
With Lockdown restrictions soon to be lifted, there is still a great amount of uncertainty about the Coronavirus pandemic. With current uncertainty, we can all feel unsettled and unsafe. Leaving us with questions, worries and anxiety for the future.
Whilst the uncertainty may continue there are activities that we can do to help cope with these concerns. Whether that is opting to go for a walk or merely pottering about in the garden, these simple steps can work wonders for our physical health and well-being.
When stresses, responsibilities and worries pile up, it is easy to ignore one’s own self-care and plunge into bad habits, the harmful effects of which quickly accumulate to the point that we feel overwhelmed and gutted! Sometimes bringing ourselves back from the brink can seem like an impossible task. The key is not letting it get that far, which is easier said than done, I know! The positive effects of well- being, boosts self-esteem and creates a bond with others.
Try the following steps:
- Stay Connected - Connect with the people around you: including family, friends, colleagues, school and your local community.
- Be Active -Go for a walk or run, cycle, take an interactive yoga class online, do some gardening or dance your way through your stresses. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity that you enjoy; one that suits your level of fitness.
- Take Control- One of the most common feelings related with stress is a lack of control. Even a simple exercise like writing a priorities list and how to manage them can help to clear your mind and lift some weight off your shoulders.
- Stop and take note- Be observant, look for something wonderful or remark on something unusual. Be aware of your surroundings and what you are feeling in the moment. Take a couple of minutes to reflect on your experiences and appreciate who and what matters to you.
- Set daily goals to give you a sense of purpose and a sense of achievement.
- Take on a different project, fix a bike, learn to play an instrument or how to cook. Set a challenge you will enjoy. Learning new things will make you more confident, as well as being fun to do. Do not be afraid to try something new, rediscover an old hobby or sign up for a course.
- Acts of Kindness- Do something nice for a friend or neighbour, thank someone, smile (even from a distance), reach out to someone who may be feeling lonely. It can be incredibly rewarding and will create connections with the people around you.
Do Not forget to:
- SMILE and HAVE A LAUGH - Believe it or not, there is some truth to the phrase 'laughter is the best medicine'. Laughter is a great remedy for stress as it triggers healthy changes in our bodies and don’t forget a smile is universal and infectious.
- TO EAT HEALTHY - Eat and drink healthily with plenty of fruit, vegetables and water, to help boost your immune system and energy levels. When stressful situations arise, be it at home or at work, we can develop an inclination to skip meals or reach for closest sugary substitute. However, it is more important than ever at these times to take care of our bodies and eat the right stuff. Taking supplements is another effective way of improving your mood.
- SLEEP WELL- If you are struggling, try avoiding tea and coffee in the late afternoon and evening, take a bath, using blackout curtains, listening to gentle music or deep breathing exercises.
> April 2020
Instant Meditation through Reflection
Easter for many, symbolizes the celebration and confirmation of all that represent faith, hope and sacrifice.
This time of the year also observes other religious events all around the world, that many worship.
For many, Easter will be celebrated indoors this year, with the emergence of supporting no social gatherings. Televised and online streaming will be available of all holy services to act as a valuable comfort and support .
So far, we are facing many challenges and are finding ourselves looking for guidance. The lockdown implemented to slow the spread of coronavirus has resulted in many of us full of concern and anxiety of the devasting spread of this pandemic and the loss of loved ones during this time of uncertainty.
Whilst we are all abiding by the Government’s guide to “keep safe and stay at home,” it seems finding things to do for ourselves is proving difficult. With family and friends, our immediate thoughts and actions are always focused on their needs.Whilst this is commendable, it’s worth pointing out that you ought to be setting time for yourself too.
During this time, it’s important to find something that truly makes you feel great, happy and content…. You may want to learn a new language, sign up to a higher education course, write a book, improve your culinary skills, showcase your artistic flair or simply want to have the freedom to do nothing
A therapy that I do recommend starting with, is the Art of Meditation to Improve well-being.
Why not Give Meditation a go?
BEFORE STARTING, find an area of your own.
1) Select your focus, set your intention.
2) Know that the mind will wander, and distractions will occur.
3) When you feel the mind roam, give a healthy cheery wave to the distraction, realign and refocus.
READY TO START…
1) Relax, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Allow your inner core, permission to be in charge and give you direction.
2) Imagine a glowing ball of light, let it give you energy. How about visualising a waterfall washing over you.
4) Let your soul fill the senses with wisdom, intelligence and energies that will manifest and sustain authentic support for you.
5) Allow the energy to spread to every cell of your body, your DNA, your chakras and into your entire energy field.
6) Let the energy fill your present and nurture your future. Now relax.
If Meditation isn’t for you try Prayer and Gratitude.
> March 2020
Facing anxiety amidst the Coronavirus Crisis …..
The Coronavirus Pandemic and its reporting changes by the minute, with a record amount of people experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety and stress.
During this time, our Mental Health is suffering and will decline in the days and weeks ahead. As a result, we all need to build a strategy to remain healthy in Mind and Body.
Stress is always increased when ambiguity is at its peak. In fact, uncertainty is more stressful than knowing something terrible will take place. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise will help us all to improve our outlook and focus during the coming months ahead. Anxiety and Stress will manifest itself in many different ways for individuals and will affect many.
We can strengthen our mental health, build resistance and improve our immunity.The following tips and guidance are there to help you to design your own Healthy Plan of Action. Why not try the following:
Step 1 –Draft your own rules, following strict Government guidelines in the wake of the Corona Virus Crisis on hand-washing and social distancing is not just good practice but is essential and can save lives. Obeying the new set of rules can help you feel some sense of control and help reduce and relieve stress.
Step 2 - Limit and Streamline the News. It is important to create boundaries whilst we are updated minute by minute on the current state of the Pandemic. Information overload and constant information checking can cause a constant spike in anxiety levels. Remember, by doing so can also affect those family members around you including your children. Whilst we are not able to control the spread of the virus, you can control how regular you check the news.
Limit your access by scheduling a time to watch the BBC and other Social media feeds
Step 3-Draft a daily programme and stick to it. Set up a daily routine for your day and include your family. Participation in activities and chores are important, make it fun and set ground rules. This can include a designated person to shop for essential foods, planning to cook with the family. Try and Set times and activity duration, fill your time and focus on tasks that bring you and your family joy. You may want to learn a new language, learn to play an instrument etc. Imaginative and inventive pursuits also boost emotional health and can help you and loved one’s cope with (the new “normal”) self-isolation. Set aside, time to include working from home, home schooling etc.
By doing this helps to create some daily certainties for you and yours.
Step 4 - Stay in touch! Keep your Community Spirit elevated. Staying connected is an integral part of our lives and in society as a whole. Frequent communication with friends, family and neighbours is essential and should be preserved via phone or video chats to help maintain relationships. This helps to provide a well-deserved distraction and more crucially to elevate and maintain an upbeat mood. Although direct contact might be limited, you may be able to help by providing food drop offs, picking up medication for the vulnerable groups in your community.
We have in recent weeks seen an unprecedent spirit of togetherness in communities around the world and been uplifted with community activity and support.
Step 5-Don’t forget to stay positive, breathe deeply, eat and sleep well. This may sound silly to point out, but stress is wearing, and it exhausts your body’s natural reserves of oxygen and nutrients needed to strengthen one's own immunity.
Interrupted sleep is a “red flag” along with a poor diet. Lacking and depriving your essential basic needs can contribute heavily to your growing anxiety and stress levels.
Set yourself a set time to go to bed following a restful evening routine and avoid unwanted stress such as mobile phones etc. Simple breathing exercises can reduce levels of anxiety and act as a controlled stress-relief tool. Just breathe in, hold your breathe for a few seconds, then slowly and gently exhale. By doing so, you can also practice the Art of Gratitude and Positivity. This is an especially good exercise during times of heightened anxiety and stress, it helps us to deal with fear and boosts our mood, which works to preserve our psychological health.
Personal Thank you to all NHS staff and all Medics around the world on the frontline. Whilst I have been writing this article, an army of 405,000 volunteers will be offering their services to boost the NHS within a 24-hour plea from our Government. I’m so proud of our local communities, regions, country and international communities around the world. I will be offering my own services as my working establishment has been also agreed to act as a NHS Hospital.
> FEBRUARY 2020
Clear Vibrational Healing.
For the purposes of crystal healing, crystals have a distinct arranged, impalpable repeating structural matrix. For the purposes of crystal healing, all kinds of stones are often referred to for healing all sorts of gemstones, semi-precious stones, pieces of rock or amorphous substances.
Good vibrations - People talk often refer to colour characters between crystals and the chakras, about the effects of light and energy on our bodies and the fact that our bodies contain a huge volume of water through which vibrations can pass. There workings are truly a source of connection, whilst they appear to look calm on the outside, internally crystals form a simmering mass of energy as their tiny particles vibrate around atomic cores.
Crystal selection - There are ways to choose a crystal: intuitively and by dowsing. Crystal energy is delicate but once you are attuned to it and focused, you will quickly be able to recognise the right crystal for you: The dowsing technique: Finger dowsing is an excellent way to choose a crystal. It works by harnessing your body’s unique and distinctive ability to tell you what is good for you and what is not. Start by looping your thumb and finger together. (Use whichever hand instinctively feels right to you.) Slip your other thumb and finger through the loop and close them. Hold the loop over a crystal and ask if this one is beneficial for you. Pull steadily. If the loop breaks, the answer is no. If the loop holds, the answer is yes.
The intuitive method- By Consenting to a crystal to ‘speak’ to you involves opening your inner eyes and ears and seeking with your heart rather than your head to find out which crystal would like to be worked with. First, relax and quieten your mind, then choose the crystal that your eyes first alight on, the one that seems to stick to your fingers or the one you suddenly realise you’ve been carrying around. When you connect with the crystal’s vibration you may feel your energy jump or tingle (like getting an electric shock), it may pulse in your hand.
Fine-tuning - Many people ask why crystals don’t work for them and why they feel dragged down rather than uplifted when they handle a crystal. Frequently this is because the crystal hasn’t yet been asked to work or been attuned to the user’s unique energy frequency. An even more likely answer is that it hasn’t been cleansed before use. Crystals pick up vibrations from everyone who handles them, and they also absorb negative energies. So, if you don’t cleanse your crystals you’ll pick up bad vibes and won’t feel any of the benefits that a purified crystal can bring you.
Liquid Gold for the skin!
It is important to follow a skincare routine, making sure you include some essential Vitamin based products that can provide a stable support to your skin to help restore and rejuvenate your skin’s complexion.
NOTE: Seek the guidance of a qualified Skin Expert, as some products are prescription only whilst others, are over the counter.
Vitamin B, is a multi-purpose serum that targets an assortment of skin complaints. Namely, it works to steady the skin’s barrier to relieve, repair and improve the skin’s immunity, boosting the skin’s vitality. Vitamin B includes an influential component called B3/ niacinamide; this helps to reduce redness, improve the skin’s tone & texture, refine open pores, regulate the skin’s oil production, reduce fine lines &wrinkles and improve the skin’s hydration.
NOTE: Vitamin B is suitable for all, but is well received with those who suffer from rosacea, dry & sensitive skin. To maximise and compliment your results, Vitamin B can be used with either or both Vitamin A & C to maximise the most effective results.
Vitamin C, is an ascorbic acid product that contains powerful antioxidant to shield the skin cells from free radical damage from the daily attack of UV rays, consequently protecting the skin from sun damage and therefore promoting collagen synthesis to address early signs of ageing by reducing the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles and leaving a much smoother and radiant complexion. Additionally, Vitamin C also helps to brighten uneven skin tone and helps improve the skin’s elasticity, helping the skin to look more youthful.
NOTE: Seek guidance and advice of a Skin Care Expert if you have sensitive skin (Vitamin B, may be a better option).
Happy New Year!