These are interesting and unprecedented times. We've had a month of isolating ourselves with at least another 3 weeks to go. How are you taking care of yourself? What are your favourite ways to look after your physical and mental wellbeing? Mine chop and change on a daily basis, and I'm quite happy to flow with it. But here are a few of my daily must dos.
Boost your immunity
As much as I enjoy all things health and wellbeing, I am not qualified to give anyone advice on their immunity. There is enough well-intentioned but uneducated advice floating around the internet during these times. Instead, I spoke with local naturopath, owner of Little Alchemy and creator of beautiful Ritual Cacao Blends, Lou to get her advice on how to best support our immune system, and here's her top tips:
- "Consume a Good Vitamin C Supplement. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. Our bodies do not make vitamin C and so we need to get it from dietary or supplemental sources. I like to prescribe liposomal vitamin C due to its enhanced bioavailability."
- "Medicinal mushrooms are magic!" Lou and I both have a love of these wonderful little fungi. "They can enhance the body’s immune response and provide antiviral actions. Specifically, these mushrooms activate the innate immune system, triggering the production of NK cells, lymphocytes, neutrophils, macrophages, and inflammatory cytokines. These medicinal mushrooms are much different than the culinary version though, which taste great but don't have the same therapeutic action."
Reishi Hot Chocolate by Freya's Nourishment Home Comforts cookbook
- "Food Really is the Best Medicine" continues Lou. "Eating a whole food-based diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies including berries, leafy greens and citrus-like lemon and limes are fantastic. The foods we consume each day can have a huge impact on our general health and vitality. When we feel tired and stressed, we tend to eat a lot of sugar and refined carbohydrates - consuming too much of these types of foods can have a negative impact on our immune systems"
They are great for reducing stress and aiding sleep! I know I bang on about them a lot and I am slowly converting friends, family and customers alike, but don't just take my word for it. Dr Abbie Acupuncturist, owner of Zhong Centre in St Kilda shares with us the benefits of foot baths from a Chinese medicine perspective.
"Footbaths. Our favourite type of homework we give out here at Zhong Centre. Feeling stressed? Footbath. Can't fall asleep or stay asleep? Footbath. Digestive issues? Footbath. Bowels not moving or moving too much? Footbath. Feelings of impending doom and anxiousness? Footbath. Seriously, there is nothing these little wet guys cannot help with."
Dr Abbie says there's more to it that just feeling good putting your feet in a tub of warm water! Footbaths are used to help:
- reduce stress
- with sleeping conditions.
Dr Abbie also recommend them for health issues such as
- period pain
- digestion problems
- all over body aches.
"Hot footbaths help to pull all the energy (Qi) down from the mind/’Shen’ to the feet in order to relax and calm you, ready for sleep. It also boosts the Kidney/Water element, as its channel begins under the foot. The Water element pertains to vitality and calm"
It’s hard to believe how crazy Australia has gone with buying gym equipment! You can’t get anything decent for love nor money! Well, maybe a lot of money with those places who are ridiculously overcharging but what are you going to do with it in 6 or 12 months’ time?
Has your local yoga studio gone online? Or has your personal trainer started online sessions? There are so many subscription services now available too, however if you go to you tube, there are a tonne of exercise videos for free. From yoga to HIIT, body strengthening classes to full body workouts and stretch sessions.
Walking is also great. To get some fresh air and wander your neighbourhood. Although I find avoiding people, especially in the afternoon, can be a minefield.
But movement is essential for both our mental & physical health. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do, as long as you are physically active. Which in isolation can be hard if you are on the couch all day. Being physically active can reduce stress and anxiety, manage mental health issues and maintain your mental wellbeing.
Be kind to yourself
Gwyneth Paltrow recently told her followers on Instagram to take the time to "do something you've always wanted to do (write a book, learn an instrument or a language or learn to code online, draw or paint)"
I don't know about you, but I do not have the headspace for learning code or writing a book. There's a lot of pressure out there to use this time to be productive and accomplish all these wonderful things. Which is fine, if you feel up to it! If not, that's okay too.
Some days I am creating recipes, writing new posts, taking photos, putting together flat pack bookshelves and rearranging furniture. Other days I am stuck to the couch knitting in front of Netflix all day.
These are unusual times, there is a lot of fear and uncertainty around us. Be kind and understanding towards yourself. Limit the amount of sensationalist news items you watch and read. If you feel you need to switch off from the world then do that.
Self-care is listening to your needs. Whatever they may be ❤️
It's something that we love at Freya's Nourishment! Our website is sprinkled with gratitude in various ways, of course the Gratitude crystal intention oil, we also have had guest writer Genevieve Morton write a post for us on An Attitude of Gratitude and I created a Gratitude Essential Oil blend for you too.
Practising gratitude is not just a bit of hocus pocus. There are numerous studies published showing that gratitude improves:
- psychological health
- lessening emotions such as rage, anger, envy, frustration and regret
- increasing empathy towards others and yourself.
There are other studies showing how gratitude can help with:
- physical health, reducing aches and pains
- self esteem
So start working on that attitude of gratitude, even with little changes in your thoughts such as being grateful that you are safe at home! What an opportunity, to be able to spend so much time at home, a place we often wish we could be instead of running around so busy! 🙏
Stay social - safely
We may not be able to connect with each other physically, but staying connected with our family and friends by scheduling calls and Facetime, as well as keeping in touch with a funny video or post - there are so many funny things floating around at the moment, and humour is a wonderful way of dealing with things.
Another thing that has been really lovely is seeing the gifts people are sending their friends. Most of our orders lately are friends sending gifts to each other. And it's also something I am doing myself, sending gifts to my friends to let them know I'm thinking of them, and it also enables me to support other small businesses.
I would love to hear your favourite ways of being kind to yourself in these strange times!
Stay safe x