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We may not be able to travel physically right now, but there’s always an option to escape mentally.
Meditation: This basically allows us to go on a momentary holiday – to take some time out from the everyday noise of life, check in with our true inner self and find a place of calm. It can seem a little daunting at first and is often misconceived as sitting silently in the lotus position and forcing your mind to think of nothing – which, let’s be honest, would be pretty torturous for the majority of us. Fortunately for us ‘busy minded’ folk, there are plenty of different techniques to make meditation a far more enjoyable experience, you just need to figure out which style works for you.
Visualisation: Our personal preference is visualisation as it provides a much easier way of focusing on the present moment instead of letting your mind wander off to that time you fell over five years ago or considering tonight’s dinner options. Visualisation exercises can be done either through a guided mediation that you listen to or by creating one yourself, that you follow in your mind. It’s sometimes easier to decide on the purpose of your meditation for that day and set an intention, then chose the right visualisation to match.
Here are two of our personal favourites, which you can do from any position – sitting, standing, kneeling, lying down, just as long as your safe and comfortable.
Always start by closing your eyes and focusing on the breath – lengthening each inhale and exhale until you reach a slow and steady pace.
We usually do this one in the morning, before we get out of bed, while listening to Donna Summer – ‘I feel love’. Start by picturing the colour you associate with love as a bright glow. For us it’s a warm, gold but your it may be different. For each inhale, breath in the glow of love through the crown of your head and allow it to slowly fill your whole body from top to bottom. Then as you exhale, breath out the glow to fill your entire room. Continue slowly inhaling the light, filling your entire, and each time you exhale, breath the light out a little further. Fill your whole street, then your whole neighbourhood, and keep going until the entire planet is surrounded by your glowing love. Then if you’re in the mood (which you usually are after this meditation) you can dance on the bed to celebrate your new love-filled planet.
A Magical Trip
Picture yourself standing at the top of some stairs, with a grand door at the bottom. Where does the door lead to? It’s completely up to you. It can be anywhere at all, just somewhere magical that you love. Inhale deeply and each time you exhale, take a step down. When you reach the bottom of the stairs, slowly push open the door to reveal the place you want to go. Move out into that space, notice the sounds, the smell. What can you touch? How does it feel to be there? What do you want to do there? Maybe wander around, swim, fly, sit and enjoy the view. Is there anyone else there with you? If so, what do you want to say to them? What do they say back to you? Spend as much time as you like in your magical place if you feel your mind wandering, keep referring back to your five senses to stay focused. When you’re ready, make your way back to the door, up the stairs and back to your current reality.
Our current ‘hibernation situation’ has led us to adapt our lives in all kinds of ways, not least our usual beauty regime. If you are beginning to scrape the remains from your jar of moisturiser, or desperately squeeze out the last of your conditioner, fear not, there are plenty of natural alternatives sat in your kitchen cupboard. In fact, now may be the perfect opportunity to get into the habit of a more natural way of living.
Here are a few essential all-rounders, that have a multitude of uses, both in the kitchen and bathroom.
Coconut oil: Body moisturiser, sunscreen (low SPF), hair conditioner, eye make-up remover, cuticle cream, lip balm, massage oil, mouth wash, toothpaste, deodorant, cooking (it has great nutritional properties), a butter alternative.
Ground Coffee Beans :Coffee to drink (obvious essential!), body exfoliator, scalp exfoliator (also stimulates hair growth), cellulite scrub (mixed with coconut oil), dark circle reducing eye cream (mixed with water to make a paste), house cleaning scrub.
Baking soda: Whitening toothpaste, face exfoliator (mixed with water), mouthwash, heartburn treatment (a teaspoon dissolved in water and drank), deodorant, stain remover.
Lemon: face cleanser (cut and massaged directly on face), body detoxifier (drank with hot water first thing in the morning), lip scrub (mixed with brown sugar), scalp cleanse, home surface and glass cleaner (mixed with water).
Apple Cider Vinegar: scalp cleanser, face toner (diluted with water), hair rinse (to clarify and add shine), sore throat remedy (gargled with water), mouthwash (diluted with water), deodorant (diluted with water).
Never has it been more essential to create a sanctuary at home.
The impact our external environment has on our internal environment is incredible. Our five senses constantly absorb our surroundings, so everything we see, hear, touch, taste and smell sends a signal to our brain, which directly impacts our mood, health and emotions. It’s really important to take this into account when creating our living space, to ensure our home is conducive to the way we want to feel.
See – A cluttered home is a cluttered mind. Get organised and clear out anything that no longer serves you. Let go of anything that holds a negative memory, and try to surround yourself only with things that are useful and/or bring you joy. One of the easiest and quickest ways to improve the ambience of your space is through lighting. Swapping the main ceiling light for side lights and bright white bulbs for a warmer yellow/orange hue instantly creates a softer, calmer feel.
Hear – Close your eyes and note what you can hear. Are there any backgrounds noises that you find irritating or unpleasant? Obviously, traffic or annoying neighbours are a little out of our control but is there anything bothering you that that you can change? It’s also great to note the sounds that make you feel good, and make the most of them, for example moving your work desk next to an open window where you can hear the birds singing. With music, it’s always helpful to have different playlists based on the mood you want to create. Maybe one for work, another for exercise, cooking or relaxing.
Touch – How does your home feel? Is it snug? Sterile? Welcoming? Cold? It’s important to feel safe and comfortable in your nest, particularly now that we’re spending so much time at home, so is there anything you can do to ‘cozy it up’ a little? Cushions, blankets, rugs and poufs all add a certain je ne sais quoi, so now may be a good time to dig out any blankets from the back of your cupboard or treat your sanctuary to something new. Plants are also an easy way to breathe life into your space and purify the air.
Taste – Although we may not exactly be able to taste our home (that’d be a bit weird), we choose the foods in our cupboards, the drinks we’re used to making and what we have immediately available to snack on. It’s easier to change our habits by changing our surroundings, such as having a full fruit bowl on our kitchen table, herbal teas as an option alongside the coffee machine, and replacing the biscuit tin with some dried mango, to encourage a healthier way of living.
Smell – Scent can really set the tone for your entire home. It’s good to work out how different scents make you feel and to use them at the right time, depending on what you’re doing. You may find incense hypnotic and use it during yoga or meditation, or perhaps a certain scented candle that helps you work well. Having a basic understanding of essential oils is a complete game-changer, from using lavender and chamomile in a relaxing bath to inhaling sweet orange or peppermint to boost energy. Be sure to go for toxin-free options, such as soy scented candles, to take care of your health as you breathe the scents in.
This post was brought you in collaboration with The House Of Bohème
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