Brrrr! Has it been chilly this week though?! I am a total summer kid, but I have to say, I’ve been kinda loving getting all bundled up to brave the cold – especially on those crisp sunny mornings! With that in mind, today’s 10 Ways are all geared towards making the most of this season: from making sure you get the cosiest night’s sleep possible, to some heart-warming melodies, we’re also helping you hack your way through the dark nights, feel totally in tune with yourself and plan ahead for the (dare I say it?!) bustle of December!
Let’s kick things off with a supplement we’ve been researching and trialling this past fortnight, grab that second coffee and let’s get into it…
One: the 12th Element
This supplement has been on my radar for a little while now, so when Free People wrote this post a few weeks ago, I figured it was something to really look into and, no regrets!
Magnesium; an element that’s long been used to promote relaxation, but can bring benefits to the entire body! Free People write:
[…] an essential mineral for the body. In fact, it’s estimated that magnesium plays a role in over 300 functions. Surprisingly, over 80% of people are estimated to be deficient in the mineral due to factors such as poor soil quality and gut health, a deficiency that manifests with several symptoms, including slow digestion, anxiety, and muscle aches and spasms
So, let’s talk benefits then! Dependant on the type and application of Magnesium, it can help in the following ways:
Magnesium oil and magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) can aid in easing sore muscles through topical application, or as a bath soak
Dietary magnesium can support increased energy, while also helping to calm nerves by increasing the function of neurotransmitters that produce serotonin
Applied topically (such as an oil spray), Magnesium works as a muscle relaxer, with the potential to relieve digestive issues and even help you fall asleep faster! A fave vegan mama blogger of mine, Sarah Lemkus, recommends this one
Two: Now Listening
It’s kinda a long story as to how I stumbled across the ‘divine 12 woman galaxy of sound’ that is Beautiful Chorus. Let’s just say earthy insta mama > birthing playlist (incredible irregardless of whether birthing or not!) > Beautiful Chorus
Think deep soulful vocals, a cappella layers of simple-while-meaningful sung mantras. So calming. So connecting.
We especially love ‘Pachamama’, ‘Faith’s Hymn’ (have you ever heard humming sound so stunning?!) and ‘Inner Peace’, and we especially love to listen post yoga session.
Three: Now Watching
I figured we might as well just get this one over and done with, because I mean, who isn’t watching Stranger Things right now?!
(If you’re not, really, get it together!)
Just kiddin’. But seriously, one series in and I feel like this series has already reached cult status. People are illustrating, wearing, and quoting this series like it’s going out of style, and well, frankly the number 11 will never be the same again!
Just incase you’ve been under a rock for the past few months, the season 2 trailer is below (*S1 spoiler alert* though!)
Four: Preemptive Plans
Without mentioning the C-word (the festive one, that is! Not that one!) let’s just say we’re preempting the ‘bustle’ (read: chaos) of December, by getting a spa day booked in now. Like, right now.
Yup, this is one way we’re for sure making life a bit lovelier over the coming months! Planning ahead, and putting a day (or two!) aside to close the doors on the C-word hustle and open the doors to self care and, let’s face it, self preservation at this point! For me, that looks like a spa day with my beau (which was a bridesmaid / thank you present we were blessed with, and I couldn’t be anymore grateful!!), but it’s whatever suits you and will help put a bit of distance between you and Life for a bit!
That could be a day hiking, spending quality time with the fam, an afternoon at the movies, a yoga workshop, or even an afternoon shopping for anything but presents… Whatever creates that headspace for you!
Five: Sun, Moon + Stars
Ok, so this was a revelation for me (and I’m pretty certain I’m very late to the game with this!), but for those of you who don’t know and are into this kind of thing, apparently you don’t just have a star sign!
Oh no! You have a star (sun) sign, a moon sign (say what?!) and an ascending (or rising) sign… Like, what?!
Now I know not everyone is into zodiacs, but identifying so strongly with my star sign (I’m a Pisces, just FYI!), I was so intrigued to find out more! So using this calculator, I discovered my other two signs. Turns out I’m a double Pisces (my moon is in Pisces too) so no wonder it’s such a strong semblance of my sense of Self, and well, I won’t tell you my rising sign (gotta keep you guessing a bit, ain’t I?!)
But what do the three different signs mean, and how do we apply them?
Star (sun) sign: defines your individuality. It guides your actions in skill development, professional career, competition and all forms of social interactions. Defining characteristics like ego, creativity and logic are associated with the sun sign. It is responsible for ‘uniqueness’ in an individual
Moon sign: reveals the inner ‘you’; your fundamental emotions. It reflects the subconscious mind as well. An individual’s places of comfort, mental balance and influential memories are associated with the moon sign
Ascending (rising) sign: represents how you are perceived by others. The initial impression that you make is also guided by this sign. The rising sign is the sign of the zodiac which is rising on the eastern horizon at the time of one’s birth. It is your ‘exterior’, the part of you which interacts with new people
Fascinating and fun stuff, hey?! Go delve a little deeper and see if you identify with your signs…
Six: Medicinal Music
This article fascinated me, and I can totally believe this is plausible: we’re talking music as mental health medicine.
The article states that after a series of test by neuroscientists, they discovered that:
[…] listening to that one song resulted in a striking 65% reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35% reduction in their usual physiological resting rates
…That’s some crazy stats right?! The song in question is ‘Weightless’ by Marconi Union, and was remarkably constructed to do exactly as the neuroscientists stated; to relieve anxiety. Marconi Union created the song in collaboration with sound therapists, carefully arranging harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines to help slow the listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Seven: Winter Sun
Ok, another supplement for you. Yawning? I know, a double dose in one 10 Ways, but I’m a firm believer that a little support in these colder months can make things a whole lot lovelier for us northern hemisphere dwellers!
Vitamin D. Frankly, we don’t get enough of it, period. In a society that’s terrified of the little bits of sun that we do get here in the UK, with preliminary studies revealing that a vitamin D deficiency is likely to affect at least half the UK’s white population, up to 90% of the multi-ethnic population and a quarter of all children living in Britain (BBC)
Ummm, that’s a problem, right?! And, when chatting to a Professor of medicine on a recent business trip, my beau was told that vitamin D was one of the two supplements (the other being B12) that the professor said were a must for everyone!
So how much, and how often? Read all about it from the non-profit Nutrition Facts website, written by Dr Michael Gregor, and get yourself some sunshine in capsule form!
Eight: DST Hacks
On the subject of sun light… Daylight Saving Time. Oh boy! I don’t know about you, but it’s kinda my nemesis!
Fighting the urge to hibernate is a real struggle, so here’s a few tips we’ve found to help hack our way through those dark nights:
Rise + Shine: A toughy for sure, but working with the shift in daylight can make a huge difference, rising earlier and getting tucked up sooner can maximise the time you’re soaking up the natural light, and make the shift in daylight all the more manageable
Get Movin’: an undeniable mood booster, committing 30 mins of movement to get the blood pumping everyday, be it a morning yoga sesh or a brisk walk in your lunch hour, it’s sure to help you conquer the winter blues!
Power Down: if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times (and yet I still struggle with it too!)… Switch those devices off a couple of hours before bed to avoid blue light playing havoc with your body’s natural sleep patterns in these darker months
Sunny Fix: get outside everyday, whatever the weather! Because while vitamin D supplementation can help big time, nothing beats real sunshine for maintaining good health, fighting the winter blues and helping you sleep later in the day
Nine: Nettle Kettle
I can feel a regular ‘Now Drinking’ feature coming on!
Remember we sung the praises of fennel tea a few weeks back? Well! Our latest fix is nettle tea.
I primarily started drinking nettle for it’s skin benefits: the analgesic and anti-inflammatory abilities of nettles can help relieve symptoms of acne, eczema, irritation and other blemishes that harm your skin. The antioxidants contained in the tea can also help to speed up healing and prevent scarring from issues on the skin.
That alone sounds worthwhile, right? Hold your horses though, there’s more…
Nettle tea can also improve kidney health, boost your immune system, aid digestion, provide relief of pain and inflammation and treat allergic reactions! Read more here, grab some gloves (necessary!!), get foraging, and get steepin’!
Ten: Cosy Canopies
Bed canopies are having a moment, and with the urge to feel cosy at all times, we’re totally digging these little den-like lowered ceilings!
And here we are, at the end of another 10 Ways, with our hearts warmed and ready to brave those fresh (but beautiful) November mornings!
Have a gorgeous weekend babes, and we’ll see you on the flip side!
Peace + Love