As I sit here on this first, super chilly Autumn morning of the season, it feels so right to be writing about gentleness. As the weather gets a little harsher and we shift gradually towards Winter, we need a little softness in our lives; to find a gentle, comforting space to balance the seasonal changes and that’s what today’s 10 Ways are all about.
From developing habits that warm our hearts on the daily, to tweaking and adjusting those existing practices to honour the seasonal shift that we feel… It’s all about being gentle with ourselves when we need it. We’ll be talking beautifully slow youtube videos, our favourite restorative yoga pose, how to easily elevate your cosy autumn wardrobe and a movie that pulls on the heart strings in all the right ways…
Take a second for yourself, my loves. Take a lovely deep inhale right down into your belly, let that oxygen soak in for a moment, and release with a long, slow exhale… It’s Friday, you’re wonderful and things are about to get 10 times more lovely!
One: Safe Zone
This yoga pose is everything for me right now, and I hope that’ll be the case for some of you too (if not already!).
Simple, restorative Child’s Pose (Balasana) is, in my eyes, the cuddle of all yoga poses. Relieving stress, anxiety and fatigue, as you gently stretch the hips (a place we often store a lot of emotional tension), this pose calms the brain helping us, as its name might suggest, to release all our adult cares.
For a super comfy variation, making the bend more gentle, add a folded blanket between your thighs and calves, and pillows under the head. Breath deeply into the back of your body, imagining your back ‘doming’ skywards as you inhale, lengthening and stretching the spine, then as you exhale sink and surrender deeper to the pose.
Whether sitting in Child’s pose becomes your entire practice (totally legit) or you simply interject your current practice with a few more breaks in this resting pose, for a shift in season, and therefore also an inner shift for us all, Balasana might just be the comforter you seek.
Two: Radio Silence
Now I don’t know about you, but for me it’s pretty unusual to have enough time to spare to sit in silence, or to even sit and simply listen to the radio for a short while. However, more and more, in this screen-dominated world we’re living in, I find myself seeking just that. A little time to just close my eyes, sip my tea and listen.
Just recently, for me, that’s taken the form of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. An hour long, daily show with a variation of topics, concisely explored. Just a bitesize amount of information, enough to inspire and feed the soul and to raise your awareness a little without the depths of most podcasts. This little window of discussion is precisely the mid-morning break I’ve been craving and is proving to be a cosy habit on those chillier mornings in our home.
Three: Now Watching
Autumn naturally sees us begin to slow down a little in our mindset, and sometimes it can be nice to honour that with the media we choose to consume. It’s that same principle as Dolce Far Niente (the ‘Joy of doing Nothing’, for those of you who aren’t Italian or avid Eat Pray Love fans!).
What am I talking about? Well, safe to say Youtube has never been more relaxing than watching the wonderful @LauraBeeDraws paint her beautiful watercolour figures, so soothing!
Four: Kånken Classic
As an introvert who works from home (read: a happy little hermit!), venturing out into our busy world can be a little overwhelming at times, but I’ve come to learn that having some creature comforts with me, and feeling prepared for most eventualities, can prove a very self-caring exercise. And with that in mind, I present to you: the rucksack.
Not just any rucksack though, oh no! The cult classic Fjällräven Kånken, undeniably the most instagrammable back pack you could possibly own. Allowing you to exist happily prepared outside of your home, irregardless of the season, while looking super cute… Just sounds like a really good plan, right?!
And if you want to extend that gentle mindset to our planet too, consider the Re-Kånken – made entirely from polyester recycled from plastic bottles
Five: Look Outwards
This time of year, beautiful as it is, can often be a little too self-reflective. Oomph, statement I know. Hear me right here: I’m all for self-reflection and care, but I do believe one can have too much of a good thing, and that in some cases it can even further our anxiety. Which is why I’d always encourage us (speaking to myself as much as anyone here) to take time to look outwards; to look to ways to help others, not just ourselves and our immediate people, but to have a broader perspective.
Operation Chirstmas Child, is a great way to do just that at this time of year. A project I’ve been actively participating in every year since I was a child (thanks to my mama!), it’s a simple, fun and effective way to remember and help bring a little joy to those children with far less than us in the lead up to Christmas. In short, you simply pack a shoebox full of little gifts; be that toys, hygiene items, or school supplies, take the box to your local collection point and they ship them all around the world to gift to children in need, so that they too might experience some of the joy and love of receiving a gift this Christmas.
You still have 23 days until collection (national collection week is Nov 12–19th) so get involved here.
Six: the Indoor Generation
That’s the label we’ve been given, the ‘Indoor Generation’. Isn’t that awful?! A phrase that’s starting to crop up more and more, have a watch of this video to learn more about that label and the statistics behind it.
The average urbanite spends over 90% of their time indoors. 90%, can that be right?! Well, when you consider there are 24 hours in one day, and 10% of those 24 hours is 2.4 hours… Starts to make a bit more sense hey?
Just in case it isn’t obvious to anyone, this much time indoors has a huge impact on our overall health and wellbeing: the lack of fresh air, and prevalence of indoor air (which can be a shocking 5 times more polluted than outdoor air!), and the lack of time spent in unfiltered, natural daylight on our skin, for our eyes and our mood can be detrimental.
With that in mind, the wonderful Tony Riddle @theNaturalLifestylist has created #theurbanitechallenge to ensure we’re getting the minimal 10% of our day outside, and when we say ‘outside’ we mean beneath the sky, not in your car, or out at the shops!
Set a timer on your smart phone for 2hrs 24mins, and every time you venture outside I want you to hit start, and then when you go back under shelter you hit pause
The challenge is to accumulate 2.4 hours per day to cleanse yourself of this “indoor generation” label
Seven: Cleansing Moon
Our next full moon is coming up, the Hunter moon on October 24th. And this can be a great time to cleanse your life a little, in a gentle no-detox-or-juice-fasting-needed kinda way! Creating a full moon practice, such as journalling, taking a cleansing salt bath, meditating with intention to let go or even a full moon yoga practice, can work to help us release old habits and form space to cultivate some new, healthier intentions for our lives.
There’s no wrong way to do this, so feel into it and see what works for you, and if you’re stuck for ideas, plenty of people are documenting their luna rituals, so give it a good ol’fashioned google to get inspired. Whether you’re a crystal cleansing believer in the power of the moon or not, the luna cycle can be a powerful symbol, especially for us women, of our continual renewal and evolution, a great reminder to take time to delve into those feelings regularly.
Eight: Pumpkin Everything
Every year, without fail, all I crave for October is pumpkin everything!
The shops are full of these gorgeous vegetables, in all their glorious shapes, sizes and colours and I can’t get enough! There’s just something so cosy about food stuffs, be them sweet or savoury, made with that delicious roasted orange flesh.
For me, the Minimalist Baker’s recipes are a hit. So much so, I’ve kinda stopped even bothering to seek out new ideas! This savoury pumpkin soup with just a hint of cinnamon is the real hug in a mug, the ultimate comforter Mac n Cheese with the addition of pumpkin simply blows my mind, and not least her cream-filled Pumpkin roll dessert is just… No words! All plant-based, all super easy to make.
‘Tis the season to roast pumpkins, my friends!
Nine: Now Watching
I read the book, I cried. Saw the film in the cinema, and yup, cried. Now it’s landed on Netflix and you better believe I have every intention of snuggling up with my boys this evening and letting this beautiful film tug at my heart once more.
Wonder is the story of Auggie Pullman, a 10 year old boy living in NYC, born with a facial deformity. The New York Times best seller sees this sweet soul journey into the world of schooling, and explores the depths of kindness.
Written as YA fiction, but there’s something for everyone to learn through Auggie’s story. Tissues at the ready…
Ten: Elevate your Daily
Autumn = cosy clothes, right? Huge knits, cosy boots, maybe the addition of a bobble hat if it’s really chilly. It can be easy to get a little bogged down in this daily duvet-style outfit though, it’s all kinda heavy and comfort-zone ish… D’you feel me?
Well, here’s 3 simple accessories I’ve been reaching for to just elevate my autumn style a little, from ‘I’m essentially just wearing my duvet’ to effortless seasonal street style…
One: the Cute Reusable – sounds superfluous, but that reusable cup you now carry everywhere because a) it’s cold and a hot drink is constantly needed and b) trying to save the planet here?! Well, it’s kinda become an accessory! Our favourite for a minimal chic look, and optimal drinking aesthetic is the glass cork KeepCup
Two: Resin Hoops – another super simply accessory to simply add to any given outfit and immediately look a little more put together, the faux tortoiseshell resin earring is a go-to for this season. We love both these, and these hoops by Topshop, and for a something a little more statement these tortoiseshell fan earrings by ASOS
Three: Striking Sunnies – because it may be cold, but that sun is still beaming down! Plus, a really great pair of on-trend sunglasses can elevate even your most worn sweater-legging combo to new heights! We’re besotted with the cat eye shape still, in particular the Rumours frame by Quay Australia
Cultivating gentleness comes in many forms, be it still being able to wear your comfiest outfit while finding an easy way to still feel ‘put together’, taking a simple hour to let someone else’s thoughts wash over you, or taking more time to make space for your own thoughts and feelings… It’s not a one size fits all deal, that’s for sure, but I hope today’s post has inspired you to be gentle with yourself in this season and find ways to live your best life!
Have a beautiful weekend, we’ll see you on the flip side.
Peace + Love
Image sources: unknown, insight timer, @cirossy, CGD London, Found Rentals, @josefinehj, @elegantbooks, Fjallraven, Fjallraven, Charhadas, Operation Christmas Child, unknown, James Nord, unknown, Little Truths Studio, @the_soul_project_, Ashley Neese, Minimalist Baker (soup), Minimalist Baker (pasta), Minimalist Baker (roll), Arhs Harbinger, @linahayescreative, @cultgaia, unknown