Mindfulness – the art of being present in the “now” – is rapidly gaining traction around the world, and not without cause. Research has shown mindfulness to decrease stress, enhance ability to deal with illness, facilitate recovery, improve depression and improve general health and well-being. (Can we get a “Yes, please!”)
If this past year has taught us anything it’s the importance cultivating helpful, life-enhancing habits to support our body, heart and mind. Which is all well and good… but where do we start?
The key is to start small. Incremental changes are the best way to guarantee long-lasting shift in our lives. To get you going, we’ve lined up our favourite healthy habit suggestions below. Each one is rooted in mindfulness and easily actionable too! All you have to do is show up. Everything else is a bonus. ☺
1. Healthy habits for the MIND
Good mental health is one of the most – if not the most – direct ways we can ensure an increase in our overall sense of health and well-being. Here are two fundamental ways you can support your mental well-being, alongside on-the-go tips we think you’ll enjoy.
Mindfulness meditation is about observing your thoughts with awareness, and without judgement. It’s that simple and that hard. What that looks like is entirely up to you! Contrary to what you might think, mindfulness meditation can be moving or still, in nature or bed, on a meditation cushion or not. It can take one minute or ten. As long as your intention is to witness your thoughts (with lack of judgement, don’t forget!) you’re meditating, go you!
- Tack meditation time onto something you already do: your morning coffee, evening tea, daily bath… anything that already features in your daily routine. Associating a new habit with something you already do will make showing up that little bit easier.
- Remember: one conscious moment of meditation is more you had before you got started. Be kind and go slow. The aim is not to turn off our thoughts. The key is to observe those thoughts when they arise (which they will) with as little attachment and judgement as you can.
- If you find it hard to settle (as most of us do!) our Calm Essential Oil Blend can really help still the mind. Apply to your pulse points ahead of your meditation time, inhale and watch those thoughts float by.
The power of a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated. When it comes to healthy adults, experts recommend between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. Supporting our natural circadian rhythms in this way improves brain activity, increases productivity and leaves us feeling better-equipped to function in our daily lives.
- Try setting your alarm clock 5 minutes ahead of time to start with. Realistic, small changes are most likely to succeed.
- Ensure your sleeping area is cool, quiet and comfortable. Avoid caffeine late into the night and limit screen exposure in the evening if you can.
- Add our Lavender Pure Essential Oil to your bedtime routine to soothe the senses. Roll onto wrists, throat and temples about 30 minutes before you climb into bed. Alternatively, you might try our Focus Essential Oil Blend to waken the senses in the morning. Once you rise, roll onto your pulse points, inhale and you’re all set for your day!
2. Healthy habits for the BODY
There is no shortage of evidence to support the many ways in which exercise improves our health, mental and physical. Doing so mindfully, and in a way that feels good to you will go a long way. Movement not only increases physical and mental resilience, it also enhances strength, pliability, reduces stress levels, increases energy levels and so much more! What’s not to love?
Find what feels good to you. The more enjoyable you find the activity, the more likely you are to show up time and again! Whether that’s a twenty minute HIIT workout, an invigorating swim, a session weightlifting down the gym or simply dancing around your kitchen, there’s a form of movement out there to suit.
- Try out as many forms of movement as you can. You don’t need to stick to formal forms of movement, and you certainly don’t need to go to a gym. Experiment and have fun!
- We suggest using our CBD Relief Salve to support stiff or tired muscles post-movement. Doing so will encourage recovery and ensure you’re ready, able and willing once next time rolls around!
Yoga is a mind-body practice that incorporates physical poses, concentration and deep breathing all into the one activity, making it a great option to explore! A regular yoga practice can promote physical endurance, strength, and flexibility alongside an overall sense of serenity and calm, increasing mental and physical resilience. Various styles exist too; all of which can be found in person or online. We recommend you try them all! Figure out which suits you and your body best.
- Consider linking a scent to your habit to encourage consistency.
- We suggest diffusing our Frankincense Pure Essential Oil before you step onto your mat. Doing so will train your brain to associate the scent with the activity and easily put you in the right frame of mind to get the most from your practice.
Anything that focuses on the breath in a conscious and systematic way is a great way to support your spiritual health. Much like meditation, the good news is that it doesn’t need to be complex to be effective.
- Start with one conscious, deep breath. Consciously directing our attention to this breath – the one that you happen to have right now – on a consistent basis can better enable us to show up and be more present in our day-to-day lives.
- Try applying our Clary Sage Pure Essential Oil to your palms (always use a carrier oil!). Rub hands together to warm and activate the essential oils. Create a cup shape with your hands over the nose and mouth and breathe deeply. Inhale slowly through the nose, hold for a few seconds at the top of the breath and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat as needed.
As you explore the above remember to:
- Go with the flow. Not matter what the practice, do your best to observe the flow of inner thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations (without judgement) as much as you can.
- Pay attention. Notice external sensations such as sounds, sights, and touch alongside any inner responses you might have. Try not to latch onto any particular idea, emotion, or sensation, or to get caught in thinking about the past or the future if you can. No matter what the activity try to be as present as you can, observing what arises inside and out.
….And last but not least:
Stick with it! Try and try again! That is the key. At times, it might not be relaxing or particularly enjoyable. But true change is never easy. Rest assured that over time these habits have the ability to unlock a greater sense of happiness and self-awareness within ultimately leaving you healthier, happier and more comfortable in yourself and your day-to-day experiences. Good news all round!