Summer Healing: Unwind, Relax And Reboot

Happy Friday everyone. Today for my final post in this weeks summer series I wanted to look at some quick and simple ways to sit down, unwind and relax. The final piece of my summer healing puzzle. 

Summer Chill Out

Whether you're running around trying to keep up with the pace of today's busy lifestyle or if you've been following this week long series because you are also, like me, looking for ways to recover after a little too much summer excitement, we all need to take a step back to unwind and relax every now and again.

Once you've had your morning smoothie, tried out my DIY facial, practised a little healing yoga and eaten your way through my healthy hangover lunch you're going to be about ready to kick back and chill out! So here are some really simple and effective ways that you can do just that, and find a moment to reconnect to you.

 

FIVE SIMPLE SUMMER STRESS BUSTERS

1. Embrace Nature: Take advantage of the summer season and the brighter weather and simply go and sit outside somewhere peaceful, calm and relaxing. Enjoy the simplicity of the nature around you and bring yourself back to a place of inner calm and rest. If you're stuck in the city then do a little research and hunt down your nearest green space or local park to make your outdoor home for a relaxing hour or so. You might also enjoy this previous post: Enjoy A Stress-Less Summer In The City.

2. Make A List: In order to switch off your brain for a little while it can be useful to first sit down and make a list of all of the things in your head you need to do that are bothering you. Once you've made that list, set it aside and allow yourself some thought free time, safe in the knowledge that everything you've got to do later in the day or week is all recorded and ready to go once you're in a better frame of mind to tackle it.

3. Unplug: It's not the first time I've mentioned this on here but if you really want to unwind forget that phone, put down that tablet, switch off that laptop and truly allow yourself to unplug. The world won't stop turning if you just take a little time back for yourself away from the heady world of emails and the tiring temptations of social media. If you need to schedule time into your weekly calendar to remind and allow yourself to switch off. Honestly you can do it!

4. Have A Cuddle With Your Four-Legged Friend: If animals are your thing then taking the time to sit and pet them properly without distraction will not only earn you many brownie points with them, but will also heartily chill you out as well. Studies have shown that just a few minutes petting your dog or cat, or just simply switching off and watching fish swim can lower your levels of cortisol, the stress inducing hormone, and make a serious difference to the way you feel.

5. Listen To Music: One of my favourite ways to unwind is to listen to my favourite music. Whether that be some heart thumping tunes to help me shake off the madness of a busy day or perhaps just something soothing, simple and quiet to help feel more at peace. In my Making Time For Music post I vowed to try harder to set aside a little time to do just that and whenever I do I always feel brighter and more at ease. So if you need a few tunes to help you relax this afternoon then you may enjoy my Summer Chill Out playlist on Soundcloud. 

 

 

So there we have my five ways to take time out and switch off. I hope the above ideas help. Sometimes we just need a little reminder to give ourselves the permission to take time to de-stress and get our minds and bodies back to a more neutral place of contentment. If you're still hungry for more ways to switch off then try this great article here: 40 Ways To Relax In 5 Minutes Or Less - Greatist.

What works for you when you really need to take time out? Do you have any other great relaxing and unwinding tips or tricks?

Let me know your thoughts and have a great weekend everyone.

Louise

 


Summer Healing: Healthy Hangover Lunch!

So we're nearing the end of the week once again and are nearly at the end of my week long Summer Healing series. I hope you've enjoyed these posts and found them useful. Today I thought I'd continue with a look at some of the best foods to help you out if you've been over doing it, as well as share a simple lunch recipe that always gets me back on track and that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.

Healthy Hangover Salad

This quick and simple lunch has all of the ingredients needed to help you start to feel human again. Here's a little glimpse at why these components will help you feel better faster.

AVOCADOS: The good fats in avocados help the body to soak up whatever might be going on in your stomach if you're feeling queasy from the night before.

BEANS: I've used cannellini beans in my recipe but black beans would also be a great option. Beans contain a great source of folic acid, fibre and protein. Helping to aid the body in a swifter recovery.

LEMON (OR LIME): Helps in the detoxification process that is much needed after a night on the tiles!

QUINOA: This teeny grain packs a protein punch that is much needed for the body to recover and will renew your energy. It's also full of all sorts of other great nutrients to help get you back on track.

SPINACH: The wonder veg strikes again! This potassium packed beauty will help replace electrolytes often depleted due to the diuretic effect of alcohol as well as assist in detoxifying the liver.

TOMATOES: Packed with antioxidants to help reduce inflammation in the body as well as plenty of vitamin C to give the liver a much needed boost.

Chopped Salad Ingredients

CANNELLINI AND QUINOA SALAD

SERVES 2

YOU WILL NEED: 2 large tomatoes chopped, 1 ripe avocado chopped, 2 spring onions finely sliced, 1/2 cup quinoa cooked (you can see my notes on how to cook this grain in this post here), 1 400g can or packet of cooked cannellini beans in water (or black beans), the juice of 1 lemon (or lime), 1 clove of garlic crushed, sea salt and ground black pepper, 1 large handful of spinach, optional sprinkling of feta to serve.

Lemon Juicing

TO PREPARE:

1. Cook your quinoa and set aside.

2. Heat the crushed garlic in a little olive oil in a pan and add the cannellini beans heating them through until browned and softened.

3. Combine the tomato, avocado, beans and garlic, spring onions and quinoa in a bowl, pour over the lemon juice and stir together. Season with salt and pepper.

4. On a plate lay your spinach and top with the tomato and avocado mixture.

5. Sprinkle over the crumbled feta (if using) and serve.

If you can stomach it a nice addition to this would be a little flaked, tinned tuna. This mineral rich food is also another great hangover saviour and recovery food.

Spinach
Healthy Hangover Lunch Bowl

So whether you're suffering from a little excess or are just in general need of a nice body boosting bowl of flavours then I don't think you can go too wrong with this lovely salad option. Simple to put together and packed with goodness, think salsa, guacamole with tasty beans and quinoa, a little sharpness from the lemon and a punch of salt from the feta and you'll be somewhere to guessing the yumminess of this lovely lunch!

Enjoy and remember don't over do it if you can, but on the occasions that you do, treat your body with goodness and not too much naughty greasiness that ultimately might taste great but won't really help the situation in the long run. I know easier said than done sometimes, but hey we can but try.

See you tomorrow for my final post this week and this time it will be time to switch off and just totally chill out!

Happy Thursday.

Louise

 


Summer Healing: Revive And Get Moving

When it comes to facing the perils of a morning hangover following one too many enthusiastic tipples in the summer temptation of the pub beer garden the night before, it's something of a myth that heading to the gym and sweating it out will help you to recover quicker.

The truth is that heading off for a hard hitting work out, if you're actually brave enough to do so, is not a very helpful solution. In fact it can potentially do you more harm and lead to even greater dehydration, worsening your symptoms in the longer term. It's the rush of endorphins that trick you into thinking that you feel better in the short term. The good news for the non gym fans is that you're actually far better relaxing and sleeping it off than punishing yourself with an intense workout! Learn more with this article here: Hangover Cures That Really Work (And The Ones That Don't) from FitnessMagazine.com.

Reviving Yoga

However if and when you feel ready to move and if you feel the need to get your body up and functioning to release some of those nasty toxins then a little spot of stretching in the form of a light yoga workout can do you the world of good. Well it works well for me! So I thought I'd share some of my favourite yoga videos that can help you put the pieces back to together if you've just pushed things a little too far.

I also recommend checking out these channels for general yoga loveliness to help keep you feeling relaxed and calm over the summer period. Just make sure when working out at home that you take care of yourself and if you have any particular injuries or physical complaints then always check with your GP before taking part in such an activity. Yoga is fantastic for healing but only if it's completed correctly so please do be careful.

My first pick is the lovely Adriene and her super relaxing and not too challenging Yoga For Hangovers

This series of slow relaxing movements, combined with the suggestion of using essential oils such as peppermint and lavender as you complete the exercises to help soothe your head, is a real winner. You can get as involved or stay as still as you wish! Adriene encourages you to unwind, not beat yourself up for having one too many and just find a comfortable place and level at which you feel able to start to heal. I love this video, in fact I love all of her videos and whether you're new to yoga or an experienced yogi you'll find something to suit all needs in the huge selection of workouts that she has on her channel: Yoga With Adriene

My second pick is this shorter but slightly more intense Detox Yoga Hangover Workout from Popsugar Fitness. Half the running time of the video above but requiring more strength and a little less relaxing. This is still a great workout to help bust out some of those toxins, stretch yourself out and revive the body. If you're feeling strong and really want to wake up the body then this is the pick for you!

My third and final pick is this Hangover Recovery video from Tara Stiles. This short clip, less than five minutes, talks you through a specific set of yoga poses that will help bring out those toxins and detoxify your liver. This is a great video to help you to learn which poses are most helpful so that you can use them in your own time, as and when you may need them, rather than having to follow along with a specific set routine if that's not really your thing.

So I hope this little selection comes in useful. Like I said at the start, this isn't about going for the burn, instead it's looking for something relaxing but stimulating to get your body gently activated and help to move on the naughty after effects of partying a little too hard the night before!

I've also put together a little wish list of my favourite healing yoga clothes and accessories. So if you're looking for a little yoga clobber and inspiration then take a peek at my personal picks and see if they get you in the mood for moving as much as they do me.

 

Have a very happy hump day everyone, thank you for reading part three of my Summer Healing series on the blog today. I hope it's been useful and as always I'd love to hear your thoughts, personal tips or advice in the comments below. 

Farewell for today.

Louise

 


Summer Healing: DIY Charcoal Face Mask

Happy Tuesday everyone and welcome to post number two in my week long Summer Healing series. Oh how I love the irony of choosing to run a summer series during a week that has so far been filled with grey skies and rain. Got to love the British weather! Anyway this is therefore surely the perfect time to take a little break from summer indulgence and focus on a little pampering and rebuilding. So with that in mind, today I'm sharing a little summer healing for the skin with a DIY Charcoal Face Mask.

DIY Charcoal Face Mask

The idea for this post actually came a few weeks ago when watching This Morning beauty guru Bryony Blake make and trial this very face mask (spot the daytime TV working from home watcher!) I was instantly struck by how simple it was and decided I wanted to give this a go myself. 

Charcoal has been shown to have some great benefits for your health both inside and out. Activated charcoal causes any nasties you may have hanging around to bind to it and therefore it can help to rid the body of unwanted toxins. When applied to the skin it acts in the same way and draws out any unpleasant horrors that you may find lurking there, leaving your skin feeling fresher and more revitalised.

If you're going to investigate actually ingesting charcoal capsules then as with any supplement and tablet of this kind please make sure you do your research first and consult with a doctor if necessary. Always be aware of the potential risks as well as the benefits.

Face Mask Ingredients

There are many charcoal based face masks out there in the beauty world. I've tried a few but they're often very expensive and I've found them too astringent for my sensitive skin, stinging and turning me into a red mess pretty quickly after application. So I was intrigued to make my own, the ingredients in this sounded far more soothing plus the outlay was going to be far less expensive than some of the leading brands. 

I'm happy to report that my skin has absolutely loved this and feels cleansed, calmed and refreshed. The addition of Aloe Vera Gel makes this incredibly soothing and perfect for the warmer weather. The antiseptic properties of the Tea Tree Oil help with any unwanted breakouts and the star of the show, the Charcoal Powder, draws out any impurities and gently exfoliates and smoothes the skin. I will definitely be making this on a regular basis as a super skin treat. Plus it keeps in the fridge for a good week or so as well meaning that you can get a lot of extended use out of it. So without further ado here's what you need and how to put this simple but effective mask together.

Charcoal Powder

DIY CHARCOAL FACE MASK INGREDIENTS: 6-8 Activated Charcoal Capsules from which you gently extract the powder, 1 Tbsp Aloe Vera Gel, 1/2 Tbsp Water, 1-2 drops of Tea Tree Oil.

Mix the ingredients together and apply! You can adjust the gel and the water depending on the consistency that you prefer. Apply using an old makeup brush. I actually used a foundation brush that I don't use very often which was ideal plus it cleaned up perfectly fine anyway. Be aware that the charcoal may stain the brush though so don't use your favourite or most expensive one. The charcoal powder can be a bit of a messy customer so use with care.

Leave for 10-15 minutes to allow the mask to work its magic. When it starts to dry and you feel your skin slightly tighten then rinse away with warm water.

TIP: Unless you're planning to wash your hair immediately afterwards avoid applying too close to the hairline as you will find it a bit tricky to fully remove. Apply all over the face and neck if about to have a shower and wash your hair but if not then perhaps stick to the T-zone for an equally beneficial and slightly less messy treatment!

Finished Mask
Real Techniques Foundation Brush

So there we have a simple and cost efficient face mask. You can get a lot of use out of the remaining ingredients for soothing the skin especially at this time of year so I really think this is a good little homemade skincare treat. Just be careful not to stain your clothes and towels with the charcoal but with a little care I'm sure you will be happy with the skin clearing results. Best of luck if you decide to give this a go and I hope you find it useful.

Do you have any other DIY beauty ideas that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great day everyone.

Louise