5 ways to relax, destress and chill the heck out.
Finding a way to relax and destress is such a hot topic right now and for good reason: we’re all rushing about headlessly going from our homes to our offices, coffee in hand, to an evening gym class and then a quick catch up drink with a friend, to home and a restless night’s sleep and then getting up in the morning to do it all again.
In a world where all we seem to be doing is speeding everything up, whether that be the rate of communication, the time we give ourselves to eat our meals or the length of time we allocate to winding down in the evening, at CPRESS we are interested in the opposite - getting back to basics and optimising our health through simple practices. So here are 5 ways that we like to slow down and take a load off:
We’ve been talking a lot on our blog recently about CBD oil and it can be used as a tool to gently nudge us in the direction of relaxation. CBD oil is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant and it works by acting on the body’s natural endocannabinoid system which can affect feelings of calm and relaxation. Some of our favourites use for CBD oil include using it reactively when we feel anxious or particularly stressed, or proactively on a semi-regular basis blended into a smoothie to maintain a feeling of calm throughout our hectic days. It can also be used topically, rubbed into aches and pains and even mixed with essential oils and massaged onto your abdomen (ladies) at that time of the month. (We covered an amazing product in a previous blog post here).
When we feel like we particularly need to give our bodies a rest we do a juice cleanse. Even if it’s just for 1 day it can be a great way to promote wellness and vitality. This is because not only does it give our overworked digestive system a rest and our bodies a chance to detoxify, but we always recommend that a juice cleanse go hand in hand with slowing down generally. That means not rushing off to an exercise class but instead focussing on gentle movement like yoga and walks in nature. A cleanse is a great opportunity to dial into your body, listen to what it’s telling you and act accordingly. Moreover, cleansing is usually accompanied by healthy eating pre and post cleanse and selecting foods that nourish us is another fantastic way to decrease the stress and inflammation we inflict upon our bodies generally.
Our favourite cleanses at the moment is our Original Cleanse with its powerful anti-inflammatory effects from turmeric and ginger.
If like us, you’re completely wrapped up in this wellness world right now you might be aware of some cool people on social media promoting breathwork and movement together to allow for a really profound sense of calm and balance to creep into our lives. The science behind it is that deep breathing, and particularly nasal breathing where your to exhale is longer than your inhale, allows the body to switch from its Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), which is our fight or flight zone, to its Parasympathetic Nervous System (SNS), our rest, digest and chill out zone. The more we can tap into this SNS the calmer and more grounded we will feel on a daily basis.
Find your meditation
Although we completely believe in the benefits of meditation and practice it ourselves, we know it’s not for everyone. Trying to tell someone that just has no interest in it to try meditation isn’t going to help them at all, but meditation doesn’t just have to be sitting quietly repeating a mantra or focussing on your breath. Whatever works for you that connects you to a sense of internal calm can be your meditation, and that might be getting outdoors and connecting with nature, it might be a cold swim in a wild pond or the sea or it might just be taking a few moments in the morning with your cup of tea just breathing calmly and thinking about what you’re grateful for or looking forward to that day. If you are keen to try a meditation practice, then starting with an App like Calm is a good first step.
Finally, food. Yes, food really can have a profound effect on our levels of relaxation. Serotonin, which is our happy hormone, is synthesised in our gut, so if we consistently eat badly and pay little respect to maintain good gut health then our happiness will suffer too. You can bio-hack this even further if you want to and focus on eating foods high in the amino acid Tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin production. If you feel like your gut could do with a helping hand, then try a juice cleanse to rebalance and reset and then maintain a healthy eating pattern after that with lots of plant-based foods and diverse forms of dietary fibre.
This post has been written in collaboration with Grace Kingswell D. N. Med, Nutritional Therapist and Lifestyle Medicine Advocate.