Tag Archives: health benefits

Go To Tips: 8 Simple Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself

There’s no disputing that the modern lifestyle is a stressful one. What with extended working weeks, longer commutes, and the like, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the 21st-century crowd to strike the right balance between work and play.

 

Etta + Billie self care

If we let the daily grind take over, though, we do so to our own detriment. Not only does an overly-hectic life lead to higher stress levels, irregular sleeping patterns, and other marked health issues, but surrendering to work and study can spell the death of our personal interests and relationships. So how do you go about getting your life back? The following self-care tips are a great place to start.

  1. Take a break

Many people reserve self-care for after work, but since we spend so much time in employment, it only makes sense to set aside some health and wellbeing practices for the office. Especially important is stabilizing stress levels and making sure that you don’t stay sitting in a chair all day long – which explains why taking active exercise breaks is our first tip. Whether it’s a walk around the block, a mid-day yoga class, or even a couple of targeted stretches at your desk, allowing your body a moment to breathe will do every worker a world of good.

  1. Get back to basics

Your work life is likely complicated enough already; when you’re at home, then, get back to basic principles. This means keeping your space clean and decluttered, saying no to unwanted responsibilities (i.e. more work), and – most essentially – unplugging from social media. Think of your home life as one extended detox.

  1. Spend time in nature

A key part of getting back to basics, in turn, is spending time in nature. Kick off your shoes and go for a stroll in a local nature reserve – you’ll feel freer than you have in years.

  1. Sleep

If you regularly get less than six hours of sleep a night during your working week, then a one-day weekend sleep in just isn’t going to cut it in the long term. Challenge yourself – even if that means using an alarm –  to get to bed earlier every night.

  1. Hydrate yourself

You’d be surprised how many of us are on the brink of dehydration. To properly fuel your brain and body, make sure you’re carrying a high-volume water bottle each day, and set yourself a daily consumption goal.

And hydration doesn’t stop on the inside: it’s vital to apply the right treatments to the outside of your body as well, particularly if you’ve got naturally dry skin to start with.

 

 

  1. Get moving

The excitement about endorphins is well-deserved. Exercise is a natural anti-depressant, and what better way to re-energize and top up your optimism levels than by working out? So get moving!

  1. Strengthen your connections

Research demonstrates that loneliness can significantly impact health and wellbeing. If you’ve been wondering how an old high school friend is doing, get back in contact. If you’re after a new set of friends, consider signing up to a social group. Human connections are the elixir of life.

  1. Reflect

We’ve mentioned connecting with others; but what about connecting with yourself? Many people also find meditation and practicing the philosophy of mindfulness and presentism a vital part of their morning routines for this very reason. Simply sit in a comfortable place, and breathe slowly in and out, focusing on the rhythm of your exhalations, and visualizing a perfect sanctuary in your mind. Alternatively, keeping a diary might be the perfect means of self-reflection for you.

By implementing just one (and perhaps eventually all) of the above strategies into your routine, you’ll be well on your way to achieving equilibrium. Good luck!

Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who loves relaxing outside in nature. You’ll often find Harper meditating in her yoga room at home or spending hours tending to her garden. Check out more of her work on Tumblr.

In the Kitchen: Kitchen to Shower – Cinnamon

 

Kitchen to Shower - Cinnamon

The Supreme All-Season Spice

Cinnamon as a summer spice may seem strange at first but the cozy fragrance and flavor of cinnamon that usually invokes the wintertime, is the perfect addition to all sorts of summer recipes (and showers). Factoid: Cinnamon actually comes from tropical climates in India and Southeast Asia. It pairs beautifully with warm sun, al fresco desserts and summer cocktails. How would we make it through the season with a cold glass of horchata now and then? And what would our summertime favorite, peach pie be like without a sweet and spicy touch of cinnamon? 

The Real Deal

Cinnamon comes in either of two varieties: Ceylon and Cassia. Each comes from the same genus– but separate species–of evergreen tree. While Ceylon is considered a truer/purer cinnamon by hard-core cinnamon fanatics, the cassia variety is more common and more popular in the United States, probably because of its intense flavor.

Ground vs Stick

The choice is up to you on this one, but I recommend having both on hand (though some swear by one or the other, you know how foodies get). I like to keep ground on hand for recipes that require measuring. I’m not a fan of extra steps when I’m whipping up food on a weeknight. It’s about a 1,000x quicker to measure out a teaspoon of ground cinnamon than grinding it yourself (though it’s not that hard).

The major benefit of stick over pre-ground is you know you’re getting some seriously fresh cinnamon in your recipe. Plus you’ll know your cinnamon contains cinnamon and nothing else. Sticks also last longer than you might realize. You can keep them for months or even years in a tightly sealed container, and if you drop one into a tea or an infusion—or place one on top of your coffee grounds before you brew (highly recommended)– you can remove it post brewing or steeping and use it again and again. Just rinse it with warm water and allow it to dry before re-storing. It’s the spice that keeps going and going and going.

Bonus: It’s Healthy Too

Cinnamon isn’t just comforting and delicious; it’s also beneficial. The spice contains anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants and it’s been linked to healthier brain function and, according to some, a reduced risk of high cholesterol. Win, win!!

If you’re a cinnamon fan like I am, you’ve got to check out the tasty cinnamon infused recipe here and of course, it’s one of the main ingredients in E+B  horchata inspired soap.

What’s your favorite way to use cinnamon?