What wellness experts are doing to stay… well at the moment – Get The Gloss

Posted: November 1, 2020 at 3:51 am

From breathwork to walking, positive affirmations to writing letters, these are the acts of self care those in the know are doing at the moment

Back in March, pre-lockdown, we spoke to doctors and health experts about the steps they were taking to stay well at a time when uncertainty was flying around about Covid19. They filled us in on the best ways to prepare ourselves for the months ahead, from the supplements they were taking to breathwork techniques to stay calm. Armed with a wealth of knowledge we felt better prepared to take on the next few months.

With more than half of the UK on local lockdown according to Sky News, we caught up with wellness experts on what theyre doing to stay mentally and physically fit as we live in the midst of the second wave.

Prior to lockdown I took regular breaks abroad and spent time socialising with friends as a way to decompress from work. When this was no longer an option I found myself doing little else but working. Our (now virtual) clinic has been busier than ever over the last few months and I'm grateful that we are in a position to be able to continue to support our clients, old and new, but I am also more aware than ever of the importance of taking time out for myself. I now plan ahead and block out 'restorative time' in my diary to ensure I commit to it. I have been accused (more than once!) of being a workaholic so this isn't as easy as it sounds!

Before lockdown my workouts were varied; in a typical week I'd do spin, play tennis, go to the gym and work out at home with my trainer. During lockdown, this stopped and I upped my online PT sessions. I still do five sessions a week with my trainer - four of those are training and one is a stretch session in an effort to compensate for so much time spent at my computer.

I also take my dog Lily for walks twice a day which is great for helping me maintain a routine. The impacts of nature and natural light on our health and wellbeing cannot be underestimated.

I'm a nutritionist so of course supplements form a part of my health routine! I'm currently taking personalised supplements from Bioniq. I love their concept as they take regular blood tests and tailor your nutritional supplements based on your unique needs. I'm particularly keen to ensure my levels of vitamin D, C and zinc are optimal throughout the winter. I also take Omega 3 essential fats.

At this time of year, like many of us, I gravitate towards warming comfort foods. I like to batch cook stews and soups using my Ninja Foodi Max Multi-Cooker which does EVERYTHING! I try to eat seasonally as much as possible which is made easier thanks to weekly organic vegetable box deliveries from Riverford.

I aim to meditate daily and I find it makes such a difference to my state of mind when I do. My go-to meditation app is Meya which uses sound wave therapy to help get you into a meditative state and make you more receptive to affirmations. I alternate between this app and a meditation process known as 'Isha Kriya' that I learnt when I spent time at the yoga centre Isha Life Ashram in India last year.

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I regularly use a magnesium spray (Better You Magnesium Oil Spray, 13), lotion (Neom Organics Perfect Night's Sleep Magnesium Body Butter, 36) or bath soak (Westlab Pure Magnesium Flakes, 6.99) to try to counteract the effects of the stress hormone cortisol which leaches magnesium from the system.

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I take Symprove as this bolsters immunity by improving the quality and diversity of our own gut microbiome and prevents nasty bugs from sticking in the system (I also eat/drink one of kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut or sourdough bread on an alternating daily basis as they are food sources of pro- and pre-biotics).

As well as Heights' Smart Supplement for brain health, which also contains vitamin C, at the beginning of lockdown I was taking a high dose vitamin C supplement (Micro Liposomal C by Allergy Research Group, 29.81) but I took a break from that over the summer because I only add extra when it's cold and flu season. I'll start taking Altrient Liposomal Vitamin C 100mg, 39.99, now that we are entering the season again.

I cannot over-emphasise the importance of taking this for a host of reasons including anti-inflammation, cancer prevention and the fact that lack of it is associated with higher mortality rates with Covid 19.

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For mood and self-care I love the Aromatherapy Associates Rose range, particularly the Bath and Shower Oil, 49, which I apply to my major organs (heart, lungs, liver and kidneys) after dry body brushing, and also the Oil to Milk Body Cleanser, 26, that feels like a hug in a bottle! Immersing yourself in warm water or feeling lovely textures on your skin releases the bonding hormone oxytocin which can help alleviate loneliness or lack of physical affection.

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I only use non-toxic candles such as soy, coconut or beeswax. My favourites include Neom Organics, Bamford or Gold and Black.

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My phone is always on silent and I never watch the news and only very occasionally read it - it is too stress-inducing and repeatedly looking at bad news has been shown to cause PTSD. I keep up to date by getting the headlines from my husband or friends as the human interaction with loved ones counteracts all the negativity!

I invested in a Peloton during lockdown as I was getting way too sedentary doing so much more work on my laptop than I used to when I walked from meeting to meeting in central London. It has changed my life! I use it in the morning to boost productivity or in the evening to create a boundary between work and life. Along with this I have been using a foam roller to pinpoint and release tension in my body - either from a day at the desk or due to the stress of the global situation.

There have been a lot of reports of shallow, rapid breathing or even breath-holding due to stress. I focus on my breath throughout the day or if I meditate and make sure the exhale is longer than the inhale.

MORE GLOSS: 6 breathing techniques to help you calm anxiety

I always wear a face mask if I go out to the shops or a restaurant (which is rare). They get washed at 60c after maximum four hours use. I used to wear gloves and wipe everything that entered our home but since we know more about the mechanisms of Covid19 contagion (breath particles more than droplets), I have relaxed on that but always wash my hands thoroughly and/or use Neals Yard Organic Natural Defence Hand Rub, 5.75, after contact with anything outside my home.

Buy Dr Tara Swart's book The Source: Open your Mind, Change your Life

Affirmations are a powerful way to speak to our sub-conscious which is where our self-confidence and self-love are formed. I listen to an affirmation playlist when Im lying in bed as Im waking up or while Im doing my skincare routine in the morning. You can find them on YouTube or have I have a collection on my website too. You dont have to actively listen and it still does the job which is great.

I've been doing breathwork sessions with Breathe With James. I always cry the next day; its a really powerful tool for releasing emotions. Emotions and trauma sit within our body and shaking therapy and breathwork unlock the trauma, release and let it go essential after the year we've all had!

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I wasnt a runner at all, but its really changed my relationship with my body. My cardiovascular health is improving and so is my mental clarity. Its great for setting yourself goals and also understanding how your body is different each day. Some days Ill run two KM and Im done and another day Ill do 11 KM. Its a good reminder to listen to your body. I dont think we check in with our bodies in the same way when youre doing a HIIT class whereas with running youre really aware of how youre feeling and being able to be at one with you body

Im really getting into CBD at the moment; I started using it as drops and I was instantly relaxed. I love CBD drinks too, especially Meda. It relaxes and makes me feel much calmer. I get really bad anxiety and it has definitely helped me in recent months.

MORE GLOSS: CBD - the cannabis supplement taking the wellness world by storm

My bedtime routine really helps me feel well at the moment. At 6pm I light incense bought from Amazon as my signal to wind down from the day. Im an early to bed person I can be asleep by 9:20 pm. I read before bed and it makes me such a nice tired. Watching anything too stimulating gives me a really disturbed sleep and I feel my body naturally wants to be away from my phone before bed. Scrolling aimlessly makes me feel uncentred and I dont sleep well if I do that, so putting my phone on aeroplane mode really improves my sleep.

Find Roxie's positive affirmation playlist on her website

I make sure I go for daily walks, especially if I dont feel like it or its miserable outside. Luckily for me, theres a park nearby and it only takes 20 minutes to walk there and around it, it helps me feel like I can focus again and stops me feeling so fatigued and burnt out. I never take my phone when I go for my walk because I know Im only going to be 20 minutes. It helps with mindfulness, noticing whats going on around you, the change in seasons, the smells, it all helps you feel more connected and grounded.

Another thing I started doing at the start of lockdown, and something Ive continued doing is sending letters again. Writing by hand especially, because you have to think about your thoughts and put them down carefully to avoid having to scribble something out, not like on a computer where you can delete and add as you please. Its more mindful and thoughtful. It helps you feel more of a connection to the person youre writing to and theres nothing better than receiving a handwritten letter by family or friends.

Ive never been a smoothie person, I admit however Ive been getting a weekly local veg box for years, but Ive found that even working from home Im so busy that I just dont always have time to cook something nutritious. So I can just throw some of my fruit and veg into a blender and make a smoothie, it really gives me peace of mind knowing Ive at least had some fruit and vegetables on a daily basis even when Im run off my feet.

I really like giving myself time to have a bath, with bubbles and I use the Healthspan Magnesium Bath Soak, it makes it feel like a ritual, setting your bath up exactly how you like it so you can just soak and relax. Rituals are fantastic for making us feel grounded and its all about giving yourself some mental space and time in the bath.

Find out more about Dr Meg Arroll on her website

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What wellness experts are doing to stay... well at the moment - Get The Gloss

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