So, here we are! 2016 has well and truly begun, and we are back with a bang into the first Monday of the year, and for many of us in an office 9-5, back at work (sob!). It is natural to think that January should be about some harsh fast, or detox, especially if you over-indulged at Christmas (I think I ate 100 mince pies and I am not exaggerating!!!), I definitely used to think this way but, my Naturopathic Studies last year opened my eyes to a kinder way of treating our tired, bloated, January bodies! I have come to believe that January should be a time to reconnect to your most heartfelt desires and heal. Ancient Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic traditions follow this principle, with the winter being a time to go inside the body, nourish and replenish.
I started last January off very differently to this…. I had been through immense emotional trauma at the end of 2014 and had been looking forward to Christmas as a time to rest and heal. Instead, I was out every single day for the entire 2.5 weeks (bar Xmas day) looking for my little lost cat Gloria. This stress took a really, really heavy toll (it may sound silly if you are not a pet owner! AND it was this day last year that I finally found her :-)) and really the last thing I needed was to go on a 3-day Juice Fast! My body and mind responded to the fast by going into shock, I can see all of this now looking back and with greater education. I had a cold for 6 weeks throughout Jan and Feb, my reproductive system was also waking up at the time, so I had some crazy bloating, and I just felt horrendous, teary and lost. I think that I hit rock bottom at one point, and only then could I recognise that what I was feeling was ok, and that I would get through it. My belief now is that these types of cleanses can serve a purpose, but at the right time, and with a strong mind…..
So, If you are wanting to help yourself start 2016 in a way that surrounds your body, mind and soul with love and nurturing, here are my Top Ten Tips!
“Only by letting go can we unlock ourselves from the past, be delivered into the future and prepare ourselves for our next evolutionary experience”
Create a Morning Ritual that works for you. Morning has it’s own special energy so is a good time to focus on yourself. A few things you can try are a mug of warm water with lemon, turmeric and ginger to fire up your digestion and alkalise the body; setting your intention for the day with a positive affirmation, something as simple as “My mind is clear, calm and focused and I feel content” can be incredibly effective; oil pulling, an Ayurvedic ritual that is a NATURAL way to cleanse and heal the body; or simply just a few minutes of sitting quietly on the tube!
Take some time to think about what you really want in life. I don’t mean by writing a whole list of new years resolutions, as this can make us feel like we are putting pressure on ourselves and also be quite unattainable for most people! Instead, treat yourself to a new notebook and spend time alone with your thoughts to think and write. Maybe you have been putting off starting a project because you are worried you might fail…realise instead that the only way you can really fail is by ignoring yourself and not at least trying to follow your dream. If there is one thing I have learnt from starting Imperfectly Pure & Face Föda in 2015 it is really and TRULY that NOW is the best time to start, don’t wait until your idea is “perfect”…you can mould it along the way. Carry your notebook everywhere with you, you never know when inspiration may arise!
Eat nourishing, warming foods to support your liver. There are ways to delicately “cleanse” without a full on juice fast and depriving yourself of solid food! My personal liver cleanse recipes are not only packed with potassium for creating an alkaline environment and to help flush out the toxins from our cells, but also with fibre, soluble for stimulating the bile secretion and insoluble for promoting bowel movement and elimination of toxins. (I have written a couple of 3 Day Cleanses if you are interested please just get in touch.) Foods like bone broth soups, with sweet potato, carrots, onions, greens and healing spices like garlic, turmeric, black pepper, and sulphur containing eggs all work wonders.
Have Courage and Be Kind. Do things for others, just because, and practice Loving Kindness. This will impact almost every area of your Wellness and the really nice thing about loving-kindness meditation is that it has been shown to be effective in both immediate and small doses (i.e. instant gratification) and also has long-lasting and enduring effects, healing you physically, increasing emotional intelligence, building resiliency, connecting you to society and growing self-love.
Cleanse your mind. Try a 2-day digital detox, this can have an impact in as little as 2 days in terms of clarity of mind and focus, and deliver you firmly into the present moment.
Think about caffeine alternatives. If you are a sensitive individual then you may metabolise caffeine differently to others. I definitely do and so will only from time to time have a coffee. But I love the ritual of making a hot drink when I arrive at work, so I have a wide selection of healthy alternatives! Dandelion Coffee, Matcha Vanilla Powder, Raw Cacao Powder- all can be blended with warm water and a tablespoon of coconut oil, or a nut milk of your choice. These will help protect your body, giving you a boost of antioxidants, will not dehydrate you AND give you a little natural high 🙂
Look after your skin naturally. Take regular Epsom Salt Baths to restore your magnesium levels (Known as ‘Natures Relaxant’, I have written a lot about this here) and look to plant-based cleansers etc. Skin and plants are alive and full of nature’s intelligence, or prana, so it makes sense that using vibrant, living ingredients on your skin will increase the life-force of your skin. Plants are full of life and naturally possess everything your skin needs to keep thriving, glowing, and vibrating with health. This is the philosophy of Face Föda ! I focus heavily on the oil-cleansing method, a highly effective way of dissolving impurities, removing dirt and nourishing the skin at the same time. A substance will dissolve best in a substance that has a similar chemical structure to itself therefore oil dissolves oil. Many high street cleansers can strip the skin of its natural protection unlike oil cleansing which can nourish and protect as well as dissolve make up and impurities.
Find a way of releasing trapped emotions that works for you. Not everyone finds talking helpful, for many it is too painful, and too hard. If this is you, I recommend reading this book “Trauma Releasing Exercises, by David Bercelli”. The concept of the exercises is based on the fact that humans have an in-built method of releasing trauma (which can be anything from death of a loved one to something that has happened in childhood, to witnessing someone else go through a harrowing time), which involves taking the body to a point (through exercises) of trembling to physically release the trapped emotions. It is a short yet insightful read!
Learn to respond differently to life by relaxing and expanding into every moment through daily meditation. New studies have proven meditation to work in as little as 8 weeks with just 12 mins per day!! Try it today and notice the effects immediately 🙂
Try an alternative therapy, like Reflexology. Payal from Revive Within Holistic Therapies is a qualified Reflexology Practitioner and says:
“The impact of fast-paced living is holding heavy on people’s general health and well-being. This is why many people are turning to holistic therapies to improve their well-being. Reflexology is a lovely complementary therapy that provides gentle stimulation of reflex points on the feet and hands, which correspond to the body’s various parts, organs and systems. By applying pressure with finger and thumb techniques, the reflex points are stimulated triggering a deep state of relaxation, balance and natural healing processes within the body. “
I had my first treatment a few months ago on a particularly bad day and it was a beautiful experience! To book a reflexology treatment please contact Payal on 07834 729 433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope this has shown you that there are lot of ways to heal, many of them requiring just a tiny bit of time! If you are interested in taking your Wellness further this year, please contact me for details on how a consultation and program could work for you, or if you are interested in knowing more about Face Föda. Katie at Imperfectlypure@gmail.com.
With Love, Katie x