8 steps to better wellbeing this October
Lockdown, curfews, general panic - the last few months have been stressful to say the least, so we're pegging October to focus on our wellbeing, starting with these eight simple steps.
Take a break from the booze
According to Alcohol Change, 21% of us are drinking more since lockdown hit (sound familiar?) and it can be hard to put on the brakes when everyone else seems to be necking G&Ts like there’s no tomorrow. Seedlip was the world’s first non-alcoholic distilled spirit and is still leading the market. It looks like booze, tastes like booze, but without the raging hangover and general grogginess the next day. You can even buy bundles to emulate your favourite cocktails including the Nogroni and Martino (extra points for clever wordplay).
Read a book
Career setbacks, failed exams, break-ups, anxiety, surviving loss – award-winning podcast host and author Elizabeth Day has all bases covered in her new handbag-sized book that explores and celebrates failure as something that connects us all as humans. Both practical and reassuring, Failosophy presents seven philosophies of failure, drawing on instances in her own life as well as conversations with podcast guests such as Phoebe Waller Bridge, Malcolm Gladwell, Meera Syal, Alain de Botton and Andrew Scott. Want more? Check out six more brilliant new releases here, courtesy of Summertown-based Daunt Books.
Take a chill pill
Ok, ok, so it’s not a pill as such but a few drops of this under your tongue after a stressful day will go a long way to helping you reach your happy place. From luxury CBD brand Lady A (founded by Alexandra Dunhill of chic British fashion brand fame), this organic tincture not only comes in super-stylish packaging, but uses the highest quality CBD hemp extract, along with natural botanicals and essential oils to create an immediately calming effect when used. It’s designed by women for women, which may explain the high fash fans at Vogue and Tatler.
Light a candle
With a burn time of up to 60 hours, this Coastal Collection candle from Cornish brand St. Eval is just the ticket for relaxation and a nod towards ‘me time’. The beautiful ombre blue pots contain candles inspired by the Cornish coast, reflective of the healing properties of the sea, with revitalising fragrances containing a therapeutic blend of coastal herbs. For more gorgeous candles, see our brand new feature on the best indie candle brands from across the Muddy counties.
Sort out your screen time
Did you know the light from your phone might be disrupting your sleep? (Hey, stop scrolling your Muddy Insta, we’ll be there in the morning!). Blue light emitted from screens tells the brain that it’s time to wake up, but too much exposure can have a serious effect on your wellbeing, resulting in headaches, fatigue and general unproductiveness. Created by optometrists, Ocushield is the world’s first (and only) medically-approved blue light blocking screen protector, limiting exposure by 90%. You can get a screen for pretty much any device – phones, laptops, desktops, tablets – plus they’re made from tempered glass so will protect your phone, as well as your health.
Spending time outdoors is a key way to improve mental as well as physical wellbeing. In Cornwall particularly we are lucky to have access to plenty of outdoor space. Of particular benefit to mental health is being by the sea, where breathing in plenty of negative hydrogen ions neutralises damaging free radicals and improve our ability to absorb oxygen. These negative ions are also said to balance serotonin levels – that’s our happiness hormone – which means (in theory) we’ll be more relaxed and less prone to anxiety. Bonus, if it’s sunny you can top up your vitamin D levels too, which can help balance the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder as the evenings get longer and darker.
Listen to John Legend!
The most chillaxed man in music has teamed up with Headspace to launch the mindfulness app’s Focus Mode, designed to help users concentrate and channel energy into things that matter the most. The new feature includes 12 music stations, soundscapes (background noises for when you’re working) and meditation exercises and courses. John will also curate a new focus-inspired playlist released each month.
Take a cold sea water swim
Even just two minutes immersed in cold sea water can be enough to provide numerous benefits to both our psychological and physical health – although at this time of year when the water is not super cold (it’s around 15C in the sea itself, and 11C in the cold water part of a lido in Cornwall currently) you can probably swim comfortably for around 20 – 30 minutes (edit – perhaps more like 10 mins if you’ve not been swimming regularly in cold water, but it’s not about the time in, once you’ve gone past 2 mins). Some favour a sea or river swim, for others, a cold salt water lido is more appealing – like the Jubilee Pool, above. Find a balance with one of Cornwall’s tidal pools. Wetsuits are optional, but for the most benefit brave it in a swim suit and feel your endorphins fizz when you get out.