Essential Oils, Faith, Lifestyle, wellness

What brings joy?

For me, joy is found in good books, good coffee, good company, my good God and the great outdoors. So when restrictions limited contact with people, entrance to church and travel over the borders, like so many others, it hit me hard.

As a result, we have all had to get creative in finding joy in our new normal, and I began to redefine the bare bones of what I (and maybe we) really needed to feel joy.

Merriam-Webster defines joy as; ‘the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires’, ‘Delight – the expression or exhibition of such emotion, Gaiety.’

Note that top definition – emotions evoked by well-being. I don’t think I realised quite how essential being with people, being in Church and being outdoors was to my wellbeing – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

As an aromatherapist and wellness coach one thing I have always been proactive on is supporting my families wellness naturally. As so many things were removed from my control, this is one area where I did have control.

I could control what we listened to, what we watched, what entered our minds. Because what you see and hear on a daily basis affects your thought patterns, affects your emotional response, and affects your immune response. Increased stress hormone = lowered immune system, and at a time like this, that is one system you want running on all cylinders.

I could control what goes into and onto our bodies. By reducing exposure to toxins, (parfum, parabens, preservatives and the like) in food, soaps, detergents, cleaners and cosmetics, I can reduce stress on our immune system. This allows our bodies to heal, repair, restore on a cellular level, rather than fighitng micro battles on a daily basis.

Why is all this important to experiencing joy? Because when we feel well, we feel able to enjoy life more.

It’s hard to be joyful with an irritable bowel. It is hard to be happy with a throbbing head. It is hard to keep smiling with insomnia. When we aren’t well, we don’t want to be out or be with others, and this further depresses our mood and lowers our immune system.

Do I have all the answers for health and wellbeing? No, only Jesus does. But I do have an arsenal of natural remedies and years of experience that give us a good starting point.

If you are at a place where you want to explore how wellbeing supports your experience of joy the drop me a message.

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Lifestyle, Mental Health, wellness

Why swim in cold water?

Swimming in cold water may not appeal to many, but it could be the key to your physical and mental health this season.

I have always loved the ocean, and will happily swim in any weather, but it wasn’t until recently that I realised the tremendous health benefits it offers. Here I share some of the many reasons why we swim in cold water and why you should too.

It can boost your immune system

When we swim in cold water our body is forced to react to the changing condition and it fires up our sympathetic nervous system to protect us. This voluntary action can, when repeated over time, help our body to activate its defences faster.

It can improve circulation

When we swim in cold water our heart has to work harder to force the blood to our extremities to keep us moving and keep us warm. As it does this, it flushes your veins, arteries, and capillaries and aids the lymphatic system in expelling toxins from our body.

It can reduce inflammation

Swimming has long be known as a superb low impact exercise for our joints, but cold water swimming can go one step further. As adrenaline and endorphins are released, this can soothe or even stop joint pain and reduce inflammation over time.

It can support and sustain mental health

Cold water swimming is by no means a cure for any condition, however our body released endorphins when in the water which gives us a natural high. This study in the British Medical Journal on a 24-year-old woman shows its effects. She had been treated for symptoms of a major depressive disorder and anxiety since the age of 17, but wanted to live medication and symptom free after the birth of her daughter. She began open water swimming each week and this led to an immediate improvement in mood following each swim and gradual reduction in symptoms of depression. A year later she was medication free.

How to swim safe

Cold water swimming is a euphoric experience, but it can be dangerous too. These are some important safety tips from the Outdoor Swimming Society:

  • Never swim alone
  • Never go out of your depth
  • Keep immersions brief – a few minutes is all you need
  • Warm up when you get out with layers, hats, gloves and a warm drink
  • Have something to eat to rasie your blood sugar
  • Walk around to raise your body temperature
  • Never have a hot shower straight after as the sudden change in blood flow can cause you to pass out.

As with any exercise, cold water immersion affects your blood pressure, heart rate, and circulation, which means it can cause serious cardiac stress. If you have a heart condition or any underlying health condition, please discuss the risks with your doctor first.

Join a cold water swim

Each month Mental Health Swims hosts cold water swim meets up and down the country. I host one here in Aberavon, Port Talbot and you would be so welcome to join us! Details can be found here. Alternatively, check out the Outdoor Swimming Society for other meets.

Happy swimming!

R x

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Essential Oils, Lifestyle, Mental Health, wellness

Travelling during Covid-19

We are just back from a week away in Devon – something we weren’t sure would even happen in the wake of Coronavirus. Although we certainly saw and felt the affects of Covid-19 safety measures, I am pleased to say that we thoroughly enjoyed out time away. Here are our top tips to help keep you and your family safe this summer.

Talk about risks

I have always believed in talking to our children and explaining the risks. You don’t need to go into major detail about Covid-19 symptoms, but it is important to explain why we need to wash hands and stay away from others, especially indoors. Giving children the facts, and some tools such as their own masks and hand sanitiser, can help them feel a little bit more in control and take away the fear of Coronavirus. It is near impossible to expect children to social distance from one another (especially in playgrounds) so also talk about that, and if this makes you or your family anxious, steer clear.

Take it slow

When Covid first hit, I was very fearful and felt extremely anxious when outside the home, leaving my mental health fragile. I feel much more comfortable now, as I have had time to acclimatise, but the chances are our children haven’t. Don’t underestimate the fear and anxiety they may have from conversations they have heard or news programmes they have watched. Talk about how they may be feeling and give them time to acclimatise to being out in the big wide world again. Observe them while you are out and about and be sure to give them opportunity to say if they feel overwhelmed (without being a helicopter parent!).

Travel happy

We wouldn’t travel anywhere without the Fab Five: Thieves, Digize, Peppermint, Purification and Lavender essential oils. We use Thieves daily for immune support in a roller bottle swiped along our feet/spines, and increase our use while travelling and eating alfresco. Our children occasionally suffer with motion sickness so we support their tummies with DiGize on their abdomens and peppermint on their wrists. Finally, we have an outdoor spray made with Peppermint and Purification to keep our legs and arms bite free and Lavender for any owies.

Avoid the masses

This almost goes without saying, but arcades, amusements, restaurants, ice cream and souvenir shops are hot spots for people. If you or your loved ones are already anxious, then being in these places may make you feel very uncomfortable. It is worth researching less touristy beaches and heading off the beaten track to find little hidden gems away from the masses. Save your pennies by packing picnics and buying boxes of ice lollies from the supermarket. Finally, why not get the kiddos to send a video postcard to relatives via WhatsApp and create magnets from uploaded holiday snaps instead of hitting the High Street.

Make it memorable

Face masks will be mandatory in shops across the UK from the 24th July, so why not invest in some cute designs to make masks more fun? Children under 11 are exempt, however don’t discount them wearing one as it may help them feel a bit more protected while out and about. You can also pop a drop of your fave essential oil to help make mask-wearing more bearable. Valor is great for those who feel very anxious or Thieves for immune support on the go.

Happy holidays!

R x

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Essential Oils, Faith, Lifestyle, wellness

Get your feet on the ground

There is nothing better than bare feet on the grass or toes in the sand. Ever wondered why that is? It is because when we are connected to the ground, our energy connects with the Earth’s energy. The concept is that when we walk on the ground we have access to the Earth’s supply of free electrons which can help neutralize harmful free radicals in our bodies.

Energy is so frequently categorised as ‘new age’, but it needs to be claimed back by Christians. We know that the Earth has a magnetic field, we know that there is a positive and negative charge or energy. Everything in this world was made by God, and everything vibrates at a specific ‘frequency’. Every living thing, every plant, every person, even rocks have a vibration or frequency. But let’s remember that God made the earth, and the rocks, and the plants and US. Everything has energy because He put it there.

Everything in life is vibration – Albert Einstein

When we live in built up areas, surrounded by concrete not coastlines, surrounded by pavements and not parks, it is easy to understand how our energy can become ‘off’. Vibration or frequency is measured in MHz, and when the human body dips below 72MHz, we are more vulnerable to illness.

Normal Brain Frequency 72 MHz
Human Body 62–78 MHz
Colds and the Flu start at 57–60 MHz
Disease starts at 58 MHz
Candida overgrowth starts at 55 MHz
Receptive to Cancer at 42 MHz
Death begins at 25 MHz

Eating fruit and vegetables – living things with frequency – can raise our frequency. That is why those with diets high in fresh foods are typically healthier that those who consume processed food. Fresh food, drink, herbs and essential oils are full of living energy that is transferred to us and energises us, whereas pollutants and processed food can actually decrease our frequency and make us feel sluggish.

Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing – Ezekiel 47:12

I have learned that it is hard to dream big and live well when you don’t feel well. Environment has a massive part to play in our wellbeing, and where we live can often determine how we live. If we have access to open space, green parks, beautiful landscapes that shout of God’s glorious creation, we often feel much more relaxed and able to breathe. My biggest dreams and most impactful moments with God have so often come when I have been wandering through the woods, swimming in the ocean or staring across the valley from a mountain top. I feel well when I am in nature, and it is no surprise when you consider that God created us to be in nature, not in concrete blocks.

God created us to be in nature, not in concrete blocks

During our wellness journey we have learned that using essential oils can raise our frequency, while we simultaneously reduce and remove pollutants, toxins and processed food that can affect our frequency. As we have done more and more research on holistic wellness, we have found that walking barefoot on the ground is one of the easiest (and free!) ways to balance your body and reconnect with the Earth that God made. This practice is known as grounding or earthing. Just 15-20 minutes a day of being barefoot in your garden can make a huge difference to your energy levels, your sleep and your bodies God-given ability to heal itself. Go check out Grounded on Netflix or The Earthing Movie to find out more.

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Lifestyle, wellness

Love Your Body

Did you have a health kick in January? Are you still going now? If so good for you! If not, read on. As part of the Love Series we are running for the month of February, we will be focussing in on different areas of health and wellness. So lets find out how to love your body from the inside out.

You are what you eat

Hippocrates said that all health starts in the gut, and any reputable trainer will tell you that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. With that in mind, surely we need to focus first on helping our gut to be healthy. You would like to think that eating healthily would be enough to help support a healthy digestive system but think again. Today’s food doesn’t have the same nutrient content that it did 10 years ago. This is due to imported foods that are sprayed with pesticides, picked before they are ripe, and heavily processed.

Our food quality is affected by pesticides, premature picking and processing

If our food isn’t up to standard, what can we do? We can supplement our diet. Not all supplements are created equal, however. The high street is awash with multivitamins, mineral and supplements of all kinds, but the majority of these are impure and packed with fillers that have no benefit.

If you want to supplement your diet, don’t do it with adulterated, filler packed supplements. They have little or no impact on your health as the body cannot utilise the elements within the product, and you will simply excrete it out.

For more information on nutrition and supplements email me at chasingwavesandwellness@gmail.com .

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