issue four : the magician
I remember a time when I was feeling totally disconnected with myself. I was stressed and anxious and it was relentless. I didn't know if I was coming or going. Adverse to the idea of traditional therapy, I went to see my kinesiologist. After all these years, her advice still rings in my ears whenever I feel that way. "Go find a patch of grass, take your shoes off and reconnect with nature." (My metaphysical diagnosis was that my head was detached from my body. Go figure.) This practice is quite literally called "grounding."
This feeling is not unique to me. So many of us feel overwhelmed by life and simply making it through the day without having some kind of anxiety-inducing episode. Richard Louv - journalist, commentator, nature lover and author of nine books on the importance of nature in our lives - addresses the increase in the number of people - adults and children alike - suffering from NDD or Nature Deficit Disorder. NDD is the reduced awareness and a diminished ability to find meaning in the life around us. Sound familiar?
An article from the University of Columbia's Earth Institute even suggests; "If we want to protect our environment and biodiversity, creating opportunities to reconnect with nature is crucial for both children and adults. We need to spend more time unplugged and find ways to let nature balance our lives."
So here is our curated list of ways to do that.
1. Switch off
It sounds simple, but let's face it, switching off your electronic communication devices is much easier said than done. My advice is to start small.
Switch off your phone when you are out for an evening meal or drinks with friends. You can switch it on again when you're ready to call an Uber home after a fun, engaged evening out.
Put your phone on silent on Sundays. Using the night mode on your phone means that all alerts are silenced, but if someone needs you 'urgently' - if they call you twice in five minutes, you can be sure it's urgent - your phone will ring. Use the quiet time to read, go for a walk or play a board game, or just stare at the ceiling. Whatever blows your hair back.
2. Feet first
The advise my kinesiologist gave me all those years ago.... it really worked. If you're anywhere near grass, take your shoes off and walk around for a bit. If you're not near grass, use your lunch break to find some. We all know that more and more of us live in cities and nature doesn't feel part of our lives, but it's all around us. We have just forgotten how to see and appreciate it.
Cult of Treehouse co-founder, Amelia Rynkowska, suggests that we eat adaptogens every day. These include Turmeric, ginger, cayenne, reishi, chaga, cordyceps and medicinal mushrooms. These all noticeably help your mind and body cope with everyday life and modern day stresses by combating fatigue, brain fog and keep skin in check. Read our previous review on adaptogens by Naomi's Kitchen or the use of adaptogens in Cult of Treehouse's skincare.
Looking in the mirror and accepting ourselves isn't always easy. We pick out the bad parts, instead of looking at the good parts.
What if we flipped that idea on it's head and when we looked in the mirror, we instead affirm ourselves.
Affirmations are one of the most powerful ways to improve self-love. Boy oh boy, do they take a lot of practice. There is no denying that. An ideology that has been passed down since biblical times and has created generations of beings that feel it's not okay to be proud of who we see in the mirror. I have news for you; it's okay to be proud, in fact, it's imperative. It means that we accept and acknowledge that we are doing things right. Start with that sentence, in the mirror.. off you go:
"I am proud of the being I am."
There is nothing more liberating than dancing. You can do it anywhere, anytime. Whether you have rhythm in your bones, or like me, dance to the beat of your own drum, there is never an excuse not to dance. Dancing with brazen enthusiasm is the quickest way to lift spirits, not to mention get some physical exercise, which is needed for our brains to produce endorphins; The "feel good hormone."
While I am not a Taylor Swift fan, the lyrics "shake it off" is an appropriate anthem in this instance.A simple reminder for us to let go of the bull shit.
There have been numerous studies about how dancing improves our mental health and wellbeing. Further reading can be done via Psychology Today.
While I wished my cupboard/desk, small space/ etc, etc looked like the images on a Pinterest moodboard after a decluttering session, the truth is they never do. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that they never will either. But, I cannot deny the mental space that tidying up and decluttering provides. Make the time for it, it's important. (If you want a step by step guide on how to declutter your life, Pinterest has same great dream situations - but I find common sense works the best.) Find your balance. No point in getting rid of everything you own, only to need to buy it all again next week!
7. Create an indoor jungle
By incorporating indoor plants into your living space is an easy way to ensure you are surrounded by nature, even if you live in a concrete jungle. The bigger the better!
Not only do they clean the air, they also provide an incredible source of unwitting inspiration.
According to some Norwegian study, indoor plants even help with enhanced productivity, concentration and memory retention.
Photographer, issue contributor and indoor jungle enthusiasts, Kristin Vicari, suggests purchasing established plants on sites like GumTree. You can find some great deals that would cost a fortune at a garden centre/nursery.
8. Stop moaning about the weather
Weather is weather. It has good days and bad days, just like we do. We need it, in all its moods. How have we become so disconnected with the planet that we see weather as nothing more than our clothing choices? When last did you stand outside in the rain and welcomed the feeling on your face? Start to consider the changing seasons, watch what it does to colour. It really is glorious.
We wouldn't have sunsets if we didn't have weather. Just saying.
9. Go into Nature
When last did you explore a wood or sit by a stream, or even go to the beach? It's sad, but it is a reality for many of us that seeking out nature is now something that needs to be "done" and no longer just "is". This intentional adventure into the wild is fundamental to many areas in our lives. Every heard of the hypothesis E.O. Wilson, the renowned biologist, called biophilia? Research has shown that if children do not have the opportunity to explore and develop that biophilia during their early years, they can develop biophobia. The aversion to nature. Biophobia can range from a fear of being in nature, to contempt for what is not man-made and managed, to an attitude that nature is nothing more than a disposable resource. Even as adults, we need to honour our inner-child and seek out mother nature at every available opportunity!
10. BEcome ritualistic
Rituals are not only reserved for witches and warlocks. They are vital to our wellbeing. Small moments of habitual practice that allows us time and space to reconnect with ourselves.
Turning your untainted beauty routine into a ritual is a good way to start. The real beauty of many untainted brands is not only their free from ingredients, but also choosing ingredients that offer synergistic capabilities that uplift skin and spirit. Check out our review on Vanderohe Facial Serum, which incorporates ritual into the application of their product.
Light some candles, play some music and make some time for yourself!