Cold showers and swimming
(photo Whatever Your Dose)
In our last blog post, we mentioned Wim Hof and his crazy habits of dipping into cold water. But turns out, this isn’t as crazy as it seems, it actually has some pretty great health benefits. Cold water helps to boost the immune system as it increases the white blood cell count because the body is forced to react to changing conditions. It also gives us the all important natural high as it activates endorphins.
So, pop yourself into the shower and put it on a normal setting and slowly cool it down to adjust. Also as a disclaimer, it is worth reading up to check how to do this safely for you everybody is different and if you have underlying health conditions it's worth checking this will sit well with you.
If you’re getting used to the showers and feeling brave why not head down to your local open water swimming facility. Currently in London one of the best places to head to is Hampstead Ponds, Hampstead Heath which will be open in April (Hopefully). There is also Brockwell Lido, Herne Hill. Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park and Parliament Hill Lido, Hampstead Heath. Worth checking out and taking up as a new hobby in the spring!
Dance therapy i.e. literally shaking
I came across this on a podcast and it actually makes a ton of sense. When animals get really stressed out, they shake. Think about those endless hours of David Attenbourgh documentaries You’ve watched. After being stalked by lions, impalas do a big shake to rid themselves of stress. So, put some tunes on, put the mirror away (trust me on this one) and just have a good shake/dance.
(photo credit Amazon)
Okay so I might be 21 going on 71 here but I swear by a good jigsaw puzzle, especially when everything is on screens these days! It turns out though that jigsaw puzzles simultaneously work hemispheres of the brain, aid memory and decrease stress. The whole process is very meditative and as someone who lives alone sometimes being stuck with your thoughts all day is the worst thing for your general wellbeing. By sitting down and paying full attention to the puzzle you're completely in the present moment having a real calming effect.
We quite like the look of this one from the sustainable business Bloom Post.
Online Yoga classes and apps
(Photo credit: Sarah Malcolm)
Yoga is a stereotypical de-stressor. The reason it is such a calming practise (or one of the reasons) is because it switches our body from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. Or in non science terms, from stressed out go go go brain into our chilled out brain. Although we aren’t back to doing in person classes just yet, the zoom yoga classes of the world have taken off. I really like the look of Londoner, Sarah Malcolm’s (known from podcast Kitchen Club) yoga classes. I can also highly recommend the app Down Dog that generates yoga sequences for you. You get to choose the type of yoga, length of session and level of ability too.
I currently jump out of bed in the morning, throw on my Evamoso leggings and hop on the mat for 20 minutes and it starts my day off so much better!
By Rachel Osborne