Self love is the best love - the mindfulness edit
At skinChemists, we are a diverse, family founded and run company and it’s so important to us that all of our team take self care super seriously. Positive mental health starts from within so we wanted to share some top tips on how we navigate mental health awareness and how to help keep your brain in tip-top shape.
Ever tried meditation?
Meditation isn’t just for those who are insanely spiritual or religious, meditation is an amazing tool to help reduce stress and anxiety, switch off busy minds and find a safe, positive space to work through feelings and emotions. If you’re a beginner, you’ll find it hard and wonder if you’re doing it right. But don’t give up! If you make it a daily practice or habit, you’ll soon start feeling the benefits.
You can make meditation work for you in whatever form that takes, you don’t have to sit still in a cross legged position and pretend you're comfortable for 30 long minutes (although if that is what feels good then go for it!). You can meditate while in the shower, walking, or even while exercising. The main aim is to focus solely on the moment and be present; many focus on their breath because it is something that is happening right now, something connected to the very core of us. If that doesn’t work for you, focusing on your movement through walking or a workout, the feeling of water on your skin in the shower, or the sound of some music you like can work well too.
You might think that this sounds easy but when you practice, work on noticing how often your mind wanders to things in the past or the future; what you’re going to do after the meditation, what you might cook for dinner, a conversation you had earlier that day or even something that happened years ago. Our minds stray so often to the past or the future that we generally find it very difficult to stay focussed on the here and now, and it’s only in the present moment that we can find true peace and happiness with a clear mind.
Apps like Calm, Chopra and Headspace can really help set you off on your meditation journey.
Give yourself a pat on the back!
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But how often do you really congratulate yourself? We’re betting not often enough. Set yourself a specific time each week, whether that’s on a Friday evening when you’ve finished work for the weekend or a Sunday night before the start of a new week - whatever time works for you. Once you’ve picked your day and time, write a list or say out loud all of the things you’ve done well this week. Be as basic as you like… think: getting out of bed, only having 1 bit of cake and not 2, drinking a glass of water. Or they can be big things like getting a promotion, working out for 10 minutes every day, not snoozing the alarm. We’re culturally conditioned to only find validation from our actions when we are overworked, over tired, doing things we find a chore. Instead, celebrate all the small things even if it feels silly and after a while you won't be able to stop cheering yourself on. Being your own biggest fan will really help to boost your self esteem and keep you centred and grounded within your own mind space.
Pick up a book
You might have told yourself that you’re not much of a reader or that it isn’t something you like to do, but that probably stems back to when you were at school and you were forced to read long and boring books that didn’t interest you! We’re here to tell you that It has been proven that reading can be integral to positive mental health, and also that it can be great fun.
According to a study by the University of Sussex, reading helps reduce stress levels by 68%. It can also increase your mental flexibility as well as enhancing brain activity, positively impacting the brain in both psychological and neurological ways.
The moral of the story (excuse the pun) is that even just a few pages a day can give your brain a boost, it’s as simple as that. You can delve into horror stories, science fiction, romance, action, biographies, self-help or even cook books! Whatever your choice is, you will be able to truly escape reality for as long as you’d like, which let’s face it, we all need from time to time.