Hello, my name is Lizzie and I’m the founder of State of Liberty. Incorporating six key elements – yoga, food, meditation, mindfulness, pampering and sleep – we’re creating online wellbeing retreats that give you the freedom to enjoy sustainable wellbeing in your own home. We’re also delighted to be partnering with Annabel and her team at A Life Loved to bring you exclusive content that we hope will help encourage you to focus more on self care.
Our retreats are ideal for homebodies who want to lead happier, healthier lives. Taking place over the course of an appointed weekend, each stage is made available to members at set times, so you’ll experience the various elements as a group. You’ll be able to connect with fellow participants via a dedicated online forum and each retreat attendee will also receive tailored food and pamper boxes, expertly curated to complement the digital content.
With the right knowledge and tools, we all have the power to create sustainable healthy lifestyles for ourselves. At State of Liberty, we believe the best place to start is in the home, making small changes every day and forming habits that will last.
Winter presents its own unique set of challenges for our health and wellbeing. Cold weather, dark days and the inevitable seasonal bugs can all take their toll, so it’s important to prioritise self-care and protect our physical and mental health as much as possible.
Here are seven simple ways to improve your wellbeing this winter…
1. Mindfully Prepare Your Home
As we move into the colder, darker months, it’s important to mindfully prepare our homes. Focusing your energy inwards, setting clear intentions and scheduling time ‘just for you’ can also help make winter a period of comfort and beauty.
Try sitting down on a Sunday evening, lighting a candle and compiling a weekly to-do list. Tune into the rhythm of your daily life, your habits and routine, so you’re able to consciously create the time and space needed for self-care.
2. Go to Bed Early
Quality sleep is essential for health, happiness and beauty. As the nights draw in, our bodies naturally want to slow down and rest. It’s a powerful process that helps to heal and restore, but it’s often compromised when life is busy or stressful. Ideally, we would all get 8 hours of sleep every night. Some of us need less and some a little more.
A good day starts the night before. – Arianna Huffington
I love this quote from Ariana Huffington’s new Sleep Revolution book: ‘A good day starts the night before’. This winter, focus on creating a beautiful, calm bedroom, free from devices and work. Head to bed before 11pm each night and notice whether your quality of your sleep improves.
3. Make Time for Yoga
Practicing yoga at home is an easy, achievable way to work on your wellbeing. Moving at your own pace in a familiar space will leave you feeling warm, safe and comfortable.
A quick yoga sequence, first thing on a cold winter morning, is a wonderful way to wake up, warm up and get your circulation flowing. Alternatively, practicing at the end of the day can help you release stress and prepare for restorative sleep. You’ll find a simple five-minute yoga sequence created by our in-house yoga expert, Clem Balfour, on the State of Liberty blog here.
4. Stay Hydrated
The ancient Chinese believed the seasons have a profound effect on health and wellbeing. In traditional Chinese medicine, Wu Xing or the ‘Five Elements’ are used to support the body during the natural cycle of the seasons.
The five basic elements – wood, fire, water, metal and earth – each correspond to a time of year as well as certain organs, emotions, tastes, smells and sounds. Winter is linked to the water element, so on a very basic level, it is important to stay hydrated.
We know that in order to function properly, the brain should be 80% water and the body 70%. If our fluids diminish, so does our sense of wellbeing. If you experience a slump mid-afternoon, try drinking a glass of water rather than reaching for something caffeinated or sugary. The water will help balance your blood sugar and boost your energy levels.
5. Pamper with Salts
Magnesium salts are wonderful for the skin, relaxing tired muscles and boosting your body’s nutrient levels. They also assist with detoxification and are a great way to pamper your body during the dark winter months.
Magnesium also helps in the production of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical found in the brain. If you don’t have a bath, a foot bath is bliss at the end of a long day. Coupled with an early night, this practice is a great addition to a sustainable self-care routine.
6. Eat Seasonally
As the weather changes, so does the fresh produce that’s available. Eating seasonally supports your body naturally. Produce purchased in season is likely to be fresher, consumed closer to harvesting and higher in nutritional value. Some anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, folate and carotenes rapidly decline when stored for periods of time.
Food can also be used to boost your immunity. Liquid Gold is a delicious recipe that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare using simple ingredients from your kitchen. Not only does it taste amazing, it will also banish any unwanted seasonal bugs. You can find my favourite recipe on the SOL blog here.
7. Meditate with Essential Oils
Essential oils are a wonderful way to connect with nature and enhance your environment. Naturally occurring and found in seeds, bark, stems, roots and flowers, they have long been used medicinally and for beauty treatments.
Diffusing oils is a wonderful way to create a relaxing, cosy space. For example, frankincense can help calm and deepen your breath ready for meditation. The warm, spicy scent has been burned in temples and on altars since history began.
We will be exploring each of the SOL six wellbeing elements here on A Life Loved in 2018, as well as regularly sharing expert advice on how to create your own State of Liberty. In the meantime, join our community for news and updates about the launch of the first online wellbeing retreats.
Love Lizzie xx
Editors note: On the matter of sleep, if you are struggling to establish a good sleep routine, we’d like to recommend you read the book ‘Thrive‘, by Arianna Huffington.