It's a New Year, and a great time to think about good intentions that you can set for the coming year. We have a few suggestions to make your 2018 an awesome year!
Whether you're already a flexible yogi who can do chaturanga dandasana with ease, or you can barely touch your toes and do a push-up, anyone can benefit from doing yoga. It's important to move our bodies, especially since most of us tend to sit at our desks for way too long - me included. Yoga helps with learning how to properly move our bodies, improve posture and increase range of motion, while also building muscle which is important when we grow older. The best of several worlds.
However, yoga doesn't only help with physical health, but also with mental health. A lot of people suffer from stress, burn-outs, etc. Meditation and focussing on your breath helps to let go of the constant chatter in your head. Your thoughts are still there, but you choose to not act on them. You learn to live in the moment, so you can enjoy what you're doing now without worrying about the future as much.
Photos: Manduka Yoga, VYAYAMA, Manduka Yoga
Two of the values we hold highly here on Florissana are thinking about the environment and ethically-made products. Whenever you spend money on something, you're supporting the thing that you buy, so why not make it something that you actually want to support?
A lot of items we buy these days are still made by children, or people working in sweatshops in unethical working conditions while completely disregarding the environment. We only have one planet, and we're not taking care of it at all now. For some products, like clothing or furniture, animals are exploited as well due to the use of fabrics like leather or wool for instance. This needs to change. The company selling you the items won't tell you if they uphold shady practices, so the responsibility lies with you, the consumer, to find out what you're actually buying.
You don't have to throw away all of your things, you can start small by simply just consuming less. When you buy something ask yourself if you really need it and/or if it will make you happy. You don't need 5 white t-shirts, 1 or 2 will do. Once you're ready to take it to the next step, you can start looking for eco-friendly or thrift stores close to you for whatever it is that you want to buy, or look for online shops like the one you are on right now. Already on the right track!
As far as for instance grocery shopping is concerned... try to limit the amount of plastic wrapping that you use. Choose compostable or reusable produce bags to put in fruits and vegetables. And recycle the plastic that you do buy. All in all, what we mean with "conscious shopping" is that for whatever item you buy, think about the consequences for others and the planet, and try to make the right choices as much as possible. You don't have to strive for perfection or zero-waste living, but choose ethical brands, buy secondhand and be conscious about how you spend your money.
Photos (left, right): Wunderwerk, Reformation
A lot of people go on a diet once the New Year comes around. However... restrictive diets are usually unsustainable, don't work in the long run and generally make you miserable. Instead of focussing on the outside and on losing weight, focus on treating your body in a way that it deserves. Choose healthy, whole foods in your daily routine. Choose plants. Choose veganism. And then eat a vegan burger in the week-ends.
A whole foods plant-based diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. You will be healthier, have more energy, and feel more vibrant. But if you can't go there immediately, start slowly by replace meat, dairy and eggs with plant-based alternatives.
A switch towards a more plant-based diet is not only good for your health, but also has an incredibly positive impact on the planet, as well as the animals that don't have to be abused in order for you to eat the piece of meat, the slice of cheese and the hard-boiled egg on your plate.
Take time for yourself
In the western world we are all very busy. We can get so caught up in a lot of situations that we forget to make time for ourselves, or consciously fill the me-time slot with other activities that you deem more important.
With the amount of burned out, stressed out people in our society, it's best to take action before it is too late. Well... before you actually have a burn-out or depression or just feel crappy all the time.
This one is also kind of related to the first tip... to do yoga. For me, on a regular day, my yoga practice is usually my me-time, but it doesn't hurt to sometimes take extra time to go into nature, treat yourself to a coffee while reading a book, do journaling, go for a run, put on a face mask, take a bath... whatever it is that makes you feel truly at ease is something that you should make time for.
Photo (right): Manduka Yoga
Treat your skin
Our skin is our largest organ. Don't slather it with random products you find at the drugstore. It deserves better. Nourish your skin with whole ingredients that do your skin good in the long run. Stop using drying soaps, irritating cleansers, lotions that only break you out, and make-up that doesn't let your skin breath. Your skin deserves better. And so does the environment.
Choose products that have good, natural ingredients that were produced in a fair, eco-friendly way. As you should always strive for... promote the businesses like Gressa Skin, Dr. Bronner's, Kure Bazaar, ILIA, Yogandha and many more that actually care about making a change for the better. For humans, for the environment and for the animals that co-habit this Earth together with us. It will do you and your skin good.
Happy New Year!