WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

Rituals

Surviving Autumn

Autumn, Rituals, Winter, Essentialsdanielle copperman1 Comment
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Autumn is a transformational time. It is a season of constant change, and one that forces us inwards - finally! After a Summer of amplified energy and consistent buzz and opportunity, Autumn is a much more grounding season and should come as a reminder for us to slow down, simplify and take inventory. By ‘slow down’, I mean to reduce our speed and energetic output, but doing less, prioritising and refocusing on things. By ‘simplify’, I mean to let go of thing that don’t really or no longer serve us, and that we don’t really, really need. These may be physical things, or they could be relationships, duties, thoughts, feelings or desires. And by ‘taking inventory’, I mean to take stock of all that you have, and practice being grateful enough that you come to realise how fortunate and abundant your life is. These are all things we know we should do without having to think about them, but we have un-learned these simple rituals and unwritten rules of life in getting caught in the current of modern life. Take this season as an opportunity to pause for a moment, to understand what you have and what you might want, and to take it easy. The easier you take it, the easier life will come.

1. Pause

Take time to pause, either once a day, once a week, or just once at the beginning of the season or each new month. Just take a few minutes to be with yourself, acknowledge your thoughts and get present whilst everything around you insists to shift.

2. Silence

Silence is powerful and whilst there is a lot of change and perhaps a lot of noise in your mind after a busy Summertime or as you head back to work or school, it can really help to find ways to be quiet. Making this space will likely bring forth more authentic thoughts and visions that are aligned with your true self - your souls intentions - that otherwise would not have been heard.

3. Declutter

We’re all familiar with the annual Spring Clean, but there is little emphasis on the importance of an Autumnal clear out, too. For me, life seems more stressful the more things I own and the more clutter I have. So for one, being tidier at this time of year (especially as we spend more times inside, too) can have powerful effects on our overall wellbeing. For two, decluttering and actually reorganising and filtering through all that you own and getting rid of what you no longer or don’t really need, is a powerfully cleansing and refreshing process. You might also use ancient traditions like smudging (burning woods like palo santo or herbs lie sage), to cleanse the energy of a space as you shift out of one season into a new.

4. Gratitude journal / positive aspects

As I said, taking stock and taking time to notice all that you have and being grateful for it is a must, all year around but particularly at transformational times. Autumn and Winter are generally colder and darker months, in the UK, and these characteristics can bring with them low energy and low moods, but making a list of things you are grateful for can be a truly uplifting ritual.

5. Stay active

Motivation will falter, but keep you exercise routines up during the Autumn and Winter for several reasons. You’ll encourage circulation and blood flow. You’ll keep fit, strong and toned. You’ll have more energy and you’ll feel mentally more positive. And you won’t face a huge struggle come the New Year / Spring / Summer that people usually deal with after being inactive for long periods of time. It is easier to keep consistently active than it is to reduce your exercise and then try to pick it up again.

6. Nourishing foods

Autumn and Winter bring forth an abundance of healing and nourishing foods, such as root vegetables, dark fruits, cruciferous vegetables, herbs and spices and much more. Make the most of seasonal produce that is actually intended to support us season to season. Make warming foods like soups and stews. And cook with plenty of spices and citrus fruits, to protect and strengthen the immune system.

7. Keep warm but enjoy the cold too

Keeping warm is a necessity as the temperatures begin to drop, however, embracing the cold also has its benefits. New wave rituals such as Cryo therapy (standing in a cubicle at -85c) are known to increase circulation, metabolism, blood flow, detoxification, mental stamina, joint and bone health, amongst other things, but there are natural (and free) ways to achieve these results too. Alternate between hot and cold water in the shower. Stand outside with minimal layers. Brave wild swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes. And on the contrary, enjoy a sauna whenever available, to encourage detoxification, purification, deep internal cleansing, reduce muscle and joint tension and encourage relaxation and reduced stress.

8. Sleep more; literally hibernate

At this time of year, animals are hibernating, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t all be doing the same. Of course, living in a modern society we have jobs and other responsibilities to tend to, but it doesn’t mean we can’t hibernate on a less extreme level, from time to time. Do less and don’t do more than you absolutely need to. Learn to feel empowered enough to be more selective of what you say yes too, especially when there are so many things going on in the lead up to Christmas. Take pride in saying no to things and just indulging in a cosy night in doing nothing much at all.

9. Protect and prevent

Stock up on immune boosting ingredients and remedies as our immune systems are tested with a drop in temperatures and faced with local viruses. Lemon and ginger is a classic, but also experiment with turmeric, black pepper, açai, spirulina, nettle and other herbs, spices and adaptogens known to strengthen the immune system and prevent or remedy seasonal struggles.

10. Surrender

I’ve kind of covered this in points 1, 2 and 8, but I can’t emphasis enough the importance of just surrendering a little more this time of year. Surrender to the shorter days, the colder climes and the reduced amount of energy you may experience, and just embrace it. Don’t try to push past it, or work harder to stay productive. Instead, find ways to refocus your attention, redirect your energy and really take time for self cafe and self development, and you’ll end up working smarter, instead of harder.

Items and rituals to support you mentally and physically

Burts Bee’s beeswax lip balm in chai tea

Pukka herbs lemon, ginger & manuka tea

Lanolips all-natural lanolin multi-use superbalm

These bamboo socks

Bamboo blanket

Neom Natural Candles

Cosy velvet bedspread

Mugs for all the hot drinks

These cashmere gloves

An eco-friendly, rubber-less hot water bottle

A hot/cold water bottle

A recycled notebook

Autumn Outfits

As you know I am much fonder of buying second hand than buying new, but as a model I need to be up to date with the latest trends, and am constantly working with fashion brands to help sell their products. It seems a bit hypocritical, but it is my job. If you need new clothes this season, I urge you to try a few charity shops or vintage stores, or even do a swap with friends. If you’re not convinced, here’s a few of my favourite items from some of my favourite non-sustainable stores. Just promise me you’ll try to buy less, and buy quality over quantity. Only buy things you really think you will wear more than just a handful of times.

You Need to Know About This Natural Contraception - Natural Cycles

Essentials, Natural Living, Review, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle copperman1 Comment
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You may not be familiar with Natural Cycles. Or, you may have seen it online, advertised on instagram or have numerous friends banging on about it. My guess is the latter.

Natural Cycles is changing the way I think and act about sexual activity and the female body. The app is a method of contraception, available in Europe and the US, 93% effective and completely natural. Not only that, at the opposite end of the spectrum, it also serves as a simple way to plan pregnancy. And if you’re interested in neither right now, A) one day you will be, so keep note, and B) you can also make use of the app for period planning, and simply getting to know your cycle and yourself better. You have a choice of plans available depending on what you want to keep track of; ‘Prevent’ if, as the name suggestions, you want to prevent pregnancy, and ‘Plan’, if you’re planning to conceive.

The Natural Cycles method is comprised of a basal thermometer and an app. It provides a digital space for you to take, collect and store all kinds of data about your cycle - and let’s just be clear, I mean your monthly cycle and not just the period part. You can not only track your basal body temperature (which is what helps to determine your fertility), you can also log whether you’re on your period, whether you’ve taken an LH ovulation test (which analyses the levels of luteinising hormones in your urine to let you know when you’re the most fertile), whether you’ve had sex or not, and add any other notes manually that might be important; for example, mood, energy levels, skin and hair condition, pain / nausea, sleep, diet / cravings, digestion - whatever you like!

The Story

Natural Cycles is the brainchild of Elina Berglund. She discovered that the body temperature changes throughout the menstrual cycle – something that is well-known and well-researched. She then started analysing her own temperature, applying her statistical knowledge from particle physics to detect ovulation and map out her fertile days. Using the techniques she had learned through the Higgs Boson project, Elina created an algorithm to analyse temperature readings, taking factors like sperm survival, temperature fluctuations, variations in cycle length, ovulation day, and the length of the follicular and luteal phase into account to identify fertile and non-fertile days.

She used to plan and monitor everything and her partner suggested she turn the algorithm into an app. Natural Cycles was born. Initially, it not only helped Elina and her partner to prevent pregnancy – but also to conceive when the time was right. In 2013, they announced that they were switching from the app’s “Prevent” mode to the “Plan” mode, and they didn’t have to wait long for good news. “With a little luck, and the precision of the app, we got pregnant the first cycle”.

Now the app is available and used globally and is having positive benefits to understanding how our body functions but also our our relationships, intimacy and awareness.

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How it works & how to use it

Using a basal thermometer provided, you are required to take your temperature first thing each morning (a minimum or 5 times a week) and enter it into the app. You then add the data to your app where it is then processed and logged, and working with your previous recordings and a number of other factors in the algorithm, it highlights whether or not you are fertile. The app will indicate red days as days you need to use contraception to prevent pregnancy, and green days for days when, as far as the algorithm is concerned (and depending on how consistently you have input data), you are not fertile and so unlikely to get pregnant and able to, if you feel comfortable, avoid using any other form of contraception.

A few things to bear in mind

You have to be 18 or older to use Natural Cycles.

To use NC you must ideally have a structured daily routine and are therefore able to manage the discipline and commitment required. Natural Cycles is straightforward to use but requires discipline. It is not simple, and not necessarily for everyone.

You initially need to use the app for a few months before completely trusting it, as it needs enough data and some time to get up to speed with your cycle. To begin with, until it knows enough about you, it will indicate more red days than usual to avoid any risk of unwanted pregnancy.

Users should be willing to measure a minimum of 5 times a week and use condoms on red days. You should also discuss the whole process with your partner, as it is a shared responsibility - which is great!

Natural Cycles encourages couples in a steady, long-term relationship with a structured lifestyle to use the app. It is all about being responsible and taking control, so just because it gives you a green indication, you still might want to be extra careful if you are frequently with new partners and not in a serious relationship yet.

The method does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

No contraception is 100% effective. Natural Cycles is 93% effective and note that a pregnancy can still happen even if you use a contraception perfectly.

My experience & why I use it

I used to be on the pill, from the age of about 16-22. It always affected me, especially within the first few months of using it when I remember bursting into unnecessary tears in the sixth form common room, totally uncalled for and confused. I personally didn’t get on well with the extra hormones and I feel it affected my weight and my skin slightly too. I persevered though, as, back then, there were few other options. When I got to 22 and was completely changing my diet after discovering more about unnatural foods and how to make the most of natural, healing nourishment, I also began to question why I was taking this pill everyday, which was definitely not natural. In school, you are taught and scared into believing how easy it is to get pregnant, but then when you get to older and you’re trying to conceive, you’re told its only really possible a few days a month. Obviously I understand in school a little extra discipline never hurt anyone, but I wish I had had Natural Cycles as an alternative, had I felt capable and responsible enough to commit to it. I am by no means against the pill or hormonal methods of contraception, however, I’m keen to have a more natural lifestyle and so am very, very pro this alternative at this stage of my life.

People say things like “I came off the pill with plenty of time, to give my body a chance to get back to normal”, which is such a strange sentence to me. It makes me think, shouldn’t we want our body to be in a ‘normal’ state, all the time? I think the pill is good for some people, and I know it is used for other things, such as healing acne and in some cases even balancing hormones, but I think other factors also need to be explored and taken into consideration before depending on a pill, and for anyone wanting to try something hormone-free, I would totally recommend Natural Cycles. It gives you more control and more confidence, I think. It shows that you are taking more responsibility and taking matters into your own hands, and it empowers you with knowing what’s going on with your body. It also brings you closer to your partner as it forces you to ensure that they are also involved and prepared to take part of the responsibly by understanding the process and doing their part, especially on red days.

How to take your temperature using the thermometer

Your questions

Is the pill really bad?

The pill is not bad, however from my personal experience, I didn’t get along well with the effect it had on my hormones and consequently physical and mental health. All though, it’s important to know that the pill carries many additional health benefits for some women.

How confident do you feel not to get pregnant using this and no other contraception?

I had to give the app a few months before I really felt comfortable to trust it. I feel confident that the data is accurate, however, I am still careful on ‘red days’, purely because I am absolutely not at the right stage of my life to even consider falling pregnant just yet. I feel confident and trust the app, however, no contraception is 100% effective. With NC there is a 7% chance of still getting pregnant, so you really need to ask yourself what is important and how careful you think you should be.

How do you know that your change in temp is only due to your cycle?

You need to be disciplined and consistent with taking recordings. You take your temperature before doing anything else - before getting out of bed, before brushing your teeth, before drinking anything - so that your temperature doesn’t deviate due to external factors. If it is particularly warm weather, the temperature is still accurate as your body will still work to maintain its natural body temp. However, it would change depending on if you are ill, sick or hungover. Thankfully, the app has an option to select whether your recording is taken whilst you are ill, sick or hungover, and it treats it as a ‘deviating temperature’. Basically, it doesn’t trust it. You just need to be aware of these things and honest and accurate in the data you provide.

Do you believe it will be reliable?

I would still be a little bit cautious, personally, simply because I am not ready to take any risks. At times of the month where I know there is absolutely no chance that I am fertile, then I rely wholly on this method and, so far so good!

Does it affect with your mood?

Not at all.

How do you know you are taking your temperature correctly?

See diagram above.

Is it more sustainable / eco friendly?

Yes! I guess you won’t be using so many condoms, and you won’t be consuming pills everyday which come in a fair amount of packaging, so less waste in that respect!

If you have any further questions or queries, leave them in the comments space below.

These Rituals will Help You to Realign with Your Intuition & Awareness

Anytime, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Natural Living, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment

Last week, I co-hosted a Rituals & Spiritual Awareness workshop with my good friend Tamara Driessen (aka Wolfsister). We held the event at recently opened Glow Bar in central London and enjoyed pumpkin dahl, adaptogenic chocolate mousse and calming and grounding chamomile moon milk from my book. With the topic of rituals and spiritual awareness in mind, we focussed on talking about our personal journeys in spiritual awareness and in finding our own alignment and authenticity. It is a forever project, and it takes constant effort and constant reminders to stay connected and conscious, but read on to find out how it’s done.

* If you missed the event, join us for our next Full Moon workshop on 25th Nov.

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Intuition and Awareness

These terms are often loosely tossed about, and whilst you might be familiar with them, do you really understand them?

Intuition is basically instinct. In a nutshell, it is the ability to understand something based on instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning or actual fact. It is within our innate nature to ‘just know’ or ‘have a feeling’ sometimes, that you just might not be able to explain.

Awareness is slightly different, but the two go hand in hand as, to hear or notice your intuition, you must be aware. Awareness, in this sense, is being in a state that is alert, open and conscious of things around you. It is possessing knowledge, perception or an opinion on any thing or situation that is outside of your own mind and body. Self-awareness is another story, but it all plays a part in contributing to your overall awareness of life and of others, and the awareness that everything seems to exist and occur inter-connectedly.

Both intuition and awareness require presence before anything else in order to be fully operational and authentically accurate. We have lost touch with our intuition for a number of reasons and in a number of ways, and we have reduced awareness in many aspects of life. A lack of being truly present is a huge contributing factor. We are more connected with each other than ever, thanks to technology, but we are literally wired and are connected to other people or other things so often that we rarely have the time or space to feel connected to ourselves and to the present moment. There is always someone or something else that requires our attention, and most often these relentlessly demanding situations exist in the past or future. Our minds are often stuck overthinking something that has happened, or planning and prepping (and worrying - let’s be honest) about things to come; things in the near or distant future that have not happened yet and may not ever happen. Sound familiar?

In order to be able to connect to your intuition and in order to be more aware, it is crucial that you find ways to be present, if not constantly, at least more frequently than you do currently. Having rituals that can help you to feel grounded and really ‘in the moment’, is essential for you to be able to reap the rewards and make the most of all the wisdom you’re intuition is trying to share with you. No one knows you like your intuition, let’s be real.

You’re intuition is magically capable of bringing forth ideas, thoughts, emotions and actions that truly align with your authentic sole purpose. Thats why it feels so good! You know those moments when something just clicks? Something just comes to you? Something just feels right and makes immeasurable and indescribable sense? Most moments like these often occur to me whilst I’m either in the shower, chopping or preparing food, during yoga or meditation, or in bed whilst I’m trying to sleep. It is in these moments, amongst others, that we are forced to be and naturally drift into a completely present place. These are all examples of when you are at your most present, and it is in these moments that your intuition can really speak to you. You are suddenly more open and aware enough to allow and to hear your intuition guiding you, and it is these thoughts, or epiphanies, that are most aligned with the true you, and, thus, make the most sense. They are reflections of a deeper part of us; one which is usually suppressed or unnoticed as we go about our busy, modern lives. I have some of my best ideas just before bed or in the shower, and this is because our minds are focussed either on just one thing or on nothing in particular at all; certainly not all the thoughts or worries of the day that usually arise as soon as we wake. When you are present, the daily noise and the messy thoughts are temporarily silenced and, feeling clearer and more organised, your intuition actually has a chance to give its input. It is truly powerful and we don’t reach or remain in this state for very long at all, which is how we end up feeling so overwhelmed, lost, unsure, fearful, low, depressed, confused and miserable; all at once. You know the deal.

So how do you know become fully present and how can you enhance your awareness on a daily basis in order to ensure you are on the right track, aligned with your sole purpose and functioning on a more spiritually-aware level? It takes time and constant reminders, and it takes consciousness, understanding and the responsibility to take control of your life in a way that allows you to live in the present moment as much as you possibly can. Not all of these rituals may be suitable for you. I believe the teacher appears when the student is ready, meaning when you are in the right place for them to resonate with you (if they don’t right now), they will be here whenever you are ready.

Rituals

Make Time & Space; Reduce the Speed at Which You Function

The key to becoming more present is actually as simple as just making more time. We all complain there are not enough hours in the day and we are, in many ways, more stressed than ever (although the things we are stressed about are not stressful at all in comparison to what generations before us or less fortunate communities are faced with - but thats another story, for another post). For many of us, if we’re not doing several things at once, we’re thinking of several things at once, and our minds are moving at a million miles an hour, hardly connected to our bodies and focussed on so many things that they’re barely focussed at all. So slowing down the pace, taking more time and care over things, and just making a window of time to let yourself fully focus on each task or thought you are faced with, is a simple change you can make today.

Pause

Similarly to making more time, pausing is a powerful concept to become familiar with. As well as making more time wherever possible, consciously scheduling time or setting reminders to just pause at intervals throughout the day can actual mean you end up more productive because of it. Taking a break, removing yourself from a situation, or just changing surroundings and finding a few moments to be away from others can be so nourishing for the mind and soul and allow for less rational and rapid thoughts to subside, giving way to more meaningful and natural ones. Try to pause several times throughout the day, and especially at moments if and when you find yourself dealing with particularly challenging or stressful situations. It always helps to take a step back, process and observe the situation and come back to it again with a clearer (and more intuitive) mindset.

Journaling, Brainstorming and Stream of Consciousness

Writing your thoughts out on paper in physical form is a powerful ritual to get familiar with. I don’t journal everyday, and if you feel the pressure of having to, you haven’t fully understood the concept of journaling. It isn’t supposed to add to your workload, and there is no right or wrong or set way of doing it. But however it comes to you, writing or brainstorming can help to process and organise your thoughts, and analyse them almost as an outsider, as if they are separate from you. By doing this, you clear space internally for more truthful and authentic thoughts to present themselves, and you can really put things into context and let go of things that perhaps make absolutely not sense or are simply not worth worrying about. Stream of Consciousness is something I have been practicing for a few months, which involves simply starting to write whatever comes to you the moment you wake up. The content will be completely improvised and unplanned, with no real direction or meaning, but that is what makes it so powerful. It is freeing, it is creative, and it helps you to connect to your subconscious layers as you transition from being asleep to being awake; before you start concerning yourself with the day ahead. You may be surprised what comes up.

Yoga & Other Movement

Yoga is a must for me, but it took plenty of time for me to get used to it and to enjoy it. I still don’t always enjoy it, but I enjoy the way it makes me feel and the constant reminders if brings for self-awareness and self-development. I find it really helps to ground the egotistic mind and really puts things into perspective. Meditation is also a ritual I regard highly and, although my practice is often inconsistent, I know I can turn to it in particular moments. Use a meditation app, the rituals from my book, Well Being, or find some classes to attend and learn how to meditate yourself from a teacher. And if you don’t like yoga or meditation, simply go for a walk or find some outside space to just sit and be still. These too are forms of meditation; meditation does not have to be a structured practice or follow a specific routine. Almost any kind of exercise is meditative to me as it has the same affect as meditation; forcing the mind to focus solely on one thing. Any thing, whether it’s exercise or not, that forces you to focus and centre the mind, counts as a form of meditation.

Breathe Better

With stress levels higher than ever, and a significant symptom of stress and anxiety being shortness or incompleteness of breath, we could all get a little better at this thing that fuels our existence. Breathing is not just something we do for the sake of it, taking in oxygen is crucial for all the vital processes of the body to function. If you’re not breathing fully, you’re restricting the life flow going into and out of the body, and not just your body but your cells, organs and so on. Try to be aware of your breathing, especially in stressful situations, and either practice taking a few deep breaths (maybe during one of your daily pauses, as discussed above), or find a Pranayama ritual that works for you (you can also find some of those in my book).

Be Creative

Whether or not you are what you perceive to be skilful or not, being creative is one incredibly way to really tune in and become present. If you can be creative (be that drawing, painting, making a collage, taking photographs, writing or whatever), you’ll find yourself in that place where your mind sort of wonders from the things it’s been getting worked up over, to a much stiller place of pure peacefulness. Focusing on something like this for which you have no expectations or desired results in mind is incredibly freeing and will help you to feel more present immediately. Don’t be judgmental, self-conscious or embarrassed - just try it.

Human Connection

There is nothing, nothing, like the power of human contact and connection for soothing the soul and calming the mind. Whenever I feel stuck, lost, worried or just generally low, I speak to friends or family, or whenever possible, see them. Speaking to others helps to rationalise your thoughts and provides alternative input and analysis to your own internalised worry. And, there’s nothing like a good hug from someone you know and love and who knows you and loves you back. Sometimes, there are no words, but time just spent together, and just the fact that someone cares, is unbeatable. Your mind will settle and you’ll find your energy begins to match that of the person you are communicating with, making you - you guessed it - more present.

6 Morning Rituals to Try For a Better Day in the Long Run ~ for Byrdie

Commisions, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Setting Intentions

Intentions help you to bring awareness to what you want to achieve and can instil a sense of clarity and focus from within. Your intentions aren’t set in stone and can change daily—even hourly. The only thing that determines their potential is making them authentic and backing them with belief.

Start the day by repeating your chosen intentions for however long feels right to you; if you make a conscious effort to acknowledge things happening around you, you’ll notice that the things you wish to attract come to you in some way. Take inspiration from the suggestions below, being sure to understand what it is you want:

I intend to forgive.

I intend to make more time for myself.

I intend to spread kindness.

I intend to be content and not compare myself to others.

Journaling

Journaling is a powerful tool to release negative thoughts and frees up space to focus on the things you do have and are grateful for. Writing a journal first thing in the morning can help you to declutter the mind and let go of anything that may be worrying you. Spend time acknowledging thoughts in order to accept them, appreciate them and use them productively to move forwards.

Neck Chopping and Self-Massage

The benefit of neck chopping and self-massage in the morning is that it’s super invigorating. It helps to encourage circulation, blood flow and awakens and stimulates the muscles whilst loosening them and relieving any tension that may be present upon waking. Here’s how to do it:

Stand tall and relax your shoulders down your back, elongating the neck. Support your forehead by resting it in the palm of your left hand and then let the head tip slightly forwards. Using the edge of your right hand (along your little finger to where your hand joins the wrist), use a gentle chopping motion to lightly tap up the base of the skull. Stay in this vicinity, working around the base of the skull and top of the neck. If tapping is too much, use sawing motions to release tension at the base of the skull and in the neck. Do this for about one to two minutes.

Return to standing and slightly tip your head back. Take your hands to your head with thumbs just under the ears, palms on the side of your cheeks and fingers along the sides of your face, fingertips on the temples (as if you were going to lean on a table with your head supported in your hands).

Then, use the pads of your thumbs to work around the base of the skull, pressing and massaging the area with however much pressure feels right (you will just know). Move your hands passively, however, feels comfortable, and work inwardly with the thumbs from behind the ears towards the spine. Work for about two minutes, and feel free to use the thumbs at other points in the skull that feel tight, such as above the ears or the temples.

Shaking

This may seem a strange concept at first, but shaking is an amazing technique to get energy moving around the body. You can do it upon waking or even whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. It doesn’t have to be done every day, but when things feel a little stiff or heavy it is such a simple technique to invigorate the body. Here’s how to do it:

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging loosely by your sides.

Keeping it loose, start shaking your right arm, whatever way feels good. You might shake from your shoulder and upper arm, or from the wrist and elbow. Shake for around one minute, and then repeat with the left arm. Then, shake both arms together, for around the same amount of time if it feels comfortable to do so.

Next, work on your legs, starting with the right and then the left. Move from the thigh or the feet, as if your toes are kicking water. After shaking, massage one hip and then, with your hand in a loose fist, tap down the outside of the leg, and up the inside a few times. Repeat on the other leg.

Finally, return to standing with feet shoulder-width apart and shake your entire body. Bending at the knees, shake from the shoulders, the core or the pelvic area, however feels good. Stop and rest, grounded and supported by your feet and take a few final moments to notice how each part of your body feels.

To close the practice, take a big inhale and lift your arms above your head. With your left hand, grab the right wrist and guide it gently towards the left, taking a gentle side-bend stretch. Return to the centre and repeat on the right-hand side. Lower the arms to end the practice.

Mindful Eating

Our modern culture runs at a high speed in order for us to fit everything in, and as a consequence, our breathing, sleeping and eating patterns have begun to suffer. Functioning at a constant fast pace is productive in many ways, but counterproductive in others. If we move through life too quickly to allow basic bodily functions to occur and focus on too many things instead of them, we stop operating at our full physical and mental potential. This is true at all times of the day but is particularly important where eating is involved. If we don’t slow down when we eat, we can end up creating more stress and imbalances within the body, and no matter how “healthy” the food is, feeling good isn’t going to come easily or occur just by eating a kale salad.

Oxygen plays an important role in the digestive process, and since we restrict our intake of oxygen when we are stressed or rushed (due to shortened or restricted breathing), eating in this state is simply not the way to do it. Slowing down, taking more time to eat and ensuring you’re breathing in a way that can distribute adequate oxygen around the body is an essential part of eating well.

We need to make time and oxygen major components of every meal, and start to really slow down and breathe whilst we eat, to concentrate on our food and the acts of eating, digesting, burning and absorbing.

Here are two ways in which to be mindful about eating, start with breakfast but try to be mindful at every meal:

Slow down. Stop what you are doing, or at least try to reduce your level of activity before you start eating.

Breathe. Take a few moments before a meal to regulate your breath and check in with yourself.

This can help you assess your true appetite while fueling the digestive process. A simple breathing practice to regulate “stress breath” can shortcut the stress response in as little as one minute, which puts the body in a more optimal state to receive and use food.

Hot Palming

This simple action is really soothing and relaxing for the eyes. With so much “screen time” these days, our eyes are not only very active but are also dazzled by the artificial light of our devices. If you practise yoga in the morning add this to the end of your routine or simply before bed.

Sit or lie in a comfortable position, either on the bed, the floor or on a chair.

Bring the palms of your hands together in front of you and begin to rub them together rapidly, creating friction and heat.

Quickly cup your hands slightly and then gently place the heated palms over closed eyes. Breathe deeply and enjoy the heat spreading across your eyes, the darkness offering a welcome break from the light. Stay in this position for a few moments and then release the hands and gently blink your eyes open again, or head straight to sleep.

See full article here.

A Few Recent Natural Beauty Finds

Beauty, Essentials, Monthly Essentials, Natural Living, Ritualsdanielle copperman2 Comments

I try to keep most of my make up and skincare products as natural / organic / vegan / ethical as possible. admittedly, it’s not always possible, and some products are ‘better’ than others in terms of their virtuous efforts. Below is a selection of beauty products I’ve recently tried or discovered, and I hope it makes navigating the beauty scene a little easier and with a little more education and understanding. I found the majority of these products via Showcase Beauty - a site showcasing a selection of indie / luxury / natural / sustainable beauty brands, all in one place. Enjoy!

Further information, clockwise from top left:

La Montaña Galán de Noche Candle - Hand poured by artisan candlemakers and made from quality parrafin wax infused with natural essential oils.
Madara Oil-to-Milk Face Scrub - Gentle, oil-based organic face scrub.
Kure Nail Varnish in Cappuccino - Non-toxic, 85% natural ingredients and free from Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Synthetic Camphor, Tolune.
La Montaña Candle Gift Set - Hand poured by artisan candlemakers and made from quality parrafin wax infused with natural essential oils.
Studio 10 6-in-1 Mascara - Made with jojoba and argan oils; fragrance, alcohol and paraben free.
Jane Scrivner Peace Body Bath Oil - 100% natural products. jojoba oil, coconut oil and 1% grapeseed oil. essential oils of bay, benzoin, chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, myrrh, sweet orange and pettigrain.
Madara Peel Face Mask - Vegan friendly. Certified natural and organic.
D’Alba White Truffle Mist Serum - Contains pure white truffle, avocado and sunflower oil, as well as 7 Swiss Alpine plant extracts.
Evolve Superfood Serum - Packed with highly effective natural superfoods; partially organic.
Kure Nail Varnish in Parisienne - Non-toxic, 85% natural ingredients and free from Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Synthetic Camphor, Tolune.
Antonia Burrell in Facial in a Box - A 7 step treatment that enables you to experience the Antonia Burrell Face Lift Facial at home. 100% natural, organic brand.
MyRoo Superfood Balm - This fragrance-free multi-functional balm combines raspberry seed oil's anti-inflammatory properties with cucumber seed oil to protect and strengthen. Also contains cucumber, raspberry, mango, papaya, carrot, avocado and olive.
Swiss Clinic Pink Clay Mask - An innovative, mess-free clay mask, enriched with peptides and Argereline, that effectively detoxifies and softens your skin on the deep.
Evolve African Orange Aromatic Body Wash - Made with a base of organic shea and aloe vera, fragranced with warming blood orange and vanilla, with notes of spicy black pepper and cedar wood.
Connock Kukui Oil Wonder Balm - A nourishing multi-tasking balm that can be used just about anywhere skin needs a little TLC. Made with a nourishing blend of 100% natural ingredients - kukui oil, monoi, cocoa butter, mango butter and beeswax.

3 Breathing Rituals That Will Calm You The F Down ~ for Byrdie

Commisions, Mindfulness & Meditation, Natural Living, Pranayama, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF DANIELLE COPPERMAN

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

Cooling Breath

These two cooling techniques are ideal for regulating body temperature. The sitali involves creating a straw-like shape with the tongue and inhaling through it; as the air passes through the tongue, it collects moisture. If you can't roll your tongue, use the sitkari method. This technique is also thought to reduce anxiety, regulate the natural appetite and hydrate the system.

Sitali

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet flat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments. Relax the mouth and then drop the jaw open, as if you were about to make a low ah sound.

3. Curl the sides of your tongue inwards to form a tube-like shape, and then poke it out of your mouth slightly, but with little effort.

4. Inhale deeply through the tongue, as if drinking the air in through a straw. Focus your attention on the cooling sensation of the breath and the rise of your abdomen, rib cage and chest. Retain the breath here for 5 to 10 counts, or release it instantly as directed in step 5.

5. Draw the tongue back inside your mouth, bring your lips together comfortably and exhale slowly through the nostrils.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.

Sitkari

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet fat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments, then gently bring your lower and upper teeth together. Part your lips as much as you can to expose your teeth.

3. Inhale slowly through the teeth, letting the air flow through the gaps between each tooth, and focus on the feeling of the air against your teeth, entering the mouth, filling your abdomen, lungs and ribcage, and on the hissing sound of the breath.

4. Close your mouth, relax the jaw and the teeth and exhale slowly through the nose.

5. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.


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New Moon Rituals with Myself + Wolfsister

Mindfulness & Meditation, Moon Time, Rituals, Eventsdanielle coppermanComment

Sunday, September 9, 2018
4:00 PM  7:00 PM

At She's Lost Control Store
42 Valentine Road London, England, E9 7AD, United Kingdom

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Your Instagram feed is is glittered with people posting about new moon rituals and setting intentions. 

What's an intention? You might be wondering.

Some of your favourite instagrammers have dropped some hints but you don't know where to begin. You're curious about trying to make your own magic with your own power, but don't want to get it wrong. And no one wants to be the last one to the new moon party! Especially if it means that you can find some inner zen and learn how to ride some of the waves of life. 

You're oh-so-ready for a fresh start and to ensure you're on track and open to attracting new opportunities. You want to let go of old baggage and make space for the new! Some tips to help you stay grounded and in your power when life gets a little crazy would be useful too, right?

Up for dipping your toe into some new moon magic but don't want to get too woo-woo? Join Wolf Sister (author of The Crystal Code) and Danielle Copperman (author of Well Being) for a New Moon workshop where you'll be guided through a series of new moon rituals and practices that will help you align with the moon cycles. 

If you're curious, imagine this: 

You arrive at She's Lost Control; you almost walked past it because it's tucked away from the hustle of Hackney. It's a new moon and you're excited to do something different with your Sunday afternoon. As soon as you walk through the door; you're mesmerised by all of the mystical wares and crystals on the shelves. All of the things that you need to do in the week ahead fade away, in that moment. You don't want to be anywhere else but here.

Wolf Sister and Danielle welcome you and you're shown where to put your belongings. Without hesitation your phone's set to flight-mode and it's buried in your bag. This is your time; you do not want to be disturbed. The room is set in a circle with comfy cushions and blankets; you're already thinking of how you can bring some of these mystical vibes into your home. 

Once you're seated and the rest of the group have arrived, your hostesses introduce themselves and explain how the moon affects us. Maybe you have been picking up on some of the clues from the moon throughout the month? They invite the rest of the group to introduce themselves; it's totally informal and relaxed. There's zero pressure to share too much and you feel a sense of relief once you've had your turn. It actually felt good to speak; nothing like the cringey introductions you've had to do in team trainings at work. 

Wow, your intuition was aligned when it nudged you to book your ticket.

Over the course of the session, Danielle teaches you some simple breathwork and tapping techniques to help clear your energy and help you feel more grounded; you could easily weave this into your daily routine. You notice that your head feels clearer already. 

Wolf Sister explains how to set intentions to align with the new moon and guides you through a crystal healing meditation so that you can clear any energetic blockages that have been holding you back from making some of your dreams come true.

After the meditation, you spend some time journalling about the insights that have been flowing throughout the session. You want to hold onto these feelings for as long as possible. As the words flow through pen to paper, some truth bombs are affirmed and you've got some clear clues about how you can move forward.

Amongst it all there's a delicious Hot Milk Tonic and light snacks made from Danielle's book Well Being; you've promised yourself to try the recipes at home. 

Before the session closes, you're invited to pull an oracle card; you smile to yourself because it's as if the card has just read your mind. 

There's magic in the air. You can feel it. 

By 7pm you can't believe the session's gone so quickly. You'd forgotten that it was possible to feel this relaxed and reinvigorated. You float home and treat yourself to something nice for dinner on the way. It's been a new moon to remember; your creativity is flowing, your worries have dispersed and it's hard to feel anything but blissful. You can't wait to use the tools from the session to return to this state again, and again, and again.

See you there?  

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Complete Transparency on My Sustainability Efforts

Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment
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I've been asked a lot more and thus talking a lot more about sustainability recently, and so I want to cover the topic in more depth and share the fundamentals  of my own sustainability efforts.

Living in the World that we do, and in the state that it is, it is nearly impossible to live sustainably 100% of the time. This is something I have trouble coming to terms with, as, despite my best efforts, there are always things on which I could improve or wish I could avoid. However, the reality is, unless we retreat to the countryside or relocate to the jungle and live as completely self-sufficient beings, in self-built homes, wearing self-made clothes and eating self-grown produce, we're never going to be as sustainable or eco-friendly as we'd like to be. Things have simply gone too far.

In centuries gone by, we were doing pretty good, but with the introduction of all kinds of technology, we discovered ways to make things much easier for ourselves, and apparently either didn't fully understand or didn't care enough about the consequences these things would have on our environment, experiences and ultimately our evolution. We live in an age where we can have what we want, whenever we want it. This of course has its benefits and is a wonderful way to live, but it doesn't come without its side effects. We have become complacent, much lazier and are producing far more things and far more waste than ever before. We are consuming more than we need to, and the processes involved in the mass-production required to meet our constant needs and demands are often highly toxic, unethical and unsustainable; affecting the environment and the state of our land, our air, our oceans and our ecosystem, along with the welfare of people involved in production and the welfare of us, as consumers of lower quality products (especially when it comes to food).

I dream of a time when - although tougher and of course less luxurious - people had limits. A time when people would grow their own foods or buy from local suppliers and accept that when something wasn't available, they could go without. A time when clothes were made better and, although more expensive, would be more of a luxury or in some ways, more meaningful. If you didn't like something enough, you wouldn't buy it, or if you couldn't find something you liked, you could take the time to make something yourself. This time I dream of seemed much simpler. Alright, we didn't have half the things we depend on and enjoy most in the modern day, but we got by just fine without them, and our environment suffered considerably less. There were less products, less advertising for things we don't really need, and less options. We made do with what we had, and that was enough. Chances are, we were happier too. Some of the poorest countries and cultures I have experienced are some of the happiest, and I am passionate about finding ways to simplify our modern lives so we can live with less, do less and enjoy ourselves, our time and our planet more.

Whilst I am no saint when it comes to sustainability, I try to live as naturally and consciously as possible. In making several sacrifices and taking time to discover ways to swap modern essentials for more natural necessities, I am doing my bits, however small they may be.

Modern-day materials and more eco-friendly alternatives

To me, beyond just generally consuming and buying less, the materials involved in the things I do buy are of major importance to me. In general, a non-biodegradable material is anything that air, sunlight, water, and ground soil cannot break down. There are many manufactured / synthetic materials which are non-biodegradable, but are favoured for being cheaper and easier and quicker to produce. Of those, plastic and cotton most commonly come under widespread scrutiny. Here's a few flash notes on why, and some more eco-friendly and sustainable suggestions.

Plastic uses gallons of water to produce. It takes more water to produce a plastic bottle than the amount of water that it in it.

Plastic, if not recycled and reused, takes years to decompose and biodegrade. Once you throw away something made of plastic, it will sit in landfill or end up in the Oceans, killing the sea life by polluting their habitats, getting ingested or physically harming them in other ways. There is a figure floating around (excuse the pun) that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. I'm not sure how they can determine this or how likely it is, but I'd say its enough to make you think twice about using so much plastic, and about how you dispose of it.

The process of making plastic (which is made of polypropylene - a material composed of petroleum and gas) requires lots of energy, involves non-renewable fossil fuels and contributes to the level of greenhouse gases in the environment. 

Cotton is another concern. It requires a lot of water to produce, and is commonly heavily treated with pesticides, unless organic. 

Paper. We all know what's happening to the rainforests. Although it biodegrades, and is easier to recycle, paper still requires a lot of water and wood to produce, and our rainforests can't grow fast enough to keep up with the demand.

There are plenty of other materials - such as styrofoam, polyester, cans and tins, rubber, nylon, cellophane to name a few - that we should also be conscious about using, and serious about cutting down on.

So, what's good?

Other plants, such as bamboo, are generally more sustainable, renewable and more efficient options. Bamboo doesn't require any pesticides, and it is self-replenishing. 1/3 of the amount of water is needed to grow bamboo than is required to grow cotton. 1 acre of bamboo yields 10 times more than 1 acre of cotton. Bamboo is also much more absorbent than cotton and is stronger, meaning its more efficient in serving the purposes we tend to use cotton for.

Bamboo can be used in a solid form to replace plastic, and its fibres can also be used in fabrics and materials for things like clothes, furniture, packaging and more.

Organic cotton is also better than standard cotton, as there is no use of pesticides or other chemicals in the production process. It is cleaner, and better for the environment, but it still uses a lot of water, energy and labour to produce. If un-dyed, cotton biodegrades, which is why its best to buy organic as it is safer and cleaner to biodegrade.

Plant fibres such as hemp, flax, coconut (coir), sisal, jute, silk/wild/peace silk, pineapple (Piñatex), beech tree (modal) and many more make really great alternatives to cotton and can be used to make things like clothes, shoes, furniture and other materials. I also love tencel which is made from wood pulp fibres.

Linen is one of the most biodegradable fabrics used in fashion items. Try to buy it un-dyed as it is fully biodegradable that way.

Using recycled materials is also good, but it does require a lot of energy, especially up-cycling things like plastic. With clothing, buying second-hand and customising or altering something is a great way to give new life to unwanted clothes.

Obviously, to be 100% sustainable, you would have to stop buying things all together. Even these natural fibres will contribute in some way to pollution through processing and will eventually end up as waste, but the good thing is they will biodegrade much more efficiently. Things made with natural fibres tend to cost more too; you are ultimately paying that little bit extra for more careful and ethical practices, for better quality clothes and to support smaller businesses and their authentic morals.

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My Sustainability Efforts and Practices

Like I said, it would be impossible to live completely sustainably and self-sufficiently in this day and age, and I am absolutely not trying to act like I do or come across as perfect and flawless at it. I want to be completely transparent here. I still use a lot of products and have several habits (not to mention jobs) which are not environmentally friendly, but the main thing is I am cutting down on them and making major swaps wherever and whenever I can. Here's the area's I'm making most headway with, as well as those in which I am not quite there yet. 

Beauty

I do use make up and skincare products that aren't entirely natural, vegan, organic or ethical, but i prefer to use things that are at least one of those things. My skincare and beauty routines are not 100% clean or perfect, mainly because as a model I don't have complete control over what products are used on me from one day to the next. Also, at home, there are products I've been using for years which I just love. However, I am more conscious when using them, and choose to use natural, eco-friendly, organic and ethical products much more than these artificial/non-eco products. Products made without artificial chemicals, parabens, micro beads and other fillers are not only better for the environment but also for your skin.

I would also suggest using wooden earbuds instead of plastic earbuds, as well as wooden or metal razors, instead of single use/disposable razors.

+ Go a step further and find products that are packaged in recyclable, refillable or biodegradable packaging.

Style + Clothing

Whilst I prefer to buy second hand/vintage or small-batch/handmade/natural fibre fashion items, I'm not going to pretend I never shop at places like Topshop, Zara, H&M, Forever 21, etc etc. I really do. Not often, but occasionally. And I'm always wearing and promoting brands that aren't always ethical or sustainable in my line of work as a model. But that doesn't mean I approve, it's just part of the job.

Most of the time I try just to not buy new clothes, because I don't really need them. However, from time to time something will catch my eye or I will need something for specific traveling conditions, and if I can't always find (or afford) clothes made from natural fibres, or second hand clothes, I will end up on the high street; although I don't buy something unless I really, really love it.

I have recently felt particularly unfulfilled with pieces I've bought from high street brands, as many of them either need altering or have something about them that I'dd like to change. They rarely feel perfect. And they always seem over-priced and quite often poorly made. Not to mention, everyone ends up buying and wearing the same things. Its far more special to buy a unique second-hand piece or items made to order or in limited batches from more artisan producers. Clothes like these also feel so much better. There is more life and character in them, not to mention you are either giving back to charity, or saving things from going to waste. It's literally all good. 

Food + Diet

I try to eat plant based as much as possible, mostly due to the environmental side effects associated with the production of meat. However, I am not 100% vegan all of the time; I have a flexible approach to eating and try not to put too much pressure on myself if I can help it.

I try to avoid meat and fish, eating it probably once a week, max. This is mainly due to the amount of water, feed and land that is required to raise livestock and produce meat and animal products, which is not very environmentally friendly, and also the state of commercial fishing, which produces a lot of waste which ends up in the ocean.

I try to shop locally and in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging, but this isn't always possible and I do end up in my local Tesco from time to time. I avoid packaged items as much as possible but sometimes have to grin and bear it and hope it will all end up recycled. Makes me feel better anyway.

Travel

I travel a lot with my job, and that is certainly not an eco-friendly habit. Flying is pretty bad but unfortunately can't be avoided. I love travelling too much. I try to balance it out by taking buses instead of cars and trains, and, whenever possible, I always schedule in extra journey time so I can get to places by foot or by bike. 

See my latest video on IGTV to explore my favourite simple sustainable swaps for useful tools and everyday products.

 

You'll Look Weird, But This Morning Ritual Will Boost Your Energy ~ for Byrdie

Commisions, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment
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Tapping (aka the emotional freedom technique) has been around in one way or another for thousands of years, but it's Roger Callahan, MD, who is regarded as the founder of modern-day tapping. Back in the '80s, his concept known as "Thought Field Therapy (TFT)" launched.

Callahan discovered that by tapping acupressure points in different meridians of the body, he could relieve pain and anxiety. While it may sound quite out there, TFT was found to help war veterans with PTSD in a 2013 study. On Callahan's website, he says TFT should be used in addition to your medications to reduce the risk associated with continued medication use and to enhance their effect rather than as a replacement.

But what if you don't suffer from pain or anxiety? Does tapping have a place in your daily routine? Danielle Copperman, the author of Well Being, thinks so. "Tapping is a simple routine that promotes blood circulation and energy flow, refreshing and invigorating the body," she says.

"It involves tapping and massaging parts of the body, using a combination of fists and fingertips to activate them and to release any tension, emotion or energy blockages held within. This is one of my favourite rituals and can be an energising practice to include in your morning routine if you want to raise your vibrational energy and feel balanced, lighter and physically less stiff," says Copperman.

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Danielle Copperman Well Being ( £25) £14

Your 10-Step Guide to Tapping

1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bring each hand into a loose fist, keeping the wrists soft, supple and easy to rotate.

2. Starting at the head, use your fists (or fingertips if you prefer), and with both hands, tap over the entire surface of your head. Tap the back of your head and your upper neck; then make your way around the sides and up over the top and the crown of your head. Tap for a few moments in each place, keeping the power behind your hands gentle—you're tapping, not hitting or punching.

3. Use your fingertips to massage the head and then bring the fingertips down past your forehead and across your entire face. Use a similar motion to applying moisturiser or washing your face, concentrating on the eyebrows, under eyes, cheekbones and jaw.

4. Work down the neck, squeezing and massaging whichever way feels good. Move the head and neck to accommodate your actions, tipping the head forwards, backwards or from side to side. Massage the back of the neck and stroke down the front of the neck until you reach the chest area.

5. With one hand, hold the opposite elbow and tip your head toward the arm that is being held. Make a loose fist with the free hand and begin tapping the opposite shoulder, focusing on the muscles around the neck and shoulder and as far down the back as you can reach.

6. Release the supported elbow and continue working on the arms, tapping down the inside of the arms and tapping back up the back of the arms. Do this three to five times, ending at the shoulder rather than the wrist. Repeat steps five and six on the other arm.

7. Begin to tap across the chest area, tapping normally as you breathe out and more gently when you need to inhale.

8. Bend at the hips and fold forwards with your legs slightly bent. Release the head, neck and shoulders toward the floor and begin to tap the centre and sides of the back, moving to the lower back, the hips and then the buttocks. Use more force on the buttocks if you feel a lot of tension.

9. Tap down the outside of the legs to the ankles and up the inside of the legs to the top of the thighs. Repeat three to five times, ending at the feet. Using your fingertips and focusing on one foot at a time, rub the Achilles tendon, ankles, heels and the top of the foot. (If you experience pain in the back or feel light-headed, do this sitting down, on the floor or a chair.)

10. To end the practice, roll up slowly—one vertebra at a time—and stretch tall toward the sky. Release your arms, close your eyes, roll your shoulders down and away from your ears and stand, taking a few moments to notice how your body feels, and how it differs from before the practice.

See the full article here.

Restorative rituals for on the road ~ for Suitcase Magazine

Commisions, Wellbeing, Travel, Rituals, Pranayamadanielle coppermanComment

 

If your lifestyle requires you to travel regularly, you’ll notice it taking a toll on you both mentally and physically. To help reduce the side effects of excessive travelling, I’ve come up with three simple meditations that can be done anytime and anywhere to decrease stress, improve sleep, increase energy and keep you balanced while on the road.

While you can’t be expected to do yoga in the airport or start chanting on a plane, you can always find a corner to close your eyes and turn inward for a moment, requiring nothing but the power of your mind and breath.

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Body scan: to encourage restful sleep

Body scanning is an easy mindfulness exercise to relax the body, calm the mind and shift attention away from overpowering thoughts. It involves spot relaxing each part of the body by focusing on it for a few moments. Practising this meditation in the evening is ideal as it is best performed lying down, encouraging the body and mind to transition from “doing” to “being”.

Method

1. Lie on your back on a comfortable surface with your legs slightly apart and your arms by your sides. If you are not in bed, place a blanket over your body if you tend to get cold easily.

2. Focus on the breath and notice any thoughts or feelings that arise. When they do, try to turn your attention back to your breath and how it feels moving through the body.

3. Start by focusing your attention on the toes on your right foot. Be aware of how they feel and gradually move your attention up the right side of your body right up to your head, before continuing down the other side.

4. Settle here and notice how your body feels, both part by part and as a whole, and notice how your mind now feels.

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Nadi shodanana pranayama: to increase energy levels

This is an energising, cleansing and detoxifying practice that enhances concentration. It involves alternating breathing through the nostrils to control the breath in a way that rejuvenates the nervous system and balances both sides of the brain.

Method

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs or on a chair with your feet flat, ensuring that the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Decide how to use your hands to control the nostrils; one thumb to close off both nostrils, your thumb and index finger, or your thumb and ring finger (the vishnu mudra method).

3. Close your right nostril by pressing the thumb against it gently. Inhale deeply through the left nostril and hold your breath, then move your thumb to your left nostril and close it. Exhale through the right nostril. Keep the thumb on the left nostril and inhale deeply through your right. Hold the breath and then close your right nostril again. Exhale through the left. Repeat 10-20 times.

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Ideal destination visualisation: to reduce stress

Visualisation is a powerful tool for quietening the mind and instilling a sense of positivity within. It involves tuning in and blocking out external distractions and the noise of the mind in order to deeper into the subconscious. This reduces clutter in the mind which subsequently diminishes anxiety, giving more positive parts of the mind a chance to be active. Practise this on the plane or before bed to encourage sounder sleep.

Method

1. Sit or lie comfortably, somewhere private if possible.

2. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Take three long, deep breaths and then let it settle into a natural rhythm.

3. Focus on your third eye (the space between your eyes/eyebrows) and imagine you are arriving at your favourite destination or somewhere you would love to be. This could be a specific place or a vague environment, such as a mountain, a field or the beach.

4. Visualise yourself in these surroundings – how it looks, smells, feels. Are you alone or with people? What can you hear? How does it feel to be there in that moment?

5. Continue with this visualisation for as long as feels right. If your mind begins to wander, bring it back to this place and return to the scene in your mind, trying to notice new things each time. Let your mind wander without force or resistance.

6. Practise this ritual for 5-10 minutes. When you are ready, deepen your breath and start to make slow, subtle movements; wiggle your toes, move your fingers, roll your shoulders. Gently open your eyes if you have the space or privacy, take some gentle stretches.

 

Well Being Ritual Series - Checking in + Grounding

Movement, Rituals, Video, Wake Up Well, Well Being Bookdanielle coppermanComment

Checking In + Grounding

This exercise is all about bringing awareness to the physical body and for you to get to know how you feel at the beginning of each day. 

As you stand in a neutral position with your hands on your lower abdomen, bring the attention to your breath and really notice the expansion and contraction of your stomach, and how it feels beneath your hands. 

Close your eyes and consider how you feel right now, both mentally and physically. Is your mind busy? Do you notice any pain, tightness or discomfort? What parts of the body are you immediately aware of, and why? 

As you scan your body, notice how each part feels and acknowledge any sensations along the way, breathing into each body part as you approach it. Imagine, as you inhale, that fresh energy enters your body, and as you exhale, imagine any tension physically leaving the body. 

Spend a few minutes on this practice, and repeat if you move through it quickly. This practice can be performed on its own if you are short of time, but i’d recommend following it with an energising rituals, such as tapping (demonstrated in the second part of this video and detailed on page 000) or shaking (page 000).

Tapping

Tapping is a simple routine that promotes blood circulation and energy flow, refreshing and invigorating the body. It involves tapping and massaging parts of the body, using a combination of fists and fingertips to activate them and to release any tension, emotion or energy blockages held within. This is one of my favourite rituals as it is incredibly invigorating, yet so simple and quick. It helps to raise your vibrational energy and instills a sense of balance and lightness. It works to awaken the energy of the body, encouraging any ’stuck’ or ‘stagnant’ energy to get moving, which, in turn, helps us feel more energised and alert.

(page 48-49 in Well Being)

Well Being book is out now - get your copy here.

The Power of Timing and Letting Things Come to You

Rituals, Mindfulness & Meditationdanielle copperman3 Comments

I've been sitting on this post (along with many, many others that remain in my mind as I haven't had time to transfer them into a proper post yet) for a while now, and it's something that's a big part of the way I currently live my life. Throughout the past year or so, I've been doing a lot of work on myself, researching and experimenting with all kinds of intriguing theories and teachings, and two things that have been particularly inspiring are The Law of Attraction and manifestation. I will go into more detail of both in future posts, but their relevance in this post is that they shone light on such a simple, age-old proverb that I think a lot of us in our fast-paced lives have come to forget.

I'm sure you're familiar with at least one of the following sayings: 'Good things come to those who wait', 'Good things take time', 'All in good time' and 'Time heals all wounds'. These little nuggets of advice I'm sure most of us have received from others in moments of despair, but they are easier to give than to actually apply. However, if you can understand the power of timing and how to have faith in it, you'll find you'll begin to live with much more ease and openness, and far less worry.

"There is never a right time. The right time is now"

Since I can remember, I've always noticed how the more that you really try to achieve something, the less likely it is to happen. Now, I'm not entirely sure of the science behind it, but speaking for myself, this has always, always rung true. I meet people whose energy is so negative or who want, want, want and it is fascinating to see what they attract into their lives, and this is something I've been observing long before I discovered The Law of Attraction. I've met people who have been trying hard to achieve something or impress someone and it has always backfired, and I've met people who are desperate to do things or for things to happen to them, and these things have never come. On the other hand, I've met people who are so chilled and relaxed, who hardly even know what they want or barely think about the future, and they seem to live in abundance - fully and happily. This is an example of someone who is in 'total alignment'.

"When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you"

When you are in alignment, you are in what's known as 'your flow' and you are moving through life in connection with your source - your inner being - your subconscious - and many other deeper layers of your self. But, it's incredibly difficult to get to this point, especially when there are so many distractions and so much stimulation in the modern world, confusing our thoughts and blocking our flow. When we are born, unsurprisingly, we are most in alignment with our true self, but as we grow up and move through life, things get warped and we often lose our way.

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"

A simplified way to look at realigning yourself, so to speak, is to come back to your true self, to check in and to really tune in to your needs, your desires, your goals and your purpose. Beneath any kind of facade you may develop in social situations, behind any desires to may have to live up to expectations and beyond anything you do in aid of some kind of external validation lies your true, authentic self which actually doesn't care much for any of those things, and is waiting to exist unconcerned by them and entirely detached from them. When you are in alignment with your subconscious, your magnetic energy is powerful and is able to work to its full potential. 

There are times in life where things you really want may not happen, and this has, of course, happened to me many a time. There are things that you think are right for you and you are convinced that no matter what, you will put all your time and energy into making a particular thing happen, yet it still does not come. But it's important to remember, if something doesn't happen when you want it too, it doesn't mean it never will. For example, with my book, I was approached almost 4 years ago to write it, yet as much as I wanted to, I just couldn't sacrifice my Qnola business to make enough time to focus on it. At the time, I felt frustrated and all I wanted was to write the book, yet, 4 years on, the book has evolved to something I couldn't have even imagined back then. If I had written it then, it wouldn't have been right; it would have been such a different book and it wouldn't be half the book it is today. Whenever things like this happen, I try to see them either as a lesson or as a chance to recalibrate and reassess, accepting that if it's meant to be it will be, but that now is the time for something else.

"Life passes people by when they focus on their grans plans"

To round up, the moral of this post is to stop wanting and chasing and forcing things, but instead to tap into your true self and your honest desires, and find a place within yourself that you have so much trust and faith that you can be open and attract what you want, all in good time. What's meant to be will be if you only stop focussing on and trying to control things like the unknown and the unwanted. When you stop focussing on these factors, you'll create space and energy to pull in what your true self really wants and needs. The Universe has its ways, and most of the time, all that we plan for and all that we think we want gets overridden by something we didn't even know we wanted, and could never have had the imagination to plan for. It's all about allowing and accepting, and letting go and trusting - because controlled thoughts and overcomplicated agendas just end up blocking what is meant to happen from happening.

Not another cookbook - Well Being Book Announcement

Anytime, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Movement, Rituals, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wellbeing, Well Being Bookdanielle coppermanComment
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The time has finally come for me to reveal the release of my debut book, Well Being: a collection of recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind. Below is a brief breakdown of what's to come, and if there's anything else you want to know, leave a question in the comments or ask me via email.

I have been manifesting this book for years and finally started working on it in 2016. I then spent pretty much all of 2017 planning, writing and shooting its contents and, 10 months later, it's a real life book that you can buy and hold and read. Life is crazy.

The book contains natural recipes and rituals inspired by ancient traditions and aimed at realigning the body and mind to restore balance within, both mentally and physically. It contains rituals and other practices aimed at undoing the damage of side effects of modern life - such as stress, depression, low energy, lack of sleep, poor digestion, and much more.

Well Being is a combination of the most valued rituals and recipes I have discovered over the years, since embarking on my journey of eating healthily and living well. Each section contains rituals to help reduce stress, ease digestive issues and encourage a sense of balance, calm and clarity, followed by recipes made with entirely natural ingredients, designed with each stage of the day in mind. Morntime rituals and recipes energise the body and mind, Daytime rituals and recipes enhance productivity, In Between Time rituals and recipes encourage concentration and focus, Evening Time rituals and recipes aim to refuel and Nighttime rituals and recipes aim to encourage relaxation and deep sleep. 

Offering a collection of recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind, inspired by nature, modern-day needs and a variety of age old traditions from wellbeing systems from all over the world, the book combines all-natural, carefully considered recipes with simple rituals, each of which are tailored to specific times of the day, underpinned by the common interest in reducing the stresses of modern day life. Its main intentions are to reduce stress, improve digestion, enhance energy levels, improve sleep, enhance concentration, strengthen immunity, encourage positivity and reverse the effects of illness - all by understanding and utilising the power of natures healing ingredients and the potential of your own body and mind.

With over 200 recipes, 60 rituals and 30 recipes for beauty and home remedies, Well Being is a versatile and easy-to-use handbook for anyone, anytime, anywhere. It will guide you through each stage of the day and provides advice and education to help you to fine-tune the fundamental foundations of wellbeing, to personalise them and to curate an individualised set of guidelines you truly understand and enjoy enough to sustain them. It will guide you through your ever-changing journey with flexible and adaptable information rather than restrictive rules or extreme, quick-fix methods.

MAIN FEATURES

Official release date: January 4th 2018

Over 200 food recipes

Over 60 rituals

Over 30 recipes for beauty remedies and home solutions

The book is divided into five main sections: Morntime, Daytime, In Between Time, Evening Time and Nightime. Each is then subdivided into rituals and recipes

The recipes are mostly plant-based although some contain eggs, and there are suggestions to include meat or other animal products in certain recipes, depending on your dietary choices / requirements. The recipes in the book are adaptable and don't fall under any official label or systems, reinforcing that no single diet works for every one and that the keys to adopting sustainable lifestyle habits is responsibility, understanding, individualisation and flexibility.

The book includes a detailed introduction to the more 'buzzy' ingredients I tend to include in my recipes, such as adaptogens and tonic herbs, and these are always included in an 'elevate it' section of the ingredients list, rather than standing at the forefront of a recipe. The foundations of the recipes in this book are all accessible, easy to come by ingredients. 

How-to recipes for daily goods (including how to make 2 minute almond milk, coconut yoghurt, sauerkraut, buckwheat pasta, almond pasta, bagels, breads, pickles and quickles, chutneys, nut butters and other spreads, stocks and broths from scratch) that guarantee consistent and effortless cooking at your fingertips.

Follow @dcopperman and #WellBeingBook to explore more about the book or to get involved once you have your copy ;)

COFFEE, CACAO + ALMOND BODY SCRUB

Self Made, Rituals, Natural Living, Lifestyle, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

I've never had a very extensive beauty regime, mostly because I never took the time to explore the range of products available and why and how I should use them. I've always had pretty low maintanence skin. Sometimes it's dry and sensitive (usually during winter), and others its oily or prone to an attention-seeking blemish (usually in more humid climates or hormonal imbalances). I have a few trusty products I keep on hand, mostly organic, 100% natural and ethically or locally produced, with the inclusion of a few more technical, bioscientific formulas - especially when on shoots and not in control of what goes on my skin.

When I was a child, I was always down for a session of homemade face masks, and I remember one Christmas what I wanted more than anything was a lip gloss making kit (I know... vom). But although these practices were neither very nourishing or ever very successful, the inspiration to make beauty products from scratch, using ingredients provided freely by the Earth, is what counted. As I've grown up, alongside my favourite beauty products, I like to dip back into these creative rituals, to develop my own unique beauty remedies, personal to my skins specific needs. I edit the choice of essential oils depending on my mood and the current state of my skin, and reduce the intensity of exfoliant ingredients when my skin is particular fragile, or increase it when it's particularly troublesome. Below is my current favourite face and body scrub. It's cheap, it's easy and its messy - but its worth it.

COFFEE, CACAO + ALMOND BODY SCRUB
Lasts about 10 uses

INGREDIENTS
10g Cacao Powder (can also use cocoa)
100g Ground Coffee Beans
20g Coconut Palm Sugar (can also use sand, salt or standard sugar)
2 Tablespoons Almond Oil (can also use Walnut Oil, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil or Macadamia Oil)
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
10-15 drops Essential Oils of choice - I use ylang ylang, lemongrass, bergamot, cedarwood, jasmine, cinnamon leaf or vanilla. Research online to find the best oils to suit your skin type and also your mood (for aromatherapy uses).

Optional
2 Tablespoons Honey

PROCESS
Measure all the ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Transfer to a jar or another pot with a lid and store keep in the bathroom.

RITUALS
Apply in the shower to damp or wet skin. Leave on the skin for 5-10 minutes, or rinse off immediately. Apply to face and body, avoid contact with eyes and be sure to rinse off thoroughly - there'll be coffee in places you didn't even know existed!

 

 

 

 

Q . WHAT ARE YOUR MORNING ROUTINES?

Essentials, Rituals, Natural Living, Lifestyle, Inspirationdanielle coppermanComment

A . MY MORNING ROUTINES

My morning routine changes depending on my whereabouts, my current schedule, the seasons and the moon phases (and thus my energy levels) and just generally how I'm feeling from one day to the next. I'm constantly developing and changing and so my rituals and routines are ever evolving too. At the moment, I've found my flow in the following waking morning routine.

1st . Lie in bed for a couple of minutes with my boyfriend, check my phone, think about the day ahead and / or positive aspects and gratitude attention practice (I don't journal or write these things down in the mornings, I just spend a few minutes thinking about the positive aspects of my life, and focussing on all I have each morning and all I am grateful for.

2nd . Head to the bathroom (via the kettle - to fill and activate it), spend about a 30 seconds tongue scraping with an ayurvedic tongue scraper and doing whatever else needs doing in there.

3rd . Glass of cold water.

4th . Hot drink - either an adaptogen in hot water or plant based m*lk, or a simple lemon, ginger and turmeric juice cocktail with hot water.

5th . 20 minutes mantra meditation, with said drink at hand. (Sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 10 minutes, I aim for 20 though).

6th . Nauli Kriya.

7th . Morning stretch sequences or full 1 hour yoga sequence at home. I usually replace this with   a local yoga, boxing, or hiit class, depending on my mood and level of meditation.

8th . Home or my studio to begin work and whatever else the day holds.

Spring Equinox

Seasonal, Wellbeing, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment
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The Spring Equinox (March 20 2017) is the time when the light and dark, the yin and yang and the masculine and feminine energies of the cosmos are in perfect balance and alignment. The Universe and all its beings are reborn, refreshed and restored after a long and restful Winter, and as we transition into Spring, we let go of and leave behind what no longer serves us, and welcome the new - manifesting what we want the present and future to hold. 

This phase of the year is a powerful time to come together with those around you to celebrate and welcome the lighter, brighter energy, fresh produce and opportunities that Spring brings. It is about reassessing and manifesting the things that you desire, and now is the time to sow the seeds that you want to experience flourishing into things. 

Gather with friends to release the past and share and set intentions for things you want to see, do, feel or simply be this season. Having a clear and focused but also open approach to these things will help draw them towards you, and will ensure you feel grounded, aligned and filled with faith. As you open up to both the experiences that you manifest and also those that come to you unexpectedly as a result of this alignment, wonderful things can happen, whether physical experiences or internal shifts within your body, mind and soul. 

MY MORNING RITUALS

Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment

Mornings are an important time for everyone, and yet they never get as much attention as they should. The morning time is rarely welcomed, and people don't appreciate how truly powerful the beginning of a new day can be. The Earth is waking up, the energy is fresh, our minds have rested and shut down negative thoughts and worries, giving way to dreams and a state of restorative unconsciousness where we often explore deeper levels of our being. Of course, when we wake, we aren't always aware of where we've been in our sleep, and negative thoughts may be quick to creep back into our minds. But this is just one of the reasons why we should allocate more time in the mornings to deal with this transitional phase of the day, and to take our first steps of each new day, slowly and conciously.

In the modern day when time is precious and seemingly scarce, sleep is usually the easy target as something we can cut out of our day in order to get more done. Whilst most of us are quick and willing to push our bedtimes back an hour if it means we can keep working or fit in an overdue catch up with friends, very few people would be wiling to do things the other way around and wake up an hour earlier in order to not only get more done, but get stuff done more effectively. This time in the morning is precious for many reasons. Transitioning from a state of unconsciousness into the physical world is not something that should be rushed. Coming into a new day is something we should cherish; something we should really feel and experience. The way we feel and the things on our minds first thing in the morning effect the way the rest of our day unfolds, and so waking abruptly with a stress-inducing alarm, allowing only 10 minutes to get showered, dressed and made up, leaving something behind when hurrying out of the house, is not a sustainable, or enjoyable, way to go.

As founder of Qnola Breakfast Goods & pioneer of the Wake Up Well movement, one of the most common things I am asked about is my morning routines and rituals, both of which change from time to time (depending on seasons, work commitments, current location etc), as each day is never the same. But I like to have a general outline and structure to the way I start each day. The first step of creating a more positive and wholesome morning routine, to enjoy and achieve optimal things during the first few hours of a new day, is simply to give yourself more time, and to go slowly and gently, avoiding stress and panic. Once you’ve set your alarm earlier, here’s a few things you could fill this extra time with, but of course, as with anything, find what works for you. Decide how much time you need, how much time you can give yourself regarding your day-to-day commitments, and what makes sense to you.

D R I N K

The first thing I do every morning is prepare a drink. Depending on how I feel I might have a cold drink, sometimes just cold water, sometimes cold water with citrus juice, aloe juice, rose water, liquid probiotics, essential oils or herbal tinctures, and sometimes a quick cold tonic herb concoction, usually nut milk blended with a selection of tonic herb powders and ice. I occasionally have a fresh ginger and turmeric shot, if I've been prepared enough to juice some at the beginning of the week (which usually lasts me 3-4 days). I follow my cold drink with a hot beverage, sometimes hot water with lemon and ginger juice, sometimes hot water with tonic herbs, sometimes coffee or chicory root for a caffeine free alternative, sometimes a loose herbal tea (I make my own herb and flower mixes for brewing or use Yogi Tea Bags, Pukka Tea Bags or Tiosk or The London Tea Company Loose Leaf blends), sometimes a warm tonic herb concoction (usually nut milk blended with tonic herb powders then heated in a saucepan, or sometimes just the powdered herbs stirred through hot water). Starting the day with a drink helps to kick start my system and feels cleansing and envigorating. I don't like eating as soon as I wake up as sometimes it's too much for my body to deal with (especially if I'm still full from the night before), so liquid nourishment usually does all the tricks for regulating my natural appetite and getting things moving in the morning. Smoothies are my go-to breakfast option if I don't have time to prepare a full meal, so occasionally I'll make a more fulfilling smoothie after my first drink of the day, as a concentrated source of nourishment that's easy to digest and effective in keeping be full until my first proper meal of the day.

L I G H T

Light plays a big part in our ability and ease in getting up in the mornings. It's always more difficult during the winter when we're usually forced to wake before the sun. Naturally, we are designed to rise in line with the sun rising, and settle in line with the sun setting, however, that's not realisitic in this day in age, and the introduction of artificial light means we can carry out our daily duties any time of day. However, there is nothing quite like the power of pure sunlight. It increases positivity (we're all familiary with S.A.D and the importance of vitamin D) and it also helps turn off your melatonin faucet (which in turn helps you avoid that groggy, I-seriously-don’t-want-to-be-awake-right-now feeling), among other things. In the morning, even if the sun never fully comes out, stand by a window or outside and just take in the brightness of the day, and the energy in the fresh air (which, working in a office, is often hard to come by). And if you do live in a sunnier climate, bask it in before you go about your day, or whilst enjoying your morning drink or breakfast.

S C E N T

Aromatherapy is a powerful tool in healing and holistic living, and certain essential oils and othernatural ingredients have the ability to alter how you think and feel. Burning Sage and Palo Santo is perhaps a little too extreme for some people, and involves a bit more time, focus and ritual than just lighting a candle. For this reason, I always light either a candle or some incense on my way from my bed to my kitchen, in order to fill my room with calming and stress-reducing aromas which help me feel more centred and grounded as I prepare for my day ahead. The heat and light from the flame is also powerful in clearing energy and is something humans are curiously attracted to. Fire is one of the Earths elements and has interesting effects on the mind. It can represent enlightenment, illumination and warmth, but it can also represent destruction, envy and desire. Elemental Imbalances can be responsible for certain people have certain attraction and feeling certain things in the presence of fire. I personally find it calming.

I   L O V E
The Wake Up Well candle I designed as part of our Qnola Wake Up Well brand. Liha Wooden Wick Candle. Honest Japanese Yuzu Candle & Incense. Hoodoo candles. P.F. Candle Co No. 19. Meditation Incense. & Other Stories Candles. Skandinavisk Candles. Diptique Candles. Byredo Candles. 1001 Remedies Air Purifier. Jo Malone Candles. Belle Freud Candles.

S O N G S   /   S O U N D

Music lights up dopamine brain centres, which basically means music has the power to make you feel good. Studies show that when people listen to music they enjoy, it lights up the same region of the brain which has been implicated in the euphoric component of psychostimulants (such as cocaine). When you hear a good song, a song you like or a song that sparks good memories for you, think how good it makes you feel. And on the contrary, when you hear awful music or a song that triggers a horrible memory, think how irritated or low it can make you feel. I put on music in the morning to soundtrack my routines, and it's usually something chilled (especially if I'm doing yoga) or some more upbeat, feel-good classics. Other times, I listen to podcasts or audio books too, which keep me company whilst working from home, stimulate my mind, and help to take my mind off anything I might be worried or stressed about.

M O V E

Every morning, no matter where I am or what I'm doing, I move my body. Getting out of bed and stirring a tonic doesn't count. If I'm at home and don't have early meetings, I'll practice one hour of yoga. If I'm away from home with insufficient time and space, I will take ten minutes to stretch (usually a downward dog and some pigeon poses, among other things). If I'm feeling active and if my schedule permits, I'll attend a morning class at my favourite gyms (Blok, Bodyism, BXR and Ethos), or encorporate some sprints into a run around my local park. The key is finding what works for you, each day, instead of overplanning and creating unrealistic and unsustainable schedules - like attending a 6.30am class every morning or forcing yourself to go on a run even if you're too tired to get out of bed. Your energy levels depend on so much more than just sleep (including what you've eaten, your current emotional state, a busy mind, the current season, the current moon phase, and so on), so even if you feel you have had adequate sleep and therefore should get out and get moving, if you're feeling fatigued or drained, don't push it, and don't question it. Just do what feels good.

J O U R N A L I N G

Something else that's great in the mornings, especially if you're going through a particularly challenging time, is to add journaling to your morning routine. If I'm feeling stressed, anxious or negative, I start by listing (most of the time in my head, not in a notebook, but that works better for many people) three positive aspects and three things I am excited for in the day ahead. The positive aspects include listing three things that are good, that I'm grateful for and blessed with, right now. The positive aspects could be something as simple as being awake, being alive, being fit and able to get up and out of bed, having a comfortable house to live in, having food to eat, and so on. It seem's ridiculous, but if you're feeling negative, this really helps. And the things I am excited for could be something like 'I'm excited for the interesting meeting I have later, I'm excited to see my friends at work, I'm excited to make dinner with my partner tonight, I'm excited to do yoga. It could be anything, but focussing on things you're excited to experience helps to make the entire day seem more exhilirating than it would if you woke up dreading the commute to work, or feeling hostile towards your boss. Something else that helps me is setting an intention for the day, and manifesting things, such as how you want to feel or what you want to achieve. I often do this in bed, and set an intention for the day (which is usually I want to avoid getting stressed, I want to make time to exercise today, I want to finish a certain project today). Setting an intention is the first step to achieving things you want, so take a few minutes each morning to tune into how you feel, how you want to feel and what you want to achieve, to direct each day more clearly.

B E A U T Y

Beauty routines are somewhat non-existant for me, especially in the mornings. Right now, I am still in my loungewear, I haven't left the house yet today, and therefore I haven't spent much time on my appearance (unfortunately for my boyfriend). On days like this, I simply splash my fave with cold water, or occasionally cleanse or exfoliate, tone and moisurise. My morning shower routine consists of switching between hot and cold temperatures, as I feel it helps to wake me up, both physically and mentally. This has some kind of link with metabolism and kick-starting internal functions too, but for me it just makes me feel refreshed. I don't tend to dry brush my body in the mornings, but leave this until the evening. I brush my teeth or oil pull with coconut oil or homemade coconut oil, almond oil and spearmint essential oil mouthwash. I use an ayurvedic tongue scraper every morning, and then, if I have a casting or a meeting, I'll begin my make up routine (usually foundation powder, bronzer, highlighter, mascara and eye shadow). I neglect my hair, barely even brushing it as it is naturally wavy and tousled. What's most important for me during the mornings is cleansing, toning and moisturising, finishing off with a scent or some fragrance oils. Essential oils and natural, organic beauty products are game changers, and no matter what your schedule, I would highly recommend making them part of your morning routine. (Not all make up products I use are natural and organic, and naturally, as a model, it is impossible for me to use only ethical products all of the time, but when I can, I do).

A   F E W   P R O D U C T S   I   L O V E
Ren, Pai, Liz Earle, Urban Decay, Caudalie, Loreal Botanicals, Dr Hauschka, Kahina, Jo Wood Organics, Escentric Molecule, Sukin, Liha, Embryolisse, Glossier, Nars, Burberry, Mac, Evo, Davines Haircare, Earth Tu Face, Estee Lauder, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.

(more in-depth beauty rituals post coming soon)

WINDING DOWN WELL WITH DRIFT MATTRESS

Essentials, Review, Rituals, Lifestyle, Home + Interiorsdanielle copperman2 Comments

I don't need an expert to tell me how important sleep is, or just how drastically it can effect our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. In fact, neither do you. You don’t even need me to tell you that sleep is important. We all know it is. And, we all know we’re neglecting it; ignorant to the fact that it can really lower our quality of life, our performance and our potential for achieving what we want - it just kills our overall vibe, disrupts our rhythms and destroys our chances of happiness.

This post isn’t full of tips on how to get more sleep. That would be more or less pointless really as you could write it yourself. Simply go to bed earlier.  It’s also not full of tips about why you aren’t getting enough sleep, because, I don’t really know you, and even if I knew a few things about you, there would be many missing pieces of information I didn't know that could also be contributing to your struggle with getting enough sleep. It's not about diagnosing a problem, it's about helping you to focus on your own circumstances and your own problems - if you have any - and making you aware of how several simple changes can improve your entire existence. It's about getting to know your sleeping habits and why they are how they are, and then assessing your life as a whole before figuring out how to successfully and sustainably achieve optimal sleep for your personal needs. We are, after all, designed to instinctively know how much sleep we need, it's just a matter of allowing it to ourselves.

"Why do so many of us fail to make use of such a simple way to improve our lives?"

In Arrianna Huffington's bookA Sleep Revolution’ (which, by the way, you should read immediately) she shines light on the fact (because no one else will) that we are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis. We all know sleep is important - it’s a natural occurrence without which no one could survive - but very few people appreciate its true power, and the vital role that it plays in both our waking and sleeping moments. Not to mention the affect it has on just about every aspect of our health (weight management, disease, mental illness, to name a few).

We all need different levels of sleep, and determining exactly how much is not as simple as just observing things like weight, height, level of activity or length of working hours - for example. It depends on so much more, from your current emotional state, your finances, your plans for the future, your dreams, your worries and concerns, your health, your genetic history, your living and sleeping arrangements, your diet - it goes on. As I have transitioned through different stages of my life, I’ve come to understand just how sleep can both help our bodies do good things, and prevent them from doing good things. As a model, I became aware of the importance of sleep and the effects of good and bad quality rest. If I slept well, I performed better on set, was more patient with people, was less affected by insignificant annoyances, felt better and more confident about myself, and felt fresher, brighter and more energetic and fun for those working with me. And if I slept badly, or not enough, my body made gave it away, through greyer, drier skin, enhanced shadows and tenderness under my eyes, puffiness, skin imbalances, a short fuse and premature fatigue. As a business owner, I have become aware of the seriousness of sleep in other ways. If I sleep well, I feel energised, more able to concentrate, more driven and motivated, more creative, more positive and clearer when I wake up, feeling free of any baggage or troubles I experienced the day before. If I don’t sleep enough, I notice I get more easily stressed, experience morning anxiety, feel helpless or unproductive, have less energy, worse concentration and am more irritable. The amount of sleep you need really depends on every aspect of your life at this very moment. Use your intuition to understand how much rest you need and why, and then make concious choices to make it happen.

"A problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it" - John Steinbeck"

For a while now, I’ve been aware of how society is becoming more and more busy, and how we are becoming more and more proud about it. As a consequence, sleep has taken a back seat. It’s almost as if you are clearly not striving enough or achieving enough if you are sleeping enough. Arrianna Huffington refers to this as a ‘cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted’. She points out that 'sleep deprivation as essential to achievement and success' has become the cultural norm. In a society constantly over-working, we complain about lack of time to complete our daily duties, and, in looking for something to cut, sleep is the easiest target. People feel sleep is a sacrifice of valuable time, but in fact when we sleep, we are far from doing nothing. The mind and body are busy whilst we sleep, both physically and mentally. On top of allowing our eyes, internal systems, muscles and joints resting, our neurological activity is also renewed and cleansed in ways you can’t even imagine. Many studies have shown that people are more alert and productive after a short nap or after adeduate sleep, compared to those who push through their fatigue and don't get enough sleep.

Sleep is a chance for our physical beings to rest, reset and restore. It's a chance for our inner beings to calm down, regulate, gain clarity and be peaceful, and for our cells to replenish, revitalise and reenergise after daily activity. In the modern world, many of us disregard sleep as a vital part of our wellbeing, seeing it as valuable time being wasted. However, we're just as busy when we're sleeping as we are when we're awake. And sleep is often just what we need to cure a bad day or realign negative thoughts. When we sleep, and when we dream, being out of conciousness we enter a world free from judgement, doubt and fear. We let go of the constraints and prejudices of the physical world. We connect to deeper dimensions which sometimes hold information of our inner life and our emotional and mental states, revealing a lot more about our lives, our thoughts, our desires, our worries and our circumstances, as well as coincidences and our connection with our pasts and our futures than we'll ever let our concious mind reach.

There are many factors that can contribute to disruption of sleep patterns, including loss and grief, worry, stress, nerves, fear, sadness, low confidence, feeling worthless, hopeless and depression can all affect how we sleep. On a more physical level, digestive issues, injury, pain, muscle damage, general discomfort, unsuitable or disruptive lighting, noise, smells etc, unsuitable or uncomfortable sleeping conditions (such as bed, fabrics, the freshness of the air), stimulative screens (such as using phones, laptops and watching TV right before you sleep can also make it harder for you to sleep properly. The light from computer screens, for example, has been correlated with the obstruction of the body’s production of melatonin - the sleep hormone that helps govern our internal body clock and regulates our sleep cycle. 

For me, I try to enforce consistent Wind Down Well rituals, to help me transition out of the day and into a deep sleep. I can't possibly know exactly what you need or what you have access to, but in sharing my rituals, I hope to inspire you to adopt your own, or re-evaluate your current ones. Rituals and routine - things you do consistently - are key to adopting healthy wellbeing habits fluently and effortlessly.

I use aromatherapy and light management to create a suitable space for my body and mind to calm down in. Things like candles (try the new range of candles now available as part of our Qnola offering), incense, low lighting and dimmed computor and phone screens if I can't get away from them completely, to prevent over-stimulating my mind. I also create a suitable space for sleep, which seems obvious, but is something I could have been doing a lot better for a long time. It doesn't stop at just a bed. A variety of textures and the colours of your bedding can also affect how you sleep, as well as the clothes you wear and the other things you see in the room. Muted colours, soft and smooth textures and temperature management to suit your personal needs can all improve the quality of your sleep. I also eat for good sleep. I don't eat big meals too close to bedtime, and I enjoy cleansing, liquid concoctions that are easy on the digestion, containing adaptogenic superfood powders such as chaga, he shou wu, mucuna puriens and herbs like rosemary and chamomile, which have relaxing and balancing properties. From time to time, I journal, writing or just thinking about positive aspects from the day and things I am grateful for, finding these things even in the worst kind of days. This helps to shut down my mind and encourages a more positive mood, avoiding focussing on negative things I will inevitably try to solve as my mind goes in circles. If I'm physically exhausted or still energetic, I stretch or practice restorative or yin yoga - even for just a few minutes - to release tension, ease pain, slow my breathing and vibrations and subsequently calm my mind, taking my focus onto my body and its movements and away from anything that's troubling me.

For anyone looking to improve their physical sleeping conditions, Drift Sleep have developed a mattress made from 100% natural wool. The all-natural sleep surface is temperature-regulating, allowing air to circulate efficiently, and providing a softer, gentler surface to sleep on than your average foam layer. With 4000 innovative pocket springs, the mattress provides a unique kind of comfort, improving your chances of a good nights sleep. Find out more here.


This post was created in collaboration with DRIFT.

Cushions - H & M
Bedding - IKEA
Tonic - Sunpotion
Knitted Joggers - H & M