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How To Stop Procrastinating

Inspiration, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

How to Stop Procrastination Forever

This blog post on how to stop procrastinating comes at the end of an unproductive day for me. I mean, in reality, I think my unproductive days are equal to many peoples idea of a productive day, but in comparison to my own productive days, unproductive days suck, and leave me feeling super flat and frustrated.

I’ve done all I urgently needed to do today, but I think that’s half of the struggle. Being your own boss and running your own projects can often mean you have to create more work for yourself. So, when you have slightly quieter periods, its crucial that you motivate yourself to go out and find future work or at least plan for it. I had the good intentions to focus on so many things today, and whilst I had the time to make space for them, I found myself procrastinating with unimportant emails, faffing with new software for my website (which took time and resolved nothing), posting a little on Instagram and generally just hanging out on my laptop but with not much to show for it.

It’s days like these - or should I say Monday’s like these, mostly - that really drain me and zap my energy. I always know the minute I wake up that it’s going to be one of those slow-burning days, lacking inspiration or enthusiasm, and where lots happens and I do lots of little bits, but I don’t actually feel like I’ve gotten anything profound or productive done at all.

Today, a lot of positive things happened and lot of important things on my to-do list actually did get done. But, I think, because none of them were incredibly engaging, I didn’t feel as excited as I should have done. I received some exciting emails, I arrived on my new modelling agency’s website, I sent some emails I’d been avoiding for some time, I planned some new projects for Qnola, amongst other things, yet none of these things made me feel like I’d done enough by the end of the day.

One thing in my way was severe whiplash from my recent ski trip to Austria, making my neck excruciatingly tight, my head painfully heavy and my mind dizzy and distracted by a dull and constant headache and a lack of appetite and, subsequently, energy. I also had a little jet lag and was probably overtired, but we never make excuses for ourselves when we’re busy being hard on ourselves, do we? If it was anyone else, I would have told them to take a break or take the day off, but because it was myself, I forced myself to power through and well, yep, it didn’t get me much further than having a day off would have done; may as well be honest with you.

It has however, inspired this late night blog post which I hope in turn inspires you next time you hit a productivity block.

Causes of procrastination and why we experience productivity blocks

A number of things can affect our concentration, motivation and productivity, from one day to the next.

  1. Your job and / or the task at hand. If you hate your job or if whatever you need to do makes you miserable, your motivation is going to be low. Passion is the secret to guaranteed productivity, motivation and drive. Don’t freak out if you hate your job, just don’t blame yourself for lack of drive if that is the case. It’s the jobs fault, not yours. You’ll see when you eventually find what truly lights you up (disclaimer: It’s a forever-project).

  2. Your energy levels. Have you slept well? Have you slept long enough? Are you generally well rested? Have you eaten? Have you eaten too many sugar or caffeinated foods? Have you exercised? All of these things will affect your physical and mental output.

  3. Distractions. These come in all shapes and sizes, from things like matters in your own private life, new stories and office conflicts, to constant texts or emails, external noise from colleagues or things like the radio, or internally muttering coming from your own thoughts.

  4. Time constraints. Sometimes, deadlines can be more overwhelming than good, and can restrict you from doing your best. Other times, they can be too lenient or long, allowing more room for procrastination. Try to find a schedule structure that works for you.

  5. Misc. There are plenty of other things that can induce productivity blocks. I touched on internal muttering of the mind, but more specifically, things like comparison, self-doubt, self-worth, confidence and fear can powerfully affect and dictate how productive your are, or you allow yourself to be, I should say. All of these things have a way of mentally holding you back, by making you feel either incapable, unworthy, undeserving, or all of the above. These kinds of things often arise to challenge you, and in moderation, they’re good traits to carry, but when they become too much and stop you from doing things, they become detrimental to your life and mental health, and prohibit you from living life authentically. Tiredness, lack of sleep, lack of nutrients, external or societal expectations are amongst some of the reasons these thoughts and feelings surface now and again. Meditation and mind-mapping can help silence these self-limiting beliefs and help you regain control.

How to approach procrastination and productivity blocks

What to do when you feel a wave of low-productivity approaching (or when you wake up feeling a lack of inspiration or motivation) and how to avoid it.

  1. Understand that it’s just one of those things / one of those days; notice it, allow it, and whatever you do, don’t judge it or try to change it. It will just. make. things. worse.

  2. Once you’ve noticed you’re having one of those days, start a fresh to-do list. Sometimes, on days like these, you have to break things down really basically. It may seem condescending but making things a simple as possible will really help you to concentrate. Make things easy, digestible, plain and simple. It’s important to be gentler, more patient and more understanding with yourself, as the more pressure you put on yourself, the more overwhelmed and anxious you’ll become. Go slow and try to do one thing at a time. And if this means cutting down your to-do list for the day, so be it.

  3. Drink plenty of water. Down 1-2 glasses of water as soon as you feel this dip in productivity. Follow that with a herbal tea, and even better, bring in a fruit and vegetable based juice or smoothie, for extra and instant nutrients.

  4. Prioritise natural, whole foods. You need your nutrients, and your brain needs as much fuel as it can get. I’d suggest raw or cooked vegetables, foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (like avocado, nuts and seeds), and if you don’t have much of an appetite, incorporate adaptogen powders, tonic herbs or other superfood powders, or take multivitamins and other supplements to support cognitive function.

  5. Take time to breathe deeply. On days when either you just don’t feel productive, or when you feel overwhelmed and unfocussed, stopping to concentrate on your breath can be powerful. Close your eyes and take 3, 6 or 12 long deep breaths, taking full inhalations and forceful exhalations. This should help to reset a few things mentally, and will instil inner calm and peace, if only for a moment.

  6. Try to have just one to-do list. I am guilty of having to-do lists on my laptop, in my digital calendar, in several places on my phone, and then still go about making a handwritten to-do list. It’s never a good idea but I also can’t seem to stop myself. Learn from my experiences, and try to just organise your to-do lists for the present day in one place. Try to keep it neat, and prioritise things in order of urgency.

  7. Don’t

  8. Go

  9. On

  10. Instagram. Honestly, I have now sincerely warned you. There is nothing for you there, and certainly nothing that will help you on a day like today. Perhaps the odd inspirational quote, but you’ll likely pass hundreds of other overwhelming / soul-destroying / envy-inducing snippets whilst your there, that with either make you feel down, jealous, frustrated, unworthy, incapable, negative, depressed and, oh, unproductive once more. Just, don’t do it.

  11. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’ve done ‘enough’. Sometimes, in a days work, you merely plant seeds. You send emails and might not hear back straight away'; you plan projects but have no completed work or outcome to show for it (yet). Try to think of some days as planting seeds, and cultivating. It is all part of the process and things can’t always happen instantly. Imagine the seeds becoming whatever you desire or whatever they are destined to become, and then wait patiently for them to evolve. But know that results don’t always come instantly. Trust the process and do what you can, with what you’ve got. Remember there is no rush, and whatever will be will be.

  12. Get some fresh air. Take a walk in nature or just somewhere local you can go that’s outside. Even just a change of scenery. A trip to a coffee shop or another public place during your lunch break. Any of these things can contribute to lifting your mood and encouraging a new wave of motivation or inspiration.

  13. Indulge in time for yourself, particularly at the end of a day that you feel has been a bit of a flop. Take a bath, read a book, watch something on television, hang out with friends. Do something thoroughly relaxing, and enjoy thinking about how much better the following day will be. Get some rest and know that you will wake feeling more refreshed than ever. And if you don’t, know that that’s ok. Sometimes these things come in waves. I’ve had weeks and even months of low productivity, low moods, low motivation and lack of inspiration and enthusiasm, and it isn’t easy. But trust that it is all part of the process, and that when the time is right, things will become easier and a little more effortless. It depends on a lot of things, but it will come.

How to stop procrastination now

As with anything, I believe there can be important groundwork to be done and foundations to be laid before productivity blocks arise, in order to actually avoid them, more or less completely. Take into account the topics from above, but in general, to avoid the approach of productivity blocks in the first place, try the following 10 steps to stop procrastinating.

  1. Eat well

  2. Stay hydrated

  3. Move. Exercise daily, even if it’s just walking or stretching

  4. Breathe

  5. Talk to others. Also, ask for help if and when you need it. Asking for help regularly or delegating tasks to others around where you can you will help take relieve some of the pressure you’re under, and should help you to feel generally less over-worked and overwhelmed

  6. Read positive quotes or inspirational memes. Or, write some of your own. Write a positive affirmation or thought as a way to pivot any negative thoughts you might be having. For example, if you think something like ‘I hate my job, I will never get a job in fashion like I want to’, write down an opposite thought like ‘I look forward to finding my dream job, and I already love working in fashion’. Thinking more positively and acting as if you are already in the situation you want to be in has profoundly powerful effects on the outcome of your situations

  7. Practice non-attachment. Simply work as much as you can, and get stuff done, but don’t put pressure on the outcome or the reason behind doing something. For example, don’t write an article just so it will be published. Write the article because you want to, and in practicing non-attachment, the outcome and result of you doing so will come willingly, and when it is destined too. And in the meantime, you won’t be putting pressure on yourself or the situation for it to be anything other than what it is

  8. Get outside in nature, often

  9. Give yourself permission to have regular breaks. Even if its just 10 minutes per day. Schedule a time to just be. To welcome silence or stillness. This should keep your productivity nicely topped up

  10. Get enough sleep

A Note on Fruit

Beauty, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Fruit causes all kinds of controversy within the wellness industry, and for years and years I was genuinely scared of it. An ex-personal trainer once told me the fruit I was eating was what was prohibiting me from losing weight, and that I should only be eating berries, if anything. That was almost 5 years ago, and it’s only been in the last few months that I’ve finally felt confident enough to bring fruit back into my diet. I’m here to tell you that I not only feel amazing, I’m looking more toned than ever too. Below, I’ve outlined a few pieces of advice that helped to encourage me to incorporate fruit back into my diet, along with a few common misconceptions on fruit and weight management.

1. People think fruit makes you gain weight because it contains sugar. To some extent, this is a valid theory, but the sugar in fruit is not the same as processed or isolated sugars. Fruits contain sugars, sure, but they also contain fibre and all kinds of vitamins and minerals, in balanced and natural amounts; not to mention all the water they also contain. Fruits are created in naturally appropriate proportions, meaning one portion of fruit provides a balanced amount of sugars and other macronutrients. So when you eat fruit, you’re not eating pure sugar like you would be with most processed snacks and sweets.

2. Fruits contain around 60-95% water, and so are some of the most hydrating foods. I truly value hydrating foods, for general wellbeing but also to aid digestion and to reduce fatigue. Staying hydrated fuels most of your internal processes, and also reduces the risk of headaches, stomach aches, constipation and other internal side effects. Whenever I’m abroad in a hot climate, fruit for breakfast is not only one of the most common options, but also the one I naturally crave too. Getting fruits in in the morning will help to keep you hydrated, and will also kick start your digestion not just due to the water content but also the fibre.

Staying hydrated also helps to manage water retention. Eating hydrating fruits alongside drinking plenty of water, I’ve noticed, reduces inflammation and puffiness that I sometimes notice from water retention. I notice within about 1-2 weeks, alongside working out consistently, I feel more toned and have more noticeable definition in my muscles.

The water in fruit also helps to assist the body’s detoxification process, flushing the system and also keeping cells fully functional.

3. Fruits are also super easy to digest, and whist some people think this is a bad thing, it simply means you get the nutrients and goodness in pretty quickly, and it isn’t too taxing on the digestive system. This means you won’t feel sluggish or heavy, or tired, since the energy it takes to digest is saved and can be used elsewhere.

4. Fruits are also low in calories, and previously you’ll have noticed I don’t like to count calories too much, and enjoy high calorie foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados. However, if losing weight is your main goal, thats a different story. You cannot lose weight unless you have a calorie deficiency - meaning you consume less calories than you expend. Fruits are low in calories and so when I have a big job coming up or want to tone up and slim down, I love eating loads of fruits as they keep me full, keep my digestion active, keep my energy levels high and don’t rack up the calories.

5. Pretty much every cell in our body’s run on glucose, which is ultimately sugar. Eating healthy, whole carbohydrates like fruits & vegetables means you’ll likely notice higher energy levels. There’s a few arguments on this matter, as some people like to eat low-carb diets in order to trigger a fat-burning state (when there is no glucose to use for energy, the body turns to fat cells to convert them to energy). This sounds good in theory as people like the thought of our body’s automatically burning fat without us having to think too much about it, but it also takes a lot of consistency (and energy) in order to reach this state. It’s much easier (and more sustainable) to use glucose from healthy carbohydrates for immediate energy.

6. Fruits are full of life, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These are essential in order for us to thrive, and the wider variety of vitamins and minerals, the less your body will lack in certain things and subsequently, the less random cravings you will experience. Getting enough vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is crucial in order to keep digestion smooth and to keep skin, hair and nails healthy. Not to mention energy levels high and cellular activity operating as it should. When you cut things like fruit out of your diet, you are cutting out so many vital components. Existing solely on fats and proteins will not give your body what it needs, and will not be sustainable over time.

7. Beyond fruit being food and fuel, is is also healing. It is not just a means to and end of hunger, but it can actually prevent and cure disease and discomfort. It is like medicine. Natural, cheap medicine.

I love this article by the Medical Medium, if you want to learn a little more. It discusses when we lost our way in diet, when we began being fed propaganda about food, and when we became scared of it. It also discusses the main benefits of fruit and why it should be such a vital part of our diets.

I hope this has inspired you to rekindle your relationship with fruit. I know it can be intimidating, but after 6 months of unlimited fruits, I am actually slimmer, lighter and more energetic than ever.

How To Spring Cleanse Your Life ~ For Ecoage

Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Wellbeing, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment
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Last week marked the first official day of spring, and with what might just be my favourite season of all approaching, I wanted to share some of the practices that I like to incorporate into my day-to-day routines during this seasonal shift, along with some tips for adapting to this transition from one season to the next.

Four times a year, we experience a shift between seasons, and whilst the actual exact shift usually passes unnoticed, when you really take time to pause and acknowledge it, and to tune into whats going on beyond your own little world, it will begin to bring your attention to just how interconnected everything is, and in turn, this will allow you to make more sense of your moods, thoughts, emotions, feelings, actions, experiences and the general behaviour of you and all other living things and beings around you. It’s quite fascinating, and you will come to learn that things going on around you are happening in your favour, and to support you. For example, different foods will grow in abundance depending on your local surroundings, as nature adjusts to the new season not only for its own welfare but to provide us and other living things with exactly what we need.

Spring is a time of cleansing, and when I think of Spring I think of detoxing, new beginnings, resetting and rebirth. It is a time of freshness and newness; a time of hope and anticipation; a time of faith and excitement as the warmest and brightest part of the year approaches. Having spent long wintery months in the shadows of gloomy weather and arctic temperatures, forced into hibernation, Spring brings with it this joyful and vibrant energy, and as our natural surroundings begin to flourish and bloom, our own cycles and energies do too. Or so they should. If you are not entirely in tune or in sync with the seasons and the natural cycles and phases of the Universe, the following practices are intended to help you to get there, by boosting your energy levels (bringing them in line with the energy of nature), boosting your mood (bringing it in line with the frequencies of nature) and cleansing your body and mind through food, movement and other rituals. Try a few of these practices to not only look and feel more thriving physically, this Summer, but also to let go of anything that feels heavy with negative energy, and to adopt a powerfully positive mindset, to attract all that you desire in abundance.

1. Food & hydration

In Ayurveda, the same way living beings have doshas, seasons do too. Spring is known to be the kapha season, which starts off somewhat wet and cold in March and develops to become still wet but much warmer between around June / July. In early kapha season, the world is slowly coming out of hibernation and things are beginning to awaken and reemerge with new life. Kapha characteristics are known to be heavy, slow and cool, so it is good to incorporate practices that make you feel light, active and warm, such as detoxing your diet, exercising regularly, eating warm foods and getting under the sun whenever it’s out.

During kapha season, when we want to adopt more vata and pita habits in order to balance the kapha energies, it is a good idea to cleanse internally, by really purifying your diet and detoxifying any internal build up. Luckily, spring’s produce supports this, providing us with light and hydrating ingredients that are high in vitamins and minerals to aid detoxification. As well, further cleansing can be done where needed, to gently purge and reset the digestive system (in other words, if you’ve never had a colonic, now could be the time).

Try incorporating some of the following ingredients into your meals and habits into your daily routines to cleanse from within and to eat as nature intended, with ingredients determined to support us this season.

Spring ingredients:

To eat in ways to support you during the spring, eat both seasonally available and abundant ingredients, but also be mindful to eat in ways that balance kapha energies. For example, avoid oily, greasy, heavy and dense foods, and instead opt for lighter and drier ingredients. Enjoy warm foods rather than cold or entirely raw foods, and favour rough, fibrous ingredients more than soft or smooth ones (such as banana and avocado).

Asparagus
Broccoli
Dandelion greens
Lettuce
Fennel
Spinach
Peas
Potatoes
Strawberries
Carrots
Green Beans
Garlic
Leafy herbs
Rhubarb

* Take into account also your own Ayurvedic constituency, as this will determine more personally what you need and also what you digest best.

As spring approaches, I would suggest a 3-7 day cleanse incorporating both spring produce and kapha balancing ingredients, with a daily eating schedule looking something like this:

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Hydration:

Start the day with two glasses of water (around 1 litre in total), on an empty stomach. Add a dash of fresh lemon juice, sliced cucumber, ginger root, turmeric root, a stick of activated charcoal or apple cider vinegar, to flavour the water but also to awaken the nutrients of it and add more nourishment to each sip.

Throughout the rest of the day, ensure you drink a minimum of 2 litres in total. Try to avoid drinking a lot during mealtimes, and instead be mindful to time it by drinking at least 1/2 an hour before a big meal. Small sips during or after a meal are fine, but it is preferable to drink a little while before eating if you can.

Breakfast:

Try to have breakfast after 10am, when your digestion is more active and energetic. If you get hungry before, try to enjoy a liquid meal, such as a juice or smoothie, or some plain, fresh or cooked fruit.

Lunch:

Try to make lunch your biggest meal of the day, and try to enjoy it between 12pm and 2pm, when the digestive system is most active and efficient. During a cleansing period, try to base your meals on raw and/or cooked (ideally not fried or roasted, but boiled or steamed) vegetables, whole or psuedo grains, and ethically sourced meat or fish. Foods like salads, soups, stews, kitchari, dahl, curries, or mixed vegetables are advisable. Try to avoid processed condiments or dressings, and select seasonal ingredients as much as possible, as they are in season for a reason!

Dinner:

Try to keep dinner relatively small compared to lunch. Try to eat by 6pm, as the digestive system is thought to slow between 6pm and 10pm. Base your meals on the same ingredients and ideas as lunch, and try not to snack before bed. Avoid rich or sugary foods and substitute with fresh fruit if you really crave dessert. Also enjoy herbal tea if you need something else later in the evening. Try to drink a small glass of water before bed (and take any relevant supplements such as probiotics before bed, too).

Snacks:

Try not to snack at odd times throughout the day, but instead snack directly after your main meals. Enjoy fresh fruits, raw vegetables, natural and wholesome dips (like houmous) and / or nuts and seeds. Also enjoy hot water (which is known to nurture the digestive system), herbal teas, coffee, cacao or other adaptogen drinks whenever you feel hungry. Light liquid ‘meals’ are also advisable, such as juices or smoothies.

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2. Movement

This season is a great time to get active. Emerging from the still and stagnant winter months of surrendering to home comforts instead of persevering, Spring brings a new energy of lightness, strength and resilience. With a sense of newness in the air, it’s time to start afresh, dust off your trainers and get moving.

Exercising regularly, even if thats just walking (aim for 10,000 steps a day if you’re not otherwise active), can help with the body and minds detox processes, and will also encourage circulation, digestion and lymphatic drainage. Not to mention, it will also increase mood, stamina, focus, concentration and positivity, so, you know, there’s really no excuse. It’s also interesting to know that as spring’s energy is associated with kapha characteristics, it is thought that living beings tend to have more strength and endurance around this time of year too, so it shouldn’t feel quite as much of a struggle as it does during the winter, when you generally feel more lethargic and sensitive.

Massage is another form of movement you can really benefit from at this time of the year, and a practice that further supports detoxing and lymphatic drainage. Try using a body brush before or after showering, and or indulge in self massage (either with lotion or oils). Even better, get a partner or friend to massage you, or treat yourself to a professional one. Focus on the neck, shoulders and back, as well and the legs.

3. Rest and recuperation

You’re gonna like this one. Getting enough rest, despite the fact we’ve basically been sleeping all winter, is still advised during early spring. Whilst the sun rises earlier, it is advised to go to sleep earlier and rise earlier too, to sync as closely as possible to the cycles of nature. So, I’m not about to tell you to enjoy your lie in’s, but I am going to suggest keeping an eye on your sleeping habits, and ensuring you get enough sleep and rest to aid physical and mental detoxing, and to ensure your energy levels are topped up (and, again, aligned with that of springs own energies). A nap here and there wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

As well as sleeping enough, be sure to practice some grounding rituals, such as meditation or breathing / pranayama techniques. This is important as towards the end of spring can become quite an energetic and buzzy time, so feeling grounded, present and supported is crucial for keeping physically and mentally balanced and for remaining tuned in to yourself and all around you.

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4. Space

This section brings me to one of my favourite parts of spring. I can feel my desperation to clean, tidy and declutter bubbling away as I get restless towards the end of winter (having been feeling too overwhelmed or lazy to approach it), but as spring arrives, I immediately want to clear the air, make some space and get rid of things I don’t use or need anymore.

The infamous spring clean. It’s a tradition for a reason, and not one to be ignored. Regardless of whether or not you do it in spring, I think at least one annual purge of your possessions is crucial for sanity if not for sight. Rather than getting rid of a little bit here and a little bit there throughout the year, an actual appointment of sufficient time gets the job done much quicker and more efficiently (and less painfully, too). Over time, our belongings build up, and if we’re not constantly replacing things, then we’re constantly adding things, which, not always, but often means that old items get buried or forgotten.

A good old fashioned spring clean is crucial to refresh a space and to clear the energy, but it has also been known to benefit our own wellbeing too, enhancing productivity, positivity, concentration, motivation and peacefulness, reducing the stress and anxiety often brought on by tidying being another overwhelming task on our to-do lists.

It’s important to note that you should cleanse your space and belongings mindfully, though, and instead of throwing things away, finding ways to recycle them - either by giving to friends or family, charity, vintage shops or even selling them on sites like eBay, Depop and Vestaire Collective or at markets if you have the time and a little patience. Try not to let anything go to waste.

Another way to enhance your spring cleaning rituals is by smudging. Using sage or palo santo, or even incense or essential oils in a diffuser to clear any negative energy. Did you know, energy from arguments or other negative situations and occurrences can linger in the air or in areas of a room where they took place, and smudging is known to cleanse these ‘bad vibes’ and reset the energy. I love to smudge a few times a month, either after an argument or bad news, or if I’ve just had a stressful or frustrating day.

Finally, when cleaning after you’ve decluttered and tidied things away, choose your cleaning products with care. Opt for natural, non-toxic products from brands like method or ecover, or even make your own, using natural ingredients like bicarbonate soda, vinegar, oils and essentials oils. There are plenty of recipes for these online and in my book, Well Being.

5. Mindfulness

Finally, mindfulness, as always, is a powerful ritual to keep up during the spring. Practicing regular meditation, stream of consciousness (writing without agenda as soon as you wake up, before checking your phone, speaking to anyone or getting out of bed), positive thinking (writing down or simply thinking positive thoughts about the day gone by (if practising before bed) or the day ahead (if practising in the morning)) and / or gratitude (writing a list of things you are grateful for), will help to keep your energy positive and abundant, which will in turn attract experiences of the same frequency. Furthermore, as this season resembles new beginnings and new life, letting go of negative habits or relationships or removing yourself from negative, draining situations is crucial in order to open up new opportunities and to ensure you can attract what it is you truly desire. It is an exciting time and with just a little bit of extra focus and attention, it can be powerfully transformational, rewarding and fun.

An Ode to International Women's Day, Plus Free Independent Empowerment Workshop

Lifestyle, Rituals, Wellbeing, Guides & Coursesdanielle copperman2 Comments
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International Women’s Day is always an exciting one.

The first gathering held in 1911 (!), #IWD stands as a day to remember, appreciate and celebrate the efforts and achievements of women passed, present and to come. It remembers the struggles of individual figureheads and entire movements, celebrates accomplishments and progression and motivates a call to action for continuous dedication to the pursuit of gender equality.

The day unites female communities all over the world and should stand to encourage and inspire women to not only feel empowered to stand up and speak up, but also to support other women around them in doing the same. The energy and activity we create as a whole is far more influential than what we can do alone, after all.

Whilst we can’t all be Emmeline Pankhurt’s, we can start by doing some important work on ourselves, to find our power, uncover our truths, and harness our feminine energy this #IWD. As female rights have certainly come a long way, in modern society with so many things running on masculine energy, it can be hard for us to make ourselves heard, or even to hear ourselves, for that matter. Take some time this #IWD to nourish yourself, to pause and to prepare for the next phase of female fearlessness and fruitfulness. Enjoy the following independent workshop which I have formatted into 4 simple prompts.
Note: you might need a notebook nearby.

1. Self Worth

I am becoming more and more aware of the importance that self-worth plays in our personal achievements. Self-worth is basically how we subconsciously value ourselves, and this is ultimately associated with how deserving we believe ourselves to be. In other words, our self-worth and how we view ourselves sets the tone for the kinds of relationships and experiences we deem ourselves deserving of. What we attract is ultimately a mirror of our own self-worth. Meaning, if we think negatively of ourselves, we will attract experiences of the same negative energy in line with our self-limiting beliefs. Our self-worth is how we communicate to the Universe what we believe we deserve to receive, which means if you feel incapable, unworthy and guilt and shame around what you feel you deserve, you will attract very little of what you truly desire. Whereas, if you raise your self-worth and feel fearlessly deserving, and clear about what it is you deserve and desire, the Universe will respond in ways that match this confident, assertive and determined energy.

Our level of self-worth is often all that stands in our way. So this International Women’s Day, and the day after that, and the day after that, start to change the way you speak to yourself. Change the way you communicate with yourself. Change the way you value yourself. Change the way you feel about yourself. And change the way you believe yourself to be. Change your story, and you will change the kinds of experiences you attract.

Start by getting clear about what you want to attract, and then use the following affirmations to change the way you think, feel and exist. The following affirmations are more generic, but if you have specific goals, work them into the mix too. This exercise is not so much about visualisation or planting seeds and setting intentions. It is about getting used to changing they way you communicate with yourself, and in turn, changing the way you communicate with the Universe. It is about changing the way you think, feel and believe.

I am enough.
I am successful in everything you do.
Nothing about this day needs to be perfect.
I am smart; I am educated. I know all that I need to know, right now.
I am capable.
I am not stuck.
I am exactly where I need to be, right now.
I am powerful.
I am strong.
I am beautiful.
I am healthy.
I am grateful.
I am abundant.
I am determined.
I am willing.
I am worthy of what I want.
I am capable of what I dream of.
I am in control.
I am working hard.
I deserve whatever I want.
I am open to what I need. I am open to be shown the way. I trust that whatever I need will come to me, exactly when I need it.
I have faith. I trust the process. I believe.
I am ready.

2. Empowerment

In changing the way you view and communicate to yourself, you will begin to notice a shift in your energy. If you truly believe in the things you are telling yourself, it is guaranteed to lift your mood and raise your self-worth and you’re frequency. This way of living is an empowered one. There is no place for fear, worry, concern or shame. There is no place for feeling unworthy or non-deserving. There is no place for holding back or feeling bad for what it is you want. You can’t help what you desire.

Feeling more empowered will help you to draw in exactly what aligns with your power and energy. It will help you to draw in exactly that which matches your desires and your reasonings, and as long as your self-worth and your goals are really true to your authentic self, the Universe will respond.

3. What do you want?

Getting to the root of what you really want is perhaps one of the hardest things to decipher. With so many expectations from society or, more locally, from friends or family, and with more distractions than ever, it is hard to tune into our innate desires. It is hard to listen to ourselves, and it is hard to really find what it is we actually want. Not just what would be nice. Not just material things. Not just achievements that we believe will make us ‘look good’. But deep down, what we really want, and why.

Asking the ‘why’s behind what it is you think you want is a grounding method to apply to this exercise, as it helps to really establish the feelings, emotions and outcomes associated with what you desire - or what you think you desire. And you’ll be surprised. The ‘why’s will reveal more accurately what it is you want, on a much deeper level, and will help you to align with your authentic self. This will then help you to uncover a real sense of purpose, too. For example, if you want a better job, why do you want a better job? For more money? And why do you want more money? For security? Or do you want a better job because you want to be viewed as being more successful? Why do you want to seem more successful? For external validation? For yourself? To feel more worthy? You may find that the ‘why’s behind your initial desires can go on and on, but go with it until you come to an answer that is more aligned to an emotion, a mood or a feeling. Often, you will get to a way you want to feel, and in fact, if you do the work in Step 1 (self-worth), you will become aligned to these feelings in more empowered ways, and in ways that don’t necessarily require instant action or much to change at all.

Start by using a few of the following questions to dig deep. It is advised to journal during this exercise.

What do I want?
Why do I want that?
What will that change?
How will it make me feel?
What will this improve?
What kind of life do I want to live?
Where do I see myself in 1 year from now? In 5? In 10?
Why do I see myself there?
How do I wish to feel?
What do I want for myself? What do I want for others?
Why?
Who do I want to become?
What kind of life do I want to live?
What do I want to achieve?
Why?

4. How can you support others?

Whilst steps 1-3 are focussed on self-worth and self-strategising, they are crucial steps in becoming a more empowered version of yourself who can then in turn empower others. You may find you feel more empowered and more determined, and you may learn things about yourself that you can share with others to help them too. Once you’ve done the work on yourself, do the work with others. Use your desires and goals to help others, and use your newfound power and enthusiasm to support them.

shall i do an online course / PDF on this. leave a comment below.

Empowering Female Finds & Other Useful Items

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One of these.

In Interview for International Womens Day ~ with Daisy London

Interview, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Wellbeingdanielle copperman2 Comments

Model, founder of Qnola and author of the Well Being book, is there nothing that Danielle Copperman can’t do? To kick start our inspiring women series, we caught up with the beautiful Danielle for a coffee to discuss how she juggles such a busy lifestyle and left ready to take on the world and with a slight girl crush.

How did your journey into health and nutrition first come about?

It all started when I first moved away from home and began modelling full time. It was quite new to me to be buying and cooking all of my own food, and not only did I need to keep from going hungry, I also needed to keep in shape for the job. At the time, there wasn’t as much available or any truly reliable advice around. I began eating salad without dressing on and granola multiple times a day, as I thought it was super healthy. I soon decided to research things myself and eventually started studying an A level in biology and then a diet and nutrition diploma in my spare time, alongside modelling. It was this research that lead me to discover the many lies that are fed to us from huge corporations. I started asking loads of questions and eventually, having tried paleo and other diets, decided the easiest way was to cut out any processed manufactured packaged products and eat whole ingredients in their intended form. This was where I first got into nutrition, and as a subsequent, after starting my business, Qnola, and experiencing severe stress and burnout, I got into yoga, mindfulness, meditation and other holistic rituals that make up my current wellbeing ethos and methods.

Tell us about your Qnola business and how the idea of it came about?

Qnola is my brand of quinoa granola products and other all-natural, vegan and gluten-free breakfast goods. I was inspired to create the brand when, after making it for myself, I began making it for my friends to take to them during fashion week, since we could never got truly healthy food backstage at shows. From there, the concept just spread by word of mouth. I began to get orders from other models, and then as Instagram became big and people began using it more, people would post photos of their Qnola and tag me in it. Eventually a cafe approached me to supply them, so I decided to really dedicate all my spare time to it. I did a lot of research, registered my kitchen with the health & safety authorities, trademarked the name, got my insurance and then began developing a full range of flavours and eventually packaging. It snowballed from there, and my second stockist was Selfridges Food Hall. Madness.

 We love your book! Why a book and did you love the writing process?

Thanks! Well, it all started with my blog. It received so much interest and press that I was approached by publishers to turn it into a book. After a few years of focussing on my Qnola business, it was the right time to focus on a book. In terms of the writing process, it was intense. I was writing all day and often cooking well into the night, testing things a few times and getting so frustrated when things went wrong. I put a lot of pressure on myself during the 6-8 months of writing and literally poured my heart into it.  You battle with self-doubt and worry for how the book will be received and what people might think. You over analyse every single word!

The book is about well being in the modern world, and contains natural recipes and ancient rituals intended to ease the side effects of modern life. It focuses particularly on recipes and rituals to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, poor digestion and lethargy, and increase positivity, calmness and relaxation, energy levels, focus, concentration and general wellbeing, both inside and out. The book contains over 200 recipes for food and natural beauty remedies, as well as over 50 rituals. Each section is broken down into familiar times of the day; Morntime, Daytime, In Between Time, Evening Time and Night time. From a nutritious breakfast as you run out of the door in the morning and a quick meditation practice to take a breather from a stressful day to a functional pick me up snack for long, lagging afternoons at work or even a restorative bedtime drink to help slow down a busy mind and encourage sounder sleep, it’s in there!

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration all over the place. In the past I took inspiration from traditional recipes that I loved and replaced some ingredients with more natural, healthful ones. More recently, I find inspiration in the places I travel, the people I meet, the experiences I have, art, film, music, books, all sorts. Having my own brand and business, I never really switch off and so I could be having dinner with friends or just watching a crappy series and somehow find something that sparks a lightbulb moment. I think the key is to be constantly open and aware, and present, and then these kinds of coincidences or messages present themselves anytime, anyplace.

You are one busy lady! Is it hard to balance work life balance?

So, so hard. I really need help! I am in a kind of transitional period right now, and so the idea of hiring and delegating intimidates me. It is so hard to balance work and life simply because work is my life, and my life is my work. My daily life is how I communicate a lot of my ideas, and whilst I am truly passionate about what I do, it is really hard to switch off.  I would say that yoga, reading, painting and also sewing have been great for helping me separate work from actual real-time life. It can be easy to always live in planning mode; preparing for new collections, next blog posts, new events etc so these kinds of activities help to divert my attention when I need to most.

What’s a typical day in the life of Danielle Copperman?

There really isn’t one, however I try to ensure I have some kind of structure to my morning and evening routines, especially when I’m at home in London. I try to exercise once, sometimes twice, everyday. These are my non negotiables and the times in the day I try to really keep consistent, no matter what else I’m doing or how much I’m running around! Generally though, I’ll wake about 8, do some form of exercise or just 10 minutes of yoga or meditation in my room. I check emails and get onto anything urgent first, then I’ll get ready to work from home, a cafe or friends house. I usually have a few meetings, either with my modelling agents, prospective stockists, advisors, brands or press for collaborations. Everyday is unpredictable and whilst it can make me short of breath with anxiety and stress, it keeps me on my toes and I love it! I get bored easily and could never do exactly the same thing day in day out. I feel incredibly grateful I get to, most of the time, do what I love and set my own schedule.

What are your favourite healthy eating spots in London?

I can usually find a healthy option in most places, but if I’m going out specifically for a health feast, I love Farm Girl, The Good Life Eatery, Redemption, Detox Kitchen, Wild Food Kitchen, Farmacy, Hemsley Hemsley Cafe, Malibu Kitchen at The Ned – there’s so much choice these days!

How do you like to relax?

I meditate, do yoga, go on a run, chill with my boyfriend and have sleepovers with my childhood friends (it warms the soul so much), watch a movie, go on an evening walk with a mug of herbal tea, have a bath…the list goes on. I also love to go home to Bath regularly where I grew up and where my parents still live in the countryside. It’s such a nice peaceful escape from the big city life. 

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What does jewellery mean to you and what’s your favourite Daisy jewellery piece?

Jewellery has always been a major part of my life. From growing up and wearing heirlooms from my grandma’s and great aunts, I always felt jewellery held this meaningful value. As a teenager, I used to scour antique shops, car boot sales, charity and vintage stores to find pendants. I had all sorts and loved how each one told a different story, coming from different eras. As I’ve grown up and defined my own style a little more, jewellery for me is like perfume or lip balm – I can’t leave the house without it. If i forget to put earrings in I feel bare. I personally prefer gold plated things, and these days keep things quite minimal. I love that stacking is in style, and so wear multiple necklaces at once and too many earrings (i’ve got now 9 ear piercings), daily. I wear quite plain outfits most of the time, so I love to let jewellery bring things to life. I’m a sucker for statement earrings and love textured details too, like the Estée Lalonde ring and bracelet I have. My favourite Daisy piece at the moment I think is the Aphrodite Gold Necklace. I love the femininity of it, and love it even more knowing it is a helping raise awareness and support for those affected with cervical cancer.

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Well Being New Moon Rituals - For Ecoage

Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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In my last post for Eco-Age, I shared some insights into how the full moon affects us, along with practices to assist in aligning with it and adopting and utilising its power. Each lunar cycle gives us the opportunity to delve quite  deeply into ourselves, and to use the energy of the universe to attract our true, authentic desires.

For ease, I’ll recap briefly here. The moon holds a different energy at different times of the month. The moon’s cycle is around 28 days, and during this timeframe, it goes from new moon to waxing moon to full moon and then waning moon. When the moon is waxing, it is essentially growing, and as it grows, it brings an energy of abundance, meaning this time of the month is an ideal time for you to manifest what you want. When the moon is waning, it is essentially shrinking, and that is why this time of the month is an ideal time for letting go and cleansing; be this physically (like tidying and decluttering) or emotionally (like letting go of negative thought patterns or challenges in career or relationships, etc etc). And that’s why the full moon and the new moon are seen as such transformational times. They are the pivotal moments in the moon's cycle and are therefore seen to be, in some ways, the most powerful. My previous article was dedicated to the full moon, so it’s time to take a look, now, at the new moon. 

Where the full moon is a powerful and energetic time and one often associated with transition and change, the new moon is a more settled time, and one of reflection and turning inwards. This phase is much calmer and brings with it a sense of stillness; its energy being much subtler and gentler than that of the full moon.

What is a new moon?

The new moon is when the moon is practically invisible to the naked eye. Having been on a cycle of shrinking to a thin sliver since the full moon - also known as waning - the new moon essentially disappears from view completely. The new moon is when the moon is directly between the earth and the sun, and the alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth leaves the side of the Moon that faces Earth in complete darkness. This is why, to us on Earth, it appears the moon has more or less disappeared. 

The new moon marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle. The energy usually associated with this phase is hope, clarity and anticipation, but not all new moons were created equal. Sometimes around the time of the new moon, you may feel this hope, clarity and anticipation, along with confidence, acceptance and a wave of inspiration for new beginnings. But other times, you might feel more sensitive and experience uncertainty and lack of direction, which is also fine too. Each new moon is a supportive time and allows space for you to understand how you’re feeling and whatever you may be going through. 

Since the new moon is a time at which the moon is not illuminated at all (unlike the full moon when it is fully illuminated), the darkness we experience on the planet is thought to present itself in our personal situations and physical and mental circumstances, too. For this reason, the new moon is thought to be a time of journeying inwards; a very personal time of really getting to know your goals, sowing seeds and setting intentions, to set the tone for, without wanting to sound too intimidating, the rest of your life. The lack of light brings with it a sense of mystery and uncertainty, and can mean we sometimes feel less clear about things; almost, i guess, as if we were feeling in the dark. We may feel we don’t know what we are doing, where we are going or what we even want. And similarly, the motives behind the activities of others may also be unclear or lack in sense. But don’t panic or get too frustrated or overwhelmed during this darkness, or when things seem unclear, and the future unimaginable. Be mindful that everyone is to some extent in the dark with you, just in they’re own unique ways. The good thing is, this darkness is temporary, and you should recognise this as a metaphor for your own personal troubles and challenges. 

How does the new moon affect us?

The new moon marks the first phase of the entire moon cycle, starting from seemingly nothing, growing into the full moon and then shrinking again at the end of the cycle before starting again. In this respect, the new moon is a fantastic and powerful chance for new beginnings. Physically and mentally, it is a time of cleansing and detoxing, and is the chance for us to let go of anything holding us back, and say goodbye to things that no longer serve us. It is a calm time of the month, making it perfect to set out plans, get clear of your goals and spend some time setting intentions, without haste and without any expectation of results or clear destinations in mind. It is a time to sow your seeds and set them free, and then sit back and do all you can to attract them into being by stepping into your power and becoming as magnetic as you can (that means acting, thinking and existing in line with you soul and your authentic goals and desires. Put simply, like attracts like, so act in ways you wish to be rewarded).

In a time of darkness, there are less distractions, and this energy offers us the chance to take stock and focus on what we’ve got and what we want. Whilst it is a nourishing time and one to move through carefully, it doesn’t mean we have to stop or slow down completely. Sure, we should move cautiously, but we should also enjoy the opportunity to be busy, by setting intentions and doing some behind-the-scenes groundwork in preparation for the next phase of the month, and, more specifically, the next full moon (when these kinds of intentions often come into cultivation). Around the new moon is a good time to actively consider what you want to manifest for the rest of the month (and ultimately the rest of the year and the rest of your life, without getting too ahead of yourself), so set your intentions and vow to be focussed and put in the consistent effort. 

The New Moon can sometimes bring a new wave of inspiration, motivating us to be more original, inventive and creative in our thoughts and activities. This period brings with it refreshing, new ideas and solutions to challenges or road blocks that perhaps have been persistent or stagnant for some time. On top of that, instinct is thought to take centre stage during the new moon, meaning, when we’re in our power, we can be (almost) effortlessly on track. The importance of tuning it and becoming aligned, present and fully grounded must be reiterated here, as only when you are in your power can your intuition and instinct be heard enough to guide you. The new moon is a very magnetic time, full of new ideas and opportunities and has the chance to present many spontaneous and unplanned - even unimaginable - experiences, but if you’re not tuned in, you’ll miss them, and this entire phase of the month will either pass you by entirely, or effect you in more negative ways, leaving you feeling stuck.

How to adopt the energy of the new moon and how to handle whatever comes up:

The new moon is an opportune time to initiate new projects and set intentions and goals in the direction of your dreams. Whilst it is a calm time, it should ideally be a period of hard work, too, unlike the Full Moon, which is more a period of fruition and reward. It is a crucial time to get clear about what you want, and so setting intentions is a non-negotiable. Below are a few other tips on working with the energy of the new moon to really get the most out of it, and yourself:

1. Rest and recharge. 

The new moon is a time to rest and recuperate and with the darkness bringing an element of silence and stillness, you too should adopt the same qualities. Meditate, go on long walks, be in nature, or just surrender to doing nothing. Have baths, do face masks, get a massage, go to a gong bath or sound healing workshop. Whatever you do, do it with ease, and make sure its nourishing you and giving your the chance to charge your batteries; god knows you’re going to need all the energy you can get to fuel all these intentions and new beginnings. *Some people find it particularly hard to sleep at the time of the full and new moons (this is known as being lunar sensitive). If you experience this, melatonin drops or supplements, as well as magnesium should help. You could also try calming essential oils on your pillow.

2. Turn inwards and ask questions. 

Take the time to get to know yourself on a deeper level. I find the best way to do this is to write things down and / or brainstorm. Ask yourself some serious questions, and get to the roots of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, what you want, and why you want it. This internal dialogue is crucial in making sure you know what you want and can clearly set intentions, without distractions. You should also take this time to ask yourself what is no longer serving you and / or what is in your way. The new moon is a time of letting go and cleansing, so take this opportunity whilst setting intentions for things you want, to let go of the things you don’t.

3. Follow your instincts.

Again, by turning inwards, you’ll find yourself more grounded and centred, and more aligned with your truth. By resting and recharging, you’ll be in the best frame of mind and will adopt an optimal frequency, to be able to notice, understand and trust your natural instincts. this will help you in making big decisions, starting new projects and ensuring you are on track with what you really want to be doing and where you really want to be going. 

4. Think positively.

Not only important around the new moon, thinking positively is so underrated. Its easier for us to think negatively, and we need to be more conscious when thinking positively which is why we often lose touch. However, the frequency of your thoughts ultimately attracts experiences of the same frequency, so thinking positively is crucial if you want positive things to happen. Whilst setting intentions, keep a positive mindset, and try to hold at least one positive thought in your mind each day. Not only will it change your mood, it will change the kind of energy (around you and of others) that you attract, and ultimately, your experiences. Setting intentions is like planting a seed. You must consciously nurture it with everything it needs (positivity, hope and trust) and keep the weeds (negative thoughts, people or situations) out of the way. 

5. Eat well.

Similarly to the full moon, I’d advise to eat nourishing and fresh foods as much as possible. Not only do highly processed foods interfere with your body and mind's natural states, the way your digestion and water levels react to the new moon may be more sensitive than usual. Generally, the new moon, whilst the moon is shrinking, means our bodies are in a mild deep-cleaning mode. Some people believe that they feel thinner and feel, whilst satisfied, less full and sluggish around the new moon. It is also thought that the new moon is a suitable time to lose weight without a lot of effort, since sometimes appetites are reduced. Be sure to stay hydrated too, and eat seasonally to really get in sync with nature.

So, a lot of information to digest, I know, but in a nutshell - if things are unclear as the new moon approached, it’s time to let go and trust. Tune in, get to know yourself and listen to your intuition. Set your intentions inline with your truth, and sow your seeds, then do all you can behind the seeds to support them. If nothing else, the new moon should act as a reminder for you to turn inwards, set your sights straight and try to turn any negative thoughts into positive ones. Let go of things that are standing in your way or putting a strain on you, and try to use this time to get excited about the possibility of new beginnings. Know that you can find your power quite easily (once you’ve filtered the distractions and let go of any expectations others might have you confined to), and once you do, you will realise that deep down you have the power and ability to achieve whatever you dream of. 

The Most Toning Workout You'll Ever Try, Plus 30 Days Free ~ with P.volve

Anytime, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Movement, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

Towards the end of 2018, I started working out with P.volve. P.volve is an incredible and completely unique fitness method that I’ve found to tone and define the body like nothing I’ve ever tried before. It increases strength and stamina, whilst also improving focus and balance, and what’s great about it is that they have a really interactive online streaming program, meaning you can workout from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere, for that matter.

I used to go through peaks and troughs of motivation when it came to fitness, but for the past year or so I’ve learned the importance of finding activities I truly love, which has resulted in a much more positive attitude and commitment to consistent training. It no longer feels like a chore or something I have to do, but instead something I love and enjoy and which makes me feel good. I battled with hating certain clubs or classes, especially the more intense regimes which often left my body inexplicably drained and fatigued, and my mind stressed and irritable. A lot of people ask me how I remain motivated to work out and the absolutely crucial step in becoming consistent with your exercise regime is to filter, find and do the things you genuinely enjoy. Otherwise it’s always going to feel like an extra effort, and it’s never going to leave you feeling as good as it could.

Tips for finding what works for you:

1) If you dread the thought of attending a class but know you will feel better for it afterwards, that' doesn’t make it right. Sure, you should feel challenged, but if you genuinely dread the thought of it, I promise you there are other ways to challenge yourself that you just haven’t yet discovered.

2) It takes time to find things you enjoy, but one of my greatest pieces of advice would be, before committing to a new membership or joining a new gym, try a few new places and classes before. Many gyms, studios and other methods offer at least one free first class, so do some research and try new things. It takes some time to filter out the things you love from the things hate, but it’s all part of the journey, and you’ve nothing to lose.

3) Listen to your mind as well as your body. So many people see exercise as something you do with and for your body, and whilst it predominantly affects the physical you, it also has the power to affect the mental and emotional you; in both positive and negative ways. If you feel frustrated, angry, irritable or stressed during your workout or class, it is thought that you will have less focus and concentration, and will also fatigue more quickly. Whats more, being stressed can really mess with your breathing and cardiovascular health and capacity, and the kinds of stress hormones that are secreted as a result have been known to increase the likelihood of fat storage, which just adds to the struggle and the frustration. If you can find activities during which you feel positive, calm, inspired, motivated and empowered, you will find you have more energy, more stamina, and will feel much more better not just during but also after your workout, rather than wanting to ‘reward’ yourself (often with edible treats) for the trauma you endured.

4) Workout with others, at least sometimes. Whether that means working out with friends or in group classes, having people around you adds to the experience and also brings a sense of community, support and added motivation (especially for the competitive type).

5) Use fitness apps if you enjoyed tracking your progress. These personally stress me out more simply because it adds to my to-do list and list of things I need to remember to check and update. But, they can be useful and when I have the time, I do think they can really help to develop a consistent exercise program and help you to track your progress.

6) Make feel-good workout playlists that keep your mood and energy high.

7) Find inspirational fitness accounts and personalities in order to keep up to date with the latest things to try, and also to keep morale and motivation up.

8) Change up your workouts. Keep them varied and don’t do the same thing every single day. Find a schedule that works for you and try to keep the same sort of schedule week on week, but try to have some days for one type of workout, and other days for other workouts.

9) Workout in nature. I used to hate cardio and still do but I have learned to embrace it since it makes me feel so good, after the initial few sessions. Walking and running, especially outside and specifically in green spaces, have so many benefits aside from the obvious physical ones, and just being surrounded by trees and plants can help improve your mood.

10) Reframe your perspective and the way you think about exercising. Don’t just exercise to get fit or reach visual physical goals, instead workout to feel good and to become stronger. Approaching exercise as something that can improve your strength, balance and posture and as something that can reduce stress and improve your mood puts less pressure on the workout and has been proven to be far more motivating that working out simply to change / improve the things your dislike about your body. Workout to feel good and to evolve physically and mentally.

11) Avoid pushing yourself too hard or too fast. Build up slowly, increasing strength and stamina before you try to challenge yourself too much. It takes time, and when you have a break from working out, it is even harder to get back into it, but that is part of the process. Patience is key.

Why P.volve?

Alongside running, walking, swimming, gymming, boxing, pilates, yoga and barre, P.volve has been an absolute life-changer for me, and I am so excited to finally share it with you as I know it’s going to help so many of you in so many ways.

1) it will help those with tight schedules and minimal time to workout more often, frequently and efficiently (most videos are about just 30 minutes long).
2) it will help those who can’t get to gym or those who just don’t want to fork out for an expensive gym membership to workout anytime, anywhere and from the comfort of their own home.
3) it provides an incredibly tough workout without your usual hiit or intense cardio sections, which I’ve found has helped hugely in keeping motivated at home.
4) the online videos are super inspirational and are easy to follow, with really supportive commentary from both the trainer and the demo girls.
5) there are so many videos online and they are constantly adding new ones.
6) they provide filters online, meaning you can tailor each workout to your own individual needs or preferences, from one day to the next (for example, applying filters like ‘abs' or ‘butt’ depending on which area of the body you want to target most).
7) some videos don’t even require equipment, making them super accessible to everyone and especially useful for those who may be traveling often and forced to workout in hotel rooms or poorly equipped hotel gyms. I could think of so many other points to add to this list of reasons why you should at least try P.volve, but instead, I’ll go into a little more detail below, and will leave you with an exclusive ab exercise to get started with.

What makes P.volve different and what to expect:

P.volve is the smart, science-backed fitness program that helps you achieve the best body for living your best life.

“Pain isn’t gain. Pain is just pain”.

Ever finished a workout feeling sore? Too exhausted to function? Ready to collapse on a couch with 6 hours of Netflix and your ringer turned off? That’s not a win. That's just bad.

P.volve is the opposite of a gruelling, high-impact, sweaty, painful workout. Instead, you’ll find a safer, science-backed method to help you achieve the beautiful, natural muscle tone and healthy results you want. You’ll even enjoy it.

P.volve’s approach to fitness is to elongate your shape and builds strength without bulk, to help you carve out the most perfect body that’s right for you. While other programs rely on reps, the P.volve method is based on mastering precise movements that activate hard-to-reach muscles. Because when every movement is meaningful, you can create visible results in less time, using less energy.

The workouts are unlike anything you’ve done before, because the movements are not like anything you’ve tried before. They’re based on the kinds of movements you use in your everyday life (as in, not bicep curls) then carefully developed over time, incorporating neuromuscular science and functional science expertise. In other words, P.volve works with your body. Not against it.

The P.volve method

✓ Elimination of bulk, creating beautiful shape and definition
✓ Specifics include more defined thighs, a higher butt, a stronger core
✓ Works with any body shape, any fitness level
✓ Low-impact anti-pulse training is easy on your joints
✓ Activation of hard-to-reach muscles
✓ A stronger body that helps you get more out of everyday life
✓ A noticeable boost to your overall health, wellbeing, and confidence

And the best news? Joining P.volve is only $29.99 a month. They offer a 7-day free trial, so if you aren’t ready to commit, you can try before you buy. Take a free assessment here to see if P.volve is for you and click here to find out more and to start your trial.

Use code “COPPERMAN30” to get 30 days free streaming. Simply follow this link to redeem and enter the code at checkout.

Update your workout wardrobe with a few of my new favourite pieces

We Need To Talk About The Full Moon

Commisions, Lifestyle, Moon Time, Natural Living, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

Danielle Copperman, author of 'Well Being: Recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind', shares some insights into the affects of the full moon and practices to help you align with it.

The Moon and its various phases is something I have been interested in for a while now. Since first learning about how the cycles of the moon work and how they influence so many things - from animals and humans, to tides and climate - I have been curious to find out just how much the different phases can effect our day-to-day lives. There is a lot of information and many references to the moon these days, particularly to the full moon - which is mockingly blamed for manic mood swings and rolling bad luck. But just how much does the moon really influence us, how exactly does it influence us, and what can we do to really align with it in order to get the most from its powerful energy?

I believe that when we really tune in to what’s going on in the Universe, we can instantly begin to understand ourselves, our environment and others around us on a much deeper level. The phases of the moon is a good place to start, as it introduces you to the idea of energy, and how everything is interconnected. Everything is energy, and understanding how the energy of the universe influences our individual energies has been life-changing for me.

The moon holds a different energy at different times of the month. The moon’s cycle is around 28 days, and during this timeframe, it goes from new moon to waxing moon to full moon and then waning moon. When the moon is waxing, it is essentially growing, and as it grows, it brings an energy of abundance, meaning this time of the month is an ideal time for you to manifest what you want. When the moon is waning, it is essentially shrinking, and that is why this time of the month is an ideal time for letting go and cleansing; be this physically (like tidying and decluttering) or emotionally (like letting go of negative thought patterns or challenges in career or relationships, etc etc). And that’s why the full moon and the new moon are seen as such transformational times. They are the pinnacles of the moon's cycle and are therefore seen to be the most powerful. In this article I’m going to touch on the most popular and perhaps most intriguing; The Full Moon. More on the New Moon next time!

Full moons are powerful but not all are created equally. Usually, we will experience one full moon per month, however sometimes, if we’re lucky, we get two. You can get conventional full moons, but you can also get super moons, blood moons and several other more spectacular and energetically unique full moons. If you delve even deeper, you will learn that each full moon correlates with a certain star sign too, which looks at the full moon in relation to stars and other activity within the cosmos.

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What is a full moon?

The full moon is when the moon is at its fullest. It is essentially when the sun and moon are exactly aligned on opposite sides of Earth, and the entire face of the moon is illuminated by the sun. It is thought that this sense of illumination is present in aspects of our own lives, too, with certain things becoming more illuminated and amplified in the same way as the moon. For these reasons, the full moon is thought to be a time of change and transformation.

How does the full moon affect us?

Generally speaking, people tend to feel physical effects of the moon, as well as mental. Often, during or leading up to the full moon, it’s common to experience more bloating and a feeling of fullness, as well as severe fatigue. And on a more emotional level, the full moon is also thought to amplify mood swings, anxiety, more frequent low moods and sensitivity. It is also interesting to know that in our most natural and harmonious states (i.e. without drugs, alcohol, contraception, other medication and / or poor diet), women are supposed to menstruate either at the new moon or the full moon. It is not surprising, then, that if we are naturally intended to sync with nature, we must have some kind of intrinsic connection to the energies around us. When you also think about how the moon affects water and, more specifically, tides, it is interesting to notice that we humans are made up of around 75% water, and so, if the moon can dictate tides and influence the gravitational pull of our planet, it would make a lot of sense that it might also do the same to us on a smaller scale.

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How to adopt the energy of the full moon and how to handle whatever comes up:

The time leading up to and during the Full Moon is a highly energetic one. It is a time when lots is in flux; it may feel like there is a lot bubbling away and like something is building up and you may feel unsettled, uncertain and ungrounded, but not quite be able to put your finger on it. Whilst the new moon is a time of intention setting and cleansing, the full moon is a much more active time where things seem to be really in motion and up in the air. If you are able to tune into the energy, you can often ground and go with the flow, and be entirely in your power - mimicking the energy of the moon and in fact being super productive and inspired. However, if you are not aligned with its energies, you might experience a constant sense of feeling overwhelmed, confused and lacking direction.

1. My first piece of advice is to honour your energy. Sometimes at a full moon you may have bundles of energy, whilst others you may be super tired and lethargic. The key is to accept however you feel, and understand that it is not necessarily because of anything you have or haven’t done, but is in some cases out of your control. Surrendering like this feels amazing, and it really helps you to tune in to what you need. Sometimes you just need to pause. And at the other end of the spectrum, if you have high energy levels and feel highly motivated, it is also important sometimes to slow down, and not to jump into any rash decisions or make any major changes. Whilst this time can be incredibly inspiring, it is sometimes still best to be open to what comes up, analyse it for a while, and not necessarily act on in straight away.

2. My second piece of advice is to start to take note of when the full moon is approaching. I would suggest downloading one of many free apps, or investing in a moon calendar, to ensure you can schedule in certain things around the full moon (such as seeing friends, a massage, or just doing nothing) and avoid certain things (such as intense exercise, important meetings or self-set deadlines). By doing this you can be not only more aware but also more prepared.

3. Thirdly, take it easy and don’t do too much. It is not just one day that the full moon affects us, unfortunately, but it is often just as difficult or emotional a time in the lead up to the full moon. My advice is to just keep aware of how you are feeling, and take it easy. Don’t try to do too much, instead, turn inwards and dig deep to discover what’s really going on, why you are experiencing certain thoughts or moods, and take time to be grateful for what you’ve got. Having a grateful attitude will attract more experiences and opportunities of the same vibrational frequency. This may sound a bit ‘out there’, but the more positively and abundantly you think, the more of the same you will attract, according to the unwritten law’s of the universe. So, take it easy, take time to take stock, and think positively.

4. Finally, a few tips on making the most of the full moon energy. How should you utilise this powerful time and what can help you in staying grounded whilst manifesting efficiently? For me, it is about taking time to pause and ask yourself a few meaningful questions. How are you feeling, physically and mentally? How is your career? How are your relationships? How is your fitness? Delve deep and try to find the root of any troubling thoughts or emotions, then try to set them right, or do something to change them. To do this, you might do yoga or try meditation, or even sound healing if you don’t have a independent meditation practice. Another thing you can try, to really tune in, is going for a walk, alone in silence or with someone else. Being in nature is incredibly powerful, always, and especially at this time of the month. I often take a cup of tea and walk around my neighbourhood with one of my friends when night has fallen and the moon is bright. Even just gazing at the night sky is an amazing ritual for instantly feeling grounded.

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Once grounded, it can also be useful to write things down or journal. You might want to write about how you feel or write answers to the questions you’ve asked yourself, or you might want to write down things you want to manifest or goals you may have had, or just random bits of inspiration that may have surfaced. I always find it useful to brainstorm at this time of the month, as i often feel quite unsettled and unfocussed. It works for me to brainstorm what i really want to be focusing on, and sometimes this means letting go of certain things or just saving them for another time.

Another way to really nourish and ground at this time, too, is to eat a really natural meal, either during the day of the full moon or the evening of, depending on the time. I like to choose fresh, unprocessed ingredients, such as vegetables and grains, and in the summer I'll keep these raw and in the winter, i'll turn them into some kind of soup, curry or stew, for a more deeply nourishing, comforting and grounding meal.

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So, a lot of information to digest, I know, but in a nutshell, if nothing else, the full moon should act as a reminder for you to slow down a bit and turn inwards; to recalibrate, take stock and to get focused on where you are and where you want to get to. It is a very personal time and can vary from person to person, from month to month, but I would strongly recommend getting to know the phases of the moon in order to get to know yourself a little more, to ultimately live a more informed and empowered life. Honour your energy, and if you're feeling active, get manifesting, and if you're feeling fatigued, indulge and take care of yourself! If nothing else, please go and gaze out at the moon and stars tonight; it will change your mood instantly!

Sustainable Swaps to Live More Consciously ~ for The Welle Co

Commisions, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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KNOWING EXACTLY WHICH EVERYDAY ITEMS YOU CAN SWAP, AND WHAT FOR, GOES A LONG WAY TOWARDS LIVING A HEALTHIER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFE. DANIELLE COPPERMAN EXPLAINS WHY.

Sustainability is a hot topic right now. It’s no secret that human behaviour is taking its toll on the earth and people can no longer deny that the way we act (and more specifically, consume) is unsustainable.

Modern life has progressed so much and whilst we now have more than ever, we also seem to want more than ever, too. We crave more and more possessions, newer and newer things… when in actuality, basic human needs are really very little. As a result of recent warnings, such as the amount of plastic in the ocean equating to more than the amount of fish come 2050 (yikes!), I’m on an ongoing journey of overhauling my lifestyle to make it more sustainable.

I know first-hand that it can seem quite intimidating to know where to start when it comes to making impactful changes. But there are so many things you can do, some large and some small, so I’ve outlined a few of my favourite ‘harmful for helpful’ sustainable swaps below that will help you to reduce your consumption and in turn reduce waste, meaning you will have a much lighter impact on the planet this year.

SAY NO TO…

Single use straws

Say NO to plastic straws! If you absolutely need to use a straw, opt for a paper or bamboo straw or a reusable straw made from glass, silicone, recycled (and reusable) plastic or wood. Luckily, many cafés and restaurants are now ditching the disposable straws for more sustainable options, so this swap is getting easier and easier to incorporate into your lifestyle. You could also buy your own and keep one in your bag ICOE.

Takeaway coffee cups

As much as we all love our coffee, the abundance of takeaway cups being tossed into landfill is absolutely killing the planet. Instead of using takeaway cups, invest in a good reusable option such as a Keep Cup, or a reusable glass, plastic or bamboo takeaway-style cup or flask. Your favourite coffee shop will gladly fill it for you.

Disposable cutlery

Say no to disposable, single-use plastic cutlery from cafés. Instead, invest in reusable bamboo cutlery – this is great because you can keep it in your bag at all times. Alternatively, just keep your standard metal cutlery in your bag (however in my opinion they’re a little heavier, louder and less convenient). This set is super handy and comes complete with straws, straw cleaners and a fabric wrap to keep them together and clean.

Standard cotton buds

Swap your standard, plastic stick cotton buds in favour of those made from bamboo, wood or paper, and ideally with organic cotton. As a bonus, the organic cotton is better for your ears as it contains less harmful dyes than the cotton from a standard cotton bud.

Disposable make up removal pads

Swap disposable, single-use cotton wool pads for reusable versions. You can find reusable cotton rounds, or bamboo options, or even make your own from old fabric. Alternatively, use a muslin cloth or flannel to remove make up (instead of going through loads of cotton pads which take a long time to biodegrade and can harm the environment in doing so). Also, buy in bulk, to save of shipping packaging and transportation miles.

Plastic toothbrushes

Swap your plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones. If you have an electric brush that lasts for longer, don’t worry too much… but for those of you going through a new plastic toothbrush every month or so, swap to bamboo! You’ll be taking care of your teeth and the environment.

Harmful beauty products

Take a look into your make up bag… how many of your products use plastics, parabens, chemicals and other fillers that are harmful for your skin? Those hidden nasties not only clog your pores but also seriously harm the environment (by circulating in our water supplies). Instead, opt for natural beauty products and keep an eye out for brands with recyclable, biodegradable or refillable packaging.

Fast fashion

We’re all guilty of impulsively spending on a trend that we just had to have… but we could all stand to stop buying so much! Next time you fancy a shopping spree, why not head to a charity, thrift or vintage store or a flea market? You’ll find something more unique whilst also finding a new home for something that could otherwise end up in landfill.

Plastic shopping bags

Not only are plastic shopping bags terrible for our planet and wildlife, they’re relatively flimsy, too… so instead, use reusable tote bags or other fabric bags when shopping. You’ll feel good about making a small swap that helps the planet and you’ll fit more in your bags, too.

Bottled water­

Bottled water costs you a pretty penny and contributes greatly to landfill, with as much as 91% of plastic bottles not recycled. Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle. Reusable bottles also come with great features that disposable bottles can’t complete with (such as fruit infusers, thermos protection and filtration), so shop around and find a bottle that fits your needs.

Supermarket shelf sanitary products

For the women out there, you should really rethink your period management and collection methods. Tampons can be dangerous (TSS, anyone?) and surprisingly, even organic tampons are quite unnatural. During menstruation, your body is detoxing itself so it’s really important to ‘let it out’, so to speak. Moon Cups are the most eco-friendly form of feminine care, and they’re cheaper too! The average period cup can last you up to a decade and has the benefit of being leak-proof (bonus!), so­­­ you won’t have to stock up on sanitary supplies every month.

Simple Lifestyle Hacks for Surviving the Winter ~ for The Welle Co

Commisions, Beauty, Autumn, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Winter, Wellbeingdanielle copperman2 Comments
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WITH WINTER IN FULL SWING, THE DAYS ARE SHORTER, DARKER AND HARSHER, YET OFTEN WE FORGET TO TAKE THE TIME TO ADAPT OUR LIFESTYLES IN ORDER TO SURVIVE THEM. LONDON-BASED NUTRITIONIST DANIELLE COPPERMAN SHOWS US HOW.

Whilst we take care to brace ourselves for the freezing conditions (think more layers, bigger boots and larger coats), too often we forget to consider the areas of our lives impacted by the cooler weather other than our wardrobes. Instead, we carry on our lives as much as normal, trying to power through and forcing ourselves to continue our usual lifestyles whilst enduring winter’s side effects (such as low energy, low moods, low motivation, skin issues and much more).

For me personally, when the seasons change (and especially during the shift from summer to autumn/winter), I try to make small changes to all areas of my life to help me continue to thrive.

I find that I naturally begin to crave more seasonal foods (which I believe, if we are tuned in to listen to our bodies, is in our innate nature) and honour these cravings;

  • Swap out a few of my daily beauty products

  • Incorporate new rituals such as self-massage and natural movement (even if exercise is the last thing that I feel like doing!)

  • Make space for little moments to pause, take a breather and tune in to acknowledge and honour my energy at least once or twice a week – especially if there’s a lot going on in my life socially or with work. Sometimes, it’s important to learn how to say ‘no’ and the winter is a wonderful excuse for this, so use it!

These little life hacks make a big difference in my life.

Struggling to find the mojo to make it through to the summer with as much energy, inspiration, motivation and positivity as possible?

Try these life hacks and watch your mood improve (you’ll also benefit from supported physiological functions, a thriving immune system and vibrant, hydrated skin – bonus!)

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOUR CRAVINGS ARE TELLING YOU

We have cravings for a reason and our cravings speak to changes in our activity level, physiological responses and environments.

We crave carbs when we’ve worked out or run or walked for miles. We crave sugar if our blood sugar levels are dipping too low. We crave salt if our blood sugar levels are too high. 

Similarly, at different times of the year and in different climates, we need different things from our food, and nature knows that. It prepares itself for the ingredients that our bodies really need to flourish, and in winter, these foods are usually ones that keep our immune systems strong and keep our energy levels high. They’re also usually warming and grounding.

At the beginning of the year, my seasonal cravings usually include Brussels sprouts, apples, cabbage, chestnuts, mushrooms, dark leafy greens, earthy roots (like carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and beets), blood oranges and grains (like brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat).

I tend to prepare more cooked meals during these colder months as they are easier on our digestion, warm us internally and support circulation. I also try to incorporate apples or citrus fruits into most of my days too, for their abundance of vitamins to protect against viruses.

I also ramp up my adaptogen game during the colder months and add in some new ingredients to replace those I need during the summertime. Adaptogens, herbs and spices play a major part in my daily diet and I find the easiest way to use them is in smoothies or stirred through hot or cold water or plant-based milks. During the winter, I love the SUPER ELIXIR with cacao, mucuna puriens, ashwaganda, cordyceps, reishi, shilajit and maca that really do wonders to keep my energy levels and moods high (as well as keeping those dreaded winter illnesses at bay).

NOURISH YOUR SKIN

My skin always suffers during this time of year and becomes incredibly dry, fragile and sensitive, so I always make sure to switch my lighter and usually water-based summertime products with denser and oil-based products. I also exfoliate less (and use more gentle products when I do) and cleanse as usual. 

Once a month, I also do a steam with essential oils and throughout the season, I use all-natural, organic products made with whole ingredients (without nasty additives or chemicals) and most importantly, lots of natural oils (such as coconut, almond, shea, cacao and essential oils).

If you suffer from dry skin, I’d highly recommend using more oil-based products - or even just pure carrier oils - as they are gentler on the skin whilst providing rehydration and bringing balance back to your complexion. Many people falsely believe that oils will make their skin greasier and blemish prone, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In addition to being nourishing, these natural oils are often antibacterial and antiviral too and as such, keep skin clean.

STEP UP YOUR DAILY MOVEMENT

During the winter, one of the most important rituals to incorporate into your routine (at least a few times a week, if not daily!) is movement. It’s so important to keep things moving and keep your circulation in check with supported blood flow and oxygen intake. If you can’t bring yourself to work out or if it’s just too cold for a run, try to walk places as much as you can. Walking is enough to get your heart rate up so it’s a great option for those who struggle with finding the time or motivation for more strenuous activity during winter.  

It’s super important to find ways to move that are still gentle and not too stress-inducing, as this is a time when most other animals are hibernating… and to some extent, we should be too. But it’s important for us, as we continue to go about modern life and our daily responsibilities, to keep things moving. You’ll feel better mentally and physically for it!

SET YOUR INTENTIONS

Other rituals I like to practice during the winter and particularly at the beginning of the year in January include setting intentions and journaling. This really helps me to reflect on my achievements from the year, focus on what I have and note what I am grateful for – as well as helping me map out my goals for the year ahead.

I also like to use tarot cards or oracle cards if I’m feeling particularly lost, stuck or unmotivated in life. These cards can help to give you a sign, a message or just a nudge in the right direction, and you don’t have to be a pro tarot reader to use them. It works by simply putting your energy into the deck of cards and asking them questions on things you want to know or need some clarity or guidance on. I love this practice and even if it seems a bit ‘woo woo’, if nothing else it helps you to become present and grounded and always gives positive and inspiring information.

BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH THE COLD

This one’s going to hurt, but it’s actually really good for us - mentally and physically - to be exposed to the cold… not for a long time, perhaps, but for short intervals.

That’s why during this time of year, I try to take interval showers a few times a month, which means standing under cold water for 1 minute then returning it to warm water and repeating a few times. It’s like cryotherapy in your own home.

On the other end of the spectrum, it is of course super beneficial to be warm too, and so I’d suggest saunas or steam rooms to be incorporated into your rituals, at least once a month if you can.

When I’m in Sweden visiting my boyfriend, there are places you can go to jump naked into an iced-over lake, and then run quickly (with a robe of course) into a sauna nearby. It’s so invigorating, revitalising and energising and is a wonderful way to move energy, shift blockages and keep your metabolism active.

Danielle Copperman is a qualified nutritionist, food writer and chef based in London. She is also the founder of QNOLA. You can also find Danielle’s book, Well Being, on Amazon.

How to Self Massage ~ For Ecoage

Commisions, Anytime, Beauty, Natural Living, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Massage shouldn’t be a luxury confined to the spa…

Having a massage is commonly seen to be an indulgent act of self-care; an expensive and quite frankly ‘extra’ luxury that only a fraction of us has the time and money to enjoy. It is very rarely seen as a necessary part of our wellbeing, and especially not a priority in our everyday rituals.

However, since studying Shiatsu and holistic massage last year, I became so interested in the benefits that massage has on both our bodies and minds, and how it can be used not only for relaxation but in many cases to prevent and/or to heal all kinds of physical and mental malfunctions.

When you think of massage, likely an image of a peaceful spa springs to mind, and you associate it with feeling instantly relaxed and calm. That, or it’s an unimpressive setting, maybe even a pop-up massage table in your own home, and a deep-tissue sports-style massage that leaves you grinding your teeth and in more pain than when it began. Either way, aside from it being used for pure relaxation or to reduce physical tension, there are so many other benefits of massage and issues it can ease.

Massage, of course, is relaxing, which makes it a powerful ritual to reduce stress, anxiety and even depression. Also, given the purest oils are used, it can help to make skin softer and more hydrated, and can even be used to soothe and heal irritations or imbalances. Massage can also be incredibly energising, which may seem unlikely when you think of how relaxing they can be (I almost always fall into a deep sleep during mine). But given the right techniques are used, massage can really enliven and invigorate the body and mind, and help enhance energy levels. On the contrary, it can also aid sleep and improve sleeping patterns. But perhaps one of my favourite benefits of massage is how it contributes to internal processes such as circulation, lymphatic drainage and digestion. It can help encourage circulation, reduce toxins, shift stagnant energy and diffuse internal blockages, and even improve digestive issues such as IBS, indigestion, bloating, constipation and more. And one last thing, if you think of the body in terms of energy flow and its meridians, massage used to reduce physical tension can help to redirect the energy flow of the body and mind, having major affects on the mental and emotional, reaching them through the physical and enhancing the connection and communication between the two.

Granted, this information is all well and good but it still doesn’t make going for a massage any more accessible for you, right? Well, the good news is, you can still reap the benefits of massage by doing it on yourself. Or, better yet, getting a partner or friend to help you out once in a while. Make it a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ kind of scenario? However you choose to do it, dissolve accumulated stress and toxins within the body and mind and enhance your mental and physical performance with a daily, or at least weekly, doses of massage. You can do a full body massage using your hands, with or without oil, improvising as you go, or if you need a little more guidance and inspiration, read on for massage sequences for specific areas of the body.

1. Neck and shoulders

These exercises are great for people who are especially stressed and who hold a lot of physical tension in their neck, shoulders and back. It is great for those hunched over desks all day too, and can even be done at your desk during the day. If you want to make it more of a ritual, use a little oil and take more time over this sequence at home after a long day. This sequence is also calming and relaxing as just the act of focussing solely on this massage can help activate the parasympathetic part of the brain, slowing busy thoughts and becoming a kind of gentle meditation.

How to:

Use the thin edge of your hand and in saw-like motions, gently hack at the neck, focussing on the trapezius muscle - the large muscle that holds up the neck and runs over the shoulders and shoulder blades and even around the upper back. Tilt your head to the left, first, and work on the right side of the neck, then repeat on the other side.

After you have done this ‘chopping’ motion, make a fist and gently use your knuckle to work around the shoulder. Have your right arm hanging loose and limp, and using your left knuckle, work in a sort of Mexican wave motion, moving the knuckles in a flowing motion over and around the shoulder. Then, release your fist and simply use your finger tips and predominantly your thumb to work more deeply into the shoulder area. Repeat on the other shoulder.

2. Face and head

These exercises are incredibly energising for both the body and mind, but are simultaneously calming. Working to energise the face and head increases alertness and can enhance focus and concentration, which makes these exercises perfect at the start of the day.

How to:
Using the fingertips of both hands, start by gently tapping them over the forehead and temples. Move the hands across the forehead and the temples, back and forth a few times. You can use as much or as little force as feels good. Gradually work your way in the same manner up the sides of the head to the top of the head, and move around the entire top, back and sides of the head a few times. Finish by bringing the fingertips forward again to the forehead area.

Next, using your middle three fingers, smooth the eyebrow areas from the centre of the face where they begin, out to the edges. Then get your thumb involved, smoothing it under the eyebrows as the fingers remain on the top of the eyebrows or just away from the face. Next, use the fingertips under the eyebrows on the upper eyelid bone to smooth and massage. I often get puffy here after sleeping so this is a great exercise if you experience the same.

Next, bring the fingertips once more to the temple and press with some force, massaging in a circular motion. Then bring the fingertips to the cheeks and cheekbones. Start by tapping the cheekbones with the fingertips, back and forth from the outer edges of the face towards the nose. Then massage the cheek area using circular motions. You can also smooth the area (this works best if using a light oil), starting at the edges of the nose and smoothing the cheeks a few times, out towards the edges of the face. You should work on the top area, the main middle area and the underneath of the cheekbones. Finish at the edges of the face, towards the ears, and using your index finger, press gently a few times into the bone that joins the cheeks and the upper jaw bone.

Then, work on the jaw area. From the cheek and jaw bone join, drag the fingertips down the sides of the jaw to the bottom join, where you back teeth meet. With you middle three fingers on the bottom jaw bone, had the thumb gently gripping underneath the jaw bone, and work in circular motions to move from the edges of the jaw in towards the chin. Repeat a few times and alternate between using circular motions and just smoothing in one swift movement.

Finally, use the fingertips to move above the jaw into the main fleshy cheek area, over the teeth and around the mouth. Work in circular motions or however feels good to massage into the muscles of the cheeks, and do the same around the area above the upper lip and below the lower lip.

Finish by working around the nose, smoothing up and down the sides of the nose and pressing with your index finger into the corners of the nose. Smooth from the nose slightly out towards the cheeks. This is especially good for sinus issues and to improve breathing .

Finish by using the palms of the hands to rub over the entire face, pulling and stretching however feels good or just lightly brushing over the face to complete the ritual.

*You could also try using traditional massage tools for face massage, such as a marble gua sha, a jade roller or other wooden or stone tools

3. Feet

We demand a lot from our feet to support us, perhaps more than any other body part, yet we rarely consider taking extra special care of them. The following massage technique helps to invigorate the flow of energy and relieve tension within the feet. Through working on the major muscles and pressure points (and meridians) in the feet we can aid many other organs and ailments in the body too, including aches, digestion and inflammation. These exercises are great towards the end of the day, and can also encourage lymphatic drainage, meaning diffusing toxins and waste matter. 

Read the full article here, and find out more about self-massage along with more rituals in my book, Well Being.

How to Boost Your Immunity This Fall ~ for Glasshouse Journal

Commisions, Winter, Wellbeing, Rituals, Natural Living, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment
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Earlier this winter, I shared my winter wellness tips with Glasshouse Salon - one of my favourite natural / organic hairdressers and beauty salon. Find out how I keep well during the colder, darker months, below.

What do you do during the colder months to boost your immune system? Do you incorporate different things that you might not use during the spring/summer?

Yes, totally. Naturally, my body craves different kinds of foods this time of year. I never used to pay much attention to it but as I become more aware of locally seasonal foods, its super interesting to notice how my preferences adapt. I don't know if its tradition and comfort as the temperatures drop, but i start to crave more root vegetables, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, spices, curries, soups and broths, as well as tea on tap. So in that sense, i incorporate different ingredients into my diet and cook very different (more hearty and grounding, but also energising) meals. I also take more supplements (like vitamin D, 5 HTP, multivitamins, omega fish oils, zinc, copper, probiotics - depending on how I'm feeling) to support my body's natural immune response. And i continue to drink lots of liquids - lemon and ginger, water, charcoal in water, spirulina in water, greens powders and more. I think the more antioxidants the better. It's also useful to know that sometimes, depending on the type of illness (cold/flu or sore throat or headache) will depend on which remedies work for you. Last christmas my sisters and I were all ill with sore throats (it often happens when we fully surrender and relax and our bodies just shut down!), and we were chugging ginger tea like there was no tomorrow. but it was actually aggravating our throats more. So don't just follow what you read. Do some research and use more gentle herbs, rituals and rest whenever you feel the onset of any ailment.

In terms of beauty, I change up my routine slightly as things like colder, drier weather, heating, wearing layers and more viruses in the air tend to aggravate it. I stick to the same fundamentals mostly, as i find my skin gets confused if i change my products too often - and if your regular products are natural and pure enough, they should have a variety of adaptable properties and functions that can provide for all kinds of situations, skin-types and seasons. But I will stop cleansing my face too much with water-based products (as they are more drying), and I tend to use much genteel exfoliation processes, and much fewer masks (changing to sheet masks which I find more hydrating and moisturising). I like to let the natural oils of my face stay as balanced as possible and so i try not to over-wash. I think we over-wash so much these days, that our skins normal and natural PH, oil levels and immunity gets out of whack. If you wash your face less I find the skin is trained and more prepared to cope with bacteria and dirt, as the oils of the skin are our natural protection against these things. It's only really when you've been wearing make up that you need to cleanse thoroughly. A parting note would be not to be scared or sceptical of oils, as i think many people assume they will make the skin oilier. i wear an oil to bed almost every night, and as long as your diet is in check and you are drinking plenty of water, you won't find that natural oils contribute to blemishes or clogged pores like you think they will. what clogs pores is dirt, not powerful and functional ingredients from the earth. Oils are full of essential fats (for cell growth, elasticity and renewal), as well as antioxidants and are antiviral, antibacterial and much more. I use oils as my body moisturiser too, and dry brush to encourage circulation, lymphatic drainage and to remove dead skin.

Rituals I use to elevate my immune system include yoga, movement and pranayama. Pranayama can be really cleansing for the organs and also ensure that breathing is regulated and youre sending enough oxygen around the body for vital functions. I also find movement is vital in order to keep the body feeling alive and active. I use meditation and pranayama to enhance my energy levels this time of year too, as well as yoga and other exercise. I do tapping and shaking (both rituals from my book, Well Being) in the mornings to encourage circulation, to reduce muscle tension and to warm up the body. Hot baths are great when it gets colder, as they regulate temperature. Better more, use a potent mineral-based bath soak to restore essential vitamins and hydrate. I also turn to massage more in the colder months, as the drop in temperature can lead to aching or tight joints, muscle tension and poor circulation. I have the worst circulation and am a cold person most of the year, so in the winter i get really cold hands and feet and my fingers occasionally go completely numb and lose their colour. I use oils on my body to give myself regular massages (especially on my hands, legs and face), to encourage circulation and lymphatic drainage.

I truly believe that illnesses are an indication of a much deeper emotional / mental / energetic / chakral issue. There is so much to learn in this area and it sounds pretty woo woo but it makes perfect sense to me. When I'm anxious or stressed, I always reach burnout and my body just shuts down to show me that i'm trying to make it operate at a pace that isn't normal, and to really force me to stop. When i recently felt super low-confidence, fearful and a little uncertain, I had a sore throat and my chest was tighter than ever. I went to an energy healer and she told me sore throat was associated with not speaking your truth and intense worry. And in the past I have had migraines when i've been too in my own head with thoughts and not living in the present moment. The body is so clever, so if you do feel something coming on, take time to pause and really tune in. Then the real healing can begin. It may not always be something that can be healed with food, supplements or rituals. Although, often at this time of year, illnesses are virus or bacteria based (especially in over-crowded cities), so sometimes its unavoidable and nothing personal at all! Just be aware and then you'll find what you need.

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.

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.

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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Marysia Muse Well Being Feature

Anytime, Interview, Lifestyle, Travel, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

Last week - after months of planning and trying to firm up a suitable location for the shoot (and one that fit my sporadic and unpredictable schedule) - Marysia and I teamed up to curate a beautiful Marysia Muse feature centred around well being, and travelling well. Set in Sweden (somewhere I spend a lot of time visiting my boyfriend), we spent a day in Länna exploring the woodlands and bathing by the lake. Scroll down to read my interview, browse the images and watch my exclusive morning yoga video which you can do anytime, anywhere. It’s my go-to sequence when traveling. Enjoy!

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“Though I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Danielle, she embodies everything that we look for in our Muses. From her clean range of breakfast goods (Qnola), to her dedication to yoga (we share the same teacher, Tara Stiles!) she is an inspiration to everyone out there looking to find balance. Below she shares a video of her energizing morning routine, and here she shares a recipe for one of her favorite snacks. I hope you enjoy reading her interview as much as I did.

TO YOU, MARYSIA IS…

Flattering, functional fashion, complete with true character and authenticity. The designs are super unique but have an edge of effortlessness, meaning when you wear them you feel a million dollars without feeling over the top. Each piece is incredibly flattering, not to mention comfortable and practical for all kinds of activities (even yoga!).

WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE FROM THE COLLECTION? HOW DO YOU STYLE IT FROM DAY TO NIGHT?

I adore the brown bikini and wear the top with a high waisted skirt or trousers, either alone or under a sheer top. I'm also obsessed with the coconut maillot and style it with a skirt or shorts to take me from beach to bar.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR VACATION IN SWEDEN - WHERE DID YOU STAY, WHAT ARE YOUR ROUTINES AND SPECIAL SPOTS THERE?

Sweden is super special to me as it's where my boyfriend is from and currently lives. It's become my second home. In the summertime, Sweden is idyllic. After long, harsh and often dark winters, the atmosphere is so positive when the sun finally comes out. The countryside and the lakes in Sweden are what I love most. I could spend hours relaxing by a lake and swimming in the clean open waters, drying off with a cooling walk through the enchanting and quiet woodlands. It’s so peaceful and being in nature like this soothes my soul. It's so simple. 

I stay in Uppsala, just north of Stockholm, with my boyfriend, close to his friends and family. When we're not bathing in the lakes, we go for fika (coffee and a cardamom bun), hang out with friends, go on long walks, take a roadtrip to a nearby town and go thrift store shopping. We take it easy. It's a different pace of life here and thats what I love about it. I can truly relax and go with the flow when I'm here.

WHAT IS YOUR DAILY YOGA ROUTINE? DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS?

I try to do yoga everyday, and if I can’t make it to a class at my local studio, I'll do it at home or in my local park. Whilst travelling, I always practice in my apartment or hotel, even better if there's a balcony or some outdoor space. 

I trained in Strala yoga a couple of years ago and this approach to yoga is my favourite. It is all about 'your' yoga; developing a practice that is personal and that works for you as an individual.

My daily routine is usually an energizing sequence inspired by my strala guide, Tara Stiles. If I go to a class, it will be an invigorating vinyasa flow, hatha, ashtanga or jivamukti - occasionally kundalini. In the evenings, I also like to practice yin or yoga nidra, a more calming sequence of slow and still postures. 

For those new to yoga, I always advise that it takes time to get used to it, and to come to love it. I love the quote 'the teacher comes when the student is ready'. Applied to yoga, I think you really have to be ready and willing to learn yoga and make it a part of your life, rather than just having an impatient attitude towards it. Many people find that yoga is too slow or not challenging enough, whilst others might be put off by a teacher who is not helpful for beginners or who is too spiritual. It took me a few months to really connect with yoga and understand it is more than just a workout but it is a lifestyle and a practice you can continuously learn from and apply throughout all areas of your life. My advice to beginnings is to find a teacher you truly connect to and who's classes you really enjoy. Don't do yoga if you are in search of an intense workout. Do you workout some other time and use yoga to build strength, focus, stamina and mental clarity. It will become a workout in itself as your practice develops. Stick with it. It takes time to build up initial strength and to gain flexibility, but it is possible for anyone and it is deeply healing mentally and physically, and can even help to improve posture and injury over time. It is magical; trust the process.

WE LOVE YOUR COMPANY, QNOLA. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? 

Qnola is a range of quinoa based breakfast goods free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugars. I started making a simple quinoa granola recipe for myself as a healthier alternative to shop-bought granolas, and as something quick and easy to take with me on shoots. It then developed into a worldwide brand, one department store and health food shop after another, as I noticed there was a high demand for the product in the UK. I really wanted to create a more honest and reliable breakfast option that was ready-to-eat to give people a more functional start to the day, and to provide more sustainable energy that didn't require too much time to prepare and add to morning stress. Looking back, I'm not sure how I created such a popular brand, but I think it is down to the product being built on pure passion, rather than just as a way to make a quick buck. Most of the time since starting the business has been like feeling around in the dark. I didn't have business expertise or any food experience, I simply learnt on the job and crossed every bridge whenever I got to it. In a way, it has been for the best, as I haven't always had time to worry or overthink things before they happen. It's been stressful but I've learnt so much and its been an incredible journey. One thing I've learnt and that I love to share with people is that if I can start a business on my own, at the age of 20, then anyone can.

Danielle was kind enough to share one of her healthy snack recipes right 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.

 

Ultimate Wellness Tips Every Woman Should Know for a Healthier Life - For Glamour

Commisions, Wellbeing, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment
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We all want to live a more fulfilling life, right? Well, there's one gal happy to help us out.

Danielle Copperman, aka Model Mange Tout, has penned a new book quite fittingly titled 'Well Being', and has shared her ultimate wellness mantras with GLAMOUR to celebrate.

"Inspired by ancient traditions and slightly adapted to fit easily into busy modern lives, these wellbeing rituals help to give a sense of purpose and structure to each day," explains Danielle. "When your body and mind connect on an energetic level, they become powerful tools for dealing with the side effects of modern life. Instead of abiding by certain rules or forcing habits, it’s about discovery, progression and evolution."

Journaling

It's time to do a Bridget Jones and whip out your notepad. According to Danielle, journaling is a powerful tool to release negative thoughts and free 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," she advises.

Tapping

Love a quirky new wellness trend? It's time to get acquainted with tapping - 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," says Danielle. "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."

Hot Palming

We're all for new beauty tips and tricks to incorporate into our routine and this simple action is really soothing and relaxing for the eyes, especially after a long day, according to Danielle. "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, add this to the end of your routine or simply before bed," she said.

Here's how to do it...

1. 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.

Mindful Eating

Anything with 'eating' in the title has our attention. So what's 'mindful eating' all about?

Explaining the concept, Danielle said: "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."

See full article here.

Well Being Video Series on Youtube

Video, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

Since starting my blog and developing my instagram account, I've always toyed with the idea of creating video content, but have never felt fully compelled to do so. An introvert thru and thru (which I like to think is a good thing), it doesn't come naturally to me to talk about myself, and like most people I know, I really don't like the sound of my own voice. I wanted to create videos that were truly unique and authentic, and that were more about the recipes, rituals and other inspiration I've collected over time, than me. Unsurprisingly, amidst a non-stop modelling career and the day-to-day runnings of my business, I simply didn't have adequate time to focus on this; until now. 

The channel will be an extension of my blog and book (Well Being), and is a space for me to share content, including recipes, rituals, travels, product reviews and other stories as well as inspiration from others. The intention is to go into much deeper detail, providing visual instructions for my favourite (and the most popular) recipes and rituals.

All recipes, as usual, are made using only 100% natural ingredients and are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. All rituals are simplified, fine-tuned practises inspired by ancient traditions that I've picked up from places and teachers all over the world. They have been adapted into relatable and accessible practises intended to fit realistically into modern lifestyles, and are aimed to reduce common stressors and side effects associated with the modern world.

Well Being Video Series Trailer

I hope you enjoy the videos, and if there is anything you would like to see in particular, leave a comment below, on youtube or get in touch directly.