Alexx Stuart offers 10 quick things you can do to lead a conscious, low-tox life
Whether this is your first curious dive into this gorgeous magazine and thinking more holistically about the way you live, or you have a friend you want to help who’s new to it all and is worried about everything and finding it hard to do anything, I want to share 10 things you could do in literally the time it takes for the kettle to boil, to increase your toxin-reducing, eco-conscious, wholefood-loving mojo. Read my top tips for a conscious, low-tox life.
- Breathe. Once upon a time before all the tech, before the 50 million after-school activities, back-to-back meetings and all the after-work catch-ups, we had space to chill several times a day. You and I both know that these days if you don’t carve it out, you simply don’t get it. Our sympathetic nervous systems are lit up like Christmas trees these days and it’s doing nothing for our health to be wired 24/7. So 10 deep breaths; 4 slow counts in; pause at the top of the breath for 2 counts and 6–8 slow counts out.
- Do a mini workout. We sit too much. We have too much screen time. You could do 30 squats or jog on the spot to get your heart rate going for a couple of minutes while looking out into whatever distance you can from your window to take a good screen break.
- Hug your partner, bestie or family member for more than 30 seconds. It’s clinically proven to raise oxytocin levels — hellooooo to the love hormone and all the good vibes it brings for a low-tox mind.
- Chop a week’s worth of meal starters. Do you find yourself always hating the psyche-up to get started on dinner? It’s always grabbing that first onion and knife and chopping that’s the hurdle. Once you’re into it, it’s happening and it’s all good. So why not chop up a few jars of starter veg for soups, stews, casseroles and stir-fries?
- Throw a whole meal in a pot or tray. Sometimes we overcomplicate things on the busiest of days, right when we need to keep it simple. Pop a few organic vegies, a slow-cooked meat or other protein, some tomato, some broth and dried spices into a big crockpot and pop it in the oven. You can do that while the kettle’s boiling and six hours later at dinner time? Dinner is ready to serve!
- Give yourself a little massage. Sit down with a nice tea and a lovely body oil and give yourself a foot and calf massage for a couple of minutes. It’s delicious to do and you feel so good for it afterwards.
- Decompress by earthing. Remove shoes. Stand barefoot in grass, sand, soil or sea and just BE for a few minutes. This simple act can turn a wrong day right. Research papers have proven time and again that it can reduce blood pressure and slow the heart rate. Dr Stephen Sinatra, board-certified cardiologist, is a HUGE fan of earthing ourselves and suggests a minimum of 50 minutes per week, based on the research into minimum viable benefit.
- Make up a multipurpose kitchen/bathroom spray. I’m not a huge, mother-earth, everything-DIY person, but a multipurpose spray is a no-brainer, even for the laziest of DIYers among us. Grab an empty spray bottle, fill it with half filtered water and half white vinegar, add 1 teaspoon of castile soap and 20 drops of your favourite essential oils and voila! You have a brilliant multipurpose spray that’s good to go.
- Make a coffee body scrub. Another idiot-proof DIY recipe from my rotating staples: get spent grounds from your cafe’s coffee waste, put half a cup into a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, ½ teaspoon of vanilla powder, 1 tablespoon of sea salt and voila! A brilliant body scrub practically free.
- Order yourself a couple of gorgeous pure beeswax candles with cotton wicks. Scented and soy-based candles can bring pollution due to their ingredients or the way the soy is processed, but beeswax can actually work to purify and cleanse indoor air as it burns. What a clever thing! What’s more, the captivating calm of the flicker of a flame at the dinner table or as an end-of-day light-dimming transition to bed gives you a calmer, more connected experience — and the sweet smell of beeswax along the way.
See how much you can do that’s simple, cost-happy and time-happy towards a more conscious, low-tox way of doing things? The worst thing any of us could do is nothing simply because we don’t know where to start, so enjoy turning this list into your own short-term and quick-winning list or, as I said, feel free to share it with a newbie to show them how easy doing these things can be.
'Union' is at the heart of yoga, but what does it mean?
Over the centuries, a vast pool of philosophical wisdom has developed around the concept of “union”. Exploring the pool of...
10 ways to practise self-care
We take care of our physical bodies without even thinking, but we’re not always so good at taking the same...
11 ways to meditate in under a minute
Alexx Stuart shows us how to meditate and stay mindful even when life gets busy. Here are 11 ways to...
Find out how meditation, gut health and your skin are linked
Meditation was once seen as a spiritual practice reserved solely for yogis but has now become widely recognised as something...