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spending time in nature

Spending Time In Nature

We, as people, change as we get older, we grow physically, mentally and emotionally. With this growth comes a change in our mental function. It is of utmost importance to keep a healthy mind throughout every stage of life. The simplest ways in which we can ensure we provide our brains with the correct tools to function at prime levels during these changes are, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, spending time outdoors in nature, finding activities that stimulate you mentally and also keep you grounded.

Why is it important to spend time in nature?
The fresh air, sun, trees, flowers and animals are all essential tools in living a happier more balanced and relaxed lifestyle. With the vast amount of stimulation we receive all day every day, spending quality time outdoors, whether it’s by yourself or with a fellow adventure seeker is incredibly important to your physical, emotional and psychological well-being. The long-term benefits of connecting with nature are endless. When you connect with your natural surrounding on a regular basis you will start to see an improvement in your mood, it improves your focus, it helps us heal quicker and even supports graceful aging according to some studies. It is essential for children to spend time outdoors playing in the garden or enjoying time in nature. Numerous studies have shown that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors. The benefits of kids playing outside or spending time in nature are endless, let’s have a look at just a few of these:

  • It builds their confidence,
  • it promotes their creativity,
  • it teaches your kids responsibility,
  • it makes them think faster and clearer and
  • it reduces stress and fatigue.
How much time should you spend in nature?

The more time you spend in nature the better. However it is not always possible to spend vast amounts of time outdoors without any disruptions, due to today’s fast passed lifestyle. Starting off with a minimum of 120 minutes of your time per week spent connecting with your natural surroundings, has shown to have an incredibly positive outcome on us humans in general. Children should be spending far more time outdoors than just 2 hours per week, it is for this reason that kindergartens, creches and primary schools allocate significant amounts of outdoor play for their classes.

Connecting with nature and staying grounded go hand in hand – what do we mean when we talk about being grounded…? No, we are not referring to the punishment we used to receive as kids or teens. When we talk about being grounded, we are referring to the activities that connect you to the earth. It allows you to be more authentically in your body, in the present moment and receive nourishing energy.

How do you ground yourself you may ask? Here are a few simple steps you can follow to ground yourself in nature using all of your senses:

Acknowledge 5 things around you

Acknowledge 4 things you can touch

Acknowledge 3 things you can hear

Acknowledge 2 things you can smell

Acknowledge 1 thing you can taste If you are near the ocean, a lake or river put your hands in the water, focus on how it feels against your skin, what the water sounds like – can you hear it flowing or lapping the shore? Can you smell the scent of the water? If you are at the ocean smell the salt in the air. If the water is safe to taste – what does it taste like?

You can use the same technique even when gardening – however it wouldn’t necessarily be safe to taste the soil, unless you have a toddler, they seem to think the ground is a lovely treat from time to time.

connecting with women

The Importance of Connecting with Women in our lives

From a young age we are encouraged to nurture connections and friendships, to connect with those that are considered to be our “tribe”.  But do we really understand the importance of connecting with like-minded people? From our first day of school to the day we enter the work place, or when picking up your children from school, we as humans tend to search for belonging in everyday life. After all, it is human nature to want to connect with people. Whether it’s connecting with friends, a community or family, we form a tribe as we progress through life.

We, as women, tend to have a better understanding of the importance of connecting with people, forming relationships or bonds and nurturing them as we progress through the different stages of life. With that being said, finding your tribe is difficult, especially when it comes to finding a tribe that reflects our own values or values that are similar to our own while fulfilling the need for companionship.

 “A good friend is a connection to life — a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.” — Lois Wyse, Women Make the Best Friends: A Celebration.

Our tribe of ladies are the pillars on which we so often rely heavily on, laugh with, cry with, celebrate with, look to for advice and share stories of our families with. These are the ladies that we share deep conversations, about all walks of life, as women with. Our kids often become friends through these circles and create long lasting bonds for future generations. If you have the chance to keep these friendships from childhood right through to your silver years, you are far richer than you realise. Cherish these connections and make an effort to keep them alive as they can be vital to your spiritual and mental well-being.

women as good friends

In the modern world and especially with how things are currently, connecting with people can become challenging. The question is what are you doing to maintain those connections? There are endless ways to stay in-touch given the current technological advancements. From applications that connect us via interests, hobbies, location, age or careers etc. to Face Timing, WhatsApp video calls or even Zoom, there are so many fantastic ways to keep connected. If the business world can uphold such a high standard and full functionality using just a few of the above-mentioned apps and programs, keeping a close-knit tribe connected shouldn’t be a challenge.

With Woman’s Day just around the corner, we have taken some time to think of a few ways for you and your tribe to connect virtually – due to the restriction we face with the current events.

  • Ladies love having a good chat or a catch up with friends; why not arrange a virtual high tea via zoom. Have one of the ladies in your circle create a digital high tea invite and send it out to your group with the date, time, and the link for the zoom call. That way you all get to see each other, share a delightful slice of your favourite cake and a great cup of home brewed java. 
  • Create a WhatsApp group chat where you can do a quick check-in to see how everyone is doing and share a photo or meme or two. Truth be told laughter is the best medicine, it feeds the soul and lifts your spirits especially during these confusing times.
  • Send a virtual gift, either a voucher or an e-book that could help connect you and a friend.

Create a circle journal using one of our journals – set a time each week to catch up on what you have journaled and share your weekly experiences with those closest to you.

connect with downloadable apps

Downloadable APPs that you can use to connect with like-minded people and share ideas, hobbies, passions etc.

  • Meetup: Expand your social circle with Meetup It uses common interests and location to connect you to others, discover the things you love to do and people to do them with – both online and in person. IOS Download  Android Download
  • Friender: Friender is all about similar interests. Unlike profiles on other apps that focus only on the bio you write for yourself, Friender has users rate their interests in a bunch of activities. It is available for iPhone download only. IOS Download
  • Atleto: If you are on the hunt for a sport or workout buddy; Atleto is the app for you. It connects you with athletes that are interested in the same workouts/sports you are interested in. IOS Download  Android Download
  • HEY! VINA: Missing the days when you were surrounded by your huge group of girlfriends? Hey! Vina, an app made by women for women. IOS Download  Android Download
  • Mom Life: The app that connects you with other pregnant ladies from all over the world, chat with those who are in the same stage of pregnancy as you. IOS Download  Android Download
green diet

Get the best of a leafy green diet

We’ve all been told to “eat our greens” by mom and dad growing up – but do we really know just how vital a rich diet of leafy greens is? In this edition of our monthly blog, we’ll explore the importance of leafy greens and where to grab the best and richest nutrients available.

The Best Sources:

  • Microgreens
    Microgreens are chock full of nutrients, these tiny powerhouses contain much more nutrients than their fully grown counterparts. You can expect to find vitamins C, E and K in this group of leafy greens. Given that microgreens are the immature versions of their vegetable sprouting adults – they can be grown all year round.
  • Spinach
    Spinach is probably the most popular and well publicized leafy green – thanks in part to a certain cartoon character from days of old. This fully-fledged member of the leafy green diet boasts an impressive array of vitamins K and A and a rich source of manganese. Spinach is an excellent source of folate boosting and is particularly beneficial during pregnancy.
  • Cabbage
    Cabbage forms part of the stable diet in many places around the world as well as being synonymous with various cuisines such as sauerkraut in Germany and kimchi in Korea. Cabbage improves digestion, boosts the immune system and may be linked to aiding weight loss.
  • Kale
    Kale has been hyped in the media this past decade and lauded as a superfood; it isn’t hard to see why. With just a cup of a kale (67 grams) you can expect to take care of your daily requirements of vitamin K 6 times over, double your daily needs of vitamin A and well over your daily dose of vitamin C. This rich anti-oxidant is a fantastic addition to any leafy green diet.

      Other important sources:
      Watercress, Beet greens, Romaine Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Turnip Greens & Bok Choy

leafy green diet

The Potential Effects of a Rich Leafy Green Diet:

  • Improvements to Bone Health
    Vitamin K rich leafy greens provide the minerals needed to form osteocalcin; this protein is vital in bone formation and aids your body in sustaining strong and healthy bones.
  • Maintaining a Strong Memory
    Published studies have found that diets which contain at least one serving of leafy green vegetables a day help fight the age-related effects of declining memory. Give your cognition a strong ignition with leafy greens and aid your memory in working as best it can.
  • Helps Combating Type 2 Diabetes
    The bountiful supply of fibre present in leafy greens helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. High fibre foods slow the process of digestion and this in turn slows the rate of sugar absorption into the bloodstream. These fibre rich foods help in preventing hyperglycemia and maintaining a more manageable blood-glucose level.
  • Aids in Maintaining Good Eyesight
    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease which can result in the decline in eyesight or complete elimination of central vision, this can harm your ability to read, write and drive. An exercise rich lifestyle with leafy greens can lower the risks of developing this condition.
  • Lowers Cholesterol Levels
    The fibre present in many leafy greens, particularly Swiss Chard, helps to fight the effects of cholesterol by binding to it, resulting in much more of it being excreted through waste. A rich leafy green diet can lower the risk of heart disease.

Celebrate your health and body by including leafy greens in your daily intake, these powerful foods are a cost effective way of maintaining good health and ensuring your body has access to all the nutrients it needs throughout the day. If you have a garden or balcony you can grow your own greens and ensure you always have access to some excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.

These versatile greens present a myriad of options for intake and consumption, for those on the go perhaps a green juice smoothie to keep you powered up? Join us at Wellness on Alon for your daily dose of green goodness with our juice shots.

leafy diet drink

We wish you all good health & happy eating.

positive energy

Charging your water with positive energy

Humans have approached the concept of water for healing purposes through everything from religion to culture for centuries. The significance of water in our daily lives is undeniable, but how do we approach water? How do we approach our experiences with it?

Let’s look at changing your approach to water and charging your hydration with affirmations.

What will you need?

  • A glass of water, a bottle of water or any container that you feel happy drinking from.
  • A quiet place to sit and reflect.

We begin by sitting down with a glass of water, relaxing ourselves and holding the glass between our hands, being careful not to let our fingertips touch. You want to begin by focusing on positive thoughts and words of affirmation towards the water. The purpose of this is to turn the process of consuming water into a ritual of self-actualisation and affirmation. When creating habits like this around our consumption of water, we build opportunities for introspection and appreciation, both of ourselves and of the life-giving liquid we are enjoying.

Where to start, on what to think?

Ensure you maintain positive thoughts, keep your focus on things that are either beautiful or admirable. Move away from negative thoughts, every time you bring a negative thought into your space, either about someone else or about yourself, you are hurting your growth.

Uplifting words and ideas that celebrate and encourage yourself and others are essential and go a long way towards fostering positive energy.

Shift your perceptions towards the positive, look for the best in yourself and others, focus your energy

positive energy

on your love and gratitude and pair those thoughts with your water.

Look for something, within every situation, to be grateful for.

No matter how intense, stressful or horrible a situation may be, there is always a positive lesson or thought to take away from it. Situations that are negative also serve as opportunities for growth and the creation of strength, perseverance and determination, build on those strengths, take those feelings of achievement and growth and run with their positive implications and associations.

Sit with your glass or bottle of water ready and filter out your negative feelings and emotions by replacing them with those of appreciation and kindness, both to yourself and others.

Speak these words into the water, create build this experience into one that entwines and strengthens you and the water. Reflect on your thoughts, reinforce them and yourself, this process can take as long as you require it to. Identify the thoughts and feelings you want the water to carry and visualize them as you sit, holding your glass. Make sure the focus does not slip away from the affirmations and gratitude you wish the water to reflect and the experience to build.

If you are having trouble creating this vision, thinking about what you wish to alter or remove from your life can be a starting point, build from there towards your positive thoughts and your love and gratitude will flow.

motivation

You may feel that you struggle with motivation or that the thing you are trying to achieve is eluding you.

Create the space and opportunity in your thoughts for greater motivation and more opportunities to achieve, focus on the expansion of potential and move with those thoughts. If you are feeling blocked, ask yourself why, what is preventing me from becoming motivated, turn those blockages into opportunities to remove them from your life.

In all aspects of life, essences or not, if you focus on attempts to fix or alter the external world – your job, family, country, you will be wasting your time and energy.  Attempting to alter systems and others to suit your own needs is not something you have the power to do or the right, instead focus on your inner-self, something you can change, something you can alter and build into a beautiful and thriving thing.  The external world will demand a lot of our energy and drain our positivity if we allow it to do so, focus on yourself and your moment, pour the positivity of your own self-control into your thoughts.

When you are comfortable with the energy you are trying to create within the experience, build into it words and phrases of self-love, success, health, love, and gratitude. Coat the water with these thoughts and feelings and once you feel calm and ready, drink the glass, celebrating yourself and giving thanks for all you have achieved.

Masaru Emoto has published a New York bestseller The Hidden Messages In Water in which he explores water as a blueprint for our reality. Emoto asserts that emotional energies and vibrations can change the physical structure of water. He claims that exposing water to positive speech and thoughts results in the creation of visually pleasing crystals being formed when the water is frozen. Charging water prior to consuming with the vibration of positive words enhances the crystalline structure of the water. You can kick-start your positive water charging journey with our range of inspiring coasters, complete with positive words and phrases to set you off on a healthy start, you can find them here.

peace journal

Mom, Put Yourself on Your To-do List!

Whether you’re a first-time mom, or an old hand at motherhood, we’re willing to bet that you know all about self-sacrifice.  There is hardly a mom we know who doesn’t define the words selfless, generous and caring.  

From sleepless nights and baby burping to early morning school runs, never-ending taxiruns, overflowing laundry baskets (I just did a load yesterday!) and meals that never seem to be enough or please everyone’s taste buds – we know a mother’s work is never done.  

As we celebrate our mothers this month on Sunday the 9th, we’d like to remind every mom not to forget to make time for herself.  Check out our recent blog about self care and the importance of putting yourself first.   And this is exactly what we believe most mothers have a hard time doing – putting themselves at the top of their to-do list. 

As women, we are taught directly and indirectly from a young age what the world expects from us and how to fill these expectations.  While some of these expectations may have sincere origins, they could lead to us simply never saying no, spending all of our time on others and making every effort, using most or all of our energy, to live up to them.  Due to factors such as this, we expect it may be specifically hard for mothers to make the mental shift of putting themselves first.

SInce you are a busy mom, we put together a few tips to help you make the shift to prioritise yourself.

List your Priorities

Make a list of your priorities.  It may look something like this:  Family, Health, Community, Home, Work.  Look at the list and read it again.  Oftentimes our priorities are intertwined, if you aren’t healthy, you can’t go to work for example.   We’re hoping you realise that you are at the core of each of these priorities.  These things are important to you, and if you want to serve them well, you need to be well.  Write down your priorities again, but start the list with your Most Valued Player: You.  When we recently asked a single-parent mother who also runs her own business to rewrite her list, it looked like this:  Me, Kids, Work, Community, Home.  

What do you need?

When asked, most mothers will say they need their family to be happy and healthy.  But today, we want you to think about yourself.  What do you love, what do you miss?  What would you like to have in your life that brings you happiness?  

Here are a few ideas

  • Uninterrupted sleep – this one is for the new moms, or moms with infants.  Regularly ask your partner or a family member to babysit so you can catch up on some z’s.  
  • Alone time to reflect or journal – schedule an hour or two at your favorite coffee shop, or park at least once a week and use the time to jot down your feelings and ideas in a notebook.  
  • A hobby – pick up an old hobby or start a new one by making time for it in your schedule.
  • A treat – we all need a treat every once in a while.  Schedule lunch with a friend, a manicure or a massage and try to do it once every two to three months at least.
  • Exercise – take time a few times a week to get to the gym or go for a walk, get fresh air and work up a sweat.  

Ask for help

The activities you need are completely actionable if you schedule them ahead of time and make proper arrangements.  Ask for help from family members or friends and remember that you would do the same for others when they ask.

Keep the Balance

Here is the answer to every mom who’s knee-jerk reaction at the start of this article which was probably something to the effect of: “how can I put everyone below me on my to-do list? Isn’t that selfish?  Everyone will suffer and nothing will get done!”  Well, mommas, it’s all about balance.  It’s not selfish if you take a few hours per week for yourself, but it may become a very selfish act if you simply disappear every day and only come home to sleep.   Well, selfish but probably mostly unhealthy.  

Keep an eye on how much you take and how much you give to others.  You will know when the balance is off.

Motherhood is one of the most rewarding journeys you will go on in this life.  It is by no means easy.  We hope you are able to accept the challenge and start putting yourself first on your to-do list.  We salute all the mothers in our community and in the world.  You are doing good work.

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.” – M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled. 


PS. Still looking for that PERFECT Mother’s Day gift? Why not check out our Honorary Ritual Pack?

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