Summer is fast approaching and already we have been blessed with beautiful warm weather. The days are now longer and those few extra hours of sunshine make all the difference when it comes to being social. After-work drinks and dinners are no longer a hassle but something we excitedly plan with friends and co-workers. But for those of us carrying a little extra Winter weight, these social occasions can be a little daunting as we are starting to think about our Summer bodies!
Often when you feel stressed, it’s easy to give into feelings of despair and helplessness. By doing this you immediately allow it to take control and defeat you – when really it is you who has the ability to control the way in which stress can affect you.
When it comes to dealing with stress we have put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts that we find can make all the difference.
Ahhh, the dreaded Winter is finally upon us which means shorter days, lack of sunlight, freezing cold weather and the overwhelming urge to stay in bed… just for 5 more minutes! It also means the days of leisurely, enjoyable outdoor activities cease to exist as we fall prey to the endless Winter related excuses for why we can’t get up and go; it’s raining, it looks like it might rain, it’s too dark, it’s cold, I just downloaded Netflix and now I can’t leave the house.. Continue reading
Daylight savings have officially ended, and so have those extra hours of glorious sunlight.. As we begin the swift inevitable descent into Winter, along come those dreaded Winter Blues!
Winter Blues are a more common term for what’s known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which 1 in 300 Aussies suffer from every year. A big part of SAD is to do with the Sun. Sunlight not only provides us with Vitamin D, but it also helps improve our moods as it’s exposure releases neurotransmitters in the brain that affect our mood. With a lack of sunlight in the Winter months, our brains must work overtime to produce Melatonin – a hormone that helps to regulate your body clock and sleep patterns. It has also been linked to depression, which is a symptom of SAD along with fatigue, irritability, inability to concentrate, carbohydrate cravings and weight gain.
So what can we do to combat these blues? Here are our favourite tips!
Embrace the Weather
Instead of dreading Winter, embrace the things it brings that you can’t appreciate at other times of the year; like sitting by the fire, cuddled up with a blanket, a good book and a hot chocolate. Or you could take up a Winter hobby like skiing, snow boarding or ice skating. You might be cold while you’re out there, but we’ll bet you’ll be having too much fun to notice!
Having something to look forward to can be really motivating. Time flies when you’re excited and counting down the days to something – so make the effort to organise things you can look forward to. Plan a weekend away with friends, have a pampered night in, go out for dinner and a movie. Whilst it’s easy to fall into the habit of staying in when it’s cold and uninviting inside, you’re more likely to feel happier when you’re out and about with friends and family.
Get up and get out there! Exercise is a great way to boost your feelings of wellbeing and help you stay positive. It helps release feelings of stress, increases your energy and helps release feel good chemicals that improve your mood. There’s no need to risk a cold running in the rain, as there’s plenty of work outs you can accomplish without leaving the house. Do an indoor aerobic work out DVD, try out hula hooping (great for overall fitness and strengthening your core), or just put on your favourite music and dance it out!
Certain smells and aromas can be comforting when they remind you of a happy memory. Use aromatherapy to lift your spirits by lighting a scented candle or adding a few drops of essential oils to your bath at the end of a long day.
Citrus scents like Orange, Mandarin, Ginger, Lime and Lemon are known to energise, rejuvenate and uplift – perfect for reviving your zest! Lavender, Sandalwood and Jasmine are known to soothe and relax. Rosemary, Cinnamon and Peppermint aromas invigorate your senses aiding mental fatigue, boosting energy and improving concentration and focus.
Milk & Co Tip: For first thing in the morning, try Milk Body Wash with Rosemary and Mint aromas that will revitalise your mind and body. At night, try Milk Baby Nighty Night spray. The Lavender and Chamomile aromas will soothe, calm and relax your mind aiding a good night’s sleep and reducing fatigue.
Brighten up your surroundings
Just because it’s dull and grey outside, doesn’t mean it has to be the same inside. Add a few splashes of colour to your home or work decor with some bright artworks or photos, invest in colourful throw pillows – or if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a fresh coat of paint to brighten things up?
Unless you’re one of the very lucky people heading off on an amazing sunny getaway any time soon – Winter is almost here, so it’s time to embrace it. If you’re one of the many people that knows you find it a little difficult to make it through the season – know that you are not alone and there are ways to get through it! We hope we’ve given you a few great ideas to brighten up your mood when the days themselves aren’t so bright.
In the meantime, we promise to keep you warm with frequent posts of sun drenched beaches and getaways via our Instagram page!
When it comes to health and wellbeing one of the most common phrases is ‘you are what you eat’. How true is that? Does chocolate really cause pimples? Will a green juice give my face an unwavering healthy glow? Well as clinical nutritionist Samantha Heller puts it “Everything you eat becomes a part not only of your inner being, but of the outer fabric of your body as well”. Therefore the healthier and more nutritional things you put in your body, the better your skin will look.
After conducting a little research of our own, we’ve put together a list of things that will give you that incredible complexion you’ve been searching for, and also the things you should avoid at all costs.
- Vitamin A helps promote skin repair and maintenance. A deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to dry skin, so munching on carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, spinach or chilli can help keep flakiness at bay.
- Vitamin C is a super antioxidant that aids your immune system, helps blemishes heal and keeps your skin looking radiant. Antioxidants help protect your skin cells, leaving less chance of them being damaged by things like sun exposure. By protecting your cells from damage and disintegration you also guard against premature aging. Now if you’re not a fan of orange juice, there are plenty of other foods you can get your daily dose of Vitamin C from: blackcurrants, blueberries, kiwi fruits, papaya, strawberries, sweet potato and broccoli.
- Vitamin E supports healthy skin growth. If you don’t know, our skin cells are constantly shedding and being replaced by newer younger cells – which is why you need a steady supply of nutrients to support this growth and regeneration. You can get Vitamin E from almonds, avocado and hazelnuts… in case you wanted another excuse for a spoonful of Nutella!
- Fat is not a bad word… in the right food. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in avocados, fish, nuts and seeds provide essential fatty acids that act as a natural moisturiser for your skin. Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of fish and still want to stay soft and supple, because that’s what Milk & Co moisturisers are there for!
- Zinc rich foods like fish, lean red meat and poultry help aid your sebaceous glands which produce oil, and in turn repair skin damage and keep it soft. Vegetarians needn’t worry as you can still get your dose of Zinc from whole grains, nuts and seeds.
- Selenium is an antioxidant that aids skin elasticity you can find it in eggs, salmon, tomatoes, broccoli or Brazil nuts. You can get your recommended daily amount from just 4 nuts!
- Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect your cell membranes. Recent studies have shown green tea when taken orally or applied to the skin can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet lights (like the sun’s glorious but damaging rays) which can help decrease your risk of skin cancer.
Now before you run off to the supermarket to stock up on the above, it’s important you know about the things that taste oh-so-good, but are not a friend to you and that perfect complexion of yours.
- Processed sugars. No surprise here… but why is it so bad? Apart from the obvious highs that can send you crashing post snickers bar – processed sugars degrade the collagen and elastin in your skin. These two properties keep your skin soft and springy, without them you can say hello to saggy skin and wrinkles. No thanks! Not just in the obvious lollies and sodas, even the most “healthy” cereals, juices and smoothies can contain high amounts of sugar. If you’re not sure, read the label first!
- Alcohol, you are a fickle friend of ours. Every day there’s a new ‘study’ that tells us a glass a day or every now and then is good for us, but for every good there is bad. In this case alcohol – being a natural diuretic – dehydrates you and in turn your skin. By sapping the natural moisture out of your skin it can shine a bright light on those wrinkles and fine lines.
- Coffee is also a diuretic that can have dehydrating effects – and not to mention stain your teeth – so try and mix it up with a green tea every now and then.
- If you’ve ever woken up with puffy eyes after a night out, curse that sneaky cheeseburger you ate the night before. Too much salt aids water retention and leads to swelling in areas. Because the skin around your eyes is so thin and delicate it’s one of the first places to puff up.
- High glycemic foods (aka simple carbs) like white breads, pasta, cake are linked to acne because when you eat foods like these your body can experience a surge in insulin and glucose. To avoid this, switch to wholegrain options.
- Fast food. You didn’t think we could make it through a list of no no’s without mentioning it did you? Trans fats, most commonly found in fast food and margarine are not those good fats we talked about earlier. These guys clog your arteries, which prevent water getting through to hydrate your skin and keep its elasticity. These fats can also clog your pores which can lead to nasty break outs. Sorry McDonalds but our skin ain’t lovin it.