On & Around the Street

Five Ways To Look After Body And Soul In 2021

If ever there was a year to be kind to yourself, 2021 is it. With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continuing to cast a pall of uncertainty and fear in our lives, this is a time to set resolutions that nourish and empower.

Less than 10% of people who set resolutions manage to achieve them, which means that the overwhelming majority of us are left with a sense of failure and inadequacy. So, this year, make a commitment to yourself to pursue joy and health and leave the rigid metrics out of it.

From just taking the time to regularly practise self-care to investing in your space in preparation for when we can once again entertain our friends at home, here are five easy ways to give sustenance to body and soul this year.

Read our lockdown survival guide

Image: Tetiana Shyshkina/Unsplash

Practice Creative Mindfulness

2020 saw a surge in creativity and crafting, with many people praising the capability of creative pursuits to generate feelings of productivity and control in these unpredictable times, as well as bringing the mind to focus on the now by disengaging from daily triggers. Most importantly: you don’t need to consider yourself to be ‘creative’ to start creating.

Try stream-of-consciousness journaling with a beautiful fountain pen from  Papersmiths in a Smythson notebook; order a bouquet of flowers from Moyses Stevens and sketch or paint a few blooms; or have a go at knitting (2020’s breakout craft) with wool and needles from Peter Jones. Head to Pinterest or YouTube for inspiration and all the know-how details.

Urban Retreat at the White House

Put Your Health First

Optimise your health by addressing underlying gut issues at the Khera-Griggs Cleanse Clinic at Urban Retreat at The White House. Renowned nutritionist and colonic practitioner Amanda Griggs provides a bespoke integrative approach, with treatments designed to deliver results for your insides with colonics and nutritional guidance, supported by craniosacral therapy, reflexology and massage. Colonics start from £140.

Anemone bouquet from Moyses Stevens

Spread Lightness And Joy

Happiness is contagious. Researchers at Harvard University have proved it. Small acts of kindness intended to spread happiness in your community can have far-reaching positive effects. And Buddhists have long been aware of the joy-inducing effects of working to make someone else happy.

Performing acts of kindness can also increase life satisfaction, positive mood, and peer acceptance. It can stimulate the release of serotonin and oxytocin, which can increase trust, and reduce fear and anxiety.

Bring a little light to your community by supporting your local retailers, like the artisan food stores on Pavilion Road, with not only your custom but a friendly word and a smile, thoughtful and unexpected gifts or flowers, a helping hand, a morale check-in and warm courtesy to strangers.

Try Fasting

Try Fasting

Free from the temptations of socialising and restaurants, and the raised eyebrows of friends, lockdown offers the perfect time to try time-restricted eating, the latest fasting trend. Start off by going 12 hours between meals (good news: sleeping counts!), then build up to longer fasts of 14,16 or 18 hours without eating.

Fasting has been used to improve health for millennia and has been shown to reverse diabetes by reducing insulin (the fat-storing hormone), control epilepsy, lose fat (and keep it off), increase growth hormone that helps to preserve muscle mass and bone density, increase metabolic rate, and kick-start autophagy, the body’s self-detoxification process.

Another benefit of fasting? It gives you a whole new appreciation for food. Make your mealtimes matter by choosing organic vegetables from Natoora, meat from Provenance Village Butcher and fish from The Sea, The Sea.

Image: Spencer Davis/Unsplash

Develop Self-Care Rituals

Remember aeroplanes? Remember the safety warning to “put your oxygen mask on first before helping others”? There is sage wisdom in that exhortation.

In case of emergency, passengers have just seconds to put on their oxygen masks before oxygen-saturation levels drop to a perilous point and they become incapable of helping anyone, let alone themselves.

In the case of life on terra firma, the lesson is that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can experience burnout, stress, fatigue, diminished mental effectiveness, health issues, anxiety, and insomnia.

So whether it’s a long bath and a Sarah Chapman face mask, a meditation or mindfulness practice, some quiet time reading a book, a spa treatment at Urban Retreat or at new Chelsea clinic Natali Kelly, taking a nap in luxurious bedding from The White Company or Yves Delorme, or just doing something that lights you up, be sure to take care of yourself.