Spring and Summer are the seasons when ‘detoxing’ seems to work its way up to the top of the self-care list for many of us. Whether it’s due to over-indulging in the Winter months, wanting to feel lighter and brighter, or just as a way to reinvigorate ourselves from the inside-out, ‘detoxing’ is a self-care practice most suitable for warmer and sunnier months ( rather than the cold and dark depths of January 1st!).
When it comes to detoxifying however, there’s a lot more to it than sipping green juice and abstaining from alcohol. Our world today holds an undeniably high level of toxins, and they appear in everyday products without us even knowing about it. From water to skincare products, pesticides and personal care items, the chemicals that go into making these items can do more harm than good. As well as physical toxins, we also experience emotional and energetic ‘toxins’ on a daily basis too; ‘toxic’ relationships, a cluttered environment, or simply too much time spent indoors without natural light. Most of the time, it’s even more important to detoxify our lifestyles than to focus on a strict physical detox for greater overall health and wellbeing, and a lighter, brighter mood. Read on for our top 5 ways to detox your lifestyle!
Living in a cluttered environment isn’t just a practical annoyance – it often creates a sense of dis-order in the mind too. Our environment has a huge impact on the way we feel; think about stepping into a serene minimalist yoga studio, versus clambering over piles of books, clothes and half-finished projects at home. A space which literally has more space helps cultivate a more relaxed mind, and when the mind is more relaxed, it helps us access our creativity more readily. Objects also hold a lot of emotional energy – possessions that once belonged to someone you’d rather not think about; or items you no longer need but hold on to ‘just in case’. All of these things energetically weigh us down and prevent us from moving on in life. Give your home a detox by choosing one room, and a specific number of items you’re going to either donate or get rid of – perhaps five items from your bedroom. Set a time limit too, which means you’ll be much more likely to do a quick and efficient job.
Tools to help you de-clutter:
Most of us know what it’s like to be in the presence of someone we’d consider ‘toxic’. Whether it’s a friend, relative, work colleague or employer, there’s no shame in recognizing that some relationships just aren’t compatible, no matter who your source of toxicity is. Toxic relationships are damaging because they cause feelings of low self-worth, fear, helplessness, anxiety, insecurity, and paranoia, all of which cause a great deal of stress to the nervous system. As you no doubt already know, stress is not something we want to be experiencing on a regular basis! So, finding ways to navigate (or navigate away from) toxic relationships is vital. Set boundaries with anyone you consider ‘toxic’, and hold your ground when you tell them you’re not available to meet. Instead of getting drawn into their drama or personal issues, practice the art of detaching, so that when they’re telling you about their problems, you can reply with a simple ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’. Remember, it’s not your job to fix anyone or support anyone you aren’t comfortable with, so put yourself first and decrease the amount of time you’re exposed to toxic relationships.
Tools to help you re-think relationships:
If you’re conscious about health and wellbeing, it might seem as though your home is unlikely to be a source of toxins. The truth is however, that pains, varnishes, furniture, air fresheners, cleaning products, and even carpets can all harbor toxins that seep into the air and potentially cause illness. A simple way to start detoxing the home is to open your widows more often – a common practice in Germany where it’s referred to as luften, the art of ventilating the home to encourage good respiratory health. Swapping toxic cleaning products for eco-friendly brands is also a game-changer when it comes to removing toxins from the home, or make your own using white vinegar and essential oils. Another useful way to prevent a build-up of toxins in the home is to invest in organic materials for your furniture, such as organic cotton and hemp, and swapping carpet for wooden floors.
Tools to freshen up the home:
Do you ever feel as though your schedule is so busy, that you barely have space to pause and breathe? Just as a build-up of toxins within the body and home can cause illness, so too can a build-up of being overly busy cause immense stress on the mind and emotions. Detoxing your diary is a great way to become more aware of what you really want to spend your time on, and what you’re simply wasting time on. Being more efficient with our time is also a great way to create more space for relaxation and recovery, so think about how you can ‘stack’ your habits, such as combining exercise with socialising by heading to a gym class or going for a jog with a friend. Committing to one day a week where you don’t have to rush and hurry is a wonderful way to help your nervous system return to a state of relaxation, so try scheduling in a day (or even one hour) of self-love as a priority.
Tools to help you detox your diary:
I was told a long time ago that emotions are ‘energy-in-motion’ and that they need to move. Holding on to emotions or stuffing them down is a stressful and burdening force on the body and mind. Very often, even physical ailments like back pain or chronic skin and hormonal have a direct link to emotional stress and turmoil, and many people find that by resolving these issues, their physical problems are curbed too. Emotional detoxing starts with being aware of exactly what emotions you may be holding on to. This could involve setting a timer for five minutes and allowing time to ‘dump’ all your thoughts into your journal, or speaking with someone you trust about what’s on your mind. Spending much less time on social media is a great way to reduce emotional toxicity, and whenever possible, moving your body in nature can also do wonders for helping process emotions. Working with a professional to help overcome trauma, anxiety or depression can be an incredibly valuable and life-changing decision, and there are plenty of people out there ready and waiting to lend a hand.
Tools to help you emotionally detox:
- Use the Moleskine Wellness Journal to write down thoughts and emotions you’ve been holding on to.
- Naming and labeling emotions can help make them easier to work through. The Box of Emotions by the Wellcome Collection contains 80 different emotions to explore.
- Goodbye Phone, Hello World by Paul Greenberg offers 65 bite-size device-free ways to rebalance yourself, scientifically proven to promote true happiness.
Emma is a 500hr qualified Yoga teacher, musician, massage therapist, cook, and writer. Having grown up surrounded by Yoga and meditation, Emma began her practice at a young age and has continued to study and develop her understanding of Yoga on a daily basis. Training internationally with inspirational teachers, Emma’s passions her now lie primarily in philosophy and Yoga off the mat. Emma currently teaches regularly in Sussex, co-leading teacher trainings, retreats, workshops and kirtans, and also manages the Brighton Yoga Festival.