It’s time to ditch the yoga pants… – As the world opens up again, many women have been expressing anxiety at having to get dressed up and see people after a year at home, often in yoga pants. While exotic beach holidays may not be on the horizon just yet, for many women, particularly this year, the idea of baring their lockdown bodies is less than appealing.
Let’s face it – we’ve all picked up a bad habit or two over the last year, so instead of dreading facing our summer wardrobes, let’s get practical and embrace the warmer weather for all that it can bring. A lot of body confidence is just that – confidence. It’s an attitude rather than real perfection and it pays to remember that we don’t have the luxury of a physical airbrush to take away our own imperfections. There are some concrete steps you can take to making the best of what you’ve got and feel better in the process.
Brush that skin! Dry brushing helps stimulate the circulation, get rid of old skin cells, and give skin a healthy glow. Always make sure strokes are towards the heart area so that you are working with, rather than against your body’s circulatory pattern. The brush will slough of dead skin cells, smoothing skin and helping get rid of mottled areas.
Nourish! After your shower or bath, nourish the skin and bring it the moisture it needs to feel soft and smooth and banish flakiness. Thicker body butters with oils like jojoba and sweet almond are great for this job. Keep up the routine for a week or two and you will see a real difference. Adding essential oils like lemon, grapefruit and juniper will harness their detoxifying abilities and can help to tackle cellulite too.
Water, water, water. We simply can’t expect our bodies to function efficiently if they don’t have enough water to do the job. We all know that water is linked to better concentration, less fatigue, better transportation of toxins. Yet it is amazing how many of us feel it is difficult to drink the recommended 2 litres a day. Top tips include filling a 2-litre bottle and leaving it by the kettle – swig it whenever you walk by and definitely when you put the kettle on for a cuppa.
Swapping coffee and tea for herbal tea can also help to increase your water intake without caffeine’s diuretic effect. Choose herbs that will help you deal with any other symptoms: chamomile to support digestion and reduce stress, peppermint for nausea and nettle to provide extra vitamins and minerals. Remember you can drink herb teas cold too for a refreshing herbal tonic through the day.
Move more. It’s true that movement and exercise helps increase endorphins – the feel-good brain chemicals. Parking further from the train, taking the stairs, making time for exercise all helps get our circulation moving and improve our mood. In turn we get more body-confidence.
Curb those carbs! In the winter months we are more likely to reach for stodgy foods to keep us warm – and that is quite natural and sometimes necessary. But we both know that winter is a long time gone so if you are still hanging on to comfort foods, now is the time to ditch them in favour of fresh fruit, veg and salads.
There is a lot you can do on your own to dramatically change the situation and leave you feeling more upbeat about summer. Your body will thank you for it and you will start to feel more energised, and you get some of your old vitality back.
Pamela is a medical herbalist who runs one to one clinics, teaches widely and advises industry leaders on product development. She has been advising Twinings as their herbal expert since 2016. To learn more about using herbs every day to support your health, get her free guide here.