It’s clear the challenges of the pandemic are taking a huge toll on our mental wellbeing. A new investigation by The Guardian has revealed an increase in calls to mental health helplines, as well as a rise in prescriptions for antidepressants. If you or a loved one needs support, contact your GP or an organisation such as Mind or Samaritans. When it comes to looking after your wellbeing, we love a mindfulness app, such as Headspace or Calm, which have just been unveiled as two of the world’s most popular health downloads. Also, ask your pharmacist about herbal products that may help (we love Kalms Lavender Capsules). Plus, check out these exercises that can assist with managing anxiety – from yoga to forest bathing.
Back in 2019, the Letters To The Earth project asked people to submit letters to or from the planet and different species, as well as future and past generations. More than 1,000 arrived in the first month, from children, scientists, activists, artists and nurses. Now some have been made into a book. With an intro by actor Emma Thompson, Letters To The Earth (includes audio and ebook formats) shares thoughts on loss, love, hope and action in response to the climate emergency and coronavirus pandemic. Definitely worth moving to the top of your reading list.
Let this sink in: at least 93% of Black people in the UK have experienced hair-related racial microaggressions. That’s according to a new Pantene report, in partnership with Black Minds Matter and Project Embrace. It found that 46% have experienced uninvited hair touching; 22% have been sent home from school or work because of hair styles; and 52% say this type of discrimination has negatively impacted self-esteem and mental health. In a bid to tackle this huge issue, new campaign ‘My Hair Won’t Be Silenced’ shares three ways for everyone to make a change: call out discrimination, arm non-Black people with knowledge, and never touch hair without consent. Check out the powerful campaign video here.
Between the cold weather, indoor heating and #masklife, our parched pouts are often in need of TLC. So, it’s no surprise that sales of lip balm are on the rise. Want in? Here are some of our faves: This Works Stress Check Lip Mask, with soothing oils, including sweet almond, yummy chocolate and peppermint; Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Care SPF20 for long-lasting and intense moisture, plus SPF; and NARS Afterglow Lip Balm in Torrid for a nourishing pop of mauve or peachy colour. Your lips will thank you.
Rise, shine… then get back under the duvet to work? That’s the case for many people based at home at the moment, with 56% doing their 9-5 from bed. After all, not everyone has space for a separate working area. If you’re powering through from your pillow, steal these tips from chiropractor Paul McCrossin and mattress brand Otty:
Sit upright with a cushion behind your lower back. Put your computer on something in front of you as a makeshift desk – raise it to almost chest height, so you’re not slouched or looking down.
Take movement breaks every 30-45 minutes. Do exercises that are opposite to the position you’ve just been in. For example, if you’ve been sitting slouched, enjoy stretching your arms above your head.
Tune in to your energy, productivity and how you’re feeling to make sure your set-up is working for you. And speak to your GP if you’re experiencing any discomfort or back problems.