As a working mum of two children under the age of three, I struggle to find the time to take care of myself. Don't get me wrong, I wash every day (the reason for mentioning this will soon become apparent!), do a bit of yoga when the kids are in bed and get the occasional massage, but there is a distinct lack of 'me time' in my life right now.
So when I was invited to Weleda head office to hear about a stress relieving activity that can easily be squidged into the busiest of days, I was keen to find out more ....
Last week, Weleda launched a mindfulness colouring book as part of their 2016 Christmas gift range. The beautiful book features the intricate designs of talented artist Lizzie Hobbs, who spent a year researching lead plants and key ingredients in Weleda's extensive range of organic, biodynamic health and beauty products.
The book is made up of twelve pages to colour in, with each page telling the story of a particular ingredient; for example, Jasmine is an Indian flower that releases its intoxicating scent at night, so the henna-like pattern comprises of a striking mandala with stars, hawk-moths and peacocks. In contrast, Calendula has a strong heritage in English herbal medicine, so the flower is set against a backdrop pattern of medieval floor tiles and Tudor timberwork.
Mindfulness colouring books have been around for a while now, but what is mindfulness, exactly, and why does colouring help us to achieve it?
Or to put it simply, use your senses to experience the present moment fully. By doing this, we learn to switch off from the mental chatter that dominates the stressed mind. Any simple, repetitive activity focuses the attention and calms the mind. Colouring makes mindfulness easy and accessible.
"Filling a page with carefully and thoughtfully chosen colour, feeling the pencil in your hand, hearing the sounds it makes when it runs along the page, concentrating on your breathing and feeling the sensations of bringing the illustration to life."
Weleda's Mindfulness Wash Gift set, priced at a purse-friendly £17.95, partners the colouring book with five luxury body washes. The premise is simple; choose a body wash (my favourite is pomegranate, closely followed by rose) and start or end your day with a mindfulness meditation in the shower!
Having tried the two activities for nearly a week now, I have been thrilled at how better able I have been at coping with the demands of a busy, stressful life. The most common complaint I hear amongst friends is that there are not enough hours in the day. Time seems to fly by whilst our to-do lists only get longer. The simple act of mindful colouring and the enjoyable mindfulness shower meditation really help me to slow down and clear my head.
Mindfulness is associated with a whole host of benefits, including stress reduction, better memory, improved concentration, increased immune function and relationship satisfaction. Why wouldn't you want in?!
So if you know of anyone who could use a short cut to stress relief, consider treating them to a wonderful gift that will cleanse their mind as well as their body this Christmas!
Complementary therapist and natural health expert. On a mission to sprinkle health and wellness wherever I go...