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living green during stay at home
Wellness
Published Friday Mar 27, 2020 by Christa Quattrocchi

Environmental Wellness: Creating a Mindful and Green Life at Home

Expert Advice
Renewal

If you’re one of the millions under mandated work from home you may have already noticed that means cooking every meal, taking out the trash more often and, if you’re like us, remodeling your space into a home office/gym every day. With all of this change, it could be pretty challenging to maintain your wellness routine. Here at Mindbody, we’re thinking about well-being beyond the limitations of mental and physical health, including the environmental dimension of wellness. Spending more time at home means more time to make mindful choices of what you invite into your space. 

Small changes to your at-home routine can have a major impact on the health of oceans, farms, and life on earth. Sustainable choices look a little different to each of us, so we rounded up a few of our favorite ways to make a positive impact on our planet from the comfort of your own home. 

Invest in an Essential Oil Diffuser.

Aromatherapy can change the entire vibe of a space but burning through candles can happen quickly and recycling them can be a process. Just a few drops of your favorite essential oils go a long way in a diffuser meaning they’ll last you a really long time and customize your scents. Plus, diffusers oftentimes dupe as a humidifier helping to heal dry skin and even prevent airborne viruses

Take a Virtual Fitness Class with a Friend

You know that yoga teacher 3 towns over that melts every ounce of stress away, but it takes an hour in traffic and a half a tank of gas to get to? Virtual fitness is stepping in to bring your favorite instructors to your living room without having to burn the gas to get there. Community is a core part of fitness and our social wellness relies on staying connected right now. Invite your workout buddy to tune in, roll out your mat, turn on your essential oil diffuser and press play to recreate the essence of your favorite studios right in your living room. 


[Find Virtual Classes in your area (and beyond) now on Mindbody]


Bring in the actual greens and make sure they can thrive in your environment.

Houseplants can purify the air in your home, improve your productivity levels by 15% and can even evoke a sense of calm into your space. Sure, the countless benefits don’t suppress the fear of failing to keep your plant baby alive (don’t worry, we’ve all had a failed attempt). To be sure to commit to caring for plants that enjoy being in your home as much as you enjoy having them there, choose wisely. If you live in a seasonal regional, maybe don’t invite that cactus under your watch and welcome in a fiddle leaf fig instead.

Start with one of these indoor-friendly ferns: philodendron, snake plant, zz plant, spider plant, rubber tree. 


Remodel.

Create a dedicated “office” oasis.: Now that commuting is a thing of the past, mama earth is saying thanks for reducing pollution. Woohoo! Working from home comes with some hurdles, though. It can have us toeing the line between answering emails and binging your new Netflix obsession. But the couch just won’t cut it as a productivity throne. Dedicate a sacred space for work to keep that work-life balance in check. 


Breaking up with plastic. An Exercise.

Go around the house and collect all the plastic you have in a box, this includes your hand soap, shampoo, that extra set of take-out utensils, toothpaste, zip lock bags, the list goes on. Each time one of those items runs out, replace it with an eco-friendly alternative like a shampoo bar, silicone zip bags, and bamboo travel utensils. 

Pro-Tip: Hang onto glass jars from finished kitchen items, like peanut butter, jam and mayo. When you’re shopping, go for the products that come in glass so you can compile a collection without dishing out more $$$ on glass containers. 


Invest in reusable containers and bags.

From mason jars to hemp produce bags, there are so many options for swapping your plastic containers for sustainable storing. 

Hint: Keep your reusable bags by your door so you don’t forget them when you go to the grocery store or if you’re packing to bring items out to a gathering. 


Keep plant-based kitchen staples on hand.

Many studies showcase the positive environmental impact that a plant-based diet poses. If you’re not ready to go full vegan yet, start with small swaps of the plant versions of your household staples. Here are a few of our favorite substitutes that could easily pass for the “real thing.” 

Oat milk – the creamiest of all the non-dairy milk goes to oats, making it a perfect swap in your coffee and nut-allergy friendly.

Butter – Margarine has been a plant-based secret for years. We also love Miyokos butter, which truly skates by as the real thing when slathered on a slice of toast. 

Mayo – Eggless mayonnaise works wonders and can bring dairy-free creaminess to spreads and salad dressings. Plus, many brands come in glass jars! 

Plant Protein Powder – With plenty of options on the market, you’re sure to find a flavor that will add some power to your smoothies without empowering greenhouse gas emissions. 

Eggs – When baking, you can substitute eggs for flax ‘eggs'! 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 tbsp water = 1 egg. 


Minimize your Amazon packaging waste.

Did you know that you can request your Amazon orders to be plastic-free with minimal packaging? Just follow these simple steps: 

  1. Go to the ‘Help/Customer Service’ section of your account. 
  2. Select ‘Contact Us’ and use the chat option to make a request that all future orders be plastic-free and where absolutely necessary only use bio-degradable materials like paper. 
  3. Viola! 

Unplug (some of) your appliances when you’re not using them.

Collectively, devices plugged in on sleep mode can rack up $19 billion in electricity costs worldwide. Things like your toaster oven, blender, and cell phone charger can save some serious electricity if you unplug them when they’re idle. Put those pennies back in your pocket and save the planet while doing so. 


Let the sunshine in.

This is a two in one. Giving your curtains a break is not only an easy way to minimize electricity usage, but it can also be great for your overall wellness. Natural light can be an awesome mood improver, productivity booster, and sleep aid.  

Keep up the momentum of greener living by trying more virtual classes on Mindbody. Even swapping out one car trip to your favorite studio for a virtual class can have a lasting impact on this planet. Share more ways you're going green right now on Instagram and tag @mindbody! We'll share the love. 

Christa Quattrocchi Headshot
Written by
Christa Quattrocchi
Acquisition Program Manager
About the author
Christa is a 300hr certified yoga instructor on a soulful journey to integrate spiritual practices, such as astrology, tarot, and pranayama, in her guidance both on and off the mat. She is Mindbody’s resident witch and advertising aficionado. Beyond her credentials, you can find Christa channeling creativity through writing, cooking plant-based goodness, & surfing her home waters in sunny San Diego.
woman with short hair staring into camera
Wellness
Published Thursday Apr 01, 2021 by Denise Prichard

Your Guide to Releasing Stress and Finding Peace

Expert Advice
Wellness
Self-care

Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.

With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."

There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.

Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:

shanila sattar header
 
1. Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice  

When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey. 

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2. I Tried Virtual Meditation...Here’s What I Learned 

Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?) 

TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra. 

dani schenone yogi
 
3. Accessible Yoga Poses for Emotional Balance and Release 

Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.  

shanila sattar header
4. Top Breathing Exercises for Anxiety and Depression and The New Normal

Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.

destress with yoga
 
5. The "Staying Grounded" Guide to Stress and Anxiety Pre- and Post-COVID-19

If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.

woman meditating
 
6. How to Meditate: A Beginner's Guide

Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.

woman in down dog
 
7. Cultivate Your Calm with These 7 Yoga Poses

There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.

shanila sattar header
 
8. Mindfulness Tips to Stay Intentional, Focused, and Aligned in 2021

We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.

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9. Why It's Time to Try a Healing Virtual Sound Bath

If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.

These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.  

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.