Ella's Monthly Wellness Blog: February 2024

The shortest month of the year has certainly flown by with a whirlwind of things going on in the office, coupled with half term, a hundred kids' birthday parties and some big deadlines for our new products. So, my commitment to short, effective wellness tools that help me feel energised, balanced and calm has never been higher!

I like looking at life as a series of chapters and whilst I don’t believe we can ‘do it all’ any one time, or in any given chapter, that doesn’t mean you can’t ‘do it all’ over the course of your life. I’ve found there’s space for two big focuses in any one chapter, and right now that’s my career and my girls. I find myself quickly burning out when I try to squeeze in much else. Instead, I use any free moments to nourish and nurture myself, and as part of that I love a good morning and evening routine, which leads me to my first recommendation of the month:

Phone free mornings

I’d be lying if I said this was an easy one for me! I go through phases of being addicted to phone and got into a bad habit with it earlier this year. The more I learn about dopamine, the nervous system, and good habits for mental health, the more I think not scrolling first thing is essential to setting the foundations of a good day. So, I’ve committed to keeping my phone off until I leave the house in the morning. I’m only a few weeks in but I really feel the difference. My mood is better, I’m more motivated and find myself less addicted to my phone across the rest of the day. I do a 10-15-minute breathwork practice first thing, then use my screen-free time to focus on being very present with my kids, which is making me much happier than looking at strangers’ cats on the internet or whatever else I’d get distracted doing!

Daily breathwork

As part of this intentional, daily(ish) calming of my nervous system, essentially trying to actively switch from a sympathetic state of stress/fight or flight to a calm, parasympathetic state, I’ve been doing daily breathwork every morning, and often in the evening too. I’m using some of our old classes and a couple of new ones, that’ll be launching next month. I cannot explain what an enormous difference it makes to my mood, my sleep, and my general sense of balance. I’m emotional by nature and am definitely inclined to ride life’s highs and lows with full force, so this helps balance me out.

Slow Down Breathwork
15 mins

Slow Down Breathwork

with James Dowler

Feeling stressed? This short breathwork will help you take some time to slow down. Using box breathing - designed to balance the nervous system and still the mind.

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Dr Tara Swart on Feel Better, Live More

This is a (really!) long listen, so bear with me! I listened to it across the course of a week and whilst I do generally prefer shorter episodes, I found myself armed with lots of renewed inspiration for a healthy life after listening. I love Dr Tara’s work and have interviewed her on our podcast. She’s a neurologist with an interest in evidence-backed research coupled with spirituality. There are a lot of good reminders about the impact of stress and how important it is to really get on top of it.

Deliciously Ella Peanut Butter Caramel Cups

Honestly, I totally forgot how good these are! We do so much new product development that sometimes I’m so knee-deep testing and iterating new flavours that I forget about our old favourites. I hadn’t had a peanut butter cup in months but having rediscovered them, they’re now my favourite snack (the girls are addicted too!).

"Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevin

I read this over Christmas but forgot to include it in my January wellness edit. I know it’s had a lot of hype over the last few months, but it really is the best book I’ve read in ages. 10/10 recommend for an easy(ish) read that’ll take you deep into a beautiful story of love and friendship.

Pesto avocado toast

A simple little recommendation and something I’m eating almost daily. Just mash a spoonful of pesto into your avocado with a little extra olive oil, salt, pepper and chilli flakes, bonus point for some hemp seeds too (great protein and omega-3’s). Takes the flavour up a notch and really makes this simple staple sing.

Pesto Avocado on Toast
15 mins

Pesto Avocado on Toast

This pesto avocado on toast is the ultimate avocado on toast. The pine nut pesto adds such a delicious flavour to the creamy mashed avocado. We love to top this with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a crack of black pepper.

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Sunday skincare

After we put the girls to bed on a Sunday, I do a little self-care ritual: a hair mask or oil, a face mask and a full body polish with this scrub, followed by body oil and an overnight moisturising mask. Basically, I go to bed as a fully glazed donut with very soft skin, fully loaded up on self-care and ready for a busy week.

One Day (Netflix)

Everyone’s watching it so I’m not adding anything very new here; suffice to say it’s brilliant and if you haven’t seen it yet then definitely find some time to enjoy this series. The most beautiful portrayal of the concept of soulmates I’ve ever seen.

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