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Week of Well-being – Give

Day Five – Give 

The final day of our well-being week is to ‘Give’. Acts of kindness and giving, whether big or small, can give a big boost to your well-being. Research shows that it can help:

  • Increase feelings of self-worth.
  • Connections with other people. 
  • Increase positive emotions and a sense of reward.

Giving is the easiest of our well-being actions, it doesn’t have to cost you anything and can mean the world to someone else. If you’re not sure where to start or what you can do why not try one of these:

  • Give someone your time. Listen to them or thank them. 
  • Donate to a charity.
  • Volunteer for your community. 
  • Start a fundraiser for a worthy cause. 

At Saxons we are all about giving and sharing positivity. As part of out final day we have a couple of things we are doing. First is a small donation to the ‘Mind’ charity who promote better mental health through a local fundraising couple who are running 100 miles in February. 

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Week of Well-being – Learn

Day Four – Learn

There are hundreds of ways to learn. You could be watching a documentary, listening to a podcast, or my personal favourite, reading a book. 

Learning is the foundation for self-growth, it’s in every new recipe, every new tune you play and in every day. Research has shown that continuing to learn can both maintain and improve our mental well-being. Focusing your efforts on learning a new skill can:

  • Bring a sense of purpose.
  • Boost self-confidence.
  • Increase self-esteem

You may not have hours and hours to spare but there are plenty of ways you can learn a new skill or life lesson. If you’re not sure how to get started why not try on the following:

  • Test out your DIY skills with a small project.
  • Pick out a new recipe from one of your cook books. 
  • Watch a documentary.
  • Pick up a book.
  • Watch a TEDTalks.
  • Listen to a podcast on your walk. 

Today I’ve had a full day of learning without realising. I started with a couple of pages of the book I’m currently reading about business (It’s a slow but enjoyable read with lots of underlining). For tea we took on a new challenge of making our own calzone from scratch, based purely on the memory of one, my old housemate used to make (turned out a 8/10, not bad for a first attempt) and finally we are finishing the evening watching ‘the DIG’, a documentary film about the excavation of Sutton Hoo. 

What have you learnt today? Let us know in the comments. 

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Week of Well-being – Take Notice

Day Three – Take Notice 

It’s easy to get lost in your own head sometimes, I am terrible for it, I often find myself lost in thoughts and have to find my way back to the present. 

Taking notice allows you to be present in the moment, appreciating the things you have, and not dwelling on thoughts that are out of your control. Maybe you are overthinking the the last conversation you had with your friend, or worrying about whether the cashier in the supermarket thought you were being rude because you forgot to smile. Common worries of mine. 

Just taking a minute to notice your surroundings is a great way to calm thoughts before they get out of control. This might be going for a walk, taking in some natural surrounding, maybe it’s giving someone your attention to understand them, or it might be taking the time to notice what you need. 

Take a minute to sit and tune into yourself, notice how you are breathing, how your toes feel, how you’re sat or stood, and ask yourself ‘what do you need?’. Maybe the answer is a bit of self love, maybe it’s to relax in a nice hot bath, maybe it’s a breath of fresh air. Or maybe it’s something more. You can’t improve your well-being if you don’t know what you need. 

For me, nine times out of ten it’s a hot bath with a cup of tea, a face mask and a good book, and while I soak I realise that the conversation was just a chat between friends and nothing to worry about and the cashier in the supermarket won’t have noticed I forgot to smile because I’m wearing a mask anyway. 

Things to try:

  • Daily gratitude, note down something you are grateful for each day, no matter how big or small.
  • Try a mindfulness or meditation exercise.
  • Take a minute distraction free to ask what you need. 

The benefits of ‘taking notice’ or ‘mindfulness’ are proven to:

  • Increase self-love
  • Reduce stress
  • Aid coping with unhelpful thoughts
  • Help understanding and responding to your emotions
  • Enable you to become self-aware
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Week of Well-being – Be Active

Day Two – Be Active

Being active doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon every day or take on the tour de France. It could be going for a walk, dancing in your living room, jogging round the block, sprucing up your garden, or perfecting that downward dog. 

Being a dog owner, mine and Bruce’s daily go to activity is a stroll, even when he protests in the rain. Walking out and about in the fresh air is a great way to clear your head, have a little time to yourself and get that heart rate pumping.

The impact of physical activity on your mental health and well-being shouldn’t be underestimated. Research has shown that physical activity makes you feel good, it boosts your self-esteem, improves concentration, reduces stress and improves sleep. 

If your not sure how to get going set yourself a goal, try one of the following:

  • 30-minutes in the garden.
  • Get out for a walk. Aim for those 10,000 steps. 
  • Dust off those bike tyres and pedal round town. 

Or start up something new:

  • Give yoga a try and set yourself little goals; touch your toes by the end of the week.
  • Start running a program like couch to 5k. Go at a nice steady pace.
  • Or give yourself a tougher challenge, plan for a triathlon or a charity run.
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Week of Well-Being – Connect

Day One – Connect

Stress, anxiety, depression are all more common than you think. Day one, ‘Connect’ is about checking in with your loved ones, and checking in with you. The winter months are hard for a lot of people each year and lockdown has only intensified feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Take a moment today to open up a conversation with someone you care about, this might be a quick phone call, a message, a surprise gift at their door. 

Today I checked in with friends, last year, like many, was a tough year for me. I was lucky to have the support of my friends and family, some of whom I haven’t been able to see. So today I spent a little time sending out some appreciation, checking in and listening.

Know that people care about you and people are listening, reach out to someone you trust and start your own conversation. Talk about what’s on your mind, or if you don’t know where to start why not try one of these: 

  • Tell a loved one you love them.
  • Reconnect with an old friend.
  • Check in with your grandparents. 
  • Turn off distractions and have dinner at the table with your household. 
  • Phone a family member.
  • Ask someone to go for a walk with you.
  • Set up a crazy zoom quiz with your friends.

In our household we make sure there is time for one another, we often have ‘phone free evenings’ where we can spend real quality time together, table meals and late night conversations allow for any worries to be talked about openly. 

If you are struggling know that you aren’t alone and there are lots of resources to help you, including a friend here at Saxons.

Samaritans – www.samaritans.org.uk

SANE – www.sane.org.uk/support

CALM – www.thecalmzone.net

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Using Essential Oils

Essential oils. What are these mystical liquids that allegedly cure all ailments?

How do they work and how can I use them?

Simply put they are concentrated extracts from natural substances like flowers, leaves and plants. They provide a natural alternative to help improve all sorts of symptoms such as headaches, skin conditions and sleep disorders, they may even help treat the common cold and encourage a healthy digestion. 

There are a few ways you can use essential oils but the most common way of using them is to simply inhale the aromatic scents and reap the benefits of their therapeutic properties.

How to use them:

If you’re in need of a quick fix the easiest way is to open up the bottle and take a couple of deep breaths, but be careful not to let the undiluted oil touch your skin.

Alternatively try keeping one of the ‘handy remedy’ roll-ons or inhalers in your bag or pocket for when you are out and about.

For a fragrance that gives you benefits all day a child friendly electric diffuser is a worthwhile investment, or for a more romantic, cosy feel, the candle lit burners fill your home with a soft glow and beautiful fragrance. Both types of diffusers can be used with essential oils, and will fill your home with exquisite lasting aromas.

For a more intense use like banishing those pesky cold symptoms, you can try steaming. To do this place a bowl of hot water in front of you with a few drops of your chosen essential oil. Place your head over the bowl and carefully cover both your head and the bowl with a substantial towel inhaling the therapeutic steam. 

For a lighter long lasting fragrance you can try a technique called dry evaporation. For this technique, add the essential oil onto a piece of material, like fabric or cotton wool. Then tuck this material into your pocket, car vent or pillow case. Dry evaporation is a good option for a discrete smell that lasts.

Using essential oils on your skin is another option, but they should only be applied to skin in a diluted form. There are a variety of pre-made roller blends available which are great for rolling onto your pressure points. Alternatively you can add a few drops to a carrier oil and massage gently into the skin. 

These are just a handful of ways that essential oils can be used, so make sure to research and find the way that will benefit you most. 

Precautions:

Some essential oils can be dangerous when mixed with certain medications and may have implications if you have health concerns, so if in doubt check with your doctor first, especially if they are for:

  • Older Adults
  • Children under 12
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women.

You should always be cautious using essential oils if you have pets, a small proportion of them contain ingredients that are toxic to animals. (As an example Tea Tree is extremely toxic to dogs).

Our most popular:

With lockdown imposing restrictions on our daily lives a lot of people are turning to essential oils to increase their overall well-being. One of our most popular oils is the ‘De-Stress’ essential oil blend by Absolute Aromas.

This oil is a blend of lavender, chamomile, jasmine and bergamot. It has been created as a natural alternative to cheer, uplift and boost your mood, whilst helping you cope with daily tensions. 

We would love to hear your experience of using essential oils so please comment below!

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New Owner at Saxons Alternative Therapy Centre, Beccles

New Owner at Saxons Alternative Therapy Centre, Beccles

New Owner at Saxons Alternative Therapy Centre, Beccles

After a successful 21 years running Saxons Alternative Therapy Centre in New Market Beccles it is time for me to retire, wanting to do this five years ago with the fire at Bartrams next door when the damage and disruption stopped this happening.

I am more than ready to handover the reigns and very pleased to introduce you to Holly Hayward who is the new owner. The new name will be Saxon Wellbeing which is great as the Saxons name will continue. I am very pleased Holly is doing this and keeping the business as before but I am sure with lots of new ideas.
Holly has lots of enthusiasm, confidence and has good customer care skills which is essential at Saxons. I think with her social media skills and new ideas will attract a lot of new and different people to Saxons. I wish her well and a long and healthy future at Saxons.
Holly is a local Beccles girl who previously worked in Project Management but has always been keen to give back to the local community. This became more apparent during her time as Head Coach for the Girls section at Beccles Rugby Club where she coached for three seasons. Now she is taking on the ownership of Saxon Wellbeing Ltd and is excited for the many challenges to come.

Please support Holly and come in and meet her. Finally to say a big thank you to all my customers over the years who I will miss, you have supported Saxons and it has been much appreciated.
Take care all of you and I am sure I will see you in Beccles.
Christine