I hope the start of the new year is treating you kindly and you’ve managed to carve out some space for yourself as the year kicks into gear. Life here seems to be moving at a slightly faster pace all of a sudden, so I’m trying to remind myself to take time to nourish from within, snatching half an hour when I can to soak up a gentle walk in nature, or to enjoy some screen-free solitude with a book. Here at The London Botanists, we’ve also been focusing our attention on the idea of creating ‘rituals’ to reduce things like anxiety and promote sleep. Personally, I’ve always found the idea of rituals an incredibly helpful way of ensuring I’m taking care of my health and really listening to what I need.
One ritual in particular I’ve been dwelling on is the idea of creating a ‘movement ritual’, which incorporates CBD. I don’t know about you, but movement – and moving a little more often, with intention – is something I’ve been giving plenty of thought to lately. While none of us ever truly know what’s round the corner, I think recent events have certainly prompted me to think about how I can support my health from within, and give myself the best chance at staying fit and well. While many of you probably associate CBD with ‘relaxing’ or ‘unwinding’, it can be incredibly effective at helping us when it comes to movement and exercise, too.
For example, one way CBD can help us is by calming our mind pre-movement or activity, helping us be really present in order to get the most from it. Whether it’s trying to ground and centre yourself in yoga, or perhaps creating a sense of stillness before a round of golf, CBD can prove hugely beneficial, helping to quiet your mind and reduce feelings of anxiety or external ‘noise’. It can even help support those nervous of exercising or training in new, unfamiliar environments by alleviating anxiety – like joining a new gym class, or testing out cold water swimming for the first time. It can help the night before too, by allowing us to enjoy a deep, restorative sleep in order to feel refreshed and energised for movement the next day (sleep being a crucial element of any active person’s toolkit).
If you’re a runner or work out regularly, you’ll be familiar with the discomfort that comes with pulled muscles and post-workout soreness. Caused by tiny, microscopic damage to our muscle fibres when we put strain on them, our muscles can easily become inflamed. It means our body works hard to repair them, which often causes stiffness or muscle pain. Thanks to its clever anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can help us recover faster and lessen that uncomfortable post-workout soreness if taken soon after exercising. It’s worth remembering that studies have also shown sleep to be incredibly impactful for muscle recovery too, so taking CBD both the night before and immediately following a workout could be a clever combination.
Another way CBD might be helpful in your movement ritual is by helping to treat pain – something many people say holds them back from regular activity. One American study looking at people with knee and hip pain showed that a significant amount of participants found CBD helpful for pain management. Another indicated that it could help reduce joint inflammation and improve blood flow, allowing us to put more weight on injured joints. Good news indeed for those of us who enjoy regular movement but have perhaps been unable to. Tinctures (a few drops under the tongue) work well, but to really make a ritual of it, try incorporating our CBD & Arnica organic muscle oil into your routine, too. Made from 100% natural ingredients like healing arnica, rosemary and tea tree oil alongside the highest quality CBD, it promises to really soothe tired muscles and aching bones.
Here are a few more ways to help support a healthy, happy movement ritual, in case it sparks something for you...
Find music that inspires you. I find music incredibly powerful – it has the magical ability to motivate, relax and ground us in a way nothing else can. Choose your music wisely for each activity and I’m sure you’ll reap the benefits. But if you’d prefer to focus on staying present and tuning into your body, or breathing, do that in silence instead – whatever works for you.
Play to your strengths. If you’re not a morning person, that’s fine – plan your movement routine for later in the day, instead. If cardio and high intensity workouts aren’t your thing, that’s OK too – try a walk with a friend outdoors, or a gentle, candlelit yoga sequence. Try to resist the urge to berate yourself and be compassionate to yourself whenever you can.
Reward yourself. Whether it’s a square of our delicious CBD chocolate or a dunk in a warm bath with plenty of reviving bath oils, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for your achievements. Rest is an important part of any movement ritual (and you deserve it).
Here’s to moving regularly – in whatever form that takes. For me today, it’s a 5-minute kitchen disco followed by a long, country stroll, wrapped up warm. Enjoy!