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Life Indoors: Self Care

By March 27, 2020 INSPIRATION
25th MAR Self Care 2

Have you ever heard the advice on an aeroplane to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others? This advice is a good example of the fundamentals of Self Care. A far cry from self indulgence and narcissism, self care is in fact a sure fire way to ensure you are well enough in yourself to freely give others the time and energy that they deserve. It is also less about something you have to do and more about a way of life. The days ahead of self quarantine, welcome a unique opportunity to put self care into practice. What self care looks like is a personal expression of what you need in your daily life to thrive. It is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones and a combination of practices which involve the mind, body and soul. Here are some suggestions for ways to self care that you may be missing in your life.

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Get your zzzzs

Sleep is one of the most important ways to take care of the body. It is easy to fall into unhealthy sleep patterns when spending days and nights indoors. Staying up very late and getting little sleep, or sleeping for a number of hours during the day can have a negative impact on the body, such as sleep deprivation, insomnia and a host of illnesses linked to a lack of sleep. In bestselling book, Why we sleep, Matthew Walker explains how our circadian rhythm (our internal body clock, following the 24 hour cycle of night and day) differs from person to person and the importance of working with your body to get the rest you need. With many people shuttered indoors for the next few weeks, there is a unique opportunity to tap into your own rhythm and understand how your body works. With a better understanding of your body’s needs for rest and activity, you can have a lasting positive impact on your physical and mental health.

 

Yoga with car

Move

Exercise goes hand in hand with sleep and can improve the mood and ensure the body works optimally. While everyone’s exercise needs differ based on their lifestyle and body, taking some form of activity everyday is a good idea for all of us. If you are new to exercising at home, it can be overwhelming when faced with the decision of what exercise to do.  There are so many options online, how do you choose? Cardio or strength training, yoga or aerobics? This can work as a mental block to exercising. We recommend trying out a different form of exercise for just 10 minutes everyday. Once you have a feel for a few forms of exercise, you can hone in on one that you like and tailor a weekly exercise plan to suit you. It also helps a lot to workout with someone in your household or take advantage of technology and virtually meet with a friend. If you’re not sure where to look, here are some suggestions for social media channels to try. Some of them are hosting live public sessions that you can join, if you miss going to group activity sessions.  

Yoga: Youtube channel, Yoga with Adriene

Dance aerobics: Instagram, @Forward_Space

 Strength Training/Cardio: Instagram, @basecampfitness

 Mindful

Stay Present

There is a lot of worrying happening in the world right now.  It is so easy for thoughts to spin off into the past or project anxieties into the future.  Mindfulness meditation is a simple way to ground yourself in the present. Many find the prospect of meditating daunting, but you can try the simple act of sitting quietly and concentrating on your breathing. Follow your breath in and out to draw your mind to what is happening in the moment. Another way to be more present, is to try to tune in 100% to the task at hand. For example, taking a shower or preparing a meal. Instead of multi-tasking or spending the entire time thinking about what else you have to do, focus on the activity at hand. Take in the sights, sounds, sensations, and smells of the moment. This is a wonderful practice to slow your thoughts right down, relieve stress and bring a sense of stillness.

Suggested sites for more inspiration:

Instagram: @inscape

Apps: Headspace

Eggs

Eat Well

By consciously watching what you eat you are caring for yourself from the inside out, ensuring you stay healthy and ward off illness. Aim to consume a variety of nutritious foods from different food groups in your day. Don’t stress if present circumstances mean that you can’t shop for your optimum ingredients. There are tons of recipes available online to try out so take this opportunity to be creative and try out some new meal ideas. If you are looking for recipes, here are a few accounts that we follow:

Instagram: The Minimalist Baker @minimalbaker

Jamie Oliver’s Youtube channel is dedicated to eating well during the coronavirus pandemic

Selfcare

Pamper Yourself

Pampering yourself does not strictly mean a manicure or giving yourself an at home spa session (although we love those things and do recommend them!). Pampering yourself in a broader sense, simply means doing more of what makes you happy. If this is curling up and reading a book, watching a rerun of your favourite TV show, taking a bath or even re-organising your wardrobe – do it. Reserve a slot of time when you can take some time for yourself, even if its just for five minutes.

Here are some of our favourite pampering ideas:
1. At home Face Scrubs
2.Take on a DIY project. There are lots of ideas for projects on instagram profile @ABeautifulMess 

3. Watch some stand up comedy. We love Amy Schumer’s Netflix special
4. Keep a Journal. Here is some lovely stationery from Nappa Dori
5. Share your love of books and join an online Book Club like Page Turners

Line in the sand

Set boundaries

If you struggle to say no or are you are concerned you are overstretching yourself, then you need to set better boundaries for yourself. This could be about any area of your life from work, friends, family and even exercise and food. Good boundaries are there to ensure we keep ourselves ticking over in a steady and secure way.  If you are wondering how to go about setting boundaries, you’re not alone and we could write a whole blogpost on this topic (let us know in the comments section if you are interested in this).
A good place to start is to become more self aware and trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, don’t do it. It’s that simple. Once you establish what your boundaries are, it will take some practice for you to master being clear about them with those around you and even with yourself. It can be difficult to say no, but ultimately those who care about you will respect your needs if calmly and respectfully explained. Lastly, accept that you won’t always get it right, but every attempt at living within your boundaries takes you a step closer to a more balanced and positive life. 

We hope you find these ideas useful. What are your acts of self care?  Comment below or on our social media channels to let us know what you do to take care of yourself or what you thought of the ideas above. We’re all in this together and it is through sharing more with our community that we will find new ways of coping and coming out on the other side of this unprecedented time in a better space. Be well! 


 

This post is part of a Les 100 Ciels blog series titled, Life Indoors. Each week we will be posting on a range of topics to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be living vastly quieter lives and it is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral. We are committed to continue to engage and support our community. If there is any topic you’d like us to write about, do get in touch and we’ll include it on our blog if we can. With love, The Les 100 Ciels Team

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Life Indoors: How to survive working from home

By March 20, 2020 INSPIRATION
Blog 2

We are living through strange times at the moment. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be staying indoors for the next few weeks.  It is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral and  at Les 100 Ciels, we are committed to continue to engage and support you, our community.

With this in mind, from today we will start a blog series titled Life Indoors. Each week we will be writing blogposts to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors, with topics ranging from how to tackle boredom, to home study,  self care and ideas on meals with limited ingredients.

In today’s post, we’re looking at an issue which will affect a large proportion of us: how to work from home.

If you are feeling demotivated and anxious about how you can continue to work from home, we’ve got a range of tips on how you can tackle this. We hope these tools will help you maintain your  productivity and perhaps welcome new skills and creativity.

1.

If you have the space, set aside a designated area to work from home. This works two-fold to get you into the frame of mind to come into the space and tune your mind to work. It will also mean you have an area where you can spread out, take work calls with privacy and hopefully not have as many distractions from children.

2.

Schedule in video or phone calls with your colleagues to discuss work matters through tools such as Skype or Zoom. Although many topics are easy to be discussed by email, sometimes having a friendly call with your colleagues is just the thing to help feel really engaged and connected to your work life.  The interaction will also do wonders to boost morale and keep you motivated to complete work projects.

3.

Struggling to feel motivated? Why not try a Productivity tool such as the Pomodoro technique. This technique is based on setting a timer to do 25 minute stints of work called a Pomodoro followed by a 5 minute break. After completing four pomodoros, you take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. The idea is based on working for short stretches of time that are much easier to commit to especially in a home environment where you lose a lot of your normal structure to your day. We recommend the Flora app that follows the Pomodoro technique but rewards you with a virtual garden as you successfully complete blocks of concentration.

4.

Take regular breaks for exercise- it is very important for your physical and mental well being.  There are thousands of exercise routines to follow on YouTube ranging from relaxing yoga sessions to heart racing HITT activities. Whatever your preference, there is sure to be something for all tastes.

5.

Get some fresh air. Yes you may not be able to leave the house, but perhaps you can stroll around your garden or at the very least,  open a window, stick your head out and take  slow, deep breaths of fresh air. It really helps with resetting your mood and brain if you are feeling a bit sleepy or restless.

6.

Make use of that commute time. We’ve all wished at one point or another that we had a few extra hours in the day as we rush to get off to work. Re-purpose that commuting time for creating a relaxing ritual to mark the hours before and after your start work from home. Perhaps you could use it to write in a journal or meditate. It is an excellent way to separate periods of work from leisure and try to have more balance at home. You could also use the time for things you wish you had more time to do, for example a DIY project or reading.

7.

A note on working from home with kids. For many stuck indoors, the biggest challenge will be how to juggle childcare and home study with the demands of work.. There is enough to cover on this topic alone for an entire blog post, but here’s our top tips to making this work taking into consideration that all situations are a little different. First things first, give yourself a break. This is an adjustment for everyone and it won’t all fall into place from day one. Be ready to amend your plan and be flexible with yourself and your family until you find a rhythm that works for your particular family circumstances. Secondly, try to find a routine that suita your family. Children respond well to having structure, so organise your day into chunks of time where you can work while they have screen time or do a physical play activity when they are most full of energy. Lastly, be upfront with colleagues about the struggles you are facing at home with juggling the kids with work. Being real and honest, instead of trying to create an air of having it all under control will gain you more understanding and support and make life easier all around.

How are you handling working from home? Perhaps you love it and are thinking of making it a permanent change. Or maybe you can’t bear it. We’d love to hear how you are doing and what are some of your tips to working from home?

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Spring Playlist: The best tracks to listen to this Spring

By March 5, 2020 IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION
5th MAR Blogpost grid 2 1

This month, Spring finally arrives and to celebrate the arrival of some warmer weather, we bring you our Spring Playlist, full of tracks that will bring a little joy to your day. We’ve concentrated on female musicians to commemorate International Womens’ Day on March 8th. Enjoy listening and let us know in the comments section below any of your recommendations!

 LISTEN NOW

1. Cranes in the Sky, Solange

2. Oblivion, Grimes

3. Everybody Says Don’t- Barbara Streisand Back to Broadway

4.Take me Higher, Diana Ross

5. Tightrope, Janelle Monae, Big Boi

6. New Soul, Yael Naim

7. Walkin on Sunshine, Katrina & The Waves

8. I wanna dance with somebody, Whitney Houston

9. Light on, Maggie Rogers

10. I say a little prayer, Aretha Franklin

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A Tour of South Molton Street

By January 31, 2020 FASHION, INSPIRATION, Travel
31st JAN A tour of South Molton Street 2

Last year, we moved to the lovely South Molton Street and ever since, we have been busy exploring the shops and eateries in our new area and we have found some gems! The street is as central in London as any one person could get and is very convenient to get to as it runs diagonally from Bond Street tube station straight into Mayfair. Being a stone’s throw away from the bustle of Oxford Street’s shopping mecca you are very close to all the action, and so it is surprising and refreshing that the street has a laid-back and relaxed feel to it.  The street is wide and pedestrianised and lined with a mix of independent businesses with lots of surprises for all. Read on to discover what we have found so far in our forays down our street.

south molton stores

After leaving the bustle of Oxford street, you may be in need of a sit down for a coffee and pastry, and Caffe Concerto is just the place for a rest either sitting on the terrace or watching passersby from the comforts of the cosy interior. There is a nice buzz to the place and a large menu to choose from including delicious, vegan options. After recharging your batteries perhaps you will be ready for a wander around the shops on South Molton and where better to start than Space NK Apothecary. With all your much coveted beauty products available and a lot more to discover, there is nothing quite like a visit to this place. You can book in for a private consultation to really tailor your beauty regime to your own needs.

Feeling in need of a little sparkle? Cross the pedestrianised street to no 14 and stop in at hugely popular jewellery brand, Monica Vinander to treat yourself to something special from their latest collection or if you’re looking for a present, take advantage of their complimentary engraving service in store. A warning though, a visit here can leave you truly hooked on their beautiful range. After this, why not nip into Happy Socks, which have such an array of  colourful socks that the store itself gives off a bright and joyful energy while still seeming really hip and trendy. We have popped into this store and purchased a few pairs already to add a fun touch to our ankles and it really lifts the spirits on these cold, winter days. Definitely worth a browse!

If you are in need of a little grooming, head over to Sassoon and get a a haircut in this legendary hair salon founded by Vidal Sassoon in the 60s. The team here are highly experienced and you can have a cut or colour and leave in style! Why don’t you top off your new pretty locks with a visit to Prima Lashes and get some enviable falsies at their store. Experts in eyelash extensions, this store is always booming with clientele so we’ll definitely be booking in to try them out.

We’ll check back in and update you with more locations as we try them! Let us know if you have any suggestions for places to go on the street. If you are in the neighbourhood, do come in and say hello, our new store, Les 100 Ciels is located at No 20 South Molton Street- we’d love to introduce you to our collection of soft cashmere clothing and lots more to try. Happy exploring!

SMS Shop

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What’s on: London

By January 24, 2020 INSPIRATION, Travel
24th JAN Blog 2

London is arguably one of the most activity filled cities in the world. There are numerous things to do all year round and February is no exception. If you want to shake off the last days of winter or you have kids who need entertaining for the half term school break, then here are a few ideas for things to do around the city.

 

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Imagine Children’s Festival, South Bank Centre, 12th-21st February

If you have kids  needing entertaining over the half term, then head on down to the South Bank Centre for their Imagine Children’s Festival. There are so many activities on offer ranging from interactive games, visiting authors and workshops, puppet shows, music and more. It really will be a feast for the senses and an opportunity for kids to really express their creativity and let their imaginations run wild. Book tickets ahead so you don’t miss out!

 

cirque

Cirque du Soleil- Luzia Until 1st March

The world renowned circus is back for a dazzling Mexican themed show at the Royal Albert Hall until March 1, 2020. The tickets may be expensive but they are worth it to see this bright homage to Mexico’s flora and fauna, transporting you to a different realm through brilliant costumes, contortionists and acrobatics that will leave you feeling giddy and breathless.

Flower Early Bloomer Nature Plant Snowdrop

Heralding Spring, The Chelsea Psychic Garden’s, 25th January- 2nd February

To commemorate the opening of the gardens after its winter slumber, the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden will reopen just in time for the blooming of their snow drops, one of the first signs of warmer weather to come. Walk their snowdrop trail with over 120 varieties of snowdrops which make for a beautiful, serene way to pass the afternoon. There are also workshops, talks and lots of other plant life to admire in the gardens so you may want to make it a whole day affair!

cny

Chinese New Year, Chinatown and all around London

Not strictly a February activity as this starts at the end of January,  the start of Chinese New Year 2020 (The year of the rat) from January 25th will bring a host of festivities marking the occasion all around the city but the most iconic place to take in the celebrations will be London’s China town. There you can take in the decorations and catch some lion dancing and also nip into a restaurant to enjoy some steaming dim sum. Catch the action on the 25th and 26th January, Gerard Street, Chinatown and Trafalgar Square and enjoy a host of food and activities over the month of February such as at the Museum of London Docklands, Chinese New Year Family Festival.

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BrewLdn, Brick Lane, 27th-29th February

The Old Truman Brewery will host the much anticipated independent Beer Festival, BrewLdn this February. Held over three days, you can sip on some of your favourite beers and find new lagers, ciders and craft beers. There will also be live music and street vendors with delicious food and with over 200 exhibitors this is an event that shouldn’t be missed.

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Winter Walks

By January 16, 2020 INSPIRATION, Travel, Uncategorized
15th JAN Winter Walks Blogpost 2

A winter walk at this time of year can be just the thing to invigorate you after a few months hibernating. On a crisp, bright day in the UK, there is nothing quite like the feeling of being bundled up warm while enjoying the beautiful natural landscape. If you’re not sure where to go for a walk, we’ve put together a few options ranging from a short stroll to a more challenging walk in the countryside to suit a range of walkers.

richmond

Richmond Park, Richmond

If you are after a short walk without having to leave London, then Richmond Park is the perfect place for a relaxing walk with lots to see and land to roam. There are many routes to walk, taking in the vast oak and chestnut trees along the way and you will be sure to catch a glimpse of parakeet birds whizzing through the air in a flash of green. Best of all, when you need a rest, relax with a flask of hot cocoa while watching the numerous deer which graze freely around the park.

 

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Holkham Beach, Norfolk

With three miles of sandy beach, this is a special walk to take along a beautiful stretch of coastline. Enjoy the sound of the waves and feel the Atlantic wind dust the cobwebs away. If the tide is out you can walk out to the sea, enjoying the dunes and admire the ocean or if it is high tide, visit the lagoon that forms in a natural basin along the beach. You can chose to walk back along the beach or walk back through the route that cuts through the pinewoods.

 

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Hever Castle, Kent

If a walk with other attractions available is more to your taste, then a walk around the grounds of Hever Castle is ideal! Located in Edenbridge the beautifully manicured gardens are stunning at all times of the year, but a visit in the wintertime with the dramatic backdrop of the castle makes for impressive viewing. A visit to the Topiary walk and a birdwatching stroll around the lake is highly worth the walk! You can also pay a entrance fee to visit the Castle if you want a break from the cold!

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The New Forest National Park

A visit to the New Forest is a real treat, especially if you have family in tow. There are miles of car-free walking available and you are bound to run into the famous New Forest ponies at some point along your walk. There are numerous trails that can be followed which are signposted around the park. We recommend the Tall Tree trail which will take you through lovely alpine trees and give the best chance to spot deer between the trees!

 

LOch Muich

Loch Muick, Scotland

The natural beauty of Scotland is truly stunning and a walk alongside the waters of Loch Muick will demonstrate this clearly. There is a circular walk around Loch Muick which takes in the Glas Allt Shiel waterfall and allows the chance to see wild red deer, red squirrels and the snow-covered peaks of Lochnagar. You might also see some salmon in the loch so keep your eyes open! If you are feeling very cold after your walk, why not include a visit to nearby Royal Lochnagar Distillery afterwards to try their malt whisky range- it will be sure to warm you right up!

 

 

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