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Mental Health

Wellness Blog

Three Ways To Use Essential Oils To Lower Stress

Everyone could use a few moments of relaxation in their day—especially right now. Essential oils can help. As a natural solution, many essential oils can help your body and your mind unwind—something that is more important than ever in this time of heightened stress.

It’s easy to use essential oils to add calming moments to your day. To get started, choose an oil that promotes stress reduction. We recommend frankincense, lavender, bergamot or ylang ylang, but there are many more options available. Feel free to read up on the topic and try out a variety of oils until you find the one that works best for you. 

Once you have your oil, choose a method to enjoy it.

Inhale

The simplest way to use essential oils? Just breathe them in and revel in the effects. 

You can either inhale pure essential oils straight from a bottle or put a few drops on a dry material such as a towel or a cotton ball. Then, simply inhale. 

 Relax in the bath (or shower)

Consider adding essential oils to your regular bathing rituals. If you prefer a long hot bath to relax, try adding a few drops of oil to your water while you’re filling the tub. Then, light a few candles to enhance relaxation and enjoy a good soak. If you’re more of a shower person, you can try applying oils to your shower walls. The scent should diffuse into the steam, allowing you to breathe in the benefits.

You can also add essential oils to any of your bath products. For a dreamy exfoliating experience, add a few drops to your body wash. To massage the scent into your hair, combine it with your shampoo and conditioner.

Use a diffuser

Using diffusers is a great way to spread your essential oils throughout a room. If you’re working from home right now, consider placing one in your office to help your stress levels throughout the day. Many people also love keeping one in their bedroom to promote relaxation and improve their night’s sleep. 

There are a variety of diffusers on the market, each with their own benefits. The simplest and most cost-effective option to try is using diffuser reeds—wooden sticks that soak up the essential oils and spread them throughout a room. However, if you’re looking to invest a little more into your experience, you can try a nebulizing diffuser (which turns the oil into a mist), an evaporative diffuser (which causes the oil to evaporate into the air) or a heat diffuser (which warms up the oil to make the scent more intense). Candles infused with essential oils are also a favourite option for many people.

Don’t be afraid to take some time to relax and enjoy your essential oils! Now more than ever, self care is important for everyone—so find a routine that works for you.

Wellness Blog

Meditation Myth: Meditation Made Easy

By Maddalena Simms, CNP, RYT, PMI, CRM

There are so many people doing Yoga now than ever before, but there are not as many people practicing Meditation.  There is much information, and perspectives, out there about Meditating that might make this practice seem way too difficult to achieve.  Here are just a few myths that might be reasons why people choose not to Meditate regularly.

 

I have no time

This couldn't be further than the truth, Meditation can happen in one breath.  In fact, a minute of deep breathing in and out of your nose can drastically improve your mood and perspective.  It doesn't have to be a long practice, there are more benefits to a regular practice, consider quality over quantity!  Over time, a regular meditation practice will re-wire the brain to react less to the stresses that occur in everyday life, this gives us more time for the things that matter.

 

Its uncomfortable (to sit like a Yogi)

I'm sure that the mental image of meditation in most minds is a person sitting lotus pose, chanting in some language sitting on a mountain top, or something!  The truth is most people wouldn't be comfortable, and if your sitting in pain, you wont be able to relax!  The first thing you need to do before starting your meditation is find a comfortable seat, this can be in a chair, or even a recliner, wherever you are, get comfortable.  Avoid laying down, 9 out of 10 times you will fall asleep.  Allow yourself to become comfortable while still being aware.

 

I'm not a spiritual/religious person

Although there are many religious and spiritual paths that incorporate meditation, there are more and more people that don't follow any spiritual/religious path are adopting a meditation practice.  The fact is for many decades there have been a rise in scientific research proving the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of a regular practice.  As long as you can breathe, you can meditate. 

 

I cant silence my mind

We don't come to meditation because our minds are quiet and focused, we come to meditation because we want to practice quieting and focusing our minds.  Its not so much that we are trying to shut off our thoughts, we are training ourselves to observe our thoughts without dwelling, angering, or forcing them away.  Observe the thought, and let it go, and be ok if more thoughts pour in.

 

I have close my eyes

You don't have to close your eyes to be meditating, in fact, if your just starting  keep your eyes at half mass, gazing at a spot on the ground in front of you.  You want to limit eye movement as much as you can.  Eventually, your gaze will pass the focus point into a relaxed stare.  You can achieve the most peaceful meditation practice with your eyes open.

 

Meditation is difficult

Everything that is a new practice may be difficult at first, but with some practice it becomes easier, and desirable!   Mindfulness meditation can take place anywhere, anytime!  If your on a buss going to work or school, you can look down to the ground, or close your eyes (if your in a chair) and breath deeply and evenly through your nose for the duration of the trip - that is meditation!  Cant get easier than that!

 

There must be silence to meditate

You can meditate in silence, there are many different ways to meditate and in silence is just one way.  There are many meditations that involve listening to music, nature sounds, or recordings of guided meditations.  Some people gain much benefit from meditating with music, and others need silence.  The best thing to do is experiment with different variations, and go with what works for you!

 

 

If you don't follow the rules, your not actually meditating

There are some texts that date back 5000 years ago that have specific ways and rules to meditate, but the research shows that all kinds of meditation have the same results, and that is it re-wires the brain to react less to the stressors in everyday life.  However you chose to organize your meditation practice, the most import thing to do is to practice regularly.  Don't worry about seeing results immediately, just give yourself the chance to try, what do you have to lose?  Or better yet, what will you have to gain?

Wellness Blog

Keeping Up With Kardish: Meet Twinkle

Let us introduce you to Twinkle. Her personality is as bright as her name! She recently moved to Canada with her husband from India and by profession is a pharmacist. She currently works at Kardish full-time, and also manages a youtube channel! ?When she moved to Ottawa, she found that Kardish was a place where she could incorporate all her past knowledge. Kardish was a perfect fit! 

“I like having different areas to chat with customers about. I’m a talkative person, so it’s a perfect match,” said Twinkle. 

Although Twinkle is a vegetarian, she is a big foodie. “I’m so glad to live in a multicultural country that encourages me to try new things,” she says. Twinkle’s big tip of the day is to keep a balanced meal. She usually has one cheat meal, something that she is craving. Then, she makes sure to eat one meal which is super healthy to give her the right balance. “I’ve got good role models here at work. My managers are a nutritionist and yoga fanatics, so they always motivate me.”

Twinkle also has amazing background knowledge in make-up and skincare. “I love making make-up and skincare videos and tutorials for my channel followers,” says Twinkle. “I also review electronics like hair straighteners, epilator, facial cleansing spin brush, and such.” Her strong interest in all things skincare means that she’s also super regular with her own personal skin care routine. “I’ve always had an interest in skincare, especially homemade remedies.” 

Back in India, Twinkle’s favorite remedy was a mixture of chickpea flour and turmeric. It’s great for bathing in or using a facemask. She also loves using Aloe Vera and tea tree in her hair and face masks. “My favorite combination of oil treatments is olive oil or castor oil as a carrier oil along with essential oils like peppermint and tea tree.This blend really calms you down and puts you to sleep, and plus it’s also good for your hair,” says Twinkle. 

If you’re looking for a trick to relax you and sleep better, Twinkle suggests this foot soak:

  1. Use hot water
  2. Add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil
  3. 2-3 camphor oil
  4. A few drops of eucalyptus oil
  5. Finally, add epsom salts

          While Twinkle has always been dedicated to skincare, her passion for make-up started in high school. Her first attempt was for a dance competition where she started playing around with concealer, which she used as a base, and then lipstick, which she used as eyeshadow and blush. How creative! She had no previous knowledge of how to correctly apply make-up, but after the show, she received a lot of compliments on her work. That’s where her passion sprouted. 

“I get my inspiration from various online make-up artists and YouTubers and I also love playing around with colours,” says Twinkle. 

Although she loves chatting about skincare with customers, as it’s such a universal topic, her customers also come to her for help in choosing the right supplement.

“I’m super chatty, so there isn’t just one topic I can talk to customers about. Most of the customers come to me for stress, anxiety, sleep, and sometimes even a combination. I also help customers with women-related supplements such as hormonal imbalance, menstrual cramps, collagen needs, and more,” says Twinkle. 

Kardish has also taught her a lot about the Ketogenic diet, so she can comfortably chat about that with customers as well. Being a healthcare professional, Twinkle plays a big role in the community. “It’s not as simple as just over the counter melatonin. There are a lot of different types of products. It’s about knowing what's best for your customer,” she says. 

Twinkle’s Tips for staying happy and healthy: 

  1. Have a cheat day or cheat meal! - it’s important for your physical and mental health
  2. physical activity is a must (yoga, surya namaskar, exercise, meditate)
  3. Try to eat home-cooked food. 
  4. Listen to music, spend time with your family, or do something else that keeps yourself happy. 
  5. Spend time with pets! It helps release stress and can start your day nicely. 
  6. Come to Kardish and talk to us! After a long day, come to our Merivale store, check out our aromatherapy section, listen to the soft music playing, and chat with us!

Twinkle’s taste in food is as strong as her aromatherapy preferences! Check out this amazing Pav Bhaji recipe: 

Ingredients-

1 cup frozen mix vegetables (available at Kardish)

 2 roughly chopped potatoes 

1 roughly chopped tomato

1 roughly chopped onion 

Cilantro leaves, garlic, ginger, chilly powder, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, vegan butter or regular salted butter, salt, garam masala (optional) 

  1. In a big pan pour 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add all the vegetables (potato, peas, tomatoes, French beans) and boil it for 20 minutes 
  2. Then mash all of them with a potato masher and let it cool down in a separate container.
  3. In the same pan take some butter or vegan butter (1 scoop)
  4. Add roughly chopped onions, ginger, and garlic with cumin seeds, chilly powder, and turmeric and saute it for a minute.
  5. Add the mashed vegetables into it and cook it on low medium flame. 
  6. You can add water to adjust the thickness of the curry.
  7. Add cilantro leaves and give it a good mix.
  8. Add a scoop of butter

Voila! Curry or bhaji is ready. Squeeze a lime or lemon to give tangy flavor before eating. 

You can eat this with white or brown bread and it goes very well with spelt flour bread from Kardish!

A fun fact about Twinkle is that she always has an emergency kit on her. She never leaves home without it. Let’s take a look inside: 

  • Her make-up
  • Pack of electrolytes (vitamin C for when you’re low on energy)
  • Nutritional bar (for when you’re hungry!) 
  • Sanitary napkin
  • Mint or toffee
  • Lip balm (Burts Bees)

Head over to our Merivale location and meet Twinkle in person! She’ll be glad to share more of her favorite skincare, aromatherapy, and nutritional tips with you!

Wellness Blog

Keeping Up With Kardish: Meet Danielle

Let us introduce you to Danielle. She’s our wonderful manager at Merivale! Danielle moved to Ottawa six years ago and she absolutely loves it here! “There is so much beauty within this city and tons of outdoor activities.” She recently started studying Holistic Nutrition and is very excited to see her educational journey unfold.

Her interest in health and wellness started at a very young age. “I actually went to school for baking and pastry arts and was working as a baker when I realized I wanted the work I do to be in line with my values.” That’s when she applied to work at Kardish. 

“Looking back I am so happy I made that decision.” she says. 

Over the years at Kardish, Danielle has met many wonderful and interesting people. She has also been able to help people make healthier choices while learning a ton of information about health and wellness. “I love chatting with customers about mental health, plant based diets, and skin care. These are the three areas that I have a lot of knowledge, and passion towards.”

Danielle doesn’t have to go too far to find the current trends in the industry, as she’s been pretty immersed in the health and wellness industry for years. She follows many doctors, nutritionists, influencers, has friends in the industry and reads tons of literature to keep up to date on information. 

Danielle’s favourite daily ritual is yoga and meditation. “I meditate daily and can’t go a day without it. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. This practice is something I will never let go of and only develop further. The mental transformation I have experienced from meditation is one of life’s hidden treasures that I am so thankful to have found. Also, yoga is amazing for the mind, body and soul,” says Danielle. “I love to spend my evenings making a nice meal, doing some yoga and meditation. I end the night with a well-rounded skin care routine, some tulsi tea and then off to sleep,” says Danielle. 

Danielle is very fond of the Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi Tea, by Organic Traditions. “This amazing hidden gem is a wonderful herb that helps manage stress, anxiety, builds immunity and overall is a powerful antioxidant. It’s a perfect daily ritual to be added before a yoga/meditation session or even before bedtime,” says Danielle. 

To stay healthy, Danielle recommends eating a well-balanced diet with lots of vegetables. Cook at home, eat fresh foods, cut down on processed foods and don’t forget to spend time with yourself! Self care is so important for your overall wellbeing. One of the healthy food items that Danielle often loves to make are her Zucchini Vegan Ricotta Roll Ups. 

Danielle’s team at Merivale all share the same love for her Zucchini Vegan Ricotta Roll Ups, so we thought we’d share the recipe with our customers, too. The recipe below serves 5 to 6 people. 

Ingredients: 

2-3 zucchini
32 ounces marinara sauce
1 (14 ounces) container firm tofu
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp garlic powder
Fresh basil to garnish

Instructions: 
1. Remove tofu from the package and wrap tofu block in 2 paper towels. Squeeze for 10 seconds then break apart tofu into your food processor. To the food processor add salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and garlic powder. Pulse 6-10 times until you reach the consistency of ricotta cheese. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings as needed.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1?8” thick strips, I used a vegetable peeler!
3. Spread marinara sauce onto the bottom of an oven-proof skillet; set aside.
4. Spread 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture evenly along each zucchini slice. Roll up and place in the prepared skillet; repeat with remaining zucchini slices and filling.
5. Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lasagna rolls are heated through and the cheese is beginning to brown.
6. Serve immediately. Garnish with ground pepper and fresh basil.

Wellness Blog

How To Reduce Your Stress While Working From Home

In a time of so much upheaval, adjusting to working from home is anything but easy. It’s always challenging to juggle personal and professional responsibilities while also caring for your own well-being—and with the future so uncertain, it has become more difficult than ever. 

We want to help. Here are a few of our top tips to keep your stress levels low and your spirits high right now.

Set up a calming work environment

Take some time to create the optimal setup for your new space. Just as you would at the office, decorate your desk with things you love—whether it’s photos of your family, art, candles, books, posters, or sports memorabilia. Next, give your back a break by arranging your computer monitor, chair height and keyboard in the most ergonomic way possible (the internet can provide some guidance here). If you can, try to find a spot with natural sunlight and add some plants to purify your air and perk up the space.

Keep a regular schedule

With no commute or evening activities, it’s tempting to abandon your normal daily schedule. Resist that urge. Sticking to a timetable is a great way to manage stress. By breaking your day down into smaller, bite-sized pieces that each have a purpose, it both fills your time and provides a clear focus. Scheduling also helps you create a clear division between personal and professional responsibilities—a distinction that is crucial when working from home.

Take a break to meditate

Consider downloading a mediation app to use during a break in your workday. Meditation isn’t for everyone, but now could be a great time to see if it helps you reduce some day-to-day anxiety. You can even add in some aromatherapy to your practice! To fight stress, we recommend using frankincense, lavender, bergamot or ylang ylang. 

Eat healthy, balanced meals

To help your body combat stress, it’s important to feed it the fuel it needs. Make sure you’re at your best by eating plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. And keep it simple. With all this time at home—and influencers on social media who make it look so easy—you may feel the pressure to bake your own bread, start an extreme diet, or spend hours making elaborate dishes. But there’s no need to add that additional strain to your life. Simply do your best to maintain a balanced diet and keep your body fueled up. 

Keep in touch 

Isolation compounds stress. That’s why it’s more vital than ever to stay in touch with friends and loved ones with regular phone calls and socially distant visits. Additionally, try to maintain some non-work contact with your coworkers throughout your day. You would be surprised by how much a little office small talk over Zoom can help with your mental well-being.

However you choose to manage this new reality, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. In such a challenging time, that’s all we can do.

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