If you're feeling a little heavy, depressed, lethargic or anxious, sometimes a good detox can help. But I don't mean just drinking juice for days, I mean detoxing your body, mind, and your environment.
Toxins stress our bodies and minds, and we're exposed to them daily through air pollution, chemicals in the products we use on our skin and clothing, pesticide residue and even ingredients themselves in the food we eat, negative information we consume, and stressful work we burden ourselves with.
The good news is that we can control many of the toxins we ingest and we can take steps to reverse the damage for those we can't. Simple daily actions such as eating well and meditating go a long way to encourage your body, mind, and spirit to detoxify. And setting up our home and work spaces to be healthy environments so that we can limit as many toxins to come into contact with as possible - plus so we can more easily destress and detox our systems - will reward us with the gift of of a healthy, thriving life.
Here's where to begin:
Mind, body & soul detox
- Eliminate or reduce caffeine, sugar, hydrogenated fats, alcohol, and tobacco.
- Double up on veggies, and reduce intake of meat and dairy.
- Drink more water by keeping a nice water bottle with you at all times.
- Amp up on fibre to cleanse the system, but do it through whole foods. An apple a day...
- Go organic when possible - here's the list of the Dirty Dozen to especially watch for.
- Try a daily smoothie with the help of Simple Green Smoothies.
- Drink lemon water upon waking.
- Drink green tea daily.
- Add healing spices including turmeric and cinnamon to daily meals such as a smoothie, oatmeal, stir-fry or even in tea.
- Eat garlic, parsley and cilantro.
- Put a water filter on your tap and drink from this instead of bottled water.
- Go for a walk in the fresh air every day at the same time, even if it's just 15 minutes.
- Do yoga stretching, twisting and inversions to stimulate the lymphatic system and organ detoxification.
- Sweat out the toxins. Try a hot yoga class or use an app like this one to take just 7 minutes per day to do HIIT training.
- Meditate daily. Try Headspace for 10-minute guided audio. And download my free workbook: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy People.
- A few times every day take 10 deliberate deep belly breaths.
- Dry brush your skin to detox your lymphatic system and organs. Check out this article for more on how to do this.
- Take an epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is formed from a pure mineral compound containing magnesium and sulfate, both of which stimulate detoxification pathways in the body. Make up a jar of a mix of epsom salts and lavender oil and scoop about a cup into a hot bath daily (not if you are pregnant or have heart disease).
- Watch TV less and be conscious about ingesting too much violence and negativity from shows, news, and books.
- Do a digital detox by shutting down all phones and screens for at least an hour a night. Try setting an alarm at night that triggers a silent and restful nighttime routine.
- Detox from negative people by reducing the time you spend with them.
- Find a positive affirmation or mantra to repeat daily to detox your mind from negative thoughts.
- Declutter your mind by doing a brain dump. I talk you through how in this post.
- Ditch the chemicals in your household cleaners for all-natural ones. I've got step-by-step instructions here.
- Freshen the air in your home and office with essential oils, a natural air freshener and detoxifier. Use a misting spray or a diffuser.
- Switch out your toiletries and beauty products for natural, organic ones. The toxins and carcinogens in most brand-name makeup, soaps, and shampoos are terrifying. Check out this post for a list of those I like and where to find them.
- Wash hands often, but with a natural and organic soap. And switch the chemical store-bought hand sanitizer to a natural homemade one - recipe right here.
- Declutter the surfaces of your home and get organized. A cluttered home makes for a cluttered mind. If you need a kick-start join my free 7-day challenge to receive a tutorial per day with instructions for organizing key areas of your home and life that will take no more than 10-30 minutes.
- Organize your desk and clean it with a natural cleaner.
- Indoor air is typically 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Add plants to your home and office to purify it.
- DO NOT wear shoes past the entryway. It brings dirt and all kinds of toxic crap inside. Keep mats and shelving at the door to remember to take off your shoes when arriving and put them away.
- Keep air exchange vents and filters clean, and consider purchasing a portable air purifier to run for a few hours each day.
- Vacuum often with a HEPA filter.
- Open the windows.
- Get rid of plastic by swapping plastic bags and containers to glass and stainless steel containers for leftovers and lunches.
- Change out your vinyl shower curtain and liner for a cotton or hemp curtain with a PEVA liner.
- Try to remove any carpeting and rugs that are synthetic and switch them for natural fibre options like jute, seagrass, wool or 100% cotton.
- Lighten up your space. It may seem odd to think that a bright space could help you detox, but I've found that light, bright rooms help you feel lighter, and therefore more able to think clearly and have more energy to exercise and do all the other good things on this list. Read more here.
Whew! This list is long, but it really won't take too much time, and it's so worth it! Making a few of these changes up front, plus getting into the habit of doing some of the daily detox actions each day will help you see a spike in energy and an overall feeling of good health. Get cracking!