This April, we’re teaming up with Women’s Health. All month long on our blog, the mag’s editors will be sharing tiny tweaks that produce big results—meaning tips on easy ways you can improve your overall wellbeing.
You know your mind is great at solving complex problems and daydreaming about Ryan Gosling, but it can do a lot more than that. Your brain can actually control everything from your PMS to your weight. But there’s a catch: If you’re not taking care of it, your brain can throw all these areas out of whack. Here’s how to maximize your mind to reap big benefits in all areas of your life:
Switch Off Stress and Anxiety
Here’s the good news: Women’s brains are significantly more active than men’s brains, especially in the prefrontal cortex—the area involved in judgment, impulse control, planning, empathy, and more—says Daniel Amen, M.D., author of the new book Unleash the Power of the Female Brain. But a super-active prefrontal cortex comes with its own set of challenges. “Because of that increased activity, women also worry more and have trouble letting go of things,” Amen says. His advice: Give your brain a break with regular stress-management techniques—like meditation, guided imagery, or even a massage. “Just ten minutes a day to take your brain somewhere else will decrease cortisol production,” says Amen. And cutting that stress hormone will make you happier, wiser, and more productive.
(Fun hint: They’re green!)
We’ve started production on our April Birchboxes! We know you’re as excited as we are so we snapped this pic at our warehouse. These are the “dumplings” (what we at Birchbox affectionally call the tissue-wrapped samples) that will be inside your monthly delivery.
Who’s stoked to get their box?
Not a Birchbox member? Click here to get on the list!
Queen of beautiful bridal gowns, Vera Wang, has decided to take a step into the beauty realm. Starting this April, Wang will be offering a full line of makeup, roounding out her clothing and apparel line, at Kohl’s.
For April’s Birchbox, we teamed up with the well-respected green chic site, Ecofabulous. Their experts helped us garner several of the environmentally-friendly goodies featured in this month’s box and founder, Zem Joaquin, even generously served as our latest Birchbox Crush. This week we’re hearing from another one of the site’s savvy blogger, Caitlin Bristol, the creative director. She’ll be sharing details on her favorite brands, her go-to oil remover, and a handy-dandy yoga guide. Up today? A behind-the-scenes look at Weleda’s super-cool biodynamic gardens.
This past summer, ecofabulous was invited to visit Weleda Naturals Biodynamic Gardens just outside of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. With our love of Weleda products (we’re constant fans of the Almond facial line and have been obsessed with the Pomegranate Firming Facial Line since it came out earlier this year) we jumped at the chance to visit the site where it all goes down. The garden’s 135 acres make it Europe’s largest biodynamic medicinal garden – and to think Weleda has more gardens in Switzerland, France, the U.K., the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil and New Zealand! At that scale, witnessing first hand the cultivation of plants and herbs for Weleda’s product collection stood as witness to the company’s belief that beauty should be grown right from the earth rather than in a lab.
Top left: The hike from Schwäbisch Gmünd to the gardens; top right: Entrance to Weleda Naturals; Botom left: A field of calendula before harvest; Bottom right: calendula heads right after harvest.
I was lucky enough to witness the calendula harvest, one of the 250 medicinal plants grown at Weleda Naturals, and learned that every year the calendula is planted on a different field in order to ensure the most rich, rested soil – one of the many Biodynamic principles that the gardens use. Much of the calendula is used for Weleda’s Baby Calendula Care line because of the plant’s powerful healing and anti-inflammatory properties. A haven for birds, bees, and bugs (see the insect hotel below!), Weleda Naturals is the legacy of Dr. Rudolph Steiner, seen as the father of Biodynamic agriculture. By viewing soil as a live organism, keeping it in balance with natural resources (no chemicals or growth hormones allowed!) and taking guidance on planting, crop rotation, and harvesting from the natural rhythms of the sun, moon and planets, crops are harvested with incredible purity and potency.