How to de-stress (and de-bloat!) in sixty seconds

How to get rid of stress and bloating easily
How to de-bloat and get rid of stress easily
Ways to get rid of stress and bloating

I am one of those strange individuals that thrive off of stress. I like lists, I like deadlines and I like overloading myself with work. Even when I was on holiday it took me days to be able to sit down in the sun without thinking about something work-related. Stress is one of those things that creeps its way into our lives without us even realising. Sure, traumatic events cause stress, but you'd be surprised by how much every day life can stress us out as well. And if you think stress just leads to the odd headache and a few aches and pains, you're way off the mark.

A little while ago I met with the lovely Katie Brindle, the creator of the HAYO'U method and the lady who I will forever know as the person who helped me handle my stress. The HAYO'U method is a form of one minute exercises that help to heal the body naturally, whilst de-stressing at the same time. 

THE MORNING EXERCISE (60 SECONDS)

- As soon as you get up, shake your body (you'll look insane) to help dislodge toxins and get your blood flowing. Do this for 15 seconds.

- Next, twist the body as if you were wringing out a sponge. This will help to dissipate the toxins from the body and increase blood flow which will help you improve your digestive function and release tension stored in the body. Do this for 15 seconds. 

- Last but not least, firmly drum on your skin to help get rid of any stubborn toxins in the body. This will also help you wake up your muscles. Do this step for a total of 30 seconds and repeat every morning for the full benefits. It'll help the body over time, but it'll wake you up straight away!

Like most people I don't have the luxury of going out and getting hour long massages and facials every week - nor do I have the time to attend yoga classes multiple times a week to help me unwind. I'd like to, and sometimes I do manage to squeeze the odd session in, but in general I can't quite commit to that sort of, well, commitment. So when Katie told me that her techniques would only take up a minimum of two minutes a day I thought - you know what - that is the sort of thing I can do. And I have been doing it - every single day.

Now, call me crazy, but I've always been a firm believer that we as people can fix a lot of our own ailments, without tablets or doctors appointments. I used to get the worst migraines, and at one point I was so desperate to find a cure that I found myself on the weird corner of Google looking at facial accupressure. I tried it out, and amazingly enough I haven't had a bad migraine since then. So when Katie started explaining the benefits of Chinese Medicine to me during our meeting I was all ears.


THE BREATHING EXERCISE (60 SECONDS)

- Get comfortable (I like to do this in the bath for full relaxation benefits) and take a big breathe in through the nose. Hold it for a few seconds.

- Breathe out through the mouth and engage your stomach - try to imagine yourself forming a 'smile' with your stomach muscles. This will help to engage your PNI (Psychoneuroimmunology) which, long story short, is the interaction between your brand and your immune system.

- Repeat this exercise five times - or more if you can! Doing this will bring more oxygen to the body and will help to release stress in the body. It'll also help to strengthen you against any future stresses!

Don't get me wrong - I'm generally a very healthy person, but recently I've been suffering from really bad bloating that - at one point - resulted in me being unable to move out of bed due to the pain. After talking to Katie it dawned on me that these digestion issues occurred around about the same time my Mum was diagnosed with lung failure. Alongside that, a few other personal issues, plodding through my final year of uni and working alongside, it became clear to me that the bloating was a result of stress, overthinking and worry, not the amount of pastries I was eating (although that probably didn't help).

Bare with me on this one, but, what emotion would you say comes from the heart. Love, right? And what about the lungs, the stomach, the spleen? We often ignore the emotions that effect the rest of our body, but it turns out that - in Chinese Medicine - every major organ is effected by how we feel. And the stomach? You guessed it - that's effected by worrying and overthinking - AKA stress, stress, stress. Did I say stress?

The idea behind HAYO'U is that you treat the problem, not just the symptoms, so instead of just trying to de-bloat I've begun to focus more on my overall stress levels, which in turn has helped me with my bloating. I almost feel guilty for writing this blog post, because all in all I'm simply just telling you guys to breathe - something you do every day. But trust me, it works. It may sound crazy, and you may think that it won't work for you, but if all it takes is a few minutes out of your day then hey, it's worth a shot, right?

In fact, Katie's so certain these rituals will work for you that she's offering them up to you for free. You can check out her tutorials on the side of this post, or you can have a browse on the HAYO'U website if you're feeling extra info-hungry.

WILL YOU BE TRYING OUT THE HAYO'U METHOD?


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*This post is in collaboration with the HAYO'U method, but I genuinely love it!*

The best of the beauty basics

My skincare, haircare and makeup routine are anything but basic. I apply multiple concealers to my face for multiple reasons, I multi-mask like my life depends on it and I fill my scalp with more products than I have hair follicles. Call it over the top, I call it research. And during my 'research' I've come across some real gems that have either become or have remained firm favourites in my beauty drawer, that have changed my beauty-game completely. Full faced or bare faced, these babies always come along for the ride.

Frank Body Lip Scrub review

 

Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep

I'm an at home teeth whitening fiend and I somewhat pride myself in having tried out just about every teeth whitening product on the high street. My latest obsession comes in the form of the Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep Serum, which looks seriously luxe in appearance but costs less than a fiver for a full months supply.

I'm a big fan of teeth whitening strips, but sometimes I want something super quick to slot into my routine without having to walk around with a plastic film on my teeth for half an hour. With this, all you have to do is massage a pea-sized amount of the serum into your teeth after brushing at night and get snoozing. So simple, but such a game changer! You'll notice the difference after just one day.

 

Charlotte Tilbury Kidman's Kiss review

 

Zoeva Soft Kohl Liner in Karnat

I wake up in the morning and my eyes are red. I get too much sleep and my eyes are red. I stay up late, my eyes are red. I go outside, they're red. I stay in, they're red. I've learned to deal with the fact that sometimes I look like I've had forty eight sneezing fits in a row, but the other day the Zoeva Soft Kohl Liner in Karnat arrived through my door and reminded me of the magic that is makeup.

Even when I'm going makeup free, a lot of the time I'll run a nude-toned liner across my waterline to liven up my face and give the illusion that I've had eight hours sleep. Any nude liner will do, but I've found that the Zoeva Karnet liner is perfect for creating a super natural finish due to it's creamy consistency. It's also pale enough to brighten the eye area without looking too stark, and it's affordable too!

 

Frank Body Lip Scrub

A lip scrub has always been a part of my beauty routine, but recently I've fallen in love with the Frank Body scrub in particular. I often find scrubs to be really great at - you guessed it - scrubbing, but they tend to leave my lips feeling rough and even more sore than when I started. The Frank Body lip scrub contains a mixture of coffee oil (which helps moisten your mouth), vitamin E (which plumps that pout), macadamia oil (which helps to moisturise the lips) and ethically sourced beeswax to help sooth irritation, which - when you're a matte lipstick lover like I am - is kind of inevitable. 

Now doesn't all of that sounds like the start of the most amazing coffee cake concoction? That's another reason why I love it so much. It's bloody delicious. And, it comes in a kit complete with a super silky lip balm made of lanolin and other lovely oils.

 

Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep review

 

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips

I'm all about nude lipsticks, but lately my every day look has consisted of more coral/pink-toned lips than anything else. One colour that's been n my lips pretty much all week is the Charlotte Tilbury Kidman's Kiss lipstick from the Hot Lips collection. 

The formulation is described as a 'luminous modern matte' and that's exactly what it is. It's matte but moisturising, and - whilst there's absolutely no shimmer in the product at all - it does give off somewhat of a natural glow that helps plumps the lips and add an overall healthy glow to the skin. It's also suited for all skin complexions and works both day and night, so the perfect lippie to pop in your handbag. £1 from every sale of Hot Lips in the first two months of sales will go to the Women for Women International charity. Another bonus.

Zoeva Liner in Karnat Review
Sunday Riley Luna review

 

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

I am oil obsessed, so it was only natural that I get my hands on the over-hyped Luna oil by Sunday Riley at some point in my life. During my super sleep-less times at University I suffered with all kinds of skin issues, forcing me to hop around different treatments in hopes of something, anything (!)being able to help my lifeless, dry, pore-filled skin. I became a fan of Luna from the get-go, purely because it comes out as a blue oil and I am evidently six years old. But after using it for a few weeks I really started to notice the difference that it made in my skin.

Lunais an overnight oil rich in retinol, which is a fancy ingredient that basically tricks your skin into thinking it's younger. It also contains Blue Tansy (hence the colour) which helps to soothe inflamed skin and calm any skin conditions along the way. I use a few drops every other night. Pricey, but lasts a long old time. What are your beauty must-haves?


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Why I chose to change myself in order to love myself

I've been meaning to write this post for a while. In fact, I've been wanting to write it for such a long time that it's kind of gotten in the way of my ability in writing anything else thats's overly emotive. I guess when you post your life on the internet you allow yourself to sit under somewhat of a microscope - especially your physical appearance - and I guess it's finally time I addressed the elephant in the room for once and for all. 

When you post photos of yourself online it can seem pretty vain. I get it. You post a bunch of outfit photos on the internet and bam, you're in love with yourself. Although (and I think most bloggers/internet people will agree with this) that's not always the case. I've been doing internet 'stuff' for almost eight years now, and I've been posting on this blog regularly for two of those years - the majority of these posts being photos of myself. And whilst some of you guys might completely disregard what I'm about to say, the truth is is that I have literally hated how I look for years. I've mentioned my battle with depression in previous posts, but I've never really spoken about some of the reasons I used to feel so low and - long story short - a bulk of it really was just me struggling with my appearance. Whichever way you look at it - whether you think I'm crazy or you agree that I was somewhat lack-lustre in the old looks department - it was how I felt. And it feels really good to be able to say that that way how I 'felt' and no longer how I feel.

So I publicly broadcasted the fact that I had lip and chin fillers (be sure to check out my post all about my dermal filler experience if you're interested) and over time I've found myself in a routine filled with fake tans, whitened teeth, acrylic nails and hair bleaching. I've become more familiar with the gym (I'd like to humbly slip in the fact that I *chose* to go to the gym at 6am the other day..) and I've taken control of my diet in a bid to get the body I've always wanted. I've begun to wear lighter coloured contacts after years of wanting bluey-grey eyes and - if that wasn't enough - I also took a trip to the dentist the other day where I had one of my front teeth filled to fix something I've been conscious of for quite some time. So you know, nothing major.

I've never hidden anything that I've done - I mean, how could I? You guys probably see my face more than some of my own relatives. It'd be near impossible to hide what I've been up to without just taking photos of my ankles forever more (which by the way, have stayed the same). Sure, I haven't hidden anything, but I haven't really spoken about my semi-sudden transformation either. I know, I know, I've not had any drastic surgery or anything done, but when I was going through some old posts a few weeks ago I realised that, actually, all of these little things have kind of accumulated in a way  that makes me look like a very different person. I'm going to leave a link here to one of my older posts that's less than a year and a half ago, just so you guys can see the difference.

Now I don't mean to go all psycho therapy on you guys - and maybe it's just because I know what was going on my head around that time - but I think it's safe to say you can tell I wasn't feeling so great about myself. I wore baggy clothes because I felt that was what fit my body best, I wore hats almost all the time because it covered a portion of my face, I hid myself in outfit pictures because I didn't like how I looked, and even after the photos were taken I tried to edit the crap out of them to salvage whatever I could. In fact, I specifically remember telling Ollie (and this was only a few months ago) to stop asking me to look at the camera, and to get pictures of me looking down or away instead, because I looked better that way. And smiling in a picture? Pah! Dream on. But now? Now I literally feel like I'm looking at a different person when I scroll back to those photos. 

I know we all grow out of awkward phases and - generally - a lot of us get better looking with age to an extent because we manage to figure out what works best for ourselves and what looks absolutely ridiculous. But, up until now - at 23 years of age - I never really felt like I figured out how to look good. I mean

sure, I'll look back on these photos in a years time and think, jeez, maybe I shouldn't have done my makeup like that, but at least I can look back at them knowing that - at that moment in time - I felt good about myself.

I've had so many people talk to me about my fillers, my fake tanning, my contacts, telling me that I was 'pretty enough as it was' and that 'I don't need to change' and they're all completely right. I didn't need to change, I wasn't ugly. I've known that this whole time. But knowing that and feeling that are two completely different things. Sure I might have fallen in love with myself a few years down the line but, at 23 years old, I thought, why wait for that 'might have' moment? I lived 23 years looking at people and wishing I looked like them, and then when I matured a little in my later teens I spent a few more years wishing I could just transform myself into a better version of me - one that I pictured in my head. It wasn't a complete transformation into some form of Victoria's Secret model (although if someone can start some form of Kickstarter campaign for that I won't say no), it was simply to change ever so slightly to be able to be the best version of me, in my personal opinion. 

I remember my mum always told me not to worry about what other people thought. She said it to me when I was called weird for playing video games instead of playing with dolls, she said it to me in school when I was made fun of for getting good grades; she also said it to me when I was a My Chemical Romance loving emo in secondary school. So when it came to that pivotal moment in my life a few months back, when I decided to change myself, the only real piece of advice I had in my head was to not listen to what everyone else thought. Everyone, literally everyone I spoke to told me I shouldn't do the things that I've done, my Mum included, and even though her advice was pretty solid throughout those twenty-odd years, I guess it kind of backfired on her on this one occasion. Because I ignored what everyone else said, and I did what I always wanted to do. Sorry ma.

Like I said I know that in a few years time I could have woken up one day and felt completely at peace with how I looked, but having felt genuinely depressed (and I don't say that word lightly) for years about what I saw back in the mirror I didn't want to take that chance. And so I slowly changed things bit by bit, building up my confidence along with it. Sure, my chin night be 40% fake, my lips might be a bit fuller than mother nature intended, I might shove fake eyeballs in my face most days and yeah, I might rub brown stuff on my body every week to get a tan. Stripped back, I probably look almost identical to that girl in the old pictures. With all this new 'armour' (as I like to call it) on, yeah, I guess some people would say I'm 'fake'. Fake or not on the outside, the new-found confidence and love I have for myself is very much real. 

WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN? PS. I LOVE YOU GUYS!

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REVOLVE 15% off sale picks

If you guys follow me over on Instagram (@cocochicblog) you'll have noticed the website 'REVOLVE' cropping up every so often on my outfit pictures. I get so many questions regarding where I get my clothes and - apart from the usual high street stores - it's almost always REVOLVE. In fact, I think it's safe to say that I have REVOLVE to thank for my not-so-subtle style transformation as of late (if you're new here, hello, I used to wear tracksuit bottoms and trainers on the daily). So naturally when I received the memo that they were having a 15% off sale for us Brits I thought it was probably about time I shared with you guys some of my favourite pieces from my favourite brands such as Tularosa and Lovers + Friends. And so, here they are! Shop the pictures below by simply clicking on them (you know the drill) and enter 'TAKE15' in the promo code section at the checkout to save that moolah. Goodbye, last month's earnings. It's been fun.

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Olympus PEN E-PL7 review

Olympus PEN E-PL7 review

after is a £20 top, but a camera that costs hundreds? I made sure I did my research before hopping on that band wagon. But, needless to say, I did end up on that band wagon, and so after months of using and abusing the camera I've decided to do my own little review and give you guys a few tips and tricks on how to make your Olympus PEN E-PL7 that little bit better.

Last year the Olympus OEN E-PL7 was at the top of every bloggers wish list. In fact, it was so high in demand on the internet  that it pretty much became known as the 'camera that all the bloggers had'. You now how it goes. You see one of your favourite bloggers using something, a few days later you find yourself wanting the exact same thing. That's fine when the thing you're 

BUILD QUALITY & DESIGN

Let's not beat around the bush here - the Olympus PEN E-PL7 looks pretty great. I mean, when I'm not taking Instagram pictures using the camera I'm actually taking pictures of the thing. There aren't many cameras that I'd consider overly 'Instagrammable' but this one really brings it. And whilst that might not be the most important thing in the world, it definitely helps when you photograph every aspect of your life. Okay, so onto the more important part - the build quality. Before buying the PEN I was dubious that it was just a gimmicky camera made for flatlay fanatics. Which it kind of is, but it also does a whole lot more (I'll get onto that later). The Olympus PEN however, is nothing but gimmicky in terms of quality. The kit lens that comes with the camera is sturdy and the glass on the lens itself is impermeable to clumsy idiots like me.
 

LENSES & SELFIE SCREEN

Unlike most on the go cameras, the Olympus PEN has interchangeable lenses - and a lot of them. I'm still plodding along nicely with the lens that came with the kit (the 14-42mm) but I've heard great things about the 45mm and the 17mm. Of course, a major selling point for the camera is the pull out selfie screen. I mean, my selfie game has pretty much increased by about 500% since buying the PEN, but thats not even the best part about it. The 'selfie' screen makes flatlay images easier than ever - especially if your'e lacking in the height department like I am. Since it flips out at both angles it allow you to hold the camera above whatever it is you're shooting whilst still being able to see how the image looks. 


HAVE YOU GUYS TRIED THE OLYMPUS PEN BEFORE? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

WI-FI & REMOTE SHOOTING

Probably one of my favourite things about this camera is the speed that you can transfer your files to your phone. It's so god damn quick, and perfect for anyone on the go. All you do is snap away, turn on your PENs wi-fi, then you simply connect to it on your phone, open up the app and voila! The same goes for remote shooting, only I'd suggest perhaps staying away from that function for long periods of time, unless you want your battery drained in an instant.
 

 

Quality & ease of use

The last but arguably most important part about the PEN is the quality of the photos and how easy it is to use the camera. I've never really trusted automatic settings on a camera, but the quality of the PENs auto functions are almost fault-less. If I want to take a 'real' photo, I'll use my Canon DSLR, but if I want to snap something quickly for Instagram or if I'm simply on the go then the PEN works wonders. A few clicks of the brightness button, one snap of the capture button and voila. The pictures end up so crisp and so vivid in colour that they barely need touching up at all. And if you want to use manual settings and get a seriously professional photo, you 100% can. The best of both worlds.
 

SIZE & ACCESSORIES

Another perk about the Olympus PEN is the size. Sure, it's not as handbag friendly as every other compact camera out there, but it makes a nice in-between camera if you want either an all-rounder or something you can take around with you with ease as opposed to lugging around a big fat DSLR. Better yet, 
Olympus also recently brought out camera bags that look more like handbags than anything else, as well as shoulder straps to match your camera (I've got my eye on the mint green one), so they really have covered all their bases in the blogger dept.

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