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27 Jan, 2022

Celebrating the pillars of health: our guide to a happier mind

Nutrition, sleep, movement and being in nature are the most powerful yet most overlooked interventions for mental health.


How does our food affect our mood?

Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function and depression. When we eat too many foods with added sugars, this causes an imbalance in our brain chemicals.

A study carried out in 2017 found that 23% more of men who consumed a high amount of sugar (67 grams or more each day) were likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression within 5 years. Though this study excludes women, similar studies have proven the same effects linked to women and depression. Sugar can weaken the body’s ability to respond to stress and also cause stress-induced withdrawal symptoms when trying to eliminate it.

Good gut health plays a key role in guiding our mood and ability to regulate our emotions as your gut microbes help your body produce more serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain. Since about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions. Equally, another neurotransmitter related to our gut (GABA) helps to calm us and regulate our mood by switching off stress reactors.

How can we look to movement to enhance our mood?

Moving increases oxygen and blood circulation throughout the body, including the brain. Improved blood circulation in the brain translates to elevated mood and cognitive function. Going for a walk, whether in the countryside or even in a city, has been scientifically proven to improve your mood by boosting the production of stress-busting endorphins. It’s also proven to improve your microbiome diversity! Win win.

Our top tips on how to help regulate our mood in our everyday life:

  1. Try to eat 7-10 different fruit and veg per day, the more variety the happier your gut will be.
  2. Cut or reduce your intake of refined sugars as much as possible. Try and reach for a handful of nuts or berries, if you have a sugar craving. Otherwise, a sweeter herbal tea (such as camomile, ginger, licorice or dandelion root) can help to curb those cravings.
  3. Go for a brisk stroll, run or cardio exercise for 20 minutes per day.
  4. Prioritise sleep, aim for 7-9 hours per day. Check out these tips on how to nurture an effective sleep routine to improve your quality of sleep.
  5. Try to aim for 10,000 steps a day and for 3,000 of those steps to be in nature, such as a stroll through the park on your lunch break.

As part of our Ultimate Reset plan this January, we partnered with Caudalie to provide some expert, natural products that promote relaxation and self care and help manage stress levels.

Caudalie's Vinergetic C + range that featured in the Ultimate Reset

How does stress affect our skin?

When you feel stressed, your body will release stress hormones like Cortisol that can cause an increase in oil production that may lead to breakouts and congestion. Stress also contributes to lack of sleep which can be problematic for your skin. The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and good quality sleep is essential for healthy glowing skin. Lack of sleep deprives your skin of repair and regeneration, leaving your skin feeling sluggish and dull, with lack of elasticity. The solution is of course to live a stress-free life with lots of sleep. However, with busy lifestyles and many other factors, stress is now becoming a daily part of life.

What can you do to help reduce this?

A moment of self-care is a great way to destress relax and life your mood, and one of my favourites self-care rituals is my daily skincare routine, and the good news is we have the perfect remedy for fatigued and stressed-out skin.

How are the formulae in Caudalie skincare designed to help with this?

The Vinergetic C+ line uses an anti-fatigue cocktail which activates the microcirculation for a fresher and healthier complexion. Stabilised Vit C leaves skin with a radiant glow, even skin tone and helps to slow down the ageing process. Hyaluronic acid locks moisture plumps and leaving the skin feeling hydrated. Grapeseed Polyphenols, one of nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants help to protect from environmental and free radical damage.

How do you use Caudalie’s Vinergetic products to energise your skin?

Instant Detox Mask cleanses the skin of impurities visibly removes excess oil and tightens pores leaving the complexion fresh, clean, and radiant. Apply a thin layer onto clean skin, leave for 10 mins and remove the excess. The Vinergetic Overnight Oil regenerates stressed-out skin and brings a detox effect thanks to its organic carrot oil for a fresh complexion by morning, formulated also with lavender oil, neroli oil and rose hip oil. Apply onto clean skin or mix a few drops into your Detox mask to boost effectiveness.


Explore Caudalie's Vinergetic C+ range on their website.