Hello, I truly hope you like this month’s Barefoot Wellbeing Blog. As you might have noticed I haven’t wrote my blog for ages, so I felt it was time to get organised and start writing and sharing things that matter to me again.
If this month’s blog helps just one person in a small way to learn a new skills then I will be very happy x
People associate playdough with young children. Yes we know it is an amazing low-cost resource, that is brilliant for keeping tots entertained for a while and has the added benefits of refining fine motor skills and other developmental skills such as numeracy, imagination and creativity. But think, how many of us have taken a bit of dough from our kids or niece when they are playing with it and have just taken a few minutes to appreciate its texture as we squish it in our hands?
I am passionate to share that playdough is for all ages. It can benefit us in strengthening muscle tone, help relax the hands and I love the fact it offers an imaginary and sensory explosion of fun too.
I love using it as a tool as it is cheap and has calming and therapeutic benefits with its smooth robust texture. Providing a soothing and calming feeling that stimulates the senses too.
I felt that pairing up Mindful practice while using dough was really beneficial. By just sitting for a moment and focusing on it is a brilliant way to bring yourself back to the present moment. Helping lower anxiety and stress and regain some balance and clarity once more.
Mindful Lavender Dough Activity
Go on give it a go and see how you feel afterwards. I would maybe make the lavender dough recipe below so you have the added benefit of the lavender aroma.
Get comfy, take a moment to focus on the dough that is in your hand and ask yourself these simple questions:
· What does it feel like as you squish it in the palm of your hands? Are you kneading it hard or softly?
· Is the dough warm or cold?
· Does it smell? do you like the smell?
· What colour is it? Is their a marbelled effect or a block colour?
· Does it have any textures in it (lavender leaves/buds, glitter etc?, is it smooth or lumpy?
· Can you hear anything? popping or squidgy sounds?
· Roll it in to a ball, into a long lace or a square… be completely present with it.
When thoughts arise, do acknowledge them, then let them go, brining your attention back to the dough. Yep your attention will wonder time and time gain but as soon as you realise this is happening, gently acknowledge it, note what distracted you and bring your attention back to the dough.
How do you feel?
Lavender Scented Mindful Dough
Why am I using lavender oil in my dough?
Well, lavender essential oil is the most used essential oil in the whole world! As I'm sure you already know it is renounced for its calming properties too. Draxe.com claims that it has powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, sedative, calming and ant depressive properties.
I use it in a variety of ways but mainly to help introduce the idea of lowering anxiety and stress, to relax and improve sleep, but also to help alleviate headaches. I’ve also been told it can also help brain function – so happy days!
An evidence-based study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice found that supplementing with 80 milligrams capsules of lavender essential oil alleviates anxiety, sleep disturbances and depression. It appeared that the study also concluded that lavender oil had no side effect either.
Lavender Dough Recipe:
Here is the simplest and for me, personally this is the best no fail recipe that I know! I can’t faf about and this non-cook playdough is perfect. You can make it in 5-10 minutes too!
Important note: If making this with a child or someone with additional needs please make sure they are supervised at all times and do not ingest the dough as it has lavender oil and lavender plant pieces in it.
You will need:
A large bowl and wooden spoon
A cup measure
And remember to boil the kettle prior to making the dough
2 cups of flour
½ cup of salt
2 tbsp of cream of tartar
Chopped up lavender leaves/buds/flowers (personal preference)
5 drops of Lavender essential oil (or less)
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 – 1 ½ cups of boiling water
A few drop of glycerine
2 tsp Food colouring (Purple – mix pink and blue if you can’t get purple)
How I make it:
1. Pop all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well
2. Add the oil
3. Add the food colouring to the warm water in a jug, then add gradually into the bowl (1 cup first then gradually the other ½ if needed)
4. Mix well and get rid of any lumps
5. Add the remaining ingredients
6. Then turn out onto a hard surface and knead the dough until its smooth and stops feeling sticky
7. Store it in an air tight container or bag.
I hope you enjoy making the dough as much as using it!