Dare I mentioned the ‘C’ word however Christmas is over and done with, the New Year has firmly seen in 2018 and we are mid way through January. Time travels fast and before we know it, we don’t know what’s hit us, where we are and what we have achieved.
Did you set new year’s resolutions? Did you achieve any? Are you still on schedule to achieving some or all of your goals slowly but surely?
I love New Year because it is a time for a fresh start, starting new goals, starting new ventures. It is a time for feeling new and pushing the ‘reset’ button and pressing ‘play’ again from scratch.
However what we need to be careful and aware about is to be realistic and not set too many goals with unrealistic timescales which we can’t meet and then feel like we are failing and beat ourselves up.
We also need to ensure to take care of ourselves, first and foremost. I believe in todays world there is too much focus on being there for others and nurturing others however we need to focus on the self first and once we are in a good place, a stable place, a content place, only then can we be of help to others and be in a great place to offer advice and guidance to others.
On my journey to wholeness and wellbeing, I have developed my own toolkit to help connect myself with mood & stress busting as well as coping strategies that I can tap into when I need it most. When we feel overwhelmed, we are at our least creative and resourceful therefore the importance of finding the right balance as well as being realistic in what we want to achieve, how and by when, whilst nurturing ourselves with self-care and self-love.
While we all know what it is to be healthy, it is another to actually do it and be it. Self care and self love is all about knowing what you need to do, finding the right resources and support systems and when things don’t go quite to plan, not to beat yourself up but to accept what has happened and put one foot infant of the other and continue forward on your journey.
For example, if you have one cookie with a cup of tea that is self-care. If you have the whole packet, digested with guilt whilst sabotaging your future self, that is not self-care. Self-care is about loving yourself head, heart and body, creating the best of yourself and this is no easy task. It can be one of the hardest things to focus on the self, love the self and simply spend time on the self. We are very good at taking care of others but the self………….
Here I want to share some tools, guidelines and moments that have helped me along my journey and some that I use daily to keep me on target, dedicated, motivated and sane!
- Mindful Walking: Take time out in nature (whether it is at your local park, forest or local neighbourhood), even a 5 minute walk works wonders, not only for the body to get movement, for the mind to feel the beauty all around it and feed the brain with oxygen.
- Nutrition: It is easy to get carried away with fad diets at this time of year however you have to be realistic and set goals that suit you, suit your lifestyle and suits your diet. Take simple steps – swap one item in your diet for another healthier, more nutritious variety. For example, I LOVE coffee, however this year already, I have reduced my intake of this by 80% and swapped it for my now favourite herbal tea – ‘roasted brown rice & green tea’. This is not only tasty, it is so nutritious and full of anti-oxidants and I love the process of brewing fresh tea in my favourite glass tea pot and little tea glasses. It is all about treating yourself and not just using your favourite tea set for guests! You deserve the best so treat yourself!
- Smell: Smell is important and spreading some refreshing and relaxing scents around your home and work place really improves mood. I find that each scent sparks a different behaviour in me. At present I love using oils so if I want to feel relaxed and wind down for the day I use Lavender in my aromatherapy diffuser. If I want to feel charged, energised and work with a clear mind, I use Lemongrass. If I want to be productive yet not feel pressurised yet calm I use Serenity and so on. This is a great way to use natural oils throughout the day to set your mood.
- Connect: Take time to meet new people. Look for new opportunities to connect with new people, experience mutual goals and strategies that leave you feeling inspired and motivated. With social media at the tip of your finger, this is a great way to connect with new people and groups and actually go out and meet people who also share the same interests with you. Don’t be shy, you are all in the same boat!
- Music: Music is a great healer and can also shape your mood. Try turning to music more than you do perhaps to the TV, where it can at times dull your mind & mood and put you in a hypnotic state which can sometimes leave you not feeling positive or motivated.
- Affirmations: Mantras and affirmations are a great way to in-still in your sub-conscious mind what you want to achieve and how you want to feel, whether you say it to yourself over and over again or you write it down in your journal. I love writing so this is my preferred method and I always write my affirmation of the day/week 108 times. Repetition helps to imprint your affirmation into your subconscious mind with a view to believing it and achieving it.
- Goal setting: Reflect on goal that you want to achieve and focus on how you would feel once you achieve it. See it, feel it, see how your life benefits from having achieved it and relish in those feelings. This is how ‘law of attraction’ works and from experience, it works!
- Meditation: Take time to sit, relax and be mindful about your surroundings and your mind. Light a candle, put your favourite soft music on, use your favourite scents and create the ambience of giving your body and mind some time to simply be. Let go of everything and take some time out just for you. Relish in the silence. This is super powerful.
- To Do List: Create a to do list or have a diary to hand where you write down all that you need to do and achieve and once written down, let it go. Sometimes our minds go into overactive mode with all things we have to do however if you write it down and put timescales around it with reminders, let it go. Don’t overthink things.
- Water: Drink a minimum of 2 litres of fresh filtered water daily. This helps hydrate the body, brain and mind. It is essential for health and wellbeing. You can flavour your water with slices of lemon, lime and/or orange as well as berries and fresh herbs.
- Food: This is a huge subject and very personal and individual to each and everyone of us. However, battling with my own weight struggles over the years and now working in the food industry, my biggest recommendation is to plan! Plan your meals weekly. This hugely helps in you knowing what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. It helps you be prepared with the right foods and in creating the right dishes so that when hunger strikes, you have healthy food prepared and to hand instead of reaching for something quick, easy, processed and perhaps not so healthy! There is so much help and advise out there, so many free recipes on the internet (check out my FREE RECIPES) that there is no excuse for not knowing or not having the information to hand. If money is an issue, that too is no excuse. Buying fresh fruit and vegetables and natural proteins (beans) is now very reasonably priced with most supermarkets having regular offers and deals like ‘top 6’ where selected 6 fruit and veg are priced at 39p or 49p. You must control the food, not the other way round.
- Clothes: Sometimes we get caught up in wearing the same clothes and colours. Try changing this and wearing new colours and styles. This will not only enhance how you feel, it has been proven to enhance your mood and the signals you send out to others about the type of person you are. To feel confident you need to radiate confidence. Wear bold colours. When I go to meet new people or network with new people, I wear my sparkly bright red scarf. I love it!
- Nurture your body: Book yourself a relaxing massage where you take an hour from your schedule to pamper your body and mind. You can also take time out in your own home by lighting some candles, put some soft music that you love on and run a bubbly bath that you can relax in, using calming scents and nourishing natural products to hydrate and relax your muscles.
- Gratitude: Give thanks for all that you have and all that you have achieved. Whether you feel it or not, you have come a long way in your life. Give yourself credit.
I hope this helps you in some way and perhaps you can share your own rituals that work for you day to day.
With love Guilda x