As we embrace this new year here are a few helpful tips to keep your body and mind in check. It's all too easy for us to get lost in our day to day tasks and by the time we have sat down its 10pm! We can become drained because we are giving our energy away to often without filling our 'self love' cup back up. We can create a self care practice very easily if we give ourselves the opportunity and time.
Research shows that adding self-care into your daily routine reduces stress, decreases the chance of mental and physical ailment, increases productivity, and influences your day with positivity and the happy hormone. By giving ourselves a daily dose of kindness & compassion, not only do we benefit the most but we are able to approach our work and relationships with a clear, happy mind.
The first on the list to keep us in check each day, even if you don't manage half of the others is gratitude. When you wake in the morning or before you go to bed name 5 things you're grateful for. This will be a healthy reminder to hold close the things that make you feel happy and connected. Rather than starting or ending the day with a negative mindset.
2. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
What have you already eaten today? Was it a part of your 5 a day? We should really be hitting over 10 a day not 5! Eating simple fruit and veg can boost our immunity and improve gut health, try and eat a handful of grains, limit sugar intake and don't eat food that has a tv advertisement for it. Our bodies and brains thrive on unprocessed food and making a meal from scratch can be so rewarding. Another extra tip is avoid eating with distractions, DON'T have your phone anywhere near you, turn the tv off, sit at the table with your family, take your time and enjoy your food!
Sometimes self care can be a simple thing like taking a shower, but instead of rushing give yourself those extra 15 minutes to just stand in it. Warm your towel before you get out the shower, or even better pick a small towel so your skin feels the cold! If you are more of a bath lover, light some candles, play some music and top up the hot water, I always used to meditate in the bath for about 2 hours. Despite being a wrinkled prune I felt so calm and relaxed after!
4. MOVE YOUR BODY
Moving our bodies builds strength, coordination, flexibility and it keeps body and mind youthful. Find an exercise regime you ENJOY! Whether this is walking daily in nature, Yoga, cardio, HIIT, the gym or swimming, if you enjoy it you'll keep wanting more and enjoy your routine, if you don't enjoy something it's going to be difficult to sustain, and any how, if you don't enjoy it, why do it?
5. HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
Now we have all been in a position that we have willingly said 'Yes' when we actually mean 'NO' and then end up moaning to our best friends for the whole week. Not only reminding yourself of a situation you didn't want to be in but also spreading that negativity onto other.
Creating healthy boundaries can mean learning to say when we want to and also learning to say no. It can be from clear communication in a conversation, don't hide behind what you really mean, saying it, even if it hurts, you and the other person will have more respect because you know where you both stand. Self care isn't just physical, most of it comes from our state of mind!
6. TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS
The social media world can be of great benefit when we need something, but it can also bring about expectations, people sharing their best bits every minute of the day. Does this really benefit your life or do you come away feeling frustrated you haven't got over 10 likes on a post? Taking time off social media, turning off your notifications, putting your phone on silent and especially turning it off while you sleep can bring a little more breathing space into your day. 24 hours a day our attention is pulled in every direction so hearing your phone 'ping' every 5 minutes can get a little tedious. Turn off and really begin to enjoy your own time and space. Without judgement or expectation.
Im personally obsessed with books, I love having a handful next to the bed to pick up and read when I want. What you're reading doesn't need to be heavy going or complicated. Just ask yourself the question does it bring benefit to your life? Rather than reaching for the newspaper order a mindfulness book, an inspirational book 'you are a badass', or a daily yoga quote book that you can pick up and enjoy each day.
8. GET IN NATURE
Along side the first tip 'Gratitude' this can be top of the list. Getting a daily dose of fresh air can work wonders, physically grounding the body can alleviate stress and anxiety. Taking your time to walk in nature, find your own pace and walking rhythm, really take your time. Studies have even shown that getting outside can help reduce fatigue, making it a great way to overcome symptoms of depression or burnout. Breath in the fresh air, enjoy all the elements, wrap up, get muddy and enjoy the simplicity of the earth!
How many hours a sleep do you get a night? Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough, stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep patterns. It's time to create a safe space for you to really rest and relax after your day. Avoid drinking or eating just before you go to sleep, Keep the room a little cool or keep your heating to a minimum, as our bodies relax our temperature drops so already setting up an environment where the body can relax quicker always helps. Limit screen time, tv time and blue light distractions, give yourself at least two hours of undisturbed time away from gadgets, especially if you're using them all day.
10. DRINK MORE WATER
Water!! Fill a large bottle of water or two and leave them around the house to drink. Staying hydrated throughout the day helps keep the bodies systems functioning smoothly, it lubricates your joints and muscles. Its promotes healthy hair and skin, especially through winter when we have our heating on! The best thing you can do to boost your health is to drink water when you wake up, 30 minutes before or after eating!
11. LET'S GET ORGANISED!
Being organised can really uplift your spirits and bring about more motivation. At the beginning of a New Year do you have the sudden urge to strip the house and have a good clean? To recycle clothing from your wardrobe or to give away your children's old toys? New Year not only represents a new start but we can reflect on our old habits that may have been holding us back. Much like our meditation practice we can observe thoughts that are important and trivial, we can do the same with our daily life. Create lists of top priority tasks, whatever you're doing don't half arse it, do it with your full attention and properly. That way you won't think about leaving it 'to finish tomorrow', this then gives you more time to do something else, or better yet, nothing!
12. POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Words have extreme power. When you communicate, your words can not only influence others, but can also transform your internal state on a deep and profound level.
Affirmations are powerful, positive statements that aim to direct your conscious and subconscious mind, challenging previously held unhealthy and negative thinking patterns. The way we speak to others matter, and the way you speak to yourself is incredibly important. By repeating a negative thought process we can often find it difficult to see the light, when someone has said something unkind we feel hurt and withdraw, when we tell ourselves we can't do something we WILL NOT even give ourselves the chance to try! A compliment may make us feel embarrassed because we don't feel worthy. I promise if you start to notice the language you're using to others and yourself you will feel a big difference. So start tomorrow with "I CAN", "I WILL" not "I CANT" (which means you wont!). Say YES to life, to discomfort, to feel, to learn, to understand and to become a better version of yourself!
These 12 tips, you could do every single day, and just imagine how much more connected and spacious you would feel in your body, heart and soul. Take them as they come, ponder on them, don't force them but set the intention that you are willing to at least try.
Each day consciously make the effort to just be with yourself, no one else.
Just you, your thoughts, your body, the sensations, the breeze, accept all of it, be grateful for it and love it.
All my love,