Oh that phrase can conjure up feelings of pressure and overwhelm for our Health and Well-being!
I’m all about conjuring up more gentler intentions that work with helping to form long lasting self-care rituals. Often we put too drastic expectations on ourselves for the New Year. But why is the failure so high for New Year resolutions? A Forbes reported that over 80% of New Year Resolutions fails. Often the goals are not realistic and they create a feeling of dread and perhaps they can often be driven by a quick fix target. Instead I’m focusing on Self-care rituals to Nourish your Mind and Body. Does that sounds good to you?
These ‘7 Simple self-care rituals will help you look after your health in the long term and build strong Pillars for a more Holistic Integrated Health approach. The massage is a sample of how you can take care of your Health gently whilst reaping the health benefits at the same time. If you look at massage as an ‘indulgence’ then maybe ask yourself ‘How can I relieve stress? and ‘ What knock on effect will this have for me if I treat myself to a monthly massage’? You will of course feel amazing and you know the expression, when your cup is full, it’s really true.
These are not quick fixes for loosing weight or gaining core strength overnight but more stepping stones to help form good healthy habits, when repeated daily will help form long term healthy habits that can be kept and importantly are enjoyable. Remember it can take usually 8 weeks for a habit to start formulating. Keep with it!
‘Healthy New Year resolutions’ can often be TOO ambitious and often one month in, goals that are not realistic are ditched. I’m not a fan of the word ‘resolutions’ it sounds too much like punishment (!) and so I call them ‘Intentions’. Even saying that to yourself feels kinder. I believe when we want to be healthier, we need to start by being kind to ourselves first. Set goals you can keep and that don’t make you cringe each time you go to do them!
Try and get outdoors moving daily! Not surprisingly here has been an increased activity with people getting outdoors. Movement is the best source of energy and fresh air and nature is a tonic for the body helping us to breath deeper. It has a knock on effect for soothing the body and the nervous system. Daylight and sunshine help to store serotonin in the body which is very beneficial for a good nights sleep. We also know exercise has a wonderful benefits for keeping our hearts healthy and the more you do it the better. According to a recent new study it confirms that people who stay active are much less likely to have cardiovascular heart problems. Make sure your planning allows for gradual progress rather that signing up for a marathon with not enough time to prepare. Make getting outdoors a social occasion too, meet friends, family and go on a hike, enjoy a picnic. Try that walk route you’ve been meaning to do or check out your local clubs.
There is nothing more uplifting than connecting with good friends and family. People who support and uplift you and get you. There has been ALOT of disconnect of late with the way we are living, remote working. For me virtual meet-ups will never replace real human interactions! Our sense of touch has been deprived quite considerably lately. It’s researched that hugs promote happy endorphins and are simply heartfelt. Plan that coffee with a friend. Have a coffee break with a work colleague. Or better still, get outdoors for a walk and catch up!
‘ I really didn’t think a 15 minute massage would help so much’. This is what I heard alot most after a session of Onsite Massage in Companies. I only discovered my first massage when I was 25 and I thought I have been missing out, big-time!! I think perhaps it’s a cultural thing when compared to other countries and how people might view massage. When I was living in Australia my Australian friends would say ‘I’m just off for my weekly massage’ It was used as a tool not only for injury, but as part of their restorative regular self care routine.
Massage can help greatly with stress and taking away aches and muscle pains the body may hold, unfortunately they don’t go away by themselves. It’s very easy to get used to aches (and not a good thing!) and often it is only after a massage you realise how sore you really were. Massage can also help release and heal trauma to the body. Office workers are more inclined to get upper body stiffness due to the nature of the work. I think too for many Remote workers, longer hours are spent at the computer and it’s showing in back tension.
Massage can be used as a tool to simply keep the body good shape, it enhances the immune system and boosts energy and mood. *Just 10-15 minutes of a massaging has shown to reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels (stress hormones). I still love hearing the reaction of how amazed people are with the affects after just 15 minutes of a massage session. If you have private health insurance you might also be covered for some if not all of cost. It’s worth checking out.
My approach to eating well is everything in moderation with lots of fresh vegetable servings and food made from scratch. If you indulge more one day, take it easy the next..etc You can enjoy fresh breakfast juices, healthy soups, lighter foods etc.. I often find the more time we have, the more enjoyable it is to prepare healthy delicious meals, no rush.
Today with an abundance of good local fresh produce and online resources we don’t necessarily have to be a good chef to eat well! Using fresh local produce affects overall flavour and of course nutrients to your body. We’re lucky to have a super local fruit and veg shop “The Happy pear’ nearby. If you don’t, there are fresh food fruit & veg suppliers that deliver to your door! I have heard from friends ‘The Organic Supermarket’ are great. Powders are a great way to get essential minerals into your body. I’ve started using ‘Cacoa powder’ in my porridge every morning, full of iron & potassium and it’s quick and easy way to get nutrients into the body, I also add ‘Goji berries’ little power houses for the body, used for centuries. They are said to lower blood sugar levels and provide double Vitamin A requirement and they have a third of daily Vitamin C requirement. All in these little red berries! My kids love them too, and pick and choose their toppings for porridge.
Plan your meals ..so when you go shopping you aren’t just buying random things that you end up throwing away! If you are out for the day, bring healthy snacks, nuts, fruit etc Make life easier for you, cook meals to last two days or more :) and remember the freezer.
Increasing water intake with lemon can help detoxify the body naturally. Recently I’ve been having apple compote in the morning and golden milk in the evening, soothing, anti inflammatory foods with warming spices for colder days.
Online resources from chef’s can be a great source of inspirations. Donal Skehan does great easy, cook in 15 minutes nutritious meals, he also makes cooking fun! I’m always inspired with Susan Jane White’s super healthy meals for families and her batch cooking tips will free up time for you too. I always go back to my recipe collection scrap- book. It has delicious recipes shared from family and friends in France & Spain with many cut outs from newspapers and magazines. I love how certain meals and smells can evoke strong memories and bring you back to a place and time.
According to the‘National Sleep Foundation’ for adults we need 7-9 hours. Do you get that or do you dream of sleeping well? It simplys boosts your Mental Wellbeing. Sleep can come easily if were following healthy routines. Sometimes though it can be easy to stay up late, catching up on things, watching netflix, but then you may suffer from ‘sleep debt’ which is where you forget what it’s like to be ‘truly rested’.
Stimulants like coffee, alarm clocks and devices do affect our natural sleep cycle as the brain remain active for longer. For good sleep we need to allow ourselves to wind down in the evening, dim lights, doing something that helps to calm the mind. It’s something I’ve put into practice more lately.
Dimming the lights helps to prepare the body for sleep by producing melatonin. To help, you could try having a bath, sometimes I think it’s easy to forget this lovely luxury. So soothing and great for unwinding a busy mind. I love using Lavender from The Nature of Things essential oils, they are 100% natural and smell divine. Lavender is great for relaxing and has a calming affect on the nervous system. You can add a few drops to bath or burn in a oil burner or on some cotton wool in your room.
Turn on your favourite music for relaxing. I use the app Spotify, where you can add all your favourite music artists and make playlists. Spas always use aids to help soothe the senses and body, why not bring this into your home? De-clutter your bedroom to create a place you want to rest in. My recent addition for bed-time is Tisserand’s Lavender roller ball for bedtime.. sends you off into a blissful nights sleep dreaming of Lavender fields and sunshine!
In a world of ‘doing’ there is great joy in enjoying the moment, no planning just being. Taking time to reflect can help us get to where we would like to be in our lives and can help greatly with clarity. What would you like to change or bring into your life, make baby steps towards making those changes for this Year.. write them down. Allowing space in our days is when clarity comes in and a sense of calm.
Make sure you time-table your self-care schedule and meet-up with friends. This allows a mind-shift of priority and importance to be given to your Self-care plan and for it to happen! Having a friend to help you be accountable works in helping keeping you motivated and it’s always fun to enjoy the outdoors in good company.Have fun with it and enjoy that surge in energy and overall Well-Being!
Thanks for reading and wishing you the very best in health and happiness for 2022!