I’ve been on my wellness journey for a good 6 years now, and it’s been quite a journey, with so many learning’s along the way. And one thing is for sure, it certainly is not something that happened overnight, nor should it be.
What I’ve come to realise is that overall wellbeing is holistic, and we cannot focus on one area of wellbeing and ignore the others, expecting overall health. I myself have experienced this for my own. As healthy as I eat, if I don’t maintain my stress and anxiety levels, I am not balanced, and my health suffers. Overall maintenance is key to optimal wellbeing.
I started out with adding green smoothies to my daily diet, then upped the ante to eating raw vegan meals for breakfast and lunch, noticing how amazing my energy levels were. Some days I ate raw vegan meals all day, and never suffered the 3pm slump at work, or the carb coma after dinner. It was this observation that made me switch to being full vegan after 12 months of eating that way mid-week and eating whatever I liked on the weekends. It was a stark contrast of how I felt on the weekends compared to how energised I was during the week; so that was really a no-brainer for me. I didn’t know I could operate as optimally as I did on a vegan diet, and I loved my new-found energy!
These days, I generally try to stick to eating 2 raw vegan meals each day, to maintain my energy and a flat tummy (read: good digestion!)
I started yoga with a friend 5 years ago, and haven’t looked back. Bikram, flow, ashtanga, hot yoga, hip hop yoga – you name it, I’ve tried it, and it’s a part of my life that will remain now. If I get caught up in work and can’t do yoga at least 2-3 times a week, I’m noticeably more stressed, highly strung, emotional and irritable.
Yoga has taught me patience, flexibility, strength building, core strength, acceptance, a regular state of calm, and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s a lot more difficult than most people would give it credit, but suits any level of fitness.
Daily meditation is part of my 2017 new year resolution – I can’t say I’ve been perfect so far, but I’m not about to punish myself for those busy days where I’ve let slip a day here or there. But the intention is there, and I notice how calm and in control I am on the days where I do practice 20 minutes of meditation. That may seem easier said than done; most days I use my commute to work on the train to meditate. Mornings work best for me, and influence the rest of my day for the best, helping me to tackle anything that gets thrown my way in a calm and constructive way, minus the stress and anxiety.
I use 1 Giant Mind app on my iphone, which works for me. But there are plenty of meditation apps to suit everyone, so find what type of meditation works best for you.
When do we ever stop to appreciate what we have, and where we’ve come from? I for one feel like I constantly have a moving target for my goals and expectations of myself, not allowing me to appreciate the simple things.
I try to spend time at the start and end of my day thinking about what I’m grateful for; my health, the roof over my head, a loving family, supportive and amazing friends, a good and stable job, and last but far from least, the most amazing partner I could have ever dreamed of.
Sometimes we all need that moment to reflect, and it enables us to appreciate what matters at the end of the day. I see a huge effect in doing this on my overall happiness and wellbeing, and my mental state.
TIME WELL SPENT
We all have the same amount of hours in the day. How we use them is entirely up to us. Where I used to spend hours watching tv or cruising through social media, I now spend watching health documentaries, meditating, practicing yoga, connecting with my partner, putting on some music, reading a book or goal setting.
I get a greater overall sense of happiness and content when I spend my time wisely, and focusing on my goals and where I want to be, rather than procrastinating my time on non-productive activities.
THE LAW OF ATTRACTION
I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to Anthony Robbins’ podcasts, and watching The Secret. I think there’s a lot to be said for positive thoughts for empowering ourselves and attracting what we want from life. Trusting in this universe and that good things come to good people is my regular mantra.
FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS
What is important to you, what makes you tick? How much time each day do you spend on this passion? I’m such a passionate person, but if one element of my life takes over, I don’t feel overall happiness as I’m not exploring my full potential.
Coming into 2017 I focused on what was important to me, and what makes me happy. I decided how I would implement that into each day or week this year, so I’m not allowing time to pass whilst my passions remain stagnant.
Decide what is manageable for you in implementing a degree of your passion into your regular lifestyle, and check in with yourself regularly to see how you’re upholding this.
[Pic of my local yoga studio]