24 November 2019

The Wellbeing One!

And now for something completely different from me. My hope is that this is a useful post. Christmas is a lovely time but can be a bit of a struggle for some. There is much to juggle and it can be a very stressful time. Around six months ago I was having a really hard time. It had been going on for a while.....I mentioned here that I'd put it down to menopause. The symptoms were feeling anxious and overwhelmed most of the time. I've always prided myself on being a glass half full kinda girl but I was very aware that around my friends I was more of a drain than a radiator. What to do to get myself out of this funk?

This kind of message prompted me to write this post - 
thanks to everyone who contacted me to say so.

First of all I stopped drinking alcohol. I knew my consumption was out of control. What started as a glass of wine with dinner to take the edge off of the day swiftly landed up becoming a bottle most nights. It took me quite some time to admit to myself I had a problem and I tried without success to stop. My head really needed to be in the right place to give it up for good. How did I break the habit in the end? I think I have to thank social media for that. I had quite a few conversations on my Instagram Stories about how to cope with the menopause symptoms and one very helpful follower gave me a list of supplements to try. Once I'd been to Holland and Barrett with my list of requirements I cam away a 100 quid lighter and I realised that if I continued to drink it would just cancel out the benefits of everything I was taking to alleviate my ailments. I haven't had an alcoholic drink since. I could see a difference within a couple of weeks and it's just got better and better so much so I am not tempted to go back to my old ways.
That's not all though. I've always had a good morning routine. For about 10 years the first thing I've done everyday is get up and exercise but I was in need of a change and wanted to implement a few practices to start off the day in the best possible way. I am a huge fan of podcasts and had been listening to Jay Shetty and Dr Rangan Chatterjee. I love listening to anything motivational (glass half full kinda girl!) and both podcasts gave me lots of inspiration for things to try. 

So let me give you a run down of how my morning routine looks these days.

I try to make sure that my very first thought when waking up is "Today is going to be a great day!" Positive affirmations are an excellent way to start the day as you mean to go on. I like to follow that thought with setting some intentions for the day. For instance "It's my dominant intent to be very productive today and smash my deadlines" (chance would be a fine thing.....I'm a fly by the seat of my pants girl!).

Once I've hopped out of bed I do a few yoga stretches just to limber up.
Then I spend a few minutes jotting down my intentions and hopes for the day in my journal - I am using this The Positive Planner Wellness one (gifted) which I love as it provides the kind of structure I need to keep motivated write in it each day.

I change into workout gear and make my way down the garden into our "man cave". Then I mediate for 15 minutes using the Calm app. As I have been meditating for a while I just do a timed session to clear my mind but if you are a beginner there are lots of guided meditations to get you started. I can't tell you how much this little habit has changed my life.....I love it! I am so much calmer for it and I can't remember the last time I got stressed and I feel it's most definitely down to this practice.

I do a few more stretches before starting my exercise regime. I have done the same thing for the past decade - I don't even leave the house so there is no time going back and forth to the gym, no fees either! Making it part of my daily routine keeps me motivated. I have this trampette from Argos and I basically run on the spot for half an hour listening to music and repeating some positive affirmations. You don't need any fancy gym gear......you could do it in your pyjamas!

I try to dedicate at least one hour in the morning on self care - even if it means getting up early to squeeze it in.

Throughout the day I go for a walk with the dog or a bike ride to keep to the mid-afternoon slump at bay. It's a proven fact that being surrounded by nature is good for your wellbeing. Even on the days that I work I make sure I get out of the building......something as simple a change of scenery revives me.

My evening habits to wind down include only drinking herbal tea only after dinner.....strictly no caffeine! I try to make sure I put my phone down at a reasonable hour (I do not have my mobile phone in my bedroom overnight - I put it on airplane mode and I leave it in the kitchen to charge). I have quite a lengthy skincare regime in the evening so by 9pm I'm usually taking myself off to bed to leaving myself plenty of time to read. Lastly I think back on the day and all the little things I'm grateful for and I set my intention to have a good nights sleep. I have a rose quartz crystal close by as this is supposed to aid sleep......I do love my sleep and these things really seem to help.

Some of this may sound a bit woo woo to you but I honestly believe practising these habits everyday has helped me massively. I feel more confident, I'm calmer and much happier. My skin looks better and I have lots more energy. All the symptoms I blamed on the menopause have disappeared.

Let me leave you with some of the resources that I lean into to keep me buoyant.

My favourite podcast now (has been since August) is Oprah Winfrey's Super Soul Sunday. I listen to at least one everyday either getting ready or whilst in the car.

I have read so many of Oprah's book recommendations as result of listening to Super Soul Sunday. I have a long list of new one's to get through but here are a few of my favourites.

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle - this has been brilliant for helping me to quieten those negative thoughts in my mind.....I still refer to it often.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - just a beautiful spiritual story

The Power of Awareness - Neville Goddard

The Untethered Soul - Michael A Singer

The Universe is Calling - Eric Butterworth

The Seat of the Soul - Gary Zuckhov

If you have a Kindle you can sample all of these titles before purchasing.

Just to recap - my feeling is that a lot of small positive practices can have a huge impact. Even if you don't have an hour to spare just taking a few minutes for yourself each day can make all the difference.

I was a little apprehensive about writing this post - it's such a different topic for me but if by sharing it helps just one person it would make me really happy! I'd love to hear if you have any daily practices that help keep you positive and motivated! Do let me know if you have found this post helpful.

Back again soon. Michelle x


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