January is well and truly under way. How are you doing? And how are those resolutions going? I’m not sure how I feel about resolutions – the competitive, perfectionist in me secretly loves the challenge of taking on more and being so virtuous but the holistic mamma in me says, slow down, go gentle, you’re pretty amazing just as you are.
Whichever, side of the fence you’re on, there’s no denying January is toughie to get through without a touch of the blues. If you raced off with plans to overhaul everything from your wardrobe to your workout, the enthusiasm is probably waning a little by now. Am I right?
I didn’t make any fixed resolutions this year but I did have an “intention”, that I’m sure will resonate with many of you, and that is to bring more positivity into my life by working on the wellness of my mind as well as that of my body. Physically, I’m healthy all year round - I workout, eat well, hardly drink, and look after my skin – but if I’m honest, I don’t give so much emphasis to the inner work or perhaps, I’ve just been avoiding it, which could explain why I’ve been feeling down and resisting change.
So how am I going about bringing more joy into my day? It’s not going to be an easy or overnight shift. I haven’t got a magic wand to wave away all my worries and responsibilities nor am I am heading off on a rejuvenating yoga retreat any time soon. But, I have made some exciting changes and I’ve also created a new set of “happy rituals” to boost my mental wellness and set me on the path to a more meaningful year, which I’m sharing below with you.
I have tried to keep the tips accessible and practical and for a change they’re nothing to do with going for a run or eating chia seeds, haha! I hope you will try one or two of them at home but I also encourage you to be gentle with yourself over the next couple weeks.
Don’t worry, if 2019 has got off to a slow or wobbly start, you’ve got a whole year ahead of you to establish healthy habits and embrace change. The ideas below are all about bringing more joy into your life so don’t do them if they don’t feel right for you. Create your own ‘get happy list’ instead. Maybe, you could try taking a break from social media at weekends, maybe commit to your yoga class more consistently, maybe you cook vegan once a week? Only you know what will bring you joy, decide on that and do more of it.
As always, I’m here not only to offer advice but support you on your path to improved wellbeing. I’d love to hear about your happy rituals as well as any struggles or set-backs you’re facing, we’re all in this together. Follow me @lucywakefield_calmia and let’s inspire and help each other.
Wishing you love, joy and simple pleasures
Say yes to something you’ve been holding back on
After talking about it for five years, yes FIVE, we finally got a puppy. I had literally run of reasons to say no and thank goodness I had because welcoming sweet little Solo into our family is the best thing that has happened to us for a long time. She’s a lemon and white beagle with a gentle nature, the softest ears and the kindest eyes. Having a dog is a HUGE commitment, but the rewards are endless. Walking her twice a day is the ultimate stress-buster, we get bags of fresh air, lots of exercise and make new friends of both the human and dog kind. The kids adore her and seem to have completely forgotten that Fortnite and iPads exist – long may this last!! I don’t care what I look like as long as I am wrapped up and warm, ever-ready to pop out for toilet-training! All round, having a dog is a big win and we love her to bits already. You may not want to get a dog but you can say YES to things you want to but have been hesitating about.
I also encourage you to get outside and go for a walk, whatever the weather, it’s the best remedy to blow the cobwebs away.
Give yourself 10 minutes of mindful love everyday
We all know meditation quietens the mental chatter and helps us feel more positive and present, but for some reason my practice is one of the first things I drop when I’m feeling down, which is crazy because that’s exactly when I need it most. I know a lot of you struggle finding the time or discipline to meditate but I’m back on track with this new arm positioning I just discovered. I love it as it feels like I’m giving myself a hug. See what you think….
Sit in any seated cross-legged position, that’s comfortable for you. Cross your arms over your chest and position your hands under armpits but leave your thumbs sticking out. Be careful not to hunch your shoulders – roll them back and down. Close your eyes and focus on your inhalations and exhalations. When you feel calm and safe, keeping your eyes closed, move your hands and place them palms down on to your thighs to keep the positive energy inside. Again focus on your inhalations and exhalations. When you are ready bring your hands to namaste and open your eyes.
Boost yourself from the inside out
When I gave up coffee, I was so pleased that my skin and digestion improved but I missed the whole ritual of ordering my daily cup. And while I do love my Green Tea, I was still searching for something that delivered that cheery lift. Then I remembered Chai. Perfect for this time of year and a happy tonic if ever there was one. Every morning, I have a smile on my face enjoying a warming,spicy mugful. If you’re not already a Chai-drinker, give it a try, it’s delicious and heart-warming.
Get plenty of sleep, it makes the next day so much better
My mornings, like most of yours I’m guessing, are super busy and can easily turn stressful. One of the best ways to prevent this, is to wake up feeling refreshed, positive and in control and the best way to feel like this is to get a great night’s sleep. To keep my energy and enthusiasm up on these grey January days, I’m making sure to get at least eight hours of sleep. Every night my ritual is to enjoy a deep bath of Sea Salts with a few drops each of Lavender and Vetiver alongside the glow of relaxing scented candle and then finish by massaging in a few drops of a sleep-inducing facial oil. The whole experience smells so delicious and feels so satisfying, that it’s impossible not to feel blissful and sleep soundly.
Oh, and please try not to check your phone as soon as you open your eyes – this is one of the best tips ever if you are tight on time and don’t want to deflate your enthusiasm before it’s even had a chance to get going.
Think more about the trail you are creating
I read an article recently that said as we move through life we all leave a trail behind us and that really got me thinking. It made me think about my own trail – is it a positive and purposeful one? It make me challenge how I was communicating and interacting with others and what I could do right now to make others feel happy and appreciated. It made me want to be more helpful, more friendly, more grateful, less preoccupied with myself.
And no surprise, when I make that extra effort to be kind to others, when I bother to stop and chat instead of hurrying along or I take the time to comment on a post I found meaningful or beautiful rather simply scrolling along, people really appreciate it and respond positively back.
I’m finding the more positivity I send out, the more comes back. I feel better, I’m pretty sure the recipient feels better too. Connection breeds positivity especially in these complicated, busy, smart-phone controlled times. Think about the trail you are leaving as you go about your day and are you proud of it – what is bringing you joy today and how are you sharing it?