It´s taken me thirty years to get to a calm state of mind, and a stronger sense of inner balance. After waves of insecure and weaker periods of my life (letting stress affect me far too much), I´m stronger, and more stable than ever… And although those waves sometimes peek in every now and again (don´t they with us all?) – I now know what to do and ways to handle it. The perks of getting older I guess!
I´m not one for regrets, but I so wish I could have told my 20 year old self, how things would always work out. Everything happens for a reason, to always let life take it´s journey and not over-analyse every little detail and happening… Oh how that would have saved me so much time, aggravation and upset! That´s the way life goes I guess.
But how did I get to where I am now? A lot of determination and self-discipline. Being able to really look into myself, working on my weaknesses whilst boosting my strengths. One of the main things which has helped me on my journey, is getting back into my weekly practise of yoga. This is something which really makes me focus, reflect and stop up. It clears my mind from any negative thoughts and leaves me feeling so much more calm and peaceful.
I´ve had the pleasure of practising with the lovely London based instructor Jessica Wood over the past few months – who has brought me so much more motivation to get back into it! Her one-to-one classes are challenging, yet meditative (the perfect combination). See below for some of her learnings and tips for a happy, and peaceful life.
HOW TO FIND YOUR INNER BALANCE
by Jessica Wood
Allocate time to your exercise. Moving the body in whatever form suits you is so important but we need to be realistic with ourselves. It’s better to exercise 3 times a week then aim to do 5 times and then do none and beat ourselves up about it.
Learn to let things go. We can do this by training our mind through meditation. Meditation isn’t for everyone but there are other ways other than sitting still that we can practice to focus the mind. You can ground the mind by being mindful when you eat, walk, brush your teeth, shower, or use colouring in meditation books – tapping into the everyday. We can then use this skill to focus the mind when we feel anxious, stressed or negative. As soon as these thoughts arise practice tuning into the body and being as present as you can be. Often we realize that our mind has gone on a tangent and there’s no need to be as stressed as we make out.
Find time to yourself to relax at least once or twice a week. In the winter I love to take a bubble bath, light scented candles and chill, maybe put on an episode of Breaking Bad. In the summer I’ll sit on the balcony and have a glass of wine or go for a walk in the park. Treat yourself to time that is not rushed. Time that you consciously choose to unwind.
Finding physical balance with the body really helps keep the mind in check. I learnt quickly that I can’t always do a hard sweaty vinyasa flow and that it’s ok to do restorative yoga when my body is feeling more sensitive. Don’t always push and pull the body. If you’re feeling tired let the body be tired and don’t feel guilty about this. If we don’t listen to the body we’ll only exhaust ourselves and then bad habits happen like overeating. Tiredness is different to laziness however!
Tons of my friends suffer from fear of missing out. Do what your heart desires. We can’t do everything; it’s physically and mentally exhausting. You don’t always have to commit to everything. You soon realise that events are a fleeting moment in your calendar so pick wisely.
If you’re someone who likes to snack or gets hungry then make snacks and carry them round with you. You can make energy balls, have nuts, eggs anything that is delicious to you. Don’t let yourself starve. Fad diets do nothing for the mind or body and they often stress people out, which can cause to binge eating. Eat when you’re body is hungry and don’t eat when it’s not. If you’re body craves carbs after 6 then eat refined carbs and eat one portions size.
This is something that can cause great instability and the mind to spiral. It’s important not to be too obsessed with your finances but be mindful. There is always ways to cut back but still manage to do the things you want. If this is an area that is affecting you then at the beginning of each month work out roughly how much you can spend each week. Having a rough idea of finances and not loosing control is important for peace of mind and balancing your life.
We’re often telling ourselves what we are not and what we can’t do or achieve. Choose what you want to be each day! Whether that’s strong, courageous, kind, flexible, understanding, patient… Only when we start telling ourselves we are these things do we start to feel and act that way. The brain is a muscle we can train but it takes time and dedication for patterns to shift. In my daily yoga practice I choose something each day and when my mind goes on a tangent I can bring myself back to my positive and motivational word for that day.
Feed yourself daily with goodness. Positive affirmation cards are a great way to start the day on a good foot. Pick one each day, read it in the morning and carry it around with you. Whenever you feel a wobble or want some uplifting or some encourages words, read your card. It’s so simple but such an uplifting way to start the day.
Click here more information on Jessica Wood and her classes.
66 DAYS #HABITSCHALLENGE
On another, yet very similar note – I´m so excited to be teaming up with the inspiring and beautiful lifestyle & stationery brand, kikki.K. I will be embarking on their 66 days #HabitsChallenge and today marks Day 1! The concept behind their Habits Challenge, is breaking bad ones and making good ones.
The main challenge I´ve set for this 66 day period? BE MORE PRESENT. Other habits which go hand in hand with this one, are… Cutting down on social media and no electronical devices after 7pm (phone in another room or on airplane mode). Daily morning Yoga & Meditation. Go to bed by 10pm.
Setting the challenge to Be More Present, is something which I struggle with, working in the technology driven industry that I do (where I spend more time looking down on a screen, than up and around me!). And although I can´t cut down on all technology – as it´s what I do for a living – it´s definitely something I can improve and manage much better…
I.e no phones at the dinner table or when I´m with friends and family. Switch it off during the evening and don´t look at it until after my yoga and meditation session… As you know, Yoga makes me so happy – but I don´t practise it nearly enough as I wish I would! My excuse? Not having enough time. There is always enough time – it´s just about priorities. Meditation has been on my to-do list to do forever (how ridiculous that it´s even on some kind of list!?). I can´t wait to begin my days with calm reflections, rather than being glued to my screen the moment I wake up. Which finishes off with my last bad habit – not getting enough sleep (which has a lot to do with being on my phone all the time). Going forward, a minimum of 8 hours is a priority.
These limited edition self-help books from kikki.K, by celebrated authors Gretchen Rubin and Cyril Peuplon, are set to keep me motivated during this challenge.
Not to mention these inspirational quote cards, which will be dotted all around the house!
I will be posting about my #HabitsChallenge on Instagram, and be sharing my blog post round-up on here in 66 days!