Staying calm

…or finding peace in the those difficult, busy moments during the day! Peace in the stressful, demanding routines of the day.

This is something I was told a few weeks back on a course. Yes, it was to do with child development and finding calm in those stressful parts of the day. The ones we rush through just so it will be over and can move onto the next things. The times when you’re getting the children out into the garden or ready for lunch or even trying to get them ready for the end of the day. However, why should these moments become such a ‘to-do’. Why do they have to seem frantic? Rushed or stressed? They only appear to be so because we perceive it to be like that. Children are children, especially in the early years where they are transitioning through vast amounts of developmental milestones. Rather than trying to rush through these difficult times, we should be supporting them so it becomes less of a stress on us. We should take our time, just say to ourselves ‘it’s okay, no hurry, we can take our time’ and generally this attitude defuses the whole situation. I’ve been trying to find joy in those moments, using them as opportunities to talk with the children, have a genuine conversation, where I actively take interest in their opinions. These parts of the day are slowly becoming some of my favourite moments. It’s amazing what young children have to say and do when we just stop and and let them be, rather than hurriedly getting them out into the garden.

I then started to think of this in relation to aspects of our own day-to-day routines that we rush through. The ones we just want to get out of the way so we can find time to do something more ‘meaningful’. Those transitional parts of the day that seem to rub us the wrong and leave a sour taste in the mouth. Again it’s not the moment itself but how we perceive that moment to be. If we already have this notion it’s going to be stressful then mostly likely it will. A self fulfilling prophecy. We slowly become disconnected from own lives. We miss all those wonderful little moments because we were so focused on the parts that made us feel crappy. We push through things, and pile too much onto our plates so we are constantly buckling under the weight of all we have to do.

Consequently, my intentions at the moment are to try and find joy in those ‘horrible’ moments. The intention to try and figure out why they are such a problem. In doing so, my day becomes a little brighter. I find myself smiling because on reflection these situations are not always so bad. They’re are generally things we can control and sort out, without all the huffing and puffing that goes along with it. The stuff we can’t control, we just have to let go of, which is actually much harder to do. Having recently had some time off work, and having had a few days to relax and just ‘be’, I have come to realise that wasting time rushing through our daily lives is so…boring. When we rush through our day and come to those final moments in bed where we think, ‘whah where did that day go? Feel like I’ve achieved nothing!’ In reality we’ve probably achieved a great deal, we just didn’t take the time to stop and notice all those wonderful moments in between.

It’s about making the most of the small delights in our daily lives rather than always focusing on that bigger, greener picture. Noticing what’s around us and just taking a moment to breath in the air around us. If we truly observe what we have and what surrounds us, I think we will be surprised at what we find. Life, and daily routines need not be a struggle. It’s about perspective!

So, my intention is to continue to find joy in what I have. To write a list, whether it’s a mental or concrete one, of all that I’m grateful for. And I leave you with a few images of the things I am eternally grateful for…Friends, loved ones, the sweet moments of simplicity that life brings us and of course yoga!.

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Love to you all!

Namaste x

 

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Staying healthy

…and sound of mind I suppose.

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(if in doubt have a power, energising, green juice!)

How does one stay healthy, when there are many conflicting views on how to go about achieving a healthy lifestyle. What does this term ‘healthy’ actually mean? Do we take the medical, scientific notion that being healthy consists of promoting a diet full of nutritious foods and exercising regularly. Or do we take the more philosophical notion, that being healthy can be a state of mind. Being in a place where our mind is free from stress, and can focus on things that make us happy. Is being healthy living a life full of perspective and openness? When I typed staying healthy into google, the main response I got was this:

Staying healthy physically can help you stay healthy emotionally too. If you’re eating the right food and keeping fit, your body will be strong and help you to cope with stress and also fight illness. Eating well and taking regular exercise when you are a teenager will also help you stay in good health later in life.”

(From the childline website)

This emphasises the foundations of staying healthy. From a physiological perspective you need to eat well and be physically active. It is fundamental for us as humans to be active, to be doing things and supporting these activities through nutritious foods. Maybe the concept of healthy is subjective to each individual and the needs they have. I’m not qualified to make judgements or bandy round advice on how to stay fit and healthy. All I can comment on is what works for me and my life.

Of course if you have underlying health issues that have been identified, then of course keeping up with a regular fitness programme, eating a wider range of whole foods and seeking advice and support where possible, is mostly likely going to keep you healthy and live a fuller, longer life.

However, for the rest of us, the ones that plod along, succumb to regular colds and flus, and have a general feeling of being run down, how do we stay healthy? The ones that eat okay but not all the time, and workout when the feeling arises, how do we begin to connect to this concept of ‘staying healthy’? Personally, I start with thinking about what I want out of life. The things I want to succeed in. And that’s being able to perform at a high level in my job, and be able to do the things I enjoy when not working. Like practising yoga, seeing friends, and visiting new places. If I constantly don’t feel well then I can’t do those things that make me happy. Over the past few months I have been so unwell that I’ve missed out on that stuff and it makes me sad. Even now, if I do too much my body begins to feel fatigued and stressed out, and I can feel those old feelings of lack lustre arise again. My skin and mental well-being begins to take its toll also.

I deem myself to be a pretty healthy person (workout regularly and eat a nutritious diet roughly 80% of the time). Clearly my body was telling another story. So, I took it upon myself to treat it to some self love. I spoke about this in a previous post. And my body was totally grateful for that ‘me’ time. I began taking regular doses of Vit C (1000mg) and Zinc. I began changing my food habits back to how they used to be – lots of veg and fruit, limiting the amount of sugars I was intaking. It’s crazy to think how much refined sugar can have an impact on our lives. And I started practising gentle yin, restorative yoga poses, to help ease out tension and toxins that had built up over time. Basically I tuned into my body and let it do what it needed to do. Otherwise, you persist in this vicious cycle of nastiness.

For me, this is how I go about promoting a healthy lifestyle. Knowing when I need to recharge, take stock and modify my behaviours. I enjoy feeling good about myself. I try not to limit anything but focus on surrounding myself with goodness, whether that’s foods, people or thoughts. And with this I gain a sound piece of mind. I find a clarity and clearness. My mind is able to be still and quiet. And I can focus on the things that are important. Sometimes, struggles come my way, which effect my sleeping habits, which in turn can affect my food choices and exercising patterns, but I don’t let it get me down anymore. I try to see it as having a balance, and try to connect with what’s causing those problems. Usually it’s feeling overworked and tired. It’s about noticing signs and symptoms, and then working out how to solve those issues.

I follow Food Matters and find that they’re idea of being healthy and how we can achieve that ideal, extremely motivating and inspiring. They break it down so it becomes such a simple process. Making those small changes, which will help change our attitudes towards the kind of life we should, or even want to be living. Maybe, that’s what ‘healthy’ means. Having an attitude towards life, an energy that omits positivity and encourages you to be the best version of yourself.

I’m going to stop here, as I could waffle on for ages without making much sense. But I hope you get the sense that what we deem to be healthy can have many different meanings. And it is up to us to make those changes. We have a responsibility to take care of our bodies and our minds so we can live a full and exciting life.