The new year can create a shocker for people, for any of us in fact who want to strive for better but feel bombarded by so.much.information. As you will see on my social media channels and if you were to meet me in person you will quickly learn that I am an advocate for self-care. This means that I am not going to tell you that you need to change.
Of course you are perfectly entitled to change physical parts of your body if you so desire this year (I have recently entered the world of lash extensions – WoW. Obsessed.). If altering something or working towards losing weight or gaining muscle makes you stand a little taller or breathe a little deeper then I am all in. I want you to be YOU! Prioritise getting to know yourself over everything else and the rest will follow.
Shameless plug – I released my new self acceptance e bundle and you can download it here to join my growing community of women who know and love themselves from their brain to their bones.
When we put ourselves under pressure to try new things or to be more active sometimes we work in the opposite direction. As humans we naturally fall into old habits, the places where we are more comfortable in familiar territory. This often defeats the purpose of us wanting to accomplish new stuff. The overwhelm of different foods in our day to day or a change in routine, if too drastic, won’t work.
With this in mind, I have come up with ten body rituals or body feeders ( if you will) which will, over time, tell your mind that you are doing awesome and that there is light at the end of the self care tunnel. We make fun of reailty tv shows because of the “journey” the contestants go on, but they have a point. The journey is the best bit. It is what gets us on the road to change and when we complete a task the journey is what we reflect on.
My advice to you is to decide on your intention and focus hard on bringing that to fruition.
You know as well as I do that if you fill your plate too full, well, items of your dinner are going to fall off as you move your fork left and right and try to cut that tough broccoli stalk. Don’t over fill your schedule but do allow the sentiment of this post and the points below to trickle into your everyday life for an improved sense of wellbeing and accomplishment, one step at a time.
Here is my list of ten shifts which will inevitably change your body for the better.
1.More yoga. Bending, breathing, stretching, lengthening and being in tune with yourself for an hour at a time- what’s not to love? Long gone are the days of the one stop shop yoga class, there are a wealth of different classes open to male and female. Find your one and be in tune with your mind, body and soul. Unlike gym time, you can’t check instagram between sets. Switch off from reality and into zen. Gary of fitness Belfast runs a male only class and I am starting classes at the yoga quarter Ballyhackamore (image below) which I am so excited about! Look at how stunning this space is.
2.Massage. We spend a fortune on clothes and food for our body but why do we neglect the muscles that hold our body together? It takes the muscles or ligaments to ping while we struggle on the five a aside football pitch or when we lift our toddler out of a rock pool. I train six days a week, three of those days includes weights, two of them includes me hanging upside down from trx bands and the other involves sprints or swimming. It dawned on me that I perform all of this strenuous exercise yet don’t use any form of manipulation or work from foam rolling or even better, a professional physiotherapist . I will be teaming up with Maura of Smart physiotherapy over the coming months on the blog. She will educate us on the benefits of massage, how to foam roll, how to use kinesiology tape and the dos and don’t for those of us (ME!) with pelvic floor issues.
3.Drink more water. This goes hand in hand with my desire to cut back on my wine intake throughout the week. We all feel the same about a wee lift from a cup of coffee or a can of fizzy goodness, especially in the afternoon slump. However, a green tea or water are super sources of keeping the body flushed of toxins and if you’re trying to change eating habits, then water will keep you topped up between meal and snack times.
4.Wear better footwear. Since my foot measurement at Robinsons shoes I have realised that many of my shoes were the wrong size. You could put a full two fingers into the back where my heel and the back of the shoe met. Not great for stability or my joints!! We all go through a phase in our youth when high heels and cheap shoes cut it. Let’s ditch that idea and realise that our spine and calf muscles are the only ones we’ve got. You can read more about biomechanic – inner and external forces on the body, along with prevention of injury here.
5. Meditate. I like to pray – while washing the dishes or driving in the car. I am also an advocate for mediation and dreaming big. If you want to change your eating habits or how you let toxic friendships control you, then you need to focus on making that shift. The girls in my self acceptance members group are all on board with this notion of taking a few minutes each day to thank the body that we are in for all it will do that day. Equally giving thanks at the end of the day is beneficial for feeding your mind with positive concrete thoughts about ourselves and others.
6. Try new workouts. I am excited to film workouts with various local professionals – if you are a PT or trainer and want to do a workout with me get in touch with your name, your speciality and idea here. We make a quick and easy video which is so much fun. Trying new workouts means muscles that we have neglected waken up! Our brain has to shift it’s co ordination to suit the task that is in front of us. Embrace and enjoy the change to your gorgeous body.
7. Stand and sit correctly. So much of our days involve lugging stuff from a to b – our laptop bag, shopping, small children, scooters, kettle bells! Furthermore, we sit in front of a computer and we sit in a drivers seat most days. I have a tendency to let myself slouch and because of my long back I feel discomfort. My aim is to strengthen myself by standing correctly ( in my proper fitting shoes!) and I encourage you to also include correct postural alignment to your daily life.
8. Eat less meat. In a world where the variety of vegetarian and vegan recipes at our finger tips, it is surprising that we reach for meat at most meals. I have a guest post from Caroline Wilson of Taste and Tour NI where she reviews one of my top veggie books Anna Jones A Modern way to eat here. Eating less meat and more vegetables can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes amongst other things- I feel a little lighter when I don’t have a chunk of meat at a sitting… even though steak is my absolute favourite dinner choice! See my clean eating steak recipe here. I have a meat free enchiladas recipe here you can try and also Little pink kitchen’s gorgeous winter salad recipe here .
9. Sleep more. I watched a fab video recently where three men who ran their own company copied the traits and daily habits of successful CEO’s. Arianna Huffington was one of them and she suggests wind down before bed and asleep before 9pm with your phone charging in a different room. I have started to adopt some of this. Reading my book this past week in bed instead of scrolling my phone. I am hoping my sleep will be deeper and longer and my body rejuvenated… if someone could give the toddler in our house a heads up on this need for good sleep that would be brilliant! Read more on the benefits of sleep here.
10. Moisturise. I cannot claim to be a beauty blogger or expert. I do however appreciate simplicity in cosmetics and I speak of my experience with Arbonne here. My good friend Emma (pic below) in America started making everyday oil a few years ago and we all had the pleasure of trying it over time. Her company is so successful now and every time I wear the oil on my body I am asked what spa I have been to! I also love local company Mrs Rganics facial serum which you can find here. I bring it in my hand luggage when I travel. The benefits of using oil on the skin includes repairing while you sleep as it soaks into your skin. I find there is also have a glow and as above, I smell like a spa. Application after the shower onto damp skin is a good time to add this to your routine.
Whatever shift you decide on, allow it to bring light and shade to your everyday knowing that life is to be lived and enjoyed!
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