We are all plagued with the ‘shoulds’ – an onslaught of advice from health professionals, friends, families, books, articles, and the media about what we NEED to be doing and why. But today, I’m not going to ‘should’ you. I trust that in this moment, in this life, wherever that may be and however that may look, that you are doing the very best that you can. I’m going to write that again … in this moment, in this life, wherever that may be and however that may look, you are doing the very best that you can. So, no ‘shoulds’, instead I’m going to share with you three simple, yet powerful, habits that you can choose to adopt that will support your wellbeing and health immeasurably. Try them on for size and always be kind and patient with yourself.
1. Start your day with hot water and lemon
Hands up if you tend to kung foo the bedsheets off, drag your sleepy ass to the kettle, and get a coffee in you before you’ve ever managed to properly open up your peepers and greet the day. I know you can’t see due to the limitations of our website based communication but my hands, admittedly, are up. The simple change in routine of starting your day with a much more gut and energy friendly warm drink is phenomenal. I am just four mornings into my recommitment to this practice and I am hooked. It’s energising, alkalising, gentle and great for digestion and metabolism!
How to – Either squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into some warm//hot water; or try a lemon tea; or a drop of lemon essential oil.
2. Put aside 5 minutes to clear away the cobwebs (MEDITATE!)
It is so so easy to go about our days in an autonomous, disconnected and often stressful way. We are all so busy, we are all so ambitious, we are all trying to be the best ‘we’ we can be! So it comes of no surprise that our mental health and our peace is often sacrificed in the name of ‘achievement’ or ‘busyness’. No more! Creating a space and place for peace and connection is oh so vital to our health, AND can actually lead to greater productivity, energy and (law of attraction supporters will recognise) might actually attract more wonderful opportunities for peace and love once you carve our some room for it.
How to – Find a quiet, comfortable seat and (to start with) set a timer for 5 minutes. Start off by ensuring that any niggles or discomforts (within reason of course) are addressed and then set the intention to stay in this posture//seat for the remainder of your medi session. Take a deep and long inhale through your nose, and a long, controlled exhale out through your mouth. Try the ‘box’ breathing technique and focus on the cycle of the breath. Breathing in for four counts, pausing at the top for four counts, breathing out for four counts and pausing at the bottom for four counts. Continue this cycle, observing but not responding or attaching to any emotions//thoughts//experiences that may arise. Calm the mind by giving it a single focus, the breath. When the timer goes off, you might set a simple intention to bring a little of this sense of peace into your day, or you may be so blissed out that you choose to stay in this delicious space for a few more minutes.
3. Be human and give yourself permission to experience the full spectrum of emotions!
We often fall into the trap of being ‘guilted’ by our emotional experiences. If you find yourself feeling down, this might be met with anger or guilt that you ‘shouldn’t feel sad!’ or that you ‘should be able to snap out of it’. And, before you know it, it’ll feel like you’ve downed an emotional cocktail rather than a straight up shot of sadness. The full gammet of human emotion is vast – jealousy, joy, anger, sadness, peace, love, hatred … they exists in all their blazing glory within all of us. And, despite our best efforts, they pop up and maybe linger from time to time. Don’t shoot the messenger, they come with a purpose – to help us to grow, to learn, to peel off the layers of ourselves.
How to – The next time your experiencing (and that’s all it is, an experience) an emotion – acknowledge, identify, explore and thank it. For example, and full disclosure, I have been a bit of a sadpants this week, for a number of reasons. And I have given myself a heart-soaked permission slip to just ‘be’.
+ I acknowledge that I am feeling off
+ I try to identify how I am feeling – I feel sad; I feel upset; I feel hurt. Your choice in language is HUGE here, be mindful not to personify the emotion too much by saying ‘I am sad’. You’re not sad, you feel sad, you are experiencing sadness, but YOU are not ‘sad’. That implies a more permanent or unchangeable state.
+ I explore the sensations – What is going on in my life that may be contributing to these sensations? Are they rational triggers? Can I do anything to alleviate or mend the ’cause’ or trigger experience?
+ I thank the emotion that is up in the driver’s seat, but lovingly grab the wheel – Our emotions carry with them lessons and messages. Thank them for that. Continuing with the example of sadness, thank sadness for showing up and perhaps highlighting or bringing attention to an area of your life that isn’t bringing you the joy that it once did, or acknowledging that sometimes these emotions show to teach us about their counterpart (when Izzie died, I reassured myself that the pain I experienced was a beautiful reminder of the love that once filled that space. The pain was so great because the love and joy of having her in my life were so great – and I became grateful and thankful that I was able to experience such goodness in my life.
Blessings and healthy, happy habits x