Retreat yourself, daily.
Life is stressful. From the minute we wake up until the moment we fall asleep WE ARE ON.
Whether it’s raising children, working full-time or trying to juggle both - the pressure of leading these incredibly busy lives really does take it’s toll. And I don’t know about you, but I'm exhausted!
So much so that I recently began questioning my decision to not eat meat for the past 18 years. And on a recent trip back to Australia, I decided to get a full checkup. I saw a gynecologist, an osteopath, a naturopath, had my yearly dental exam and my blood-work done. I was tested for everything from anemia to HIV and guess what? I’m totally and perfectly 100% healthy!
It's something I should have been super happy about, right? Well, I wasn’t. I was actually pretty disappointed!
When my doctor called me to tell me the good news, he could hear the disappointment in my voice. He was obviously a little confused as to why I wasn’t thrilled to be receiving a clean bill of health. I told him that I had been feeling really tired this year and was hoping for a physical reason to explain it. And - I kid you not, he answered by saying something that put everything into perspective for me.
“Honey, we’re all tired.”
And that was that.
So, this year my mission is to find balance. I want to do everything but nothing all at once. I want to be active and to be still. I want, most importantly, to feel good 100% of the time.
Here are the 3 main things that I know, with a little effort, will help make this happen...
It doesn’t matter how much you exercise or how well you eat, if you don’t give your body enough time to rest, you may as well be eating fast food all day.
Who else is guilty of watching 'just one more' episode of your favourite show at midnight and then waking up the next morning regretting this decision? Or, doing a quick Facebook check when you get into bed and an hour later finding yourself stalking someone you haven't even seen in 20 years.
Technology has taken over our lives and I think this is one of the biggest areas where we need to find some balance.
Take my phone, for example. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I see at night. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We go for walks, we watch TV and, at the end of the day, I tuck it in next to me, say goodnight and start all over again the next morning.
This has to stop.
I’ve recently been making a conscious effort to leave my phone out of the bedroom and honestly, it is so liberating! Instead, I actually say goodnight to my husband (!) And the first thing I see in the morning isn't a screen, it's the view outside my window.
It seems like such a small thing, but it’s not. Going to sleep in a technology-free zone makes you feel good. I promise.
That doesn’t mean you have to kill yourself doing a crazy army-style boot camp or start training for a half marathon. It simply means: just be active.
Instead of jumping in the car to drive to the store, throw on some comfy shoes and walk. Instead of hitting the couch and turning on the TV as soon as you get home from work, go for a 30-minute walk around your neighbourhood instead.
One thing I really love to do is revolve my social life around exercise. I have a few friends that live nearby and instead of going out for dinner, we go for a good, long walk. You get to move, catch up with each other and avoid the nasty hangover the next day. Perfect.
Sometimes I get really wild and crazy and leave my phone at home too! It’s these little things that make all the difference.
I know, you don’t have the time, right? Honestly, I find this to be the worst excuse in the book.
Let’s think about all of the things you do have time for such as scrolling through Instagram or watching mind-numbing TV. Buying things you don’t need over the internet or watching hours of silly YouTube clips (I secretly love doing this btw)!
You have time for all of these things, but you don’t have time to cook?
Instead of turning on the TV, put your phone down, crank your favorite tunes, pour yourself a glass of wine (or not) and cook yourself a good meal. It takes a little effort, but I promise you will feel better for it in the long run.
If you have kids, try to revolve your day around food. Take them to your local farmers market and let them choose their favourite fruits and veggies. Then, come home and cook lunch together. You’ll be surprised how willing they are to eat healthy food just by including them in the process.
So, those are my goals for this year.
Yes, it is going to be impossible to live entirely stress-free. But, we all have to start somewhere.
Here’s to a healthy and happy 2016!
BE inspired. BE change.