I know this post is not beauty related. Don’t worry, I’m still a beauty junkie (with a face mask on as we speak) with a plethora of skincare content coming …
Let me know if you like it!
We are halfway through January. A month of new beginnings and numerous personal challenges. Did you know about 80% of all new year resolutions fail by the beginning of February? Well, life happens and all your dreams about becoming a yoga guru chewing on a stick of celery after a fulfilling day at work crash into pieces. Instead of going for a long walk, you end up spending Saturday binge-watching Netflix with a bowl of crisps and a glass of red.
I am not the biggest fan of new year resolutions anyway. I don’t have a certain number I want my scales to show or a specific number of pineapples consumed every week. I just want to feel good in my skin and be happy. This is not achievable by dramatic changes in your lifestyle that commence on any Monday or January 1st. I’d rather keep my mojo going with small little habits I’ve developed over time. And … to be honest, I am one pretty happy bunny.
1 Uuuuuuum – meditation
Please don’t get scared of this one. In general, I am not a very zen person. I’ve noticed that by taking a few minutes out of my day and listening to guided meditation makes me more put together. Headspace app is the one to start with. The beginner’s pack is free, so you can test if it works for you – after that, it’s subscription based and not pricey at all. I categorise these types of costs as “investment in myself” and they are always a good idea – for the same price if I can give up a large glass of red in a pub just once a month, so can you.
Another great source of mindfulness is to be found on good ol’ YouTube. For free. My favourite channel is Michael Sealey. His library is full of great guided meditations of different lengths and purposes. I have to admit, I found his intonation a little weird at the beginning, but you get used to it. His meditations focus on your subconsciousness, so I listen to them in bed while slowly fading away. I don’t do it every night, but when I do, I wake up full of energy and motivation. Truly life changing.
With the exception of high school, when I was looking for every single excuse not to attend PE classes (once I was “on my period” for a month and a half), I was a pretty active kid. I tried everything – running, gym, classes, Less Mills, spinning (ouch) … until I discovered Crossfit. It’s just the most effective workout to move your limits and get/stay fit. There is a whole community vibe going on around Crossfit – I’ve met so many friends there. (Thanks to my sickeningly sociable boyfriend)
If you google Crossfit and see all the weights and ripped people doing it, it may scare you off and you might think it’s not for you. Everyone has to start somewhere. Before you know it you’ll be able to walk up the double escalator at Piccadilly Circus without panting and thinking you’re gonna die. That’s what working out is all about – being fit enough to manage daily stressful situations. (not walking up the tube escalator :)). It also completely clears your head. By the time you reach stretching you won’t remember why you get angry at work or even what day in a week it is. Believe me. I am not a morning person, but somehow I manage to get my bum out of the warm bed to move those kettlebells, throw a weighted ball in the air multiple times and do burpee box jumps. You never regret going to the gym!!!
If you are not a fan of testing your limits, blisters on your hands and compromised manicures (damn you chalk!), there are thousands of workouts you can do. If money is a problem, there is still running or YouTube. No excuses. (And that’s YouTube for guidance, not just to watch)
Make realistic goals though – if you haven’t been to the gym for years, you probably won’t be qualifying for the next Olympics. By starting today, you’ll be able to run a half marathon by April.
3 Learn something new every day
Get your phone out of your hands and talk to people, pick their brain, ask for help … Or just check Twitter for news – just kidding. There must be a topic you wish you knew more about – investigate, read, dig, ask people about it. Would you like that promotion at work? Develop a new skill! It’s really not hard when you schedule 5 to 10 minutes a day for this single purpose. There are blogs, forums, free webinars, tutorials … It might become your new hobby or (even better) an alternative source of income.
The most important thing is that you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something by learning something new.
Sometimes we are swamped by life and believe we don’t have time for anything. Yet we manage to Keep Up with The Kardashian’s last baby announcement, every step of our high school mate’s lives and Celebrity Big Brother. We waste so much time for these “entertaining” activities. Make your time useful Instead of listening to music on the commute, play a podcast or read a book. Delete social icons from your phone and renew your library membership. It really does take a few minutes a day to feel better.
4 Wishing for random people to be happy
My favourite book for a long time now is Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris. It’s a collection of habits and tools of extraordinary people you may or may not know. It’s just so motivating and inspiring. I’ve returned to it many times and reread certain stories. So inspiring.
One that’s stuck with me is (Chade) Meng’s 10-second exercise of wishing people you don’t know to be happy. When you’re feeling blue, identify two random people and secretly wish them to be happy (without them knowing, I hope that’s understandable). It’s ridiculous how your lips just form a smile and you genuinely feel better instantly. It’s now become my habit and I do it almost every single day. After reading this I’m sure you’ll at least try it. I hope it will bring you as much fun and happiness as it does to me.