Tap into ancient wisdom to unlock your ultimate health and well-being.
Trust my words when I say this: when you prioritise self-care and health, your life will start to flow. You’ll learn to trust your inner voice and energy and begin to respond rather than react to the situations around you. When you do this, you’ll unlock your ultimate health and well-being, one step at a time.
Follow my guide below and take your first step.
One Solemn Breath
Breathe – just breathe. This ‘one solemn breath’ causes you to show up, be present and become accountable for yourself.
Begin with this simple technique I call ‘one solemn breath’. Before you act, take one solemn deep breath in and out. Pause. Create a little space between your thoughts and feelings and your actions. In that moment, pause and choose to respond calmly to the action you were going to do. Think before you act and align your actions with your goal or your life’s purpose. Use that ‘one solemn breath’ to create a moment of space and quiet for you. You deserve it.
You can also try box breathing. This technique will lower stress and anxiety levels, which will again help you feel calm and improve your coping skills and overall well-being.
Breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds and hold for four seconds. Repeat this four times.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique
This breathing pattern is based on ancient yoga practices. It will bring you into a deep, relaxed state, so deep its purpose is to help you take a power nap when you need it, to fall asleep or become deeply calm.
Open your mouth and exhale (breathe out) completely. Then close your lips and inhale through your nose to a count of four seconds, hold the inhale for seven seconds and then do a big, long, slow exhale for eight seconds. Holding your breath for seven seconds is the most crucial. Start with four cycles of this breath and gradually work up to eight.
Build up to incorporating meditation into your daily routine every day.
Begin with guided meditations and consider using an app like Calm or Headspace or even follow along to free meditations on YouTube.
Take a moment to escape. Create some quiet and some space and wander off in your mind. Visualise the details of where you are—the smells, the sounds, the colours, the shapes, the people, the natural elements. Imagine yourself in that scene and visualise yourself in the moment, or maybe it is a time in the future.
Sleep is our recharge. It is our time to restore and replenish.
Here are my top tips for improving your sleep:
- Start small. Simply increasing your sleep by 20 minutes every night will help.
- Create a soothing pre-sleep routine. Begin your bedtime routine early in the evening. If the kids get ready to go to bed to bed at 8.30 pm, do the same. Maybe have a warm shower, take off your make-up, cleanse your face, brush your teeth, put on your night creams and get into your pyjamas. After they are settled and asleep, start to wind down. Read, watch T.V., and do whatever will calm your body and mind.
- Set just one alarm for the latest time possible to allow you to have a calm and organised morning rather than lots of alarms.
- Bring awareness to your natural sleep rhythms. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Know which one you are and use this to your advantage in terms of productivity. Use quiet time to get in a workout, meditate, or even get ahead of your to-do list for the day.
- Try a guided sleep meditation before bed. I love the Calm app… I find that I drift off to sleep quicker and sleep better too. Or even try a bedtime story. There are so many apps with relaxing and meditative bedtime stories for adults!
- Leave a window a little open (if safe to do so) and allow some air to circulate in your room as you sleep.
- Do a body scan meditation or try a relaxing yoga pose like Shavasana.
- Journal and write out some of the thoughts in your head and make a to-do list for tomorrow so you can rest peacefully.
- Be specific and motivated. Track how much water you are drinking with a marked water bottle.
- Make it more enjoyable. Add some flavour! Herbal tea bags create more flavoured hot beverages, or you can allow them to cool down and top them with ice and sparkling water for a refreshing flavoured drink.
- Add fizz. Invest in a carbonator to add bubbles and fizz to your drinks.
- Create new habits. Start your day with a glass of water. Warm water with lemon or cold water. Drink a glass of water after each toilet break. Every time you empty your glass fill it back up immediately. You are far more likely to drink it if a full glass is in front of you.
Find an activity you love! This is one of the most freeing things you can do. Your 40 minutes of daily exercise does not all have to be done in one go. You can do 5 minutes skipping, 15 minutes jogging with the dog, ten minutes with the kids on the trampoline, and a 15-minute free aerobics video online, or have a dance party for 15 minutes that evening.
Dance – turn the music up loud, sing your heart out and dance hard. Having little dance parties when no one is watching is so much fun!
Movement regulates our sensory system. It helps us to wiggle, shake and pound out any stress. It can be energising and calming all in one.
Do yoga or pilates. Stretch your body. Walk barefoot on the grass or the sand and feel that connection with nature and feel grounded.
Did you know that the root word for emotion in Latin, emovere, means “to move through”? Movement helps us to let our emotions move through and out of us.
Start with something you enjoy in nature and bask in the fresh air.
Challenge yourself to try a new movement activity you have never tried:
- Rent a paddle board for the day.
- Try a small hike.
- Take a tennis lesson.
- Try a free trial at a local boutique studio.
Calm your senses
Calm your senses by creating mindful multi-sensory experiences.
Engulf your body in calming sensations – the warmth of a bath, calming soothing aromas, visually calming things – from a photo hanging on your wall of some of your best people to a favourite place you have been to or a favourite memory.
Surround yourself with calming sounds as you walk, drive, work and exercise. Play meditative music, listen to acoustic versions of your favourite songs or movie scores and play spa music as you prepare for bed.
Use a diffuser to create beautiful smells and aromas around your home and workspace.
All this will help calm your mind and help you destress and relax.